What is Solana (SOL) ?, Solana is a web-scale blockchain that provides fast, secure, scalable and decentralized applications and markets. Currently, the system supports 50,000 TPS (transactions per second) and block times of 400 ms.
The overall goal of the Solana software is to demonstrate that there is a possible set of software algorithms that use combination to create a blockchain. Thus, this would allow transaction performance to scale proportionally with network bandwidth satisfying all the properties of a blockchain: scalability, security, and decentralization. Additionally, the system is capable of supporting an upper limit of 710,000 TPS on a standard gigabit network and 28.4 million tps on a 40 gigabit network.
The Solana (SOL) platform was founded in 2017 by Anatoly Yakovenko. Yakovenko worked at Qualcomm before founding Solana. He has extensive experience with compression algorithms after his previous experience with Dropbox as a software engineer. Together with Eric Williams and Solana's CTO Greg Fitzgerald, they created a new process to deal with the traditional performance issues that existed on the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains.
They hoped to create a trustless, distributed protocol that would allow for greater scalability. Today, the team is backed by the experiences of the world's leading organizations, including: Apple, Qualcomm, Intel, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Dropbox and more. The impact Solana has created also attracted the attention of many investors including: Multicoin Capital, Foundation Capital, SLOW Capital, CMCC Global, Abstract Ventures and more.
What type of consensus method does Solana (SOL) use?
As one of the highest performing permissionless blockchains in the world, the network has 200 physically distinct nodes supporting a throughput of more than 50,000 TPS when running with GPUs. One of the biggest challenges of distributed systems is agreement over time.
Unlike Bitcoin which uses the PoW algorithm as a decentralized clock for the system, Solnaa uses a Proof of History method. With Proof of History, you can create historical records that prove that an event occurs during a specific point in time. The algorithm is a high frequency verifiable delay function. This function requires a specific number of sequential steps to evaluate.
Transactions or events that are evaluated will receive a unique hash and count that can be publicly and effectively verified. The count allows us to know when each transaction or event occurred, functioning as a cryptographic timestamp. Within each node there is also a cryptographic clock that keeps track of network time and the order of events. This enables high performance and greater efficiency within the Solana network.
8 core Solana (SOL) innovations:
Proof of History (PoH) → a clock before consensus
Solana's PoH Consensus Algorithm helps create greater efficiency and a higher rate of throughput within the Solana network. Therefore, by having historical records of events or transactions, it allows the system to more easily track transactions and keep track of the order of events.
Tower BFT → PoH-optimized version of PBFT (Practical Byzantine Fault Toleration)
Tower BFT is a PBFT-like conesus algorithm that is made to take advantage of synchronized clock. Tower BFT uses PoH as its crypto clock, allowing consensus to be reached without incurring massive messaging overhead and transaction latency.
Turbine → a block propagation protocol
The Turbine protocol facilitates the transmission of data to the blockchain nodes. Turbine can do this by dividing the data into smaller packages. This enables Solana to address bandwidth issues and also increase its overall ability to settle transactions faster.
Gulf Stream → Transaction forwarding protocol without Mempool
The Gulf Stream protocol plays an important role in driving transaction caching and forwarding it to the edge of the network. This enables validators to run transactions early, reducing commit time, faster lead change, and reduced memory pressure on validators for groups of unconfirmed transactions. So this protocol is what allows Solana to support 50k TPS.
Sealevel → Parallel Smart Contract Execution Time
Sealevel is a hyper parallelized transaction processing engine used to scale out across GPUs and SSDs. With this system in place, it allows Solana to obtain a more efficient execution time and also allows transactions to run simultaneously on the same state blockchains.
Pipeline → a transaction processing unit for validation optimization
Pipelining is a process in which an incoming data stream is assigned to different hardware responsible for it. Therefore, this mechanism enables the transaction information to be quickly validated and replicated across all nodes on the network.
Cloudbreak → Scale-out Account Database
To achieve the necessary scalability in the Solana network, the use of Cloudbreak is required. Cloudbreak is an optimal data structure for simultaneous reads and writes on the network.
Filing Cabinets → Distributed Ledger Storage
We use Archiver for data storage. The Solana data is downloaded from the validators to a network of nodes known as Archiver. These nodes can be lightweight (for example, laptops) and will be subject to verification, from time to time, to ensure that they are storing the correct data.
What is a Solana (SOL) cluster?
The Solana Cluster plays an important role in the Solana software. A cluster is a collection of computers that work together. They can be seen from the outside as a singular system. Each Solana cluster is a set of independently owned computers that generally work together (they can also work with each other). Computers help verify the output of programs submitted by untrusted users. Additionally, we can use the cluster anytime a user wants to keep an immutable event log or programmatic interpretation of events.
Some use cases for the technology are tracking which computers performed significantly to keep the cluster running. Another may be to track real-world asset ownership. One good thing about this is that as long as someone has a copy of the ledger, the output of their shows can always be reproduced and will be independent of the organization that issued it.
How does Solana work?
- Entry of transactions to the leader
- Leader will sequence the messages and order them efficiently so that they can be processed by other nodes.
- The leader then executes the transactions in the current state that is stored in RAM.
- The leader will then post the transactions and signature of the final state to the verifiers (replication nodes)
- The verifiers will then run the same transactions on their copies of the state and publish their state signatures if they receive the confirmation.
- Posted confirmations will serve as votes for the consensus algorithm.
The SOL token
The SOL token is the native currency of the Solana ecosystem. Therefore, the token can be passed to nodes within the Solana cluster in exchange for executing chain programs or validating their output. Another use of SOL is to make micropayments known as lamports . SOL's current circulating supply is 26 million. The maximum supply of SOL limits at 489 million SOL. SOL also has additional use cases, you can stake the token to earn additional rewards. So Staking is a good way for users to make a profit if they are just looking to keep their tokens. The stake out process is quite simple, it is as follows:
- Transfer tokens to a wallet that supports gambling
- Create a betting account
- Select a validator from the Solana validators
- Delegate your bet to the validator
Who are some of Solana's partners?
Solana (SOL) has quite a few partners in the crypto industry; many are the best and brightest in the crypto industry. These signatures include Project Serum, FTX, Terra, akash, Chainlink, civic, dfuse, Formatic, Stardust, Kin, Tempest, and more.
Solana solves the many traditional problems experienced by previous blockchain technology. Solana shows a new structure for verifying transactions and a more efficient consensus algorithm. The platform will definitely be a strong competitor to Bitcoin and Ethereum. Solana shows the rapid advancements in the crypto industry in just 10 years. The platform will definitely be something to watch out for as it continues to develop!