Solana

BLOCKCHAIN REBUILT FOR SCALE

About Solana

Solana is a blockchain protocol that uses a proof-of-history (PoH) along with proof-of-replication (PoRep) and is capable of 710K transactions per second (TPS) on a 1Gb network. PoH is a algorithm developed by the Solana team and allows for the ability to reference the passage of time in a trustless manner. Since time-related data is available before consensus is reached, validation of data can be segregated and distributed amongst various nodes, reducing redundancy and network congestion. This allows for horizontal scaling (without sharding), increasing system efficiency.

Token Sale Use of Blockchain

Product

3.8
Product
Readiness

Is the product ready for use? Is there a working prototype or MVP? How long until it is operational?

3.0
N/A
3 - Prototype / MVP / alpha.
Appeal

How appealing is the product? How good or necessary is it? Does it have a distinct edge?

5.0
N/A
5 - Wow.
Target User Base

Is it mass market or niche?

3.0
N/A
3 - Has growth potential.
Competition

Are there many other similar solutions or is this one of just a few, or even one of a kind?

3.0
N/A
3 - Some normal competition.
Innovation

How innovative or inventive is the product, either conceptually or technologically?

5.0
N/A
5 - Highly specialized, proprietary.

Product

Currently, the Testnet is available on the organization’s GitHub page. The appeal of a platform that is able to horizontally scale and provide higher transaction throughput is evident. An evaluation on competitors is fairly limited, with a single figure demonstrating the transaction speed of Solana with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Visa, Google, and NASDAQ. The organization is proposing a potential solution that addresses issues with the current state of bleeding-edge technology. As such, the solution is highly specialized and evidently innovative.

Product Whitepaper

Use of Blockchain

5.0
Use of Blockchain
Blockchain Development

Is blockchain technology essential? Does it make the solution significantly different and better?

5.0
N/A
5 - Novel blockchain and service.
Disruptive Blockchain Advantage

How disruptive is the introduction of blockchain technology into the product's market space?

5.0
N/A
5 - Fundamentally disruptive.
Need for a Custom Token (vs. BTC or ETH)

Is the token essential or could it be done just as well or better with fiat or Bitcoin?

5.0
N/A
5 - Real, tangible, utility-based value.
System Decentralization (besides token)

How decentralized is the system architecture other than the token (e.g., data collection, storage, access, and use, or decision making processes, etc.)?

5.0
N/A
5 - Fully decentralized.
Contribution to Blockchain Ecosystem

How compelling is the solution's contribution to the evolution of blockchain infrastructure and economy?

5.0
N/A
5 - Wow.

Use of Blockchain

Solana proposes to use PoH in order to reduce network latency. PoH allows for the ability to arrange the inputs via timestamps and allocate portions of the hash chain to different nodes. Timestamps are simply a count of how many times the function is called. Since the cryptographic hash function is collision resistant, validators are able to easily verify the sequence of events. If a user were to tamper with the timestamp, the output would change unpredictably and validators would reject the falsified transaction. PoRep is used to “account for the cost of storing the blockchain history or state at a high availability”. It is stated that “PoRep and PoH together should provide a defense of both space and time against a forged ledger”.

Use of Blockchain Roadmap

Whitepaper

3.6
Whitepaper
Comprehensiveness

Does it cover the full scope of the problem and solution?

3.0
N/A
3 - Covers most key issues; a few holes.
Readability

Is it easy enough to understand?

3.0
N/A
3 - Readable, takes some time.
Transparency

Does it candidly describe and disclose where the project now stands, how much exists and how much still needs to be done, etc.?

4.0
N/A
4 - Informative disclosure.
Business Plan Presentation

Does it contain a viable, comprehensive business plan?

3.0
N/A
3 - More information required.
Technology Presentation

Does it present a well thought out technological architecture? Does it address implementational challenges?

5.0
N/A
5 - Thorough, viable, convincing, promising.

Whitepaper

The whitepaper is technical. The entirety of the document focuses on discussing the technology of the protocol as opposed to a comprehensive document containing a business plan, economic analysis, etc. Due to the its complexity, the document takes time to read. Full transparency is provided regarding the technical details of the solution. Publicly available repositories (including the Testnet) are available for download on the Solana GitHub page. Legal discussion is limited to the disclaimer at the beginning of the document.

Whitepaper Compliance

Roadmap

4.0
Roadmap
Concreteness

Is there a concrete and practical development plan (vs. just a conceptual vision)?

3.0
N/A
3 - An overall plan, major milestones stated.
Feasibility

Is the development plan realistic? Is it based on reasonable goals and timelines?

4.0
N/A
4 - Realistic.
Vision

Is there a larger, long-term vision?

