Solana Announces Tour de SOL: An Incentivized Testnet Event

Validators, replicators, hackers, and malicious actors alike — You’re invited to take part!

Eric Williams
Published in
4 min readJul 3, 2019


On current iterations of the Solana Testnet, a network of 200 physically distinct nodes supports a sustained throughput of more than 50,000 transactions per second when running with GPUs. These numbers make Solana the most performant permissionless blockchain in the world. Thanks to innovations including Proof of History, Parallel Processing, and Proof of Replication, we believe Solana to be the fastest while most secure blockchain — and now it’s time to empower the Solana community to prove it.

We’re excited to announce Solana’s incentivized testnet event: Tour de SOL!

Inspired by Cosmos’ Game of Stakes, we’re offering our Validator community an opportunity to flex their validation skills and help strengthen the Solana network as we approach mainnet launch. We know that near instant transactions with minimal costs are only half of the equation: A thriving community of participants is vital to a healthy decentralized network, and we hope Tour de SOL will be a major step in building the Solana ecosystem.

The first stage of the Solana Tour de SOL is set to kick off early August. Stay tuned for stage details, rules, token pool, and timeline!

What is Tour de SOL?

Solana’s Tour de SOL will be an event in 3 stages, with each stage focusing on a different performance capacity required to be a participant on the network. The first phase will focus on network performance, the second will stress test high performance smart contract execution, and the third and final stage will be a fully-featured Testnet including both Validators and Replicators.

The first step to taking part in Tour de SOL is to join our live testnet. If you’re interested in participating in Tour de SOL, we recommend you start exploring the testnet as soon as possible. Have a look around, introduce yourself to the other nodes, make yourself at home.

Registration for Tour de SOL is open now!

Why should I participate?

While scalability is surely one of the most pressing issues in blockchain today — one that Solana is racing towards solving — that scalability is only a means towards solving the greater end: Usability. Tour de SOL is the first chance Solana’s global community will have towards substantively addressing usability, by together forging a network with sub-second transactions and minimal transaction fees, in turn creating a blockchain network that’s ready to be harnessed for mass usage. And the best part is that participants, Validators, and Replicators earn tokens for taking part!

What will I need to participate?

As of right now, there aren’t any technical requirements to begin experimenting on the Solana testnet. Closer to the launch of Tour de SOL, we’ll be enabling GPU Proof of History verification which will give a huge TPS boost to validators with GPUs. Potential participants should plan on having their GPU hardware ready before the event begins. See our recommended Validator node specs here (specifically the “mid-range option” should provide plenty of firepower)

Where can I stay updated about TdS?

Join our Discord for support from our team and to follow along for Tour de SOL updates and announcements. We recommend #validator-support for technical assistance, follow #validator-announcements for single source of truth of TdS announcements. You can also find community support in our recently launched forums. TdS news will be announced on both channels, so keep an eye out!

We will have our next Validator Roundtable — bi-weekly calls where Validators connect with the Solana team — on July 10th. Reach out to if you’re interested in joining!

Key Dates:

Overall we’re targeting to have Tour De SOL run for approximately 3 months. With roughly 3–5 weeks in between each stage, with each stage running for a duration of 5 straight days. Some broad information about each stage is provided below:

Stage 1

Theme: Performance

Registration Period: June 28th 12:00am (PT) to July 21st 11:59pm (PT), 22 days

Stage Duration: August 5th 8:00am (PT) to August 9th 7:00pm (PT), 5 days

For detailed information on Tour De SOL milestones, please refer to our forums here. The forum thread will continuously be updated to include new information as it becomes available.

Technical notes about Stage 1:

  • Slashing is not enabled
  • Replicators are not enabled

Stage 2

Theme: High performance smart contract execution

Registration Period: August (date TBC)

Stage Duration: September (date (TBC)

Stage 3

Theme: Fully-featured Testnet including Replicators

Registration Period: September (date TBC)

Stage Duration: October (date (TBC)