What Is Solana?

Solana is a blockchain protocol for high-scale blockchains. It is designed to securely, quickly, and economically solve the problems of scalability, privacy, and decentralization at scale. Solana is focused on tackling these three problems in the blockchain realm. This blog post will explore the first – Solana’s approach to solving the scalability problem. I will attempt to explain it using a layman’s language as possible.

How does Solana works?

Solana is a Proof of Stake blockchain that is in it’s third iteration. It has build a one-of-a-kind method for determining the time of a transaction known as Proof of History. For cryptocurrencies, keeping track of transaction sequence is critical. Bitcoin does this by grouping transactions into blocks that are linked by a single timestamp. These blocks must be validated by each node in agreement with the other nodes.This technique adds a substantial amount of time for nodes across the network to confirms a block. Solana, on the other hand, adopts a unique approach. 

Solana’s key features

The Solana team has build eight fundamental technical characteristics to make the blockchain match the capabilities of a centralized system, according to its blog. The most famous is perhaps Proof of History, but there are others as well:

  • Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (Tower BFT) is a PoH-optimized variant of Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance. Turbine is a protocol for block propagation.
  • Gulf Stream is a transaction forwarding protocol that does not use a mempool.
  • Sealevel — Run-time of parallel smart contracts
  • Pipelining is a Transaction Processing Unit that optimizes validation.
  • Cloudbreak is a database of horizontally scaled accounts.

These elements combine to provide a high-performance network with block speeds of 400 milliseconds and thousands of transactions per second. To put this in context, Bitcoin’s block time is around 10 minutes, and Ethereum’s is around 15 seconds. You can stake your tokens with validators who process the network’s transactions using a compatible crypto wallet. Those who have staked share some of the rewards with a successful validator. This incentive system encourages validators and delegators to act in the best interests of the network.