Global Crypto Adoption on Solana with Anatoly Yakovenko

Crypto adoption is still in its early stages, but the brains behind Solana are determined to make it fast, safe, and scalable for future users. In this episode of The Money Movement, we talk about the development of Solana-compatible wallets and payment experiences, Solana’s roadmap for scaling, crypto adoption, and fee markets, Solana’s KPIs, and much more.

Joining us this week to explore this topic is Anatoly Yakovenko, Co-Founder at Solana, a Circle blockchain partner. He worked as a Software Engineer at Mesosphere and Dropbox for over a decade, building high-performing distributed systems. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a BSc in Computer Science.

Join us as we dissect the current state of crypto adoption on Solana. Listen now!

Interviewer: Hello everyone, and welcome to the Money Movement. I'm joined today by Anatoly Yakovenko, co-founder of Solana Labs and someone who I have just immense respect for, and really happy to have you here and lots we can talk about.

Anatoly Yakovenko: Awesome to be here. Yes. Thank you for having me.

Interviewer: Yes, absolutely. It's been a big year for Solana. It's been a big year all around for a lot of people. I think it'd be maybe just helpful to start, state of Solana, what are the critical metrics that you're looking at when you think about KPIs, what's important and where you guys are at today?

Anatoly: Some of the most important things are real users, humans using the network. When we see that, with fandom and on-chain activity, it's about 2 million monthly active users, and we're seeing the daily active user sometimes break what polygon and Ethereum are seeing like 300,000 or so daily active user signers, as we call them.

Interviewer: Active signers.

Anatoly: Yes. Active signers and that to me is a really important metric because it signals that there's more real human activity, more people doing something on this chain that's valuable to them. That's really exciting. Some of the things we saw over the last year, and this didn't even take the whole year like things like Metaplex which launched May last year, there's over a million users with NFTs in their wallets now. I think close to 8 million NFTs minted, I think it's minting at like, I don't know, I forget, but a multiple of what the number of mints on Ethereum in terms of actual NFTs launching. That has been the most surprising used case to me of all the things.

Interviewer: I know [unintelligible 00:02:04] are hot. In all seriousness obviously like scalability, this is where the strengths of Solana are really showing. High-performance user experience, economics that work and so app developers and creators are attracted to that obviously.

Anatoly: Part of one of the most important, I would say lagging KPIs is the number of stable coins issued like USDC. That's been really important to see, because that to me also tells me that these users have demand for hard currency, which somebody has to put those dollars in a bank and that's a very hard thing to do at scale. That's I think over 4 billion already and that's pretty exciting.

Interviewer: Absolutely. Obviously, we've been collaborating now for a year and a half or whatever it has been, but I think we continue to see more and more projects that are being built that are building on USDC on Solana, and people are really starting to think about this as lighting up mainstream applications, mainstream payments. I know we can talk about Solana Pay and we can talk about that used case specifically, but it seems like when people talk about how are we going to actually fulfill this promise of digital cash and digital cash payments that are usable on the internet? It feels like today USDC and Solana is a really great example of that and how do you solve the user experience problem above and beyond just the transaction settlement?

Anatoly: Yes, for sure. A lot of that has to do with what users want and I think fundamentally, a lot of users want the safest for payments specifically, they want the safest possible dollar. There's a lot that goes into that word safe and how do you-- because there's platform risk, more contract risk, wallet custody risk, but also on your side, the risk of those assets and things like that.

Interviewer: Yes. Well, we're trying to do our part to establish trust and credibility and give the market really robust infrastructure for getting access to that for sure. I'm interested you see a lot of different things that are happening in the developer community. I think so much of your success has been just being active in development community, supporting them, running hackathons, bringing people together and actually maybe it's a good KPI for you to talk about, which is like when you started, I remember your earliest hackathons and where that was.

Anatoly: There were 100 teams that finished something.

Interviewer: Yes. I know but where you guys have, what is it that's just launching now it's called?

Anatoly: Riptide. Yes. We saw what I can only call true exponential growth and developer activity, it's from that first hackathon where there were 100 teams, about 14 of them had something useful, they built something.

