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Is Solana Proof Of History (Explained)

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Unlike other consensus mechanisms, the Proof of History mechanism creates historical records that prove a transaction occurred at a specific moment.

Because of its revolutionary nature, PoH has been used to solve the blockchain trilemma many cryptocurrencies face today.

The question is: Does Solana use Proof of History?

Is Solana Proof Of Stake Or Proof Of History?

Solana (SOL) operates on both Proof of Stake and Proof of History to create, validate and uphold the correctness of the information on its blockchain.

PoS lets participants stake their coins in the blockchain while the Proof of History mechanism ensures leaders of slots confirm transactions following the correct order. 

Learn more: Is Solana Quantum Resistant?

How Does Solana Use Proof Of History?

Solana uses PoH to establish a precise timestamp record from one node to another.

This step is crucial because participants chosen as validators have to comply with the timing and structure of events in the blockchain. 

PoH allocates intervals for which every validator can view the time given to slot leaders in real-time before approving a block to the network.

As a slot leader, you’ll find this mechanism helpful since you don’t have to check through a chunk of transactions to validate them. 

How is Solana related to the metaverse? Learn more about it in our guide.

Is Solana Mineable?

No. You can’t mine Solana. There are only two ways to introduce new blocks to the Solana blockchain network. Let’s look at them:

Validation

Validation involves using powerful computers or servers to approve all the transactions in the blockchain.

Like most cryptocurrencies that validate transactions using the Proof of Stake mechanism, Solana uses rewards to motivate validators holding the stakes of other participants. 

Since this method needs massive investment in education and equipment, few participants can afford to play as validators. You need to be adept at using Linux systems and invest in robust, expensive servers.

Staking

You can stake Solana to earn rewards. Most validators within the SOL system will award you up to 8% whenever you accept to help validate transactions on the network by staking your coins.

Another way to earn SOL is to join mining pools that pay out in Solana. These pools mine other coins or participate in large-scale staking and pay their users in different coins, including Solana.

What Is Proof Of History?

According to the Solana Explainer, Proof of History (PoH) is a network-wide, permissionless source of time that operates before consensus.

PoH is not a consensus mechanism but a cryptographical solution to track time by creating timestamps in a blockchain network.

It solves the clock problem on the blockchain by using a VDF (Verifiable Delay Function). As a block generator, you depend on PoH to gain a slot and produce one block. 

For example, the Solana blockchain uses Proof of History to ensure a proper progression of transactions before assigning to a suitable leader.

The Solana PoH elects slot leaders upfront before arriving at a consensus. Chosen leaders have the task of keeping tabs on the time sequence of the specific slot allocated. 

At any moment, as a validator, you must wait for your slot to reach, and other validators can see your slot time. All the following slot leaders understand when the others should start working.

Learn more: Is Solana The Best Crypto?

Is Proof Of History Secure?

Yes. Proof of History is secure.

How so?

Rather than relying on the transaction’s timestamp, you may show that the transaction took place before and after an event.

As stated above, PoH is a verifiable delay function with a high frequency. Evaluating a Verifiable Delay Function takes a specified number of subsequent steps but results in a unique output that can be quickly and publicly validated. 

PoH uses a cryptographic algorithm function that must fully execute to generate the output; as a result, you can predict it from the input.

You can perform the function in order on a single core, with the previous output serving as the current input, and the current output and the number of times it has been called are regularly recorded.

External computers can then figure out and verify the output in parallel, with each sequence segment being checked on a separate core.

In the event, you can use a hash of data to the state of the function to timestamp data into this sequence.

PoH works this way; 

  • Run a cryptographic hash function (e.g., SHA256) from a random starting value, take the output, and pass it as input to the same function again. 
  • Record how many times the system function executes and what the output has been at each call. 
  • The system will pick any string as the starting random value, such as the day’s headline from the New York Times.

You can only compute a set of hashes in order using a single computer thread. The hash function selected must be collision-resistant. There isn’t a way to forecast the hash value at index 500 without first executing the algorithm 500 times.

From the data structure results, we can conclude that real-time has passed between index 0 and 500.

Learn more: Is Solana Eco Friendly?

Which Crypto Uses Proof Of History?

At this writing, Solana (SOL) is the only cryptocurrency that uses Proof of History (PoH). Although practical and secure, it has several advantages and disadvantages:

Pros 

  • Near-zero fees and speedy transactions: Solana has an impressive TPS and low costs than most cryptocurrencies with low costs. Lower prices and faster transactions make the blockchain favorable for large transactions.
  • Scalability: Speedier transactions on SOL continue to trigger wider adoption of blockchain technology and upscale its use.

Cons 

  • A smaller number of dApps: Solana has fewer decentralized apps than its peer Ethereum. SOL has less than 400 dApps, unlike Ethereum, with over 3000 dApps.
  • Decentralization issues: With the current PoH mechanism, Solana only has 1200 validators on its network. 

Why Is Solana The Fastest Blockchain?

The primary reason Solana is the fastest is its impressive transactions per second.

Today, Solana boasts of a remarkable 65000TPS. Proof of Stake and PoH are the main factors taking the speeds to such levels. 

At this writing, there is a new kid on the block. The Bitberg Brise BRC20 blockchain.

The Bitberg makes the transaction speed of other coins seem like a task. It holds a record of 100,000 transactions per second.

With lower gas fees than any other cryptocurrency in the market, Solana needs to double its effort to remain competitive or beat BitBerg.

Final Thoughts

As one of the most revolutionary blockchains in the market, Solana has used the Proof of History model to speed up transactions on their network and solve the scalability problem faced by many cryptocurrencies in the market today.