Opinion pieces are based on the author's personal opinion, and they do not constitute investment advice, financial advice, or trading advice. Securities.io does not recommend that any cryptocurrency should be bought, sold, or held by you. Conduct your own due diligence and consult a financial advisor before making any investment decisions.
Solana’s blockchain is easily the most scalable one in the crypto industry. According to its developers, the blockchain can easily process 100,000 TPS, and it only begins to struggle when it reaches 400,000 TPS. Of course, for the purposes of the current crypto/blockcahin industry, even with 100,000 TPS, Solana is the leading chain when it comes to scalability.
Despite this, however, it might not be the best fit for everyone. Some people might be looking for projects and products — dApps and DeFi protocols included — that are not available on Solana. Or, they might be looking for a place to develop their own dApps or DeFi protocols, but Solana is not a good fit for them due to some aspect of the project. Or, they might be looking for Solana alternatives for some other reason.
Either way, there are plenty of other blockchains that support smart contracts and act as development platforms, and today, we have decided to review our top 10 Solana alternatives. Hopefully, one or more of them will be a better fit for you, and if you are simply looking to invest – any of the following projects will be a great addition to your portfolio.
The first on our list is Ethereum, and while Ethereum is as far as you can get from a scalable blockchain, it is still the father of dApps, DeFi, and pretty much every other blockchain product. As such, Ethereum still has the largest and most diverse library of various products, so if you are looking for a Solana alternative for that reason — you will not find better than ETH at this time.
Of course, it should also be noted that Ethereum is working on its ETH 2.0 upgrade, which should improve its scalability and reduce its gas fees, so while the project is currently not in a very competitive shape, it will get better once the upgrade is finally fully released.
To learn more visit our Investing in Ethereum guide.
The next on our list is BSC, or Binance Smart Chain. As the name suggests, this is a blockchain created by Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume. This is actually Binance’s second chain, created solely for the purpose of acting as its version of Ethereum – its own development platform.
However, BSC is far more scalable than Ethereum, and is currently likely the largest competitor that Ethereum has. So, if you are looking for a Solana alternative and you are not willing to use Ethereum due to its downsides, BSC is likely one of the best options for you.
To learn more visit our Investing in BSC guide.
Cardano has grown to become a proper Solana alternative in late 2021, when it finally completed the second stage of its development — the so-called Shelley Era — which resulted in the launch of smart contracts on its platform. Since then, developers have rushed to Cardano thanks to its great scalability and the new ability to build projects, dApps, metaverse, and more.
Of course, that also means that Cardano is quite new in the game, and it doesn’t have too many projects on it yet. Some have already launched, but many are still in development. This might be a good option for new project developers who are looking for the early mover advantage for the Cardano ecosystem, but if you are looking for the products to use, Cardano will likely have more to offer in the future.
To learn more visit our Investing in Cardano guide.
Polkadot is another great Solana alternative that managed to reach scalability by launching parallel chains called parachains. These chains run alongside its main blockchain, and they take over a portion of the work, allowing the main chain to run uninterrupted. This is a pretty solid system that has worked great so far.
Furthermore, a lot of people in crypto prefer Polkadot because its parachains can also connect to other blockchains, and help create a network that might be considered the early version of Web3. In any case, Polkadot is a good alternative for Solana, so check it out, as it certainly has great potential.
To learn more visit our Investing in Polkadot guide.
Halfway down the list, we have Polygon, formerly known as Matic Network, hence the name of its token, MATIC. This is a well-structured and easy-to-use platform for Ethereum scaling and infrastructure development. Essentially, the project uses advanced technologies to provide scaling solutions for ETH, although it also functions as a development platform for other projects.
Furthermore, after a recent crash of another project, Terra (LUNA), Polygon has opened its doors to a large number of projects that were looking to migrate from Terra to a new home. This gave a significant boost to its ecosystem, enriching it with new projects, products, and use cases.
Polygon is definitely among the networks that have great potential for growth and development, and its advanced tech puts it far above many other projects in this category.
To learn more visit our Investing in Polygon guide.
