Terminology Glossary

The following terms are used throughout the documentation.


A record in the Solana ledger that either holds data or is an executable program.

Like an account at a traditional bank, a Solana account may hold funds called lamports. Like a file in Linux, it is addressable by a key, often referred to as a public key or pubkey.

The key may be one of:

  • an ed25519 public key

  • a program-derived account address (32byte value forced off the ed25519 curve)

  • a hash of an ed25519 public key with a 32 character string

account owner#

The address of the program that owns the account. Only the owning program is capable of modifying the account.


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


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


A computer program that accesses the Solana server network cluster.


A set of validators maintaining a single ledger.

confirmation time#

The wallclock duration between a leader creating a tick entry and creating a confirmed block.

confirmed block#

A block that has received a supermajority of ledger votes.

control plane#

A gossip network connecting all nodes of a cluster.


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


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.

fee account#

The fee account in the transaction is the account that 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.


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


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.


A digital fingerprint of a sequence of bytes.


The smallest contiguous unit of execution logic in a program. An instruction specifies which program it is calling, which accounts it wants to read or modify, and additional data that serves as auxiliary input to the program. A client can include one or multiple instructions in a transaction. An instruction may contain one or more cross-program invocations.


A public key and corresponding private key for accessing an account.


A fractional native token with the value of 0.000000001 sol.


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

leader schedule#

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


A list of entries containing transactions signed by clients. Conceptually, this can be traced back to the genesis block, but an actual validator's ledger may have only newer blocks to reduce storage, as older ones are not needed for validation of future blocks by design.

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.


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


There are two different types of minting: Mint-A-Token is when an asset creator chooses who can create tokens/NFTs. Burn Minting gives all NFTs another digital wallet private key so they become locked forever and no longer destroyable or transferrable.

native token#

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


Stands for Non-Fungible Token. It’s a unique, one-of-a-kind digital asset that’s stored on a blockchain. No other token or cryptocurrency can replace it.


A computer participating in a cluster.

node count#

The number of validators participating in a cluster.


See Proof of History.


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.

proof of history (PoH)#

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 (pubkey)#

The public key of a keypair.


Solana's parallel smart contracts run-time.


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


A 64-byte ed25519 signature of R (32-bytes) and S (32-bytes). With the requirement that R is a packed Edwards point not of small order and S is a scalar in the range of 0 <= S < L. This requirement ensures no signature malleability. Each transaction must have at least one signature for fee account. Thus, the first signature in transaction can be treated as transacton id

smart contract#

A program on a blockchain that can read and modify accounts over which it has control.


The native token of a Solana cluster.


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


2/3 of a cluster.

thin client#

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


A ledger entry that estimates wallclock duration.

tick height#

The Nth tick in the ledger.


A digitally transferable asset.


Transactions per second.


One or more instructions signed by a client using one or more keypairs and executed atomically with only two possible outcomes: success or failure.

transaction id#

The first signature in a transaction, which can be used to uniquely identify the transaction across the complete ledger.

transaction confirmations#

The number of confirmed blocks since the transaction was accepted onto the ledger. A transaction is finalized when its block becomes a root.

transactions entry#

A set of transactions that may be executed in parallel.


A full participant in a Solana network cluster that produces new blocks. A validator validates the transactions added to the ledger


See verifiable delay function.

verifiable delay function (VDF)#

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.


A collection of keypairs that allows users to manage their funds.

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