Solana Labs adds Chat-GPT plugin for blockchain


You can now use ChatGPT to explore Solana.

The Solana Foundation, which supports the blockchain, integrated the plugin this week with an eye on NFTs, a sector in which Solana is playing an increasingly prominent role. The chatbot, available for download on Github, not only can be used to search for and purchase NFTs, it can help transfer tokens as well as simplify the complex data that accompanies crypto transactions, according to a statement released Tuesday.

“Every developer building consumer-oriented apps should be thinking about how their app is going to be interacted with through an A.I. model because this is a new paradigm for telling computers what to do,” Anatoly Yakovenko, a Solana cofounder and Solana Labs CEO, said in the statement. “A.I. will make Solana more usable and understandable.”

The Solana plugin has been teased since April, and in a Bloomberg interview earlier this month, cofounder Raj Gokal said it should feel like a personal helper.

“This is just another step in making it that much easier to interact with the chain and feel like you’re maybe speaking to an adviser or a copilot that is helping you navigate the chain and its assets,” he said. 

Instead of scanning long documents and complicated transaction data, the plugin will allow users to ask questions like which NFTs they can buy with the SOL tokens in their account, TechCrunch reported

“We believe that the blockchain space is way too technical,” Tal Tchwella, Solana Labs’ head of product, told the outlet. 

The plugin is aimed at making the blockchain more accessible for common users, but having to download it from Github could be a potential obstacle in it reaching a wider audience.

Solana has recently upped its ambition after taking a reputational hit in 2022 for its ties to Sam Bankman-Fried. Gokal told Fortune earlier this month that the FTX meltdown was “in the rearview mirror,” and that the Solana ecosystem was thriving in part due to emerging projects and applications.

Gokal told Bloomberg that the blockchain is “still at very early stages,” with its A.I. integrations, but the Solana Foundation is trying to speed this up by investing in development programs.

The Solana Foundation also said on Tuesday that it’s increased its A.I.-focused strategic grants program to $10 million from the $1 million previously announced. The program has already received about 50 applications, with those receiving grants likely being awarded $5,000 to $25,000. 

SOL, the blockchain’s native cryptocurrency, was trading up nearly 2% to about $20 on Tuesday afternoon. The cryptocurrency has doubled since Jan. 1, outperforming Bitcoin and Ether, which are up 64% and 54% over the same period, respectively.

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