Sun. Mar 7th, 2021
Solana blockchain

We continue the series of articles about the original projects of the blockchain system with an overview of the features of the Solana platform.

Developing your own blockchain is not a trivial task. It is not enough just to copy the “sample”. The main condition for a successful blockchain launch is an original, fresh technological idea. And better than one.

Anatoly Yakovenko
Anatoly Yakovenko

The Solana Blockchain, launched in 2017, owes its appearance to the idea of the original consensus protocol. The author of the idea, developer and founder of the project, Anatoly Yakovenko, worked at Qualcomm, as well as many of the Solana team. Currently, he is the CEO of the project.

At the moment, about 500 validators are involved in the Solana network. The network is headquartered in San Francisco.

The founders of the project position Solana as the first web-scale blockchain.

As Anatoly Yakovenko noted at one of the meetings with representatives of the community:

Our industry right now is built upon decentralization. And what that means is there’s low barrier to entry for anyone to participate in the network. So this seemed like an opportunity to me. And because of our particular implementation, we have this decentralized source of time before consensus. We can actually have a very cheap to verify proof of replication. And that allows us to stripe this enormous data set amongst any number of nodes that wanna just simply contribute storage without, like even high availability but some kind of medium availability. So to me, this seems like… In my mind, if we’re successful, imagine like anyone in the space is successful and 100 years from now there’s a Blockchain that’s around. This isn’t a data set of all economic activity for the past 100 years. That is probably the most valuable thing we’re building right now. So I’m really excited about that part.

Solana — Tested By Time

The Solana project has implemented a number of technologies and optimizations to increase network bandwidth on a large scale. The main innovation is Proof-of-History (PoH) — an algorithm based on the original idea of the developers, according to which consensus is achieved by reconciling the time delays between events.

The author of the algorithm, Anatoly Yakovenko, during the development relied on the idea of a Verifiable Delay Function, which appeared back in the 90s of the last century.

The Proof-of-History algorithm has a built-in clock that is uniform for all nodes. Any of the nodes can check the time elapsed between actions in the blockchain. According to the authors’ calculations, such verification should take much less time than in the PoW and PoS protocols used by other networks.

Solana: other project innovations

Tower BFTIs an optimized PoH consensus version of the practical byzantine fault tolerance PBFT.
TurbineIs a Solana block streaming protocol. This is a version of the idea used in BitTorrent.
Gulf StreamIs a protocol for forwarding transactions without Mempool confirmation.
SealevelIs a multithreaded smart contract execution environment. In the project concept, this technology replaces sharding. The developers highlight the absence of sharding as one of the main advantages of the network.
PipeliningIs a transaction processing sector to optimize validation.
CloudbreakIs a horizontally scaled database of accounts.
ArchiversTorrent — a typical distributed storage where archivers have a low threshold for hardware requirements.

Solana uses the classic PoS protocol for voting processes and regulating the behavior of participants within the network.

Solana is a high-performance blockchain with a promised throughput of up to 710,000 transactions per second. At the moment, the speeds are kept in the region of 10-50 thousand transactions per second.

Solana vs Free TON: differences between blockchains

Although Solana is a more scalable blockchain than Ethereum, it is less scalable than Free TON.

As part of its philosophy, Solana declares goals that are close to the tasks that Free TON sets for itself. Decentralization of virtual space, democratization of internal processes, provision of its own platform for the development of crypto projects. However, differences in implementation approaches not only determine the technological differences between systems, but also highlight the degree of adherence to the declared philosophy.

One of the main differences is that Free TON is a multi-blockchain based on PoS protocol, while Solana is a singlechain. Naturally, as a single-chain, Solana uses the delegated proof of stake protocol — DpoS, which is quite good in a single blockchain, and becomes a problem in interactions between blockchains or off-chain programs.

Sharding, used in Free TON, allows to reach speeds of millions of transactions per second. Solana uses multithreaded processing of smart contracts to increase throughput instead of sharding. In fact, instead of dividing operations by nodes, there is a division by cores. This allows the Solana blockchain to call a high threshold of 710,000 transactions per second.

Another difference between the two platforms: all Free TON software is completely open source. Solana is partially open source.

Solana network development

Over the three years of its existence, Solana has become recognizable in the field of crypto technologies, has released token SOL and continues to develop actively.

Serum DEX Exchange

In mid-2019, the Serum DEX exchange was launched on the basis of Solana. The project was developed by the team that created the FTX cryptocurrency derivatives exchange. As a native project for Solana, Serum claims the same benefits:

  • Speed
  • Scalability
  • Low cost ($ 0.00001 per transaction)

An SRM token has been issued for the project. The initial issue was 10 billion SRM. 90% of the cryptocurrency is intended for blocking within the network, which should guarantee the long-term operation of the ecosystem.

Kin Project

At the end of 2020, the developers of the Kin Ecosystem, consisting of 55 million accounts, announced the transition to the Solana blockchain. This is the largest migration in cryptocurrency history.

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New blockchain projects not only offer a choice in the virtual services market, but also develop the entire direction of digital technologies in general.

The more projects appear, the wider and more resourceful the information technology base becomes. Thus, in the blockchain hypersystem, the principle “as above, so below,” is triggered, where the development of a specific blockchain benefits everyone, in the same way a specific user, acting in his own interests, benefits the blockchain ecosystem. Solana and its Proof-of-History are proof of this!

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