Solana Labs: A Complete and Hyper-Scalable Layer-1 Blockchain Network

Solana achieves scalability, security, and decentralization, unlike no other blockchain. Solana has already launched on the main net and the ecosystem is rapidly developing


Solana is one of the most powerful layer-1 blockchains with smart contract capabilities. They aim to implement a blockchain that solves the biggest issues seen currently–-scalability, security, and decentralization. Blockchains such as Ethereum face scaling issues while the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) relies on a more centralized Proof-of-Stake Authority (POS-A) network. Solana offers strengths, security and decentralization, but it shines in throughput.

Solana was established in 2017 by Anatoly Yakovenko. Greg Fitzgerald, Yakovenko, Solana’s CTO, and Eric Williams conceptualized and delivered on a network that solved the throughput in traditional blockchains. Solana has experienced rapid growth in development in the past year as DeFi has bolstered more attention.

Key Features


Low Cost



Solana boasts a transaction throughput of 50,000 TPS. Solana achieves this through leveraging a distributed system technique referred to as Optimistic Concurrency Control coupled with Proof of History (PoH). This technique is able to achieve 710,000 on a standard gigabyte network. As Solana has applied this technique to the blockchain it can currently only handle about 50,000 TPS. This is 100x’s faster than Ethereum’s 20 TPS. Solana also has over 650 global validators which secure the network and promote decentralization

Low Cost

Solana boasts extremely low transaction costs and aims to keep it so. Currently, the chain is charging an average of 0.00005 cents per transaction. As the user base grows there will be no need to worry about fees as the network is designed to support billions of users. Further, Solana will only continue to scale as technology improves.


Solana is a fully functioning layer-1 blockchain. It boasts decentralization and leading class throughput while also promoting protocol compatibility. The single global state of Solana insures users and projects won’t have to deal with multiple shards or layer-2 systems. Further, anybody can build on Solana using Rust, C, and C++ programming languages.

Solana Infrastructure

Solana innovates in the blockchain space using eight innovations:

Proof of History (POH) — a clock before consensus;

Tower BFT — a PoH-optimized version of PBFT;

Turbine — a block propagation protocol;

Gulf Stream — Mempool-less transaction forwarding protocol;

Sealevel — Parallel smart contracts run-time;

Pipelining — a Transaction Processing Unit for validation optimization;

Cloudbreak — Horizontally-Scaled Accounts Database; 

Replicators — Distributed ledger store

For a complete technical breakdown please follow the above links to official Solana documents.

Proof of History

For blockchains to operate effectively, all nodes must come to an agreement on time. Traditionally, this is solved with Bitcoin’s Proof of Work (PoW) algorithm which acts as a decentralized clock. Solana has innovated further, operating on a (PoH) consensus model.

Solana leverages a high-frequency Verifiable Delay Function to create its Proof of History model.

This function timestamps transactions using the previous output as the next input. In short, this allows all validators to trust the timestamp that is encoded. Through solving the agreement on time using PoH, the Solana blockchain obtains its robust and scalable network

Tower BFT

Tower BFT is a modified implementation of the PBFT system. This innovation utilizes Solana’s PoH system as a cryptographic clock. Tower BFT allows the Solana blockchain to reduce latency and messaging. Validators will vote on the correct version of the ledger which will then be locked. Once a vote is completed a validator can’t vote on a version of the ledger that does not show the previous records which were verified. This system allows for efficient, accurate, and secure data to remain on the ledger.


This innovation borrows from the BitTorrent model with a few technical differences. The turbine allows the leader to break up blocks into smaller packets. Using smaller packets allows individual validators to verify transactions without the data being too intensive on their bandwidth. 

Gulf Stream

Solana has implemented a cunning edge memepool management solution. A memepool is where all unconfirmed transactions are queued for validators to confirm. Typically, the ETH and BTC mempool hold about 20-100k unconfirmed transactions. On Solana, validators can confirm a memepool size of 100,000 allowing the chain’s 50,000 TPS to be confirmed in seconds. Gulf Stream goes a step further, allowing validators to execute and forward transactions before they are completely confirmed.

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