CryptopediaScaling: Why Solana is faster than Ethereum?

Scaling: Why Solana is faster than Ethereum?

Why Solana is faster than Ethereum? So basically Solana and Ethereum are different in terms of the consensus mechanism. Ethereum works on the Proof of Work mechanism leading to a more decentralized network, but less scalability. Solana follows the Proof of History mechanism, which is less secure but more efficient, leading to high-speed and low-cost transactions.

The main focus of this article is not to tell you that one blockchain did it right and one blockchain did it wrong. I will show you that there are trade-offs to every decision a blockchain makes and that take it certain benefits and drawbacks as well. Now to help give you an overview of why there are these trade-offs. It’s important to start with the blockchain trilemma which is what we’re going to cover in this article. 

Now the term trilemma was coined by Vitalik Buterin several years ago. It shows you here that there are three things a blockchain can optimize for and you can’t get all three onto layer one. So the first thing that you can optimize for is Scalability or the ability to handle a high number of transactions in very less time. The second thing you can optimize for is security the ability to defend from hacker attacks bugs and other issues.

Lastly, you can optimize for decentralization which means there’s no central point of control over the blockchain. Now I like to break this down even more simply to basically how much data can we reasonably fit into a block and how fast can we produce blocks.

That is the heart of the trilemma that is going to be the question that every blockchain asks itself and decides to answer which optimizes for certain parameters in the trilemma. So as a general rule the more data that we fit into each block and the quicker we produce them the fewer node operators there will be. Now having a large number of node operators is a core component of decentralization. But before we get into that it is important to cover what is a node.

So we’re going to use the Ethereum definition it’s pretty much applicable everywhere else but essentially a node refers to a running piece of client software. A client is an implementation in the case of Ethereum that verifies all transactions in every block keeping an accurate and secure network. So it’s a basic definition of a node operator & it’s very clear why we want as many healthy node operators as possible. But why does this happen when we try to increase the size of a blocker and how much data is put in there? and how quickly they’re produced that the no of node operators that always goes down in this case.

The blockchain that maximizes the block space to increase scalability will by definition lower the number of node operators in the system. So again the node operators live in a world of constraints and in general, those three constraints are processing power constraints. The CPU of the node or the machine bandwidth constraints how fast is the internet and how reliable is it, and storage constraints. 

What’s the disk space like on the machine that the node is running on. So the more information we put into each block and the faster we produce them increases the requirements of the node operators. These three parameters that I mentioned earlier have to be optimized. So going back to this why do we want as many nodes as possible?

Well, the fewer nodes there are the easier it is to manipulate the blockchain so a small party of bad actors can collaborate and work together and corrupt the blockchain in any way that they see fit. Now the more nodes there are the harder it is for a group of bad actors to come together and manipulate the chain. Now, this is a quote from Vitalik that I think is worth reading the whole thing he says ”if you have a community of 37 node runners and 80 000 passive listeners that check signatures and block headers the attacker wins if you have a community where everyone runs a node the attacker loses”.

He then goes on to say that “we don’t know where the exact threshold is at we’re hurt immunity against coordinated attacks kicks in but there is one thing that is more nodes good fewer nodes bad and we need more than a few dozen or a few hundred”. Numerous blockchains exist in the crypto world that has decided to optimize for scalability and minimize security which means they only have a few dozen or a few hundred nodes.

This is the current case of many blockchains today again there’s no right or wrong answer here basically it’s up to the blockchain to decide what they want to optimize for and it’s up to you to choose which blockchain you use. So the trade-offs various blockchains have made gain no right or wrong the Ethereum isn’t better than the Solana or anything like that it’s all about optimizations and trade-offs. On top of that, we can know Ethereum and bitcoin are optimized for security and decentralization. Bitcoin’s a bit more decentralized than Ethereum and a bit more secure but Ethereum is a bit more scalable.

Now Solana and terra and many other blockchains could go here. I just kept it simple. But essentially Solana and tara have optimized for scalability in doing so they lack decentralization and lack security in some cases. As you must be knowing about a recent crash. So that’s why I mention this blockchain is scaleable but unfortunately, till now we don’t have something in this technology to implement both security and scalability. When we go for scalability somehow we compromise the security which makes the project a bit riskier. Well, this is because there are several constraints that node operators face. I hope know it’s clear Why Solana is faster than Ethereum?

Related: SOLEND: What Happened? Is It Decentralised?


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