Solana (SOL) is a decentralized scalable platform designed to host blockchain-based applications. The network is often referred to as the primary “Ethereum Killer”. Solana’s unique architecture is one of the main reasons why the project skyrocketed to success quickly after its launch in March 2020, although the platform was initially proposed back in 2017.

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In this guide, we will talk about what makes Solana special and how developers can utilize SOL blockchain nodes to build robust dApps.

What is Solana (SOL)?

Solana (SOL) is a blockchain that provides high scalability, top-quality security and powerful decentralization, thus solving the infamous “blockchain trilemma” proposed by Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin.

It does so by utilizing a unique consensus combination of Proof-of-Stake and Proof-of-History. The mechanism chooses a leader node, which then receives the requirement to sequence messages between the rest of the blockchain nodes, resulting in boosted speed with no decentralization lost and throughput slowed down.

Additionally, Proof-of-History backs up the operating state of the Solana network by creating timestamps. As explained by the blockchain developer team, this cryptographic solution is a “permissionless source of time” intended to operate before consensus.

How is Solana (SOL) different from Ethereum (ETH)?

Solana (SOL) is among the most popular programmable blockchains that doesn’t share a codebase with Ethereum (ETH): its design is created from scratch. Solana engineers released a detailed explanation of its advantages in the Documentation portal.

First and foremost, Solana and Ethereum are based on contrasting underlying technologies: SOL’s unique approach to delivering high-level scalability and blockchain benefits makes it one of the fastest networks: it demonstrates higher daily transactional throughput than all other mainstream blockchains combined.

However, often developers take into account the prospects of blockchain further development when comparing the two. Most analysts assume that both Solana and Ethereum are likely to grow exponentially in the future. At the same time, despite having its own sidechains and L2 developments, Solana is more focused on scaling its L1 infrastructure to achieve 1M TPS.

Let’s take a closer look at some of Solana’s appealing attributes that make it a desirable platform for building dApps, even today.

How does Solana (SOL) work?

As mentioned above, SOL’s mechanism is intended to select a leader SOL node - the decision is based on the PoS algorithm. Subsequently, Solana hashes the output of one transaction and then uses it as the input for further transactions. This helps the network form a chain of transactions and allows for boosted usability of the blockchain.

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Essentially, Solana is a go-to solution for deploying smart contracts, web3 applications and dApps. The network often creates clusters of nodes (typically, up to 150 SOL nodes can be put in one cluster; however, this number is expected to increase soon) so that validators could work together and reach higher efficiency.

How to stake Solana (SOL)?

Staking is an activity that not only provides stability and robustness for the entire network but also allows token holders to earn returns over a period of time.

Staking SOL is performed via delegating tokens to validators: the more tokens provided to a validator, the more likely this or that validator will be selected to write transactions again - thus, the bigger the amount of rewards earned in return.

However, staking comes with a commission fee. Thus, delegators tend to choose validators with lower fees. Normally, the lower the fees provided by the validator are, the higher the passive income gets.
Staking is done in a few easy steps. First and foremost, a user is required to create a staking account via supported wallets (Phantom Wallet, Trust Wallet, etc. - see more here). To start staking, it is then necessary to select a validator and set the delegation amount.

Run Solana blockchain nodes with GetBlock

Developers can get near-instant access to Solana’s unique ecosystem by deploying SOL nodes with the help of a reliable and innovative blockchain-as-a-service provider GetBlock. The platform’s clients are able to deploy shared and/or dedicated nodes, as well as SOL node clusters.

SOL shared nodes

Solana shared nodes, hosted by GetBlock, are designed specifically for beginners in the web3 industry and blockchain startups. This option allows for access to peer-shared node infrastructure, therefore developers get a chance to experiment with their dApps before launching products in the mainnet. Shared nodes for SOL offer a plethora of API interfaces, server locations, a fast connection speed of 1 GBit/sec, etc. Users can also get a free trial of 40k daily requests to try out GetBlock’s services.

N.B. Watch this video guide to learn more on how to deploy SOL nodes with help of GetBlock’s infrastructure.

SOL dedicated nodes

GetBlock’s dedicated nodes for Solana are privately designed node infrastructures tailored to meet the requirements of individual users. This option is easily integrated into decentralized businesses by experienced developers. Therefore, users can start exploiting SOL’s full potential without having to spend time and money on configuring self-hosted SOL nodes. Solana dedicated nodes allow for an unlimited number of requests, access to archive nodes, 24/7 online technical support. Among the commands are blockchain endpoints, API methods - JSON RPC and WS, and so much more.

SOL node clusters

SOL node clusters are often utilized by the network’s users. GetBlock customers are able to access sets of nodes for Solana designed to guarantee top-tier scalability and handle a much higher workload whilst working to maintain uptime.

To integrate Solana nodes’ infrastructure today please log in to your GetBlock account and choose our shared or dedicated nodes solution.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to our customer care team.

FAQ

Is Solana's SOL token available in fractional amounts?

Yes, it is possible to purchase SOL tokens in fractional amounts, the so-called laports (each one is of 0.000000001 SOL value).

What is SOL crypto?

SOL is Solana’s native cryptocurrency used for paying off transactions and other fees within the network.

How many SOL tokens are there?

Currently, the network’s circulating supply is equivalent to 354,115,524.06 SOL.

Where to buy Solana (SOL)?

Solana (SOL) tokens can be purchased on most major exchanges, including Binance, Coinbase, KuCoin, FTX, Kraken, etc.

How many transactions can Solana (SOL) do per second?

In a live environment, the network registered over 6,500 transactions per second while in testnet 25,000 TPS level was achieved.

How much is the average transaction fee on Solana (SOL)?

Solana’s transaction fee reaches $0.00025 on average.

How to add Solana (SOL) to Metamask?

Currently, Solana - an Ethereum-based wallet - does not support Solana. The latest information regarding supported wallets is available on Solana’s official website.

Final thoughts

Solana utilizes cutting-edge technologies, which make it stand on par with other high-end blockchain projects. Typically, cryptocurrency experts agree that the network is on the right track.

Thanks to GetBlock’s innovative services backed up by the latest blockchain technologies, it has never been easier and more affordable to access Solana’s ecosystem right away.