Solana Exec Says Platform Still Gaining New Users Despite FTX's Collapse

Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, who is facing fraud charges, was a big Solana proponent.

AccessTimeIconJan 3, 2023 at 7:19 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:05 a.m. UTC

The washout of crypto exchange FTX hasn't kept the Solana network from attracting users and developers, according to Austin Federa, head of strategy and communications at the Solana Foundation.

Federa told CoinDesk TV’s “First Mover” Tuesday the network has seen an increase in on-chain activity despite the FTX contagion.

“What you've seen is real staying power for both users and developers to build on the network,” Federa said.

Sam Bankman-Fried, the now disgraced founder of bankrupt FTX, was a vocal supporter of Solana, and according to a Solana blog post in November, FTX and Alameda Research, an affiliated trading firm that Bankman-Fried also owned, purchased more than $58 million worth of SOL tokens from the foundation and its sister company Solana Labs six months after the platform first live with a test network.

That “initial attention” was helpful, Federa said, and it may have contributed to the network’s rise and now to its turmoil, as some Solana-based decentralized-finance (DeFi) projects leave the ecosystem.

Nonetheless, Federa said developers are continuing to join the network, even as non-fungible token (NFT) projects like DeGods and Y00ts leave. Federa pointed to NFT project Bonk (BONK), whose "airdrop" included a large portion of its tokens being sent to Solana users, sending SOL up 20% on Tuesday.

“You're not really seeing any projects migrate off of Solana that need the performance and power of the network,” Federa said. “There's a lot of stuff that you can only build on Solana, and those developers are continuing to build here.”


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Fran Velasquez

Fran is CoinDesk's TV writer and reporter.