Why FTX’s collapse is a ‘crucible moment’ for Solana

Episode 125 of Season 4 of The Scoop was recorded remotely with The Block's Frank Chaparro and Solana co-founders Raj Gokal and Anatoly Yakovenko.

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Solana co-founder Raj Gokal has referred to the FTX crisis as a "crucible moment" for Solana's ecosystem.

The amount of value moved on Solana has decreased dramatically since Alameda declared bankruptcy in November, data from The Block shows.

In this episode of The Scoop, Solana co-founders Raj Gokal and Anatoly Yakovenko discuss how Solana initially became intertwined with FTX, and when they first started to notice that Sam Bankman-Fried’s ambitions diverged from the crypto ethos.

While Bankman-Fried and FTX were focused on building a centralized exchange, the Solana co-founders were focused on building self-custody solutions. As Yakovenko explains, “FTX became a much bigger brand and started going in a very global direction … but we were focused on building stuff for self-custody users.”

Despite the setback FTX’s collapse has had on Solana’s ecosystem, Gokal says the focus on self-custody has led to real user adoption:


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“It's pretty exciting now to see that focusing on self-custody users and open-source software has created this huge boom — it's what captured most of the users and active addresses on Solana.”

During this conversation, Chaparro, Gokal and Yakovenko also discuss:

  • Solana Breakpoint conference and overall developer activity;
  • How Solana is positioned to support an NFT ecosystem;
  • Why centralized exchanges are a temporary feature of crypto.

Disclaimer: Beginning in 2021, Michael McCaffrey, the former CEO and majority owner of The Block, took a series of loans from former FTX and Alameda founder Sam Bankman-Fried. McCaffrey resigned from the company in December 2022 after failing to disclose those transactions.

This episode is brought to you by our sponsors Tron, Ledn

About Tron
Founded in 2013, Huobi Global is one of the largest virtual asset exchanges in the world. Huobi Global serves millions of users across international markets. Since its establishment, Huobi Global has committed to providing first class virtual asset investment services. Huobi Global's robust infrastructure, product innovation and capital strength provides a truly customer-centric and secure trading environment to help our international users to achieve their investment objectives. Please refer to Huobi's official website for more information: huobi.com.

About Ledn
Ledn was founded on the unshakeable conviction that digital assets have the power to democratize access to the global economy. We help you to experience the real life benefits of your Bitcoin without having to sell it. Start a savings account, take out a loan, or double your Bitcoin. For more information visit Ledn.io

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Authors

Davis Quinton is the Director of Podcasts at The Block and runs our flagship podcast called The Scoop, hosted by Frank Chaparro. Since joining The Block as an 'intern' in early 2022, he has worked closely with leaders across departments to translate The Block's written content into engaging multimedia formats. He holds a degree in Social Research & Public Policy from New York University in Abu Dhabi and is based in Sydney, Australia.
Frank Chaparro is the Editor At Large at The Block. Chaparro started his career at Business Insider, where he specialized in the intersection of digital assets and Wall Street, market structure, and financial technology. Soon after joining Business Insider out of Fordham University, Chaparro was interviewing top finance and tech executives, including billionaire Mark Cuban, “Flash Boys” star Brad Katsuyama, Cboe Global Markets CEO Ed Tilly, and New York Stock Exchange President Tom Farley. In 2018, he become a sought after reporter in the crypto world, interviewing luminaries such as Tyler Winklevoss, the cofounder of Gemini, Jeremy Allaire, the CEO of Circle, and Fundstrat head Tom Lee. He runs his own podcast The Scoop and writes a biweekly eponymous newsletter. He leads special projects, including The Block's flagship podcast, The Scoop. Prior to The Block, he held roles at Business Insider, NPR, and Nasdaq. For inquiries or tips, email [email protected].


To contact the editor of this story:
Madhu Unnikrishnan at
[email protected]