5.0
N/A
5 - Paving the way for the future.
Dependencies (services or capabilities)

How available, operational, or trusted are the other systems or capabilities on which the project relies?

5.0
N/A
5 - Available, trustworthy, recognized.
Current Position

Where is the project now, relative to its vision and plans?

3.0
N/A
3 - Getting there.

Roadmap

The roadmap is presented on the Solana website as follows:

November 2017 – Idea conception and whitepaper
February 2018 – Whitepaper and initial Testnet
June 2018 – Testnet 2.0 and public demo
September 2018 – Public beta
Q4 2018 – Live Mainnet
Q1 2019 – Token distribution and partnerships

Overall, major milestones are presented, but details are lacking. As the Testnet is already available, an updated version of the Testnet in June 2018 followed by the public beta in September 2018 is seemingly feasible. The technology does not have apparent dependencies and is primarily dependent on the development team to develop a working solution.

Roadmap Company and Team

Compliance

2.6
Compliance
Token Utility (value through usage)

How much use is there for the token itself (regardless of its value as an investment vehicle)?

3.0
N/A
3 - Limited or uncertain use cases.
Token as Security (tradable instrument)

How valuable is the token as an investment vehicle or financial instrument?

3.0
N/A
3 - Partly; compliance not fully assured.
Token/Smart-Contract Readiness

Is the blockchain infrastructure of the project ready for use? Is there a working prototype or MVP? How long until it is operational?

3.0
N/A
3 - Prototype / MVP / alpha.
Attention to Compliance Issues

How much attention is given to compliance (via token and ecosystem design, token sale participation, etc.)? Is this issue addressed directly and coherently?

2.0
N/A
2 - Minimal, superficial or hackneyed.
Legal Review/Risk Assessment

What kind of legal documentation (reviews or agreements) and risk assessment are provided?

2.0
N/A
2 - Insufficient or unprofessional.

Compliance

The whitepaper contains a brief disclaimer at the start of the document. It is stated that if and when the organization plans to have a token offering in the United States, that the offering will likely only be accessible to accredited investors. A disclaimer is also presented on the Solana website, which states that “if and when Solana offers for sale any tokens (or a Simple Agreement for Future Tokens), it will do so through definitive offering documents, including a disclosure document and risk factors”. The company is merely publishing content in order to receive comment and feedback from the public.

Compliance Token Sale

Company and Team

3.0
Company and Team
Company Stage and Foundation

Is the company already established? Has it raised funds before? Is it mature?

3.0
N/A
3 - Company structure in place.
Background of Lead Team Members

Do we know who they are? Do they have LinkedIn profiles? Do they have solid, relevant backgrounds?

4.0
N/A
4 - Verifiable relevant experience.
Team Assembly and Commitment

Is a solid, fully committed core team in place? Do they have online (e.g. LinkedIn) profiles showing sufficient relevant experience? Is their participation transparent?

3.0
N/A
3 - Mostly assembled and committed.
Team Skill Set Relevance

Does the amount of talent and skill in each area seem to fit the project requirements?

3.0
N/A
3 - Correlated to project requirements.
Team Skill Set Balance

Is the team well-rounded (biz/tech/blockchain)? Is there sufficient talent and skill in all areas of required development?

2.0
N/A
2 - Somewhat skewed.

Company and Team

Solana is a for-profit company based in San Francisco, California and was founded in 2017. It is unknown if Solana has received investment funding. There are 6 team members listed on the Solana website. Profile pictures, short bio descriptions and links to LinkedIn profiles are included. All team members indicate affiliation with Solana and have a sufficient level of detail provided on their LinkedIn accounts. The CEO, CTO and engineer have had experience working in technical positions with Qualcomm. The CEO was also previously a software engineer at Dropbox. Overall, the skill set of the team is skewed towards technical development as opposed to business development.

Company and Team Product

Token Sale

2.8
Token Sale
Raise Amount Max

Is there a clear cap? Is the maximum raise amount modestly sufficient (as opposed to either greedy or insufficient)?

3.0
N/A
3 - Justifiable.
Raise Amount Min

Is the minimum raise reasonable considering the development plan? Are there raise-amount dependent milestones?

3.0
N/A
3 - Justifiable.
Fund Allocation

Is fund distribution and allocation reasonable and justified?

3.0
N/A
3 - Rough estimates, but sensible.
Token Allocation

Is the ratio of tokens sold to those kept reasonable? Does it prevent the company from having too much control?

3.0
N/A
3 - Sufficient company/community interest balance.
Media Presence and Following

Is the sale being talked about in Reddit, Bitcointalk, Social Media, Medium, etc.? Is information available and accessible? Is there interest?

