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Solana Vs Ethereum

In terms DeFi (Decentralized Finance) Ethereum and Solana both are trying their level best to capture the potential market by allowing potential users to create projects on the Blockchain. As we all are well aware that Blockchain-based projects can be implemented over a variety of sectors ranging from finance to manufacturing and other industries.

But, the thing is that both Ethereum and Solana are much different from each other and the Ethereum being older than Solana is already being heard by people.

What is Smart Contract?

In Blockchain terms, a Smart contract is an agreement, which is a self-executing sort of contract between buyer and seller being directly written into lines of computer code. Such code and agreements are there it exists across a distributed and decentralized Blockchain network, which controls the execution and transactions are trackable but immutable.

Solana

Solana is the fastest-growing open-source programmable Blockchain protocol that is used by developers and institutions around the world to build decentralized applications (DApps) and marketplaces. Being fast, secure, and censorship-resistant are some of the unique qualities which led to its mass adoption in building open infrastructure in a flexible manner.

Solana is perfectly suited for the development of next-generation DApps and decentralized marketplaces due to its fully decentralized nature, security, and highly scalable.

Origin of Solana

Solana owes its origin to 2017 when its whitepaper was published by Anatoly Yakovenko, who previously worked at Qualcomm and Dropbox. The company which today is known as Solana was initially called Loom, but to avoid confusion with another company which was a popular multichain interoperability solution. Later it was later rebranded to Solana Labs by Yakovenko, Fitzgerald, and Stephen Akridge.

Solana since its inception has had an impressive story of being funded by $20 million series till mid-2019 and raised another $1.76 million in market value. Solana’s beta mainnet has the ability to do basic work of verifying transactions along with smart contract features, which was launched in March 2020. As of now, Solana Foundation functions as a non-profit organization that looks after funding and in developing the Blockchain’s community-building initiatives. Whereas Solana Labs remains at the top in terms of the core contributor to the network.

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How does Solana work?

Solana is one of the most high-performance permissionless Blockchain on the market data, as with a network of 200 distinct nodes it can generate a throughput of 50,000 TPS when running with GPUs. Solana developers as a consensus model but it is additionally by Tower BFT consensus. In case there are potential attacks from malicious nodes, in that scenario Tower consensus helps the network to reach consensus. Another advantage of Tower BFT is that it enforces a universal source of time across the network through proof of history to create a common record of all the events and verify transactions on the Blockchains, which serves as a permanent reference for the nodes running the network.

Here in Solana, Proof of History is not a consensus protocol or neither an anti-Sybil mechanism, but it is a decentralized clock that helps secure the Blockchain, as it is a permissionless, globally available source of time on the Blockchain that works before the network reaches consensus.

One of the features that make Solana’s leading throughput possible is due to Tower BFT, as it leverages this permissionless clock to reduce the processing power necessary for transactions.

Solana’s transaction parallelization system is known as Sealevel that enables parallel smart contract runtime to optimize the network’s resource usage and enables its horizontal scaling across GPUs and SSDs. Apart from that, the mempool system of Solana, which is known as Gulf Steam is too is much different from other Blockchains, as even before validators finalize the previous set of transactions, the Gulf Steam forwards the transactions to them. Due to this mechanism of mempool-less transaction forwarding protocol, the speed of transaction confirmation increases as well as the concurrent and parallel transaction capacity of the network.

Well, now let’s know about the consensus mechanism in Solana, as what makes it first of its class web-scale Blockchain.

Features of Solana

Proof of History (PoH) – Consensus Clock

If we go by the definition then, Proof-of-History (PoH) is a cryptographic clock that enables nodes to agree on the time order of the events on the chain, without having to talk to each other — since each node has its own clock. PoH stores historical records of transactions and allows the system to keep track of the order of events more easily, as doing so it brings in more efficiency and higher throughput within the network.

Tower BFT (Byzantine fault tolerance)

Solana implements Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance in form of Tower BFT that is optimized for PoH. Tower BFT takes advantage of the cryptographic clock to reach consensus without having to go through a multitude of messages among nodes — consequently improving the transaction speed.

