In 2017, Anatoly Yakovenko unveiled Solana with the intention of eradicating scalability problems in the already-existing blockchains. To put this into perspective, Solana can handle up to 710,000 transactions per second on a typical gigabit network, provided that the average transaction size does not go over 176 bytes. The platform has earned recognition as the ecosystem with the highest growth rate and the most adaptable on a global scale.

The platform has been designed to enable growth- and frequency-oriented decentralized apps, which are essential for establishing a permissionless financial system. Solana blockchain promises to be the fastest blockchain in the world and to have a rapidly expanding ecosystem, with more than 400 projects spanning Web3, DeFi, NFTs, and other technologies.

To achieve tremendous speed and scalability, Solana invented the proof-of-history consensus. It gains a spot among the top-performing blockchains thanks to its strong throughput and scalability characteristics. The Solana network is still growing as a result of numerous new projects. Let’s talk about the fundamental idea behind the Solana blockchain and learn how to create and implement smart contracts on top of Solana.

What is Solana? 

Solana is a blockchain platform that is built to run scalable, decentralized apps. It was established in 2017 and is an open-source project managed by the Geneva-based Solana Foundation. It was developed by San Francisco-based Solana Labs.

Compared to competing blockchains like Ethereum, Solana processes transactions substantially faster and charges significantly lower transaction fees. The Solana (SOLUSD) cryptocurrency, which uses the ticker symbol SOL, and is based on the Solana blockchain, experienced an almost 12,000% increase in 2021. At one point, it had a market valuation of over $66 billion, ranking it the fifth-largest cryptocurrency.

In November 2017, Anatoly Yakovenko presented a white paper outlining the proof-of-history (PoH) concept. PoH is proof for confirming the sequence of events and the passing of time between them. It is used to record the trustworthy passage of time in a ledger.

In the white paper, Yakovenko writes that, at the time, publicly accessible blockchains did not depend on time. This is because each node in the network used its local clock and was unaware of the clocks of any other network participants. When a message time-stamp was used to accept or reject a message, there was no guarantee that every other member in the network would take the same action because there was no reliable source of time (i.e., a standardized clock).

PoH overcomes this obstacle by enabling each node in the network to rely on the time-stamped events in the ledger on a trustless basis, which is essential to a blockchain’s operation.

 History of Solana 

Initial C programming and a private codebase were used for Yakovenko’s implementation. Greg Fitzgerald, a former coworker at Qualcomm, requested that Yakovenko transfer the whole codebase to the Rust programming language.

Fitzgerald launched the project’s initial release in March 2018 after starting to prototype the first open-source version of Yakovenko’s white paper. This release showed that 10,000 signed transactions could be checked and processed in less than 0.5 seconds. Soon after, Stephen Akridge, another Yakovenko’s Qualcomm coworkers, demonstrated how outsourcing signature verification to graphics processors might significantly increase throughput.

Solana’s Technology 

Solana’s architecture attempts to show off a collection of software techniques that remove software as a speed constraint when used in conjunction with a blockchain. Instead, combining these two factors enables transaction throughput to grow in line with network bandwidth.

Scalability, security, and decentralization are all requirements for a blockchain that are met by Solana’s architecture. According to its architecture, the maximum theoretical throughput on a 40-gigabit network is 28.4 million TPS and 710,000 TPS, respectively.

Solana’s blockchain uses both a proof-of-history (PoH) consensus approach and a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus approach. PoH enables such transactions to be time-stamped and validated very quickly; PoS allows validators (those who approve transactions added to the blockchain ledger) to verify transactions based on how many coins or tokens they own.

Solana vs. Ethereum 

Solana has unavoidably been compared to Ethereum, the top blockchain for decentralized apps (dApps), due to its quickly growing ecosystem and versatility:

  • Smart Contracts: Smart contracts, which are essential for running cutting-edge applications like decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible assets, are supported by Solana and Ethereum (NFTs).
  • Consensus: Using a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus method, Solana and Ethereum allow validators to stake their money in exchange for the right to receive incentives for advancing the blockchain. By integrating PoH as well, Solana enhances PoS.
  • Speed: In 2021, Solana generated a lot of excitement because it demonstrated a clear advantage over Ethereum in terms of transaction prices and processing times. Solana has a maximum TPS processing capacity of 50,000 and an average cost per transaction of $0.00025. Ethereum, in contrast, has a TPS limit of fewer than 15 and average transaction costs of $1.68.

Benefits of Solana 

1) High transaction speeds 

One of the fastest blockchains at the moment is Solana. One of the primary reasons Parcl Protocol chose to build on Solana was the short transaction times. The ability of blockchains to conduct transactions rapidly is crucial as more and more people use them extensively.

“Stuck” or pending transactions that take minutes or hours to confirm can tarnish any user experience. Solana executes up to 4,000 transactions per second (TPS). Theoretically, TPS could increase significantly in the future.

2) Low gas costs 

Some people think the expenses involved with adopting blockchain technology must be lower than they are now to become “mainstream.” Fortunately, Solana is well-positioned in this way.

