Upcoming Solana NFT Projects – Moonly

Upcoming Solana NFT Projects — Moonly

Good day, good people! After a short break from sharing my progress update for Automatio, I’m back with a new project. Meanwhile, I married and became a father, (minted) a beautiful girl called Mila.

As you may know already, I devote time to building a no-code web automation tool called Automatio (a powerful web scraper and bot builder). But I also dived into Solana NFT blockchain development a couple of months ago. And despite the challenges, it’s been an exciting ride.

But Quickly, What’s an NFT?

NFT stands for non-fungible token. An NFT can be any physical item made available for sale digitally. This can be a painting, music, or any other sellable. And by non-fungible, it means an NFT isn’t replaceable, even with any other similar item. It’s essentially unique and tagged to the maker’s identity. In essence, no two same NFTs can exist at the same time. Each NFT item is identified in a blockchain using a unique token generated at the point of minting. And that’s why they call them non-fungible tokens, which means they’re non-replicable as each of them possesses a unique certificate.

Minting, however, means creating an NFT item on a digital platform such as Solana to put it out for sale. NFTs exist on blockchains and are available for sales in cryptocurrencies. When you sell an NFT as the author, you invest in a lifetime passive income as the unique token trails your creation. So even whenever buyers resell your item, you get a certain percentage, called a royalty (determined by you), on each sale.


So, friends, I present to you, for the first time, **Moonly**, the Solana blockchain project that has captured my time and passion. With a regularly updated database of trending NFT projects, it helps you recommend the best upcoming NFT projects worth investing in on Solana.

I’ve been on to NFT for some years now, and I know how difficult it can be to decide what NFT project is worth the time and investment. This problem and other salient ones are what I vision Moonly to solve. It’s currently a prototype version. But with the current development metrics, I’m optimistic that it will be a handy NFT project companion, dishing out the best timely ideas to its users when it finally launches. Moonly not only recommends the best NFT project available on Solana but goes ahead to help you decide which one is worth minting at a particular time.

So what’s Moonly, and how does it work?

It’s an NFT recommender built on the Solana NFT blockchain. Since engagement determines, to a great extent, the potential worth of an NFT project, Moonly uses data analysis and detailed visualizations to give insights on metrics, such as the engagement pattern of NFT projects on Solana. Using these stats, it then tells you the most promising upcoming project with high potential to bring you passive income.

The recommender relies heavily on several NFT data points sourced from several APIs. And we also scrape some using **Automatio** in real-time. This is also a way to interlink my products and build a robust infrastructural framework.

However, Moonly will recognize possible blue-chip NFT projects by analyzing over 18 different factors like social stats, engagement, validation of followers, growth rate, doxxed founders, roadmap, Discord community, etc. It will offer a set of tools to help you monitor existing NFT projects and better decide on trading factors like Floor Price, Volume, Listing count, historical data, undercut opportunities, and more.

However, regardless of your experience with NFTs, the purpose of Moonly is to take you to the moon! It ensures that you invest only in solid NFT projects with high ROI (return on investment) potential.

Having been a part of the Solana community for a while now, it became my first choice for blockchain technology. Indeed, it’s one of the fastest decentralized systems. It also offers a lower cost per transaction, and it’s more eco-friendly than most alternatives out there. Plus, it’s a friendly community. That’s why it’s popular among NFT creators and investors.

Below, you can find the top 30 Solana NFT projects of all time, sorted by volume. Clicking on any of them redirects you to Moonly, where you can find more information about them. Nonetheless, note that what you currently see is just a prototype. A fully rebuilt version is coming soon, with more data for each project.

Boryoku Dragonz

Solana Monkey Business

Shadowy Super Coder DAO

Degen Coin Flip

Degen Ape Academy



Monkey Kingdom

Taiyo Robotics


Stoned Ape Crew




OG Flowers


Baby Ape Social Club

The Catalina Whale Mixer


Nyan Heroes

Playground Waves

Zero G Labs: Solanauts

Fine Fillies

Galactic Geckos

Solsteads Surreal Estate

Pesky Penguins


Famous Fox Federation

Solana Monkette Business

Finally, I’d like to know, are you into the NFT games? If yes, what’s your chosen chain? Solana or Ethereum? And what NFT project are you holding? More importantly, I’d appreciate your honest feedback on the Moonly project itself.


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Creating an NFT on Solana with Metaplex Candy Machine.

Guide Overiew

After what felt like walking through a mine field trying to figure out how to create my own NFT on Solana with the current guides, I decided to put together a guide myself in a very beginner friendly fashion.

I won’t be taking a deeper dive into the specifics of how everything works, but rather help people with zero knowledge of rust obtain a general understanding on how to create their very own NFT on Solana with the help of Metaplex candy machine and a web starter kit.

Note: I used Ubuntu 21.10 – Wayland for it. Some things may vary depending on the operating system you are running.

What is a Metaplex Candy Machine?