Interviewer: Yes. I remember.

Anatoly: It just started doubling basically every hackathon. The one right before this one was-- had more teams finish a project than all the other hackathons combined. That to me was really cool. That was close to the 370 teams Riptide where like can we break 1,000? Can we get 1,000 teams to build something and compete for the prizes and get funding and things like that? A lot of that means that we have to now look outside of-- we have to initially it was almost a little easier because you can see what Ethereum was doing and then we need D5, we need NFTs or other stuff and just build reference implementations there, but now we've matured to a point where I think Solana is leading on some of the innovation.

Solana Pay is one of those things. We haven't seen a breakout payments application in crypto, and why isn't there a true Venmo competitor in crypto? There should be at least one that's trying.

Interviewer: That was the first product we ever built was Circle Pay, and that was like we were doing dollars over Bitcoin and that had some scalability problems, but now it's just wide open. We certainly see a lot of startups that are trying to use our APIs to then in turn build wallet products but do you feel like at Riptide, do you feel like you're going to see a lot of payments related projects that are being built?

Anatoly: Yes, we saw right when Solana Pay was announced. Solana Pay is a very simple thing. It's literally just Bit 21. If you know what Bit 21 is for Bitcoin?

Interviewer: Yes, back in the day.

Anatoly: For the folks that don't know what that is it's a very simple URL specification of how to request a payment from a wallet. It's a way for a merchant to generate a QR code, which is a URL link that then links, tells the wallet, hey, I want to pay this particular merchant for this item with this amount of dollars, and it battle fills that in the UI. That integration makes it easy for merchants to request you for stuff. It's not rocket science. Anybody could have built this, but we found that when there's sometimes an opportunity for us to build a standard, like Metaplex was incubated Solana and it again, very simple thing.

This is the standard NFT and that spurs a ton of development and innovation and grows way beyond what we initially saw and that already happened surprisingly. As soon as it was announced, we saw people hack up square point of sale units to accept Solana Pay and stuff like that. I think hundreds of merchants reached out almost immediately. There's a lot of demand for alternative payment rails because of how-- I think the way that payment systems are set up right now is that they're very much set up with putting merchants at a disadvantage in the entire process of getting paid.

Interviewer: It's like there's a lot we could talk about on that topic, but it's like in the earlier generations of the internet if you were a content creator, you couldn't have a direct relationship to people. You had to go through, you had to get published in a magazine or you had to get published-- You got to go through a book publisher who had distribution at Barnes & Noble or record labels or TV networks or cable distribution, whatever. All this distribution was the thing, and so the internet basically said, actually no, you can have a direct relationship. That was even the case with businesses too. If you created a product, you had to find distribution through retail, but then you could actually just build a website and have direct distribution, or you could use a marketplace and have global distribution and these kinds of things emerged in all these areas.

In some ways, payments is the same thing. It seems like a business can directly take a payment, but they're not. They're like if I walk into a store and give a $20 bill that is in fact, a direct payment. There's no intermediary, it's just there and it's final settlement. I know I have it but if you want to take a payment, you've got like seven intermediaries between you and the actual money and you've got all these other layers of incentive systems and complexity. In some ways, even though to someone who might take their Phantom wallet and scan a QR code and confirm a transaction to the person paying that feels like my Apple Pay or whatever. To them it's like, "I'm doing this" but to the merchant, it's as good as cash. That's powerful. That's really, really powerful.

Anatoly: That's exactly the feedback that we've been hearing is people really want that power on the merchant side. That was to me surprising. I didn't put the two together because I'm not deep in the payments world, but that makes so much sense. This is really where the intermediaries were, who they really hurt right now and the entire financial system is the seller, right? The people that are trying to sell. The users are not aware of this. It's hidden from them and that results in higher prices for everybody and it's just--

Interviewer: Right. Yes, there's going to be so much motivation for businesses to do this. I guess maybe tying it back to one of the other questions about what's going at Riptide and your hackathon and what are you seeing out there and payments is, what do you think are the-- If you're sitting here talking to developers and others who are listening, what do you think the problems are to solve if you're building a Solana compatible wallet or payment experience? What are the problems that developers should be focusing on solving? I have a few ideas but I'm very interested in yours.

