Solana is a blockchain network that emerged to solve one of the biggest problems in the crypto/blockchain industries, which is low scalability. Because of low scalability, waiting periods for transaction processing can last for hours, if not days. On the other hand, if you are in a hurry to have your transaction processed, you need to pay massive fees, which may sometimes even exceed the size of your transaction itself.
To say that this is inefficient is an understatement, and at that point, you may as well use traditional banking. Solana offers a much faster chain, with the ability to process as many as 100,000 TPS without struggling. In fact, the struggle begins all the way up at 400,000 TPS, which makes it the most scalable and most powerful blockchain in the industry.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that it will be right for everyone. Solana is still young, and apart from having to polish out its systems, it also still lacks the diversity of projects that some other blockchains can offer. With that in mind, we offer our top 8 Solana alternatives, each of which is unique and used for different reasons, so let’s take a look at what they have to offer, and then you can decide whether you wish to explore one or more of them in addition to Solana, or completely switch to them.
The first on our list is Ethereum. Now, we know what you are thinking — Ethereum is exactly the blockchain that Solana emerged to replace due to all the issues that it has, and that Solana has removed. That much is true. However, Ethereum is also the father of dApps, DeFi, NFTs, and all other blockchain products that we know and love today.
With that in mind, it is not surprising that Ethereum is also the most diverse project in the world in terms of all the different projects that it offers. So, while Solana’s 100,000 TPS can’t even be compared to Ethereum’s 15 TPS, Ethereum still has an entire sea of content that Solana lacks. We believe that this makes it worth considering. Plus, once Ethereum 2.0 finally arrives, the network will, hopefully, be a lot more competent than it is right now, which might make Ethereum a lot easier to use.
To learn more visit our Investing in Ethereum guide.
2. Binance Smart Chain
In the second spot, we have Binance Smart Chain. Now, BSC is only slightly better than Ethereum in terms of scalability, so it is still no match for Solana on that front. However, BSC is also Ethereum’s main competitor in terms of project diversity. It emerged fairly recently, in 2020, when DeFi blew up. But, thanks to the fact that it is Binance’s secondary blockchain, it quickly attracted attention and trust, allowing it to blow up a lot faster than Solana itself.
BSC was created to be Binance’s version of Ethereum, and that’s exactly what it became. As such, it is also an alternative to Solana that is more than worth considering if you wish to find big and popular DeFi protocols, dApps, and alike.
To learn more visit our Investing in Binance guide.
Next up, we have Avalanche – the world’s self-proclaimed fastest smart contracts platform according to time-to-finality. Whether this is true when the project is put against Solana or not is still a debate. However, the fact remains that Avalanche is blazingly fast, low cost, and most importantly – extremely eco-friendly. This is a huge perk, given how much attention eco-friendliness is getting in today’s crypto sector.
This platform also blew up very quickly and became very big in a short amount of time, featuring well over 450 individual projects, and with a powerful burning mechanism that offers to make its token very valuable due to a reducing supply.
To learn more visit our Investing in Avalanche guide.
Moving forward, we have Polkadot. Much like Solana, Polkadot also sought to solve the problem of low scalability of older chains, only it used an entirely different approach. Relying on its parachains — parallel chains that run alongside its main chain — Polkadot is able to achieve scalability by sending some of its work to different parachains. This reduces the amount of work that the main network has to deal with, and it ensures that it will never get overwhelmed with transaction requests.
Furthermore, these parallel chains also have the ability to connect to other blockchains, as well as to one another. As a result, they could create a network of connected blockhains and set the foundation for ultimate crypto interoperability, and maybe even make the Polkadot become the heart of Web3.
To learn more visit our Investing in Polkadot guide.
In the fifth spot, we have Cardano, which is not a young project, but it only recently became a competitor thanks to the fact that it only added support for smart contracts in October 2021. This was when the project completed the second of its 5 development steps. In doing so, it suddenly became a main attraction in the development sector, attracting projects, developers, and users alike.
With only two out of five steps behind it, Cardano still has a lot of features and functionalities to add, and many experts believe that it will someday be a one-stop shop for anything blockchain. For now, however, Cardano is a young development platform which can be good and bad. It certainly doesn’t have that great project diversity after only being able to support smart contracts for six months, but most projects that emerge on it now could still get the first-mover advantage, so there is potential there to run a highly successful project.
To learn more visit our Investing in Cardano guide.
In the sixth spot, we have TRON — a project that originally emerged on Ethereum, only to launch its own chain after that and migrate to it. TRON aimed to become Ethereum’s competitor, but its ultimate goal is to revolutionize the entertainment industry. In the years that followed, the project made a number of moves towards achieving that goal, and ultimately it became something of a gambler’s hub of the blockchain world.
It is still capable of running virtually any kind of dApp or DeFi protocol, and there are all kinds of things on its network, but online betting in a decentralized way found its home on this platform, so if you are looking for something of that sort, TRON is the way to go.
To learn more visit our Investing in Tron guide.
Nearing the end of the list, we have Cosmos, which likes to describe itself as a blockchain that is solving some of the hardest issues of the crypto world. Like Solana, Cardano, Polkadot, and many others, it has found a way to speed up its chain and offer a better alternative to “slow, expensive, unscalable, and environmentally harmful” PoW protocols such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
But, apart from offering a more scalable solution, Cosmos also has the goal of making blockchain technology simpler. At least, simple enough so that anyone can use it. In other words, one of its major goals is pushing adoption of crypto and blockchain, and demystification of dApps, DeFi protocols, and other products of the blockchain technology.
The project knows that simplicity is key to adoption. Last, but not least, it is also working on tackling interoperability, as it also understands the importance of allowing different chains to communicate with one another directly and send data and money from one blockchain to another seamlessly.
To learn more visit our Investing in Cosmos guide.
Lastly, we have Hedera, which is an enterprise-grade public network for the decentralized economy. The project aims to offer individuals and businesses the opportunity to create powerful and functional decentralized applications, and it was designed to be more efficient and fairer system that would eliminate the limitations that are still present in older blockchains to this day.
In other words, this is another project that wishes to offer an alternative to Ethereum, and offer a better deal, such as better performance, greater stability, faster transaction processing, increased scalability, and more. However, unlike most other projects dedicated to this goal, Hedera was not built on top of a conventional blockchain. Instead, it introduced a new type of DLT called the Hashgraph, which allows it to work even better than most blockchain alternatives to Ethereum. This includes several key areas, such as scalability, speed, and cost of transactions.
To learn more visit our Investing in Hedera HashGraph guide.
With that, we conclude this list of the top 8 Solana alternatives. Solana is one of the most scalable development platforms in the blockchain world, that much is not being questioned. However, it is not the only efficient blockchain out there, and even those that aren’t as efficient, such as Ethereum and BSC, have their own advantages, such as far richer and more developed ecosystems, at least for the time being.
So, don’t be afraid to research them and experiment a bit. Solana will always be there if you find others to be less satisfying, but if you find them to be better in some way, there is nothing stopping you from operating on both Solana and that other chain or chains.