Question 1 - Explain in detail the PoH of Solana
Solana has become one of the top blockchain projects at the moment and has been around not too long ago created to provide solutions in the blockchain space. Solana blockchain is basically a decentralized public and open source blockchain that makes use of the hybrid of the proof of stake and proof of history consensus mechanisms. Solana is a programmable blockchain that provides the infrastructure for building decentralized applications, and is regarded as the fastest blockchain with about 50,000 tps. Solana focuses on security, scalability and speed.
The proof of history of the Solana blockchain is basically a consensus mechanism that makes use a recursive delay function that is verifiable, to hash the incoming transactions and events. Every event on the blockchain network has a unique hash along the data structure as a real-time function. This information makes is possible to know the event that had to come before another, which gives a verifiable arranging of events as a function of time. A cryptographic clock is given to each node so that the network would have a consensus on time and events arrangements without having to wait for other nodes.
The proof of history is used to verify transaction data on the network. Leader Nodes on are responsible for time stamping the blocks on the Solana blockchain with a SHA256 hash cryptographic proof. The SHA256 is generated for each of the transactions and is put together with the time stamp algorithm which secures the Blockchain. A time stamp is placed on blocks with the hash by the leader nodes on the Solana network. This means that there were transactions occurred in the past before the generation of the timestamp. The leader nodes are also responsible for sharing the new timestamped block with the Validator Nodes. The validator nodes is responsible for verifying the cryptographic hash on the block. Also, the leader nodes breaks down blocks into batches also known as entries that are synchronized and sent to the validator nodes which verifies the transactions before the whole block is approved.
Question 2 - Explain at least 2 cases of use of Solana
Solana is one of the top blockchain projects with a lot of benefits and use cases. The main use cases of Solana is NFT and DEX.
NFT (Non-Fungible Token) - All-Art Protocol
The All-Art protocol is a protocol that is built on Solana. It is basically an NFT liquidity pools provider and license rights for NFT built on Solana. This protocol introduces a new type of AMM liquidity pool with core focus on improving the NFT functionalities and license rights. Because of the unsustainability of the current NFT market, All-Art protocol was created to bring an improvement to the current NFT standards and put the NFT market in a better position for growth and sustainability by fast transactions and low transaction fees. NFT arts that are recorded on the blockchain must have compatibility with copyright law and established regulations. Also, providing benefits for NFT collectors. The All-Art Protocol is for artists, collectors and yield farmers.
All-Art protocol also provides marketplaces platforms for the registering and trading of NFT arts. The two main marketplace platforms on All-Art protocol are VR-All-Art and the new marketplace on Solana that is coming soon.
This is the first unity-solana wallet that is released by All-Art Protocol that allows Solana blockchain functionalities to be easily integrated into the Unity which is a game engine. This bridge aims to connect game developers and the Solana blockchain by harnessing the power and capabilities of both.
Screenshot from All-Art Website
DEX (Decentralized Exchange) – Orca
Orca is basically a DEX protocol on Solana platform, making use of Solana’s smart contract functionalities. The Orca DEX protocol is the first decentralized exchange protocol on Solana and is regarded as the most user-friendly DEX protocol on Solana. Orca was launched in 2021. Orca aims to provide an easy to use DeFi platform for anyone with better user experience. The 3 main features on the Orca DEX are; exchange, pools and staking. The exchange is basically for swapping or exchanging different Solana-based tokens. The pools is basically for providing liquidity on the Orca DEX and receiving returns. The staking is basically for staking and earning staking rewards based on the APR.
ORCA is the native token of the Orca DEX protocol. ORCA has a market cap of $147,412,993, circulating supply of 8,316,510 ORCA, fully diluted market cap of $1,772,534,283, 24hr volume of $25,756,667, total value locked of $835,875,505, total and max supply of 100,000,000 ORCA. ORCA can be traded on the Orca decentralized exchange DEX, Gate io and MEXC Global.
Screenshot of Orca DeFi protocol
Question 3 - Detail and explain the SOLA token
SOLA is basically the native token of the SOLA decentralized finance DeFi platform that is built on the Solana blockchain. Sola is a decentralized finance platform that uses the combination of DEX and CEX and is built on the Solana blockchain to take advantage of Solana’s high performance and speed. Sola is basically a market maker that focuses on the automatic distribution of liquidity to ensure asset management efficiency.
