Solana with Raj Gokal

Solana with Raj Gokal
Raj Gokal, co-founder of Solana, discuss the backstory and current focus in the blockchain protocol and the next steps ahead.

Fresh out of the studio, Raj Gokal, co-founder of Solana joined us in a conversation to share the backstory behind how the blockchain emerged and is currently one of the leading blockchains in the market. Raj dived deep into the mechanisms behind the protocol and explained why the speed of transactions generated new decentralized applications on the blockchain. He also addressed on the outages and cybersecurity challenges for Solana, and offered his perspectives in what great looks like for Solana in the future.


"We have an intuition that at like a hundred million users with self custody signing their own transactions every day at those numbers, a hundred million and a billion, those are where there's going to be big unlocks and unexpected use cases that pop up in the way that people coordinate their resources together may make shared decisions together and align interest again, and participate in new forms of global capital markets together." - Raj Gokal

Introduction

  • Raj Gokal, co-founder of Solana (@rajgokal , Linkedin), board member of Solana Foundation and co-founder of Solana Labs
  • To start, we always like to dive into the origin stories of our guests. From reading and listening to your past interviews in preparation, I know that you started in the healthcare space and then moved into blockchain space, which is a big jump. So,  how did you start your career and end up becoming one of the co-founders of Solana?
  • What are the interesting career lessons which you can share with my audience?

Solana

  • The place which I want to start with: What is the inspiration behind building Solana and how did your co-founder, Anatoly and you come together to build this blockchain that is built to enable scalable, user friendly apps?
  • Fast forward to today, what is the vision and mission of Solana?
  • Can you talk about your current role in Solana Foundation and Solana Lab? What is your typical day like in Solana?  Can you tell us about the Solana foundation, Solana labs and Solana ventures? How do they work to build the ecosystem for Solana?
  • To help my audience to understand why Solana is different from the other blockchains, I would like you to define two terms in what make Solana different from the blockchains out there. Solana runs on a combination of two mechanisms: proof of stake (PoS) and proof of history (PoH). Can you provide a high level view on how these mechanisms work for Solana?
  • The differentiation between Solana and other blockchains is the speed and the way to quantify it is using transactions per seconds. For context, bitcoin processes 4 transactions per second, ethereum 15 transactions per second and Solana can process 65,000 transactions per second. To help my audience, how does speed factor into why blockchains need to get right in order for the blockchain ecosystem to be successful?
  • Other than setting the foundation for the blockchain technology, Solana broke out last year with more and more developers adopting the technology to build decentralized apps (or DApps). For example, FTX chooses Solana to build Serum, the high speed non-custodial derivatives exchange? What are the key applications or areas that you have seen Solana developers building on?
  • Other than decentralized finance (DeFi) and NFTs, have you seen any recent interesting applications from the Solana ecosystem?
  • I understand that Solana pay is recently launched. How does it work and what benefits are meant for the broader ecosystem and to the world?
  • Last year, we observed Solana outages and some critics attribute this to the fact that Solana sacrifices decentralization in order to achieve the speed. What are the critics getting wrong about the outages and what have you and your team in Solana learned from those outages?
  • There have also been cybersecurity hacks in the crypto world, for example, the recent Ronin bridge hack which costs Sky Mavis or Axie Infinity approximately $500-600 million dollars and also the Solana hack for about $320m. The word on the street is on the security of cross-chain bridges. What do you think about the hack and what are the steps taken by the Solana team to improve security? Can we still trust cross-chain bridges for the industry wide?
  • The developer community is growing for Solana globally. Specifically for Asia Pacific where I am based, what are you most excited about in this region with regards to the adoption of Solana?
  • What does great look like for Solana?

Closing

  • Any recommendations that have inspired you recently?
  • How can my audience find you?

Podcast Information:The show is hosted and produced by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin) and Carol Yin (@CarolYujiaYin, LinkedIn). Sound credits for the intro and end music: "Run it" by DJ Snake, Rick Ross and Rich Brian and the episode is mixed & edited by Geoffrey Thomas Craig (LinkedIn).