Solana: Anatoly Yakovenko, co-founder and CEO of Solana Labs, launched the multi-billion dollar Blockchain ecosystem used to launch at least 7 crypto unicorns in less than 2 years. Yakovenko explains how he did it
- 1 Solana CEO: That’s what really pushed me out of bounds!
- 2 A bit of Solana and Ethereum comparison
- 3 Solana (SOL)’s ‘do or die’ moment
- 4 Yakovenko is optimistic about the future of crypto and Solana
- 5 Share this:
Solana CEO: That’s what really pushed me out of bounds!
Anatoly Yakovenko’s venture has developed Solana, a multi-billion dollar crypto ecosystem in less than five years. Software created by Solana Labs allowed the founders to build seven crypto unicorns. Later, Solana managed to become the ninth largest blockchain by market capitalization in the industry.
The idea started with two coffees, a beer and a work until 4 a.m. in a cafe in San Francisco, co-founder Yakovenko said. The crypto ecosystem looked very different back then. Meanwhile, Yakovenko, a systems engineer at Qualcomm, was taking notes.
Ethereum went live just two years ago. ETH was trading around $7 at the beginning of 2017. Its network, meanwhile, has been congested and slowed by the early Blockchain game CryptoKitties, which is better thought of as ‘decentralized Tamagotchi’. And now the popular Ethereum wallet MetaMask could not last more than a few weeks without user complaints. Yakovenko says:
I had a eureka moment. I could develop something to improve some of the technical issues other Blockchains face. That’s what really pushed me out of bounds.
A bit of Solana and Ethereum comparison
Thus, the Proof-of-History (PoH) ‘proof-of-history’ protocol emerged, which distinguishes Solana Blockchain from Bitcoin or Ethereum. According to TechCrunch, the protocol developed a kind of “essentially a kind of synchronized clock that assigns a timestamp to each transaction and disables the ability for miners and bots to decide which transactions are recorded on the Blockchain.”
Meanwhile, Solana is working on Proof-of-Stake and the Nakamoto Consensus. But PoH is an accelerator added to it. According to Yakovenko, this allows Solana to have cheaper fees and faster transaction times. Solana currently processes 2,745 transactions per second per website. About 30 transactions are possible on the Ethereum network in the same time frame. However, Ethereum is the second largest crypto by market cap. Ethereum also has a number of upgrades called The Merge that could provide another boost over its rival.
Raj Gokal later joined Yakovenko as co-founder along with Qualcomm alumni Greg Fitzgerald and Stephen Akridge. Yakovenko says one reason Solana’s success is attributed to bringing in the ‘rock stars’ she can pull from her own network. “We had the best team in the crypto space at the time in terms of experience and understanding of how network protocols and operating systems work,” says Yakovenko.
Solana (SOL)’s ‘do or die’ moment
But the success of the project was not linear. Solana’s main-net went live in March 2020. Its auction happened the same week of the infamous ‘Black Thursday’ crash, where Bitcoin lost half its value in one day. Yakovenko says the following on this subject:
It was a really stressful time We could barely get everything working and the macro looked like everything was going to die. It was a kind of ‘do or die’ moment for us and the network.
Yakovenko states that the company did not own the runway for more than 22 months at a time. He added that they had been trying to survive for years before the last bull market. Saying, “We launched from the bottom,” Yakovenko explains the reason for his success as follows:
I think part of the reason it’s successful is because the people who join our community are true believers. They were paying attention to crypto as the world was set on fire of some kind.
Yakovenko is optimistic about the future of crypto and Solana
Small boutiques like Multicoin were early investors in Solana. And some of the first token buyers saw a 4,300x increase in their investment. Other venture firms, such as Andreessen Horowitz, began diversifying their portfolios with Solana in June 2021. In this context, it closed its $314 million private token sale.
AmkNews.comAs you follow, Solana’s ecosystem started gaining traction in 2021. Startups built on Blockchain with unicorn valuations have arrived, including NFT marketplace Magic Eden, play-to-earn game StepN, decentralized exchange Serum, wallet Phantom, and more. “This was not what I expected,” says Yakovenko.
Meanwhile, critics say Solana’s network is very centralized due to token distribution. Solana also suffered hours of downtime at a time. In June, validators on the network did not process new blocks for several hours. This has caused many decentralized applications to go offline.
Looking forward, Yakovenko is optimistic about the future of both crypto and Solana. He says he wants to help a billion users join space with a web3 mobile phone called Saga. Yakovenko made the following statement on June 23:
Around 7 billion people worldwide use smartphones. More than 100 million people have digital assets. Both of these numbers will continue to increase.
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