The Solana smart contract platform boasts a string of technical innovations and one of the most experienced teams in the blockchain ecosystem. Solana’s newly launched network is operating at speeds 1000x that of Ethereum and is poised to take the blockchain world by storm.
In 2016, Leemon Baird, a PhD in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon, released a paper describing the hashgraph consensus algorithm. This novel algorithm formed the basis of what would become Hedera Hashgraph, a new type of distributed ledger system.
Bitcoin was the first truly unique digital asset built using blockchain technology. But a glance at the top 10 digital assets by market capitalization shows that there are three different assets using the Bitcoin brand; Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin SV (BSV).
Over the last few years, central banks and governments around the world have started looking into how they might use blockchain technology to digitize their national currencies. The benefits of doing so range from the benign, such as lower transaction fees for businesses and efficiency gains, to the more sinister motivations of improved censorship and societal control.
Ethereum is the world’s leading smart contract protocol, with a market cap of over USD16bn. It has the largest community of users and applications, and attracts the majority of developer mindshare in the blockchain space. However, the platform is facing a scalability issue.
In the physical world it is easy for an individual to prove their identity. Trusted centralized bodies, like governments, issue physical proofs such as passports, driving licences and health cards. In the online world, user credentials are stored in data silos all over the Internet, sold to third parties and often get stolen. Blockchain technology has the ability to re-invent this.
Decentralized finance, also known as DeFi, has been a growing movement in the world of blockchain and smart contracts. New projects are launching with increasing frequency that focus on areas such as decentralized lending and insurance, trust-less trading, stablecoins and zero fee payments.
In South Korea, ecommerce transactions are expensive to process, with sites paying up to 3% in transaction fees to traditional payment processing companies. With over USD0.5 billion in annual fees, it is no wonder that ecommerce companies in Korea and other parts of Asia are looking for a cheaper solution.
In June Facebook announced that it would be releasing its own blockchain called the Libra Network. This is a hugely significant announcement for the ecosystem. With one of the largest companies in the world designing its own solution, Facebook has validated the idea of public blockchains.
Proof of History, the consensus algorithm underpinning the Solana blockchain offers a novel approach to blockchain scalability without the need for sharding. By using Proof of History, Solana aims to run thousands of times faster than Ethereum.