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Solana (SOL) Master Guide

Everything You Need to Know!

In the cluttered cyber world of copycats & vaporware, Solana {SOL} (sometimes jokingly called solami by the degen chads on CT) stands out from the crowd with its unique design & value proposition.

→ I hold
$SOL in my portfolio & believe in the future of the project.
→ This is not an endorsement to buy the coin or use the network. (Do you)

→ Solana is home to a prolific NFT community… however, there will be no mention of NFT’s in this post because, at this time, there are too many failures, frauds, rugs & scams. one execption being Sol domain names.

→ This is strictly a general overview of the network. Not about degens or monke pictures… ok, just a tiny bit about degening.

📜 A Bit of Background

Conceptualized in 2017 by ex-Qualcomm engineer Anatoliy Yakoveno & birthed in march of 2020, Solana is a turning complete, smart contract platform & distributed ledger network that was created with the intention of displacing the legacy exchange infrastructure. (not killing ethereum)

The Solana network was & continues to be one of the most exciting innovations in the space due to its heavy dedication to the technological elements of its design.

👨‍💻 The Technical Specs 👨‍💻

Monolithic Architecture
Monolithic software architecture in blockchain means that all major operational activity; transaction execution, data storage/availability, and consensus, is condensed into a single endpoint; the chain itself. This design brings its own set of tradeoffs including better prospective value propositions for the native asset due to strong utility ties between the token<->network (NFA), while hindering its potential to be flexible. {Great resource on blockchain software architecture here}

Examples of another crypto with Monothlic architecture: Bitcoin (BTC).

POH (Proof-Of-History)
Proof-Of-History is a novel tweak to the POS consensus model through the implementation of time as a module. Technically, Proof of History happens before state consensus is reached by allowing block producers the ability to submit blocks & organize/confirm them later. This is made possible by a combination of two things,
1) the application of pBFT + VDF (verifiable delay functions) &
2) the
Clustering of consensus nodes (rather than 1 node doing all the work, on Solana, there are clusters of 25 nodes that are batching tx’s for consensus at any given time). That helps in eliminating the issue of scalability and transaction ordering.

Asynchronicity in block production & contract execution
Basically, the ability to operate at max capacity without bloating/intereupting the network. (outages mentioned in the next section) Partially made possible through node clustering & partially made possible through a parallel processing technique called Sealeveling. The technical aspect of this are far beyond the scope of this article, but if you want to dive deeper on it, make sure to check out this post

Written in RUST programming language
While not easy to learn for beginner developers, RUST is considered to be among the strongest of programming languages. At a very basic level, RUST is a low-level language that talks directly to hardware with an intense focus on memory allocation. Here is a great piece to understand the benefits of RUST as a language.

* Multi-Client Architecture (in development)
Within the context of blockchain, a client is the software that must be utilized in order to connect a piece of hardware to the network. A delicate nuance in distributed system design that is rarely (if ever) brought to the public’s consciousness, is that software clients are an important touchpoint for the security & decentralization of a network. If a network only has 1 software client, and if for any reason that client has a bug, then the whole network is at risk. The more clients, the more resilient the network becomes.

Extremely Fast
The block time is 400 milliseconds; that is approximately 30–32.5x faster than Ethereum(ETH) & 1,500x faster than Bitcoin (BTC).

Huge & growing developer ecosystem
Over 2,000 monthly active developers puts Solana as the 2nd most active network by developer activity; ahead of Polkadot & only behind Ethereum.

High Throughput
The network averages ~5,000 TPS on a day-to-day basis & has the capacity to scale, in theory, indefinitely. The network is only constrained by the amount & type of hardware used by the nodes. As hardware improves, the network becomes more efficient; as more nodes join, the network becomes more efficient. So then LFGrow.

⚠💨 Headwinds 💨⚠

➡ Is a VC chain.
Supported heavily by deep-pocketed venture capital firms. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does reduce the network's credibility in terms of decentralization.

Was endorsed by (SBF) & FTX;
As basically everybody in the world knows, Sam-Bankman Fried was the single biggest supporter of the Solana network. Actually recorded saying “Sell me all of your Solana & then Fuck off” as well as injecting hundreds of millions of dollars into the project; the once heroic supporter has now become the sh*tstain across the windshield of Solana’s life.

Suffers from Outages
The single biggest hurdle that keeps on messing with the project. This is not a small issue, if outages happen while people have money on the network, real-life problems occur. As of this writing, the network has faced roughly 10 full outages & countless partial outages. If you want to explore all of them here is a great uptime resource.

Community is… interesting.
I love SOL. I love the developers. I love the project. I Even love Solana CT! But I cannot for the life of me figure out how it keeps attracting low-IQ people to its user base. At first, I thought it was just wrought with bots… but then I found out… Dear reader, I SWEAR to you, I personally know real SOL users that pronounce SolanA as SolanO. I asked them why… they don't know… 🤦‍♂️

I digress.

🧰Ecosystem Resources:

Since the turbulence of the recent market activity, many tools in the Solana ecosystem are sunsetting (r.i.p. Serum) while others are just dying off due to a lack of interest. Nevertheless, there still remain a handful of applications that have only strengthened their positions over this time.

Below I have tried my best to organize as many “valid” tools as possible:


Phantom -
Solflare -


Raydium -
Orca -
Saber -
Lifinity -
Atrix -
Soldex -
Saros -
Aldin -
Dexlabs -
Crema -

Lending/Borrowing & Stablecoin Minting

Larix -
Solend -
Apricot -
Port -
Jet -
PsyFi -
Hubble -
Ratio -
Parrot -
Meteora -

Liquid Staking

Marinade -
Socean -

Yield Aggregators

Tulip -
Cropper -
Katana -
Kamino -
Sunny -
Francium -

Explorers & Analtyics

Solana Explorer -
Solana FM -
SolScan -
Solana Beach -
ChainCrunch -

Synthetic Assets

Synthetify -

Dashboard & Portfolio

Sonar Watch -
Sols Watch -
Step Finance -
Ape Bored -

Domain Names

Bonfida —


→ Fantastic report by Messari on the State of Solana in the Q4 2022.
→ Great Interview with the Founder on the Future of Solana beyond 2023

I will end this all with a timeless (←POH pun intended) quote ;

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” — Steve Jobs

May your bags always be full & overflowing 🥂

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