Gulf Stream — mempool-less transaction forwarding protocol

Gulf Stream is a protocol that is responsible for transaction caching and for forwarding them to the edge of the network, which enables Solana to reach 50,000 TPS. Due to Gulf Stream network validators are allowed to execute transactions ahead of time, which drastically reduced the confirmation time and the memory requirements on validators from unconfirmed transaction pools.

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Turbine — a block propagation protocol

In Solana, to make data transfer easier among the nodes, the Turbine block propagation protocol that breaks data down into smaller increments. Turbine comes in handy to address bandwidth-related issues and increase the network’s overall transaction processing speed.

Sealevel — parallel smart contracts run-time

Sealevel is a parallelized transaction processing engine that results in a better runtime for the network, as it helps Solana to scale horizontally across GPUs and SSDs.

Pipelining — a transaction processing unit for validation optimization

Pipelining can be referred to as the process of assigning a stream of input data to different hardware for processing, as this ensures quick transaction information to be replicated and validated faster across the different nodes of the network.

Cloudbreak — horizontally-scaled accounts database

Cloudbreak works as a data structure required for the network’s scalability and throughput, as it organizes various things ranging from the database of accounts, making concurrent reads and writes between the network’s 32 threads possible.

Archivers — distributed ledger storage

Archivers are a network of nodes, where Solana’s validator nodes offload the data, now these nodes may consist of basic laptops or PCs that the network uses for data storage.

Solana’s native token – $SOL

Solana’s native token is called SOL, which like most other most smart contract platforms can be used to pay for all on-chain transactions and smart contracts. Moreover, SOL can be used by investors to do micropayments and by supporting the network SOL token holders can also earn rewards, which is called staking.

As of now, SOL was traded at US$65.06 with a maximum supply of 489 million coins and a circulating supply of 286 million tokens.

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Some top projects in Solana

Serum

Serum Project is built over Solana and is a decentralized exchange (DEX) that brings unprecedented speed and process transactions in low costs.

Raydium

Raydium is a Decentralized Finance (DeFi) application that provides on-chain liquidity to a central limit order book. Raydium additionally aims to partner with other DeFi and AMM communities and provide support to build out their products on the Solana network.

Phantom Wallet

As the name suggests, Phantom Wallet is a digital wallet crafted for DeFi and NFTs, that offers a browser extension for managing digital assets and access decentralized applications on the Solana Blockchain.

Orca

Orca is another DEX-based cryptocurrency exchange built over Solana and aims to provide a more straightforward, human-centered experience for the traders on Solana.

Oxygen

It is a DeFi Prime Brokerage Protocol, built with a plan to support millions of people in the future. The mechanism of Oxygen is such that it lets its users generate yield on their portfolio through lending out their assets and borrowing other assets at the same time.

Solana’s vision

Currently, Solana is working on solving some challenging issues such as speed and scalability for global adoption, without sacrificing any of the inherent properties of a robust layer-1 protocol that are faced in the Blockchain fraternity.

In terms of scalability, Solana by implementing a revolutionary time architecture, verify transactions, processing mechanism, and more efficient consensus model become one of the world’s fastest layer-1 networks. The open infrastructure of Solana lets deployment of dApps easily with composable building blocks without dealing with additional friction caused by sharding and other layer-2 solutions.

In a world of a general perception that a decentralized Blockchain network can only satisfy two out of the three main properties — decentralization, security, and scalability, Solana insists on solving all of these with their eight-core innovations.

After a brief introduction about Solana, and its features now let’s have a look over Ethereum

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Ethereum's Blockchain

Ethereum is a ledger technology that various companies use to make new programs, and Ethereum is being operated over Blockchain technology, thus making it part of the earliest Blockchain technology.

Ethereum is an open-source blockchain-based distributed computing platform and operating system featuring smart contracts functionality. Also, Ethereum was the first Blockchain project to install smart contract technology, which eliminates the need for a third party to enter into an agreement.

