Paris H.
Paris H.
Jan 24, 2023

Solana vs Cardano: Which One Is Built for The Future?

tl;drSolana vs Cardano, which one is better? The answer lies in many factors, including these two projects’ architecture, features, fees, and price prediction, among other factors. Also, your needs and preferences make a whole lot of difference. To answer this million-dollar question, go through this detailed article comparing Solana and Cardano from A to Z.
Solana vs Cardano: Which One Is Built for The Future?
Solana vs Cardano: Which One Is Built for The Future?
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What Is Cardano?

Aimed at levelling up smart contracts and Decentralised Applications (DApps),

Cardano is a decentralised and open-source blockchain network which applies a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism (called Ouroboros).

Cardano came into play to provide solutions to the main problems faced in Bitcoin and Ethereum networks, i.e., energy efficiency and being Proof-of-Work (PoW).

Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK), an R&D company, manages Cardano and highly focuses on science and peer reviews to improve blockchain technology.

Cardano comes with various features making it a platform for many crypto users. Let’s go through a highlight of these features.

Read more: Cardano vs Polygon (Matic): Which One Is A Better Investment?

Cardano Features

The main features of the Cardano blockchain are as follows.

  • PoS Consensus Mechanism: Cardano’s version of the PoS mechanism is called Ouroboros.
  • Smart Contract and DApps: Cardano platform supports smart contracts and DApps.
  • Multi-Layer Architecture: Cardano is a multi-layer platform that separates settlement and computation layers, improving flexibility and scalability.
  • Plutus: To write smart contracts, Cardano uses its innate programming language, Plutus.
  • Formal Verification: To prove code correctness, Cardano uses a mathematical method called formal verification, increasing smart contracts’ security. 
  • Interoperability: Cardano is a highly interoperable network that enables transfers among various blockchains.
  • Governance: Cardano governs the network using a community-based system and funds developments using a treasury system.
  • Haskell: Cardano uses Haskell, a secure and reliable programming language, to write its core code.
  • ADA: Cardano’s native token, ADA, is used to pay transaction fees and participate in governance activities.
  • Open-source: Cardano is an open-source platform.
  • Active Community: Cardano’s community of developers, researchers, and users are highly active.

Now that we have come to grips with Cardano's main features let’s move on to the other side of the comparison and learn the highlights of Solana.

Read more: What Is the Next Cryptocurrency to Explode in 2023?

What Is Solana?

Solana was developed by Solana Labs - a blockchain technology company in San Diego - as a decentralised blockchain to improve speed, fees, and scalability for DApp’s transactions, with a Proof-of-Stake Time (PoST) consensus mechanism.

Solana is favoured by Decentralised Exchanges (DEXs), gaming platforms, and prediction markets for its block time of 400 milliseconds, i.e., Solana manages a great number of transactions every second.

In addition to this incredible TPS (Transaction Per Second), Solana has other features making it favourable for many crypto enthusiasts. The following section introduces Solana’s main features.

Read more: Solana vs Polygon (Matic): Which One Is Better, Faster and Cheaper?

Solana Features

Let’s see what the key features of Solana are which differentiate it from similar projects.

  • Fast Transactions: As mentioned above, Solana records many transactions per second (TPS), with a 400 milliseconds block time.
  • PoST Consensus Mechanism: Solana’s version of the PoS mechanism is called Proof-of-Stake-Time (PoST), which enables transaction validation highly efficiently.
  • Lower Fees: One of Solana’s main goals is to increase speed and decrease fees for DApps’ transactions.
  • DApps: Solana is home to a wide range of Decentralised Applications, from DEXs to gaming and prediction markets.
  • Solana Cloud: Solana’s cloud-based infrastructure lets developers deploy and scale DApps on the Solana blockchain.
  • SOL: Solana's native governance token, SOL, is also a means of paying transaction fees.
  • Solana's Network: Solana's network includes both validators and full nodes.
  • Sealevel: To enable the off-chain performance of smart contracts, Solana has provided Sealevel as a layer-2 scaling solution.
  • Software Development Kits (SDKs): Various programming languages like JavaScript, Rust, Go, and C++ use Solana-developed SDKs.
  • Active Community: Solana is backed by an active community of SOL users.

After learning the key features of both Cardano and Solana, we can move on to comparing and contrasting them. Let’s start with a quick look at their key differences.

The Key Differences Between Solana vs Cardano

The following table depicts the Solana vs Cardano key differences and compares them based on their creator, launch date, consensus mechanism, block time, transaction throughput, and total supply.

Solana vs Cardano: The Key Differences
Solana vs Cardano: The Key Differences

The sections that follow will elaborate on all the factors making Solana and Cardano different. You’ll read about their main financial factors, i.e.,

  • Price History,
  • ROI,
  • ATL,
  • ATH, plus their
  • Consensus Mechanism,
  • Architecture,
  • NFT,
  • Fees,
  • The Latest Developments,
  • Price Prediction, and finally
  • The answer to the question, “Which one is better?”.

