Solana AMA with Anatoly Recap, 5th August 2021

Anatoly | Solana

How is everyone?

LB

Welcome @anatoly_solana 👋❤️😊 so humbled to have you in our group. Such a huge fan that I am a bit nervous 😳🤗

Bilo

It is my honor and privilege to welcome with us today, Anatoly Yakovenko; Co-Founder and CEO of Solana Labs.

It’s our pleasure to have you with us here today. I would also like to welcome you here on behalf of our entire community.

Could we begin with a brief history of yourself @anatoly_solana and your career that led you to where you are today?

Anatoly | Solana

So a brief history

Built linux from scratch for fun in high school, studied computer science at UIUC

ended up working on operating systems at Qualcomm for 12 years

was a really fun time to be in mobile, since hardware went from 16-bit devices to the 64bit super computers you have in your hand

Bilo

hahaha — I’m old enough to remember those times

Thanks for that

For those unfamiliar with Solana, how would you describe Solana if you were talking to someone unfamiliar with digital assets?

Anatoly | Solana

It’s like an Operating System, shares a ton of design similarities to those embedded real time OS’s that ran on early cell phones. But its design to run as a single global computer, and be as fast as possible

It’s useful for guaranteeing that everyone that is using it has access to the same information as fast as possible.

Which is obviously useful in finance, trading, exchanges, that sort of thing

Bilo

How did you achieve being the fastest blockchain with 400ms per block?

Anatoly | Solana

In 2017 I had a realization that verifiable delay functions could be used as a source of time in blockchains, just like time is used in TDMA/CDMA/LTE cell networks

That’s the fundamental design choice that we made, and everything is built around it.

Intuitively, if you remember your physics class, radio waves interfere, so two towers that send a signal at the same time over the same frequency would get noise

So cell networks synchronize clocks across all towers and alternate by time

In blockchain, if two block producers make a block at the same time, there is a fork, and the network is in a “noisy” state

Same thing really

Bilo

Nice — You certainly have an edge with, to say the least, the speed you are able to offer

Anatoly | Solana

If you can alternate them by time in a trustless way then you can get the same improvement

The goal for Solana is to propagate its state changes around the world at the speed of news which would make it competitive to NYSE/NASDAQ for trading but at global scale something like 80ms block times would do it, so we have a ton of work left :)

Bilo

😂

Aside from being the fastest blockchain, can you tell us about why you thought Solana needed to be built and what problem it solves?

Anatoly | Solana

Finance has a ton of middlemen

Everyone wants to take a few bips anytime information changes hands and central limit order books in NASDAQ is where price discovery occurs, and risk is really executed

As a trader, I was pretty frustrated with always getting my data a few seconds after the big guys, and not even having access to the same data as them

It’s basically impossible for a hobbyist to play at that level in traditional markets

Bilo

So true

Anatoly | Solana

So Solana’s seed deck said that “Solana is blockchain at Nasdaq speed”

Bilo

🔥

Anatoly | Solana

while the hardware is more expensive, anyone in the world can plug in to the network and be on the same level playing field as jump trading and Alameda research

Bilo

That really is amazing and you’ve managed to simplify why we love Solana so much ❤️

Why do you think that Solana can be the best choice to build deFi while there are all these other chains on the market?

Anatoly | Solana

It’s the only place that a central limit order book can run and those are the core components of defi

Building for that level of throughput, also makes it the lowest latency and cheapest place for users

Bilo

What is the $SOL token used for?

Anatoly | Solana

I suspect that market makers/bots will be 95% of the traffic, but the 5% can bring billions of people into crypto

Bilo

Excellent point

Anatoly | Solana

SOL is really “spam” prevention. it pays for transactions fees, storage, gives weight to consensus votes, etc…and provides quality of service access to the state, if you have 0.1% of SOL, you should be a block producer 1/1000 times etc…

Bilo

Where do you see Solana as fitting in to the larger blockchain ecosystem?

