Millions Of Compressed NFTs Are Being Minted Weekly On Solana
Bubblegum From Metaplex Leverages Merkle Trees To Reduce Costs Of Minting and Interacting With NFTs
By: Owen Fernau •NFT News
Bubblegum, a tool which brings down the cost of interacting with NFTs on the Solana blockchain using compression techniques (cNFTs), is routinely being used to mint over 3M NFTs on a weekly basis.
Bubblegum’s key adopter is Drip Haus, a project which allows creators to mint and airdrop NFTs. Drip has been touting Bubblegum’s compression technology since early 2023.
It’s notable that a cost-saving feature has generated so much use on Solana. The blockchain already has cheap fees relative to Ethereum — even in a low-demand environment, a simple token transfer on Ethereum costs $0.63 while Solana transactions generally cost fractions of a cent.
Bubblegum uses Merkle Trees, a data structure widely used across blockchains, to bring down the cost of minting the cNFTs. This is because scanning the items in a Merkle Tree scales logarithmically, meaning that minting larger numbers of NFTs results in lower costs per cNFT.
To be sure, mints don’t equate to a hot market for NFTs on Solana — data from Solscan shows volume in SOL terms for NFTs has been relatively flat over the past 90 days.
Bubblegum was developed by Metaplex, which also features a framework for launching NFTs on Solana called Candy Machine and upgraded its protocol in January to allow creators of NFTs to enforce royalties.