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Solana and Ethereum are two of the most popular blockchain platforms in the world. They both have pros and cons, but which is the best for your needs? This article will compare Solana vs Ethereum to help you decide which platform is right for you.

What is Solana

What Is Solana?

Solana is a smart contract platform that enables developers to build more scalable decentralized applications faster. Solana’s smart contracts are written in Rust, a programming language known for its safety, reliability, and performance.

The Solana network can process millions of transactions per second, making it one of the fastest blockchain networks in the crypto space. In addition, Solana’s smart contracts can be written in any programming language, making it easier for developers to build on the platform. The Solana team is composed of experienced engineers and researchers working on distributed systems and cryptography for many years.

Solana vs Ethereum

What Is Ethereum?

Ethereum is a decentralized computing platform that enables developers to build and run decentralized applications (dApps). The Ethereum network is powered by the Ethereum blockchain, which is a public, decentralized ledger that records all Ethereum transaction speeds.

Ethereum is often said to be the “world computer” because it allows anyone to run any program they want on the Ethereum blockchain. This means that Ethereum can be used to create anything from a decentralized social network to a decentralized financial system. Ethereum has been used to build a wide range of applications, including:

Decentralized Exchanges

These are peer-to-peer platforms that allow users to trade cryptocurrencies without the need for a central authority.

Decentralized Lending Platforms

These platforms allow users to borrow and lend cryptocurrencies using smart contracts.

Decentralized Games

These are games that use cryptocurrency in crypto market tokens as in-game currency.

Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)

These are fundraising events where startups sell crypto tokens to investors in exchange for funding.

Solana vs Ethereum

Solana vs Ethereum – How Are They Different

Currently, the Ethereum blockchain technology runs most DeFi applications and platforms. Ethereum started the trend of decentralized finance and helped it to grow. This blockchain network lets people borrow, lend, and get interested in cryptocurrency without needing banks or other middlemen.

But now we might have a competitor. Let’s look at what happens when we compare these blockchains. How good is the much-touted Solana for developing DeFi apps, and is it really the sunshine of the blockchain world, as its name suggests?

Solana vs Ethereum: Smart Contracts

Smart contracts on Ethereum are written in Solidity, which is a programming language. Most of Solana’s smart contracts, also called programs, are written in Rust. They don’t have any states and only show the logic of a program.

The Solana development team made Sealevel, a transaction speeds processing engine that works in parallel, to run Solana’s parallel runtime. So, tens of thousands of smart contracts can be carried out at the same time. This is one of the things about Solana that makes it easy to expand.

The only thing that smart contracts on the Solana blockchain have is code. In Ethereum, data and code are linked, but this is not the case in Solana. In Ethereum, a smart contract is made up of both the code and the data that the code needs to work with. All of the data are input into the program.

Solana vs Ethereum: Programming Languages

Solidity is a high-level programming language that was made by the Ethereum team to write smart contracts that run on the EVM. It is object-oriented, has static typing, and is geared toward writing smart contracts. Solidity was based on C++, Python, and JavaScript, so developers who already know these languages will have no trouble learning how to use Solidity to write smart contracts.

Also, Ethereum is the most popular blockchain platform right now for making smart contracts for decentralized applications. Solidity can be used to make any kind of decentralized app, from NFT marketplaces to DeFi platforms.

Solidity programming is still not very common compared to other programming languages.

Also, the Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2021 shows that Rust is the programming language developers use the most. It is a high-level programming language that can be used for anything and is statically typed.

Rust is used to make a wide range of applications, such as file systems, browser add-ons, game engines, and platforms for the blockchain. Many developers think that even though Rust is hard to learn, it is easy to use.

Solidity was made just for writing smart contracts for EVM, while Rust is a general-purpose programming language that can be used to make many different kinds of apps. This makes it more familiar to developers in general.

Solana vs Ethereum: Consensus Mechanism

Proof of Work (PoW) is how Ethereum decides what is true right now. Whoever finishes first gets to add new transactions to the chain of transactions. The miner then gets ETH for sending the block to the rest of the decentralized network. By making miners solve a complex math problem, this algorithm makes them feel like they are in a competition.

