Expanding Solana to the International Community & Web3 Investing with Akshay BD

Expanding Solana to the International Community & Web3 Investing with Akshay BD
Akshay BD from the Solana Foundation shares the key efforts to expand the L1 blockchain to the builders in their international expansion efforts and discuss the state of crypto in 2023.

Fresh out of the studio, Akshay BD, Head of International Expansion and advisor to the Solana Foundation, joined us in a conversation to explain why the rumors of Solana's demise are greatly exaggerated and describe the vibrant developer ecosystems globally across the world. Starting from his origin story, Akshay discussed how Solana developer communities are continuing their building journey despite the recent crypto crash and articulated Solana's value proposition for interesting decentralized applications moving ahead. Last but not least, Akshay offered his perspectives in crypto and web3 key topics from tokenomics to valuation and shared what great would look like for Solana internationally.

"So one way to think about crypto is a group of people come together and they have a vision of the future, and they're betting on that fork of the future through collective capital. So some folks think it's going to be L2’s that are going to scale. Some people think it's Solana. Whatever it is, you get to bet on the version of the future that you want with your rest of your community. That's chaotic, it's a zoo of people collectively trying to decide what the future's going to look like. But the good news is at least if the past cycles are anything to go by, almost all reasonable forks of the future get funded, and then it actually goes extreme where. Where crypto dick butts are also getting funded and pictures of like the 18th dog token is getting funded. And so, if anything, those who have been in crypto long enough seem to have benefited; because I have certainly have not – I’m much newer to this industry. But they seemed to have benefited from holding tight on what they believe about the world to be true and sticking to that vision over a sufficiently long period of time - which in crypto is potentially, what, four years I guess. And that has been rewarded, because if they worked on something for four years, the tech is behind them, there's a community behind them that sort of becomes a meme. So, I don’t know how to value them. Maybe it's all relative but it's certainly not an exercise that I either have expertise in or even try to build one in." - Akshay BD


Expanding Solana to the International Community & Web3 Investing

  • Can you briefly give a background on Solana as a layer 1 blockchain technology and the applications they cover in the ecosystem?
  • Can you also distinguish between Solana Foundation and Labs and talk about your role and coverage there in the Asia Pacific?
  • Can you talk about the interesting innovations from Solana, for example, the recent launch of a developer web3 mobile phone?
  • Can you talk about the Solana ecosystem in India, Indonesia, and Vietnam, for example, the developer activities and how the Solana foundation and labs support them?
  • What is a typical day for you to work and energize communities in the Asia Pacific region for Solana?
  • Can you share interesting projects that arise out of the Asia Pacific?
  • Example: UXD Stablecoin project and web3 gaming.
  • As Solana is an L1 blockchain similar to Ethereum, Avalanche, and Binance BNB chain, how does the chain differentiates itself from the other L1s?
  • How do you see the L2 chains from Ethereum such as Optimism and Arbitrum and even zero knowledge EVM side chains like Polygon shaping up as competition against Solana in transaction speed?
  • What is the one thing you know about Solana and the web3 market that many do not know?
  • I understand that you are also an investor in different crypto and web3 companies. What do you think about the different funding mechanisms, for example, equity, token, or a mixture of both?
  • What is your mental model when it comes to the valuations of companies in this space?  Given the recent meltdown in the crypto lending market, the valuations have gone down significantly, how does it evolve your thinking in valuations?
  • Currently, ChatGPT by Open AI has spurred venture capital and investors away from web3. What is your advice for builders who have invested their efforts in web3?
  • As we went through a turbulent year in 2022 with the implosion of FTX collapse, what are your reflections on the impact of Solana?
  • What does great look like for Solana in the Asia Pacific?


Podcast Information: The show is hosted and produced by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin) and Carol Yin (@CarolYujiaYin, LinkedIn). Proper credits for the intro and end music: "Energetic Sports Drive" and the episode is mixed & edited in both video and audio format by G.Thomas Craig (@gthomascraig, LinkedIn).