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Crypto 2023: Solana founder Anatoly Yakovenko is bullish on gaming

Looking ahead, Solana founder Anatoly Yakovenko sees potential for growth in the blockchain-based gaming realm next year.

“What I really would like to see, and this is happening already, is just more and more small creators, like artists who have a full-time job being able to go full-time into being a creator,” Yakovenko told Fortune. “There’s new business models that have much stronger guarantees for creator rights and revenue.”

To him, that interest is beyond non-fungible tokens representing images and has more to do with the creation of digital assets that “really go into game development, how you manifest games, how you make new storylines, new IP,” Yakovenko said.

Blockchain-based games have garnered a lot of attention and multibillion-dollar investment, but the space hasn’t seen great success yet. Recently, blockchain-based gaming studios have cut staff and restructured amid Crypto Winter.

Nonetheless, Yakovenko remains bullish.

“I really would love to see a vision of the metaverse where it’s all protocol based, millions of small-time creators that are all able to do it full time because they’re contributing to this one giant economy without any extractive, massive fees on the platform,” he said.

When it comes to the future of Solana in particular, some predict it will become known as the “NFT chain” in a multi-chain world—and Yakovenko agrees.

While Solana was originally built to be “a blockchain at NASDAQ speed,” Yakovenko said, the NFT use case is “kind of obvious in retrospect. All the tech that you build for finance means that the network has to be as cheap, fast, and reliable as possible.”

However, Solana has had issues with reliability, with recent outages and downtime. During the Solana Breakpoint conference over the last few days, Yakovenko addressed these hurdles, saying that solutions have come to pass. He cited further development and decentralization on the network assisting with reliability, mentioning the Firedancer validator, which is being built by Jump Crypto.

Solana announced a number of partnerships throughout its Breakpoint conference. On Saturday, for example, Google Cloud announced that it’s running a block-producing Solana validator to “participate in and validate the network,” and Meta’s Instagram announced it’s introducing Solana NFTs on its platform.

“I think some of the adoption that we’re seeing in crypto right now that is more consumer oriented is definitely coming from creators being able to create NFTs and other digital art,” Yakovenko said. “And that seems like the thing that’s growing.”

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