Solana’s network has exploded in popularity in recent months, entering the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. With a huge increase in the price of its cryptocurrency, it has become one of the most widely used networks today.
Solana went public on coinlist in 2018, for a few cents, and has reached prices of over $200. This network has the backing of such relevant investors as FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried and other big investors behind it. In addition to the compatibility that the solana network has with the FTX Exchange for its users.
The network has grown due to its high speed and low commissions, at the same time as its ecosystem grew and the emergence of NFT’s and NFT’s Marketplace within the network. The latter, has made the price of the cryptocurrency increase, as NFT’s are mostly paid with Solana.
At the beginning and before its big price increase, we could hardly find dapps in Solana, apart from its decentralized exchange Rayidum and some other platforms. But the network itself, together with its growth and its hackton and incentives for developers, has managed to create a large ecosystem that continues to grow every day, with revolutionary platforms.
We can currently find NFT’s marketplaces, decentralized exchanges, lending & borrowing, liquid staking, auto compouding and play to earn games. Although several platforms are in beta, most of them have had a great support and a high volume of use at their launch, due to the popularity of the network and the great options they added to the network. If you want to know more in detail some of the main platforms of the Solana network, you can learn more below.
If there is a platform you have not found above, you can use the search engine at the top of the menu to see if we have a guide to this solana network platform.
One of the main differences in Solana, is its programming language, where in ethereum or Binance Smart Chain is used Solidity, in the case of Solana, the Smart contrats are written in Rust. This is a problem for developers of other networks who want to make their platform available on Solana or start a new dapp on this network.
Fast and reliable synchronization is the main reason why Solana is able to achieve such high performance. Traditional blockchains synchronize in large chunks of transactions called blocks. When synchronizing in blocks, a transaction cannot be processed until a duration, called “block time,” has elapsed. In the Proof of Work consensus, these block times have to be very large (~10 minutes) to minimize the likelihood of multiple validators producing a new valid block at the same time.
In the Proof of Stake consensus there is no such constraint, but without reliable timestamps, a validator cannot determine the order of incoming blocks. The popular solution is to tag each block with a wall clock timestamp. Due to clock skew and varying network latencies, the timestamp is only accurate to within an hour or two. To solve this problem, these systems lengthen the block times to provide reasonable certainty that the average timestamp for each block is always increasing.
Solana has a very different approach, which is called Proof of History or PoH. Leader nodes “timestamp” blocks with cryptographic evidence that some time has passed since the last proof. All data entered in the proof has certainly occurred before the proof was generated. The node then shares the new block with validator nodes, which are able to verify those proofs. Blocks can arrive at the validators in any order or can even be replayed years later. With such reliable synchronization guarantees, Solana is able to split blocks into smaller batches of transactions called entries. Entries are transmitted to validators in real time, prior to any notion of block consensus. If you want to learn more in detail about how it works in a more technical way I recommend you take a look at its documentation to understand how it approaches solutions to problems that other networks like ethereum have.
Advantages and Disadvantages
The Solana network has 685 validators and is one of the networks that can perform more transactions per second and has more scalability in its layer 1 or network. There is no need to use layer 2 or sharding to increase its scalability. The main advantages of Solana are as follows:
- Solana can process 50,000 transactions per second with exceptionally low fees.
- Solana has achieved high levels of scalability by leveraging Proof of History (POh) and several other revolutionary innovations.
- Solana guarantees composability between projects. Users don’t have to do without multiple shards or layer 2 systems. As is the case in networks like Ethereum.
- Ecosystem with high growth of new projects and new dapps with revolutionary platforms that do not exist in other networks.
- Great staking and farming opportunities in this network.
Although it has many advantages, it is also a network with some controversy and has some negative aspects. The main disadvantages are:
- Many implementations are still awaiting release on Mainnet Beta.
- Successful hardware configuration for Solana is relatively more expensive.
- Solana has been criticized for not being decentralized enough.
- Solana’s business model has been changing and at times was not projected to be profitable.
These are the main aspects that are most discussed around Solana, both people who believe in this network, and people who don’t like it as much, and criticize aspects such as how centralized Solana still is compared to other networks such as ethereum.
The commissions in Solana are really low, where usually the cost is $0.00025 in normal transactions. As you can see, it is a cost that hardly means anything, and although there are cheap networks like Binance Smart Chain, it is hard to find another network with such a low cost, and so fast with a high transaction capacity.
When using the solana network you really don’t have to worry about commissions, as they are so low that you will hardly notice them. However, before signing any transaction, be sure to check that the commission is not too high. The commissions or gas fee are paid with the Solana cryptocurrency, which is the native token of the network.
The Solana network, being a public network, you can see all the transactions that take place on it. For this, you can use different pages, although the most popular and used one is explorer.solana.com.
Here, you can search for an address, whether it is a token contract or a wallet address, and see all the transactions that have been made at that address. Although it has many uses, the most common use is to view transactions from your waller or other wallet.
This, especially when you send tokens and they do not appear in your wallet, problems with a transaction, or to see whether or not a transaction has been made in your wallet, is very useful.
Unlike other networks, Solana is currently not compatible with the most used wallet, Metamask. However, we can find other wallets very similar and easy to use. The most used and recommended wallet for beginners is Phantom for its intuitive interface and ease of use.
There are also other wallets that you can use and are compatible with the Solana network such as Sollet, solflare, mathwallet, bitkeep, coin 98 among many others. The operation of the wallets is quite similar, although some of them can be more complex and difficult to understand, as is the case with sollet if we compare it with phantom.