Tracking Top Solana Protocol Usage

A new Dune Dashboard ( dropped today which has some good insights on applications taking up compute on Solana. As a refresher, compute units are Solana’s form of gas, they are resources that a validator must use to process a transaction. The chart below lists a bunch of Solana protocols and there are some interesting findings:


1. Jupiter takes anywhere from 3-5x the amount of compute as other AMMs per tx. Jupiter is an aggregator, so this of course makes sense as they are hitting numerous AMMs and thus require the extra compute to do so. Jupiter (combining v7 and v6) make up on average ~32% of Solana blocks.

  1. The top 6 apps are all spot AMMS, with Zeta (derivatives) in 7th.

  2. AMMs all have higher average compute requested than orderbooks like Phoenix. Phoneix avg. CU is 17k vs the AMMs at 50 to over 200k. If Solana ever implements dynamic fee pricing based on compute, it’s important for the OBs to stay low due to frequent placing/cancelling.

  3. spl token (token transfers) and Pyth oracle have the two highest number of invokes (transactions). They also have the lowest CUs per invoke as they are simple programs (send a token, update a price). Pyth is another application that doesn’t really work without consistent low fees, at least not in the same capacity as it exists today on Solana.

Right now Solana has a 48m compute limit. You can see during periods of high volatility that these limits start to get frequently. As Jarry from Phoenix/Ellipsis puts it:



Compute units will be something discussed more frequently as Solana’s fee market discussions progress. It’s something we highlighted in Solana the Monolith as something that will eventually be tweaked. As it stands today, a transaction taking 250k CUs pays the same fee as one taking 4k CUs, but the work and resources the validator uses in the former is a magnitude higher. This probably doesn’t make sense. At the same time, certain applications like Oracle transactions and LOB placed/cancelled orders can’t be priced out.

It’s good to see more Dune dashboard on Solana metrics… Solana data is a pain!

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