November 26, 2022

Solana’s Anatoly Yakovenko Talks NFTs, Scalability and Where Solana is Headed in 5 Years (Exclusive)

9 min read

Solana is among this year’s most popular topics, surging in worth, appeal, and general usage. The cryptocurrency itself is up over 13,000% so far in 2021 and this comes on the back of over $14 billion in worth secured the various decentralized protocols developed on Solana.

This growth drew the neighborhood’s attention and Solana quickly became one of the most commonly gone over blockchains.

We met Yakovenko on the second day of Lisbon’s Breakpoint 2021 – – a 3-day conference devoted to the Solana environment. Yakovenko needs to have absolutely enjoyed and proud to see the countless participants and tasks, providing all sorts of dApps and procedures on Solana.

Prior to the conference, Solana held its hackathon, which led to more than 500 tasks getting $5 million in financing.

An event of this scale says a lot about the Solana ecosystem and brings further concept to the question of whether it’s ready to compete with Ethereum on being the leading Layer-1 wise agreements network. We likewise pick Yakovenko’s brains on this matter later in the interview.

Solana and Scalability

Among the greatest characteristics of the network is the improvement it made in scalability and speed, along with the improvement of the hardware utilized by miners. Roughly 2,500 deals per second (TPS) are currently used by the network’s users, according to information supplied from the Solana block explorer. The max throughput is around 50,000 TPS and we’re still far away from it, however, the ecosystem is growing significantly.

We asked Yakovenko about how far are we from the next meaningful enhancement in the scale of the Solana blockchain and if he thinks the requirement for capacity will exceed the speed of hardware enhancement.

Yakovenko: The way Solana works is that it attempts to represent all the load on the network by moving as much of the operations through the transaction pipeline.

Yakovenko. Source: Twitter So even consensus votes become part of deals and that’s due to the fact that running a node resembles running applications that are registered for a real-time state. That application costs bandwidth to the networks, it needs to pay for it. So that’s like the design: you kind of have X amount of capability to have fun with, and after that you can split up the load to whatever demand is. What we’ve seen right now (i.e., November 2021 )is that we can confirm the software at like 50,000 TPS with the hardware that we introduced with and with the set of validators when we released.

Nevertheless, we see now that the latest and biggest chips like AMD, on a modern-day system surpass over 100K – – 200K TPS. To get that performance in the network, you would require to take this high-performance system released worldwide to every validator. That will occur if there’s enough demand. If we ever get to a point where there’s a sustained load of 10,000 TPS, people are going to wish to begin upgrading. And we see that this is almost occurring.

Humans are bad at creating load. So typical human operation does not do a lot of work: like all of Twitter has to do with 5,000 tweets per second. But there’s a great deal of work to scale the read structure, the data, and all that other things. The chain doesn’t have to do that.

If you are running markets like Project Serum, as the depth and the size of the markets increases, market makers are naturally going to take positions much faster. They’ll desire far more.

So, that’s where it may run out, and if that happens, it means – – go get hardware as fast as you can to ship it everywhere in the world.”

However he does not seem too concerned about the above.

Yakovenko: “We’re also making improvements to the software application to be able to leverage more hardware. Things like utilizing GPU’s for signature confirmation, which in the future should be possible to, as GPU’s structural wise agreement execution.

However, you require to have enough significant load to calculate itself today, if you take a look at all of the graphs and our metrics control panel, the majority of the load is just network IO ops, it’s simply sending packets in, verifying them, sending out packets out. However those are excellent problems, bring them on.”

Layer-1 Solutions: Room for Everyone

As we can see, there are some leading L1 services, consisting of Solana, that are rapidly chasing in the steps of Ethereum. However, apps constructed on various chains don’t appear to be as seamlessly interoperable, making us wonder if they ever will be.

In this regard, we asked Yakovenko if he believes we are moving towards a siloed environment and if in the end there will be one L1 chain to “take it all”?

“No, like what you see now with Audius is a perfect example, token governance things is on Ethereum. I think they do about a million or something transactions per day for likes and plays and follows and like user interactions.” according to him.

“So that things doesn’t make good sense to run on Ethereum, and Solana is as good as any other network. If you’re evaluating, like where should I put my application as, like somebody like Roneil from Audius (i.e., CEO and Co-Founder), the factor they picked Salana is that it’s low-cost and fast. You can nearly consider a theorem as a settlement layer and Solana’s execution layer. And if you look at your application, what you’re developing, you can begin composing them nevertheless you desire.”

Solana’s creator thinks there’s space for a number of Layer-1 solutions to co-exist. According to him, “you have to create areas that are Pareto effective. What that means is that when you make one trade-off, you sacrifice something else.”

He continues:

“You have to have a significant enough enhancement in one aspect to where I believe that you’ll have stickiness. I think Ethereum 2.0 is choosing this minimum socialized expense of the hardware, they’re attempting to opt for the lowest possible validator to the point that the validators didn’t even hold the entire stay.

They’re simply kind of holding the ratio codes. Which’s a various approach than I wish to receive all the details there’s on the world from the chain as fast as possible. Which is what Solana picks.

