Sirwin
Sirwin
The real king

Is Solana (SOL) the real 'Ethereum Killer'?


Have you heard about this (not so) new coin in the crypto world - Solana? If you haven't, then I think this is a good place to start. I am going to tell you about the Solana blockchain and how it has got the potential to kill Ethereum.

What is Solana?

Whitepaper: https://solana.com/solana-whitepaper.pdf

Official Documentation: https://docs.solana.com/

Borrowing from the official documentation - Solana is an open source project implementing a new, high-performance, permission-less blockchain. It's currency is dubbed as SOL.

3f4da40bf3cd65fe74d1da66b0f2ff91413f9e2b55256fabb06cf2a6b1fea645.jpg

It is the brainchild of Anatoly Yakovenko who published a whitepaper (listed above) in 2017 which describes 'Proof of History', a new technique for keeping time between computers that do not trust one another. Why does this matter? Well, this technique helps in conquering two major challenges of all blockchains:

  • It supports massively scaling decentralized applications (dapps) unlike current blockchain technology.
  • It claims a maximum throughput of more than 50,000 TPS and block times as low as 400 ms.

This specs in itself solves the famous blockchain trilemma, proposed by Vitalik Buterin himself, which states that it is impossible to maximize all three of the characteristics of a blockchain, i.e. scalability, security and decentralization simultaneously; by increasing the quality of any one element, one must forgo some of the benefits of the other two aspects. Solana claims that it's network solved this riddle by it's 'Proof Of History' technology without sharding (ETH2.0 proposes sharding as a method to tackle the TPS issue).

Creator of Solana - Anatoly Yakovenko

How do Solana do this? Well, it brought together 8 new innovations to solve this puzzle. They are briefly mentioned below:

  • Proof of History (PoH) →A clock before consensus
  • Tower BFT →A PoH-optimized version of PBFT

  • Turbine →A block propagation protocol

  • Gulf Stream →Mempool-less transaction forwarding protocol

  • Sea level →World’s first parallel smart contracts run-time

  • Pipeline →Transaction processing unit for validation

  • Cloudbreak →Horizontally-scaled accounts database
  • Archivers -> Distributed ledger storage

You may read about the above points in details in the official Solana website mentioned at the beginning of this article.

This is good news in the sense that this enables better communication and propagation of blocks in the blockchain increasing the transaction speed which will only go up as more and more validator nodes join the network.

Why 'Ethereum Killer'?

Solana is prepped up to become a potential Ethereum killer. The reason is simple - Solana has better technology than Ethereum in every aspect. Ethereum, given it's status as the first blockchain to introduce Smart Contracts to the world, has become the most used blockchain network. But then when a lot of users started using it, problems arose for which Ethereum was not prepared for. Ethereum cannot scale based on it's active users. It has got a Transactions Per Second or TPS of 15 which is very low. This bottlenecks the network and creates delays in the system which is not preferred for dApps hosted on Ethereum to work properly. Also to add, the gas fees in Ethereum is quite high, even un-affordable at times, given the high price of ETH. Many doesn't prefer Ethereum to run their dApps solely because of the gas price.

d119e00dd61f3605a03c3ed36ae076d2ad4e895b91c2d8f22f4bddee6507799e.jpg

Enter Solana which claims to solve all the issues with Ethereum. Unlike the bug ridden Solidity language which is used by Ethereum for it's smart contracts, Solana uses Rust, a much loved language which consistently topped Stack Overflow's developer surveys, for everything. Solana claims a TPS of over 50,000 with it's network. All dApps should work and scale well with increasing active users at such high TPS. Many dApps started to migrate from Ethereum to Solana based on these advantages (For Example - Audius). Gas price for using the Solana network is marginal compared to ETH and it is designed such that it will remain marginal even in the future. The longer the ETH2.0 is delayed, the higher the chances a dApp in the Ethereum eco-system will migrate to Solana, where ETH2.0 promises 100,000 TPS by utilizing sharding technique, which is not perfect but would be good enough to retain active users of the network.

Wormhole - Solana

Moreover, recently Solana is launching something called as a 'Wormhole' (developed in partnership with a blockchain company Certus One) which is a bridge platform that connects to Ethereum and adds support for ETH and ERC-20 tokens. DeFi platforms and other projects can take advantage of Solana's low fees & fast transaction speeds and migrate over to Solana using this bridge. Developers can use this bridge without rewriting their Ethereum contracts and do not need to dedicate themselves to a single blockchain. You can read more about it here. All these amenities are giving more incentives for developers and regular users to switch over to Solana. Wormhole is not live yet at the time of writing this article; the Solana team is prepping up to launch it soon. Nevertheless, ETH now has got a heavy competition to be wary of.

Concerns

Solana network is still in beta stage (at the time of writing/editing this article) and there has been numerous outages on the network where it went down completely for a day. Then there are concerns regarding the block finality. As you can see, there are a couple of 'not-so-obvious risks' involved with this project and I could be biased here; before jumping into this band wagon, make sure to do your own research.

Projects in Solana

There are various projects currently hosted on Solana.

6ec9f57bb9d187382da691e9094c37f911254c81ca4a44c32bbdf011fab0f0fb.jpg

To name a few:

  • Larix = First Metaverse based Finance Protocol on Solana.
  • Francium = Leveraged yield farming protocol that supports diverse yield strategies. 
  • MoonPay = Allows seemless integration of cryptocurrency payments into users applications
  • Magic Eden = NFT Platform
  • Audius = music streaming platform, migrated from Ethereum
  • OpenEra = a MMORPG built on the Solana blockchain

and many more.

 

Should you get some SOL?

You might as well. One SOL is available at around $25 (click on the link to know the latest price) at various exchanges, at the time of writing this article. It could be a worthwhile investment. But, I cannot stress this enough - do your own research before buying Sol, as this is not a financial advice or recommendation. Sol could become zero in the next instant which is a risk which looms above all crypto investments. Be cautious.

4e6deadb3ddb04d628420d057bff9cd173b929f0417f01649b237959bf6aad71.jpg

That being said, I personally own a couple of Sols because I like the technology and it is cheap now. I have only invested tiny amount which I could afford to lose. I like this blockchain and I don't see any problems with it at least for now. You may do your own research and buy it if you still like it then.

Couple of other articles which you might be interested in:

Check out KuCoin exchange if you haven't already for better crypto services.

How do you rate this article?

114


Mishal Alexander
Mishal Alexander

Crypto Enthusiast | Budding Blockchain Developer |


What You Should Know
What You Should Know

Welcome to my blog, people.

Send a $0.01 microtip in crypto to the author, and earn yourself as you read!

20% to author / 80% to me.
We pay the tips from our rewards pool.