Anatoly: I think UX making it simple enough for casual users to use, which means that you have to be careful about security and telling users that they probably shouldn't store tens of thousands of dollars in this wallet. The simpler you make the security assumptions, the more you have to start communicating to users about the limits of what you should trust this particular security model to, and that's a very tough challenge. I think UX wise, there needs to be a reason for a consumer to use the us over Venmo, and that's a very hard-- Venmo has about, right everyone has it and it's very hard to break into, so you got to find your niche.

There are niches where there are users that are not served by Venmo at all. Surprisingly the score Cash App is pretty popular in a ton of places where Venmo isn't. Finding those niches and--

Interviewer: I think the monthly active users on Cash App is higher than Venmo actually.

Anatoly: Yes, but I didn't know that but that's surprising to me. [laughs]

Interviewer: Maybe that's a West Coast thing or something.

Anatoly: Yes, maybe. The advantages I think are-- Where can you start using this application where you can do stuff that Venmo can't? That could be yield products, that could be-- Here's a reward's point builder for your sim-- like go click next, and now you have rewards points for everybody, right?

Interviewer: Yes. It seems that-- Yes, I totally agree and it seems this is also one of the objections that I've heard in the past around if you solve the problem of making it a fast cheap payment, the users don't care because the users want rewards or the users want this. Now if a business is able to receive this and they're saving 3% or they're saving 2% or wherever it is, they actually might be able to afford to provide incentives. Then what are those incentives? Are those incentives like USDC cashback? Are those incentives-- Actually no. There's a form of reward token, that's an NFT and that then you're getting this credential and you can accrue more value from that and then have different forms of affinity.

It seems like the intersection of stable coin payments, NFTs working together could actually create incentive models for and actually build customer relationships that are better than the abstract like I got my chase points or whatever. You could actually build something that's more durable as a business by leveraging NFTs and Crypto payments.

Anatoly: This is where I think I have a lot of crazy ideas. Every time you buy a sneaker, you can have the crypto kickers mint that sneaker for you and you can get that NFT. That would be really, really cool, but you have to find that right user and that right product where the stuff works and not--

Interviewer: Yes, I mean NFTs, a ticket is an NFT and a coupon is an NFT. All these things are essentially NFTs. I think it's people starting to say, "Hey, actually I'm going to build a coupon protocol and anyone can implement the coupon protocol, and the coupon protocol supports USDC, and it generates a particular type of coupon NFT. Imagine that maybe someone could do that at your hackathon. Then you mash these things up and now you start to do something pretty interesting. There's a lot of things like that that I think that are possible for sure. Yes, I mean another one is the whole people like credit.

One of the other reasons why people use credit cards is that they like credit. They like to borrow and I think there's a whole question of are there-- It's the buy now pay later phenomenon, and are there ways to build on-chain BNPL leveraging things like verifiable identity credentials, verifiable credit scores that can be proven to a smart contract, that then actually would enable a D5 protocol to underwrite someone for credit at a just-in-time payment. That could again be a protocol that could then be woven together by people building applications like this.

Anatoly: That is, I think one of the most exciting opportunities, but that's a serious undertaking. That's a venture backable startup.

Interviewer: Yes, absolutely.

Anatoly: There's plenty of people that will back you but it's not going to be easy. [laughs]

Interviewer: Yes.

Anatoly: That's one of the most I think exciting ones that I feel could revolutionize finance. I'm just wondering where do you guys see Circle, is that something like these features that you guys would ever want to build or are you looking for companies to build on top of Circle?

Interviewer: I think it's all the above. I think our general view is, first, we just want to promote really wide adoption of things like USDC and other standards that we think are important standards and identity. Things like Solana Pay or payment protocol standards. It's just important that developers can just use these things and build all kinds of things, and we want to support that and invest in that. At the same time, we definitely want to try and solve some problems for businesses and be able to provide services through a circle account and circle APIs that deal with some of these problem spaces.

