SOL is the native cryptocurrency of Solana. It functions as a utility token. When making transfers or engaging with smart contracts, users pay SOL as transaction fees. As part of its deflationary strategy, the network burns SOL. Holders of SOLs can also serve as network validators. Solana, like Ethereum, allows developers to establish smart contracts and blockchain-based projects.
The SPL protocol is used by SOL. SPL is the Solana blockchain’s token standard, which is comparable to Ethereum’s ERC20.
New SOL use cases are being created by DApps built atop Solana. Chainvote, for example, is developing a (decentralized finance) DeFi voting tool for corporate governance that will allow users to vote with SOL tokens. In the first two quarters of 2021, the price of Solana increased by about 30 times, making it a favorite choice among investors and speculators.
According to its blog, the Solana team has built eight fundamental technical characteristics to make the blockchain match the capabilities of a centralized system. The most famous is perhaps the Proof of History although there are others as well:
These elements combine to provide a high-performance network with block speeds of 400 milliseconds and thousands of transactions per second. To put this in context, Bitcoin’s block time is around 10 minutes, and Ethereum’s is around 15 seconds.
SOL token holders can participate in the blockchain’s PoS consensus method by staking their tokens. You can stake your tokens with validators who process the network’s transactions using a compatible crypto wallet. Those who have staked share some of the rewards with a successful validator. This incentive system encourages validators and delegators to act in the best interests of the network. Solana has roughly 900 validators as of May 2021, making it a fairly decentralized network.
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