Solana is a smart contract platform run and maintained by the Solana Foundation and Solana Labs. Since January 1, 2021, Solana has jumped from 120 to 5 in market cap rankings. Many have identified Solana as a solid long-term rival for Ethereum due to its higher speeds and significantly lower costs.
Who Made Solana?
Solana was founded in 2017. Here’s the core team behind the project:
- Anatoly Yakovenko: The Solana CEO has 10+ years of building high-performance Operating Systems. He has previously worked with Dropbox and Qualcomm.
- Greg Fitzgerald: The Solana CTO previously had a longstanding tenure with Qualcomm, spanning nearly 13 years.
- Raj Gokal: The COO of Solana studied at Wharton and the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to Solana, he was the Head of Product at Omada Health.
Like many other ‘Ethereum killers’, Solana’s core USP is its speed, which can reach a peak of 65,000 transactions per second – making it 2600 times faster than Ethereum. Moreover, Solana happens to be an incredibly cheap network, especially when compared to Ethereum. The average transaction fee on Ethereum is around $37.60/transaction, while Solana is at $0.00025/transaction!
What Does Solana Do?
Developers worldwide can create their decentralized apps (like DeFi) on top of Solana. Plus, artists can also mint and host their NFTs on top of the platform. The latter, in particular, has attracted a lot of mainstream attention towards Solana.
DeFi On Solana
As per DeFiLlama, Solana is one of five platforms that hosts a DeFi network with a TVL (total value locked) of at least $10 billion. Solana ranks only behind Ethereum, BSC, Terra, and Avalanche.
The top 5 DeFi protocols – as per TVL – currently on top of Solana are:
- Marinade Finance
- Tulip Protocol
NFT On Solana
Solana has made a lot of noise to do their developments in the NFT sector. As per DeFiLlama, Solana has the second-largest NFT platform in the world – second only to Ethereum.
The top 5 NFT projects on Solana as per total volume are:
- GGSG: Galactic Geckos
- Shadowy Super Coder DAO
- Degenerate Ape Academy
NOTE: You might find it interesting to know that the Former First Lady of the United States, Melania Trump, has also issued her NFTs on the Solana platform.
What is Solana Proof-of-Stake?
At the core of Solana lies its proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism. A consensus mechanism allows a decentralized network to make governance decisions, create new coins, and manage circulating supply. So how exactly does PoS work within Solana? Let’s take a look:
- Solana users can become validators by staking their SOL tokens within the network.
- The more SOL they have staked, the more their voting power.
- Validators are responsible for validating transactions and adding new blocks to the blockchain.
- Validators receive staking rewards for their services.
As per the Solana website, there are currently 1,368 validators in the network.
What is Solana Proof-of-History?
Solana’s proof-of-history (PoH) is the key behind its incredible speed.
Usually, in cryptocurrencies, transactions are batched together in blocks. Therefore, a transaction is successful only when the block is added to the blockchain via a consensus mechanism. The time it takes to add a block to the blockchain is called “block time.” Usually, these block times can be pretty large (10 mins for Bitcoin) to ensure synchronicity in the chain. However, this negatively affected the overall system throughput.
Solana’s PoH creates a historical record to cryptographically prove that a particular event occurred at a specific time. In addition, by giving validators a simple method to timestamp their blocks, validators can break down their blocks into smaller entities called “entries” to ensure faster transactions without compromising on synchronicity.
The SOL Token
SOL is the native token of the Solana ecosystem. Holders can use SOL tokens for value transfer, paying transaction fees, staking, and voting. Currently, the total supply of SOL is 508,180,963 and the circulating supply is 311,207,024.
Solana solves the two main problems that are currently plaguing the Ethereum ecosystem – speed and fees. Its climb through market cap rankings has been meteoric and they have certainly garnered a lot of positive attention.
Alright! So now that you know quite a bit about Solana, how about putting it to the test and becoming one of the 75 lucky winners?
We’ll be giving registered CoinSmart users who score 100% on the Solana quiz one (1) entry to a lucky draw to win $2,500 in total prizes.
The prizes distribution is as follows:
- Five (5) prizes of SOL worth $100 CAD
- Twenty (20) prizes of SOL worth $50 CAD
- Fifty (50) prizes of SOL worth $20 CAD
NOTE: If you are not registered with CoinSmart, be sure to make yourself an account here. Use your account email ID in the quiz below to ensure that you get your reward.