California is one of the leading states in the US in many spheres, and the cryptocurrency market is hardly an exception. The Golden State doesn’t have specific laws that govern modern digital currencies. Therefore, Solana and other major cryptos are traded and used across the board.
If you’re interested in obtaining Solana in California, you’ll be glad to know that this is not merely a possibility but something you can accomplish on several notable exchanges. In this piece, we’ll explain how to buy this crypto, how it works, and what makes it so unique. Let’s begin!
What Is Solana (SOL)?
Solana is an open-source project that works on blockchain technology. Its primary use is to enable decentralized finance (DeFi) solutions and the so-called decentralized applications (DApps).
Both are gaining in popularity but mainly run on Ethereum. As a result, the notable blockchain is struggling to meet the high demand, so Solana’s entrance to the sphere is essential.
Solana began its digital life in 2017 and launched in March 2020. It’s already one of the most prominent open-source blockchain projects. Solana is also incredibly secure, highly scalable, and completely decentralized.
Even though it started in 2017, Solana quickly raised more than $25 million through several sale rounds and is now working as a beta release.
How Does Solana Function?
Solana is incredibly complex, but it has one underlying factor explaining how it operates — the unique proof-of-history (PoH) consensus model. It’s effectively combined with the widely known proof-of-stake model (PoS) while adding a time component that’s entirely new for the industry.
In simple terms, PoH is a catalog of earlier events from the blockchain, and it provides a record of when and what happened. Anatoly Yakovenko, the creator of Solana, has explained in Solana’s whitepaper that nodes in the network have internal clocks. This enables them to verify events and the progression of time.
There’s a lot more to this, such as the other technologies involved in the Solana network, but it’s overly technical for the general public. The important thing is that Solana appeals to regular crypto enthusiasts and institutional traders. The main focus of this blockchain and the Solana Foundation that acts as its caretaker is to enable the usage of DApps on a much larger scale than before.
SOL Token Explained
If you’re familiar with Ethereum or Polkadot, you likely know that Solana is also a blockchain platform and a cryptocurrency. In other words, Solana has its own native token called the SOL token.
It’s used for all transactions and smart contract usages on the Solana network. What’s more, people can also stake the token to support the network and its security. As usual, staking will reward you with SOL tokens.
In the future, staking will also give you the chance to participate in the governance of the network.
Like all other tokens, you can buy SOL with fiat currency or other cryptos. Furthermore, you can also trade it, sell it, or keep it as an investment.
It’s important to mention that Solana is constantly ranked in the top 10 cryptos globally and has an unlimited potential supply of tokens. According to the latest figures, more than 500 million were created, while the circulating supply has more than 333 million SOL tokens.
What Is So Unique About Solana?
Solana’s primary focus is decentralized apps, and speed is crucial for them. The transaction speeds on the Solana network are much faster than on Ethereum, which is currently having problems supporting all the solutions built on it.
It’s worth noting that the transactions are incomparably faster. For instance, the Ethereum network can handle around 15 of them per second, while Solana can process more than 50,000 in the same timeframe.
Another unique element is the average block time, which is 400 to 800 milliseconds.
Combined with Solana’s perfect scalability capabilities, the network can support tens of thousands of decentralized app users simultaneously without a single issue.
In the end, Solana does all of that without using some form of sharding or third-party technologies that are not part of the main network. This is huge, as only a few other blockchains can boast of achieving the same speeds without additional features.
Where Can I Buy Solana in California?
Like most other major cryptos, you can buy Solana on many sites operating in the US, including California. The vital thing to know is that such sites are called cryptocurrency exchanges and are predominantly centralized.
Crypto exchanges, which are effectively marketplaces for exchanging cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies, can be centralized or decentralized. In this piece, we’ll focus on the former as they are licensed, safe, widely accessible, and allow the usage of fiat currencies.
Besides crypto exchanges, you can also buy SOL directly from a willing seller, so we’ll discuss both options in the following sections.
Centralized Crypto Exchanges
Centralized exchanges are where most of the cryptocurrency trading happens today. Even if you’ve never used any cryptocurrencies, you’ve likely heard of the massive exchange platforms like Binance, Coinbase, or Kraken.
All of them are centralized, which means they are owned by specific organizations and have licenses issued by the regulatory bodies in the areas where they operate. They are the go-to places for buying any cryptocurrency, including Solana.
You still have to pick one even though many exchanges are excellent in their own ways. So, to do that, you’ll need to look into the following aspects:
- Availability of SOL — Naturally, the most important aspect is the availability of SOL. Most of the major crypto exchanges offer it, and they cover several trading pairs, most notably SOL/USD.
- Coverage in California — Almost all popular exchanges in the US cover California, but this is never a sure thing, so it’s essential to check.
- Other cryptos — Even if you want to buy SOL with US dollars, you still want the exchange to cover other cryptos so you can have options in the future.
- Security — One of the most significant features of a crypto exchange is its security. Check what measures it uses and how it handles breaches, as they are not as rare as many think.
- User-friendliness — If you are new to crypto exchanges, find a beginner-friendly platform. But even without that, the exchange should still be easy to use and have a modern, straightforward design.
- Reputation — Reputation matters greatly, so check online reviews and user feedback. It’s the only way to get an honest description of the platform.
- Payment systems — Exchanges have various payment options, including credit or debit cards, bank transfers, and e-wallets. Make sure the list includes the methods you typically use to deposit and withdraw money.
- Fees — Crypto exchanges are free to use, but they live on fees. So be sure to check the pricing system, especially the maker/taker fees.
- Liquidity — It’s essential to examine a platform’s liquidity to learn the trading volume of Solana. The more SOL is traded, the faster your own trades will be.
Instead of using platforms, you can always opt for the simpler option of buying SOL directly from an individual. However, you need to understand that unless you know this person and trust them implicitly, it will be challenging to ensure you actually get the tokens you’re buying.
You’ll either have to complete the trade face-to-face or find an intermediary. This is why exchanges are more popular since they operate as intermediaries and make crypto trading easier and safer for both sellers and buyers.
How to Buy SOL on an Exchange — Step-by-Step Guide
If you’re ready to buy your first SOL tokens on an exchange, here’s a simple step-by-step process you should follow:
- Obtain a crypto wallet — Find a good cryptocurrency wallet that supports Solana and set it up for use. In most cases, you’ll only need to register an account, as long as you’re using a regular software wallet.
- Pick a crypto exchange — Look at the exchanges we recommend, and pick the one you like the most. Base your decision on the parameters we’ve covered here if you’re unsure which one is right for you.
- Create an account — Visit the exchange’s official website and complete the registration process. Input all the necessary information and verify your account.
- Make a deposit — Pick one of the available payment methods and follow the instructions to make a quick deposit.
- Buy SOL — Pick the right trading pair (SOL/USD, if you want to buy SOL in US dollars), and input the amount you wish to purchase. Confirm the transaction and wait for the SOL tokens to reach you.
- Withdraw to your wallet — If you don’t want to trade your tokens, it’s best to withdraw them to your wallet for safe storage.
As you can see, Solana is an exciting cryptocurrency you can purchase with ease on many exchanges operating in California. However, you need to be sure you’re ready to invest, and you definitely need to research the crypto extensively to see if it’s something you genuinely want. Once you decide you’re ready, the rest will be a breeze.