Interview with Solana founder: Don’t try to chase the market and focus on what you like to do

Driven by founder Anatoly Yakovenko, Solana is changing the world of encryption industry and DeFi. As the fastest blockchain in the world, Solana is vigorously promoting the development of the crypto ecosystem. 

This summer is called “Solana Summer” for good reason. Once regarded as a loser, Solana has risen rapidly and has already determined its place in the crypto world. In addition to price increases, many innovative crypto projects are built on the Solana blockchain; the crypto derivatives exchange FTX has launched the Solana NFT market, which allows users to trade, mint, auction and verify Solana-based NFTs, and is booming . 

Solana pays great attention to speed, as is its founder and former engineer Anatoli of multinational company Qualcomm. Next, listen to his “dream chasing” story. 


As the son of the first generation of immigrants from the Soviet Union, Anatoly’s story is a persevering journey to the United States from immigrant to inventor. Although it is difficult for him to explain the details of the crypto industry to his parents, he knows that they are proud of his achievements. “It is difficult for me to explain to them what I am doing because they really don’t know. They hardly understand how computers work and what decentralized computers are,” he said enthusiastically. 

As a trained engineer with a degree in computer science from the University of Illinois, Anatoly has always been interested in solving complex problems through “simple mathematics”. However, things that are simple to him seem to be not simple to most people. Many people are still trying to understand the role of DeFi (decentralized finance) and its true meaning. 

Solana’s future is bright, but Anatoly defines his personal success as “ doing whatever I want to do. This is more important than any measure of success . I can choose to surf for the rest of my life and waste time. , Or continue to build a company to fulfill your dreams. This will be the case from any industry, you work hard, and then you can build a happy, productive, passionate, interesting and exciting life,” he explained.


Anatoly grew up in the former Soviet Union, where Ukraine is today, and he dreams of the United States. “I have an idea as a businessman to move around and make things happen. I think it’s very exciting. As an adult, I am an engineer and I like to get into the specific details of problems and solve them,” he Say.

Looking back at the beginning of Anatoly and the origin of his passion for entrepreneurship, he founded a startup company with his friends when he was in college. “This was before and after the .com crash, and we were building something that now looks a bit like Google Voice,” he said. Once the Internet bubble burst, many companies that thrived during the Internet boom disappeared out of thin air. However, the experience of structural collapse is no stranger to Anatoly. He had seen it in the Soviet Union. “I do remember that time in 1991, it was obvious that everything was done,” he said. Today’s Ukraine grew up in the 1980s and the experience of the United States is “a bit different”, but he still believes that the period of the Soviet Union in the 1980s “may be the best period in the country”, “because there is enough political freedom, people are not so afraid “And the society and economy remain stable to a certain extent. “I still remember my brother had to join the army during the war in Afghanistan, I was just afraid of him,” he revealed. 

Create Solana

The reason for Anatoly’s entry into the crypto industry and DeFi field is simple. Traditional finance requires a lot of paperwork. He realized that with the right software and the right protocol, the whole process can be more efficient . He believes that blockchain is a transformative opportunity that allows people to be exposed to cryptography.

The world of decentralized finance is a hot topic, but Anatoly realizes that people are often confused and don’t understand “decentralization.” What are these agreements?  

“Protocols are just the mathematical definition of something, that is, how the system works. They exist because the logical rules and cryptography of the management protocol can provide guarantees that other methods cannot provide. So this is the idea that DeFi will swallow finances. Why? Because we trust someone in a regulated bank to supervise our handling of our funds. It is very inefficient and slow,” he said, insisting that with the agreement, things can be “a thousand times better.” With simple cryptography and a protocol with a few thousand lines of code, consumers can get the same guarantee. This is why he established Solana.

Solana resists censorship, but Anatoly understands what censorship means in his world. “People will say,’What is censorship?’ The protocol defines the rules of the crypto industry so that they can be passed on to everyone around the world who wants to see them. This is what it does, and it guarantees that all users can Use. It’s a very simple thing ,” Anatole explained. The Solana network will remain open, allowing decentralized applications to run freely, and transactions will never stop. 

Solana grew up in the market crash

Anatoly launched Solana four days after the stock market crash on March 12, 2020, when Bitcoin and the S&P 500 both fell by 70%. On March 16, Solana was officially launched. “It was an interesting time because it was below everyone’s expectations,” he said.

Although the worst of the market crash has happened, from Anatoly’s point of view, “this seems to be the best time to start a business. Because this crash is unlikely to happen again, so you have a chance to start from the bottom. In terms of opportunities, DeFi has just begun to heat up. I really feel that this opportunity is great.” 