I think we're both interested in just seeing proliferation of creativity around these problem spaces because at the end of the day that is really valuable for making this work. Then secondly, we certainly want to continue to add value ourselves. We do today provide payment APIs and payout APIs. Our payment APIs can handle payments with Crypto but also payments with Legacy Rails. I think we'd like to see payments with Crypto Rails really improve, but I guess our view is that it's not something to do alone because this is only interesting if there's a lot of interoperability and people can--

Anyone who creates a digital wallet or a smart contract, a point-of-sale device or whatever that stuff should be non-proprietary. I think we're interested in creating standards and also implementing them ourselves.

Anatoly: What are the challenges with a credit system to go to build this? This is something that I've been mulling in my head but it seems there's a lot of pieces that you need that are still not there yet-

Interviewer: Yes.

Anatoly: -in Blockchain?

Interviewer: I think that if you wanted to do all of these things on top of Crypto primitives and smart contracts and have user-controlled wallets that could do this, there are a lot of things that are needed. I think you need provable identity, so you need to have identity attestations that you could get an identity from a Coinbase or an FTX or Square or whoever. You could then go out to a service. One just know I'm dealing with a real human. Then I think you also need the ability to have ways to have claims about an identity that are cryptographically proven that can be presented as credentials and verified by a smart contract without privacy leakage but like, I want to prove a credit score on chain.

It's a little bit like the Oracle problem but I think it's more specific to identity. I think that's a really important building block. I think when you have that building block, then people can start to build applications or smart contracts that can start to make decisions based on real world data and identity which you need to do when you're underwriting someone for credit. Then I think in theory just like you have liquidity providers on D5 protocols and you have risk takers on insurance pools on D5 protocols, you could imagine there being essentially liquidity providers and risk takers that are providing unsecured underwriting but having a little bit more data to be able to do that.

That's a next piece. I think there are-- If you look at what's been implemented in D5 to date, you can see some patterns that could be applied there. I think one of the things is actually the recurring payment problem, which is the equivalent of there's a smart contract that has access to balances that I can sweep from in an automated way, just like whatever, if I use a firm and I've linked my bank account and they take a certain amount of debit from my bank to pay down my balances, permissioning of sweeps on smart contracts and in a digital wallet on a recurring basis. I think that's what needs to get-- You need to solve those kinds of problems, I think. Those seem like solvable problems.

Anatoly: Do you think consumer protection on returns and stuff like that is critical for this? I'm trying to understand what is a credit card at the end of the day or are those-- It almost feels like in a decentralized world, we could have a different protocol for each one of these pieces that are going to come together.

Interviewer: Yes. You could imagine at the end of the day, returns and chargebacks or returns and either seller fraud are risks. If there's a market for that risk and you can price that risk and there's people who are willing to provide the liquidity that's needed for that risk, you could, in theory, do that on-chain as well. You could simply say there's risk of seller fraud. That is essentially where some of the fees come from when you use PayPal. Why is it more expensive to use PayPal? Why is it more expensive to use American Express as a business? It's because there's insurance products that are built into that and it's the price of the insurance.

Again, why not have those insurance products work in a protocol on-chain that then markets can interact with and have not have it be tied to a particular closed-loop payment system, but be more open. I do feel like these are pricing of risk and underwriting and providing liquidity against that risk that is the problem. It seems like there's ways to do that without again, requiring a whole closed-loop model.

Anatoly: I'm looking forward to seeing what developers try this hackathon. I think this is like I'm really encouraged.

Interviewer: Me too. It's an exciting time when people can start to work on these kinds of problems. Maybe changing gears a little bit and maybe to conclude that super excited about the work that's happening with Solana in this space with USDC and stuff and excited about what we can keep doing together. Changing gears a little bit, which is essentially we'll call like the scalability wars, where are we in that journey? I think there's resiliency and robustness, which is obviously critical. Then in terms of just the architecture for scaling itself, how are you feeling about what the improvements that are happening with bandwidth and high-performance computing are going to mean for Solana and/or other things that you're doing architecturally, a little bit on the scalability roadmap to the degree that you want to talk publicly about that?

