Solana is an advanced open source blockchain project that aims to leverage several breakthrough technologies for the next generation of dApps. The Solana blockchain, founded in 2017 by Solana Labs, uses a new transaction verification method. Solana is a third-generation Proof of Stake blockchain and implemented a unique way to create a reliable system for determining the transaction time called History Proof.
Tracking the order of transactions is extremely important for cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin does this by grouping transactions into blocks with a single timestamp. Each node must check these blocks in concert with other nodes. This process increases the waiting time for nodes to commit a lock on the network.
Benefits of Solana Smart Contracts
The benefits of smart contracts go hand in hand with blockchain. In addition, Solana includes several other innovations that help it stand out from the competition.
The main unit in the Solana blockchain is an account, which, depending on the parameters, can be either a program or a repository (stores data). The execution of the program begins with the fact that a transaction is sent to the cluster. Multiple instructions can be placed in a transaction. Each of the instructions in the transaction will be executed in order and atomically.
The main benefits include:
- Speed and accuracy. Smart contracts are digital and automated, so you don’t have to spend time processing documents or reconciling and correcting errors often written into manually filled-out documents. The computer code is also more precise than that in which traditional contracts are written.
- Confidence. Smart contracts automatically execute transactions according to predefined rules, and encrypted records of these transactions are distributed among the participants. Thus, no one should doubt whether the information has been altered for personal gain.
- Safety. Blockchain transaction records are encrypted, making them resistant to hacking. However, because each entry is linked to previous and subsequent entries in the distributed ledger, the entire chain must be changed to change one entry.
- Saving. Smart contracts eliminate the need for intermediaries as participants can trust visible data and technology to complete a transaction correctly. In addition, there is no need for an additional person to check and confirm the terms of the agreement because it is built into the code.
How to Write a Solana Smart Contract – Smart Contract Development
Solana smart contract development provides tools that make it easier for developers to connect to the system that supports smart contracts.
For example, in Ethereum, you must write a smart contract to deploy your token. While this is pretty much trivial, since there are many templates for this, the process is even more trivial on the Solana network since Solana program logic provides an spl token system, making template searches unnecessary. A simple call to the spl-token program via the command line interface or the JSON RPC API – and you have default values tokens.
Solana Program Development
For developers of other platforms, a broad understanding of the principles of third-party solutions is a very important advantage in building smart contracts that claim to be truly cross-platform.
The Proof-of-History Algorithm
The high-frequency Verifiable Delay Function solves the main problem of distributed networks. Nodes must trust each other on the issue of timestamps. A cryptographic clock becomes a guarantee of this – Solana hashes the time of publication of events, turning them into a continuous stream.
For a brute force attack and parallelization of the hash function, 2128 cores will be needed. A modern GPU with 4000 cores checks a second in 0.25 milliseconds.
The SOL token
There is an internal token for interacting with the network. Actions with smart contracts and transactions require fuel – SOL pays commissions. The token is also used as a collateral amount for stacking.
The ecosystem includes dozens of projects built on Solana, and almost all of them work on it. A similar is observed in the Terra ecosystem. In contrast, many cross-chain DeFi projects are running on BSC and Avalanche. This is due to the availability of integration:
BSC and Avalanche are EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) compliant blockchains.
Solana and Terra are EVM incompatible blockchains.
At the same time, Solana has a decentralized protocol-bridge Wormhole, which makes it possible to move crypto assets between Solana and other networks: Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain Terra, etc. The movement is implemented through the creation of wrapped tokens – when the original token is blocked in its blockchain, a copy is created in another.
Validator nodes are responsible for verifying transactions and creating new blocks in Solana. In one form or another, this is typical for all PoS projects. However, Solana’s peculiarity is the nodes’ interaction with each other. All validators are divided into clusters – groups of validators synchronized and working together. Clusters, in turn, are divided into smaller subgroups – neighborhood (neighborhood, environment). Validators interact within their set with their environment. Groups coexist in parallel in a single mass of all validators of the project.
Leaders produce and attach blocks to the blockchain – these are ordinary validator nodes that perform this role at a particular time.
Who develops on Solana?
Like many smart contract-enabled platforms of 2017, Solano already has a well-developed and fast-growing ecosystem of dApps, many of which fully fit into the DeFi niche. Solana currently includes some of the most popular apps:
- SolStarter: IDO’s upcoming launch pad for projects built on Solana.
- Arweave: offers persistent file storage with huge redundancy.
- Oxygen: The main DeFi brokerage protocol allows users to benefit from unused assets.
At the same time, developing an NFT solution will follow the standard algorithm.
- Analysis and formulation of requirements
- Search for a development company
- Product UI/UX design development
- Writing code
- Product testing
- Project release
- Product support
Teams often copy protocols to Ethereum and BSC and transfer them to Solana without understanding how to properly use the Solana ecosystem in the context of the protocol they are branching or even the financial mechanisms and motives underlying the project. In some rare cases, the ideology of DeFi itself is unclear.
SOL is a popular staking coin. Unlike other PoS cryptocurrencies, being a validator on the Solana blockchain does not require a minimum stake to be locked. But the more cash in the stake, the greater the profitability and the higher the chances of becoming a leading validator. Also, coins can be provided to one of 1,342 validators – then the yield will be higher. Solana has furnished the promised advantages in speed and scalability as a relatively new project. Its symbolic price also showed good results, arousing the interest of investors.
Features of Solana Smart Contracts
For developers of smart contracts and applications to take full advantage of the high-performance Solana network, the project team has created a parallel transaction processing mechanism called Sealevel. It is designed for horizontal scaling between GPUs and solid-state drives.
Here are some of the advantages of developing smart contracts on Solana config:
- Launching smart contracts and Gapps on Solana is cheaper.
- Developers can easily transfer their smart contracts and Apps created for other WASM networks to Solana using the compiler.
- Developers can adapt their products to specific requirements and Solana programs.
- The source code of Solana smart contracts can be changed by the developers/owners of the software by the requirements and anchor framework.
- A large number of training materials to test the network.
- Solana provides a high-security smart contract model with storing keys.
One of the main advantages not included in the list is that it is more social and has nothing to do with development. Solana is a community between the corresponding protocols and the world program.
Solana smart contract and protocols are more synergistic. Projects aimed at the same consumer do this to offer something new and innovative for most; camaraderie reigns in all blockchains and the developer community.
In conclusion, we can say that the development of Solana smart contracts is relatively simple but requires appropriate knowledge of programming languages, security systems, etc. But in general, Solana has established itself as a promising platform for the crypto world and NFT.
In the article, we did not mention the cost of developing NFT projects on Solana since it is difficult to give an exact figure. After all, it all depends on their complexity and the location of the development team.
Solidity is the name of the main language that the team has developed for running smart contracts. By the way, developers made it simple to make it harder to make mistakes when writing a smart contract.
The process is similar to standard smart contracts then; in this case, Solana has launched its platform for transactions with the NFT Solana PFP.