Solana is a blockchain platform for tokenization, smart contracts, and decentralized application development. It has a super high transaction processing speed and low fees, making it an excellent choice for launching blockchain solutions of any complexity. This article will tell you about other Solana’s benefits and how to find an experienced developer to implement your ideas on this blockchain.
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Solana blockchain review (SOL)
Anatoly Yakovenko, Greg Fitzgerald, and Erik Williams founded Solana in 2017. They are programmers who used to work for Qualcomm. They created an original Proof-of-History (PoH) algorithm for blockchain synchronization. It solves significant blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum, namely, low speed and high fees.
Proof-of-history is not just another consensus mechanism. It is a remarkable and original protocol for Solana that provides a way to verify the passage of time between two events on the Solana blockchain. Proof-of-history does not require complex computing calculations like Bitcoin and Ethereum algorithms. Hence, nodes can approve the transactions much faster, significantly increasing bandwidth.
But decentralized timing, Solana employs other seven innovations to speed up the transactions and increase the scaling potential:
- Tower BFT. A Byzantine fault tolerance algorithm variation protects the Solana ecosystem from malicious nodes that might attempt to cheat the PoH.
- Gulf Stream. It is a transaction redirection protocol for Solana without a mempool. Hence, the waiting time for approval is shorter, and the network functions faster.
- Cloudbreak. A memory mechanism built to trace the participant’s balances. Also, it allows reading and recording the account’s data simultaneously.
- Archivers. A node network that stores the validator’s data. The system rewards these nodes for keeping the distribution of Solana’s blockchain.
- Turbine. A multi-level mechanism for spreading blocks allows the nodes to share blocks, similar to the BitTorrent method.
- Sealevel. A protocol for parallel processing of smart contracts.
- Pipeline. The protocol is processing three blocks at a time.
Ways to employ Solana
Cryptocurrency. Solana allows launching user tokens with a unique exchange ticket and adjustable specifications like many other blockchain platforms. The tokens can be native assets for blockchain applications or independent and complete cryptocurrencies.
Smart contracts. Thanks to the Sealevel protocol, smart contracts on the Solana blockchain function much faster than on Ethereum or other blockchains. Furthermore, Solana developed particular compilers to transfer intelligent contracts from Ethereum to Solana with minimum effort.
Non-fungible tokens (NFT). Also, one can employ Solana to mint NFTs. That’s cheaper on Solana than on other blockchains. For example, minting NFTs on Ethereum costs $50-100, while Solana does the same for a few dollars.
Decentralized finances. Various decentralized financial services are a modern trend since they provide straightforward and cost-effective access to traditional financial services: loans, insurance, and investment. Solana helps to make these applications even more economical, secure, and reliable.
Corporate solutions. It is an excellent decision to employ Solana and launch various business solutions within a company or several companies. For instance, Solana offers opportunities to develop electronic medical records, ERM systems, or online banks.
Other applications. But for the solutions mentioned above, the Solana blockchain can be used in the development of platforms such as NFT marketplaces, cryptocurrency exchanges and even video games.
Advantages of developing with Solana
Solana is 4000 times faster. In testing the Solana bandwidth, the network showed that now it can process around 65 000 transactions per second (TPS). It is the default speed. They achieved 190 000 TPS at the peak load, an incredible result, yet still not the maximum. Solana’s team promises to increase the network’s bandwidth to 700 000 TPS quickly. For example, Bitcoin processes 7 TPS, Ethereum — 16.5 TPS. Solana is 9 000 times faster than Bitcoin and 4000 times faster than the leading competitor — Ethereum.
Solana is 128 000 times cheaper. Transaction fees in Solana are $0.00025 on average. Ethereum charges around $32 (according to 28 January 2021) for one transaction. Hence, Solana is 128 000 times cheaper than the leading competitor. Furthermore, when it concerns minting NFT, the difference is even more enormous. Operating non-fungible tokens requires a particular smart contract that increases the gas fee. These cost about 100 dollars. Yet, minting an NFT on Solana costs 0.0001 SOL, equal $0.008.
Solana is simpler to program. Solana blockchain functions on Rust programming language, one of the most popular in the world. It means that it would be easy to find an experienced developer for your solutions on Solana. Moreover, Solana’s team developed a specific LLVM protocol that allows transferring your blockchain solutions from WASM networks (Dfinity, EOS, Polkadot, Ethereum 2.0) to Solana.
