Third-Generation Blockchain – Polkadot vs Solana

Third-Generation Blockchain

During the last bullish cycle in crypto, we saw a plethora of new protocols emerge in the market. Faster, more scalable networks have come forward to aid the mass adoption of blockchain technology. 

Scalable protocols such as Polkadot and Solana have captured the attention of millions of users, attempting to solve some of Ethereum’s shortcomings.

This Polkadot vs Solana article will compare these two platforms and provide a thorough overview of their technical features. Thus, you can assess which of these projects is a better investment in the long run. 

Polkadot vs. Solana: What Do We Know? 

Polkadot is a multichain platform. It allows developers to create standalone blockchains and connect them to a shared security ecosystem. Created in 2020 by Gavin Wood, one of Ethereum’s co-founders, the goal was to create an ecosystem with interoperable chains. 

Solana is a hyper-scalable smart contract platform. It combines proof of stake and proof of history to achieve one of the fastest throughputs in the blockchain industry. Also released in 2020, it was one of the strongest performers in the bull run and has managed to create a flourishing ecosystem of dApps in a very short time.  

Technical Features

Polkadot relies on the concept of parachains combined with one main chain, the Relay chain. These parachains are app-specific and allow developers to run customized purpose-built chains. At the same time, they use a slot on the Relay Chain, which serves as a guide in the ecosystem, allowing them to confirm their transactions and share robust security protocols. 

Solana uses proof of history to achieve hyper-scalability without having to rely on parachains or sharding. Instead, it provides a combination of PoS and PoH, which allows it to achieve near-instant block finality. Consequently, this unmatched speed has drawn in both retail and institutional users to the platform and allowed it to grow exponentially since launch. 

Network Performance

Polkadot provides linear scalability thanks to its parachain architecture. It relies on a common set of validators to secure multiple chains simultaneously. What’s more, each chain executes computation on-chain, spreading the transactions across multiple chains and ensuring speedy processing of up to 10,000 tx/s. 

Solana uses the Proof of History consensus, which records transactions at the time they are sent to the chain. The PoS consensus acts in tandem and monitors the PoH process to validate the sequences of blocks that are produced by it, up to 50,000 tx/s. 

Transaction costs on both chains are negligible, barely reaching a fraction of a cent.  


Polkadot uses DOT, which serves as a governance and staking token for the network. Moreover, developers need to use it to bond their chains to the Relay Chain once they are offered a slot to participate in the network. It has a current supply of 1.3 billion, with no maximum cap. 

Solana uses SOL, which is used for staking and gas fees for running or communicating with smart contracts on the chain. This means that SOL is essential to the security of the network. It has a circulating supply of ~350 million with no maximum cap. 


Polkadot uses an auction system where parachains can participate to be awarded a slot on the network. These auctions allow the ecosystem to grow in a controlled and secure manner. Currently, there have been 20 auctions, and as many parachains are now leasing on the Relay chain. 

Solana became incredibly popular and has thousands of dApps running on its ecosystem. This includes wallet apps, decentralized exchanges, advanced DeFi tools, as well as NFT marketplaces. 

Polkadot vs. Solana: What Is the Best Investment?

Polkadot and Solana have quite different approaches regarding their scaling solutions. This has allowed both projects to enjoy growth and not really directly compete with each other. They are rather complementary in this aspect, which makes it ideal for investors who wish to diversify. Similar to when people compare Litecoin vs Dogecoin — it’s best to hold onto both.