What is Solana (SOL)?

Solana is a project that develops a scalable blockchain protocol to create decentralized applications and smart contracts.

Who and when created Solana?

Founders of Solana – an ex-employee Qualcomm Anatoly Yakovenko, a former developer Brew Greg Fitzheld and Doctor of Science in Physics of Eric Williams.

In 2017, Yakovenko published White Paper, in which he presented a Proof-of-History blockchain synchronization algorithm (POH). Later, Yakovenko, together with his former colleague in Qualcomm Greg Fitzheld, created a blockchain in the programming language RUST using POH as an “internal clock”. In February 2018, Yakovenko and Fitzherald published the official version of White Paper project and launched the first internal test network.

In 2018, Yakovenko and Fitzherald founded the company now known as Solana Labs. The project team includes former Google, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Apple, Intel and Dropbox programmers.

The founders of the project called it Loom, but subsequently renamed Solana to avoid confusion with the decision of the second level of Loom Network. The project was named after Solana Beach – a town to Thirty minutes from San Diego, where Anatoly Yakovenko lives.

From April 2018 to July 2019, the project attracted more than $ 20 million venture capital investments during several closed tokenceyls. In the third quarter of 2020, a public test network of the Tour de Sol project has earned. In March 2020, a beta version of the main network started.

In June 2020, the project was created by Solana Foundation – an organization aimed at developing the Solana ecosystem and the adoption of decentralized technologies. Solana Labs has transferred Solana Foundation 167 million SOL tokens and rights to all intellectual property.

How does Solana functions?

Solana tends to ensure that the decentralized Node network corresponds to the specified characteristics of a single node. For this, the interaction of the Node must be optimized. Solana solves this task with the help of eight key technologies.

Algorithm for Synchronization Blockchain Proof-of-History

One of the problems is cryptocurrency – synchronization of nodes. The synchronization speed affects the bandwidth of the blockchain. What it is faster, the more transactions per second handle the network. To use time synchronization, you need a clock. In cryptocurrents there are our watches and internal time – timestamp. It is not accurate, because there is no central clock with which you can compete. Such synchronization is imperfected: if you focus on timestamp (temporary label), the new unit may appear earlier than the previous one.

The PROOF-OF-HISTORY protocol is not a mechanism for achieving a consensus, and a way to optimize the cost of time to confirm the operation when organizing the procedure for transactions. It is used in tandem with proof-of-stake.

This is a decentralized clock, solving the problem of synchronization. PROF-OF-HISTORY allows you to create a chronological record confirming that the event occurred at a certain point in time. POH is a high-frequency verified delay function (VDF). It requires an estimate of a certain number of consecutive steps, but it produces a unique output that can be publicly verified.

Other blocks require communication of validators, which should agree in the time. Solana requires validators so that they support their watch, constantly solving VDF based on the SHA-256 hash function. The choice of validator is scheduled for the entire era, which lasts thousands of blocks. For the work done, the validator receives a reward.

PROF-OF-HISTORY provides continuous operation of the network thanks to automatic rotation, without the participation of validators. Also, POH allows Solana to optimize the block creation time, its reproduction, bandwidth and storage of data in the registry.

Temporary marks proof-of-history.
Temporary marks proof-of-history.
  • SHA-256 closes the most quickly, each exit serves as the next entrance.
  • Samples are taken, the number of iterations and the state are written.

    Recorded samples represent the past time encoded in the form of a verified data structure. Also, the circuit can be used to account for events.

  • A message that refers to any sample is guaranteed to be created after creating a sample;
  • Messages can be embedded in a chain and hash together with a state, ensuring that the message is created before the next insert.

This data structure guarantees the exact time and sequence of events.

Record messages in the PROF-OF-HISTORY sequence.
Record messages in the PROF-OF-HISTORY sequence.

Tower BFT.

Tower BFT is the implementation of the Practical BYZANTINE Fault Tolerance (PBFT) algorithm. To achieve a consensus Tower BFT uses POH as clocks that allow you to reduce the cost of computing resources and delay.

Turbine.

Turbine transaction transaction transaction protocol solves the blockchain scalability trile by analogy with BitTorrent. Most blockchas have a fixed bandwidth of the nodium. An increase in the number of NODs leads to an increase in data transfer time to each of them. Turbine solves this problem by passing data using the UDP protocol. To transmit each package of user data, an arbitrarily selected path is used.

The creator of the block (leader) separates the block to smaller packets (not more than 64 Kb). For example, for a 128 MB block, the leader creates 2000 packages of 64 Kb, and then sends them to different validators. Those forward the packages of the new group nearest to them (Solana they are referred to as NEIGHBORHOOD – “Surroundings”). This allows each “surrounding”, which includes 200 nodes, through a third-level network, starting with a new leader, approximately 200 milliseconds to increase the number of participants up to 40,000 validators.

Gulf Stream

Gulf Stream is a transaction transaction protocol without using the membulance, thanks to the advanced definition of validators. Each Solana Validator knows the procedure for changing future leaders, so can send the transaction to the expected leader in advance. This allows you to perform transactions in advance and thereby reduce the confirmation time, faster to change the leaders and reduce the pressure pressure on the validators from the pool of unconfirmed transactions.

Sealevel.

The sealevel virtual machine parallel processes transactions that are horizontally scalable on the graphics processors and solid-state drives. Most other blocks are single threaded. Solana supports parallel transaction execution and verification of signature in a single shard. This is possible thanks to the technique of the operating system drivers “scatter-gather”.