The results of Solana’s bandwidth test. Source.
Rust vs. Solidity comparison on GitHub
Solana has no issues with mempool. In the cryptocurrency and blockchain world, mempool is a place for unconfirmed or pending transactions which every node keeps. In general, Solana has no mempool since the operations are approved within 400 ms. On Ethereum, it takes from 4 minutes (usually more). When there are more transactions than the network can process, they are stuck in the mempool, which slows down the speed and increases the fees.
Solana’s ecosystem is scaling rapidly. Sure, most tokens, smart contracts, DApps, and NFT are launched on Ethereum now. However, they have many issues: working speed, fees, and scaling. Solana has no similar problems, and more developers have begun to choose it to launch their projects.
TVL growth dynamic on the Solana blockchain. Source: DeFiLlama.
Solana is more stable and uses fewer resources. All blockchain networks have the same task — share data (assets). Imagine that you have a network of 100 000 000 active participants. When a new block is added to this chain, the information must be sent to all devices connected to this network. If the network is slow, it wastes many resources from the users’ devices (nodes) connected to the system.
In these terms, Solana blockchain is super cost-effective since the Turbine protocol splits each new block on little data packets and then transfers it to a group of computers that shares it to another group, and the action repeats on and on. Solana thus reduces bandwidth usage, decreases transaction processing time, and makes the entire network more economical and resilient to failure.
Solana is a more environment-friendly ecosystem. Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains still use the outdated consensus mechanism — Proof-of-Work. It requires high computing powers to generate new blocks. As a result, it leads to high electricity consumption. For example, Ethereum uses 95.5 TW of electricity, more than Belgium and Israel do together (CO2 emits equally). Solana rejected the Proof of Work and uses Proof of Stake, which is 100 times more energy efficient; hence 100 times more environmentally friendly.
Ethereum consumes 95.5 TW of electricity. It is more than Kazakhstan (above 18 million people), Belgium (11 million people), or Israel (9 million people). Also, it emits more than 45 million tonnes of CO2, and the footprint is equal to Hong Kong. Source
Solana vs. Ethereum vs. other
Where to search for a Solana developer?
Outsourcing is an immense world with no boundaries. You can choose a Solana blockchain developer located in any part of the world. Consider the requirements of your business, affordable prices, cooperation conditions, and just google it. In a few minutes, you will have loads of websites of software suppliers with different experiences, fees, and offers.
However, if you need an actual professional and experienced blockchain developer, this method will not be helpful. You will not have any criteria for selecting the developer but for their words and promises. Sure thing, they will all tell you that they are professionally experienced, and their price is the best on the market.
To do an efficient search, focus on specialized resources. There are three groups of these resources:
These are the three most apparent sources to search for Solana developers, yet these are not all. You might find a blockchain developer on LinkedIn, Facebook, or local freelance platforms popular in particular countries or regions.
- The first group is company directories that provide software development services. These platforms include GoodFirms, CrunchBase, Clutch, TopDevelopers, Techviewer, etc. On this platform, you might find complete profiles of the companies, their contact information, portfolio, ratings, and clients’ reviews. The advantage of these online listings is that they are independent, and the reviews are genuine.
- The second group is freelancing platforms like Toptal, YouTeam, Upwork, and blockchain-focused platforms like Blocktribe, Crypto.jobs, Beincrypto.com, Orbi Network, Bounty0x, and Cryptojoblists.com. Usually, independent specialists and outsourcing companies’ representatives sign up on those websites to promote their services. If you already have a team and want to expand it, these platforms are the easiest and fastest way to achieve it.
- The third group is business forums and Q&A platforms like Reddit and Quora. You may create a request there, describe your requirements, and just wait until someone answers you. Another option is to search for people in the answers to similar requests.
How to choose a Solana development company?
Even though there are more developers each year, it is still hard to find a decent technical partner for a Solana solution development. The irony is that the more options we have, the harder it is to pick one. Many people were hurt by poorly written code, absence of documentation, poor English, lack of developer experience, and complex and nontransparent development process.
Following this simple algorithm while selecting a Solana developer saves time and avoids meeting these troubles. Please, pay attention to these factors at each step of the search.
