Bitcoin’s inception a few years ago aimed to solve a complex issue, the difficulty for strangers to transact online without the mediation of third-party payment platforms such as PayPal or Visa. Blockchain technology’s debut enabled decentralized transactions, leading to the prospering of cryptocurrencies. The relevance of this technology has never been greater, creating an ideal market for Solana and other similar blockchain technologies.
However, this technology faces a hurdle – it operates at a slower speed compared to centralized payment networks like credit cards. Bitcoin only manages about five transactions per second, and Ethereum can handle around 13. Here’s what makes Solana distinct.
Solana’s exceptional development in recent times can be attributed, in part, to the rising fascination with Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), with a substantial number of these NFTs being hosted on the Solana network.
NFTs are distinctive digital assets or tokens within the online landscape that can be bought or sold similar to any conventional fiat currency. For instance, you can easily convert SOL to USD. These tokens can be perceived as deeds of ownership for digital commodities such as digital art or tangible assets like real-life paintings. With the NFT sector witnessing unprecedented growth and predicted to hit record levels in 2021, it’s quite evident why blockchain networks like Solana, that underpin them, are gaining increased attention.
Built to Scale
Solana takes pride in being among a handful of protocols that can achieve over 1000 transactions per second (TPS), a feat made possible due to its authentic web-scale blockchain capabilities. Moreover, Solana has the potential to support up to 50,000 TPS, making it around 3800 times quicker than Ethereum and an astounding 10,000 times faster than Bitcoin.
The platform’s proficiency is further demonstrated by its ability to incorporate a new block into the blockchain in just 600 milliseconds – its average block time. Essentially, Solana exhibits a reduced processing period. Its unique combination of protocols facilitates the expedited validation time for smart contracts and other transactions on Solana.
Pipelining, a well-established method in CPU architecture, is a process that directs a continuous flow of input data to different hardware units for immediate processing. This facilitates faster replication and validation of transaction information across various network nodes.
Within the revolutionary Solana blockchain, this pipelining procedure is orchestrated by the Transaction Processing Unit (TPU). The TPU executes multiple tasks at diverse levels: it retrieves data at the kernel level, authenticates signatures at the GPU level, handles banking functions at the CPU level, and performs writing at the kernel level.
Even before the TPU begins to distribute blocks to the validators, it has already prepared the next group of packets and initiated their signing process. This demonstrates Solana’s innovative use of pipelining in its blockchain technology.
The architects behind Solana have ingeniously crafted the protocol to deliver rapid execution and scalability, all while keeping the transaction expenses at a minimum. The fees associated with Solana’s transactions are significantly less than those of many comparable blockchain networks today. On average, a transaction on Solana’s network costs a mere $0.00025.
To put this into perspective, if you were to process a transaction worth $2 million on Solana, you would only be set back by roughly $20. This starkly contrasts similar blockchain platforms like Ethereum, where the same transaction could potentially cost you a staggering $600,000, given their rate of $6.86 per transaction.
The stakes are high and the competition fierce, but it’s clear that Solana is ready and willing to compete. Their superior protocol with its single IBFT consensus algorithm helps ensure transaction speeds unmatched by any other network. It’s also incredibly secure and robustly protected from exploit attempts, meaning that users can be confident their transactions will always remain safe.