Crypto Won't Succeed If It's Not Built in US: Solana Co-founder

Solana co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko gives the SEC a 1-out-of-10 rating on regulatory clarity

By: Zack Guzman

April 20, 2023

The co-founder of one of the world's largest blockchains is calling out the seriousness of America's failure to provide regulatory clarity.

Not only does Solana co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko think it has implications for his blockchain in the U.S. — but for all of crypto everywhere in the world.

"I don't think crypto can succeed if it's not going to be built in the U.S.," he told Coinage in a new exclusive interview. "If it can't succeed here, I think it'll have even a worse time anywhere else for sure."

As the man shepherding Solana to the rank of a top-10 blockchain, Yakovenko has experienced multiple regulatory regimes, but in 2023 he stressed a personal confusion as a builder who left a traditional tech career behind only to face ever-changing guidance from America's financial regulators. Particularly now, as Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler continues to decline to provide updated policy frameworks for builders in crypto, Yakavenko expressed that things could not be less clear.

When asked to rate the SEC on a scale of 1-10 for providing clarity to the crypto industry, Yakovenko said, "One."

"It's just very confusing to somebody that, you know, bet their career on building a company in the U.S. with the belief that there is a path here," he said, adding that prior administrations had leaned on measuring decentralization as a guiding factor but have since mostly retreated from providing much of any guidance at all.

Anatoly reads a book.
Anatoly reads a book.

Optimistically, Yakovenko cited a diversity of opinions that are starting to form based on his talks with members of Congress. House Republicans in this week's hearing appear to be challenging the SEC's lack of rules that have left many crypto builders guessing about what's not problematic.

However, none of the confusion seems to be hamstringing any of the upgrades Yakovenko first told Coinage about last year.

Solana just unveiled its new, Web3-enabled Saga phone, which has secured thousands of pre-orders. Per Solana's plans, the phone is expected to enable seamless payment experiences for many of its hardcore users in the real world. The goal there is to slowly grow Saga phone purchases to 50,000.

"We drove a very tiny, little wedge between these massive, massive trillion-dollar giants and then as crypto grows, I think that wedge is going to grow as well," Yakovenko said.

The Solana community is also still eagerly awaiting the Firedancer update from Jump Crypto, which is expected to help increase stability and cut down on the blockchain's outages.

"The goal for Firedancer is not just impacting outages, it's almost like a side effect," Yakovenko said, adding that he's been impressed with the progress so far. "What they're building is a system that is fully optimized to take advantage of hardware."

Watch our full interview with Solana co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko above, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.


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