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Solana's History: When Was SOL launched?

When Was Solana Launched?

We can trace back the origin of Solana to late 2017, when creator, Anatoly Yakovenko, released a draft whitepaper outlining a novel timekeeping method for distributed systems called Proof of History (PoH). Anatoly formerly worked at Dropbox and Qualcomm and specialized in developing compression techniques and distributed systems.

One of the scalability constraints in blockchains such as Bitcoin and Ethereum is the time needed to achieve an agreement on the sequence of transactions. Anatoly felt his innovative method might automate the transaction sorting process for blockchains, offering a critical component that would allow crypto networks to grow well beyond their current limits.

Yakovenko later collaborated with Greg Fitzgerald, a former Qualcomm colleague, to create a proof-of-history blockchain Testnet. Fitzgerald now occupies the role of Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Solana. The two published the project's first official paper and the internal Testnet in February 2018.

Another former colleague of Yakovenko, Akridge Stephen, proposed that outsourcing signature verification might boost transaction performance. Greg and Stephen, alongside three others, joined Anatoly at Solana to start the company that later became Solana Labs.

The veteran team that started Solana also included some former Apple engineers. Initially, they called the project “Loom” but later changed it to prevent confusion with the Loom Network, a prominent multichain Ethereum interoperability service.

In the second quarter of 2018, Solana Labs started gathering money to develop its new crypto network. Multicoin Capital led a financing round for Solana and generated about $20 million in private token sales by the end of July 2019.

The fundraising campaign coincided with Solana's development on the protocol. This went through various permissionless Testnet stages until the company announced the Tour de SOL public incentive Testnet in the third quarter of 2020.

Solana's beta Mainnet debuted in March 2020, with innovative contract features and basic transaction capabilities, after gathering an additional $1.76 million through its inaugural auction on Coin list.

Solana Labs is still the network's primary contributor. On the other hand, the Solana Foundation, a non-profit headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, assists in financing continuing development and expanding the blockchain's community-building activities.