2.0
N/A
2 - Minor exposure and interest, or ambivalent reception.

Token Sale

At this time, the organization does not intend to offer or sell any sort of tokens. More details are expected to release as the date approaches Q1 2019, where token distribution is planned to occur. Overall, there is minor exposure on major social media platforms (with the exception of Telgram with over 15K members).

Product

Currently, the Testnet is available on the organization’s GitHub page. The appeal of a platform that is able to horizontally scale and provide higher transaction throughput is evident. An evaluation on competitors is fairly limited, with a single figure demonstrating the transaction speed of Solana with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Visa, Google, and NASDAQ. The organization is proposing a potential solution that addresses issues with the current state of bleeding-edge technology. As such, the solution is highly specialized and evidently innovative.

Category Breakdown
Readiness

Is the product ready for use? Is there a working prototype or MVP? How long until it is operational?

3.0
N/A
3 - Prototype / MVP / alpha.
Appeal

How appealing is the product? How good or necessary is it? Does it have a distinct edge?

5.0
N/A
5 - Wow.
Target User Base

Is it mass market or niche?

3.0
N/A
3 - Has growth potential.
Competition

Are there many other similar solutions or is this one of just a few, or even one of a kind?

3.0
N/A
3 - Some normal competition.
Innovation

How innovative or inventive is the product, either conceptually or technologically?

5.0
N/A
5 - Highly specialized, proprietary.
Product Score:
3.8

Use of Blockchain

Solana proposes to use PoH in order to reduce network latency. PoH allows for the ability to arrange the inputs via timestamps and allocate portions of the hash chain to different nodes. Timestamps are simply a count of how many times the function is called. Since the cryptographic hash function is collision resistant, validators are able to easily verify the sequence of events. If a user were to tamper with the timestamp, the output would change unpredictably and validators would reject the falsified transaction. PoRep is used to “account for the cost of storing the blockchain history or state at a high availability”. It is stated that “PoRep and PoH together should provide a defense of both space and time against a forged ledger”.

Category Breakdown
Blockchain Development

Is blockchain technology essential? Does it make the solution significantly different and better?

5.0
N/A
5 - Novel blockchain and service.
Disruptive Blockchain Advantage

How disruptive is the introduction of blockchain technology into the product's market space?

5.0
N/A
5 - Fundamentally disruptive.
Need for a Custom Token (vs. BTC or ETH)

Is the token essential or could it be done just as well or better with fiat or Bitcoin?

5.0
N/A
5 - Real, tangible, utility-based value.
System Decentralization (besides token)

How decentralized is the system architecture other than the token (e.g., data collection, storage, access, and use, or decision making processes, etc.)?

5.0
N/A
5 - Fully decentralized.
Contribution to Blockchain Ecosystem

How compelling is the solution's contribution to the evolution of blockchain infrastructure and economy?

5.0
N/A
5 - Wow.
Use of Blockchain Score:
5.0

Whitepaper

The whitepaper is technical. The entirety of the document focuses on discussing the technology of the protocol as opposed to a comprehensive document containing a business plan, economic analysis, etc. Due to the its complexity, the document takes time to read. Full transparency is provided regarding the technical details of the solution. Publicly available repositories (including the Testnet) are available for download on the Solana GitHub page. Legal discussion is limited to the disclaimer at the beginning of the document.

Category Breakdown
Comprehensiveness

Does it cover the full scope of the problem and solution?

3.0
N/A
3 - Covers most key issues; a few holes.
Readability

Is it easy enough to understand?

3.0
N/A
3 - Readable, takes some time.
Transparency

Does it candidly describe and disclose where the project now stands, how much exists and how much still needs to be done, etc.?

4.0
N/A
4 - Informative disclosure.
Business Plan Presentation

Does it contain a viable, comprehensive business plan?

3.0
N/A
3 - More information required.
Technology Presentation

Does it present a well thought out technological architecture? Does it address implementational challenges?

5.0
N/A
5 - Thorough, viable, convincing, promising.
Whitepaper Score:
3.6

Roadmap

The roadmap is presented on the Solana website as follows:

November 2017 – Idea conception and whitepaper
February 2018 – Whitepaper and initial Testnet
June 2018 – Testnet 2.0 and public demo
September 2018 – Public beta
Q4 2018 – Live Mainnet
Q1 2019 – Token distribution and partnerships

Overall, major milestones are presented, but details are lacking. As the Testnet is already available, an updated version of the Testnet in June 2018 followed by the public beta in September 2018 is seemingly feasible. The technology does not have apparent dependencies and is primarily dependent on the development team to develop a working solution.

Category Breakdown
Concreteness

Is there a concrete and practical development plan (vs. just a conceptual vision)?

