A promising new project that has taken a "scale by any means" approach, investors now have the ability to invest in Solana (SOL) directly from their Crypto IRA Retirement Accounts with iTrustCapital.
Solana is a blockchain platform that is focused on developing fast and scalable smart contract solutions that can be used in different real-life applications. Solana has the aim of challenging traditional centralized platforms by building an innovative, scalable blockchain network. As expected, Solana has been touted as an Ethereum-killer in recent years.
Ethereum is the leading smart contract network but has faced criticism for its high transaction fees and scalability problems. Solana attempts to solve this problem by using a more centralized version of proof of stake consensus and time stamping transaction (proof-of-history) to maximize efficiency.
The Solana blockchain can process up to 65,000 TPS (transactions per second) but this is because Solana makes tradeoffs that over the long term may make Solana much less decentralized than blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum. This trade off is accepted in the community as the debate rages on about "how decentralized does a blockchain actually need to be?", proponents of the Solana ecosystem believe that it just needs to be decentralized "enough".
Solana was founded by software engineer Anatoly Yakovenko in 2017. Yakovenko had extensive experience working with leading tech companies like Dropbox and Qualcomm before deciding to build Solana.
He envisioned a blockchain network that would resolve the throughput and scalability problems that plague the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains without losing efficiency. Yakovenko subsequently partnered with Greg Fitzgerald and Eric Williams to achieve this goal.
Since its launch in 2017, Solana has launched several funding rounds and backed by top VCs within the tech industry. The latest round of funding in June 2021 raised $314 million and was led by prominent Silicon Valley VC firm Andreessen Horowitz and crypto hedge fund PolyChain Capital.
One complaint that hard core believers have had towards Solana, aside from the centralization risks, is the distribution of tokens. Solana has been ridiculed for the large token allocation given to “insiders” which further promotes centralization and associated risks.
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The Solana ecosystem has started to experience growth in recent years as VC's start to fund projects to develop on the chain.
Solana is starting to build its decentralized finance ecosystem, starting with Raydium. Raydium is the leading DEX on Solana, currently holding more than $350 million worth of assets in its smart contracts.
Serum is another popular DEX that is built on the Solana blockchain. The high-speed, non-custodial DEX is backed by popular crypto exchange FTX.
One of the biggest issues with Solana is the lack of dApps or DeFi projects compared to Ethereum, BSC or Polygon. This is because it is not compatible with the popular Ethereum Virtual Machine language. This means that developers need to build applications from scratch in a completely different programming language. This helps weed out potential “copy and paste” scammers that have risen to prominence on blockchains like Binance Smart Chain (BSC). While the ecosystem is much smaller than these other platforms, it doesn't mean the Solana ecosystem is non-existent by any means.
The Solana ecosystem is powered by its native token SOL. Holders can choose to delegate their stake to validators in order to participate in the Proof of Stake consensus. SOL token holders can also use their tokens to vote for proposals and new features.
Most investors agree that the value of the SOL token will largely depend on if the Solana ecosystem will grow and become adopted overtime. The main question for Solana is if grassroot developers, entrepreneurs and community members will decide to build out the Solana ecosystem. It does appear that the building has started and it could become a wonderful burgeoning ecosystem within the years to come.
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