Anatoly | Solana

We always thought of ourselves as the execution layer. Like in finance, I can name all the places where execution happens, NASDAQ/NYSE, but I can’t name a single place for settlement :)

So all the actual price discovery, risk engines, or even web3 user interactions can sit on Solana

Audius is a great example of a crypto app with a governance token on ethereum, but all the user interactions between fans and artists are on Solana

So this applies even to web3 consumer applications

Bilo

Thanks for that detailed explanation

Today marks the Ethereum hardfork. With all the news and recent justifiable hype surrounding Ethereum, do you see Solana as competition to Ethereum or complementary to it and if so why?

Anatoly | Solana

Everyone is competing. which is a good thing. It helps us all innovate faster when we can see other teams try something different. The goal is to onboard 7 billion people into self-custody and cryptography. It’s going to take a lot of work from all the ecosystems combined

Bilo

I’m loving your answers! Competition is certainly the strongest driver of innovation. Tell us about the Solana Foundation and its mission and governance process.

Anatoly | Solana

SF is focused on maximizing censorship resistance at the core consensus layer

For us to achieve that goal of global fair access to information, the network physically needs to be extremely real time censorship resistance and this is a bit different then POW/btc or POS/eth2

SF is working on maximizing the min set of nodes that add up to 33%, or the Nakamoto Coefficient,

So that requires a ton of internet/bandwidth/hardware/validators, etc…

and governance around the economics of the sol token to make sure that all those participants are fairly treated

Bilo

Kindly tell us a little more about the Solana Foundation grants and the vision behind this

Anatoly | Solana

Solana Foundation also does a ton of grants basically to anyone who has a vision on onboarding millions of people to self-custody cryptography

This effort really grows the entire crypto ecosystem for everyone

Bilo

Is the Solana tour de Sol still in action?

Anatoly | Solana

Sort of. TDS is our testnet, the network where we test new versions of the validator software. It usually has more nodes, right now over 2100 and the community can experiment with dynamic staking, stress tests, attacks, etc…

Bilo

I see. Thanks

Anatoly | Solana

The foundation gives grants to folks who run validators on TDS so we have a healthy testbed for development

Bilo

Are there mechanisms in place to reward people or communities for adding value to the ecosystem?

Anatoly | Solana

Yea, please send a grant proposal to the Solana Foundation, not everyone needs to be a dev

A lot of folks just participate in the Solana collective and help spread awareness

Bilo

Very cool 👀

Can anyone setup a validator node? If so, are there rewards to doing so? what’s needed?

Anatoly | Solana

If you run a node for TDS/testnet, foundation has a grant program

anyone can setup a node, and there are instructions on docs.solana.com

Bilo

@Bussi4Nicole

Nicole |Crypto Society|

I’m on it! 😉

Bilo

What are replicators and what function do they serve and why are they important?

Anatoly | Solana

Replicators have morphed into a collaboration with ARweave. It’s a way to store the entire ledger history on a persistent storage network. It allows anyone in the world to get access to all the historical Solana ledger and the validators can focus on generating that state instead of storing it as well :)

Bilo

Great segway for my next question

We researched and came to the conclusion that Solana originally planned to implement a network of Archivers, utilizing Proof of Replications to store ledger data. From what we understand, this solution has been stopped/closed and Solana has rather chosen to off-ramp blockchain data storage to Arweave. Is there any documentary or visual on how Solana’s blockchain data is ported/replicated to Arweave? If so please share a link, if not please explain the process somewhat?

Anatoly | Solana

This idea was so popular that a team spun out and is now implementing it for a lot of layer-1’s. https://kyve.network

Which is a great example of all the layer-1 competitors working together

There is still a challenge with cheaply proving if the historical ledger is part of the current observed state on the network.

Bilo

What is break Solana all about?

Anatoly | Solana

It’s an application that we built at launch about a year ago to show the performance and scalability of the network. You can smash your keys and send smart contract transactions for each key stroke. Really makes it obvious that Solana is next gen

Bilo

hahaha brilliant!

