Solana General Overview

Solana is a blockchain built for mass adoption. It's a high performance network that is utilized for a range of use cases, including finance, NFTs, payments, and gaming. Solana operates as a single global state machine, and is open, interoperable and decentralized. Solana is an open source project implementing a new, high-performance, permissionless blockchain.

Why Solana?

It is possible for a centralized database to process 710,000 transactions per second on a standard gigabit network if the transactions are, on average, no more than 176 bytes. A centralized database can also replicate itself and maintain high availability without significantly compromising that transaction rate using the distributed system technique known as Optimistic Concurrency Control [H.T.Kung, J.T.Robinson (1981)]. And Solana demonstrates that these same theoretical limits apply just as well to blockchain on an adversarial network. The key ingredient? Finding a way to share time when nodes cannot rely upon one another.

Furthermore, the architecture supports safe, concurrent execution of programs authored in general-purpose programming languages such as C or Rust.

What is a Solana Cluster?

A cluster is a set of computers that work together and can be viewed from the outside as a single system. A Solana cluster is a set of independently owned computers working together (and sometimes against each other) to verify the output of untrusted, user-submitted programs. A Solana cluster can be utilized any time a user wants to preserve an immutable record of events in time or programmatic interpretations of those events. One use is to track which of the computers did meaningful work to keep the cluster running. Another use might be to track the possession of real-world assets. In each case, the cluster produces a record of events called the ledger. It will be preserved for the lifetime of the cluster. As long as someone somewhere in the world maintains a copy of the ledger, the output of its programs (which may contain a record of who possesses what) will forever be reproducible, independent of the organization that launched it.

What are SOLs?

A SOL is the name of Solana's native token, which can be passed to nodes in a Solana cluster in exchange for running an on-chain program or validating its output. The system may perform micro-payments of fractional SOLs, which are called lamports. They are named in honor of Solana's biggest technical influence, Leslie Lamport. A lamport has a value of 0.000000001 SOL.

You can explore Solana's operating principles and architecture in more detail and granularity in the documentation:

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