As you might expect, mining uses a lot of energy because it needs a lot of computer power. People worry about mining, especially the PoW consensus, because the world is trying to deal with environmental problems and climate change at the moment. The point is that the Ethereum PoW system uses enough power to run a small country.

This is probably bad news for miners, but Ethereum is switching to the Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm, which promises to use 99.5 percent less energy. The Ethereum team says that this change will make the blockchain better for the environment and easier for anyone to stake, make the blockchain industry more decentralized, and make it safer. By the end of 2021, Ethereum might have finished making the switch to PoS.

PoH is Solana’s most important new idea. It is an algorithm for keeping the blockchain in sync that fixes problems with the correctness of timestamps on a distributed network. Each node has a clock built in that always shows the same time.

It gives each transaction a time stamp and stops bots and miners from controlling the order of transactions. Solana can handle many transactions simultaneously because it can synchronize quickly and reliably.

Proof of History is a clever new way to do things. Which platform is better for making applications for DeFi? The correct answers are PoH and PoS. The software for point-of-sale systems can process and approve transactions faster, is easier to expand, and uses less energy.

The same thing goes for PoH. Even though PoW is still a popular way to reach a consensus, some projects have already started to move away from it and toward PoS (just like the Ethereum virtual machine (EVM)).

Solana vs Ethereum: Scalability

For users to be able to make fast, secure transactions and get access to error-free solutions, a blockchain must be scalable.

When you think about how fast Ethereum transactions are (14.7 TPS), it’s clear that this blockchain needs a lot of work. Right now, Ethereum developers are working on this problem.

“Shard chains” are what the group plans to use. These will spread network traffic across 64 new chains, making the network less crowded and speeding up transactions a lot. Sharding will also make it easier to run a node because it will reduce the amount of hardware needed.

This change, which is part of the Ethereum 2.0 update, will take place in 2022. Until then, developers can build large applications using Ethereum as-is, Layer 2 solutions, or other blockchain platforms.

Solana says that its network can handle 65,000 TPS. PoH, Tower BFT, and Turbine all help to make this high throughput possible.

Tower BFT is a version of the consensus algorithm pBFT that is better for POH. It uses the cryptographic clock to decide without having to spend a lot of messages between nodes. Turbine is a protocol for sending blocks over and over again. It breaks up the data into smaller pieces that can be sent more quickly. All of this speeds up the network’s transactions as a whole.

ethereum-blockchain

Ethereum 2.0: “The Merge” and Its Influence on the Blockchain

The main reason why Ethereum is undergoing “The Merge,” otherwise known as Ehtereum 2.0 since it is the biggest upgrade as of yet in the blockchain’s history is mainly because it aims to make the switch from the Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus mechanism to the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism.

The current version of Ethereum, which is still active, utilizes miners who have to contribute raw hardware and computing power to solve complex cryptographic puzzles and verify the transactions that occur on the network.

How Ethereum 1.0 Works

Each miner is incentivized. However, this procedure is very costly to the environment as it requires a lot of electricity and eventually results in e-waste at the point when the hardware devices lose relevance. It also incurs high gas fees, especially when the network is congested.

The Ethereum network also has its own “Gas Limit” which is the maximum amount of gas a user is willing to pay. In most cases, the higher the gas fee a user pays, the quicker the transactions get processed. The gas fees are also dependent on the congestion on the network.

Ethereum can process around 15 to 30 transactions per second (TPS), which can result in delays and congestion, and is far fewer than Solana’s throughput, which can range in the tens of thousands. This has ultimately prevented Ethereum’s scalability. This resulted in the launch of numerous Layer-2 scaling solutions that aim to bring improvements to this network in the form of off-loading transactions from the main chain, bulking them together, and processing them all at once in some cases, but keep in mind that each Layer-2 scaling solution is different and varied.

Ethereum 2.0’s Innovations

Ethereum 2.0 is a multi-phased upgrade to the blockchain network that addresses many of the features seen as bottlenecks within the blockchain network, including security, scalability, and an improvement to the underlying infrastructure.

