The need to expand the crypto and blockchain space brings a Layer 1 solution, which is based on the need to improve the underlying protocol itself the main architecture underlying the blockchain. The aim is to make the whole system more scalable. Bitcoin is a layer 1 network, which reflects the importance of the layer 1 chain. One of the primary advantages of a Layer 1 solution is that users do not need to add anything on top of the existing architecture. However, the problem with most Layer 1 solutions is the slow speed and high cost of the transactions involved. This was the inspiration for the development of Solana (SOL) blockchain, a team of engineers with extensive experience in decentralized blockchains and GPU optimization.
The Solana blockchain entered the market in 2017. Its main goal is to help scale censorship resistance and thus support an order of magnitude increase in transaction throughput. With its own scalability, Solana aims to be faster and more cost effective than more established Layer 1 counterparts (such as Bitcoin and Ether). This article explains what Solana is and how it differs from other layer 1 blockchains like Bitcoin and Ether.
While older layer 1 blockchain networks (such as Bitcoin and Ether) both offer single-threaded computers that do not guarantee parallel execution of conflicting transactions, Solana successfully unlocks concurrent transactions with no conflicts or obfuscation, thereby speeding up transactions while maintaining security. History has shown that Solana ensures high-speed, low-latency, and inexpensive transactions. It is important to note that all of this happens at layer 1 without sharding or adding layer 2, as it has been tried on other networks.
What is the Solana blockchain?
Solana describes itself as “a fast, secure and censorship-resistant blockchain that provides the open infrastructure needed for global adoption.”
What does this mean?The Solana blockchain employs local scalability and is designed to solve the slow transactions and high costs associated with its established first-tier counterparts, such as Bitcoin and Ether. For example, Solana, built as a decentralized protocol, incorporates an innovative proof-of-history (PoH) timing formula that can often be implemented in advance to facilitate its proof-of-stake (PoS) protocol structure.
Solana’s Local Scalability
The Solana blockchain aims to solve the local scalability problems that plague the cryptocurrency world. It is designed to match the performance of a single node, as most previous blockchain ledgers and decentralized payment networks only provide security for users. However, the more these protocols emphasize decentralized security, the longer it takes to validate new transactions. Considering that these networks carry the largest number of transactions and the number of users continues to soar every day, they face scalability challenges while maintaining security and decentralization principles.
The concepts of scalability and throughput are measured by the number of transactions the protocol could previously process, often referred to as transactions per second (TPS). In addition to the security of transactions, everyone wants to use a platform that can handle large numbers of transactions more efficiently.
Blockchain networks are designed on the principle that each node (or computer) on which transactions are processed has its own internal clock and operates as such. With thousands of nodes spread around the world, there is obviously going to be some variation from the local system clock. The problem escalates when the decentralized network needs to reach consensus on the transactions that have occurred and the order in which they were made. In this regard, both Proof of Work (PoW) and Proof of Stake (PoS) have encountered timestamp synchronization problems, thus delaying consensus.
The relationship between the timestamp phase and the local system clock affects the process of other nodes and the speed of verifying transactions. In addition, messages about confirmation or rejection are also timestamped. This process can lead to some discrepancy between local system clocks, which can pave the way for attacks in which bad actors can try to take over the cryptographic network using fake transaction broadcasts that approximate real-time timestamps. A good example of this is a “fake” attack or denial of service (DoS) attack that can occur in the case of PoS or PoW. Pioneering blockchain protocols like Bitcoin and Ether have encountered this problem, and Solana is working to solve it by ensuring that all transactions are not at risk of being manipulated.
More importantly, Solana synchronizes all corresponding clocks through its decentralized network. As a result, it ensures that transactions take less time to verify, as individual nodes do not need to devote much processing power to verifying the various timestamps from users. Synchronization helps the Solana network to optimize its speed, making it faster and more scalable. In short, it allows for efficient consumption and higher security.
