Solana (SOL): an overview of the project and cryptocurrency

Since the advent of bitcoin in 2009, thousands of other cryptocurrencies have been released aimed at overthrowing the granddaddy of crypto. Each time, the developers of a new project trumpeted to the world that they had created a blockchain ecosystem capable of winning first place in the finance industry. We all know how that turned out. The new digital coin either joined a large army of promising altcoins or disappeared without a trace.

Today we are going to talk about Solana Coin crypto project. The name may sound familiar to you. That’s because the project was named after a Californian beach near San Diego. The telecoms giant Qualcomm is headquartered in that city. The founder of Solana, Anatoly Yakovenko, worked there for 13 years as a software engineer and probably liked to visit that beach in his spare time. But, the idea of developing the new consensus algorithm on which Solana blockchain is based came to him not on the ocean, but in the office after a sleepless night and four cups of coffee. What is so remarkable about the Solana token and is it worth investing in this project, we will tell you now.

What is Solana (SOL)?

Solana is a superfast and secure distributed network with a high level of scalability. All Solana events and transactions are processed using the SHA256 hash function, but unlike bitcoin, which runs on the PoW algorithm, the Solana blockchain is protected by the Proof of History algorithm.

Nodes create chronological records proving that a particular event (such as a transaction) occurred at exactly the time specified. In principle, the idea is not new at all. This consensus algorithm is a high-frequency verifiable delay function, which was developed at the end of the last millennium. The merit of Mr Yakovenko is that he has figured out how to use it to protect the blockchain ecosystem.

Technical features of Solana (SOL)

Transactions or events that need to be evaluated will receive a unique hash code and can be publicly and efficiently verified. Blockchain records allow verification when a financial transaction is executed or a decentralised application is launched. Each node has a cryptographic clock that tracks the time and order of events.

Solana is not much different from Ethereum. It is a publicly available, base-level blockchain protocol that is best suited for creating decentralised applications (dApps). However, this network has higher bandwidth and scalability. It is capable of handling up to 65,000 transactions per second, allowing it to compete with Visa and Master Card payment systems.

Let’s list the main innovations of this project:

Proof of History (PoH) – The PoH consensus algorithm helps increase the efficiency and capacity of Solana’s network. Thus, having historical records of events or transactions allows the system to more easily track transactions and keep track of the order of events.
Tower BF PoH is an upgraded version of PBFT (Byzantine Fault Tolerance) that uses “proof of ownership” instead of “proof of history”, allowing consensus to be achieved without significant overhead and transaction delays.
Turbine, a block propagation protocol, simplifies the transfer of data to nodes by splitting the data into smaller packets. This increases the overall throughput for faster transaction execution.
Gulf Stream – transaction forwarding protocol without the use of Mempool.
Sealevel – a mechanism for interacting with smart contracts, used to speed up information processing by nodes.
Pipeline – A pipelined method of data validation and replication across all nodes in a network.
Cloudbreak – A data structure optimised for simultaneous reading and writing across a network.
Archivers is a distributed book repository. Data in Solana is transferred from validators to archivers. Such a node can even be run on a laptop. From time to time they will be subjected to validation so that the other nodes can ensure that they are storing the correct data.

The entire Solana ecosystem is divided into clusters. Each of which is a group of nodes working together. A leader receives and structures data so that it can be processed by other nodes. The leader then executes transactions in the current state, which is stored in RAM and published for validation by replication nodes. Checkers process and publish the same transactions on their copies of the blockchain.

Validators vote to include transactions in slots every 400ms, and subsequent voting doubles the amount of time it takes to roll back previous results. At least two-thirds of all nodes must agree with each other to reach consensus.

The story of SOLANA’s emergence and the team

In 2017, Qualcomm engineer Anatoly Yakovenko published the technical documentation of the basic Solana Coin algorithm. Together with his colleagues Greg Fitzgerald and Stephen Akridge, they built a prototype test network in 2018 and founded Solana Labs. Joining the team is Raj Gokal, who now holds the role of executive director. Solana Labs is based in San Francisco, California. There is also the Solana Foundation, a non-profit organisation working to promote and support the project, based in Switzerland.

From 2018 to 2019, the team worked in parallel on fundraising and finalising the protocol. By spring 2020, shortly after the ICO, Solana Labs had launched a core network, and the Solana token appeared on exchanges in April. It was worth $0.78 at the time, and within a year the price had risen more than a hundredfold.

Mining SOLANA (SOL)

Let’s understand how Solana cryptocurrency is mined. Mining on computing hardware is not supported. But, like in traditional PoS blockchains you can run a node, or delegate your tokens to one of the validators and, receive a share of its reward for participating in the Solana network maintenance. Staking is activated via a betting pool.

More information on betting is available at: https://solana.com/staking and https://docs.solana.com/staking/stake-programming.

If you find it difficult to make sense of Binance’s technical documents, it supports fixed staking of 69 cryptocurrencies, including solar token.

Where to buy SOLANA (SOL) cryptocurrency

The digital asset of the Solana distributed network can be exchanged for other crypto or fiat on one of forty trading platforms.

We recommend using the Binance cryptocurrency exchange, which is considered the safest and most feature-rich platform. Binance supports exchange to Russian roubles.

List of trading pairs:

SOL/USDT
SOL/BUSD
SOL/BTC
SOL/USD
SOL/TRY
SOL/USDT
SOL/RUB

A full list of exchanges and exchange pairs, as well as the current Solana Coin exchange rate, is available at https://www.coingecko.com/en/coins/solana.

Solana Wallets (SOL)

You can create an official project wallet at https://solflare.com/. At the time of writing, only the web interface and browser extension are available. A mobile version of the Solana cryptocurrency wallet should be available soon.

Ledger or Binance’s officially supported Safepal hardware safe would be the most reliable option for storing large sums or running a full network node.

Alternatively, you can use the sollet online wallet by going to https://www.sollet.io. As a mobile wallet the Trust Wallet app will do the trick. A full list of wallets is available at https://solana.com/ru/ecosystem?categories=wallet.

The Wormhole crosschain bridge can be used to send ETH coins in the Solana shell. Metamask can accept SPL-ETH transactions, as long as there is sufficient balance to pay the fee. ERC-20 tokens are added to Solana wallets in the same way as Metamask. The SOL blockchain ecosystem also supports its own SLP token standard.

Prospects for Solana (SOL)

A blockchain network running at the speed of VISA and supporting smart contracts, dapps and crosschain transactions has unlimited prospects. It just needs to work without a hitch and lots of advertising to attract investors. The Solana developers understand that, too, and are working hard to promote the project. At the time of writing this review the SOL token is in 6th place in the Coinmarketcap ranking.

Conclusion

The Solana project has not yet reached the scale of the Ethereum network and it has not been tested under heavy loads, so many bugs have not yet been detected. And the Ethereum team, being the most widespread underlying ecosystem for def services, is not going to yield to anyone.

Competition in this sector of the crypto industry is intense, and it only benefits users and the entire global financial system. Blockchain payments are faster, and the scope of distributed ledger technology is getting wider.

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