Solana Actions and Blinks – be both excited and cautious!

Solana Actions and Blinks – be both excited and cautious!

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Recently, the Solana Foundation has collaborated with Dialect and Superteam to advance the development of two groundbreaking products known as Solana Actions and Blinks (Blockchain Links). These innovations empower users to directly engage in blockchain transactions from the very websites and social platforms they utilize.

Solana Blinks & Actions
Source: Solana

At its core, Solana Actions serves as an API with the primary function of transmitting transactional signals executed on the Solana network. Besides, Blinks serves to present transactional information in the form of hyperlinks (URLs) and enables users to directly initiate transactions through these designated URLs.

By amalgamating the capabilities of Solana Actions and Blinks, users gain the ability to share their transactional activities on Solana in the form of a URL. Those who encounter these URLs can thereby directly interact with the network using various transactions such as swapping, staking, acquiring or selling Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), or participating in governance-related endeavors.

Blinks are currently supported by Backpack and Phantom. Those who opt in will be able to perform a variety of actions on any website, including:

  • Send money directly from a wallet, via the SPL token program
  • Buy a floor NFT from a collection on Tensor
  • Vote on a Realms proposal
  • Subscribe to a newsletter or content series via Access Protocol
  • Swap on Jupiter

Imagine you are a fan of RST WNG and own many of their original works. You go to Reddit and encourage people there to buy the floor. Using a Blink provided by Tensor in a post on Reddit will unfurl into a “buy the floor” button, letting readers execute the transaction within Reddit itself.

Solana Unlimited utility
Source: Solana

Another example, a DAO that uses governance tokens to set up a “voting” channel on their chat server of choice (say, Discord). When a proposal is up for a vote, an Action is sent to the voting channel, allowing people to vote via an in-chat poll. The votes are recorded onchain, and once the results are in, the proposal executes automatically.

This is a new level of convenient UX. We can also foresee the future when:

  • Projects and their community members may create innovative new engagement models around participation, gamification, and referrals. This could allow for more dynamic and interactive ways for users to discover, participate in, and share projects.
  • New users entering crypto and web3 could have their first on-chain onboarding experience through a simple, friendly Blink tutorial module directly within a trusted mainstream app or platform, rather than requiring them to set up a standalone cryptocurrency wallet extension first. This could significantly lower the barrier to entry for mass adoption.

3. Mind your step!

There are valid concerns with this new feature, especially on platforms like X. The biggest concern is Blinks will make scams even more prevalent than they already are.

Cybercriminals may endeavor to leverage these functionalities to execute insidious schemes designed to misappropriate users’ assets. The practice of embedding interactive blockchain links within social media posts, such as an “action” to acquire NFTs or participate in DAO voting procedures, has the potential to be co-opted as an instrument by unscrupulous individuals.

Users who lack the requisite knowledge and experience to distinguish legitimate links from fraudulent ones are vulnerable to becoming targets of phishing attacks. Should users inadvertently click on these counterfeit links and engage in transactions, their assets may be readily compromised.

Furthermore, malicious actors may create enticing posts replete with promises of outsized returns, luring users to click on spurious links and execute unsafe transactions. Once ensnared, users stand to not only lose their assets, but also forfeit trust in blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies.

Solana status
Source: Twitter

However, with great power comes great responsibility, fortunately, Solana understands that as exciting Actions and Blinks are for mainstream adoption, they are ripe for abuse and it’s better to have a slower rollout.

Solana is cognizant of the potential risks and misuse, so they have implemented several safeguards during the initial rollout of these features:

  • At launch, extension partners (Phantom, Backpack, Dialect) will only “unfurl” registered action URLs on X. Developers must register their Actions with Dialect. Blinks will also render additional UI features to enhance security.
  • Users must opt-in to wallet support for Actions and Blinks, as this is an experimental feature.
  • If a user attempts to connect to a domain that isn’t whitelisted, they will be prompted to confirm that they trust the site in order to proceed.
Solana mainstream adoption
Source: Dialect

The information provided in this article is for reference only and should not be taken as investment advice. All investment decisions should be based on thorough research and personal evaluation.

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