Ethereum’s low throughput challenges have given rise to several protocols tagged Ethereum killers. These blockchains seek to rival Ethereum’s dominance and do so by capitalizing on its scalability problems.
Avalanche and Solana layer 1 blockchains are two blockchains that have been in a hot battle for the spot of the best ‘Ethereum killer”. They have gained massive popularity in recent years for their crucial role in aiding decentralized finance and supporting smart contracts.
What features do Avax and Solana offer that makes them different from other Ethereum killers?
Avalanche vs. Solana: What Are They?
Avalanche is a robust, highly scalable, customizable, and secure blockchain platform. It uses a PoS consensus mechanism and seeks to gain relevance in developing DApps that are permissionless and scalable.
It was originally built to bring solutions to the limitations of the Ethereum blockchain, which is why it is referred to as an ‘Ethereum killer’. The Avalanche ecosystem can perform transactions at a very high speed (approximately 4500 TPS) and allows several subnets to achieve consensus at once.
Avalanche’s time to finality is one of the blockchain's most crucial yet frequently disregarded characteristics. It can perform approximately 4500 TPS, and finality is reached in less than a second. This makes the Avalanche POS network suitable for large amount of businesses and retail transactions.
The Solana blockchain is a layer-1 blockchain created by Anatoly Yakovenko in 2017. It operates using the proof-of-history consensus, a less energy-intensive model, and can do up to 50,000 TPS. Since its inception, more than 15,000 DApps have been built on the Solana network, and its token, SOL, is one of the largest cryptocurrencies by market cap.
Anyone can be a validator on Solana, although it comes at a huge computing expense. The blockchain also has strong community backing with many developers, investors, and users actively participating in the platform.
Similarities between Avalanche and Solana
Both blockchain projects are highly scalable and have high throughput. They can perform a large number of transactions efficiently without any major hitches or problems. Average block generation takes about 0.5sec on Solana, while it takes 3-4secs on Avalanche.
Both platforms run an open-source system and can foster seamless blockchain development. Being open source means that their codes and programs are made available to the general public and can be reviewed by anybody at any time. This serves as a form of credibility and increases trust.
Both platforms are decentralized, and they allow the development of a wide variety of DApps. Although Solana’s decentralized status is arguable due to its reliance on its foundation, the Nakamoto Coefficient reveals it is more decentralized than some of the more popular blockchains. The validator node developments of both protocols also hint at their decentralization.
Lastly, both platforms were created to combat the Ethereum network's limitations, such as high gas fees, and generally provide a better alternative for developers and other blockchain users. So far, they have not been able to usurp influence from Ethereum, with regular downtimes putting a dent in their goals.
Differences between Avalanche and Solana
The question may have also crossed your mind, Avalanche vs. Solana, which is better? We’ll look at some important differences that may answer your questions.
The Avalanche ecosystem solely uses a specially designed PoS consensus mechanism. In contrast, the Solana ecosystem uses a blend of the Proof of Stake protocol and the Proof of History protocol. The PoS protocol reduces the chance of nodes spending resources on unverified transactions, while the PoH protocol ensures the accuracy of blockchain transaction history (including the time date and parties involved). This hybrid improves network stability and security.
Both networks are decentralized – with each having more than 1100 validator nodes. Solana has a nakamoto coefficient of 19, while Avalanche is 26.
Avalanche uses a directed acyclic graph with its PoS consensus mechanism. This allows it improve scalability without sacrificing decentralization. Solana, on the other hand, uses a Tower BFT on its PoH consensus. Although this makes it decentralized, solana’s recent focus on scalability has allowed a compromise on its decentralization goal.
Even though both the Avax and Solana ecosystems support various DApps, the Solana blockchain is more diversified and supports a wider range of applications. The Avalanche blockchain has a little less than 200 DApps across various sectors like Exchange, DeFi, Wealth Management, and even culture. It is equally supported by platforms like Binance, 1inch, and even Aave crypto.
On the other hand, the Solana blockchain has over 1,500 applications on its platform, cutting across sectors like NFTs, Crypto wallets, Decentralised Exchanges, and Web 3.0 applications. Popular apps like Phantom, Solend, and Audius are supported on Solana Layer 1.
Avalanche currently has more use cases, and more improvements to the network are being proposed regularly. Some of the recent ones are the creation of the Avalanche Multiverse, which will pay incentives for adoption across subnets. Avalanche will start supporting the almighty Bitcoin on its network, and there is also a partnership with Arweave that will let developers purchase permanent storage or build DApps using AVAX tokens.
These two cryptos have taken different approaches to solving the scalability issues of Ethereum. Their open-source designs add to their reputation, and although Ethereum still maintains its top spot, these cryptos have large followings of their own. In the battle between Avalanche vs. Solana, whose side are you on?
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