How do you explain the rise and success behind Solana from a “relatively” unknown project less than a year ago to what it is today?

Anatoly | Solana

I think the speed is definitely a factor. Devs building on Solana can focus on building great products and not worry about price or UX of dealing with a slow network. We really want the experience of web3 to match or exceed web2

Bilo

🔥

Anatoly | Solana

The other one is accessibility, the tools that Solana users are much more common across the tech world, rust is the number one loved language voted by GitHub engineers

So a lot of folks coming into crypto from years of java/c++/.net are able to build using the tools they know

Bilo

How do you plan to solve the problem of the low number of devs who work on rust? Solana is a new blockchain, most of the code has to be written from scratch.

Anatoly | Solana

Professional engineers are not generally sandboxed into a language. I am not a “rust or c++” engineer, I am a “get shit done” engineer :)

You should expect to learn a new stack every 2 years

Bilo

Hahaha — Fair enough

😅

Lots of games are building on Solana. Why is that? Do you have any favourites?

Anatoly | Solana

To build out the core set of reusable programs, we had a concentrated effort to build reference products

tokens/amms/governance/lending

Bilo

🤓

Anatoly | Solana

these building blocks are what make up 99.9% of all the dapps right now

Bilo

Just want to make sure you caught my last question

Lots of games are building on Solana. Why is that? Do you have any favourites?

Anatoly | Solana

Well, gamers, and game devs are usually really sensitive to latency

also, most game devs know c++, and rust is a natural thing to pick up for c++ devs

Solana is cheap and fast, so it’s a natural place for game development

Bilo

Do you play games yourself? 😃

Anatoly | Solana

I’ve got a ps5

Bilo

My man — let’s play together 😁

Tell us more about your collaboration with Chainlink

Anatoly | Solana

I am waiting for them to ship more games for it, kind of slow :)

We are excited for Chainlink to ship a new kind of oracle, a streaming interface designed for low latency price feeds

We expect new kinds of defi applications to be built on top of it

Bilo

👀

Is Solana looking to add a Privacy layer/privacy features into its layer 1 protocol. If so, what technologies did you have in mind? Could you elaborate on if Solana would become private by default or offer optional privacy?”

Anatoly | Solana

We have a project that is working through bulletproofs for confidential payments

Right now, privacy is still in the r&d phase, people will point you to papers that are less than 6 months old as the “best” thing in privacy

Not a great sign for an engineer :)

Bilo

More need for innovation :D that’s great

Is(are) there a(any) specific reason(s) why Arweave was chosen opposed to other storage protocols such as Filecoin, StorJ etc.?

Anatoly | Solana

bulletproofs seem scalable to a billion people, so that’s the approach we are working on internally, but I think the space as a whole still has some work to do to find a mature implementation

ARweave worked when we tried it, and the pay once store forever model works well for NFTs and ledger history

Bilo

Excellent — Thanks

Just as a side note, I was very impressed by your leadership in posting monthly transaction reports dubbed “Transparency reports” on your website informing the community about last month’s token activity as well as current and forecasted token activity. Congratulations on this excellent initiative.

Anatoly | Solana

if things look planned from the outside, generally it’s just because we pick the thing that is working and iterating the fastest. that’s the only plan :)

Bilo

Can you share some info regarding staking and rewards? How and where can I stake my Solana tokens? Solana also recently published a tweet that staking pools were coming.

Anatoly | Solana

Solana has staking, like all POS networks. To scale staking to 10,000 nodes, we really need a way to aggregate and split stake amongst a large number of validators

No single person can monitor that many systems

Stake pools allow different users to trustlessly pool their stake together and use whatever custom strategy they want to maximize for rewards/network performance/censorship restaince

This is probably the hardest challenge in POS networks

There is no obvious mechanism to get stakes to distribute and to maximize censorship resistance

Bilo

I see — Interesting 🤔

Anatoly | Solana

Pools are tokens though, so they can be used as defi collateral

Bilo

Thanks :)

What are you currently working on and can you describe your future roadmap?