The Sola platform comprises of 3 main features; order book, best price swaps and high liquidity launches. The order book on the SOLA's Automated Market Maker protocol interacts with the Serum central limit order book, which allows pools to explore all liquidity on Serum and order flow. The best price swap evaluates and appropriately executes the best price for users performing swap transactions through Serum order book or within a liquidity pool. High liquidity launches is for offering simple funding, IDO launch etc.
Screenshot of SolaToken.net
SOLA token is a utility token that is used in the Sola platform. The main use case of the SOLA token is for staking, where users can stake the SOLA token on the sola platform and earn rewards based on the APR or APY. Also, the SOLA token is also used for governance where users can participate in voting and decision making on the platform.
SOLA Token statistics
The SOLA token has a market cap of $1,770,294, circulating supply of 27,153,077 SOLA, fully diluted market cap of $1,770,294, 24hr volume of $74,364, total and max supply of 27,153,077 SOLA and a current price of $0.062222. SOLA is currently ranked number 1810 on coingecko and can be traded on Raydium.
Question 4 - When did Solana Blockchain see its operations interrupted? Why? Explain
The Solana blockchain experienced a network outage that saw interruption in operations on the blockchain. The network outage and downtime on the Solana blockchain happened on 14th September 2021. This was as a result of system breakdown because of the heavy load 400,000 transactions per second which caused exhaustion on the blockchain. Because of the downtime, the blockchain there was about 17 hrs of downtime causing over $11 billion worth of assets to be locked before the restart. This downtime also affected blockchain operations such as transactions, smart contracts, explorers etc and also other platforms built on the Solana blockchain like decentralized applications. However, it was said that no funds were lost as a result of the network outage.
According to an article published by the Solana foundation here, The downtime on the Solana blockchain was caused by a denial of service attack because of the IDO that was launched on Raydium by Grape Protocol at 12:00 UTC. Because of this IDO launch, generated transactions generated by bots were flooded on the network causing many validators on the network to crash and halt as a result of the memory overflow created by the flooding of bots transactions. There was an eventual network outage because validator on the Solana network were not able to have consensus and this meant that new blocks were unable to be confirmed by the network.
The Solana community proposed a hardfork of the network once the issue was discovered, this hardfork requires the consensus of at least 80% of the active stake. Blockchain engineers all over the world began to work over 14 hrs to solve the problem and coordinate the upgrade of the network and restart of the network among over 1000 validators. The restart framework as seen in the protocol documentation was used. Validators locally applied the upgrade, verify the ledger, and producing blocks. The network was upgraded once consensus was reached on the network. Full network functionality was restored by the validators.
Question 5 - Check the last block generated in Solana and make an approximate calculation of How many blocks per second have been generated in Solana, taking into account from the initial block to the current one?
To explore the last block generated on the Solana blockchain, I will be visiting the Solana blockchain explorer https://explorer.solana.com
Timestamp UTC: Oct 2, 2021 at 13:10:25 GMT +1
Processed Transactions: 1233
Successful Transactions: 1164
To explore the details of the Block 1, I will be following the same process by searching for the block 1 on the Solana blockchain explorer
We can see that the parent isn’t present, this is because it is the block 1 on the blockchain. The child slot is block 2.
Timestamp: Mar 16, 2020 at 15:30:51
Calculating the Block per second
To calculate this, we will need to first of all first calculate the number of days and seconds spent from Block 1 to the last block which is Block 99403829.
Timestamp of Block 1 = Mar 16, 2020 at 15:30:51
Timestamp of Block 99403829 = Oct 2, 2021 at 13:10:25
From Mar 16, 2020 at 15:30:51 to Oct 2, 2021 at 13:10:25 = 564 days, 21 hours, 39 minutes and 34 seconds
Total number of seconds in 564 days, 21 hours, 39 minutes and 34 seconds = 48,807,574 seconds
Therefore the number of seconds from Block 1 to Block 99,403,829 = 48,807,574 seconds
To calculate the Blocks per second, the last block number will be divided by the total number of second from block 1 to the last block number.
Last Block / Total number of seconds
Last Block = 99,403,829
Total number of seconds = 48,807,574
99,403,829 / 48,807,574 = 2.03664761129
Block per second = 2.03664761129
Approximately 2.04 blocks per second
The Solana is one of the top blockchain projects and has proven to be a very secure, fast and scalable blockchain solution. The Solana project is still in its early days but has shown great development and growth since it was launched. At the moment, a lot of decentralized applications have been built on the Solana blockchain to utilize its speed and low transaction fees. In my opinion, Solana is an amazing project with great potential.