Solana blockchain solution development requires extensive experience, especially for financial projects. Your time must understand the peculiarities and specifics of the blockchain, but for simply knowing how to code. No one says that all developers in your team should have a master’s degree in finances, yet the team lead and the lead engineer should have experience in the sector you require, whether it is DeFi, NFT, GameDev, DAO, or Healthcare.
The easiest way to estimate the expertise of your candidate is to study their former projects. For instance, if you look for a developer to launch a cryptocurrency exchange or a logistics platform to trace goods in supply chains, search for similar projects in their portfolio.
Cryptocurrency exchange case example. Source: Merehead.
The primary success indicator of a company is its finished projects
If you choose a team to launch a blockchain solution, study their portfolio thoroughly. Suppose there is an opportunity to install those applications (visit the websites) and experience them yourself.
Hacks, data leaks, and money theft — are the main issues in the blockchain and crypto world. Hence, security is the top priority for any crypto startup. If you want to avoid these problems, then select a blockchain developer with an excellent level of expertise. Their expertise must be proved in practice. Check whether the product developed by them was hacked, or whether there were data leaks, etc.
Team’s powers (the members)
Check whether the company has a required pool of engineers or other IT specialists that will cover all the necessary tasks. However, remember that the crew members might change on various stages, so the selected company should call the required professional to work right away.
Ratings and feedback
Even if you are skeptical, i.e., don’t trust the feedback, since they might be fake and ordered, it is still better to study what clients say of a particular candidate. The best way to receive feedback is to determine how the company communicates with clients and their cooperation. These feedbacks are often found on Clutch or GoodFirms, or you might appeal to the representatives of the required companies on LinkedIn.
The feedback should give information on the author (name, surname, position, workplace, a link to social networks). Here is an example of decent feedback on Clutch. com.
Frequently the technical partner is selected based on their site. Hiring a developer from the USA or West Europe is 2-3 times more expensive than hiring professionals from Eastern Europe. They charge less for their services, yet the quality is pretty much the same. According to the Skill Value report, the TOP-5 countries with world-class developers are Slovakia, Mexico, Poland, Hungary, and Ukraine. These countries have the best quality-price offer.
Skill Value report results. It is based on 550+ technical evaluations. Source
Reasons to choose Merehead
Merehead has extensive experience in developing various blockchain solutions, including Solana. We employ the newest technologies, like AI, VR/AR, ML, and FinTech, to create innovative products of any complexity, from simple, intelligent contracts to high-performing and most secure cryptocurrency exchanges.
The advantages of working with Merehead
- 5+ years of average team experience. Since 2015, our team has worked on blockchain solutions of various complexity. Starting with smart contracts and ending with cryptocurrency exchanges and NFT platforms.
- Honesty and transparency. We provide a weekly report and sign an NDA with your company before starting the work. You will rule the project and keep the idea in the highest safety.
- Simple project management. Our experienced project managers and the flexible interaction model allows you to trace the development and immediately introduce the required changes
- Safety and security. Our software solutions on blockchain have high-level security from malicious acts, DDoS attacks, fraud, and data leaks.
Our roadmap (the way we work)
- Defining the aim. Our experts will determine the needs of your business and will start deploying the blockchain solution on Waves after thoroughly analyzing the market and your requirements.
- UI/UX design development. Next, our designer analyzes the target audience and competitors’ relevant design trends to create a neat and effective user interface.
- Writing the code. Next, our programmers will create a safe and secure product on Waves that will fit your business requirements.
- Testing the product. Our developers test each application thoroughly to ensure a superb user experience and meet the client’s requirements. Moreover, we try the security and productivity of the system to conduct an audit of smart contracts and NFT solutions.
- Deployment and release. When a blockchain solution on Waves is ready and tested, we transfer it from the working environment to the production environment. We add it to Google Play and the App Store if it is a mobile application.
- Support. We also offer support and service after the development. It will keep your blockchain solution at a decent level. It will also keep up with the requirements of your business.
Our recent projects
- it is a platform for selling sports NFTs using ERC-1155. All tokens are issued in cooperation with sports teams and players or their official representatives.
- this BaaS platform provides freelancers and enterprises with a solution to manage and transfer their digital assets, create smart contracts with integrated escrow features, and take a loan with cryptocurrency collateral.