In comparison, the Solana blockchain can theoretically achieve 65,000 transactions per second synchronized between nodes. While the concept is disputed by some, as there is no real evidence other than the results of test networks, it has reportedly achieved 50,000 transactions per second, which remains a groundbreaking speed in the blockchain industry. So far, Bitcoin and Ether 1.0 only support 4.6 and 30 transactions per second, respectively. According to Moore’s Law, Solana’s capacity is expected to double every two years as hardware and bandwidth improve. From this theoretical perspective, we expect Solana to be faster as computer speeds increase. This is a significant improvement over other Layer 1 chains that are considered static in terms of speed.
Solana’s Proof-of-Stake (PoS) and Proof-of-History (PoH)
Most developers in the blockchain industry have proposed Layer 2 and sharding to extend existing Layer 1 solutions (e.g., Bitcoin, Ether, and Ripple). Moreover, most blockchain networks ignore the role of time and its impact on transactions. To address this challenge, Solana takes a different approach. They tried to reduce the complexity with 200 nodes operating globally with the help of a proof-of-stake (PoS) based on a pBFT-derived consensus mechanism and some strong coordination optimization. Its transactions are also processed locally in parallel by GPU hardware, and Solana is the only multi-threaded blockchain, which gives it more room to support better performance.
How to reach consensus in traditional consensus methods is common knowledge among developers. In a traditional layer 1 chain, all nodes must communicate with each other to determine that time has passed. The process involves each node accepting or rejecting a block to show whether the block is valid or invalid. In other words, the old Layer 1 chain required verifiers to talk to each other to reach agreement that time had passed. As a result, if the timestamp generated by the local clock differs significantly from the time used by other verifiers, it may cause a delay in acknowledging the time or rejecting the block altogether.
Typically, a significant amount of processing power and time is required to maintain nodes that must communicate back and forth every once in a while to establish proofs. We need strong power to determine the correct order of communication and transactions, and the longer this takes, the later consensus is reached. The overall impact is a delay in adding more blocks, as the next block can only be verified after the previous block has been confirmed. Since these older Layer 1 chains lack a reliable source of time, there may be some discrepancies between individual device clocks. These discrepancies may reappear and thus slow down the addition of new blocks. In addition, they do not guarantee that each node or network participant will verify the authenticity of each message with the required speed and accuracy.
The Solana protocol is designed to address this problem, and Solana’s core innovation is Proof of History, a globally available, permissionless time source that works in the network before consensus is reached. In other words, PoH is neither a consensus protocol nor an anti-witch mechanism. Instead, PoH is a solution to the clock problem that makes the verification process faster while still retaining many decentralized features without resorting to some central approval point. It does this through a consensus method called Proof of History (PoH) to speed up transactions on the Solano blockchain ledger.PoH is designed in such a way that it will help verify timestamps, encryption in two scenarios. First, it chains messages from nodes together to determine the validity of blocks to provide a relative order of events (in chronological order), which does not depend on either the timestamp or the local clock.
This process is accomplished through a network node that is chosen to represent other nodes as leaders. It is responsible for generating historical proof sequences and arranging messages sequentially for maximum efficiency and throughput.The Solana network is based on Byzantine fault-tolerant (BFT) tower consensus, which reduces latency by using PoH as a global time source before consensus is reached. While any node can be selected as the historically proven leader, the failure of the selected node means that the next highest vote will be selected to replace the failed leader. This process is seamless, thus increasing the speed of transactions.
What makes Solana so interesting for decentralized projects?
There are two reasons why Solana is an exciting ecosystem for many Dapp and other DeFi projects:The blockchain is faster and cheaper. The system has been tested to scale to 56,000 TPS in March 2020 and lab conditions to 111,000 TPS in May 2020.The current maximum number of transactions per second is 59,490 and the block count is 400ms.
In comparison, Ether is another blockchain in high demand in the DeFi project, which quickly illustrates the speed of Solana’s transactions. Transaction fees are also very low, which makes the blockchain more interesting to experiment with.
Another exciting factor is that developers can download Solana software code directly from Solana Labs’ Github, which makes it much easier to create a node and start building a project in no time.
In addition, according to Github’s “the State of the Octoverse”, the Solana blockchain application is built on Rust, one of the fastest growing languages. For Solana, Rust solves the problems of memory safety and concurrency of threads.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/more-and-more-projects-are-choosing-solana-what-are-its-advantages/
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