Anatoly: All the stuff is open source and then GitHub. If you're watching, you see what's happening. Some of the exciting things that are basically in 1.9, but we're effectively testing them at scale. We reworked the accounting system, how the memory is stored. It's not dependent on RAM. Effectively we've been able to simulate a cluster with over I think close to 8 billion accounts running in about 4 terabytes, roughly 1 billion accounts is about 500 gigabytes of state and stable. You can effectively throw SSDs at this and keep growing the state unlimited.

It's limited by the PCI buses and how many things you can stop in a single node, but you can actually see that in theory there's no reason why we're limited to a single piece of hardware per validator. You can actually start paralyzing this across multiple machines, but we don't need that yet. I think in a lot of ways, Moore's Law is still moving, growing a lot faster than crypto is.

Interviewer: Adoption hardware and hardware throughput is outpacing adoption of--

Anatoly: For now.

Interviewer: -[crosstalk] we know what happens there.

Anatoly: I suspect, we'll see some in point where there's a very rapid inflection curve for crypto adoption, where we go from maybe 5 million users that actively sign stuff in crypto per month globally to 500 million. When that happens, I think this is where it's critical for us that not only are we ready from the software perspective. Why are we testing all this stuff? Why are you even working on this when nobody needs it? It's because we want to have this live with the hardware to when that flood of users comes that it happens on Solana. Things like that and reliability folks have been probably watching our development using QUIC.

This is a protocol that's like fancy TCP, it's actually on the dumb it down. It's developed by Google about I think almost 10 years ago at this point. The difference between TCP and QUIC is that QUIC is built on top of UDP. It allows out-of-order delivery messages. You don't get that slow performance that you see when you're making a connection and it gets blogged because there's a bunch of stuff. That low latency fast response time is something that QUIC enables and has the same security benefits of TCP. That's a big part of our effort to improve reliability. After that, we are still, I think, looking at dynamic fees.

Part of the challenge with Solana is we didn't know how the fee markets would work on a system like this because it's a parallel system. In Ethereum you have a single state single virtual machine, a transaction can run across any part of it at any time. It's a single-threaded application. Everything runs in a very simple sequence. Solana is not that. It's very parallelizable and multi-threaded. The thing that we really wanted to avoid with the fee market was that fees should only rise for a hotspot activity like this specific NFT drop or the BTCSCT market that is moving really quickly shouldn't impact fees for a payment because they're not touching the same state. This is something that we've been able to observe on-chain and I think we have a really good design now that we can move forward with.

Interviewer: That's really interesting.

Anatoly: It would be pointless for fees to rise globally, because of one activity on one part of the state, even though it's not really touching anything. Effectively, what we're seeing on-chain is that limits for how much a single piece of data can be written to those are being hit quite infrequently still, but sometimes, but the rest to the block is not full. All those other transactions shouldn't see a fee increase only that specific lending market for whatever that trade payer is, or that radium IDO that's just launching.

Interviewer: That's really interesting. That would help so much with a lot of things but yes.

Anatoly: What I like about this is that it really-- These are basically the last half of a percent of, I think, development of how this blockchain should work is happening right now. There's no way we could have foreseen what the solutions were two years ago when we didn't see all this activity. When we didn't see what kind of applications, user building, how are they using the chain? We actually, I think get to solve the right problems right now.

Interviewer: Interesting. What are you seeing in terms of tooling, more and more tooling? I know that obviously when you got started, you had to be pretty close to the metal and you still do, but where are you seeing the tooling growth? Because that's obviously a major thing that people talk about with any of these, because these are novel platforms and at the end of the day you need the rituals and the tooling and the libraries and all that.

Anatoly: We got still, I think made the best choice of using rust as the primary language, because it's a very rich, expressive language. It's a modern language with a modern type system. What I was waiting for is effectively Armani who's this amazing developer, not part of Solana, but working in the serum ecosystem to take rust and then build the best application environment for doves. That happened over the last, let's say six months, we went from having people to by hand write out which accounts go where, and things like that to a very rich type system that is extremely secure, gives you effectively tight-level security, which is as good as a formally verified in your smart contract definitions.

