Solana Founder Brushes Off FTX Woes, Remains Confident in Crowded Blockchain Landscape

Prominent projects are porting to the Solana network and developer activity remains strong, Anatoly Yakovenko told CoinDesk TV.

AccessTimeIconMay 4, 2023 at 9:56 a.m. UTC
Updated May 4, 2023 at 3:45 p.m. UTC

Solana Labs founder Anatoly Yakovenko said he remains unfazed about the prospects for the Solana blockchain in an increasingly competitive landscape.

At least six blockchain networks are on track to be launched in the coming months, adding to the more than 50 layer 1 mainnets already active. In just the past two weeks both zkSync and Sui Network have started operations.

Forthcoming projects such as Scroll, Coinbase-backed Base and ConsenSys-backed Linea are gaining traction among developers. All are flush with capital to fund development activity and marketing, potentially cutting into the market share of existing networks such as Solana.

Yakovenko, however, remains confident in Solana's technical strengths.

“None of them are as fast as Solana, do as many transactions as Solana or run as many nodes as Solana. I think we're still quite ahead on the technology front,” Yakovenko said in a Wednesday interview on CoinDesk TV. “You've seen folks like Helium move from their own layer 1 that they've been working on. Render voted to move to Solana as well.”

Crypto connectivity project Helium kicked off its migration to Solana last month, abandoning its own infrastructure in favor of what it called a more stable home. Render, originally on Polygon, moved to Solana last week, citing faster speed and security.

The fall of crypto exchange FTX, while unprecedented, has little reason to damage the Solana ecosystem, Yakovenko said, even though FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was a vocal proponent of Solana, voicing support for multiple network applications via token listings, investments and promotions.

“FTX had such an outsized kind of place in the marketplace. And they were building on Solana, they were building a lot of applications. And when they collapsed that created this massive hole,” he said. “I myself wasn't even sure. Is this ecosystem going to survive?”

Developers, however, took a longer-term perspective, he said.

“The rest of the developers that are building on Solana really had nothing to do with FTX. And you saw that in the last hackathon. We had over 800 projects submitted during that hackathon. That was our largest hackathon ever. So and that happened, basically, two months after the FTX collapse,” Yakovenko shared,

His words aren’t empty air, on-chain data suggests. Wallet activity on Solana was the second-highest among all blockchains in April, analytics firm Nansen tweeted Wednesday, beating Polygon and Ethereum and behind only BNB Chain.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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Shaurya Malwa

Shaurya is the Deputy Managing Editor for the Data & Tokens team, focusing on decentralized finance, markets, on-chain data, and governance across all major and minor blockchains.

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