$Sol: Brief Dive

Jake Affronti
4 min readMar 9, 2022

What do you want when it comes to a usable network?

Is it speed? One where you have the ability to send something with a snap of the finger?

How about one that has little to no cost? Say… you’re a trader or a collector and your main blockchain over the last two years was Ethereum. You decided to sit down and calculate all of the gas that you had to fork over just to purchase your Mev Army NFT or Blockchain Miners Club NFT and you recognized that you almost paid 25%-30% of cost in gas… Although gas fees are relatively cheap at the time of writing this, it’s still 2,000% higher than other blockchain fees.

Maybe you’re someone who doesn’t mind the other variables as long as you know ‘big brother’ doesn’t know what you’re up to. Additionally, you don’t have a centralized agency telling you what you can and cannot do. In blockchain terms, it’s decentralized.

How about one that ensures that you’re secured whenever you’re doing transactions?

What I’m describing to you is the Solana ($Sol) ecosystem.

What is Solana?

$Sol, created in 2017 by Anatoly Yakovenko, focuses on scalability while keeping costs low. For example, I spoke about Algorand being able to process a few thousand transactions per second, well the Solana network states they can process up to 710,000 transactions per second… I’d say that’s pretty fast.

As described above, Solana focuses on solving what is known as the blockchain trilemma. The trilemma was proposed by Vitalik Buterin who suggests three major challenges when it comes to the technology.

  1. Decentralization
  2. Security
  3. Scalability

These three challenges represent what a blockchain wants to solve, but usually one is sacrificed in order to achieve victory. With Solana, I did mention that it is decentralized, but it’s more of a hybrid consensus mechanism. Meaning, it compromises decentralization to really focus on speed. “Yikes,” you might being saying, but let’s check out how that works. Well, blockchain networks operate through nodes. These nodes validate, relay, confirm, and transfer information 24/7 so long as they’re on and operating. With Solana, they have one primary node that sequences messages between all of the other nodes. Some would consider this not so decentralized since all of the throughput information has to travel through that one node first, then carries on to the rest of the network. The benefit in having this is the fact that it reduces workload through the entire network; which results in faster speeds.

Why Solana?

This question ultimately needs to be answered by you, but here are a few examples of why solana is great.

Top Defi Projects:

  • Orca
  • Saber
  • Serum
  • Drift Protocol
  • Raydium

Top Lending Protocols

  • Apricot Finance
  • Francium
  • Solend
  • Port Finance
  • Jet Protocol

Top NFT Marketplaces

  • Metaplex
  • Solanart
  • Solanalysis
  • Magic Eden
  • Solsea

Top Web3 Apps

  • Audius
  • Grape Protocol
  • Squads
  • Wum.bo
  • Brave Browser

You can view even more with this link:


You may be reading those examples listed above and thinking, “Hmm, I’ve never heard of any of these things.” Which you would be in good company. I haven’t either. However, the moral of the story is the fact that there are dozens of ways to get involved with this ecosystem, and I love how organized the chaos is when visiting their website.

Personally, I’ve used Magic Eden to mint and purchase my Solana NFTs; which I find to be a very user-friendly marketplace. I’ll certainly be diving into some of these other projects and protocols though to see what I can learn.

Moving Forward

Solana continues to be an interesting blockchain that I want to watch develop. The one major downside, in my opinion, is how centralized can they become? The beauty of blockchain and cryptocurrency is the decentralized aspect to it, and if a blockchain has the same outcome as traditional finance–which is still an upgrade to the industry–defeats the purpose of becoming independent. Empowering the owner, you and me, to take responsibility and ownership in our own monetary way.

As always, you are the engineer to your future as these developers are the engineers to our technology. Stay vigilant on investing in projects and chains that produce, and those that are strictly speculative. None of this is financial advice and please be sure to do your own research as I am not a professional in this industry.

Catch y’all on the next dive!