Learn more: Sushiswap vs Uniswap: An In-Depth Review

Solana vs Cardano: Price History

To have a fair comparison of Solana vs Cardano, we need to get into the detail of both platforms. The first thing we’re about to compare and contrast is the highlights of Cardano vs Solana price history.

  • The First Trade: Cardano (ADA) started trading on Oct 18, 2017, at $0.02684535. Solana (SOL) began trading on Apr 11, 2020, at $0.957606.
  • The First Significant Spike: After some small spikes, ADA recorded its first significant price increase and reached $1.18 on Jan 18, 2018. SOL recorded its first eye-catching spike on Feb 24, 2021, at $15.16.
  • March 2020: ADA’s downward trends continued until it recorded its lowest level of $0.01925275 on Mar 13, 2020.
  • May 2020: The early days of SOL trade were its worst days regarding price, as it recorded its lowest level at $0.500801 on May 11, 2020.
  • November 2020: In the late November days, on Nov 25, 2020, each ADA coin was traded at $0.166800. During the same days, SOL was traded at $2.27.
  • January 2021: ADA continued a steady downward trend for almost three years and reached $0.379688 on Jan 18, 2021. Solana experienced higher prices a lot faster and, after some fluctuations, reached $3.82 on Jan 18, 2021.
  • May 2021: After its highest level, ADA declined and reached $2.17 on May 16, 2021. After its peaking days, SOL declined and reached the price level of $56.20 on May 19, 2021.
  • September 2021: ADA hit its highest level of $3.09 on Sep 02, 2021. Over the same days, SOL was traded at about $188.
  • November 2021: ADA was traded at about $2.01 on Nov 07, 2021. SOL continued its upward trend and hit its highest level at $259.96 on Nov 06, 2021.
  • April 2022: during the early months of 2022, the price fluctuations continued, and on Apr 06, 2022, each Cardano coin (ADA) was traded at $1.17. During the same months, the Solana coin (SOL) declined significantly and reached $29.55 on Apr 08, 2022.
  • October 2022: ADA continued its downtrend, returned to under $1, and recorded $0.378522 on Oct 14, 2022. However, SOL started to soar and recorded $126.61 on Oct 14, 2022.
  • January 2023: The fluctuations have continued until today (Jan 23, 2023), when each ADA is traded at $0.377921. Also, each SOL is currently traded at $24.68.

Cardano vs Solana price history reveals that SOL tokens have been revolving in a much higher price range. Let’s continue with their Return on Investment (ROI), All-Time High (ATH), and All-Time Low (ATL).

Read more: Algorand vs Cardano: Which One Is Better and Faster?

Cardano price history

Solana price history

Solana Vs Cardano: ROI, ATL And ATH

Return on Investment (ROI) is a financial factor indicating how profitable an investment has been. It comes in positive and negative forms, and when the ROI percentage is negative, it indicates loss, not profit.

Let’s compare Solana vs Cardano regarding ROI in various time frames to see which one has been lucrative so far and has the potential to be so in the future.

Solana vs Cardano: ROI
Solana vs Cardano: ROI

Another factor that helps us understand the magnitude of a crypto project financially is the All-Time High (ATH). Another factor opposite ATH is All-Time Low (ATL), which shows how far a crypto project has dropped in price.

  • Solana ATH: $259.96 recorded on Nov 06, 2022, which is 90.4% higher than its current price.
  • Cardano ATH: $3.09 recorded on Sep 02, 2021, which is 87.6% higher than its current price.
  • Solana ATL: $0.500801 recorded on May 11, 2020, which is 4862.9% lower than its current price.
  • Cardano ATL: $0.01925275 recorded on Mar 13, 2020, which is 1885.5% lower than its current price.

In addition to these financial factors, we need to analyse how Solana and Cardano perform regarding consensus mechanism, architecture, and many other innate performance-related criteria, which are waiting for you in the following sections!

Learn more: Tezos vs Cardano: Which One Is A Better Long-Term Investment?

Solana vs Cardano: Consensus Mechanism

Solana and Cardano both use a PoS consensus mechanism, but they implement this model differently. Let’s see how.

  • Solana’s version of PoS is Proof-of-Stake-Time (PoST) to validate transactions seamlessly.
  • Cardano’s PoS mechanism is called Ouroboros and is developed to solve the issues faced with the PoW model.
  • Using PoST, Solana has a significant TPS, with a block time of 400 milliseconds.
  • Using Ouroboros, Cardano has a good TPS but more slowly than Solana.
  • Solana uses PoST as it aims to be more secure than other PoS models. Cardano's Ouroboros aims to be secure and energy-efficient, but Solana's PoST is faster.
  • The consensus mechanisms that Solana and Cardano use are more efficient than PoW, but PoST is more efficient regarding TPS.
  • Using PoST, Solana provides a better platform for decentralisation and validators’ participation; meanwhile, Cardano's Ouroboros is more centralised.

