Solana is a high-performance blockchain platform that can process over 10,000 transactions per second on the same hardware as Ethereum but with a more secure, efficient, and flexible architecture. We achieve this by using a novel consensus protocol called Proof of History (PoH) that takes advantage of ’embedded’ computation within the hash function.
The algorithm is designed to allow any node in the network to produce a block without requiring any additional information from other nodes. Nodes can even be offline and still participate in producing blocks.
Here are eight innovations that make Solana the first web-scale blockchain.
1. Distributed Proof-of-Stake
Distributed proof-of-stake (DPOS) is an alternative to the traditional proof-of-work (PoW) consensus algorithm.
In PoW, miners compete for block rewards by solving cryptographic puzzles. In DPOS, delegates act as validators and are voted on by token holders. This means that anyone with tokens can vote for validators, and anyone can become a validator by running software that will generate blocks when selected to do so.
This system ensures that there are no bad actors in the network because each token holder is given exactly one vote per round (each round lasts about 28 seconds). If a malicious actor attempts to cheat or attack the network, they will lose their stake, while other stakeholders receive more tokens in exchange for their honest work securing the network against attacks.
2. Tower BFT Consensus Algorithm
You may have heard of the Consensus Algorithm, which is the process of forming a decision in a decentralized network. It is one of the key innovations behind blockchain technology that has made it possible to build trustless systems. There are several different types of consensus algorithms, such as Proof-of-Work (PoW), Proof-of-Stake (PoS), Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS), and Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT).
Tower BFT was developed by Solana’s team and academically proven by Stanford University professor Elaine Shi as the first provably secure and more efficient alternative to other consensus algorithms like PoW or DPoS. Tower BFT scales up to 100,000 transactions per second with only 3 seconds per transaction confirmation time, making them both faster and more secure than any other blockchain solution available today!
3. Sealevel Programming Language
Sealevel is declarative, meaning it uses statements instead of commands. That’s all well and good, but what does “declarative” mean? Well, instead of saying “Do something!” or “Calculate this!” you’d say something like: “If this condition is met, then do this.”
You don’t need to write every step out in order for Sealevel to understand what you’re trying to accomplish; instead, it will figure out how best to execute your function based on the data available at runtime. This makes the code easier on developers because they don’t have as much work keeping track of how everything works together during development or debugging time!
In addition to being declarative in nature, Sealevel also boasts type safety features so you can be sure that all elements will fit where they should before they get there—no more guessing whether or not an object will fit into another one!
4. WebAssembly Virtual Machine
A second benefit of using WebAssembly is that it allows us to have a virtual machine (VM) as part of our protocol. A VM allows us to move away from transaction-based consensus and take advantage of what we call “event-based consensus” instead. The key difference here is that events are not strictly ordered by time but rather by prediction — they are what people predict might happen next in terms of transactions and blocks being added to the blockchain (i.e., if there were no forks).
Event-based consensus enables us to have faster block times than proof-of-work (PoW) chains like Bitcoin because each node only needs one copy of all events instead of multiple copies for every single block in order for them all to agree.
5. Cloudbreak Networks
Cloudbreak Networks is a network of high-performance, low-latency nodes that are used to provide consensus and revalidation on the Solana blockchain. Cloudbreak Networks is a key part of the Solana blockchain, and it’s powered by Cloudbreak’s native TALX algorithm.
TALX stands for Topology Aware Ledger Protocol, and it’s an innovative new consensus algorithm that prioritizes speed over security or decentralization. This means that while you may not be able to see every transaction on the blockchain—and therefore not know with absolute certainty whether or not they’re legitimate—you can trust that they’ll be processed quickly!
6. PoH Consensus Timestamps
PoH Consensus Timestamps are a way to prove that a transaction was included in a block. The timestamp is used to prove that an event has occurred before another event. Solana uses this as part of its consensus mechanism, which we’ll talk about next. It also adds replay protection (a way to prevent data from being replayed) by using the timestamp as part of the proof that something occurred before another thing occurred.
7. Ristretto EdDSA Signatures
A unique feature of Solana’s blockchain is the use of EdDSA signatures instead of ECDSA. Let’s take a look at what these two digital signature schemes are and how they differ from each other.
ECDSA is the elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) variant used in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero, and many others. It was designed by Israeli cryptographer Adi Shamir back in 1991, and it has been heavily modified since then to make it more secure (the most recent change was implemented by Andrew Miller and Gregory Maxwell in 2016).
The most important property that makes it secure is that the private key cannot be recovered from the public key (or vice versa). Thus, if you can generate a pair of public-private keys for your account on a blockchain network supported by ECC, then nobody else can ever get access to your funds unless they steal them directly from an exchange or another service provider holding customer funds.
8. Sealevel Built-in Economics Engine
Solana’s built-in economics engine is a tool for building dApps that incentivize users to contribute to the network. The built-in economy is based on the idea of “Proof of Burn” and uses Solana’s native currency, SPF.
The idea of proof-of-burn isn’t new; it was first introduced in Bitcoin as an alternative method for mining new coins. However, it can also be used to create a new cryptocurrency without any mining at all!
Proof-of-burn works by taking an existing token or coin-like Ethereum or Bitcoin and destroying them by sending them somewhere unspendable—like an address with no funds or one that has been locked via multi-signature escrow. This creates scarcity since there are fewer tokens available now than there were before, which makes each remaining token worth more than when they were first created (and thus incentivizes people who want access to those scarce resources).
Solana has a lot of innovations in it, making it the first web-scale blockchain. Solana is a public blockchain that’s the first to be able to scale to 1,000x Ethereum’s current throughput. Unlike most blockchains, Solana uses Proof of History (PoH), which means all blocks are validated by an independent group of validators who sign each other’s work. This creates a secure and verifiable chain without relying on mining and proof of work.
Some might not think this is all that innovative, but it really is: PoH allows for enterprise-level transactions at high speeds while preserving decentralization and immutability—all while being extremely energy efficient.