MCS | Next Ethereum?: Solana

MCS | Next Ethereum?: Solana

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2021 was a significant year for Solana. The price has rocketed more than 11,000% and has proudly risen to one of the best cryptocurrencies by market capitalization in numerous relatively unknown altcoins.

Source: CoinDesk

Solana is one of the fastest blockchain cryptocurrencies in Layer 1, and its low transaction fees have made it an attractive alternative to Ethereum. However, it seems that the issue to be discussed below must be resolved quickly for Solana to truly become an alternative to Ethereum.

Network Environment That Needs Improvement

Solana has suffered three DDoS attacks in the last six months. Considering that several projects are running services on the Solana blockchain, if the system malfunctions due to a DDoS attack, it can have dire consequences.

DDoS?
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks takes advantage of the specific capacity limits that apply to any network resources by sending multiple requests to the attacked web resource.
(Source: https://www.kaspersky.com/resource-center/threats/ddos-attacks)

The most significant advantage of Solana is its fast speed and low fees. However, this advantage was exploited to create many transactions, which overloaded the network and brought it down. Previously, Ethereum had a similar problem, but now as the transaction creation cost is very high, this is no longer an issue.

In addition, while Bitcoin and Ethereum do not know who will generate the next block, the leader node responsible for block generation is determined in advance due to the PoH method, a core technology for Solana. Rather than attacking all 1,483 validators, it can cause problems in the network more easily by attacking only the leader node. In the case of Ethereum, compared to the relatively well-distributed nodes and stable blockchain, this is an area in Solana's network environment that needs improvement.

High Powered Hardware Requirements

Solana can currently process up to 65,000 transactions per second, but the high throughput means that the hardware requirements to run the validators may not be out of the question. Currently, Solana Labs recommends validators use a 12-core CPU and 128GB of RAM, in contrast to the much lower hardware requirements for running validators on other blockchain networks.

High Verification Cost

Solana requires high-powered hardware to run a validator node for the SOL token number verification. According to Solana Labs, validators spend up to 1.1SOL in 24 hours to send voting transactions. To reduce the cost of executing validators, the Solana Foundation is currently running a grant program that issues 25,000 SOL tokens to validators who meet certain criteria. Roughly, a validator will need $1M worth of SOL to verify the network.

Can Solana Be The Next Ethereum?

Recently, Solana token bridge service Wormhole was hacked on the second largest scale in the DeFi market. It is known that 120,000 Wrapped ETH (wETH) was stolen from the Solana blockchain by exploiting a flaw in the Wormhole protocol. It was then sold for 93,750 Ethereum.

Nevertheless, Solana, which responds quickly and positively to the network's high speed, low fees, DDoS attacks, and wormhole hacking incidents, seems to be firmly established in the blockchain market, where the community has a lot of influence.

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