When it comes to choosing a blockchain to invest in and use we often find ourselves looking at Solana and Matic, two of the most prominent blockchains both offering high levels of technical capabilities and features. In this article we dive deep into how they both operate and which is better on a technical level and which is better as an investment?
Solana vs Matic
Solana vs Matic
What is Solana?
Solana is a decentralized layer 1 blockchain that aims to provide fast transactions at a low transaction cost, this is done through its proof of stake consensus mechanism, which allows for faster confirmation times and lower transaction fees than other layer 1 blockchains such as Ethereum. Solana is also designed to be more energy efficient making it more environmentally friendly than alternative layer 1 blockchains.
Solana is perhaps most well known for its thriving NFT ecosystem which was partly fuelled by the blockchains ability to process transactions fast and cheaply while also offering users a very clean user experience which has helped onboard a lot of new users contributing to the explosive growth the Solana blockchain saw in 2020.
What are the downsides of Solana?
One aspect of Solana that can be seen as a downside is the fact that the blockchain is not EVM compatible and so cannot be used for Ethereum based dApps and makes it harder for developers to make the move from Ethereum to Solana. This is due to Solana being a direct competitor to Ethereum rather than being built to run alongside it.
Solana is also viewed as more centralized than they claim by some of the cryptocurrency community due to the large amount of tokens held by VCs including the disgraced Sam Bankman Fried the founder of the fallen cryptocurrency exchange FTX.
What is Matic?
Matic Network or also known as Polygon is a layer 2 scaling solution built on top of Ethereum to help with Ethereums congestion problems by offering an EVM compatible layer 2 network to process transactions at a fraction of the cost and much faster than possible on Ethereum while still maintaining the high level of security that Ethereum offers.
Matic uses a proof of stake consensus mechanism unlike Ethereums proof of work which allows the network to process transactions much faster and cheaper, this is done by users staking their MATIC tokens in a validator which helps to secure the network and process new blocks while earning the stakers rewards.
Matic uses a scaling solution called “Plasma” where transactions and smart contracts are offloaded to side chains reducing the load on the main Ethereum blockchain, this makes Matic a perfect environment for dApps with high transaction throughput requirements such as DeFi services and games.
Solana vs Matic transaction speeds
Both Matic and Solana use what is called a proof of stake consensus mechanism where validators are made up of large amounts of tokens which help to secure the network and process transactions, this is a much more efficient method than Ethereums proof of work where miners are required to process transactions.
Due to this consensus mechanism both Polygon and Solana can process transactions very fast with the Matic team claiming the network is capable of handling up to 65,000 transactions per second which is significantly higher than Ethereum which sits at around just 15 transactions per second. The Solana team also claims a TPS (transactions per second) of up to 65,000 however these numbers are theoretical and the actual TPS depends heavily on a variety of factors such as number of validators on the network and the amount of traffic.
When looking at transaction speeds it is also important to take into account the block time of each network and the amount of validators as these play a crucial part in processing transactions and the time required to do so. Solana has a block time of 0.4 seconds while Matic has a blocktime of 0.2 seconds which gives Matic a slight advantage over Solana.
On the other hand Solana has amassed an impressive 3,400 validators spanning across six different continents, while Matic has a cap of just 100 active validators at a time which makes some of the cryptocurrency community question the true decentralization of Matic.
Nodes on Solana
Solana vs Matic transaction fees
The low transaction fees of both Solana and Matic is one of the big selling point of these blockchains and is what contributes to a lot of the success both Solana and Matic has experienced, with low transaction fees both blockchains have seen a flood of traffic for both NFTs and DeFi as users choose to use a lower cost blockchain rather than Ethereum.
Solana has incredibly low transaction fees coming in at just $0.00025 per transaction compared to Matics transaction fees at around $0.04 per transaction. This makes Solana much cheaper to use than Matic however even at $0.04 per transaction both blockchains are two of the cheapest in the crypto space.
Which has the better DeFi ecosystem?
With DeFi protocols dominating the industry and contributing to a lot of the use of blockchains it’s important to know how extensive the DeFi ecosystem is on both Solana and Matic, if you are looking to actively participate in DeFi more than simply investing in the network native token then this section is important.
Due to Matics low transaction costs and speeds as well as being EVM compatible it’s DeFi ecosystem has flourished with Ethereum developers being able to build and deploy on Matic quickly and easily. With over 500 DeFi dApps built on Matic.
Solana on the other hand lacks in the DeFi department with an estimated 40+ DeFi dApps built on the network, this lack of DeFi dApps is probably partly due to Solana not being an EVM compatible blockchains making it harder for developers to move over from EVM compatible chains such as Matic and Ethereum.
Which has the better NFT ecosystem?
Matic being built as a layer 2 for Ethereum the blockchain saw a large uptick of NFT projects as Ethereum started battling its congestion problems and a large number of users were priced out of trading NFTs on Ethereum due to rising gas fees. In the past 24 hours Matic has seen 12,452 transactions totalling a USD volume of $572,882.
Solana is possibly most well known for its thriving NFT ecosystem which rivals even Ethereums with projects such as Degods and Taiyo Robotics creating a name for themselves not just in the Solana NFT space but the entire NFT ecosystem across all chains. In the past 24 hours Solana has seen 30,833 transactions totalling a USD volume of $3,400,290.
NFT Sales Volume via CryptoSlam
While Matic may have a larger DeFi ecosystem, Solana has a larger NFT ecosystem and community with almost triple the amount of transactions in the last 24 hours and 6 times the amount of USD volume.
Which is better: Polygon or Solana?
As you can see both Matic and Solana have their pros and cons, while Solana may be a faster and cheaper blockchain with a thriving NFT ecosystem, Matic clearly has the better DeFi ecosystem, so it all boils down to what you want to use the network for?
Looking to participate in DeFi or perhaps you are a developer looking to expand out of Ethereum then Matic is the blockchain for you with its thriving DeFi ecosystem and EVM compatibility. However if you are looking to trade NFTs and use a network for its payment capabilities then Solana is the blockchain for you with its fast transaction speeds and low transaction costs matched with its thriving NFT ecosystem.