Metaplex is a command line tool that interacts with the candy-machine program. In this guide, we will use it to:

  1. Upload your images along with their metadata to arweave, then register them on the Solana blockchain.
  2. Verify that the state of your candy machine is valid and complete.
  3. Mint individual tokens.

Candy Machine is a system that manages fair mints.
• The minting process starts and finishes at the same time for everyone.
• It won’t accept your funds if there are no more NFTs to sell.


  1. NodeJS (version 14.17.6)
  2. SolanaCLI
  3. Metaplex CLI
  4. Phantom Wallet

If you have a different version of Node installed on your system, you can use nvm which allows you to quickly install and use different versions of node via the command line.

Getting Started

Installing The SolanaCLI

Solana already has really well made guides on installing and using the Solana command line.
Install Solana Command Line Tools

Using Devnet

Devnet is really useful for developers to test out their programs and applications.

You can set your default Solana url to devnet using:
$ solana config set --url https://api.devnet.solana.com

Now, let’s create a devnet wallet:
$ solana-keygen new --outfile ~/.config/solana/devnet.json
Remember to store your seed phrase somewhere safe.

I highly recommend making devnet your default keypair
$ solana config set --keypair ~/.config/solana/devnet.json

Funding The Devnet Wallet

Firstly, let’s make sure that we’re on devnet by checking the configuration.

$ solana config get
Config File: /Users/dev/.config/solana/cli/config.yml
RPC URL: https://api.devnet.solana.com
WebSocket URL: wss://api.devnet.solana.com/ (computed)
Keypair Path: /Users/dev/.config/solana/devnet.json
Commitment: confirmed

Now, let’s fund that wallet:
Firstly, We check the balance of our current wallet.

$ solana balance 

Then we airdrop the amount of SOL to our wallet. Remember, the amount is capped to 5 SOL.

$ solana airdrop 4
Requesting airdrop of 4

Signature: Transaction Signature


Now, Let’s check our balance to confirm the airdrop was successful.

$ solana balance
4 SOL //This can vary depending on the balance you initially had.

In case you’re confused by any of the above steps, you can check the manuals to get a better understanding by running:

$ solana help config
$ solana help balance
$ solana help airdrop

Configuring Phantom Wallet

After setting up your phantom wallet, we can link our newly created devnet wallet above to phantom.
To do so, first we need to open its settings, click on Change Network and select Devnet

Now, we need to obtain the devnet wallet private key. To obtain that, open your terminal and cat to view the contents of the keypair.json file

$ cat .config/solana/devnet.json

Now copy the output you received and open phantom wallet. Click on the top left navigation menu and click on Add/Connect Wallet and then click on Import Private Key and give it a suitable name and paste the contents we copied before in the Private Key field.

You should be able to see 4 SOL in your wallet.

Running Candy Machine CLI

Please ensure that you have node and yarn installed before proceeding.

Also install ts-node by running:
$ npm install -g ts-node

Now, let’s clone the metaplex project into the location of your choice.

$ git clone https://github.com/metaplex-foundation/metaplex.git
$ cd metaplex/js
$ yarn install && yarn bootstrap && yarn build

To run the command line utility,

$  ts-node metaplex/js/packages/cli/src/candy-machine-cli.ts help
Usage: candy-machine-cli [options] [command]

  -V, --version                          output the version number
  -h, --help                             display help for command

  upload [options] <directory>
  verify [options]
  verify_price [options]
  create_candy_machine [options]
  update_candy_machine [options]
  mint_one_token [options]
  sign [options]
  sign_candy_machine_metadata [options]
  help [command]                         display help for command

Organizing & Uploading Your Assets

For this guide, we will be using pre-made assets which you can download by clicking here. courtesy of solana-candy-factory
Place this assets folder in a suitable location.
Here is how you should organize your NFT files to upload:

ls assets | sort -n

You can notice that these files come in numerical pairs, that is 1.png and 1.json are the two halves of the NFT. The png file is the art work and the json file contains the metadata.

The directory name assets does not matter. You can go with anything you like.

Validating Your Assets

This may feel tedious but it’s just as important. Checkout the the manual on carrying this out at

Uploading Your Project Assets

Now that we have the funds, assets all organized and vaidated, we can proceed with the fun stuff!

We will proceed with uploading our assets with the CLI. Remember, our assets are located at metaplexjspackagescliexample-assets

$ ts-node metaplex/js/packages/cli/src/candy-machine-cli.ts upload assets --env devnet --keypair ~/.config/solana/devnet.json

Processing file: 0
Processing file: 1
Processing file: 2
Processing file: 3

By uploading, it sends the files to Arweave and also registers those files with your candy machine. Both Arweave and Solana are initialized after a successful run.