Wonderful cooperation with SBF

Anatoly is working with FTX’s crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF). How did cooperation come about? 

“We have co-investors in FTX,” Anatole said. “I just started talking to SBF and showed him,’Hey, look, Solana is the next generation of blockchain. It’s very cheap, very fast, and decentralized. It expands in all directions. Now it is the early adoption of the blockchain industry. At this stage, we can actually expose 1 billion people to cryptography,” he added. 


Picture: Anatoli and SBF chatting at the dinner

Although SBF is not an engineer, the two have similar ideas. “SBF was able to change the timeline for the FTX exchange to adopt Solana as the underlying public chain from a few months to a few days. It moved quickly. This is why I think we have worked well together.”

When many people in American companies are exhausted after returning home from get off work, and poor physical and mental health is becoming a side effect of the epidemic, what is Anatoly’s approach to coping with stress and burnout? 

“When you can actually accomplish something, you gain energy. If you stay up too much at 4 in the morning, you obviously feel tired. But this is not the same as burnout. You really work hard a few Weeks, then three days off, and finally you go back to work. But because I have done some things, this is the motivation for me to move on,” Anatole said. 

The changing attitude of the U.S. towards the crypto industry

Anatoly currently lives in San Francisco and has no plans to leave. “What has changed in the past ten years is that the company has almost become the product itself. Risk-averse investors only invest in growth companies that have established successful businesses. At that time, few investors invested money in crypto assets,” he said. Say.

But the US’s position on crypto assets is changing, not only through cultural changes, but also through politics.

The newly elected Mayor of New York City, Eric Adams, vowed to pay his salary for the next three years in Bitcoin, which shows that New York City is open to innovation.

The interesting thing about the crypto industry is that it is dominated by several major players who are constantly cooperating with each other. “This is not a zero-sum game,” Anatoly knew very well. “The market is growing so fast that your competitors will succeed faster,” he explained. “Every success drives the market.”


Anatole shares a common view with crypto investors, and they both want regulators to intervene.

“The lack of encryption regulations keeps dreaming people out of this place. The lack of regulation and uncertainty make it difficult for American startups to do. This is a huge problem,” Anatole said. “So these people just moved overseas, just because the regulatory environment in the United States is so uncertain. For seed-stage companies, compliance is the most pressing issue.” 

MasterCard recently introduced Bitcoin to their payment network. Does Anatori see it as a bigger step in the crypto industry, or is it just trying to catch up with the trend without losing customers?

“This is definitely a good thing. Because there is a lot of compliance internally, that is, how to handle the custody of encrypted wallet private keys. This requires a lot of good engineering, personnel, and compliance. I hope these people are closer to the regulatory agency, and Can explain to them in a way that they understand this is just a bunch of technologies without being afraid.” He said. 

Canadian politician and well-known venture capitalist Kevin O’Leary recently stated that encrypted assets will become the 12th sector of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. Anatoly agrees: “100% yes. All financial industries account for 20% of global GDP. If DeFi can replace 1% [work related to keeping the financial system running], there will be a lot of work that does not need to be completed. In other words, you can now work four days a week and have the same standard of living.”

For the development of Solana ecology

The beauty of Solana is that it provides NFT artists with tools to expand globally without having to go through expensive gallery exhibitions. There are so many up-and-coming artists who want to join, but there is no simple step-by-step guide on how to get started. Anatoly gave the answer. 

“Solana is energy-efficient and green. It doesn’t cost anything. All tools are free. So you can even search on Google for how to start the Solana NFT project? It is open source software and you can create NFT artwork for free And build a community.”

From DeFi and Web3 Dapp to games and NFT, there are more than 350 projects built on Solana, so what is Anatoly’s management style?

“Full-fire development management style,” he quipped. 

Speaking of the human footprint he hopes to leave as a legacy, Anatoly hopes to “avoid as much as possible the life of suffering in other parts of the world.” As a husband and father, Anatoly hopes to teach his children to “ find and drive them.” Their goals and dreams. Because this will bring them a fulfilling job that can accomplish an amazing thing. “

Anatoly Yakovenko has definitely found his goal in life and has valuable experience that others can learn from.

“I really like developing and exploring problems in operating systems. This hobby happens to be the reason for success. If I am passionate about painting or surfing, maybe it will not be materially successful, but I will live the same fulfillment Life.” He paused for a moment. ” Don’t try to chase the market, but really find what you are good at. Look for things that keep you awake at night. This is the most important thing. “

As the Solana ecology gradually expands, Anatoli will continue to write a new chapter in DeFi, and his dream continues.

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