Anatoly Yakovenko Join UpOnly Podcast, Talks Solana

The Solana founders spent the stream detailing the Solana network goals and future.

John Tunney
June 22, 2021
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Solana Founders and Their Thoughts 

The Solana co-founders recently discussed their thoughts on the Solana blockchain and its mission. On June 17th, Raj Gokal and Anatoly Yakovenko joined the UpOnly Podcast to discuss the Solana blockchain. Both Yakovenko and Gokal co-founded Solana. Currently Yakovenko is the CEO of Solana whereas Gokal is the COO. The podcast started with Gokal and Yakovenko explaining the challenges that come when trying to make crypto finance and understanding the Solana network seem simple. Their concern was focused on creating an environment where mass adoption can take place for their layer 1 blockchain solution. 


Following some small talk and brief introductions, Yakovenko dived straight into how he found himself in the crypto space in 2017, mining for Bitcoin and pondering if there was a better way to run a blockchain. It was then Yakovenko came to a revelation following 2 coffees and one beer, that one could use a proof of history/stake model. Quickly, the podcast conversation turned to the trajectory of the Solana blockchain.  

Where is Solana Going? 

According to Yakovenko, it's hard to know where things are going for the chain. He did note Solana is cheaper than Ethereum and that it’s very early and hard to know at the moment what the future will bring. Yakovenko talked about some of the powerful protocols on the Solana network, such as Serum

Source: The growing Solana ecosystem

The market running on Serum (which is on Solana blockchain) is competitive with the New York Stock exchange in terms of price and native discovery engine. With Solana, it's all about the hardware. As Yakovenko tells the audience, the network is basically free compared to the billions of dollars that monopolies charge for the same service, which Yakovenko, Solana, and Serum look to disrupt. Serum is just one of the many examples showcasing the tremendous use-cases the Solana network offers. 

Developers and Products

Gokal then jumped in, switching gears and directing the conversation towards what Solana is targeting. Solana is looking to target products that actually need blockchain technology. According to Gokal, Solana currently aims to bring products that people want to use and bring people to Solana who “eat glass” in order to get things done. Those who “eat glass” are in reference to the developers who are willing to make hard sacrifices and log hours of extra work in order to accomplish their goals. 

Yakovenko also said a lot of people coming into the Solana space are coming from traditional finance. The Solana team says that this allows for a lot of innovation to happen quickly, and people are soon able to start doing their own thing. When the base layer of Solana becomes good enough where people can have fun and get things done over the weekend, that’s when Solana becomes a true player in the crypto space.

Programming and the Long Haul 

Much of the talk was also focused on the programming language Solana uses and how this will impact their future. Gokal notes that the decision to go Rust for the programming language first was chosen with the long term in mind.

Yakovenko added that Solana wanted a long term engineering focus. This approach hopes to attract engineers that are doing things that are really cool and powerful. Developers and engineers will have to put a bit more effort into it to build something with Rust, but Solana currently doesn’t see this as a huge problem. There are a ton of engineers with 5+ years of experience moving to Solana who are capable of using the software. 


The Rust computer language, for those unaware, is the programming language Google uses for development. Ethereum uses Solidity, which Yakovenko roundly critiques as a rudimentary computer language, which is why he believes early on the hacks against Ethereum occurred due to bad code and an outdated programming language. 

The Future Outlook? 

Solana makes developers work harder and build out more substantial applications. This creates a long term approach, with strong quality projects hitting the Solana network. As Yakovenko says, it’s tough to find founders and developers to build amazing projects. 

However, the projects that have landed on Solana have so far looked absolutely amazing. The value each project provides is powerful and worthwhile to users. It seems that in time, Solana will be able to host immensely powerful protocols while protecting the community from weaker projects. As Yakovenko said in the podcast, “It’s very early” and time will tell if Solana’s approach works out well in the long run.

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John Tunney

John Tunney is an accomplished analyst and crypto enthusiast. The UCLA alum has been actively reporting and blogging for 3 years, and has a passion for all things finance.