Validating Your Candy Machine

You can confirm the health and status of your on-chain assets using:

$ ts-node metaplex/js/packages/cli/src/candy-machine-cli.ts verify --env devnet --keypair ~/.config/solana/devnet.json
Looking at key  0
Name redacted-name 0 with https://arweave.net/redacted-tx-id checked out
Looking at key  1
Name redacted-name 1 with https://arweave.net/redacted-tx-id checked out
Looking at key  2
Name redacted-name 2 with https://arweave.net/redacted-tx-id checked out
Looking at key  3
Name redacted-name 3 with https://arweave.net/redacted-tx-id checked out

Starting Your Candy Machine

After verifying that our assets are good to go, we can finally start the candy machine.
$ ts-node metaplex/js/packages/cli/src/candy-machine-cli.ts create_candy_machine --env devnet --keypair ~/.config/solana/devnet.json

Updating Your Candy Machine

We can modify our candy machine details to include a start date and/or price etc.

$ ts-node metaplex/js/packages/cli/src/candy-machine-cli.ts update_candy_machine --env devnet --keypair ~/.config/solana/devnet.json --price 1 --date "29 Oct 2021 00:12:00 GMT"

Minting Our NFT

To mint our NFT, we can use mint_one_token like so:

$ ts-node metaplex/js/packages/cli/src/candy-machine-cli.ts mint_one_token --env devnet --keypair ~/.config/solana/devnet.json

If all goes well, you can now open your phantom wallet, open the collectibles page (It’s beside the $ symbol on the bottom) and voila! Your newly minted NFT will be there!

Setting Up The Web Starter Kit

Now that we’ve successfully minted an NFT into our wallet, let’s make a web application to carry out the mint instead!
Note: This project is very new and could cause some issues, if it does then please report it on github.

The goal of the project is for you to be able to configure it and customize it to your liking.

Fork the project and then clone it to your desired location.
Link: https://github.com/exiled-apes/candy-machine-mint

Now we need to build the project,

cd candy-machine-mint
yarn install
yarn build

This is where things get a little bit complicated. When we uploaded our NFTs, a cache file was created in the same directory as our assets directory. However, this .cache folder is hidden! If you’re on ubuntu, use ctrl+h to display hidden files.

Once you have discovered that folder, open it and you’ll find devnet-temp file. Open it in your IDE and you’ll see the following

        "uuid": "Ch3ps8",
        "config": "Ch3ps8QDLUEa2C1VfbjVCGny86kU7fU2mMUU6r2VAY3c"
            "link": "https://arweave.net/_z2OeYH3Wom1y-MyRExVzejA2f1KQls9yV0hx8HeF6c",
            "name": "TEST",
            "onChain": true
            "link": "https://arweave.net/L1XD2LZmpLDYX8CQZbhlLpLUpq9zwa5UdAfnL1FnHVM",
            "name": "TEST",
            "onChain": true
            "link": "https://arweave.net/1Mf8jqdXDkqJXK-dis7Lo5mTWPcmY2XV4sBoTdrkwVY",
            "name": "TEST",
            "onChain": true
            "link": "https://arweave.net/g3FY_hre1WRzq2U7Yo7qy0bw6ko5lcjoOfnHuEsokDs",
            "name": "TEST",
            "onChain": true
            "link": "https://arweave.net/osvMsQGCbr4sQ6d_gsh67Hz59JNesngMicRlD4kMPzs",
            "name": "TEST",
            "onChain": true
            "link": "https://arweave.net/bKwtXFt05BMIw5tMuqi6Q9U0VOtIfIJH9xCRzvqYZlY",
            "name": "TEST",
            "onChain": true
    "env": "devnet",
    "cacheName": "temp",
    "authority": "9xJwcnBLEuH9uuM6dJ939oHpjGFwHUroVJyCherdHxGD",
    "candyMachineAddress": "3WmzqKPPhFrenFs9md7ZoSi96aWUeKtLFu18mtjPBht5",
    "startDate": 1632615120

We’re going to need all this data when we run our web application to mint.

Configuring Candy-Machine-Mint

Open up the candy-machine-mint folder, where you will find a file called .env.example
(The file is usually hidden, use ctrl+h to display hidden files)
Rename it to .env and then open it to edit the following details:


This is the program.config key from our .cache/devnet-temp file.


This is the candyMachineAddress from our .cache/devnet-temp file.


This the Solana address that receives the funds gathered during the minting process. You can set this to your devnet wallet address.


This is the startDate key from our .cache/devnet-temp file.
Note: If you cannot find it, use update_candy_machine as mentioned above as you may have missed out on mentioning the date.


This identifies the Solana network you want to connect to. Options are devnet, testnet, and mainnet.


This identifies the RPC server your web app will access the Solana network through.

Starting The Web Application

Open your terminal and navigate to the candy-machine-mint directory and start the react app by using yarn start

Once you see Compiled Successfully in your terminal, Open http://localhost:3000 to view it in the browser.

You can now proceed with connecting your wallet, and clicking on the mint button.

After clicking on the mint button, you can check the collectibles page on your phantom wallet and you’ll see your newly minted NFT!

That’s all I will be covering in this guide. If you encounter any issues, comment down below and I’ll try to help!

Other Resources

  1. https://hackmd.io/@levicook/HJcDneEWF
  2. https://docs.metaplex.com/
  3. Follow Anatoly and Raj Gokal for good vibes.

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