Solana Launches Payments Protocol With Circle Support

Key Takeaways

  • Solana Pay has launched with support from Circle, FTX, and Phantom.
  • Solana Pay is a decentralized payments protocol built on the Solana blockchain. It lets merchants and e-commerce platforms accept payments through crypto wallets.
  • The service should give merchants and customers the ability for new kinds of interactions and deal-making.

Solana now has its own decentralized payments protocol. Solana Pay will let customers and merchants use digital assets like Circle’s USDC stablecoin for payments and sales. 

Solana Pay Goes Live 

Solana Labs has launched a decentralized payments protocol for merchants and consumers. 

Solana Pay is a peer-to-peer service that lets merchants and customers accept and move Solana-compatible digital assets like USDC anywhere at any time. It runs on the Solana blockchain and was developed with support from Solana Labs, Checkout.com, Circle, and Citcon. Phantom and FTX are integrating the service through their digital wallets.

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Solana Pay is targeting e-commerce platforms, payment providers, and a variety of merchants. To start using the service, merchants will need to enable a barcode for customers to make payments from their cryptocurrency wallets.

Sheraz Shere, the Head of Payments at Solana Labs, highlighted Solana Pay’s disruptive peer-to-peer technology and low-cost capabilities in a press release. He added that the product “transforms outdated one-way transaction models into powerful, two-way merchant-to-consumer relationships, giving brands and retailers a direct channel to surprise and delight their customers in new ways.”

The ability to interact with customers through crypto wallets is a potential game changer for merchants, opening the doors for the distribution of NFTs, exclusive offers, loyalty reward tokens, and more. NFTs have been described as an innovative technology for boosting brand engagement as the space has exploded over the last year, and Solana Pay is hoping to make it easier for merchants and brands to explore ways to connect with their audience.

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Circle’s Jeremy Allaire added that the Solana Pay launch marked “a critical step toward broadening access and usage for merchants and customers who want to participate in the rapidly evolving landscape for the next generation of payment technology.”

The Circle-issued stablecoin USDC is set to be the primary medium of exchange on Solana Pay on launch, but with the help of Phantom and FTX, many other Solana-compatible digital assets could gain traction on the protocol in the future. Circle’s support for the product is the firm’s latest in a series of big moves in the payments space after it partnered with both Visa and Mastercard last year.

Solana Pay is built on Solana, a high-speed smart contract blockchain that’s sometimes described as an Ethereum competitor. It says it can process up to 65,000 transactions per second with settlement at only 400 milliseconds. Solana also offers extremely low fees, with the cost per transaction currently averaging around $0.00025. These technical advantages helped it achieve a meteoric rise in 2021; its SOL token rallied from $1.50 at the start of the year to a peak of around $260. It’s since declined to $107 amid a slump across the market.  

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and several other cryptocurrencies. 


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