The Solana blockchain is capable of supporting over 50 000 transactions per second (TPS) at peak load, making it arguably the fastest blockchain in operation today. For comparison: it is almost 1000 times faster than Bitcoin (~ 5-7 TPS) and over 3000 times faster than Ethereum (~ 15 TPS). Moreover, the average block time is between 400 and 800 milliseconds, and the average transaction fee is 0,000005 SOL (or a tiny fraction of one cent). This, combined with its tremendous scalability, makes it suitable for serving decentralized applications that can potentially support tens of thousands of concurrent users without sagging under load.
Unlike some platforms, anyone can run the Solana validator and help secure the network. This process is completely permissionless, although users will need to support some basic hardware to participate, namely a server that meets the minimum specifications outlined here. Currently, the network boasts nearly 1 000 validators, making it one of the most widely used blockchains.
Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus system
One of the key features of Solana is its Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus system, which is backed up by Tower Consensus. This is a variant of the system known as Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (PBFT), it allows distributed networks to reach consensus despite attacks from malicious nodes.
Solana's PBFT implementation provides a global source of time on the blockchain through a Proof of History (PoH). Essentially, it provides a chronicle of previous events on the blockchain, ensuring that there is a general record of what happened and when.
Tower Consensus uses this synchronized clock to reduce the processing power required to validate transactions by no longer having to compute the timestamps of previous transactions. This helps Solana achieve throughput that surpasses most of the competition.
Solana includes a number of innovations that help it stand out from the competition. One of them is the transaction parallelization technology known as Sealevel. It enables a parallel smart contract execution environment that optimizes resources and ensures that Solana can scale horizontally across processors and SSDs.
One of the problems with cryptocurrencies is node synchronization. Synchronization speed affects the throughput of the blockchain. The faster it is, the more transactions per second the network processes. To use time synchronization, you need a watch. Cryptocurrencies have their own clock and internal time – timestamp. It is not accurate because there is no central clock to refer to. This synchronization is not ideal: if you focus on the timestamp, the new block may appear earlier than the previous one. Solana solves the synchronization problem via the Proof-of-History blockchain synchronization algorithm. The Proof-of-History Protocol is not a consensus mechanism, but the Proof-of-Stake component that Solana uses. It is a decentralized clock that solves the synchronization problem. Proof-of-History allows you to create a chronological record that proves that an event happened at a specific point in time.
The founders of Solana are former Qualcomm lead developer Anatoly Yakovenko, BREW OS developer Greg Fitzgerald, and particle physics Ph.D. Eric Williams.
In 2017, Anatoly Yakovenko published a draft whitepaper in which he presented a new Proof-of-History [PoH] blockchain synchronization algorithm. One of the problems with cryptocurrencies is node synchronization. Synchronization speed affects the throughput of the blockchain. The faster it is, the more transactions per second the network processes. To use time synchronization, you need a watch. Cryptocurrencies have their own clock and internal time - timestamp. It is not accurate because there is no central clock to refer to. Such synchronization is not ideal: if you focus on the timestamp, the new block may appear earlier than the previous one.
To solve the problem of time synchronization, Yakovenko invented a decentralized clock - the Proof-of-History protocol. Later, Yakovenko, together with his former Qualcomm colleague Greg Fitzgerald, created a blockchain in the Rust programming language, which used PoH as an "internal clock." In February 2018, Yakovenko and Fitzgerald published the official whitepaper of the project and launched the first internal testnet.
In 2018, Yakovenko and Fitzgerald founded the company now known as Solana Labs. The project team includes former programmers from Qualcomm, Apple, Intel and Dropbox.
The founders of the project named it Loom, but later renamed it Solana to avoid confusion with the Loom Network's second-tier solution.
From April 2018 to July 2019, the project raised over $ 20 million in several private token sales. In the third quarter of 2020, the public testnet of the Tour de SOL project was launched. The mainnet beta launched in March 2020.
In June 2020, the project created the Solana Foundation, an organization dedicated to the development of the Solana ecosystem and the adoption of decentralized technologies. Company. Solana Labs donated 167 million SOL tokens and all intellectual property rights to the Solana Foundation.
In August 2020, the Serum decentralized exchange was launched on the Solana blockchain. Unlike other DEXs that try to build cross-network compatibility through pricing oracles or third-party services, Serum employs Optimistic Rollup, a second-tier solution for Ethereum. With its help, cross-chain swaps and tokenization will be introduced.
In October 2020, Solana unveiled the Wormhole cross-chain solution connecting Ethereum and Solana tokens. A solution called Wormhole will allow projects, platforms and communities to move tokenized assets between blockchains.
In May 2021, the Solana Foundation launched five funds with a combined volume of $ 100 million to develop applications in China. In this she was helped by Huobi, Gate.io and NGC Ventures. MATH Global Foundation and Hash Key.
In the same month, the project raised $ 60 million from Hacken, Gate.io, Coin DCX and BRZ. The funds will be received by three funds focused on expanding the ecosystem in Ukraine, India, Brazil and Russia. Funding will go to support the development of blockchain applications in areas such as DeFi, NFT and cybersecurity.