Now you have what utilize case are you developing and settlement governance. That’s what Ethereum is fantastic for, but I need an efficient real-time application with a lot of users, even if it’s non-financial like Audios, you desire all of that information in one shard as quick as possible.

Integration is just happening without even us asking about it. It’s not like Audios had to ask us to integrate. Cryptography is the final thing that makes up everything. You have a cryptographic signature on Ethereum, we have a cryptographic signature for Solana– so that thing is a composable layer.”

SBF and FTX: The Turning Point for Solana

In July 2020, FTX and Alameda’s CEO, Sam Bankman Fried (SBF), published a Twitter thread that exposed the Project Serum. He stated that of all the blockchains available, they picked Solana.

In retrospect, it appears this was an exceptional driver for the hypergrowth of Solana. Yakovenko doesn’t reject it was a turning point for his blockchain.

“For sure it was a turning point, but likewise for Serum. I think what it demonstrated was that you could take something very complicated, like a main limitation order book that has never ever been done before, and ship it on this blockchain that no one ever become aware of, at the time.”

The reality that people were able to do that right in a very brief amount of time, about for four weeks, and actually go live and have significant liquidity and start like running full-style DEX.

FTX CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried. Source: Bloomberg I think that the genuine driver is that proof point. We haven’t actually seen folks beyond the Solana ship, like complex projects that quickly and I don’t know if it’s simply culture, or that Rust offers a much better system tooling.”When inquired about future plans and advancements coming out of this relationship in between Serum-FTX-Solana, the co-Founder answered:

“I guess how we deal with FTX or how any person I believe works with FTX, is that if you have a really great concept and you just wish to get it done if you speak with them and everyone’s aligned, it just occurs. That’s like the magic of working with them.”

Facebook Beware: NFTs Are Coming to Social Networks

In concerns to the future of crypto, Yakovenko says he’s really excited about NFTs but sees them as these precursors to social networks.

“These narratives are going to take a few years to play out. There’s obviously a centralized market that runs up to: it’s the ad exchange. What blockchains are proficient at and what’s been shown in running decentralized markets? These are things for individuals to coordinate. It appears like NFTs are like the first foray into social networking that is not monetized by ads.

It’s simply for the community – – it’s content developers. It’s simply people having fun, but still able to monetize and earn a living. Will they scale to a hundred million individuals? Right. Well, will there be an NFT website that can actually hold a hundred million people? I don’t know. But like, I’m thrilled to learn.”

Some Play-to-Earn Games Shipped too Fast

When asked about the most current hot trend in crypto NFTs and the play-to-earn model, the Solana Founder replied that some simply shipped too fast, which is– according to him– the most essential thing in crypto nowadays.

“Games take a truly very long time to ship. So given that they delivered that, they shipped as quickly as they could, which is most likely the most important thing in crypto today is delivering as fast as you can.”

From my individual experience, seeing and fulfilling fantastic developers who currently develop the next stage of Play-to-Earn, I shared with Anatoly that it is beginning to feel like things are moving quickly in terms of game quality.

He agreed. “Aurory, Star Atlas, and I’m missing out on a lot of games too. I’m actually excited about those. I believe that play-to-earn is a truly difficult thing to get.


Excited about it: Star Atlas. Source: Official Twitter It also intersects this concept of the creator economy as people that are constructing successfully, you’re cheating the game as a development tool. As its own little social media, but with possessions that are not fungible across, perhaps the entire community, but even within that game, like you look at something such as World of Warcraft, all those things always had secondary markets for all the items. It’s tricky to get.

I’m delighted to see people try it. There’s certainly this concept that, at some point in the future, perhaps we were all NPCs (non-playable characters) in someone else’s mission.”

The Governance Model of Solana

The significance of a structured design to make decisions and to execute changes to a blockchain can not be overlooked. It seems that a great governance model is a should for a dApps-based blockchain to stay pertinent for several years to come.

When asked to elaborate on the existing and scheduled governance structure of Solana, Yakovenko said:

“The governance is practically like traditional release engineering procedures for software. If you in fact look deep into it, like what we have is a governance dashboard. That was a reference application that the Mango group took forward and essentially functions as ‘let’s propose a new release, everybody that wants to evaluate reviews it and then boats to do the upgrade’.

That’s quite a software-real procedure for upgrades. It reminds me of simply open-source software application development. What I want to see is that the tooling to evaluate the changes be able to look at the distinctions and have some assertions about audits and code quality and things like that. However those get better with time.”

The Future: 1 Million TPS in 2026?

Where do you see Solana in five years from now?

Yakovenko: “As an engineer, if it’s not going to take place in 2 weeks, there’s a 50% chance it’s never going to take place. So we do not have roadmaps for that reason. We call it fire-driven advancement. In 5 years, I think hardware improvements must a minimum of make it 4x quicker. I’m wanting to break the one gig of a barrier of more than a million TPS possible, but we’ll see. So there’s a great deal of time, however also a lot of work “

And lastly, discussing Solana’s market cap in 5 years, Yakovenko doesn’t care. “I don’t care. It’s similar to I want to build something that people wish to use. That’s the most essential thing.”