Solana is a public blockchain platform with smart contract functionality. Its native cryptocurrency is SOL. Solana achieves consensus using a proof-of-stake mechanism, as well as a 'proof-of-history' mechanism which Solana's whitepaper claims improves scalability without sacrificing decentralization and security. Solana can handle 710,000 transactions per second, which is faster than the Ethereum blockchain, but still less than the 400,000 transactions seen during the spike. Oskar Solberg estimated the transaction fees to be $0.00025 per transaction, which is roughly 60,000 times lower than the fees of the transaction on the Ethereum blockchain. Like various other blockchains, Solana can run smart contracts. The execution environment is based on eBPF, which allows the Rust, C, and C++ programming languages to be used. On December 2nd, 2021, Solana had over $15B worth of value locked on its blockchain.
Solana faucets are a reward system, in the form of a website or app, that dispenses rewards in the form of a satoshi, which is a hundredth of a millionth SOL, for visitors to claim in exchange for completing a captcha or task as described by the website. There are also faucets that dispense alternative cryptocurrencies. Rewards are dispensed at various predetermined intervals of time. Faucets usually give fractions of a solana, but the amount will typically fluctuate according to the value of solana.
Faucets are a great way to help introduce new people to solana, or to your favourite altcoin. Many faucets provide information to newbies as well as offering them some free coins so that they can try before they buy, experimenting with a test transaction or two before putting real money on the line. Since this whole area is so new and a bit scary to some people, who perhaps don't quite trust it with their hard earned cash yet, this is a great way to promote digital currency and bring in new users.