What is Solana?
December 7, 2022

Solana is a high-speed, low-cost Layer 1 blockchain created to run decentralized apps. Its native currency is Solana. Solana (SOL) is a cryptocurrency that can be used for various purposes, including NFTs. Solana was built using a new verification method called Proof-of-History.

What is Solana?

Solana was created as a scalable solution to run decentralized apps and facilitate the use of smart contracts. It was named after Solana Beach, California, the beach town where the founders spent time and came up with the idea for the blockchain. 

How does Solana work?

Solana operates using a combination of Proof-of-Stake and Proof-of-History consensus mechanisms. Anatoly Yakovenko, one of Solana’s founders, authored the 2017 whitepaper that first introduced the concept of Proof-of-History, which allows Solana nodes to quickly add new blocks to the blockchain. “Solana does this by inserting data into the sequence by appending the hash of the data of the previously generated states. The state, input data, and count are all published — and impossible to recreate or create alternate versions of. This sets up an upper bound on time — and because Proof of History can reference previous hashes, there is also a lower bound of time,” explains the chain’s documentation. So while this won’t give you the exact time in clock format that actions occurred, it will tell you the order in which the actions occurred.

Combined with Proof-of-Stake, which uses validators to determine a block’s validity and add it to the blockchain, Solana can minimize and better manage its energy output. The average Solana transaction uses approximately the amount of energy as a handful of Google searches, and its transaction fees can be as low as a fraction of a US cent.

Solana uses both consensus mechanisms to ensure that it can remain decentralized, scalable, and secure. Solana’s method is one approach for scaling the number of transactions processed per second. 

What are Solana’s main uses?

DApps on Solana

Decentralized apps (or DApps) are blockchain-integrated websites that require you to connect and approve all transactions with your wallet signature. Solana is a popular blockchain for dApps because of its speed and scalability. 

DeFi on Solana

Decentralized Finance, often shortened to “DeFi,” is the term used to describe all financial services that operate on blockchain technology. Common services include earning interest, borrowing, lending, and trading. DeFi enables trustless, permissionless, and fast transactions. Solana is still early in DeFi, which means there aren’t as many DeFi applications on Solana as there are on a chain like Ethereum.

Solana NFTs

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are unique, digital items with blockchain-managed ownership. Examples of NFTs include digital art, collectibles, virtual reality items, crypto domain names, ownership records for physical assets, and more. Solana’s lower gas fees have also made it an attractive option for scaling blockchain games.  

What are Solana NFTs?

Solana NFTs are NFTs that have been minted onto the Solana blockchain.  Solana has become a popular blockchain for NFT projects because of its fast speed, low gas fees, and vibrant community.

How do I buy and use Solana?

How do I buy SOL and Solana NFTs?

To purchase Solana, you will need a Solana-compatible wallet, like Phantom or Glow. This wallet will be your key for purchasing, selling, or storing cryptocurrency or Solana NFTs. You can find a full explainer on how to buy Solana to fund your wallet here. 

How do I interact with Solana NFTs?

Once you have access to your wallet, you can buy and list Solana NFTs, transfer NFTs, or view a collection. There are two ways to view the NFTs in your Solana wallet. One is by accessing your Solana wallet, and the second is by connecting your wallet to OpenSea and navigating to your profile.

🧠 Q&A

How is Solana different than Ethereum?

Solana is a blockchain designed for speed. Currently averaging 2,500 transactions per second (TPS), it ultimately aims to achieve 50,000 TPS. In comparison, Ethereum currently maxes around 15 TPS, and VISA, the credit card processor, handles around 1,700 TPS. Both blockchains are working towards a future that enables speed and decentralization.

Who created Solana, and where is it based?

Anatoly Yakovenko, Greg Fitzgerald, Raj Gokal, Stephen Akridge, and Zed Zed founded Solana, and their offices are headquartered in San Francisco, California.

What is The Solana Foundation?

The Solana Foundation’s purpose is to protect Solana’s mission and ensure it remains decentralized and secure.