Moving on to the sixth spot, we have Avalanche, which calls itself the fastest smart contracts platform in the entire blockchain industry, as measured by time-to-finality. Whether or not that is true has yet to be determined. However, it is true that the project is blazingly fast, and it charges extremely low fees for its usage. As such, it is likely almost as good as Solana itself, or at least, it is one of the projects that come the closest to the world’s most scalable chain.
Another very important benefit of Avalanche is that it is eco-friendly. This is a major plus, as the crypto industry’s carbon footprint finally got the attention it deserved about a year ago, when Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, announced that his company will stop accepting Bitcoin payments, mere months after they originally introduced them. According to Musk, Tesla is the creator of electric cars because it wishes to preserve the environment, and accepting Bitcoin, which is probably the least eco-friendly coin in the industry, goes against the company’s core ideals.
Musk said that Tesla would gladly accept BTC again if this issue was solved. Since then, eco-friendly blockchains started getting massive amounts of attention, and Avalanche was one of the leaders among them.
To learn more visit our Investing in Avalanche guide.
In the seventh spot, we have Tron. Tron was originally a project developed on Ethereum’s network, but after a while, it developed its own blockchain and it migrated to it in mid-2018. Since then, it dedicated its efforts to its long-term goal of revolutionizing the entertainment industry, but in order to achieve that, it completed a number of smaller goals.
For example, it purchased BitTorrent, and its BitTorrent Token was the first cryptocurrency to be launched through an IEO, on Binance’s Launchpad in late January 2019, effectively starting the IEO trend.
Another thing to note about TRON is that it is a go-to platform for gambling dApps. Of course, developers are free to create any type of dApp on the TRON network, but for some reason, gambling dApps exploded and became a large majority back in the early days. To this day, they have a sizable presence on the blockchain, so if you are looking for decentralized online betting, TRON is likely the best place for that.
To learn more visit our Investing in TRON guide.
Our eighth entry is Algorand — a self-sustaining, decentralized, blockchain-based network for a wide range of different applications. Algorand features extremely secure, scalable, and efficient systems, all of which are properties necessary to be an effective applications platform, and a valid Solana alternative.
The project’s goal slightly differs from the rest of the entries on our list, as it aims to support computations that require reliable performance guarantees in order to create new forms of trust. However, what makes it the same as the others is that it was invented to improve efficiency and transaction speed of blockchain technology.
To learn more visit our Investing in Algorand guide.
Nearing the end of our list, we have Kusama, which was invented as a type of a testnet for Polkadot. In fact, it has been known to call itself “Polkadot’s wild cousin” for that exact reason. The two networks have nearly identical architecture, and the way it was imagined is that developers would come to Kusama, build and test their applications, and then once they are finished, migrate them to Polkadot where they would operate under the exact same circumstances.
This brought a great edge to Kusama, as it has all the experimental projects, new ideas, innovative approaches, and more, which is why people started going to Kusama to get the taste of new and improved things, while they returned to Polkadot to use the finished products. However, over time, some projects simply decided to remain on Kusama, even after they were completed, and so the testnet became a legitimate network with unique projects and an open-minded ecosystem that welcomes change and diversity.
To learn more visit our Investing in Kusama guide.
Last, but not least, we have VeChain — a versatile, enterprise-grade L1 smart contract platform. The project has been around for as long as Ethereum, although it only transitioned to public blockchain in 2017. In fact, it did transition to Ethereum, eventually launching its own public chain in 2018.
VeChain’s intention is to use distributed governance and IpT tech to build a new type of ecosystem where major data issues would be solved, and multiple global industries would have functioning solutions for the problems that they are facing due to the limitations of traditional technologies.
To learn more visit our Investing in VeChain guide.
Solana has the potential to be the go-to project for the development of blockchain products. However, that doesn’t make it a perfect chain for everyone, which is understandable. But, if you are looking for an alternative, there are more than enough options around, as we have seen above.
All you need to do is review each of them and decide which one seems the best. There are also others out there that, unfortunately, did not make the list this time, as well as those that are being developed right now. The blockchain industry is alive, and it continues to evolve and improve, which is why you should always keep an eye out for new possibilities.