Solana is an open-source project implementing a new permissionless blockchain able to achieve 50,000 transactions per second. Founded by former Qualcomm, Intel, and Dropbox engineers, Solana is aiming to capitalize on Ethereum’s gas fee woes.
The team’s other aim is to significantly speed up transactions and reduce fees. They want to do all of this while maintaining a truly decentralized netowrk.
The project was established back in 2017 by Anatoly Yakovenko, who worked at Qualcomm before founding Solana. Before that, he worked at Dropbox as a software engineer.
Accompanying him are Eric Williams and Solana’s CTO, Greg Fitzgerald. They created a brand new process of dealing with traditional throughput problems that existed in the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains.
To put the figure of 50,000 transactions per second given by Solana into perspective, proof-of-work (PoW) systems like Bitcoin and Ethereum support about 10 transactions per second. Proof of stake systems like Tendermint support about 1,000 transactions per second.
How does it work?
Up to now, blockchains have mostly made sacrifices to achieve their desired outcome. They’ve chosen between scale, security, and decentralization.
Solana claims to have solved this problem, employing a new consensus algorithm able to achieve fast transaction times without sacrificing security and decentralization.
The Proof-of-History (PoH) system is implemented using a mechanism that originated in the Bitcoin source code, called nLocktime. Without going into the deeper technical aspects, nLocktime post-dates transactions using block height or size, which it does rather than timestamping.
After lots of research and testing, the development team turned this into a cryptographically secure way to record the passing of time.