Anatoly | Solana

DeFI applications must have censorship resistance to function, so what we should see as the space matures is that DeFI apps will prefer and promote stake pools that maximize censorship resistance at the core network level

Our roadmap is “fire driven development” :)

It takes 10 years to build a database or an operating system, so the core eng team is iterating on the performance of the validator software, testing that it can scale to 1b to 10b accounts

Really making sure that Solana keeps getting cheaper and faster

Bilo

That’s really great to hear ❤️

Are there any partnerships in the works that you would like to tell us about?

Anatoly | Solana

Just follow us on Twitter to get all the latest and greatest announcements

We tend to only promote things once they are live

Bilo

I was about to ask you a follow-up question but now I don’t know if you will oblige me 🥺

We only live once — here’s the question

Is there any exclusive breaking news about Solana that you could share with us here today?

Anatoly | Solana

Haha, not really. breaking news: tons of work left

Bilo

I tried… (sad face)

Anatoly | Solana

Folks should checkout https://neonlabs.org

Just launched, it’s a port of EVM as a Solana program

Bilo

👀👀👀

Anatoly | Solana

Really shows off the fact that Solana is an operating system

EVM runs on Solana just like it runs on linux

Bilo

I will take that as my “breaking news” 🤓

Do you wish to let us know anything else that was not covered in the questions above?

Anatoly | Solana

Thank you for having me!

Bilo

Thank you for your time in answering our questions here today. We are all very appreciative of your time and of the answers you have provided.

With this, we will open up the chat for those who wish to personally thank you for your time with us here today and for those who wish to ask their own questions.

Anatoly | Solana

Awesome! this was super fun

Bilo

With this we will open the chat for the community questions

Anatoly | Solana

> Solana is fast, cheap, and easy to use. However, is Solana Network well prepared already for lots of active users? What if many people suddenly people want to use Solana Network and come from other networks, can Solana system handle this heavy load of people ? Do you prepare for something like this?

100% it is what the network is designed for. The work that we have done to scale this is also in the awesome rpcpool.com project that is running 400+ rpc nodes for all the teams building products on Solana

> How Solana manage sustainability of nodes providers with negligible fee structure, what is the incentive mechanism.

Fees are there only to prevent spam on the network. Inflation rewards are there to pay for nodes. We should see stake pools grow as a larger portion of stake since the pools can be used in DeFI and can cover 1000’s of validators

> How do you intend to communicate your understanding of the project to people in other nations who do not speak English as well?

We have a community run Solana collective with many non-English speakers.

> How do you intend to communicate your understanding of the project to people in other nations who do not speak English as well?

Checkout metaplex.com, artists can spin up their own NFT store fronts like Shopify/WordPress

> What are Solana’s long-term goals and vision? In order to achieve the highest efficiency of the set goals, what is Solana’s roadmap in the near future, what will be the goals that Solana will focus on developing this year?

Really be the place where 1 billion+ users with self-custody all interact with defi and web3

> There are already many Projects which works on scalability with Both Layer-1 and Layer-2 solution ! So, why Solana would be Best choice ?‌‌

It’s done! our hackathons see devs go from idea to product and raise funding in 4 weeks without ever having to think about scalability.

Bilo

Ok thanks @anatoly_solana for

Your time with us today and for answering all the questions. We hope you join us here on a regular basis as there is much love for you and your project in our community.

Relevant Links
Solana Website: https://solana.com/
Solana Telegram: https://t.me/solana
Solana Twitter: https://twitter.com/solana

Crypto Society Chat: https://t.me/cryptosocietyy
Crypto Society Announcements: https://t.me/CryptoSocietyyy
Crypto Society Twitter: https://twitter.com/cryptosocietytg

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