For years, Solana was Ethereum’s biggest competitor, and while the crypto winter has slowed things down, SOL might be heating up once again.
So what is Solana? How does the Solana ecosystem work, and can the token recover its place in the sun?
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What is Solana?
Solana is a blockchain platform released in 2020 that uses a token called SOL.
In many ways, Solana works similarly to the Ethereum system, offering a more utility-focused blockchain than their mutual ancestor, Bitcoin, via virtual machines and smart contracts.
However, Solana differs from Ethereum in some key ways.
Solana uses a different consensus protocol called proof-of-history (POH), which is in some ways more efficient than proof-of-work but potentially more unstable.
Additionally, Solana is potentially quite a bit faster and cheaper than ETH, but this may be due to its current scale. Being smaller, Solana’s architecture is under less stress and faces fewer scalability issues, making it a faster and cheaper option, at least at this scale.
Solana has a real focus on Web3 through the Solana hackathon, NFT usage, and its Solana NFT marketplaces and Solana NFT dApp systems, which have proven quite popular.
Is Solana Dead?
The crypto winter was rough, and unfortunately, extra rough for SOL, but perhaps not fatal.
Solana was unfortunately associated with FTX and Alameda, which you’ll likely know was a massive scandal that led to a crypto collapse. This, plus the general market chill, led SOL to lose an enormous amount of value, dropping from an overall estimation of $54 billion to around $4 billion.
But some people have been quick to point out that Solana, despite its unsavoury connections, still has some of the raw technical aspects that make it a competitive platform.
Will Solana Recover?
It wasn’t long ago that SOL was thought to be an “Ethereum killer,” and many people still do.
Solana offers a lightning-fast blockchain, offering around 50,000 transactions per second. (TPS)
Ethereum, at the time of writing, is capping out at around 29.33 TPS.
Solana is lightning fast, and even if the platform took a hit, that underlying architecture isn’t going anywhere.
But can Solana recover?
While it’s impossible to say if SOL will ever fully recover from 2022, raw specs plus its upcoming partnership with 5G mobile networks, a Google Solana partnership, and NFT projects could spell sunny times for Solana ahead.
Solana and NFTs pair well together, and this has led to the popularity of Solana NFTs.
Due to the fast speed of the Solana Network, NFT enthusiasts, collectors, and NFT creators have been occupying the Solana Network since its inception.
Some of the biggest NFT collections are the Degenerate Ape collection, the DeGen Trash Pandas, and the DeGods.
It’s worth noting that, overall, NFTs have been falling in value, with the average NFT being estimated to have lost around 80% of its value since 2022.
But as we’ve stated, the Solana network isn’t putting its eggs in the NFT basket and is looking at other avenues for recovery.
How to Generate a Solana Wallet
There are lots of different Solana wallets available, for an official list, you can check here.
Generating Solana wallets is easy. Generally, wallets can be separated into distinct categories, like hardware wallets and software wallets.
Hardware wallets like the Ledger or Nano series are physical USB-like devices that you can plug into your device to store your cryptocurrency offline.
Software wallets like Phantom, Brave, or Waggle are downloadable apps that you can install on your computer or device.
In both wallet types, you will have a public key and a private key. Your private key is your “password” that grants access and ownership over your funds, while your public key is how other users can send or receive crypto.
To create a software wallet, simply download the app, follow its registration instructions, and keep your private key in an extremely secure location.
How to Buy Solana
Your first step is going to be finding an exchange that you want to trade on.
Check out CoinMarketCap here.
In the bottom left-hand corner, you will see an option for “Markets.”
After you’ve selected the Market option, you will be shown an up-to-date list of all of the places you can purchase SOL and what kinds of trading pairs are available.
It will look something like this:
Once you find an exchange and pair that suit you, click on the trading pair.
Depending on what exchange you’ve selected registration process will differ somewhat, but the broad strokes should be the same.
Let’s say, for example, you chose Binnacne and the trading pair SOL/USDT.
This will look something like this:
On this exchange, you will be prompted to register for the exchange. This process can take a little time and will usually involve authenticating a profile, providing some information about yourself, and linking/sending some funds to the exchange.
Is Solana Dead? Solana vs Ethereum
Comparing Solana and Ethereum is a bit like comparing apples and oranges, they’re both round fruit but they’re not the same thing.
Ethereum was and is, in many ways, a response to the limitations found in the Bitcoin blockchain. Being more focused on Web3 development, the creation of dApps, and smart contracts.
Solana is, in many ways, a response to the limitations found in the Ethereum system.
Ethereum has been struggling with the combined issues of scaling, speed, and transaction cost, and the Solana system addresses these limitations well.
With its proof-of-history protocol, SOL is light, fast, scalable, and cheap, which does make it competitive against ETH.
There is no doubt that Ethereum weathered 2022 far better than SOL, having a more stable user base and platform. But in the future, SOL’s architectural advantages could end up closing the gap somewhat, just as long as it doesn’t have another FTX.
Is Solana Dead? Polygon vs Solana
Comparing Solana vs Polygon is more of an apple vs a different type of apple kind of comparison, especially when it comes to Polygon vs Solana NFTs.
Polygon transactions per second are quick, though SOL is faster. Polygon transaction fees are cheap, though SOL is slightly cheaper.
The main difference between both platforms is how they interpret data. Polygon uses a layer 2 solution to transmit data and maintain Polygon solidity, which is the norm found in most blockchains. SOL, however, engages with this data on a layer 1 basis.
Neither one is better, just different.
Some say that the built-in layer 1 solution is why SOL is so fast and Polygon block time is a bit slower. While SOL is most certainly fast, it could lead to problems in the future.
How to Mine Solana
You cannot mine Solana in the conventional sense.
Solana does not use proof-of-work protocols that allow you to mine or solve blocks in the conventional sense, as you would find on Ethereum or Bitcoin. Instead, you can earn SOL, sometimes unhelpfully called “mining,” by what is far more commonly called “staking.”
Solana staking is the act of placing a set amount of your SOL into holding (staking) for a certain amount of time.
How to Spend Crypto
Spending crypto like SOL is easy, check out our very own CW Card.
With CryptoWallet.com’s CW Card, you can spend any of the 800+ cryptocurrencies (with thousands more to be added) with nothing more than a tap, scan, or swipe of your very own CW Card.
Online or in-person crypto spending has been made easy with services like the CW Card, so if you are interested, check out the whitelist found here.
Let’s go through some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to SOL and the Solana Network.
How to add Solana to Metamask
Sadly, MetaMask Solana isn’t currently integrated to buy and sell Solana. Instead, you might want to check out wallets like Sollet, Phantom, or Ledger.
If you’re looking for other options, simply Google Solana Wallets for the best Solana wallets and other information about Solana NFT drops.
The SOL Marketplace is the first and foremost NFT marketplace found in the Solana ecosystem.
In this marketplace, you can browse NFT collections, host your collection, and buy and trade amongst other collectors
Solana Ventures is like the private equity investment firm of the SOL ecosystem.
The stated goal is to further the overall development of the Solana ecosystem by funding some of the most promising and exciting projects developed for the platform. To date, they have funded projects like the Strata Protocol, Galaxe, Fractal, and other DeFi Solana projects.