Ethereum must be a very familiar name for any crypto world enthusiast as it has been referred to as ‘Queen of Cryptocurrencies’ by some. Ethereum was the first Blockchain project to install smart contract technology, which eliminates the need for a third party to enter into an agreement. As a Blockchain platform Ethereum has carved out a niche for itself in the blockchain community, but with the entry of newbies, it stands cornered. One of the newest ones to arrive over the horizon is the Solana, which as a Blockchain platform has showcased a great amount of potential in recent times.

The fight between between Ethereum and Solana in crypto projects is not just hype but reality which brought Solana from nowhere to the top 10 in the binance coin and financial market data ratings. In fact, many experts and crypto world enthusiasts are calling Solana an Ethereum killer due to its advanced technology and high scalability.

So, lets compare them separately in terms of various parameters to know in detail -

License

Ethereum Blockchain since its launch in 2015 is an open-source and Decentralised Finance ecosystem (DeFi) was introduced by them where, outside the traditional banking system you can borrow, lend and earn interest on your cryptos and all that without the need for an intermediary.

Consensus Mechanism

In terms of mechanism, Ethereum's Proof-of-Work (PoW) mechanism is used to achieve consensus. There are some issues faced with Proof-of-Work (PoW) mechanism, and one of the major issues is that it consumes a lot amount of power and energy that making it inefficient, which results in increasing gas fees.

Speed, Security, and Scalability

It is no man’s secret that Ethereum initially was tardily slow in handling just 7 transactions a second, while Solana does around 65 000 a second. Currently, at best Ethereum can process transactions of around 30 per second, but still, that is not sufficient for any financial institution.

Smart contract capabilities

Smart Contracts is nothing but a program, that consists a collection of code and data that is stored at a specific address over the Ethereum Blockchain. Like a regular contract, Smart Contract can define rules, and automatically enforce them through the code.

There are mainly two developer-friendly languages for writing smart contracts in Ethereum – Solidity and Vyper. In Ethereum, by having enough ETH to deploy your contract anyone can write a smart contract and deploy it to the network. To deploy a smart contract you need to pay in form of gas just like a simple ETH transfer.

Native token - ERC-20

Ethereum Request for Comment (ERC-20) is the standard token used over Ethereum for creating and issuing Smart Contracts. These ERC-20 tokens are Blockchain-based assets, it can hold value and be sent and received. ERC-20 tokens started as a revolutionary system for creating interoperability between tokens built on the Ethereum Network.

Community support and Funding

As of now, Solana Foundation functions as a non-profit organization that looks after funding and in developing the Blockchain’s community-building initiatives. Whereas for Ethereum, it has a teaming community support forum that includes tens of thousands of developers, technologists, users, miners, holders, and enthusiasts all over the world. In this Ethereum support forum you can join a meetup group, contribute to a project or just attend an event.

Conclusion

What makes Solana stand out in the crowd?

In the world of Blockchain, Solana has the tag of most scalable and first truly web-scale Blockchain, as it's one of the few protocols achieving over 1,000 TPS.

On the current testnet, Solana team claims to support over 50,000 TPS, with over 200 nodes. Now according to this, it makes Solana one of the most performant Blockchain networks compared to other systems that work over the Proof-of-Work mechanism.

What holds for the future?

As of now, we can say that both Ethereum and Solana will make a great impact on the arena of the global business of Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs). As of now the people outside the crypto community are well aware of the extremely volatile nature of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, but Ethereum has already been adopted by many businesses, therefore enjoys a great amount of market cap. While Solana ecosystem outperforms in terms of speed and low transaction fees, and Solana too accumulated a great share of market cap and this is the probable reason why Solana gets compared to Ethereum. Although Solana is fairly much newer in DeFi ecosystem, but will certainly take some time to catch up with Ethereum in terms of network capabilities we are hopeful of that in crypto projects.

Frequently Asked Questions

Solana the blockchain network which was launched in the year 2020, is seen in the eyes of many people as as a potential competitor with Ethereum. It has grown around 16,000 percent over the course of January. This means that people have been investing large amounts in the cryptocurrency that has now become the sixth-largest market capitalization

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