Solana is a crypto-computing platform that aims to achieve high transaction speeds without sacrificing decentralization.
Like Ethereum, Solana is both a cryptocurrency and a flexible platform for running decentralized apps (dapps) — everything from Degenerate Apes to the Serum decentralized exchange (or DEX). Its major innovation is speed, via a bundle of new technologies including a consensus mechanism called proof of history (PoH). Solana can process around 50,000 transactions per second — compared to 15 or less for Ethereum (the ETH2 upgrade, which is currently underway, is designed to make Ethereum much faster than it is now).
Because Solana is so fast, congestion and fees remain low. Developers hope high speeds and low fees will eventually enable Solana to scale to compete with centralized payment processors like Visa.
Solana’s native cryptocurrency is SOL, which is used to pay transaction fees and for staking. It also gives holders the right to vote in future upgrades. SOL is available to buy and sell via exchanges like Coinbase.