Terminology

The following terms are used throughout this book.

account

A persistent file addressed by public key and with lamports tracking its lifetime.

app

A front-end application that interacts with a Solana cluster.

bank state

The result of interpreting all programs on the ledger at a given tick height. It includes at least the set of all accounts holding nonzero native tokens.

block

A contiguous set of entries on the ledger covered by a vote. A leader produces at most one block per slot.

blockhash

A preimage resistant hash of the ledger at a given block height. Taken from the last entry id in the slot

block height

The number of blocks beneath the current block. The first block after the genesis block has height one.

bootstrap leader

The first validator to produce a block.

CBC block

Smallest encrypted chunk of ledger, an encrypted ledger segment would be made of many CBC blocks. ledger_segment_size / cbc_block_size to be exact.

client

A node that utilizes the cluster.

cluster

A set of validators maintaining a single ledger.

confirmation

The wallclock duration between a leader creating a tick entry and recognizing a supermajority of ledger votes with a ledger interpretation that matches the leader's.

control plane

A gossip network connecting all nodes of a cluster.

cooldown period

Some number of epochs after stake has been deactivated while it progressively becomes available for withdrawal. During this period, the stake is considered to be "deactivating". More info about: warmup and cooldown

credit

See vote credit.

data plane

A multicast network used to efficiently validate entries and gain consensus.

drone

An off-chain service that acts as a custodian for a user's private key. It typically serves to validate and sign transactions.

entry

An entry on the ledger either a tick or a transactions entry.

entry id

A preimage resistant hash over the final contents of an entry, which acts as the entry's globally unique identifier. The hash serves as evidence of:

  • The entry being generated after a duration of time
  • The specified transactions are those included in the entry
  • The entry's position with respect to other entries in ledger

See Proof of History.

epoch

The time, i.e. number of slots, for which a leader schedule is valid.

fake storage proof

A proof which has the same format as a storage proof, but the sha state is actually from hashing a known ledger value which the storage client can reveal and is also easily verifiable by the network on-chain.

fee account

The fee account in the transaction is the account pays for the cost of including the transaction in the ledger. This is the first account in the transaction. This account must be declared as Read-Write (writable) in the transaction since paying for the transaction reduces the account balance.

finality

When nodes representing 2/3rd of the stake have a common root.

fork

A ledger derived from common entries but then diverged.

genesis block

The first block in the chain.

genesis config

The configuration file that prepares the ledger for the genesis block.

hash

A digital fingerprint of a sequence of bytes.

instruction

The smallest unit of a program that a client can include in a transaction.

keypair

A public key and corresponding private key.

lamport

A fractional native token with the value of 0.000000001 sol.

leader

The role of a validator when it is appending entries to the ledger.

leader schedule

A sequence of validator public keys. The cluster uses the leader schedule to determine which validator is the leader at any moment in time.

ledger

A list of entries containing transactions signed by clients.

ledger segment

Portion of the ledger which is downloaded by the archiver where storage proof data is derived.

ledger vote

A hash of the validator's state at a given tick height. It comprises a validator's affirmation that a block it has received has been verified, as well as a promise not to vote for a conflicting block (i.e. fork) for a specific amount of time, the lockout period.

light client

A type of client that can verify it's pointing to a valid cluster. It performs more ledger verification than a thin client and less than a validator.

loader

A program with the ability to interpret the binary encoding of other on-chain programs.

lockout

The duration of time for which a validator is unable to vote on another fork.

native token

The token used to track work done by nodes in a cluster.

node

A computer participating in a cluster.

node count

The number of validators participating in a cluster.

PoH

See Proof of History.

point

A weighted credit in a rewards regime. In the validator rewards regime, the number of points owed to a stake during redemption is the product of the vote credits earned and the number of lamports staked.

private key

The private key of a keypair.

program

The code that interprets instructions.

program id

The public key of the account containing a program.

Proof of History

A stack of proofs, each which proves that some data existed before the proof was created and that a precise duration of time passed before the previous proof. Like a VDF, a Proof of History can be verified in less time than it took to produce.

public key

The public key of a keypair.

archiver

Storage mining client, stores some part of the ledger enumerated in blocks and submits storage proofs to the chain. Not a validator.

root

A block or slot that has reached maximum lockout on a validator. The root is the highest block that is an ancestor of all active forks on a validator. All ancestor blocks of a root are also transitively a root. Blocks that are not an ancestor and not a descendant of the root are excluded from consideration for consensus and can be discarded.

runtime

The component of a validator responsible for program execution.

shred

A fraction of a block; the smallest unit sent between validators.

slot

The period of time for which a leader ingests transactions and produces a block.

smart contract

A set of constraints that once satisfied, signal to a program that some predefined account updates are permitted.

sol

The native token tracked by a cluster recognized by the company Solana.

stake

Tokens forfeit to the cluster if malicious validator behavior can be proven.

storage proof

A set of sha hash state which is constructed by sampling the encrypted version of the stored ledger segment at certain offsets.

storage proof challenge

A transaction from an archiver that verifiably proves that a validator confirmed a fake proof.

storage proof claim

A transaction from a validator which is after the timeout period given from the storage proof confirmation and which no successful challenges have been observed which rewards the parties of the storage proofs and confirmations.

storage proof confirmation

A transaction by a validator which indicates the set of real and fake proofs submitted by a storage miner. The transaction would contain a list of proof hash values and a bit which says if this hash is valid or fake.

storage validation capacity

The number of keys and samples that a validator can verify each storage epoch.

sysvar

A synthetic account provided by the runtime to allow programs to access network state such as current tick height, rewards points values, etc.

thin client

A type of client that trusts it is communicating with a valid cluster.

tick

A ledger entry that estimates wallclock duration.

tick height

The Nth tick in the ledger.

token

A scarce, fungible member of a set of tokens.

tps

Transactions per second.

transaction

One or more instructions signed by the client and executed atomically.

transactions entry

A set of transactions that may be executed in parallel.

validator

A full participant in the cluster reponsible for validating the ledger and producing new blocks.

VDF

See verifiable delay function.

verifiable delay function

A function that takes a fixed amount of time to execute that produces a proof that it ran, which can then be verified in less time than it took to produce.

vote

See ledger vote.

vote credit

A reward tally for validators. A vote credit is awarded to a validator in its vote account when the validator reaches a root.

warmup period

Some number of epochs after stake has been delegated while it progressively becomes effective. During this period, the stake is considered to be "activating". More info about: warmup and cooldown