It makes it very easy to plug that into JavaScript or client code and rapidly build applications. That still is not going to find all the bugs. There's still business logic bugs. You still have to worry about arithmetic bugs. Some of those things can be detected by this really amazing team that is building effectively an automatic scanner for vulnerabilities using LVM super compilation. It looks at your program as a giant algebraic function and then tries to simulate it in every possible way and see if it violates some assumptions about security. The combination of both of those I think will really allow people to write tons of- rapidly develop very secure, smart contracts, if both of those tools are used.

Interviewer: That's cool. I'm glad to hear it. With the whatever news stories in the media are, there's the talent migration from Web 2 to Web 3. Solana and Circle were both hiring a lot of really interesting people out of great Web 2 companies. I can attest that is true. That is happening.

Anatoly: That is the biggest shift from last year is that how many hires we're seeing coming out of Google, Facebook these big, big companies?

Interviewer: Absolutely. We're seeing the at every level from individual engineers to senior leaders to everything. I think that's a really huge leading indicator of how big this is going to be because I think we're all aspiring to build the next great internet projects. On that note, I think one of the things that people are paying attention to are when some mainstream company, I hate to use that phrase, but some mainstream company decides we're going to do something and we're going to do it on X platform or this platform. We're seeing that Coachella or whatever with Solana and FTX obviously as well.

You probably know about a lot of stuff that you can't talk about or whatever but are there categories like that where you're getting surprised or whatever, where there's just developers or companies that are like, we did the research and here's how we're thinking about this.

Anatoly: Two surprises. One is how fast the NFT how quickly folks understood NFTs at these big companies. I think they're much more comfortable with moving fast there. It seems less risky to them. The other surprise was how hard it is for financial institutions to get set up something as simple as USDC deposit or withdrawal. That to me is like the other side of it is that something that I feel is obvious that should be rapidly growing in FinTech is hard because a regulatory uncertainty.

Interviewer: We've got good API.

Anatoly: It's very simple to do. I think would be a very simple step forward for a big bank to do that. The NFT thing is both surprising because I think there's a lot of folks sincerely in Rip too that are focused on enabling small, long tail creators to make money. That's effectively what I think a lot of KPIs for a lot of them are like. When I'm looking at my ecosystem, how many of these creators are actually able to financially support themselves from the activity in these platforms? When they see an NFT as an opportunity for an individual creator to publish some digital items which may generate revenue for them, monetize their work, that seems like a very aligned to what a lot of Web 2 companies want to do.

That's really aligned with us and everything that we want to do. We want to get artists and musicians that are making nothing from Spotify are able to generate like two, three years' worth of their income from a single NFT job, because that's a direct sale from that artist to their fans. That's a very powerful thing.

Interviewer: It is. I want to come back to an ecosystem topic, which is validator node growth. What are you seeing happen with the network itself?

Anatoly: When we started with 40 validators, I think there's 1,500 block producers and 1,300 other nodes in the networks. I think we're like 2,800. I think basically Eth is at 5,000, so we're over 50%.

Interviewer: That's awesome.

Anatoly: Both are important. The actual security of the network depends on at least one of them being honest and providing data availability when something catastrophic happens. As long as we can find one and the more you have the likely it is that you'll find one, and that probability becomes so high that at some point you at a gut level feel this data is always going to be here. I can trust the system, even if Yellowstone blows up. This is when that mental shift happens for crypto people, I feel like it's somewhere around 1,000 nodes, maybe a few hundred to a thousand, but I don't know when that mental shift will happen for the CTO of Bank of America.

Interviewer: I got to tell you like for us with USDC as you know we're preparing to become a national digital currency bank. We're going to be working with our regulatory counterparts and the US treasury department or whatever, when they think about a dollar market infrastructure, and they're asking about reliability and they're asking about security, and they're asking about uptime, and they're asking about what happens if all these things, what happens if Russia decides to attack the network to disrupt the dollar or whatever? These are like real conversations. I'm just giving you a little inside base here.

