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Is Solana A Layer 1 Or 2 (Explained)

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Solana is emerging to become an absolute behemoth in the cryptocurrency markets.

Plenty of crypto users are even touting Solana as a potential Ethereum killer, especially with the ecosystem built on top of this blockchain.

Also, considering Solana uses the revolutionary Proof of History consensus mechanism, it can, in theory, overtake Ethereum.

In this article, we’ll take a look at whether Solana is a layer 1 or layer 2 blockchain and how it works.

Is Solana A Layer 1 Or 2?

Solana is a Layer 1 blockchain that enables developers to build decentralized applications and smart contracts. 

Learn more: Is Solana Multichain?

What is Layer 1 And Layer 2 In Crypto?

Layer 1

A Layer-1 protocol is the foundation of any blockchain. It represents the core or the base network of a cryptographic ecosystem. Layer 1 gives birth to the primary token of any cryptocurrency, that works as a currency and pays transaction fees.

Good example of Layer 1 blockchains include the following:

  • Celo
  • Harmony
  • Elrond
  • Kava
  • THORchain

Layer 2

Layer 2 are solutions built on top of the Layer 1 network to improve the functionality and scale the blockchain. Layer 2 solutions integrate extra functionality (like smart contracts) into the base of a blockchain.

A great example of Layer 2 projects is Bitcoin’s Lightning Network. 

What Blockchain Is Solana On?

Solana runs on the Solana Blockchain, which uses a Proof of Stake and Proof of History consensus mechanism to produce its blocks. 

Learn more: Is Solana Proof Of History?

How To Invest In Solana?

There are many ways to invest in Solana. Let’s look at the way you can buy Solana:

Fund Your Account

The easiest way to invest in Solana is to buy the token with fiat currency. Using a crypto exchange, you can deposit funds into your wallet and use them to buy an equivalent amount of SOL.

Storing your SOL

You can hold or store your SOL tokens on a wallet or keep it on a crypto exchange account. By doing so, you stake your tokens to secure the network, and that comes with rewards.

Take part in mining Solana

You can opt to help the Solana network mine new blocks and you can receive rewards for your participation.  

Learn more: 8 Best Mining Pools For Solana

Is Solana Built On Ethereum?

No. Solana is an independent cryptocurrency built on the Solana blockchain.

Is Solana Better Than Ethereum?

Between these two blockchains, there isn’t an outright winner, although Solana has some features that outperform Ethereum. Let’s explore some of them.

Transaction Speeds 

Concerning transactions speeds, Solana wins. Today, Solana holds record block times and transaction speeds.

Compared to ETH, which currently manages about 30TPS and a 15-second block time, Solana boasts an outstanding 65,000 TPS and a block time of 1 second. 

Mechanism

Solana uses the revolutionary Proof of History mechanism to validate transaction blocks, while Ethereum still uses the Proof of Work consensus mechanism.

PoH makes a better mechanism as it’s faster, more secure and less resource-intensive.

Transaction Fees and Gas Fees

Solana offers some of the lowest transaction costs in the market. Ethereum, on the other hand, charges fees that fluctuate depending on the size of a transaction. For this reason, ETH fees are significantly higher.

A transaction on the Solana network will cost you approximately $0.00025 per transaction, while Ethereum charges a percentage of the transaction, and these costs can rise up to over $70 per transaction.

Is Solana Faster Than Ethereum?

Yes, Solana is faster than Ethereum. 

At the time of this writing, Solana has faster transaction speeds than Ethereum. Today, Ethereum tops out at 30 Transactions Per Second while Solana can reach a potential 65,000 TPS. 

Also, Solana has a speedier block time of 1 second compared to Ethereum, which generates blocks every 15 seconds. Validating transactions on the Solana blockchain is much faster because Solana runs on PoH, unlike Ethereum’s PoW. 

However, the expected launch of ETH 2.0 might change this. Ethereum’s development team anticipates that the Ethereum Serenity update will reach a record 100,000 TPS.

Learn more: Is Cardano Faster Than Solana? 

What Is A Layer 0 Crypto?

A Layer 0 cryptocurrency is the initial layer in all blockchain protocols. A Layer 0 protocol comprises structures that can confirm data with user-defined functions. This protocol has nodes and hardware necessary to sustain the existence of a blockchain. 

Layer 0 ensures a continuous connection with the rest of the protocols to establish cross-chain value. It provides participants with effective substitutes for smart contracts. 

The Layer 0 protocol is essential to solve the shortcomings of the Layer 1 protocols. Here is how Layer 0 is functional:

Scaling

A Layer 0 protocol is essential for improving the performance and speed of decentralized applications built on a blockchain. It ensures that every dApp uses the maximum resources of a blockchain for maximum output.  

Usability

To improve the functions of Layer 1 applications in a blockchain, developers employ Layer 0 protocols to avoid compromising the network design, speeds, or security when scaling. 

Sovereignty 

Layer 0 allows developers to fix the system without waiting for approvals from the Layer 1 protocol. 

Two excellent examples of Layer 0 projects are Cosmos and Polkadot. 

What Is A Layer 3 Blockchain?

A Layer 3 blockchain offers a platform for developing applications on the network.

Here, you will find decentralized applications, services, and other contracts which make the creation of the apps possible. Solana is among the blockchains that offer a variety of such applications. 

The primary use of features on Layer 3 is to provide a single cross-chain application and environment for users to explore, create and use different blockchains in the industry. 

Solana hosts over 500 Layer 3 applications, while Ethereum hosts up to 3000 such apps. Some of the excellent examples of applications on Layer 3 include:

  • Audius for music sharing in Solana.
  • Phantom – a wallet to hold DeFi, stake your SOL, and store NFTs.
  • Serum- a project through which developers can create independent and non-custodial decentralized exchanges.
  • Megaplex – one of the leading native NFT minting marketplaces for Solana users.

Final Thoughts

Solana is an excellent example of a layer 2 blockchain. Its functionality supports smart contracts and decentralized apps, which are useful to all network participants. It’s also much faster than Ethereum, and much cheaper to use.