The first iteration of this upgrade was seen in the “Beacon Chain.” This chain initially went live on December 1, 2020. This chain was introduced to introduce native staking on Ethereum and played a major role in the overall transaction. The second phase is known as “The Merge” and aims to merge the Beacon Chain with the Ethereum mainnet, ultimately switching it to Proof-of-Stake (PoS).

The third and final phase is known as “The Shards Chain,” This upgrade aims to help scale the Ethereum network.

Instead of setting all of the operations within a single network, shard chains can essentially spread the operations across 64 total different chains, making it easier to run an Ethereum node with far fewer hardware requirements. Ethereum, after all of the phases of the upgrade, should be able to process 100,000 transactions per second (TPS), which is a lot more than its current average of 15 to 30.

This would put it on par, if not quicker than the Solana network, and would be a welcome competition to that network which has essentially showcased what can be accomplished when high throughput is achieved.

Non-Fungible Token (NFT) Ecosystems: Ethereum Blockchain vs. Solana Blockchain

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have essentially blown up in terms of popularity on a global scale throughout the past few years.

Both Ethereum and the Solana network have contributed to the development and overall evolution of NFTs.

On Ethereum, NFTs have to follow two distinctive token standards, including ERC-721 and ERC-1155.

The ERC-721 token standard was implemented as a means of introducing a standard for NFTs, a unique token with different values compared to other tokens from the same smart contracts, which can be due to its age, rarity, or visuals.

All NFTs have a uint256 variable known as tokenID, so for any ERC-721 contract, the pair contract address, unit256 tokenID, has to be globally unique. With that in mind, a dApp can have a converter, which utilizes the tokenID as an input and outputs an image of something unique.

On the other hand, ERC-1155 is a token standard that efficiently transfers fungible and non-fungible tokens within a single transaction.

The majority of non-fungible token (NFT) marketplaces primarily have support for NFTs built on top of Ethereum, with the most popular store being OpenSea.

Solana’s Solution to NFTs

However, Solana (SOL) did amazing things for the NFT space as well. Solana added their own marketplace known as Metaplex, aimed at empowering creators and brands to build a direct relationship with their audiences and enabling them to own their NFT storefront, mint, sell and host auctions, and much more through a customizable frontend.

Solana also introduced “Candy Machine,” the Solana NFT standard and minting program that offers a high level of customizability with an ecosystem-wide level of support.

There’s also “Gumdrop,” which allows users to utilize the power of Merkle trees to give NFTs to many users.

There are also numerous Solana-supporting secondary marketplaces, such as Solanart, Magic Eden, and Solsea, to name a few.

Best NFTs on the Ethereum Network

Some of the most popular Non-fungible token (NFT) collections built on top of Ethereum, based on trading volume, are:

  • Mutant Ape Yacht Club
  • Otherdeed for Otherside
  • Bored Ape Yacht Club
  • Moonbirds
  • CryptoPunks
Best NFTs on the Solana Network

Some of the most popular Non-fungible token (NFT) collections built on top of Solana, based on trading volume, are:

  • Genesis Genopets Habitats
  • Okay Bears
  • DeGods
  • Genesis Genopets
  • Solana Monkey Business

Based on all of this, it is clear that Ethereum features some of the most exclusive and most popular, alongside the most expensive non-fungible tokens (NFTs). However, Solana shines and has gained the attention of artists and creatives alike because it is much cheaper to mint the NFTs on top of the Solana blockchain.

As such, Ethereum might be better because it has exclusive NFTs, but Solana is better in the way through which it is much cheaper to actually mint new NFTs on top of it, lowering the barrier of entry for new creatives.

Conclusion

So, what is the final verdict? Which of these platforms is better for you and your needs? The answer to that question depends on a variety of factors.

Ethereum offers more features than Solana but has had security issues in the past.

Solana claims to be able to process transactions faster and at lower costs than Ethereum. The developers behind Solana are well-known in the blockchain space, which could give them an advantage over Ethereum.

It is still too early to tell who will come out on top in this race, but both platforms have potential benefits and drawbacks depending on your specific needs.

Need help understanding Blockchain and NFTs? Read our terminology blog post.

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