What is Solana Blockchain & Top Coins 2024

What is Solana Blockchain & Top Coins 2024

Solana blockchain is a high-performance blockchain network that supports decentralized applications (dApps) and smart contracts. The native cryptocurrency of the Solana blockchain is SOL. In addition, there are over 400 other Solana-based tokens and coins built on the Solana blockchain. In this article, we provide an overview of Solana and explore some of the key native tokens and third-party coins operating on the network.

Overview of Solana Blockchain

The Solana blockchain was launched in 2020 by Solana Labs as a high-performance alternative to other blockchains like Ethereum. It uses a unique hybrid consensus mechanism called Proof of History along with Proof of Stake to achieve incredibly fast transaction speeds and low costs.

Key Features of Solana

Some of the key features that make Solana unique include:

  • Extremely high transaction speeds – Solana can currently handle over 60,000 transactions per second, making it one of the fastest blockchains in the world
  • Low fees – Transaction costs on Solana are a fraction of a cent, far lower than Ethereum gas fees
  • Rapid block times – New blocks are produced every 400 milliseconds, enabling quick confirmation times
  • High scalability – Solana has demonstrated the ability to scale horizontally across GPU and SSD architecture
  • Smart contracts – Developers can build dApps and deploy smart contracts to enable a range of DeFi solutions

Consensus Mechanism

As mentioned above, Solana uses a Proof of History (PoH) consensus combined with Proof of Stake. PoH involves cryptographically verifying the passage of time between events, providing a historical record that helps the network achieve consensus on the order of transactions. This allows Solana to process transactions in parallel, significantly improving its speed.

Native Tokens on Solana

There are currently over 400 tokens and coins built natively on the Solana blockchain. The main native asset is the SOL token, but there are also a growing number of SPL tokens.

SOL Token

The SOL token plays a crucial role in the Solana network. Its main uses and characteristics include:

  • Securing the network through staking – SOL holders can stake their tokens to help validate transactions
  • Paying for fees – SOL covers transaction costs and smart contract interaction fees
  • Governance – SOL holders have voting rights on network upgrades and other proposals
  • Incentivizing validators – Validators earn SOL tokens as block rewards and transaction fees for securing the network


SOL has a fixed maximum supply of 511 million tokens. New SOL is minted and introduced into circulation as block rewards for validators. The inflation rate adjusts dynamically based on the percentage of tokens staked – higher staking leads to lower inflation.

SPL Tokens

Developers can also create their own SPL tokens on Solana without requiring permission. SPL stands for Solana Programming Library and includes token standards enabling creators to launch coins, NFTs, stablecoins, and more in just a few lines of code.

Popular SPL Tokens

Some of the most popular SPL tokens by market cap include:

  • Serum (SRM) – a utility token for the Serum DEX
  • Raydium (RAY) – the governance token for the Raydium DEX
  • Bonfida (FIDA) – used for fees and governance on the Bonfida DEX
  • STEP (STEP) – the utility token for fitness app Step App built on Solana
  • Saber (SBR) – the native token of cross-chain stable swap Saber

Solana Coins vs Other Cryptocurrencies

Solana Blockchain Coins

Solana offers some distinct advantages over smart contract alternatives like Ethereum and Cardano in areas like speed, fees, and developer experience.

Solana vs Ethereum

Solana differs from Ethereum in a few key ways:


Solana can process 60,000 TPS, compared to Ethereum’s 15 TPS currently (and 100 TPS after upgrades planned for 2023). This makes Solana over 400 times faster than Ethereum for now.


Average transaction fees on Solana cost around $0.00025, while Ethereum averages between $2-10 depending on network congestion. This makes Solana up to 50,000 cheaper per transaction.

Smart Contract Capabilities

While Ethereum has a first-mover advantage for smart contract development, developers are now building a wide range of DeFi and dApp solutions on Solana as well due to its speed and low cost. Solana also offers Ethereum compatibility for porting contracts through the Wormhole bridge.

Solana vs Cardano

Solana and Cardano take different approaches to building high-performance blockchains:

Development Activity

Solana has seen rapid growth in development on its network – its ecosystem now boasts over 400 projects spanning DeFi, NFTs, Web3, and more. In comparison, development activity has been slower on Cardano as its smart contract capabilities were only recently introduced in 2021.


Critics argue that Solana currently sacrifices some decentralization for higher transaction speeds. It relies on a permissioned validator model, although permissionless staking is planned to improve decentralization over time. Comparatively, Cardano aims to be more decentralized through its use of proof of stake consensus.

Building dApps on Solana

For developers, building decentralized apps and smart contracts on Solana offers some unique advantages.

Benefits for Developers

Key benefits include:


It’s much cheaper for developers to build and launch products on Solana. They don’t have to worry as much about crowded networks and gas fees impacting users.


The fast speeds make the user experience far superior compared to competing chains. Actions like transactions and queries finish almost instantly rather than making users wait.

Programming Languages

Solana also supports development in popular languages like Rust and C++ which many developers are already familiar with. This helps reduce barriers to entry for building web-scale apps.

Investing in Solana Coins

The SOL token and other Solana-based coins provide investors exposure to the rapidly growing Solana ecosystem.

SOL Price Analysis

SOL has been one of the best-performing cryptocurrencies in terms of price action since launching:

Historical Performance

SOL price has grown over 11,900% from $1.84 at launch to $220 (an all-time high) in November 2021. It currently ranks #9 among all cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.

Price Prediction

Many analysts predict SOL can reach $250 to $500 based on momentum and growing developer adoption. However, it remains a speculative and volatile asset.

Risks and Challenges

Despite Solana’s impressive capabilities, there are still challenges it faces related to decentralization, security, competition, and market volatility that present risks for investors.

Storing and Trading Solana Coins

Those interested in buying/selling SOL, or storing other spl-tokens, have several good options:


Popular software wallets for holding Solana coins include:


Phantom is a browser extension with excellent UI that allows easy access to dApps and DeFi on Solana


Solflare is Solana’s official mobile wallet, offering convenience on the go with full functionality


Solana coins can be purchased from and traded on all major crypto exchanges, such as:


Kucoin has emerged as one of the best places to buy & sell SOL due to its broad coin support and trading options.


Binance offers convenience for purchasing SOL and other Solana-based assets.


Solana brings high speed, scalability, and low fees that are attracting developers to build real-world use cases on its blockchain. The SOL token and other native coins like SPL tokens have seen explosive growth and provide exposure to Solana’s burgeoning ecosystem. Despite decentralization concerns, Solana is proving itself as a viable smart contract platform for next-generation blockchain applications.


Q1: How is Solana different from other blockchains?

A1: Solana stands out for its extremely high transaction speeds of 60,000 TPS and low fees of $0.00025 per transaction – significantly faster and cheaper than alternatives like Ethereum and Cardano.

Q2: What can developers build on Solana?

A2: Developers are building a range of DeFi apps, NFT marketplaces, prediction markets, DAOs, supply chain solutions, identity platforms, and more on Solana, attracted by the speed, scalability, and low cost.

Q3: What wallets support Solana?

A3: Top Solana hot wallets include the Phantom browser extension and Solflare mobile wallet. Hardware wallets like Ledger also support SOL and SPL tokens.

Q4: Where can I buy SOL coins?

A4: SOL tokens are listed on major exchanges like FTX, Binance, Coinbase and others. FTX stands out for its broad selection of Solana-based coins.

Q5: Is Solana a good long-term investment?

A5: While still volatile and speculative, Solana’s growth outlook is positive given rapidly expanding development, institutions adopting it for blockchain solutions, and over 11,900% price gains already seen since launch.

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