Everything you need to know about Solana (SOL) Blockchain


Many blockchain technologies have come to existence after Satoshi’s whitepaper was released in 2008 for Bitcoin, which works on the proof-of-work(PoW) consensus model. After Satoshi, Vitalik Buterin founded smart contract-based Ethereum Blockchain in 2015 which is now migrating to proof-of-stake(Pos) consensus. Even, Harmony has become quite a popular blockchain which started to operate in 2018 on the featured mainnet of Ethereum technology. But the most admirable buzzing blockchain technology in the market is “SOLANA BLOCKCHAIN”.

Solana is the world’s fastest blockchain technology and the vigorously growing ecosystem for crypto and projects like DeFi, NFTs, and Web 3.0. It was developed by Anatoly Yakovenko who is a Sans Francisco-based software engineer in 2017.

What is Solana Blockchain Technology?

Solana is a crypto evaluating work station aiming to accomplish high transactional speed without compromising on decentralization and scalability. It was founded in 2017 by San Francisco-based Solana Labs. Presently, Solana is considered to be the fastest blockchain for processing a significant number of transactions at slashed transaction fees compared to Ethereum and Bitcoin.

Anatoly Yakovenko published a new architecture for a high-performance blockchain version 0.8.13. In his whitepaper, he described Proof-of-History, an approach to hold time among nodes that do not trust each other. Anatoly comes from an analytical background where he worked for more than a decade in Qualcomm, Mesosphere, and even in Dropbox. Thus, giving him enough conviction to realize that without time monitoring, the global payment system will always going to suffer in terms of scalability. He observed that a dependable clock within the blockchain makes the network more synchronized and simple.

How Solana Originated?

The implementation of the blockchain started on a private codebase platform in the C programming language. Anatoly had a vision for a scalable, secure, and decentralized blockchain calling “Loom”. Anatoly’s colleague, Greg Fitzgerald encouraged him to replace the complete coding on Rust as it is a more low-level language providing more safety to the coders. It was Greg’s idea that Rust could deliver safety assurance and all over software productivity. Thinking upon Greg’s idea, he decided to migrate the entire codebase to Rust.

In 2018, the project was launched on GitHub under the name Silk in the loomprotocol organization. As Greg made his first release, 10 thousand signed transactions were verified and processed in 0.5 seconds. Anatoly also recruited Stephen Akridge and a few others from Qualcomm to co-found the company called ‘Loom’. Simultaneously, Ethereum also came up with its new project called Loom Network with which people got confused. Because of this emerging fuss, Anatoly changed the name to ‘Solana‘, based on a small beach town in San Diego. Very Soon, the team created the Solana GitHub organization where they renamed their prototype from Silk to Solana.

What is SOL token?

SOL is the native digital currency on the Solana ecosystem. The SOL tokens are used by the nodes within the Solana Ecosystem to run the validation program successfully or validate the output.

Whenever any validator process transactions and participate in the consensus, he earns the SOL token. Validators help to make the Solana Blockchain the fastest and high-performance platform in the blockchain network. At pressing time, 1534 validators are present in the Solana Ecosystem.

Solana foundation announced a total of 489 million native tokens to be released in circulation. Out of which, 26 million worth around $700 million has already been disbursed in the market. The native cryptocurrency SOLANA also denoted as SOL is said to be the world’s fifth-largest cryptocurrency having a market capitalization of $66 billion in the market. It has already touched 12,000% of increment in the year 2021 and focuses to grow more in near future.

Also, read - Beginners guide to GameFi and Play-to-Earn

Know about Proof-of-History and how it works

With Proof-of-History (PoH), one can create a historical record that proves that an event/outcome has occurred at a specific time interval. The PoH is a high-frequency Verifiable Delayed Function (VDF) that requires a specific number of chronological steps for evaluation. The VDF is a sequence of computation that provides a cryptographic verifiable passage of time between two events. These passages use a cryptographically secure function that prevents the output prediction from the input.

Further, the function is run in a sequence on a single core such that its previous output acts like the current input, thus periodically recording the current output. Such outputs can be re-computed and verified by external computers parallelly by running each segment sequence on a separate core.

The sequence uses ‘timestamping‘ of data by appending the data or hash of some data into the state of the function. Timestamping of data guarantees that the data was created sometime before the next hash is generated in the sequence. Moreover, the design gives a call to horizontal scaling where multiple PoH generators are synchronized with each other’s sequencing. Thus helping the generators to handle large portions of external traffic simultaneously. The overall system can handle a heavy amount of events to track at an accurate time due to lagging network issues between the generators.

Proof of history Sequence: Solana Whitepaper

How Solana is much FASTER and CHEAP?

Solana’s architecture satiates all the desirable attributes for a faster blockchain i.e. scalable, security, and decentralized. As Solana’s blockchain operates on both Proof-of-history and Proof-of-stake mechanisms, it allows validators to verify transactions based on the number of tokens they can hold. Following this, PoH ensures that the transactions are timestamped and verified as quickly as possible. Perhaps, that is how Solana is much faster in verifying transactions. 

Theoretically, the blockchain architecture holds an upper limit of 710,000 TPS on a standard gigabit network. Whereas, a 40-gigabit network can provide 28.4 million TPS according to the Whitepaper.

But the all-time astonishing feature of 2021 is the transaction cost. Solana can process as many as 50,000 TPS at an average cost per transaction to be $0.00025 only. On the contrary, Ethereum demands a considerable amount of fees of $70 and can only hold a mere 15 TPS, which is way too little compared to Solana. Thus making Solana Blockchain, much cheaper for validators and nodes. 

Nevertheless, Ethereum will always be the first mover with its enormous ecosystem and standing second in the market capitalization. Ethereum is also coming up with an Eth2 upgrade and will make a paradigm shift to PoS in 2022. As a result, the blockchain might become more secure, sustainable, while drastically increasing the transaction processing speed.

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