Solana Gears Up for Growth: Firedancer Upgrade to Address Network Strain Caused by Booming DePIN Activity

Solana is setting its sights on a significant upgrade to address the growing demands placed on its network by a surge in Decentralized Physical Infrastructure Networks (DePIN) activity. The Solana Foundation’s DePIN lead, Kuleen Nimkar, recently announced a planned rollout of the Firedancer upgrade, with a full version targeted for 2025 and “pared-down versions” arriving sooner.

DePINs leverage blockchain technology to manage and operate physical infrastructure systems. This encompasses a wide range of projects within the Solana ecosystem, including:

  • Decentralized energy solutions: Imagine homeowners collaborating to create virtual power plants through blockchain-powered networks.
  • Distributed GPU networks: DePINs can facilitate the creation of shared computing resources.
  • Data collection for AI: Projects incentivize users to contribute data for training large language models through browser extensions.

The rise of DePIN projects like Helium, Hivemapper, and Render is driving a surge in network activity on Solana. Hivemapper, for instance, witnessed a significant increase in its “mappers” – users who contribute street-level video data using dash-mounted cameras – from around 30,000 to nearly 67,000 in 2024 alone.

“We’ve all seen outdated Street View images,” commented Nimkar. “DePINs offer a more cost-effective solution by incentivizing regular drivers to collect data, as opposed to relying on large, centralized fleets.”

While Solana’s strengths lie in transaction speed and affordability, challenges like network congestion and outages persist. A notable instance occurred in February 2024, where a prolonged outage caused nearly five hours of downtime.

To address these scalability concerns, the upcoming Firedancer upgrade represents a crucial step forward. Developed in collaboration with Jump Crypto, Firedancer is an independent validator client designed to enhance network performance and reliability.

Also Read: Solana Network Fix + No More FTX Sell-Off: Can SOL Price Break Through $200 Again?


Solana’s focus on DePINs and the Firedancer upgrade reflects its commitment to fostering innovation and scalability within its ecosystem. By addressing network limitations, Solana aims to accommodate the burgeoning DePIN landscape and solidify its position as a leading player in the blockchain space.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is for general purposes only and does not constitute financial advice. The author’s views are personal and may not reflect the views of Chain Affairs. Before making any investment decisions, you should always conduct your own research. Chain Affairs is not responsible for any financial losses.

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