Earlier this week, Anatoly Yakovenko, co-founder of Solana Labs, made an appearance on the most recent episode of Decrypt’s podcast GM. He spoke about the crypto bear market, and why Breakpoint is so critical for Solana’s growth scene.

After the collapse in Terra in May which sent shockwaves through the wider market, it’s been a difficult few months for crypto. However, crypto prices have been falling for months and financial markets all over the world have been hard hit by rising inflation.

How long will the bear market continue? Although estimates vary, many crypto experts don’t think we will see another bull market anytime soon. You can also count Solana cofounder Anatoly Yakovenko.

The most recent episode of Decrypt’s podcast saw Yakovenko pointing out that there will be continued pain in the markets, citing the U.S. Federal Reserve’s ongoing rate increases. Yakovenko told Dan Roberts, Stacy Elliott and others that he is optimistic about a return to crypto market growth.

He said, “Looking at macro stuff I think there are probably 12 to 18 more months of these brutal Fed rate increases.” But there is an end. Just like the bear market, there were many teams that focused on product-market fit and tried to create amazing products. A lot of them succeeded, I believe, in a dramatic way.

Solana has also been affected by the wider decline in crypto markets. The price of SOL dropped 81% per data source CoinGecko.

Three significant downtimes have occurred in layer-1’s blockchain network this year, and one last week. Yakovenko addresses these issues in the episode.

Solana, despite technical difficulties and macro declines, has seen continued growth. Solana’s NFT Market is growing despite lower prices and declining values of some collectibles. Additionally, new projects continue to be built on this network. 

Yakovenko also mentioned Solana startups, which are still raising funds at “still quite high valuations”, despite crypto winter.

These comments were made ahead of Solana’s annual Breakpoint Conference in Lisbon (Portugal) in November. Breakpoint, which debuted last year is now considered a regular on the HTML3 conference circuit. Yakovenko views the event as an opportunity for a review of the Solana ecosystem’s last year, including the good and the bad.

He laughed and said, “We call it Breakpoint” because it’s a kind of break. But I believe that’s what’s important. Let’s take a break, see what we’ve accomplished, what the challenges over the past year were, and re-energize everyone to keep building.

When Yakovenko was asked if he expected a different vibe at Breakpoint this year than the 2021 debut, at a time when the price of SOL was rising, Yakovenko laughed and replied, “Are people likely to be depressed? “Honestly, I don’t know.”

He noticed that people are still having fun at the Solana Spaces store and at Solana’s dev-centric Hacker houses events. He wondered if this resilient attitude could be due to builders who have been through multiple crypto market cycles.

“They are like, ‘Well here we go again. Yakovenko believes that we should make the most of it. They tend to have a positive attitude.”


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Angie Byrd