A high-speed blockchain project started by engineers from big tech companies like Google, Qualcomm, Microsoft and Twitter has been one of the best-performing cryptocurrencies this year, even setting new highs last week even as the rest of the market crashed.

In the past three weeks Solana has leapfrogged nine cryptocurrencies — including Tron, Stellar, Theta and Terra —  to become the 13th most valuable crypto by market capitalisation, with a collective value of $US12.6 billion ($16.2 billion).

The token’s value has more than tripled in the past 30 days, trading Monday afternoon at $US46.84, up from less than $US2 at the start of the year. Solana coins were sold for as little as US4c apiece during an April 2018 seed sale.

The proof-of-stake blockchain project says it can process 50,000 transactions a second – far more than Ethereum, which has seen transaction fees soar as the network has become congested.


The project says an innovation called “proof of history” allows Solana to achieve such high performance without the use of sharding or layer 2 solutions, by time-stamping transactions on the blockchain.

The Solana ecosystem includes the decentralised exchange token Serum, an automated market maker called Raydium, as well as a host of other projects.

Of course, there are a number of other high-speed blockchain projects — including Cardano, Tezos, Algorand, Tron, EOS, Avalanche and Elrond — looking to displace Ethereum’s dominance as the leading smart contract platform. Thus far, none have succeeded.