Anatoly Yakovenko is the CEO and Co-founder of Solana. Prior to Solana, he was the team leader for the development of operating systems at Qualcomm, distributed systems at Mesosphere, and compression at Dropbox (service). 
Yakovenko was one of the Co-Founders of Alescere, a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) startup, where he lead the development of SIP and RTP protocol stacks and server components for a VoIP system for small businesses.
Afterwards, he started continued his career at Qualcomm in 2003. After working for 12 years, he was given the role of Senior Staff Engineer Manager, a position he held for almost 3 years which ended in July 2016. At Qualcomm, he performed several roles and carried out several tasks, some of which include:
- Lead Architect on a team of 10 for high-performance Hexagon DSP off-loading software stack on Qualcomm chipsets for next-generation applications.
- Commercial applications including Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, 3D Camera processing, 4K video post-processing, and GoogleX’s Project Tango.
From July 2016 to April 2017, he was also a Software engineer at Mesosphere, now known as D2iQ, where built a distributed operating system for the firm.
Prior to the creation of Solana, he worked as a software engineer at Dropbox from May 2017 to October 2017. While at Dropbox, he focused on distributed systems and compression.
I started thinking about how we solve scaling for these kinds of problems at Qualcomm with wireless protocols and that’s what really got me to go deep down the rabbit hole.
Anatoly Yakovenko founded Solana in 2017. He is also the author of Solana's original whitepaper. Although the project has gone through outages and hacks, the ecosystem has been steadily growing.
Yakovenko and his team created a new consensus algorithm called Proof of History (PoH) to attain this goal. With the implementation of PoH, the Solana blockchain can handle up to 50,000 transactions per second, making it one of the fastest blockchains globally. 
In 2022, during his interview at Messari’s annual conference Mainnet, he expressed how Solana was able to path its way to be one of the major layer 1 protocols: 
I’d love to say that it was like brilliant strategy, but it was really I think a function of necessity. We never had a ton of runway. There are always like 20 months or lower. So 12 engineers, a very scrapy team, over two years, we built the bare minimum to prove that a fast blockchain that has parallel execution is possible. That meant no EVM support, no Ethereum-like features.
During the same interview, he talked about Saga, a mobile phone that is the collaboration between Solana Mobile, a subsidiary of Solana Labs, and OSOM, a hardware and software producing company: 
Applications are getting more sophisticated and they’re dealing with much more complex media and interactions, and self-custody is still dangerous and sucks. And when you look at your phone, you kind of feel like, ‘why isn’t this my hardware wallet?’ Why are we storing seed phrases inside the application that’s doing all these very complicated things? So that was part one, and part two is [that] decentralisation is enabling true real-world digital assets.
Yakovenvo aspires Solana to set a standard for all financial data worldwide and eradicate inefficiencies in the market. 
This is like my science fiction end goal for Solana is that when news travels around the world, state transitions travel at the same speed as news, by the time that news hits a Bloomberg terminal in New York, the price of whatever that thing was reflecting is already being propagated through Solana.
So when a trader looks at a market at NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) or Solana it’s the same price. It means there’s no real arbitrage allowed. That will require a lot of work. We joke that if we have to do it, we will build a neutrino-based communication between nodes to cut through the center of the earth to reduce latency.
Education & Personal Life
Yakovenko was born in Ukraine and later immigrated to the United States, where he obtained his degree in Computer science from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign in 2003.
While growing up, he enjoyed making bows and arrows, and when he was a teenager, he liked building computers and programming on early versions of Linux. His biggest influences included Kafka, Burroughs, and Godel.
He was involved in a project building Voice Over Internet Protocols (VOIPs) in South Central Illinois when he was still a college student. Due to this experience, he received a job interview with Qualcomm, a company that was working on similar technology and then moved to San Diego.
He considers himself someone obsessed with making programs faster and optimizing complex problems, as most success comes from the time invested instead of how smart someone is. His controversial opinion about the blockchain space is that "sharding is not going to succeed commercially". Yakovenko enjoys physical activities such as running, cycling, surfing, and underwater hockey. 
He admires the Cosmos ecosystem, as he views it as a project where significant efforts in developing a decentralized network are done. He also considers that Rust's community is inclusive and doing a good job in growing it. The social media platforms that he likes the most are Twitter, Telegram, and the Solana discord channel. 
Something like 20% of the worlds GDP or over 25 trillion dollars a year is spent on moving numbers around the world. Trust minimizing computers are just the latest iteration of software eating the world. If we succeed there we can all work 4 days a week instead of 5 for the same standard of living.
Yakovenko is married to Laura Skelton, and they have at least one kid together.
Anatoly has written several articles on his blog on Medium, some of which include:
- A Blockchain Dilemma: Chain Forks, Catastrophic Re-orgs, and Insurance
- Sealevel — Parallel Processing Thousands of Smart Contracts
- Solana Now Supports Libra’s Move VM
- How Solana’s Proof of History is a Huge Advancement for Block Time
- Social MediaCloudbreak — Solana’s Horizontally Scaled State Architecture
- Cloudbreak — Solana’s Horizontally Scaled State Architecture
- Archivers — Solana’s Solution to Petabytes of Blockchain Data Storage
- Tower BFT: Solana’s High Performance Implementation of PBFT
- Turbine — Solana’s Block Propagation Protocol Solves the Scalability Trilemma
- Gulf Stream: Solana’s Mempool-less Transaction Forwarding Protocol 
- Solana’s Network Architecture
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