Solana (SOL) price is meeting resistance near its all-time high again, but solid fundamentals and the impressive growth of its decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible token (NFT) ecosystem are likely to drive the altcoin above $250 before year-end.

SOL/USDT 1-day chart. Source: TradingView

Institutional investor interest is likely a key factor behind Solana’s impressive 490% gain since August. For example, SOL is the fourth largest Bitwise 10 Crypto Index Fund ($BITW) component, which overall is a $1.3 billion over-the-counter tradable market instrument.

Traders should remember that this event is not necessarily positive since futures contracts require both a buyer (long) and a seller (short). Nevertheless, the increasing interest allows even more substantial players to participate.

DeFi is gaining traction

Solana’s two most prominent decentralized finance projects are decentralized exchanges with built-in yield generation programs and they hold nearly $2 billion total locked value each.

Saber (SBR) is an automated market maker (AMM) protocol that trades between stable pairs and synthetic assets and provides yields for the platform’s liquidity providers. Meanwhile, Raydium offers a decentralized exchange, yield farming, and liquidity pools.

Evidence of institutional investors’ appetite for Solana was the $12 million weekly inflow in mid-October, as reported by CoinShares recently. In the same week, the United States registered branch of FTX exchange announced support for the Solana blockchain, enabling users to trade, deposit and withdraw NFTs that conform to the Metaplex token standard.

SOL futures open interest reached a record-high

This positive newsflow has been reflected on Solana’s derivatives markets, as depicted by the aggregate futures open interest data below:

Solana futures aggregate open interest. Source: Bybt.com

The indicator reached a record-high $1.86 billion on Oct. 25, which is a 123% increase in 30 days. To put things in perspective, Cardano (ADA) and Polkadot (DOT) currently hold a $900 million futures open interest.

Traders should acknowledge that this event is not necessarily positive since futures contracts require both a buyer (long) and a seller (short). Nevertheless, this increasing interest allows even more substantial players to participate.

Another positive factor is that DeFi protocols maintain a $13.5 billion total value locked (TVL) even though the sector took a substantial hit after the 17-hour network outage during Sept. 14 and Sept. 15.

Total value locked (TVL) on Solana in USD. Source: Defillama.com

The Solana Foundation stated that bots spammed the network as Grape launched its IDO on the Solana-based decentralized exchange (DEX) Raydium. That activity overwhelmed the processing capacity with a transaction load of 400,000 per second, requiring a coordinated hard fork by validators to ignore the spam requests.

$250 seems closer than ever for SOL

VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro also began to detect a bullish outlook for SOL on Oct. 20, nearly 24 hours ahead of the 15% pump that led to $210.

The VORTECS™ Score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historical and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity.

VORTECS™ score vs. SOL price (white). Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

Data illustrates that the current number of tweets from unique accounts discussing Solana is 32% higher than the 30-day average. Tweet volume is one component of the VORTECS™ score that identified bullish conditions for SOL on Oct. 20.

As long as Solana’s ecosystem expands, the network remains a viable solution for DeFi and NFT applications looking for cheap and fast transactions. Both onchain and derivatives indicators signal that $250 SOL by year-end is totally feasible.

Source Expanding ecosystem and $1.86B futures open interest back Solana’s $250 target (cointelegraph.com)

By block head

Block Head is a blockchain journalist.