What is Solana?
Solana is one of the fastest Layer-1 blockchain networks in the crypto market and supports decentralised apps (dApps) across decentralised finance (DeFi), gaming, NFTs, and web3. Solana is high-speed, open-source and built to support smart contracts. It can handle high scalability, throughput, efficiency, and low transaction costs.
SOL is the native token of the Solana ecosystem and ranks among the top cryptocurrencies by market cap. Its value has exploded since 2021 due to the rising adoption of the Solana blockchain by dApps, especially in the NFT marketplace.
Solana claims a block time of 400 milliseconds, which is expected to improve further as its infrastructure evolves with time. In addition to the high speed on offer, transactions on the Solana network are incredibly cheap, with fees under $0.01, making it an attractive alternative to Ethereum.
These factors have made Solana one of the market's most attractive Ethereum competitors, driving more developers to build dApps on its platform that operate with higher efficiency. In addition, it boasts a network of thousands of nodes spread across the globe, which makes the Solana blockchain censorship-resistant and guarantees high security to data and assets.
The Solana blockchain claims a throughput of up to 65,000 TPS and uses a cutting-edge hybrid consensus architecture with an underlying Proof-of-Stake (PoS) mechanism called Proof-of-History (PoH) to protect its network. Similar to a PoS network, the PoH processes use validators to check transactions and add new blocks to the chain. However, it expands on the idea by selecting a leader before each slot to improve the effectiveness of the transaction validation system and differentiate Solana.
Nodes vote on blocks and approve or reject the addition of transactions to the blockchain. The leader of the validators receives these votes and must count them before a new block of transactions can be created.
The blockchain trilemma, or the three major challenges of decentralisation, security, and scalability, is resolved by Solana by using the Proof-of-History consensus process, which offers all three without giving anything up.
By adopting a 256-bit secure hash technique (SHA) to store data within its network in an encrypted way, the Solana blockchain strives for great security. Additionally, unlike Ethereum, it guarantees composability due to its single global state, even as the network grows, ensuring that dApps never have to rely on Layer 2 scaling solutions.
What makes Solana unique?
Solana is unique because it combines Proof-of-Stake (POS) with Proof-of-History (PoH). It keeps track of successful operations, enabling the Solana network to scale more easily, deliver better throughput, and guarantee network-wide security and decentralisation.
Who is behind Solana?
Anatoly Yakovenko, the founder of Solana, published the blockchain's whitepaper in late 2017 and suggested the revolutionary Proof-of-History consensus algorithm.
The network's development began in February 2018, when Anatoly and Greg Fitzgerald, a former Qualcomm coworker, collaborated to publish the first internal testnet and the official whitepaper for Solana. Along with these two former Qualcomm employees, the founding team of Solana also includes engineers who previously worked for Apple.
The network received about $20 million in funding from Multicoin Capital, Distributed Global, Blocktower Capital, Foundation Capital, Blockchange VS, Slow Ventures, NEO Global Capital, Passport Capital, and Rockaway Ventures as part of the Series A round of fundraising in late July 2019.