The dueling visions of Solana and Ethereum
Future. While Bitcoin still reigns supreme, the Ethereum and Solana blockchains are innovating what is possible on the blockchain with different methods and priorities. While the philosophical debate (over which ideas are supreme) will excite tech enthusiasts, the trut is that both may serve complementary purposes for onboarding people into a Web3 world.
The proof is in the proof
The stage is set for a battle of the blockchain — Ethereum vs. Solana.
- Co-created and spearheaded by Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum is the second biggest blockchain in the world (Bitcoin is #1) with a market cap of $370 billion.
- Due to its data architecture and highly secure network, it’s the go-to blockchain for NFTs.
- It functions via a “proof of work” validation, which uses a lot of energy to add new blocks of transactions…making Ethereum incredibly decentralized but also slower and more expensive to use (in what are called “gas fees”).
- Created by Anatoly Yakovenko and Raj Gokal, Solana is one of the top five biggest blockchains, but well under Ethereum’s market cap at $33 billion.
- Still, it’s won over influential investors like Andreessen Horowitz and Polychain Capital because it verifies transactions via both the Yakovenko-code “proof of history” and the widely-used “proof of stake.”
- “Proof of history” timestamps transactions so that they can be done cheaper, faster, and more energy-efficiently… but also more centralized.
The Tech Games
The Information reports that while a lot of crypto stans, tech analysts, and opportunistic investors would like to pit the two blockchains (and Buterin and Yakovenko, especially) against each other, the truth is more complicated.
Web3 is being made out in the open “on chain,” so the top minds in the space are debating each other and sharing ideas in the same way while also challenging each other on the tech and philosophy behind blockchains… but in a way that is mostly respectful, both oriented toward a singular goal of normalizing crypto.
While Ethereum plans to switch to a proof-of-stake system later this year, Buterin admits that it’ll probably never be as fast as Solana… and that’s okay since decentralization is paramount to him. To Yakovenko and Gokal, scaling blockchain adoption to the point that it can be used like any other financial instrument is their north star. The war of priorities — not market power — wages on.