Solana is neither decentralized, nor a blockchain.
The network went offline for five hours yesterday and it will happen again.
Your funds are not affected. This is what Solana wallets told users when the network was unavailable. I can only be amused by that statement. If your funds are not available, how exactly are they not affected?
This latest halt is just one of dozens in Solana’s history. It’s another warning for the future of this so-called decentralized blockchain.
In what follows, I’ll show you why Solana is neither decentralized, nor a blockchain. TLDR at the end.
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Every time Solana’s network halts, the first priority is for validators to understand what went wrong. Otherwise, restarting the network would just lead to another halt.
Here’s the interesting part of this so called decentralized network. Validators have to sit together and pick a block height from where to restart the network. They need to avoid various validators restarting at different points on the blockchain.
In other words, a group of people have to sit together, discuss, and come to a consensus when to restart Solana. As a network, Solana is not even capable of on-chain consensus. Consensus happens outside of it!
Once consensus is achieved outside of Solana, validators re-start the network from the agreed block. But this can take a while because some validators are sleeping.
I am not joking. This is why it took 5 hours to restart this time.
This decentralized network is dependent on when people sleep and are awake. This is no longer such a surprise when you understand that Solana’s consensus happens on third-party sites. Discord is Solana’s consensus mechanism as shown below.
Since the network crashed, Solana essentially failed as a blockchain. A blockchain fails when it stops producing blocks. Solana stopped producing blocks dozens of times already and required third-party intervention to fix the problem. In contrast, Bitcoin was created to remove such third-parties.
But this is not all. What caused the halt should raise even more eyebrows.
Someone may have triggered a bug on Solana and crashed the whole network. Let me re-phrase this. ONE PERSON crashed the network.
Do you still think Solana is decentralized or a blockchain?
A more appropriate label would be to say that Solana is a centralized database which is maintained by a team of technicians that fail at their job since the network crashes regularly. In the process, users lose all access to their funds for a period of time while arbitrage opportunities arise for insiders.
It is quite legitimate to think that if one person can trigger a full network halt, then this could be abused in the future by insiders considering the ease and regularity with which it happens. But that is speculation.
What I want to raise is a bigger issue for users of Solana.
Would you hold millions of dollars on a network that can be halted on demand or crashes regularly? Should you even trust Solana with your money?
If you use Solana or are a dev building on this network you are trusting this centralized database to be your custodian. This is quite a risky proposition on a network that is neither decentralized, nor a blockchain, and crashes regularly.
Bitcoin will continue to stay at the top and Ethereum remains the to-go DeFi network. They are the closest thing we have to a decentralized blockchain that doesn’t rely on third-parties to work.
Ride the hype and enjoy the pumps on Solana. But once you book your profits, please remove them from Solana’s centralized database and place them where they are safe. Right now, that’s on Bitcoin and Ethereum networks where whales also keep their money.
On a long time horizon, do not bet on Solana. It already gives you all the reasons to stay away. Treat it like any other altcoin, particularly because it pretends at being something it isn’t, and so far, it was quite successful at tricking unsuspecting users.
TLDR & Tips to Remember
Solana crashed again and this will not be the last time either
Solana’s consensus mechanism happens on Discord, not on its network
Solana can only be restarted when people wake up from their sleep
Solana is centralized because one person can crash it
Solana fails as a blockchain because it stops producing blocks regularly
A centralized database would be a more accurate label for Solana
Do not use Solana as a place to store your money or wealth
Do not build on Solana. You’re betting your future on a failed chain
Solana is just another altcoin pretending to be better. It isn’t
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All info is provided for educational purposes only and is not financial advice.