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10 Items On Solana’s To-Do List for 2023

It hasn’t been an ideal year for the Solana (CRYPTO: SOL) network.

After a series of partial outages most of January, Solana had its fourth outage of the year in October when it stopped processing transactions due to a misconfigured node.

But as Vitalik Buterin said in an interview, the fiascos that hit centralized projects such as FTX (CRYPTO: FTT) did not take down more decentralized projects like Solana. According to Buterin, DeFi and self-custody options work better and people mainly use centralized exchanges for convenience.

In November, Solana co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko gave the keynote speech at the Solana community event, Breakpoint 2022 in Lisbon, Portugal. Yakovenko summarized 2022 for the network and gave some insights on its direction in 2023. The company published an article on its blog summarizing his comments.

Here are some insights into the challenges and direction of the Solana network, as described by Yakovenko:

  • Solana is Focused on Mobile: Solana felt curated app stores were not friendly to Web3 use cases because decentralized apps needed to connect to a wallet. “It's a big challenge, not for the network, but for the user experience,” Yakovenko said.

    The Solana Mobile Stack, developed by Solana Mobile, was coming first to the Android-compatible Saga phone, developed by OSOM. The Saga intended a release in the first quarter of 2023 and would come with many crypto-specific software items including support for decentralized apps from Solana.

  • Solana Aims for Reliability: Based on the outages in 2022 and in 2020, this is a sensitive topic for the network. “We've had a lot of challenges over the last year,” Yakovenko said. “I would say this whole last year has been all about reliability for the Solana engineering team. And a lot of that, I think we've solved.”
  • The Solana dApp Store was Coming Soon: The Solana dApp Store reportedly will accept its first applications in January.
  • Solana is Making Code Changes to Avoid Congestion: Solana used a permissionless User Datagram Protocol (UDP)-based protocol to process transactions, which can overwhelm the network with high transaction volume. Solana redeployed UDP on top of Quick UDP Internet Connection (QUIC), a protocol written by Google for faster asynchronous communication. The new protocol was currently live on Mainnet-beta.
  • Greater Priority for Bigger Validators: Stake-weighted QoS gave validators priority by stake and was already live on Mainnet-beta.
  • Pay for Solana Fast-Pass: Local fee markets which are already live on Mainnet-beta allowed users to pay extra for their transactions to go to the front of the line.
  • The Need for Speed: Solana pushed for more than 600,000 transactions/second. It currently averaged 4,000 transactions/second.
  • Shooting for Programmability: Yakovenko said Solana “should be as programmable as Linux.” As a step toward that programmability, it released Seahorse which allowed people to write in Anchor, a framework for building in Solana using Python.
  • Improvements Made Under the Hood: The core engineering team introduced some turbine optimizations and runtime optimizations not visible to users. “I think this is probably the coolest piece of technology that we built that nobody knows about,” Yakovenko said.
  • The Need for Security: With an increase in validators, Solana network became more secure. Teams such as OtterSec and Sec3 have developed solutions that would help vet common smart contracts and development mistakes. Ultimately, Solana has its hopes set on the Solana Mobile Stack seed vault, which will make self-custody easier.

Solana in 2023: Yakovenko pointed out Solana had already switched to POS validation — but there are other goals to achieve.

“My hope is at next year’s Breakpoint, I'll be talking about the smart contracts that are open source, have formally verifiable specs, that auditors can look at,” Yakovenko said.

Full composability and dynamic storage pricing were also on the founders’ minds.

At a network level, Yakovenko said, “The name of the game is slimming down Solana.”

Yakovenko was interested in running light clients as a way to secure and validate nodes. He referred to light clients as “diet clients because Solana is a big fat protocol. The proofs are much fatter than something on a very thin protocol layer.”


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