3.0
N/A
3 - An overall plan, major milestones stated.
Feasibility

Is the development plan realistic? Is it based on reasonable goals and timelines?

4.0
N/A
4 - Realistic.
Vision

Is there a larger, long-term vision?

5.0
N/A
5 - Paving the way for the future.
Dependencies (services or capabilities)

How available, operational, or trusted are the other systems or capabilities on which the project relies?

5.0
N/A
5 - Available, trustworthy, recognized.
Current Position

Where is the project now, relative to its vision and plans?

3.0
N/A
3 - Getting there.
Roadmap Score:
4.0

Compliance

The whitepaper contains a brief disclaimer at the start of the document. It is stated that if and when the organization plans to have a token offering in the United States, that the offering will likely only be accessible to accredited investors. A disclaimer is also presented on the Solana website, which states that “if and when Solana offers for sale any tokens (or a Simple Agreement for Future Tokens), it will do so through definitive offering documents, including a disclosure document and risk factors”. The company is merely publishing content in order to receive comment and feedback from the public.

Category Breakdown
Token Utility (value through usage)

How much use is there for the token itself (regardless of its value as an investment vehicle)?

3.0
N/A
3 - Limited or uncertain use cases.
Token as Security (tradable instrument)

How valuable is the token as an investment vehicle or financial instrument?

3.0
N/A
3 - Partly; compliance not fully assured.
Token/Smart-Contract Readiness

Is the blockchain infrastructure of the project ready for use? Is there a working prototype or MVP? How long until it is operational?

3.0
N/A
3 - Prototype / MVP / alpha.
Attention to Compliance Issues

How much attention is given to compliance (via token and ecosystem design, token sale participation, etc.)? Is this issue addressed directly and coherently?

2.0
N/A
2 - Minimal, superficial or hackneyed.
Legal Review/Risk Assessment

What kind of legal documentation (reviews or agreements) and risk assessment are provided?

2.0
N/A
2 - Insufficient or unprofessional.
Compliance Score:
2.6

Company and Team

Solana is a for-profit company based in San Francisco, California and was founded in 2017. It is unknown if Solana has received investment funding. There are 6 team members listed on the Solana website. Profile pictures, short bio descriptions and links to LinkedIn profiles are included. All team members indicate affiliation with Solana and have a sufficient level of detail provided on their LinkedIn accounts. The CEO, CTO and engineer have had experience working in technical positions with Qualcomm. The CEO was also previously a software engineer at Dropbox. Overall, the skill set of the team is skewed towards technical development as opposed to business development.

Category Breakdown
Company Stage and Foundation

Is the company already established? Has it raised funds before? Is it mature?

3.0
N/A
3 - Company structure in place.
Background of Lead Team Members

Do we know who they are? Do they have LinkedIn profiles? Do they have solid, relevant backgrounds?

4.0
N/A
4 - Verifiable relevant experience.
Team Assembly and Commitment

Is a solid, fully committed core team in place? Do they have online (e.g. LinkedIn) profiles showing sufficient relevant experience? Is their participation transparent?

3.0
N/A
3 - Mostly assembled and committed.
Team Skill Set Relevance

Does the amount of talent and skill in each area seem to fit the project requirements?

3.0
N/A
3 - Correlated to project requirements.
Team Skill Set Balance

Is the team well-rounded (biz/tech/blockchain)? Is there sufficient talent and skill in all areas of required development?

2.0
N/A
2 - Somewhat skewed.
Company and Team Score:
3.0

Token Sale

At this time, the organization does not intend to offer or sell any sort of tokens. More details are expected to release as the date approaches Q1 2019, where token distribution is planned to occur. Overall, there is minor exposure on major social media platforms (with the exception of Telgram with over 15K members).

Category Breakdown
Raise Amount Max

Is there a clear cap? Is the maximum raise amount modestly sufficient (as opposed to either greedy or insufficient)?

3.0
N/A
3 - Justifiable.
Raise Amount Min

Is the minimum raise reasonable considering the development plan? Are there raise-amount dependent milestones?

3.0
N/A
3 - Justifiable.
Fund Allocation

Is fund distribution and allocation reasonable and justified?

3.0
N/A
3 - Rough estimates, but sensible.
Token Allocation

Is the ratio of tokens sold to those kept reasonable? Does it prevent the company from having too much control?

3.0
N/A
3 - Sufficient company/community interest balance.
Media Presence and Following

Is the sale being talked about in Reddit, Bitcointalk, Social Media, Medium, etc.? Is information available and accessible? Is there interest?

2.0
N/A
2 - Minor exposure and interest, or ambivalent reception.
Token Sale Score:
2.8

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