Solana Introduction

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Solana is a blockchain designed for ease of use by everyday people. It is a high speed network suitable for a variety of applications, such as finance, NFTs, payments and gaming. Solana is an open platform, designed to be interoperable and decentralised.

The Problem With Decentralised Blockchains

Decentralised blockchains come with certain issues. Ethereum and Solana are susceptible to scalability and security problems due to the number of nodes needed in order to access their smart contracts. It requires lots of processing power, which can cause significant delays when verifying transactions. This makes it difficult for decentralized networks to keep up with traditional financial services. Additionally, users may be subject to hacks and other malicious actors on these public networks.

In recent years, Ethereum has fostered the growth of a wide range of decentralised applications. But it has found itself facing stiff competition with Solana's emergence on the blockchain landscape.


Solana’s Origin and Purpose

Bitcoin and Ethereum may have been the pioneer of decentralised finance (DeFi), but it was not capable of dealing with massive scalability. That opened up a space for a different blockchain network. Solana provides Visa-like performance, up to 50,000 transactions per second.

Image: Solana

What is Solana?

Solana is a public, open-source blockchain network whose primary goal is to facilitate fast, secure and widespread implementation of smart contracts, including NFTs and dApps. Anatoly Yakovenko, Solana Lab's CEO, who has a background in system design, and board member Raj Gokal are the creators of this platform which was founded in 2017. SOL token is integral to Solana as it provides network security through staking and acts as a store of value.

Quick Facts?

  • Solana is a proof-of-stake cryptocurrency that allows for complex smart contracts and DeFi dApps, as well as NFTs.
  • It boasts a jaw-dropping 65,000 transactions per second with practically no fees. This has caused crypto users to look to Solana in light of Ethereum's skyrocketing fees.
  • Some skeptics have debated the validity of this fast speed being possible without compromising decentralisation.

The founders had the aim of designing a brand new blockchain that would be able to handle widespread adoption. Back then, blockchain transaction speeds were very low at just 15 per second, while Visa and Mastercard could manage nearly 65,000 transactions per second. Yakovenko and Gokal wanted to construct a blockchain that could handle the demand of a global market.

Solana relies on a combination of proof-of-stake (PoS) and a system it has named proof-of-history (PoH). The latter enables the blockchain to keep accurate information among all its participants.

What does Solana do?

  • Solana offers a wide selection of digital applications, such as games, investing platforms, social media networks and more. It is a platform that can accommodate a host of diverse functions.
  • Solana provides a platform for developers and users to make use of permissionless payments without the need for a centralised third-party or government regulations.
  • Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, have become increasingly linked with digital art. Through Solana, these tokens can be used to allow artists and other creators to offer their works for sale to buyers.
  • proof of history approach to validate all transactions and timetamps them, removing any chance of a validator attempting to re-order them. This builds Solana as an “censorship-resistant” network
  • Smart contracts enable the automatic execution of a contract's terms when its conditions have been met. Instead of relying on trust, smart contracts allow for secure and reliable transactions to be carried out automatically.

It is possible for a centralised database to process up to 710,000 transactions per second on a standard gigabit network provided each transaction is, on average, no more than 176 bytes.

What are SOLs?

SOL is the native token of Solana's blockchain, utilized as currency for nodes in a cluster when running an on-chain program or validating its output. Holding fractional amounts of SOL, called lamports, can be used to perform micropayments. This naming convention is homage to the major technical inspiration behind Solana, Leslie Lamport; each lamport holds a value of 0.000000001 SOL.

Check out my Video on Solana To Learn More!
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