Anatoly Yakovenko unpacks Solana’s rise, memes, and NFT snafus


Episode 55 of Season 3 of The Scoop was recorded remotely with The Block’s Frank Chaparro and Anatoly Yakovenko, Founder & CEO @ Solana Labs.

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It has been a wild summer for blockchain project Solana.

From the meteoric rise in the price of its native token to technical problems facing NFTs launched on the blockchain, the project has entered the forefront. On this episode of The Scoop, Anatoly Yakovenko Founder & CEO of Solana Labs joins host Frank Chaparro for a deep dive into Solana, which some believe can compete with Ethereum despite being less decentralized.

As for price specifically, Yakovenko admitted it doesn’t always make sense.

“This is just mind-boggling that if the price of Solana doesn’t make any sense, then I have no clue why Ethereum has anything in terms of its value,” he said, adding:

“I don’t pay attention to the price so much because I have no control over it and I’m an engineer. So, like, if I can’t change it, then it’s just like one of these variables.”

Solana Labs completed a $314.2 million fundraise back in June 2021 (that amount raised is a play on the number Pi). Investors included Andreessen Horowitz, Polychain Capital, FTX via Alameda Research and CoinShares. But as of yet, Yakovenko said much of their capital raise has not been deployed. It is also known for powering Serum, the decentralized exchange launched by Sam Bankman-Fried of FTX. Solana recently launched its Metaplex NFT marketplace, which Yakovenko acknowledged experienced server issues.

Still, DeFi comes to the top of Yakovenko’s mind as a core use case.

“I’ve really felt that finance was a place where blockchain makes sense,” he said.

In Yakovenko’s view, users could even one day use their own hardware to tap into the network in order to access financial market data as quickly as professional trading firms with access to exchange data.

“The network guarantees as close as possible to an impossible problem, which is that information propagates equally to everybody at the same speed,” he said.

© 2021 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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