‍Today, Solana transactions frequently cost pennies or less. This is fantastic news for developers designing applications that need inexpensive transactions compared to other well-known chains.

3) Incredible talent building within the ecosystem 

The adoption and success of any blockchain will primarily depend on the community of developers and business owners who share its long-term goals. Due to the extraordinary talent that is developing within the Solana ecosystem, Solana is a blockchain to watch.

‍Many fantastic projects use Solana, like the NFT platform Magic Eden, the Cardinal Protocol, Orca, and Brave. In addition, Solana’s incredible platform and community will undoubtedly be used by an increasing number of developers and companies to create the Web3 of the future.

4) Smart contract functionality 

The numerous distinctive and cutting-edge features of Solana smart contracts are among the key factors contributing to the platform’s popularity among developers. In addition, Solana accelerates the pace of blockchain engineering from Sealevel to Tower BFT.

‍Solana smart contracts are written in Rust, C, and C++, three widely used programming languages that increase the platform’s usability. Furthermore, Solana does a fantastic job of offering thorough instructions for those who want to get started.

5) No network congestion 

The Solana platform does not include a mempool, which is a place where distributed transactions wait before being approved by the relevant network. Since there is no mempool, users can save time and avoid the network congestion that plagues other blockchains. As a result, Solana NFT and other transactions may be completed swiftly by businesses while respecting their customers’ time.

6) Enhanced openness & safety 

A crucial Solana development language with improved security is Rust. Byzantine Fault Tolerance technology is another feature of Solana that increases the platform’s openness.

Steps to developing a smart contract on Solana 

A Solana smart contract is introduced into the Solana blockchain network by developers. The standard EVM-backed networks are not similar to the Solana digital agreements architecture. The agreements raised on-chain by EVM-enabled contracts combine logic and state. On the other hand, a Solana smart contract has program logic and is always read-only.

As indicated, using a Solana smart contract has many business advantages. First, the Solana contract makes use of the well-known Rust programming language. Additionally, environmentally friendly Proof-of-History (PoH) and Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus techniques are used to construct Solana smart contracts. In a few moments, we will look at the procedures you can use to create a Solana smart contract.

For many people, the process of developing Solana smart contracts is complex. Therefore, employing a Solana blockchain development company to assist businesses in this predicament is advised. An expert Solana blockchain developer can design the agreement using the right abilities and the newest technology. We will dive into how to choose the appropriate blockchain development company next. First, to create a Solana smart contract, here are the steps you should follow:

1) Create an appropriate Solana development environment 

Setting up the ideal environment for development is the first step in creating a Solana smart contract. Unfortunately, many people have trouble setting up the ideal Solana development environment. Installing Anchor is the best course of action for these developers. The framework Anchor features good development tools and integrates well with Solana.

2) Set up a localnet cluster 

Companies should create a localnet cluster after deploying the Anchor framework. A localnet is a collection of validators cooperating to protect the blockchain’s integrity and deliver consumer settlements. Without a cluster, it is impossible to run a Solana smart contract. The testnet and Devnet are a couple of examples of Solana clusters.

3) Develop a program 

Once the localness cluster setup is complete, the next steps is developing a Solana program comes next when the localnet cluster setup phase is complete. After that, businesses may quickly prepare new software through Anchor’s Command Line Interface (CLI). They can also use CLI to change their program.

4) Audit and implement a Solana smart contract 

Once the Solana smart contract development process is complete, companies should conduct an audit of the contract before deploying it. They can perform integration tests with Anchor using a different Solana development language in place of Rust. By doing this, they can cut down on errors, faults, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities. They can then launch their Solana smart contract once the testing is complete.

How to choose a Solana blockchain development company 

Even if there are many developers, it cannot be easy to discover the top Solana blockchain development company. While having several options gives businesses a wide range of options, they might make the search process more difficult. Therefore, they must understand how to pick a Solana blockchain developer. The following criteria should be taken into account when assessing a Solana smart contract developer:

1) Experience 

A piece of extensive knowledge and expertise is needed to develop a Solana solution. Developers should have a comprehensive understanding of a variety of fields, including the design of Solana NFTs, DeFi, game development, and decentralized autonomous groups.

Examining a developer’s past work is a quick way to evaluate their experience level. For instance, if businesses are seeking an intelligent NFT Solana contract developer, you should consider their prior work on similar projects.

2) Knowledge of cybersecurity 

Security problems in the blockchain industry include hacking, data leakage, and asset theft. Therefore, security should be the first consideration for the company when evaluating a Solana blockchain development partner.

3) Team’s talents 

A company’s project will be worked on by a team of engineers from the Solana blockchain development company they select. They should determine if the business has the talent to complete its assignments. It’s crucial to check on social networking sites like LinkedIn if companies want to know more about the experience of each team member.

Final thoughts 

Since the Solana network is inexpensive, uncongested, and capable of processing several transactions per second, Solana smart contracts are popular among developers. By following the steps above, companies can develop smart contracts as soon as they set up the localnet, get them ready for implementation, and audit them.

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