An Introduction to Solana: Innovations, Features, and Criticism

Will Solana be the right one? The race for the leading smart contract-enabled blockchain is heating up. Many projects hunt down Ethereum’s tail and offer faster, cheaper transactions, as well as technological innovations. What does Solana offer? An internal clock. An incredibly higher number of transactions. The fees are so low that they are almost nonexistent. The ability to scale to global acceptance in their layer 1.

Related reading | Solana introduces stake pools to enable rewards for SOL holders

Will that be enough to capture the market? Is Solana the mythical Ethereum killer everyone is looking for? Read on and you’ll get enough information to form your own opinion. We summarize the good, the bad and the ugly in digestible bullet points and short texts.

What is a history record and how does it work?

Contrary to what the name suggests, evidence of history is not a consensus mechanism. Solana uses Proof-Of-Stake to validate its blocks. “The core innovation of Solana is Proof of History (POH), a globally available, permission-free time source in the network that works before consensus.“Says the information box of the following video.

To bring the point home, let’s quote too Techcrunch:

Enter Yakovenko’s big idea, which he calls “Proof of History,” in which the Solana blockchain developed a kind of synchronized clock that essentially assigns a time stamp to every transaction and deactivates the ability for miners and bots to determine their order Transactions are recorded on the blockchain. Yakovenko says this allows for more security and “censorship resistance”.

The creator of Solana is Anatoly Yakovenko, a San Francisco resident.who worked as a wireless protocol engineer at Qualcomm for more than a dozen years.“He wasn’t interested in cryptocurrencies until he found a way to improve the system. In traditional blockchains, the blocks do not have a timestamp, which leads to inefficiencies. Yakovenko found a way to include it in the SHA-256 (Secure Hashing Algorithm 256) hash function, and the rest is history … proof of history.

Other innovations that the Solana blockchain offers

This section will be the only technical part of the article, I promise. At the beginning we will quote The analysis of EVALUAPE. They are “a platform for the demonstration and evaluation of blockchain projects. “

VDF, detectable delay function:

A function for generating PoH. It’s a collision-resistant hash function. In short, this is a function that takes a series of data inputs and outputs a fixed size output. The main advantage of the function is its safety.

Avalanche communication:

Simply put, since the hash value in each timestamp is calculated from the previous hash value, a large range of hash values ​​can be divided into small partitions that must be verified separately by the nodes. Each node only needs to check one partition of the hash value and then concatenate and restore it to a long hash value.

And for the next batch we will quote Decrypt’s Analysis of the Solana Platform.

Tower Consensus, a variant of Proof-Of-Stake that:

Allows distributed networks to reach consensus despite attacks from malicious nodes, known as Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (PBFT).

Solana’s implementation of PBFT enforces a global time source across the blockchain through a second novel protocol known as Proof of History (PoH).

Altitude:

This enables a parallel runtime of smart contracts, which optimizes resources and ensures that Solana can be scaled horizontally across GPUs and SSDs, which should help the platform meet the requirements.

Gulf Stream:

Solana also completely wipes out the mempool system used by other platforms and instead routes transactions to validators even before the previous batch of transactions is completed. This helps to maximize confirmation speed and increase the number of transactions that can be processed both simultaneously and in parallel.

Main features of the Solana blockchain

  • Technically it is still in beta. However, your MainNet is up and running.
  • Low barrier to entry to become a validator. There is no minimum bet to start validation, but the option to be selected depends directly on the size of your bet.
  • It’s even faster than older financial systems AND centralized cryptocurrency exchanges.
  • More than 100 projects had built on Solana by the end of 2020. There are now more than 250. The growth is exponential.
  • At the time of writing, their official stats report 905 validators and 1,331 nodes. The average The fee per transaction is $ 0.00025.
  • They currently report 1,375 transactions per second.
  • The project supports smart contracts in every programming language.

Powerful allies and co-characters

  • It is the “official chain” for USDC. And USDC is the second largest stablecoin in the world.
  • Sam Bankman-Frieds FTX and Alameda Research. Her serum DEX runs on Solana, as does her projects Maps.me and Oxygen, a DeFi protocol for borrowing / borrowing.

Related reading | Why Solana and Polkadot were least affected by the crypto crash

Solana, criticism and scandals

  • Although there is ample documentation available for free, the project does not have a clearly defined roadmap.
  • your official tokenomics to say clearly “Subject to changes.
  • There is not enough information about how the Solana Foundation works. And they hold more than 10% of the SOL token. And manage a community reserve of a whopping 38%.
  • Someone discovered a mysterious wallet with 11,365,067 SOL. they ended up being an undisclosed loan from the Solana Foundation to a market-making company that provided Binance with liquidity. Those tokens were eventually burned, but wow.
  • In December, for six hours, “Solana’s mainnet beta network stopped new block acknowledgments, causing a temporary outage.“The reason was”A validator started two instances of its machine and began transferring several different blocks for the same slot, ultimately creating 3 different unconfirmed minority partitions of the network. “Your excuse was that Solana is still in beta, which is fair.

SOL price chart for 08/15/2021 on FTX | Source: SOL / USD on TradingView.com

A quote to close this

About Solana’s goals, said Anatoly Yakovenko Techcrunch:

“Everything we do to make this thing faster and faster leads to this better censorship resistance and therefore better markets,” he said yesterday. “And pricing is the killer use case for decentralized public networks in my opinion. Can we be the world’s pricing engine? This is an interesting question.”

Featured image by Zack Dowdy on Unsplash – Charts from TradingView

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