Solana and Ethereum enthusiasts have exchanged barbs over the past week, as the heightened activity on both networks has fueled intense competition between the networks. 

The surge in both chains comes from increased transactions on DeFi protocols, primarily from exchanging memecoins and farming points for potential airdrops. Advocates for each respective camp have been duking it out as scalability and memecoins remain central points of contention and discussion, with each side advocating for their preferred solutions and technologies.

Even though Ethereum and Solana share a vision of integrating blockchain into society, with leaders expressing optimism for coexistence, some continue to square off online and on-chain.

Trading Potshots

The co-founders of crypto firm Bankless Ventures, which has heavily invested in the Ethereum ecosystem, recently reduced Solana to just being all about memecoins. Bankless’ David Hoffman, who goes by @TrustlessState, wrote on X yesterday that Solana and Ethereum are “playing different games,” boasting that while “Solana has successfully attracted retail players to play in the memecoin arena, Ethereum has successfully attracted BlackRock to tokenize its trillions of dollars of assets.”

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Meanwhile, Ryan Sean Adams, another co-founder of Bankless, reduced Solana to being known as a “meme chain,” while noting that Optimism is known for being a “superchain” and Arbitrum is known for being a “DeFi chain,” among others.

Mert Mumtaz, the CEO of Solana-based developer firm Helius, responded to Hoffman and Adams, putting a positive spin on Hoffman’s observation that Solana has attracted retail players by saying “Solana has successfully been accessible enough to let thousands of people have fun with crypto.”

However, Mumtaz criticized what he perceives as elitism at Bankless, and defended Solana by emphasizing how the number of transactions per second on Solana is higher than all the examples that Adams listed, suggesting Solana is more than a meme chain. “Let me take another shot at this. Solana: ~2000 TPS. Everything else here combined: ~100 TPS,” Mumtaz wrote. 

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Adams further defended Ethereum’s roll-up-centric road map, equating Ethereum’s expensive blockspace to Manhattan’s pricey real estate and layer 2 blockchain networks to the suburbs. In a tweet, he encouraged exploring cheaper alternatives such as layer 2 networks, arguing that they’re “great” and moreover, that free real estate doesn’t exist because users will inevitably incur a cost. 

Solana co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko responded to Adams by snarkily saying, “If you can’t afford to live in Manhattan, maybe it’s time to rethink your layer-1.” 

Additionally, on the decentralized social network Farcaster on Tuesday, Mumtaz poked fun at the Ethereum ecosystem, likening Ethereum to supervillain Voldemort because of its current reliance on fragmented layer 2 networks to scale. “Ethereum doesn’t want you to know this, but you ever watch Harry Potter? Voldemort fragments his soul continuously in many objects so that he can spread evil forever. Rollups are horcruxes [and] Ethereum is Voldemort.” Horcruxes are objects where Voldemort has inserted parts of his soul.

Which Is Better?

For her part, Decentral Park Capital portfolio manager Kelly Ye said in a phone interview with Unchained that it’s pointless to argue whether Ethereum or Solana is better because the blockchains have different use cases, each with its own supporters as well as varying pros and cons.

Ye did note, however, that the growing competition between Ethereum and Solana “will make each other better… We’ve been infrastructure building for so many years. And now we’re really entering a stage where improvements on both chains makes possible for a Cambrian explosion of apps building on them.”