Today we are talking to Anatoly Yakovenko who is the founder and CEO of Solana.
- Solana is a high-speed blockchain which currently supports 50-65k transactions per second and 400ms block times, with 50 nodes on its public testnet, and has specifically been built to scale transaction throughput without sacrificing decentralization or security.
We’d like to kick things off by asking you a couple of questions regarding your formative years.
1) Firstly, can you tell us the things which interested you the most throughout your childhood and teenage years, and what brought you the most happiness?
Making bows and arrows and running around our dacha on the Black Sea. As a teenager, geeking out on building computers and early versions of Linux.
2) Who were your biggest influences growing up, and why did they have such a profound effect on you?
Kafka, Burroughs, Godel. The idea of different kinds of infinities and Gödel’s incompleteness theorem seemed really tied to existential questions of how we perceive the universe and what it really is.
3) Teenage years are often a turbulent time for many, so on this note, can you name a time which was tough for you, and how you managed to overcome it?
It was just a boring time. You have all the energy, but no opportunities to have impact. Tons of reading, soccer, running, and tinkering with the internet.
4) If there was some advice you could give young aspiring individuals, advice which you would really have liked to have heard yourself as a young person, what would it be?
Don’t listen to old people. The world is going to change and whatever advice they will give you is already stale.
We are now going to ask you some questions which will hopefully give our readers something to go on regarding you as a person.
5) Firstly, what are the particular strengths that you feel have made you successful in your field (don’t hold back)?
I am obsessed with making programs faster and optimizing complex problems. Most success comes from how much time you spend on something and not how smart you are.
6) What would you say is your most controversial opinion as regards to blockchain or the crypto space?
Sharding is not going to succeed commercially. People will ship these systems, but they are going to be slow, expensive and hard to program.
7) In the course of your day you can become under the most ridiculous pressures and stresses, what is your particular way of dealing with this?
Running, cycling, surfing, underwater hockey.
8) Outside of crypto/blockchain, what is your favorite thing to do?
We are now going to ask you some creative and humorous questions, and we are sure people will love to see you what you can come up with.
9) What is the most humorous thing you have seen or experienced during your time in the crypto/blockchain space?
10) If you somehow managed to meet Satoshi Nakamoto (that is he is a male person in this scenario) on his deathbed, but only had time to ask him one question, what would it be? Bear in mind that you don’t have much time at all, so make it a good one.
His twelve words 🙂
11) Can you give three policies you'd enact if you became the president of a country tomorrow?
* Underwater hockey should be an Olympic sport
* Let’s build a permanent mars colony
* Find someone better to be president (help us Obama, you are our only hope)
Communities are often an important backbone for many crypto/blockchain projects, so we’d now like to get some personal thoughts on the community side of things.
12) What do you feel makes the Solana community unique compared to others?
We are focused on performance. We geek out on shaving milliseconds of confirmation times and benchmarking the latest hardware.
13) Personal project aside, what are some ‘communities’ in the space that you admire and why (this is not an endorsement)?
Cosmos folks are doing a great job building a decentralized network and including many teams in the core development of the network. Rust, the community around the language is incredibly inclusive and they did a fantastic job managing how fast it grew.
14) What social-media platform do you like most and why, and are there any improvements which you feel can be made to these platforms for an even better community user-experience?
Twitter, Telegram, Solana discord channel. I think they each have their place.
15) With the endgame being mainstream adoption, do you think crypto/blockchain communities will still have an important role to play in a post-adoption environment?
I think that there will always be core users that make up the community, even with large adoption. Linux and rust are a great example of that.
In our penultimate section we are going to ask you a question regarding Solana.
16) What do you feel sets Solana apart from your competitors (that is if you have any)?
No sharding, and it’s low latency (400ms blocks!), high capacity, and live!
Well that just about does it, but before we end this interview we’d like to ask you for something which we believe will say a lot about your belief in the industry, and which may inspire those who are reading.
17) Can you come up with a short argument for our readers on why you feel cryptocurrency and blockchain (or just one) has a bright future?
Something like 20% of the worlds GDP or over 25 trillion dollars a year is spent on moving numbers around the world. Trust minimizing computers are just the latest iteration of software eating the world. If we succeed there we can all work 4 days a week instead of 5 for the same standard of living.
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