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LearnCrypto 101

Solana vs Ethereum: Everything you need to know

Jonathan G.
solana vs ethereum

    Are you ready to uncover the secrets behind two of the most popular blockchains: Solana and Ethereum?

    Both blockchains seem similar at first glance, but their core architectures couldn't be more different: Solana's high-speed, unified monolithic design contrasts Ethereum's flexible, modular approach.

    But what does this mean for developers, users, and the future of blockchain technology?

    Read on to see how Solana and Ethereum's competing philosophies shape their ecosystems and what it means for you.

    Solana vs Ethereum: A technical perspective

    Solana and Ethereum are more similar than what people might want you to think.

    Both blockchains are built on top of a Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism, and both enable developers to create apps by leveraging smart contracts, which are referred to as “programs” in the Solana ecosystem.

    The most significant difference between Solana and Ethereum is their distinct architectural philosophies: While Solana pursues a monolithic approach, Ethereum follows a modular strategy.

    solana vs ethereum
    solana vs ethereum

    Solana's monolithic approach

    Solana is designed as a single-layer, monolithic blockchain, meaning it handles all aspects of its operations within a unified structure.

    This unified design approach allows for extremely high transaction speeds and low latency, making Solana suitable for apps requiring real-time processing. Also, this enables both unrivaled user experiences as well as more straightforward network upgrades.

    However, Solana's monolithic approach can also introduce challenges in scaling beyond certain limits and in maintaining flexibility for future innovations.

    Ethereum's modular approach

    Ethereum, particularly with the transition to Ethereum 2.0, adopts a modular design.

    This strategy separates different functions of the blockchain into distinct layers, with Layer-2 solutions, or rollups, such as Optimism, Arbitrum, and Base being the most prominent. Ethereum relies heavily on these Layer-2 solutions to offload and manage transactions, reducing the load on its main chain, which is often criticized for its slow and expensive transactions.

    Also, this modular approach allows for greater flexibility, as individual layers can be upgraded or optimized independently. However, it can introduce complexity in integration and coordination between layers—mostly harming the user experience.

    Solana vs Ethereum: A practical perspective

    To get a more profound understanding of how Solana and Ethereum differ from one another, we suggest looking at the application ecosystem being built on each network.

    In this context, Ethereum mainly focuses on decentralize finance (DeFi) primitives and decentralized social networks (DeSoc).

    • Lido: A platform allowing users to stake their assets, such as Ethereum, while maintaining liquidity through derivative tokens representing staked assets (liquid staking tokens or LSTs).
      EigenLayer: A protocol enabling the secure re-staking of Ethereum-based LSTs across various protocols, enhancing their security and functionality.
    • AAVE: A peer-to-peer protocol for lending and borrowing cryptocurrencies with variable or stable interest rates.
      Pendle: A DeFi protocol focused on yield tokenization, enabling users to trade future yield on various assets, enhancing the overall flexibility in yield management.
    • Uniswap: A decentralized exchange (DEX) utilizing an automated market maker (AMM) model to facilitate peer-to-peer trading of tokens on Ethereum.
    • Friend.tech and Farcaster: Both platforms focus on decentralized social networking. The goal is ensuring users’ sovereignty over their data and interactions, promoting open communication, and peer-to-peer interactions and transactions.

    Solana is home to a burgeoning DeFi ecosystem as well—championed by Jupiter. But its developer teams focus on more innovative, retail-friendly solutions that leverage the network's high transaction speeds.

    • Solana Mobile: Solana Mobile’s first device, Saga, was a smashing success. And now, its team is working on its highly-anticipated second device: Chapter 2. At its core, Solana Mobile designs smartphones for crypto enthusiasts, featuring secure transactions, decentralized app access, and integration with the Solana blockchain to enhance mobile crypto experiences. Its mission: Break up the app store duopoly of Apple and Google.
    • Jupiter: Solana’s leading decentralized exchange aggregator, which optimizes trade routes to provide you with the best prices and minimal slippage for token swaps on Solana.
    • Sphere: A payment and financial management platform which utilizes Solana to offer secure, fast, and low-cost transactions with the aim of simplifying global payments and financial operations.

    Pump.fun: A platform where you can launch memecoins and engage in community-driven events—blending fun with crypto incentives.
    MagicBlock: A tool suite leveraging Solana's technology to create real-time gaming experiences that give you ownership of in-game assets and innovative gameplay mechanics.
    Actions and Blinks: Actions enable developers to deploy Solana transactions across a number of various contexts, including QR codes, buttons, and widgets. Blockchain links—or blinks—turn any Action into a shareable, metadata-rich link. But how does it work? See a couple examples below:

    Cross-Chain Swapper: The best ETH to SOL bridge

    Allbridge, deBridge, and Portal by Wormhole are all fantastic solutions if you'd like to swap assets across different blockchains.

    But even though they try to make the bridging experience as seamless as possible, transferring assets across crypto bridges is still complex, slow, and clunky—leading to a lot of frustration.

    To make bridging safer and easier, we launched the Cross-Chain Swapper.

    How to set up a Phantom wallet?

    If you’d like a friendly multichain wallet for crypto, DeFi, and NFTs, try us out. We offer browser extensions for Firefox, Chrome, Brave, and Edge, as well as apps for iOS and Android.

    First, download Phantom. Then, create a new wallet.

    If you’d like to fund, or send funds to, your Phantom wallet, you can do so via the “Buy” button on your asset tab. We offer various funding options, such as MoonPay, PayPal, and Robinhood to make it easy for you to fund your wallet.

    Once you do that, you're ready to go.

    How to bridge tokens from Ethereum (ETH) to Solana (SOL)

    With our Cross-Chain Swapper, you can easily swap ETH to SOL, or any other ETH asset to a SOL asset and vice versa.

    Here's how:

    • Open your Phantom wallet
    • Click the “Swap” tab below the wallet balance
    • Select the ETH assets you'd like to use in the swap
    • Next, select the SOL asset you'd like to swap the ETH asset for
    • Fill out the swap form and select “Review Order”
    • If you're happy with the cost calculation, submit the order, and sign the ensuing transactions

    Disclaimer: This guide is strictly for educational purposes only and doesn’t constitute financial or legal advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. Please be careful and do your own research.