Solana has been Ethereum’s major competing force. It is often described as an Ethereum killer, Bitcoin rival and industry disruptor. For it to be described as such, it follows that it should possess features that are better than that of ETH and BTC. This article will examine in detail what the Solana blockchain is.
What is Solana?
Just as Ethereum was launched to fill in the inadequacies of Bitcoin, Solana was also brought into the tech world to fill in the inadequacies of well-known blockchains such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. The same way Vitalik Buterin realized that Bitcoin technology could do more was the same way Anatoly Yakovenko the CEO and labs co-founder of Solana noticed some issues with the existing blockchain platforms. While working at Dropbox and Qualcomm, he saw that these existing blockchain platforms struggle to scale beyond 15 transactions per second(tps) and payment systems demand systems that will be way faster. Yakovenko then teamed up with a colleague from Qualcomm, Greg Fitzgerald and they launched the Solana blockchain with the view of improving on the existing blockchain in terms of speed, high transaction fees, and scalability.
In line with this, Solana can be described as a decentralized blockchain to enable better scalability, light-speed transactions and cheap transactions.
Even though the Solana blockchain is plagued with frequent service outages, the Solana blockchain has one of the fastest growing ecosystems in blockchain tech as it has projects spanning Defi, NFTs, Web3 and lots more.
The major mechanism that distinguishes the Solana blockchain from other blockchains is its Proof of History mechanism.
Proof of history is primarily a concept that is based on the setting up of a reliable clock between computers in a network which makes synchronization simple and results in speedy transactions. The fact that validators have to verify and agree on the order of blocks in pre-existing blockchains makes transactions slower than alternative network solutions such as Solana. Proof of history allowas validators to keep time in a trustless system. It creates an historical record of events with their timestamps which allows validators to maintain their own clock and helps them to agree on the sequence of events independently. Validators rely on the ledger for information and also to know if a transaction is valid or not. With this, network decisions can be made without the need for validators to communicate with each other hence speed.
What Makes Solana Blockchain Promising?
As earlier stated, one of the problems Anatoly Yakovenko saw in the existing blockchain was lower scalability. The existing blockchain could only process 15 transactions per second which are very small. Solana solved this problem as the blockchain can process 50,000 transactions per-second tps. This is achievable through the ululation of the proof-of-history protocol, Tower Byzantine Fault-tolerant (BFT) and Turbine.
Tower BFT is a Proof-of-history consensus that eliminates the need for nodes to communicate in real-time taking advantage of the cryptographic clock. The turbine is a propagation protocol that breaks data into a smaller unit which can transfer faster.
Another technology on the Solana network is called Sealevel. This helps to process transactions across GPUs and SSDs.
All these increase the overall transaction speed on the network.
One of the issues that the founder of the Solana blockchain saw in the Ethereum blockchain was the high transaction fee. Transaction fees on the Ethereum network depend on the network congestion but it’s mostly between $20 to $70 per transaction irrespective of the amount that is to be transacted.
Solana has the transaction fees amidst other blockchain technology. These transaction fees are set by the network cluster based on recent historical throughput. The average cost per transaction on the Solana blockchain is $0.00025. Solana gets to offer a very low transaction because of its higher block time and block size. Although it has been argued that higher transaction fees correlate with safer transactions.
Solana utilizes the proof of history mechanism as a tool to solve the blockchain trilemma instead of sharding to layer-2s. With this, the Solana blockchain is able to maintain a single global state even as it scales. This encourages projects to be built on the blockchain as developers don’t have to worry about liquidity or users being fragmented into the ecosystem. This explains why a lot of Defi projects and NFTs are launched on the Solana network.
These mouth watering benefits have made some projects to be launched in the Solana ecosystem. These projects span from the Defi space to the NFT space to even the Web3 space.
Alot of Defi projects have been launched based on the Solana network. Its speed and low transaction fees has attracted a lot of developers to build Defi applications. Prominent among these projects is the Gamefi and Socialfi. Lots of games have been built on the solana network. Popular among these games are Star Atlas, Aurory, Nyan Heroes and Mini Royale: Nations.
Solana has also presented itself as a thriving space for the NFT ecosystem. Lots of NFTs have been launched on the blockchain with a high thriving rate recorded. Popular among these NFTs is Okay Bears. Magic Eden and Solana Art are the popular Solana NFT marketplace. Recently, the biggest NFT marketplace OpenSea, added Solana based NFTs to its options
The Solana blockchain is rapidly taking over the Web3 world. One of the highlights is the shift of Audius, a decentralized audio streaming platform, from the Ethereum blockchain to Solana blockchain because of the need for faster speed which the Ethereum network is able to provide.
The Solana Coin ($SOL)
The solana token is the native token of the Solana blockchain. It is ranked 9th on the market cap. Currently,a Solana token is worth $34.65 with a total market cap of US$11.8865 billion. The total supply of Solana tokens is 511.617 tokens with 342.51 million tokens in circulation. The Solana token is currently facing a downtime as its value has fallen from its all-time-high of US$260.06 to its current value due to the current state of the crypto market.
These features examined have led to the wide acceptability of Solana and its fast becoming the most utilized blockchain. This is in return posing a threat to the dominance of other blockchains.