Ethereum Layer-1 competitor Solana (SOL) is making strong moves to the north. The SOL price has surged 10% in the last 24 hours and is currently trading at $104. This is for the first time in a month’s time that SOL price has surged past $100.

With the recent move, Solana has also extended its weekly gains to more than 20%. The recent price rally comes on the backdrop of some key developments in the Solana ecosystem. Despite the recent SOL price volatility, the Solana team has continued with an impressive rate of network development.

Besides, there have been some major developments taken in the Solana ecosystem. On Wednesday, March 23, Solana announced the launch of its first permissionless decentralized payments rail aka Solana Pay.

Solana Pay Facilitates Instant Decentralized Payments

This will make it easy for merchants to enable transactions in digital dollars like the USDC at just a fraction of the cost and without any intermediaries at the point of sale. Solana said that more than 600 merchants have already engaged with the Solana Pay ecosystem. While others are working to incorporate Solana Pay into their payment flows. The announcement notes: built an ecommerce experience, including escrow smart contract functionality and on-chain dispute resolution, using Solana Pay (read here about the integration).

Solana Labs says that Solana Pay will change the ‘future of payments’. The announcement further added: “A new feature is coming to expand the capabilities of Solana Pay QR codes far beyond simple transfers. It allows an interactive request between a checkout app and a mobile wallet to power almost any transaction that’s possible on Solana, such as minting NFTs, dynamic discounts, and DeFi-powered loyalty programs”.

On the other hand, South Korea’s biggest game developer Krafton, the parent company of PUBG has signed a deal with Solana Labs to build blockchain-based and NFT-based games on the platform.

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