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Solana’s native token SOL has been one of the best-performing cryptos of the year, up more than 500% so far, but you wouldn’t have guessed that would be the case given how closely tied the blockchain was to FTX, which held huge amounts of SOL and was a big supporter of the platform. The blockchain also experienced numerous outages in 2022. But Anatoly Yakovenko, Solana’s co-founder, says the discipline imposed by FTX’s collapse, as well as improvements to the technology, have made Solana stronger.

On this episode of Unchained, Yakovenko talks about the impact of FTX’s collapse, his early impressions of Sam Bankman-Fried, the SEC’s designation of SOL as a security, how entrepreneurs are leaving the U.S. because of the regulatory risk, SOL’s share of the stablecoin market, and why he thinks it’s inevitable that finance will eventually run on something like Solana.

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Show highlights:

  • How the Solana ecosystem weathered the FTX crisis
  • How FTX’s collapse was like ripping off a band-aid for Solana
  • Anatoly’s initial impression of SBF as a “super genius”
  • Why, despite SOL’s strong 2023 performance, the Solana ecosystem hasn’t experienced a corresponding growth in active developers
  • What factors Anatoly believes contribute to the relatively low number of daily active wallet addresses in Solana
  • How Solana addressed and rectified the outage issues that were so frequent in previous years
  • Why Anatoly draws a parallel between Ethereum and Windows 95, and Solana and Windows 2000
  • Why he’s not worried about Jump Crypto building a client for the blockchain
  • The ongoing debate within Solana on open-source versus closed-source culture, and the potential for future shifts
  • How the Solana Foundation is handling the SEC’s classification of SOL as a security
  • Whether there’s a trend of developers and founders relocating from the United States in search of a more supportive ecosystem
  • Why Solana holds a low market share of stablecoins across various blockchains, and the implications of this trend
  • Why Anatoly considers trading volume a more critical metric than Total Value Locked (TVL) in assessing blockchain success
  • How Web3 gaming has been flourishing on Solana
  • Why Anatoly is confident that DeFi will find its rightful place on the Solana network
  • The future plans for the Saga phone after its market challenges
  • What Anatoly thinks is the number one focus for Solana for the near term


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Episode Transcript