What is solana?

TheSolana (SOL) platform was founded back in 2017 by Anatoly Yakovenko. Yakovenkoworked at Qualcomm before founding Solana. He has a wide range of experiencewith compression algorithms after his previous experience at Dropbox as asoftware engineer. Along with Eric Williams and Solana’s CTO, Greg Fitzgerald,they created a new process of dealing with traditional throughput problems thatexisted in the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains.

Theyhoped to create a trustless and distributed protocol that would allow for morescalability. The team currently is backed by experiences from top organizationsin the world including: Apple, Qualcomm, Intel, Google, Microsoft, Twitter,Dropbox, and more. The impact that Solana has created also brought theattention of many investors that include: Multicoin Capital, FoundationCapital, SLOW Capital, CMCC Global, Abstract Ventures, and more. 

What is Solana (SOL)? Solana is a web-scale blockchain thatprovides fast, secure, scalable, decentralized apps and marketplaces. Thesystem currently supports 50,000 TPS (Transactions per second) and 400ms BlockTimes. The overarching goal of the Solana software is to demonstrate that thereis a possible set of software algorithms using the combination to create ablockchain. So this would allow transaction throughput to scale proportionallywith network bandwidth satisfying all properties of a blockchain: scalability,security and decentralization. Furthermore, the system able to support an upperbound of 710,000 TPS on a standard gigabit network and 28.4 million tps on a 40gigabit network. 

Solana is building the architecture of their blockchain based onProof of History (PoH); a proof for verifying order and passage of time betweenevents. The purpose of PoH is used to encode the trustless passage of time intoa ledger. A Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism is then leveraged forconfirmation of the current sequence produced by the Proof of Historygenerator. PoS is also used for voting and selecting the next Proof of Historygenerator node and for punishing any validators that act against the interestof the network.

Like Ethereum, Solana is both a cryptocurrency and aflexible platform for running crypto apps — everything from Degenerate Apes tothe Serum decentralised exchanges (or DEX). Its major innovation isspeed, via a bundle of new technologies including a consensusmechanism called proof of history.

mmer: the launch of a primate-themed NFT collectible project.Specifically, the Degenerate Ape Academy NFTs, the first major NFTproject to launch on the Solana blockchain. But what exactly is Solana? 

Because Solana is so fast, congestion and fees remain low.Developers hope high speeds and low fees will eventually enable Solana to scaleto compete with centralized payment processors like Visa. 


Technical details of solana -


It has a circulating supply of 300 Million SOLcoins and a total supply of 489 Million.

Solana can process around 50,000 transactions per second— compared to 15 or less for Ethereum (the ETH2 upgrade, which is currentlyunderway, is designed to make Ethereum much faster than it is now).

Solana also has a market cap of $43.483 billion.


What makes Solana unique?

When Bitcoin was invented more than a decade ago, it solved areally tricky problem: how to make it possible for strangers anywhere in theworld to make financial transactions over the internet without a paymentprocessor like Visa or PayPal in the middle. 

The technology that makes decentralized transactions possible— and which created the whole universe of cryptocurrencies we now know —is called a blockchain. But blockchains typicallyhave one major downside compared to centralized networks like the onescredit-card companies use: they’re slow. As of August 2021, Ethereum typicallyprocesses fewer than 15 transactions per second, compared to tens of thousandsfor Visa’s network. 

Solana is one of many new crypto solutions aiming to make cryptonetworks faster and more scalable. It uses a suite of clever technologies,including a novel mechanism called “proof of history.”


What kinds of applications run on Solana?

Like Ethereum, Solana is a computing platform that can interactwith smart contracts. Smart contracts powera wide range of applications, from NFT markets and DeFito games and decentralized lotteries. 

As of August 2021, many of the mostpopular Solanaapplications are DEXs and lending apps. The crypto app ecosystem on Solanasupports billions of dollars worth of assets. One reason a user might choose anapp that runs on Solana over, say, Ethereum, is that speeds are high andcongestion is low — resulting in very low fees. 

The Solana blockchain can also support stablecoins and wrappedassets. As of August 2021, over $700 million worth of USD Coin has been issued on Solana. (USDC’s launch waspowered by a collaboration between Coinbase and Circle through the co-foundingof the CENTRE Consortium.) 


Solanas ecosystem -

8 CoreInnovations of Solana -


Proof of History(PoH) → a clock before consensus

Solana’s PoHconsensus algorithm helps to create more efficiency and higher throughput ratewithin the Solana network. So by having historical records of events ortransactions, it allows the system to more easily track transactions and keeptrack of the ordering of the events.


Tower BFT →PoH-optimized version of PBFT (Practical Byzantine Fault Toleration)

Tower BFT is aPBFT-like conesus algorithm that is made to take advantage of the synchronizedclock. The Tower BFT uses the PoH as its cryptographic clock which allowsconsensus to be reached without having to incur massive messaging overhead andtransaction latency.


