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Issue 5 - What is GenesysGo

Shadowy Super Coder is a successful project that has been in the space for a long time. Seemingly out of nowhere, it rose to the top of charts of Solana NFTs when it minted, and it has kept its top 5 market cap position despite the quiet community. Instead of hype and raids, this project’s success is founded in merit and technological advancement. Although most are unaware, the project handles nearly 50% of Solana traffic.

In short, GenesysGo is a blockchain infrastructure provider, looking to solve scalability problems in the Solana space. GenesysGo builds RPC servers, which is essentially a traffic controller on the validator network and ensures proper traffic flow. It is not surprising that not many people in the Solana NFT space know the details of the project, because understanding it requires knowledge about the Solana blockchain itself.

When a Solana user approves a transaction, the request gets sent to a load balancer, which finds the server that is closest and the most open to you. This acts as a side channel to eventually get routed to the main blockchain. RPC servers ensure that other transactions are not influenced or affected by subsequent transaction requests that would disrupt the flow of traffic. In this sense, it acts as a gateway that controls what gets to come into the ecosystem.

GenesysGo runs 300+ servers and provides individualized infrastructure for other projects with specific or advanced needs. This service is a revenue stream for the project; GenesysGo is committed to providing their RPC for the Solana community free of use, but maintaining it is not free, so other revenue streams are necessary for its longevity. Eventually, the projects aims to move toward people each owning a server in the RPC layer. This is increasing the decentralization of the Solana network, something that it has been criticized for before.

Another problem in Solana that the project aims to fix is storage. Shadow Drive is a storage layer optimized for Solana. Because Solana is the most optimized blockchain, this means that the Shadow Drive’s storage is optimized for all blockchains. Before Shadow Drive, only the past couple of days of blockchain data is actually accessible in the network; the rest is stored in Google Bigtable. Not everyone has access to it, and it is expensive to maintain. This previous storage method doesn’t deliver the data accessibility and decentralization that crypto claims as a big draw to the space. Additionally, the data was mutable, meaning that individuals could change it, though it was not easy. Changing data could lead to fraudulent activities that blockchain data accessibility aims to avoid. Therefore, when the project pushed Shadow Drive, decentralization and accessibility of Solana data also increased.

Storing Solana blockchain data in the Shadow Drive helps Solana prepare for mainstream adoption: as regulations and audits occur, the new way to store data is immutable and accessible, making it more likely that data is stored and maintained properly. Additionally, the Shadow Net is a private instance of the Solana blockchain that has all programs preloaded. This is a great environment for developers to build in, as it has all the properties of the real blockchain without needing to push code publicly. Providing this environment further promotes innovation from developers.

The holders of the NFT collection, Shadowy Super Coder (SSC), are essentially the investors of GenesysGo. The royalties from secondary sales of the NFTs are used to maintain the RPC nodes. The native token $SHDW, is a gas-free token for use in the recreation of the Solana network. A wormhole easily allows any tech and transactions to be included in the Solana mainnet after development. The SSC DAO funded their own token IDO, and are proving that decentralization is possible and profitable. Being a Shadow Operator by maintaining servers and actively contributing compute power and storage to the servers is one way the token can be earned. SSC was the first project to implement staking, and $SHDW can also be earned via this route.

Impressively, GenesysGo was built from the ground up – there were no seed funding rounds, VCs, or partners involved. It was simply two partners looking to help out the Solana blockchain by providing necessary infrastructure to improve. GenesysGo was started in February of 2021, and the SSC NFT collection was released in November 2021. Now, GenesysGo has 300+ bare metal servers spread out across 9 countries on 3 continents, and these servers are free to use.

In summary, GenesysGo and its associated NFT project, SSC, are projects dedicated to improving the infrastructure of the Solana blockchain. Investing in the project in some way is like investing in Solana, with the added layer of knowledge that this project has actively solved problems that are barriers to Solana mass adoption and network speed and success. As long as the project continues to innovate and provide growing infrastructure, it will comfortably maintain its spot in the top 5 marketcap Solana projects. However, investing in the project doesn’t have to look like buying an NFT – it can also mean holding $SHDW or also indirectly just by investing in Solana.

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