Why Solana Metrics are Disingenuous


Solana prominently features its supposed high transaction volume, low block time, and low transaction costs on its website and has aggressively marketed on that basis. Unfortunately, none of the metrics hold up to scrutiny.

First, consensus voting is included in the transaction count (I don’t think anyone else does this) and comprises the majority of all transactions on the network.

Second, it’s true that Solana’s block time is fast, but this is very different from transaction finality. It usually takes several blocks before the transaction is included in a block and committed to consensus state.

The cornerstone technical innovation of Solana, Proof of History, addresses a problem that other DLTs don’t even have to begin with. Namely, blocks must be produced serially, so Proof of History introduces a verifiable delay to synchronize the timing of block production.

Solana makes a further security tradeoff in order to achieve low latency. Not only does it have a leader, but the leader is also known in advance! This makes it uniquely susceptible to denial of service.

Finally, the low transaction fee advertised by Solana is a gimmick. It doesn’t cover the real cost of operating the network and must be subsidized by inflationary staking rewards.

I should also mention that blockchains are leader-based networks. The leader (block producer) gets to decide which transactions are included and in what order. This lack of fairness is a huge problem for decentralized exchanges, which is Solana’s target market and biggest use case.

submitted by /u/phoosball
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