Turbine → a blockpropagation protocol

The Turbine protocolmakes it easier to transmit data to the blockchain nodes. Turbine is able to dothis by breaking the data into smaller packets. This allows Solana to addressissues of bandwidth and also increase its overall capacity to settletransactions faster.


Gulf Stream →Mempool-less transaction forwarding protocol

The Gulf Streamprotocol plays an important role pushing transaction caching and forwarding itto the edge of the network. This allows the validators to execute thetransactions ahead of time, reducing confirmation time, faster leaderswitching, and reduced memory pressure on validators from unconfirmedtransaction pools. So this protocol is what allows Solana to support 50k TPS.


Sealevel → Parallelsmart contracts run-time

Sealevel is a hyperparallelized transaction processing engine that is used to scale horizontallyacross GPUs and SSDs. With this system in place, it allows Solana to obtain amore efficient runtime and also allow transactions to run concurrently on thesame state blockchains. 


Pipeline → aTransaction Processing Unit for validation optimization

Pipelining is aprocess where a stream of input data assigns to different hardwares responsiblefor it. So this mechanism allows transaction information to be quicklyvalidated and replicated across all the nodes in the network.


Cloudbreak →Horizontally-Scaled Accounts Database

To achieve thenecessary scalability on the Solana network, it requires the use of Cloudbreak.Cloudbreak is a data structure that is optimal for concurrent reads and writesacross the network.


Archivers →Distributed ledger storage

We use Archiversfor data storage. Data on Solana offloads from validators to a network of nodesknown as Archivers. These nodes can be lightweight (ex: laptops) and they willbe subject to a check, every so often, to ensure they are storing the rightdata.


What is aSolana (SOL) Cluster?

The Solana Clusterplays an important role in Solana software. A cluster is a set of computersthat are working together. They can be viewed from the outside as a singularsystem. Each Solana cluster is a set of independently owned computers thatusually work together (can also work against each other). The computers helpverify the output of untrusted, user-submitted programs. Furthermore we can usethe cluster anytime a user hopes to preserve an immutable record of events orthe programmatic interpretation of the events.

Some use cases ofthe technology is to track which computers did work that was meaningful inkeeping the cluster running. Another may be to track the possession ofreal-world assets. One good thing about this is that as long as someone has acopy of the ledger, the output of its programs will always be able to bereproduced and will be independent of the organization that issued it. 

How DoesSolana Work?

  1. Input     of transactions to the Leader
  2. Leader     will sequence the messages and orders them efficiently so that it can be     processed by other nodes
  3. The     leader then executes the transactions on the current state that stores in     the RAM 
  4. Leader     will then publish the transactions and signature of the final state to     Verifiers (replication nodes)
  5. Verifiers     will then execute the same transactions on their copies of the state and     publish their signatures of the state if it receives confirmation
  6. Published     confirmations will then serve as votes for the consensus algorithm

Solana’s roots -

Solana’s whitepaper waspublished in 2017 by Anatoly Yakovenko, who previously worked at Qualcomm andDropbox, where he specialized in designing distributed systems and compressionalgorithms. The paper was the first description of proof of history — a newtimekeeping method for distributed systems that could automate the transactionordering process for blockchain networks.

Yakovenko teamed up with his former colleague at Qualcomm, GregFitzgerald, now Solana’s chief technology officer, to build a blockchaintestnet based on proof of history, which was first released in February 2018.

The company behind Solana, initially called Loom, was founded byYakovenko, Fitzgerald, and Stephen Akridge soon after. They rebranded thecompany to Solana Labs, to avoid being confused with LoomNetwork,the popular multichain interoperability solution. 

Solana Labs completed a $20 million series A funding round ledby Multicoin Capital in July 2019. After raising another $1.76 million from its launch auction onCoinlist,Solana’s beta mainnet launched in March 2020, with basic transactioncapabilities and smart contract features.

Presently, Solana Labs remains the core contributor to thenetwork, while the Solana Foundation, a non-profit organizationbased in Zug, Switzerland, is dedicated to funding and developing the blockchain’scommunity-building initiatives.

Solana’s vision -

Solana is a web-scale, censorship-resistant blockchain, working onsolving some of the most pressing issues in the industry — speed andscalability for global adoption, without sacrificing any of the inherentproperties of a robust layer-1 protocol.

Solana aims to solve the scalability issue with itshigh-performance protocol, which implements a revolutionary time architecture,transaction processing mechanism, and more efficient consensus model comparedto other blockchains, making it the world’s fastest layer-1 network.

Solana’s open infrastructure empowers developers to easily deployscalable DApps with composable building blocks without dealing with additionalfriction caused by sharding and other layer-2 solutions.

Solana’s ultimate goal is solving the blockchain trilemma, whichhypothesizes that a decentralized network can only satisfy two out of the threemain properties — decentralization, security, and scalability. Solana claims tohave solved the trilemma with its eight core innovations, but whether this is enoughto inspire mass blockchain adoption remains to be seen.