Transactions are reported in advance which state they will read and write during the execution process. Sealevel finds no transaction in block overlapping each other and plans their execution. The execution process performs hardware equipment using the Berkeley Packet Filter native byte code (BPF).

Pipeline.

Pipeline is a transaction processing device (Transaction Processing Unit, TPU) used to optimize the validity process. In the process of validation of transactions in the Solana blockchain, the “Conveyor” optimization method is used (pipelining). It is effective in the framework of the model with a stream of consistently processed incoming data. Operations at each stage corresponds to certain hardware equipment.

Using PipeLine, data is based on the kernel level, the data verification is at the GPU level, banking – at the processor level, and the recording is at the kernel level.

When Pipeline sends blocks to validators, it gets access to the next set of packages, verifies their signatures and proceeds to the accrual of tokens. Parallel data processing principle at the GPU level allows Solana TPU transaction processing device to work with high performance.

Cloudbreak

CloudBreak is a horizontally scalable account database. It allows you to optimize parallel reading and writing to solid-state drives. Each additional disk increases the memory capacity, available oncene programs, and also increases the volume of parallel reading and writing.

This allows you to pre-select accounts from the disk and prepare an environment for transaction. Nodes can start performing transactions before they are encoded in the block. This reduces the time of the production of the block and the delay of execution.

Archivers

Archivers is a distributed registry repository. Storage of data in a high-performance network requires centralization. If the cost of data storage is high, only users who have significant resources can act as validators and participate in the process of reaching consensus. In Solana, not validators are engaged in storing data, but the NOD network called by archivers.

Archivers do not participate in the process of reaching consensus. The history of the state is divided into many fragments and noise-resistant codes. Archives stored part of the state. Solana uses Proofs of Replication (Porep) technology borrowed from Filecoin. While the archivers are not implemented, but are provided for a long-term project roadmail.

Eight key technology Solana
Eight key technology Solana

What consensus mechanism uses Solana?

Tower BFT – Proof-OF-Stake based consensus mechanism – uses Proof-of-History as a clock, reducing bandwidth loss and data transfer delay.

When the validator votes for a certain fork, the voting is limited to a fixed period of haze – slot. The duration of the slot is approximately 400 milliseconds. Every 400 milliseconds creates a potential restart point. Each subsequent voting doubles the time interval that must pass before the network can block this vote. Additional voting makes it difficult to cancel transactions performed in a specific slot.

Therefore, a block with several voices has great chances to remain part of the network. For example, each validator voted 32 times in the last 12 seconds. In the last 12 seconds of the voting of Timesout in 2 °² slot – approximately 54 years. Accordingly, the network will never cancel this vote.

At the same time, the very last voting of the timeout in two slots – about 800 milliseconds. As blocks add to the registry, the chances of confirmation of old blocks increase. This is because the number of old votes of slots doubles each slot.

Finalization occurs after two thirds of the validators void for a certain sequence of events. After finalizing the transaction, it is impossible to pay.

Tocken holders can participate in the process of producing blocks as steaks and validators, and receive remuneration for it. They also have the opportunity to delegate tokens with trusted validators.

Minimum stacked tokens are not provided. The right to choose the leader – validator offering the next block depends on the number of tokens in the steak.

What is the role in the SOLANA ecosystem playing the SOL?

SOL – Native Solana Blockchain Utility. SOL uses SPL – a token standard in the Solana blockchain, similar to the ERC-20 standard in the Ethereum blockchain.

The share of the SOL token is called Lamport (Lamport), in honor of the American scientist in the field of computer science, Leslie Lamport, whose studies laid the foundations of the theory of distributed systems. One Lamport is 0.00000000582 SOL.

There are three SOL scenarios:

  • Staying;
  • Commissions for transactions;
  • Control.
    The Solana deflation model involves burning SOL tokens.

You can store SOL tokens in Sollet.io developed by Serum Academy, in Trust Wallet for mobile devices and other wallets supporting the SPL standard. Some wallets support tokens stacing – for example, Solflare.

How does Solana develop?

In August 2020, a decentralized SERUM Exchange earned at the Solana blockchain. SERUM use Optimistic Rollup, a second-tier solution for Ethereum. With it, it is introduced cross-swap and tokenization.

In October 2020, the Solana project introduced the Wormhole cross-resolution connecting the tokens of Ethereum and Solana networks.

In May 2021, Solana Foundation launched five funds with a total assets of $ 100 million for the development of applications in China. In this, Huobi, Gate.io and NGC Ventures, Math Global Foundation and Hash Key helped her.

In the same month, the project attracted $ 60 million from Hacken, Gate.io, Coin DCX and BRZ. The means will receive three funds focused on expanding the ecosystem in Ukraine, India, Brazil and Russia. Financing will guide to support the development of blockchain applications in DEFI, NFT and cybersecurity.

In June 2021, Solana Labs has attracted $ 314 million within the framework of private tokenceyl. Round led the venture company Andreessen Horowitz (A16Z) and Polychain Capital with the participation of Alameda Research, CMS Holdings, Coinshares, Jump Trading, Multicoin Capital, Sino Global Capital and others. Solana Labs raised funds will send to the creation of a venture unit for investment in their own ecosystem and launch studio for the development of Solana projects.

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