These are real things that have to be thought about. Maybe we can do this on air, so to speak, but help me make the case for why three years from now, or five years from now, when maybe there's a trillion USDC in circulation and there's this widespread adoption, why this is going to be the most secure infrastructure in the world?

Anatoly: I think because the fundamental premise to what a layer one does is a peer-to-peer network. The simple example is actually using something like USDC. If I have my keys and I have custody of my keys, and I can keep that secure and Circle has a single node that they can keep secure. Both of those are solvable problems. You guys hired amazing engineers. They can keep that node secure. I can use cold storage ledgers. There's a bunch of hardware devices I can use that could keep my keys secure. The rest of the network can be totally corrupted.

Interviewer: That's the ultimate fall tolerance.

Anatoly: Right. In that case, the money is in your bank, the rest of the network can be fully corrupted. There's-

Interviewer: There's still someone else's database with those dollars but then this the transaction integrity and then the actual proof of tokens, you have at a minimum that I'd buy that.

Anatoly: That's good enough for something this guarantees that nobody can convince you that I spent my dollars. That level of security is very important to establish because then you can start talking about everything else. What happens if there's a chain split? How do we deal with that? If there's now, Russia was able to compromise a bunch of nodes and they created a chain split. Now there's one ledger that Circle accepted with USDC transfers and another one. Those processes and reconciliation, and the amount of security and insurance that you need to cover those based on what amounts are at risk, those are finite computable numbers. We can solve that.

We can start solving for those and then seeing what is the cost of using the technology? What are the risks of that happening, how do you mitigate against those? Fundamentally what we are doing at the technology level is if we make the system cheaper and faster, and the next generation PCA 5, all those things become online then the number of notes, the number of block producers, everything else can double or quadruple, and then those attacks become much harder to pull off. Effectively, that means the system is cheaper to use. It's more trustworthy. Where that mental shift happens for the Bank of America's CTO, I don't know.

Interviewer: How about the Bank of Circle CTOs.

Anatoly: Right. Those are questions that I feel like we should be asking now and getting into serious conversations with those folks, and doing the analysis and seeing where the weaknesses are right now and how we can improve them.

Interviewer: Those are not only the right conversations to be having, but they are happening I think as more and more people start to accept that this is going to get internet scale, pretty exciting. Awesome. When you think about what you're most excited about in the next year looking back, when you think about the next year, if we're talking again in 12 months and I'm going to make sure I schedule another one of these in 12 months, but what are you most excited about?

Anatoly: The thing that we are actively trying to enable is all these new entrepreneurs to launch their projects, launch their products. That is the most important thing that we're working on. We're obviously talking to bigger companies and helping them make their technology choices and things like. What I want to see is if we actually hit 1,000 teams building something in the hackathon, 10,000, can we make this even bigger because if that's happening, if you actually get to a point where there's thousands of devs building something, then the 100 million users are just around the corner. You cannot stop that wave.

We can build products internally and we do sometimes but that's just maybe two, three products a year. Multiply that by 1,000 that's when you get into something interesting, right?

Interviewer: I think that's right. One of the things I like to say is a lot of times people, when they think about whatever, USDC specifically it's like, "Oh, okay. This is going to make faster, cheaper, more secure payments" or whatever. I mean yes, but that's not the point. The point is like programmable dollars on the internet. The point is that this is composable into any application. I'm like, we don't actually know what people are going to invent. We just don't know the creativity that people are going to have. When you think about all the other things that people are creating, then this can interact with that's what I'm most excited about.

I'm excited about what I don't know, what I have and so I think a big part of our job is just getting people to see that they have these tools and they have these capabilities. I think about USDC it's like it's the dollar with internet superpowers and what can you build with that? What you can build with that and software, but anyway, very cool stuff. Totally great to catch up and I'm glad we could put together this conversation.

Anatoly: Absolutely. Anytime.

[music]

[00:41:30] [END OF AUDIO]

Jeremy Allaire
Co-Founder, CEO & Chairman at Circle
Anatoly Yakovenko
Co-founder Solana

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