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Is Cardano Faster Than Solana (Explained)

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Cardano and Solana are among the leading competitors to Ethereum, the largest smart contract network. Both are arguably better than Ethereum in some ways and inferior in others.

But this guide will be focusing on a comparison between the two, not against Ethereum.

You will learn which one, between Cardano and Solana, is better in terms of scalability, has more use cases, and has lower transaction fees?

Is Cardano faster than Solana?

No, Cardano is  not faster than Solana. The two projects may be aiming for the same goal of becoming the dominant blockchain network supporting decentralized applications (dApps), but they go about it in slightly different ways.

Throughput

Currently, Cardano can process about 250 transactions every second (TPS). To put this figure into context, Bitcoin and Ethereum process about 6 and 14 TPS. Clearly, Cardano is much faster than Ethereum.

However, Cardano pales in comparison to Solana, which processes about 2,500 transactions per second. That is at least ten times faster than Cardano.

Theoretically, Solana has the potential to process up to 50,000 TPS. If it manages to do that, it will surpass even traditional centralized networks like Google and Facebook, which can process no more than 24,000 transactions every second.

Consensus Mechanism

The most significant determinant of a blockchain’s transaction processing speed is its consensus mechanism.

Both Cardano and Solana use Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus, whereby transaction validators compete based on their stakes in the network. The larger the stake, the higher the chances that the validator gets to create an upcoming block and therefore get a reward.

Other than PoS, Solana uses Proof of History (PoH) in which the network timestamps all incoming transactions, creating a verifiable order of events.

It is the use of both PoS and PoH that enables Solana to achieve its impressive network throughput figures.

Cardano core developers are working on upgrading the network to use something called Ouroboros Hydra, which enables side chains to process transactions in a parallel manner.

This network upgrade should bump up the Cardano network speed to a theoretical 1,000,000 TPS.

Learn more about Solana Blockchain.

Why Are Cardano and Solana Fast?

Cardano is relatively fast compared to other 1st and 2nd generation blockchains, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, which are permissionless.

The reason why Cardano is faster than most other projects is the implementation of PoS as a consensus mechanism.

However, Cardano is slower than Solana, which currently processes about 2,500 transactions per second compared to Cardano’s 250.

Solana is faster than Cardano because the former makes use of the Proof of History (PoH) as an additional consensus process merged to ensure that transactions are verified and validated faster.

Is Cardano better than Solana?

Both projects have their benefits and drawbacks, so we can’t say for sure which one is superior to the other. They do have some similarities, however, such as:

They are both smart contract platforms

Cardano and Solana use the environmentally-friendly PoS mechanism to achieve consensus.

They are both part of the 3rd generation iteration of blockchains which improves on the strengths of Bitcoin and Ethereum while attempting to eliminate their weaknesses.

They have a focus on scalability, and even though Solana is significantly faster, Cardano is relatively quick enough for its applications.

Learn more about Cardano’s eco-friendly operations.

Why is Cardano Important?

Cardano introduces many innovative concepts that other blockchain projects can borrow, such as:

Ouroboros: The first peer-reviewed consensus mechanism to be used on a decentralized public network;

Staking: A consensus mechanism, which unlike mining encourages more energy-efficient operations;

Gradual decentralization: Cardano has always depended Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK), a software development studio led by former Ethereum core developer Charles Hoskinson. However, as the project matures, IOHK is increasingly extricating itself and ceding control over to the wider Cardano community.

Most projects start off with decentralization which greatly reduces their chances of gaining widespread adoption. Instead, they can choose to adopt the Cardano roadmap of starting with a centralized entity and gradually decentralizing.

Why is Solana higher than Cardano?

Solana has seen massive adoption from the blockchain community due to several reasons:

  • Solana is one of the fastest decentralized public networks;
  • Solana is already a full-fledged smart contract platform, whereas Cardano is currently rolling out a comparative feature on the testnet;
  • Cardano emphasizes peer-reviewed work whose process tends to be slower and upgrades taking longer to implement, unlike Solana, which implements upgrades and integrates innovative solutions more quickly.

What is so good about Solana?

Solana has two main attractions:

It is a smart contract platform meaning that it can support decentralized apps (dApps), which are proving to be extremely popular blockchain innovations;

It is highly scalable thanks to its use of the blended PoS and PoH consensus mechanism enabling it to process 2,500 transactions every second, a figure that can be raised to as high as 1,000,000 TPS.

What is Solana used for?

Solana has one main purpose, and that is to serve as a platform to host decentralized applications (dApps). So far, you can interact with apps in various categories already deployed on the nascent ecosystem, including:

  • Decentralized exchanges (DEX);
  • Play to Earn (P2E) games;
  • NFT marketplaces;
  • Decentralized Finance (DeFi) apps;
  • Wallets; and
  • Blockchain explorers.

Is Cardano faster than XRP?

No, Cardano is not faster than Ripple’s XRP, and this is because XRP uses a relatively more scalable consensus mechanism called XRP Consensus Mechanism. On the other hand, Cardano uses the increasingly popular Proof of Stake.

As a result, blocks on the XRP Ledger are created every 3-5 seconds, while those on the Cardano network are created every 20 or so seconds.

Final thoughts

Cardano and Solana are two of the leading innovative blockchain projects, not just in the technology that they introduce but also in terms of market value. They both have a multiverse of use cases, and with enough support from the community, either project has the capability of unseating Ethereum as the dominant smart contract platform.