Why we chose to build on Solana: Nova Finance

June 23, 2021
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Company Update
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With various innovative blockchains emerging in recent years, what influenced our decision to choose Solana?

Having worked collectively within the cryptocurrency industry for many years, we understand that choosing which blockchain to build on is one of the most important and fundamental decisions a project team can make when designing and building decentralised applications. It can, quite literally, make or break your product.

Before we start, it’s worth noting that we see Nova’s future as a multi-chain application; this is really important for us in order to make a considerable impact and bring value to users with our programmable assets. However, it cannot be overstated how important this first step of choosing the correct blockchain is in successfully launching and scaling a product. If a product isn’t built on a blockchain that is accessible, easy to use and delivers value to any given target audience, it’s going to be an uphill battle from the start.

During our planning process for Nova, we studied and prototyped development on 8 different blockchains in order to find our foundation on which to launch and scale from. As you will have seen from the title (and apologies for the spoiler!) We ultimately chose to build on the Solana blockchain and, in this article, we’ll explain some of the factors that lead us to make that decision.

Scalability

One of the most obvious benefits of the Solana blockchain is how cost efficient it is. For those who have experienced Ethereum’s often very high gas fees, Solana came as a welcome alternative during a time of increased development, traffic and interest in the blockchain industry.

To highlight the costs involved with launching a project on the Ethereum blockchain, we would have to allocate in the region of 3 ETH for the various contracts required to deploy Nova’s programmable assets which has cost anywhere between $6000 and $12000 this year. We at Nova are fortunate that we can afford those costs if required, but for others this is a huge barrier to experimentation and innovation. To illustrate an equivalent in traditional software development, this is like having to pay $6000 to deploy a website.

Solana on the other hand is significantly cheaper and is likely to remain just as cheap to build on in the future. A large part of this is down to the chain structure and advancements Solana has made; this article on Solana’s 8 core innovations does a great job of summarising the main advancements.

We were really impressed by these in our research and most importantly, it checked out when we started testing and experimenting on the chain. For users, the average transaction currently costs around $0.00025 which is great value, especially when you consider the fact that the price of Solana has risen nearly 20x this year.

Inter-Connectivity

Composability within DeFi plays a central role in delivering value and functionality. For example, a core requirement for our programmable assets is the ability to swap assets. Solana, through Raydium’s AMM, is one of the few blockchains to have the functionality and liquidity required to make this viable for our programmable assets at this time.

A recent tweet by @Solana_Daily highlights the rapid rate in which the Solana ecosystem is growing, to the point that the list is already out of date with many comments replying with those missed, including Nova!

This boom creates so many opportunities for developers to build and connect with other protocols to deliver great value to users. Few other blockchains have reached this kind of critical mass and core functionality.

Switching to Rust

The Nova team has pretty much built exclusively with solidity during our respective blockchain development careers. When we embarked on Nova, understandably there were reservations about changing something so fundamental to our development process.

But in reality we found Rust intuitive and in line with more traditional languages; the team found great resources and tooling to assist with development and most now feel just as comfortable with Rust as they do with Solidity.

We believe these reason (alongside a few more technically orientated benefits that accompany utilising Rust, such as the fact it can compile to webassembly) are why other blockchains like Cardano and Polkadot have also adopted Rust and why its likely to eat Solidity dominance over the next few years.

Community

Community is something that often gets overlooked but sweetens the deal is how supportive and engaging the Solana community has been to us. When we got started with Solana, the dev channels in the community discord helped us out and saved us time when setting things up.

The recent hackathon helped us meet some really cool people and other teams building in the ecosystem. When we were announced as one of the winners, we received a lot of messages of support which have sparked even more opportunities for Nova to connect and grow.

Conclusion

We hope that this article was useful in highlighting our decision making process and why we’re looking forward to completing our MVP and launching on Solana in the coming weeks.

We’re really excited about the possibilities for programmable assets and always happy to answer any questions.

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