All in all, although both projects use a PoS consensus mechanism, Solana's PoST is faster and more efficient and faster, while Cardano's Ouroboros is more secure and energy-efficient.

Read more: The 10 Most Scalable Blockchains With The Fastest Transaction

Solana vs Cardano: Architecture

Another essential factor differentiating Solana and Cardano is their architecture. This is how the two differ in architectural design.

  • Owing to its single-layer architecture, Solana executes faster and cheaper transactions and records a great number of TPS.
  • Cardano, however, enjoys a multi-layer architecture, i.e., the settlement and computation layers are separated to maximise scalability and flexibility. This architecture brings complex smart contract functionality for Cardano but adds to the network complexity.
  • Solana is simpler to use for its single-layer architecture, while Cardano aims to be more flexible and customisable.
  • Solana's architecture is suitable for off-chain scaling solutions like Sealevel.
  • Cardano's architecture enables formal verification to improve smart contracts’ security.
  • Solana's architecture prioritises speed, scalability, and cheaper transactions, while Cardano's architecture favours security, flexibility, and complexity.

Read more: The 10 Most Scalable Blockchains With The Fastest Transaction

Solana vs Cardano: NFT

Solana and Cardano both support NFTs but have different methods for handling them. Here’s how they differ.

  • Solana actively supports NFTs and allows various gaming and NFT projects to build on its platform to create NFT marketplaces and platforms.
  • Solana provides fast and cheap transactions, making it a favoured platform for NFT marketplaces.
  • Solana's Sealevel enables the off-chain execution of smart contracts, which also works for NFTs.
  • Cardano also supports NFTs and has some projects building NFT marketplaces and platforms on it.
  • Cardano's multi-layer architecture and smart contract capabilities make it ideal for more complex and customisable NFT use cases.
  • Cardano's ecosystem prioritises financial and social impact use cases.
  • Cardano does not have a scaling solution like Solana’s L2 Sealevel.

Solana vs Cardano: Fees

The table below displays how Solana and Cardano differ in transaction fees and fee structure.

Solana vs Cardano: Fees
Solana vs Cardano: Fees

The last but not least factor affecting the performance and popularity of Solana vs Cardano is their latest developments, which we’ll go through in the following section.

Solana vs Cardano: The Latest Developments

It’s no secret that every popular crypto project plans for more growth, and so do Cardano and Solana. Both projects have developed partnerships and expanded their infrastructure.

Let’s check out the result of the latest efforts of Solana and Cardano and see what they’ve added to their platforms.

Solana Latest Developments

  • Solana has recently aimed to partner with various projects and companies, including Serum, ChainGuardian, and Alameda Research.
  • Solana has launched Solana Cloud, a cloud-based infrastructure to let developers deploy and scale DApps on the Solana blockchain.

Cardano Latest Developments

  • Cardano has recently aimed to improve its smart contract capabilities using its programming language, Plutus.
  • Cardano has also implemented a new Treasury system to enable the community to participate in decision-making and funding.
  • Cardano has also partnered with the Ethiopian government and the World Bank to bring blockchain solutions to developing countries.

Solana vs Cardano: Price Prediction

Price prediction may be one of the most important factors signifying a crypto project’s future success. Hence, numerous investors check price predictions to get a general picture of the coins’ future trading price.

The following chart shows what crypto experts predict about the future trading price of Solana vs Cardano on average, at a minimum and maximum.

Solana vs Cardano: Price Prediction 2023 - 2030
Solana vs Cardano: Price Prediction 2023 - 2030

Solana vs Cardano: Which One Is Better?

After elaborating on the main points differentiating Solana and Cardano, here we are asking the million-dollar question, “Solana vs Cardano: Which One Is Better?”.

The answer lies in your preferences and needs, as both projects can work for different crypto users. If you’re looking for more and faster transactions, higher trading prices, real-time DApps, more validators, and short-term investment, Solana is your thing. 

But if you’re looking for better scalability, flexibility, security, and a platform that supports complex and customisable use cases, and long-term investment, Cardano can be one of your choices.


Congrats! If you’re reading this, it means you now have a good knowledge of Solana and Cardano and what makes them different.

Remember that no crypto project is perfect, and you need to choose the ones best suit your needs and preferences.

To do so, you need to do your own research, and in this way, Cryptologist is your all-in-one research buddy, with its crypto screening tools, easy-to-digest charts, and detailed analyses of the top 1500 crypto projects.


Here you can find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Solana vs Cardano.

Is Cardano Better Than Solana?

Solana can process over 3,400 transactions per second (TPS), while Cardano executes about 250 TPS.

Is Solana The Best Crypto To Buy?

Solana has been doing incredibly well price-wise since its launch, and it can be one of the best cryptocurrencies to buy.

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