What is Solana? Everything you need to know about the Ethereum-killer

Ethereum as the first blockchain supporting smart contracts has gained huge popularity in the crypto space. No one can deny Ethereum’s achievements and its role in developing the decentralized world we have today. By the way, this blockchain has always suffered from scalability issues. What do we mean by scalability issues? Ethereum uses a proof-of-work consensus algorithm and for this reason, it can process only 15 transactions per second. Besides, it is a crowded blockchain and hosts a lot of smart contracts and decentralized applications. These have led to slow transactions and high fees in this network.

After Ethereum, some other blockchains were developed which aimed to overcome this scalability issue. These blockchains, which are called the third-generation blockchains, support smart contracts and at the same time, offer faster transactions and lower fees. Solana is one of these blockchains that with its unique innovations, provides its users with high scalability and a pleasant experience.

In this article, you will read about Solana’s basic principles, technical details, developers, its native coin called SOL, and its wallets. Stay with us.

 

What is Solana?

On the first page of Solana’s official website, you read: “Powerful for developers. Fast for everyone.”

Making a transaction on Solana takes less than one second. This means that Solana is fast for everyone. Besides, Solana’s fees are considerably low, which means it’s appropriate for developers.

In theory, Solana is able to process more than 50,000 transactions per second. This means that this network is even considered a threat to centralized payment giants like PayPal and Mastercard.

Since this blockchain supports smart contracts, it can host several decentralized applications (DAPPs), non-fungible tokens (NFTs), decentralized exchanges (DEXes), decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), and automated market makers (AMMs). In fact, this is Solana’s main goal. This blockchain wishes to become a hub for various types of smart contracts and decentralized applications.

 

How does Solana work?

Solana is somehow a complicated network. By the way, don’t forget that for using Solana, you don’t need to be familiar with all the technical details.

In this part, we try to cover some main technical features of Solana. If you feel confused after reading this part, it’s completely normal. Not all crypto users are developers or computer scientists.

First of all, we would like to talk about developing tokens on Solana. As we previously mentioned, Solana supports smart contracts. So, developers can use it to create and run their own tokens.

Solana’s standard for developing tokens is called SLP. It’s something like the ERC20 standard on Ethereum. Users who want to develop tokens on Solana need to agree with this standard and comply with its rules. Programming languages used for developing tokens on this blockchain are Rust, C, and C++.

Solana has a layered structure. This layered structure leads to its high scalability. In Solana, each block is called a “slot” and each slot has a unique validator called a “leader”. The leader connects the slot (or the block) to the blockchain. That different leaders simultaneously validate Solana’s transactions and create its blocks leads to its incredibly higher speed and scalability. This is not the case with older blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum. In these blockchains, all validators work on the same block.

 

Team and developers

Anatoly Yakovenko started working on Solana in 2017. A bit later, Yakovenko along with Greg Fitzgerald and Stephen Akridge, founded a company we call Solana Labs today. Their project was first called “Loom”, but later on, they renamed it to Solana. Anatoly Yakovenko still works as Solana Labs’ CEO.

Solana Labs has a key role in Solana’s development. There is also Solana Foundation that provides the required funds for developing this network.

 

SOL; price history and wallets

Solana’s native coin is called SOL. At the time of writing, it’s the sixth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap. Each unit of SOL is now being traded at around $106. Solana has a market cap of more than $34,000,000,000 and it hasn’t determined a supply cap for its coins yet. Solana’s price experienced a 258-dollar peak in November 2021.

Not all cryptocurrency wallets support SOL. In the following table, you will find a number of famous cryptocurrency wallets that support this popular coin.

 

Wallet Type Access Link

Phantom Wallet Chrome Extension Phantom Wallet
Math Wallet Software – Mobile / Web-based/ Chrome Extension Math Wallet
Solflare Wallet Web-based / Chrome Extension Solflare Wallet
Sollet Web-based Sollet
Atomic Wallet Software – Mobile and Desktop Atomic Wallet
Exodus Software – Mobile and Desktop Exodus
Trust Wallet Software – Mobile Trust Wallet
Ledger Hardware Physical

Conclusion

After Ethereum, many blockchains claimed that they were able to overcome Ethereum’s scalability challenges, and each of them used a different way to achieve this goal. Solana is one of these blockchains whose focus is specifically on providing high scalability and hosting several decentralized applications. By the way, we shouldn’t forget that Ethereum as the first blockchain supporting smart contracts has a lot of fans. Moreover, the new version of this blockchain called Ethereum 2.0 is about to launch. Ethereum 2.0 makes use of a proof-of-stake consensus algorithm, so is much more scalable than the current Ethereum. What do you think about Solana? Do you think it will beat Ethereum one day?