Solana, a web-scale blockchain founded in 2017, recently underwent a massive surge, with gains of over 63% on a seven-day scale. Solana’s $SOL token now trades at press time for $63 or so, effectively taking it to the top 10 of all cryptocurrencies based on market capitalization.
Hot on the heels of a private token sale for its Series A that garnered over $314 million, Solana Lab’s project was initially positioned as a direct competitor to Ethereum. Founded in 2017, the Solana blockchain operates with decentralized applications and protocols, delivering predictable scaling with secure sharding and composability. The private token sale was led by Andreessen Horowitz and Polychain Capital, and was considered as one of the largest fundraising rounds across the crypto and blockchain space.
Solana’s unique intra-shard parallelism allows the protocol to process over 50,000 smart contracts almost instantaneously. This parallel processing is enabled by what Solana Labs calls Sealevel, its native parallel smart contracts runtime.
Default smart contract options provide that at least one contract at a time can modify the blockchain state. With Solana’s parallel processing, this is multiplied to as many cores as available to a validator, such that transactions on Solana are described simultaneously as they are executing. Dubbed as ‘Turbine’ this block propagation protocol is unique to the Solana blockchain and is undergoing further development from Solana Labs.
Solana’s next-gen blockchain also features Proof of History, which provides distributed timekeeping by showing transactions as events within a specific time range without unnecessarily requiring validators to communicate and agree on a specified timing. In turn, this enables advanced, low-latency and sub-second finality for all transactions on its blockchain.
Touted as an “ETH-killer,” Solana’s is among the many challengers to Ethereum’s dominance. Solana’s ecosystem is similar to that of Polkadot (DOT) and Cardano (ADA), with speed and efficiency as its main feature. To date, Solana’s performance of 50,000 transactions per second (TPS) remains theoretical. Data from a Solana validator, Staking Facilities, provides that the protocol currently handles 6,100 TPS based on its average moving volume.