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Top Solana Projects

May 16, 2022
6 min read

This blog post will cover:

  • What is Solana?
  • What makes Solana special?
  • Top Solana projects

What is Solana?

Solana is a blockchain and ecosystem that provides solutions for decentralized apps and marketplaces. The founder of this project is Anatoly Yakovenko, an engineer with a wide range of experience in the sphere of cryptocurrency. The two other Solana founders are Eric Williams and Greg Fitzgerald, the CTO of Solana. The idea of Solana appeared in 2017, however, the project was launched in 2020.

Solana is a fast-developing project. It already has a vast variety of applications created on its basis, including NFT platforms. In this article we will tell you about the prominent top Solana projects but first, let’s look at the unique features of the Solana blockchain in general.

What makes Solana special?

  1. Tower BFT
    It is a consensus protocol, customization of PBFT. Solana’s version uses a Proof of History (PoH), that allows the network to verify time passages between the events. It also helps to compute the state of all the nodes in the network. Thus Tower BTF brings in two important features: enables the network to stream nodes continuously without stalling the ledger until the supermajority observes it, and enables participants to compute timeouts for other participants without P2P communication.
  2. Turbine
    This feature is used to solve the problem of data sharing. The bigger the network is the more complicated it is to spread the data around it. Turbine uses UDP (User Datagram Protocol), a lightweight data transport protocol, to transfer data. So what happens is each block is broken into 64KB parts, then each packet is transmitted to a different validator, after that validators pass the data to a group of peers, a neighborhood. It should be noted that not validators are the same, the prioritizing depends on the amount of stakes. 
  3. Gulf Stream
    Each network has a number of transactions that have been submitted but have not been processed, it is called a Mempool. For such networks as Bitcoin and Ethereum, the number of unprocessed transactions may fluctuate between 20K and 100K. The more transactions there are, the more time it consumes. Solana is able to handle 100 K-sized mempool within a couple of seconds. To not overwhelm the network the Gulf Stream is used. With this system validators are able to forward transactions to an expected leader earlier than it gets to them. Undoubtedly, this is only possible in case leaders are predetermined. Clients are expected to subscribe to confirmations of transactions from validators.
  4. Pipeline
    To be able to handle about 50,000 transactions per second Solana has a special pipeline mechanism, Transaction Processing Unit (TPU). The whole transaction processing includes several stages: data fetching (the kernel level), signature verification (the GPU level), banking (the CPU level), writing (the kernel level). In Solana when the TPU forwards blocks to validators, it has already had the next set of data and verified the signatures.
  5. Sealevel
    Sealevel provides an opportunity to run numerous amount of smart contracts at the same time. This becomes possible because Solana transactions describe all the states the transaction will be in while processing.
  6. Cloudbreak
    The main purpose of technologies used in Solana is to make software and hardware function at the top of their possibilities. To achieve this it is necessary to look after the amount of memory that is used for current processes and free the space needed. Cloudbreak collects old and invalid accounts that take place after updates and forks, thus it keeps free space that can be used again.
  7. Archivers
    At full capacity, Solana is able to process about 4 petabytes of data yearly. It is obvious that it is impossible for each node to store that amount of information without losing performance level. This problem is solved by archivers, replicator nodes. At some point data that needs to be stored is divided into pieces and sent to replicator nodes, which complete a Proof of Replication. Archivers are rewarded for their work.

Top Solana projects

Now let's take a look at some noteworthy crypto projects that are based on Solana.

Marinade Finance

The liquid staking protocol is based on the Solana blockchain and developed with the support of the Solana Foundation. Users block SOL tokens in staking without a lock-up period. Marinade Finance automatically places tokens to delegate Solana to the validators. As a reward, users receive the mSOL token that is used in the DeFi ecosystem. You can exchange mSOL for original SOL tokens anytime and unstake.


A decentralized credit protocol on the Solana blockchain. It is positioned by developers as “an autonomous interest rate machine for lending which allows earning interest and borrowing assets using fast speed, low fees and scalability of the Solana blockchain”. Users contribute cryptocurrencies and receive rewards in a form of interest. The interest rate is set by the algorithm. Contributed crypto can be used as collateral for a loan.


A decentralized exchange platform working on a base of Automated Market Making without liquidity pools. The exchange is implemented as the order book that provides an opportunity to find those who want to exchange crypto. The limit orders for the sale and purchase of cryptocurrency are listed in the order book.


Raydium plays a role of a liquidity provider for the central Serum limit order book. Raydium users and liquidity pools have access to the flow of orders and liquidity of the entire Serum ecosystem. All this is amplified by the usage of Solana. The protocol will serve as a bridge for projects seeking expansion on the Solana blockchain.

Tulip Protocol

The first decentralized platform and yield aggregator based on the Solana blockchain. It allows users to get high APYs without active management. The platform also provides a possibility of token farming utilizing up to 3x leverage. Leverage farming involves the risk of liquidation.


A decentralized crypto exchange built on the Solana blockchain. It allows users to exchange assets, provide liquidity and generate income. Project developers can use the Orca Exchange to integrate exchange data, profit farming data or blockchain data to their apps. The developers have released a beta version of Orca SDK. This tool simplifies the use of Orca as a constructor for cryptocurrency exchange.

It seems that the Solana project is able to take the community to a better level and provide some dream crypto technologies. Certainly, it is too early to say that all possible problems are solved. There is always room to grow. However, looking at how fast this project is improving we may consider that in the future the Solana team will surprise the community with more interesting features.

SimpleSwap reminds you that this article is provided for informational purposes only and does not provide investment advice. All purchases and cryptocurrency investments are your own responsibility.

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