Solana’s co-founder sees potential for its blockchain to be the ‘Apple of crypto’

As some crypto companies gain mainstream adoption through partnerships, alliances or deals with big brand names, others are operating by the beat of their own drum and not worrying about whether a big label is with them.

Solana, a layer-1 blockchain that launched in 2020, is one of the biggest chains that developers are building on. Excluding stablecoins, Solana is the eighth largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization at around $7.6 billion, according to CoinMarketCap data.

“Solana has the potential to be the Apple of crypto,” co-founder Raj Gokal told TechCrunch+. For many years, Apple focused on two things: user experience and performance, he said. “I think about Apple, having worked for close to a decade on latency for touchscreens to allow for the iPhone to come out and it just felt like magic.”

“There were a lot of things to be built on top of that platform to get the iPhone and App Store and app ecosystem to where it is today,” Gokal added. “But it all started with one relentless focus on a simple interaction that had to work perfectly.”

And that’s a focus that Solana’s core engineering and ecosystem has, he said. It’s important to create a network “that feels like the regular internet, when it’s an entirely new financial internet.”

It’s also worth mentioning that Solana may be trying to compete with Apple through its own web3-focused Android smartphone, Saga, which was rolled out to the public in April (I got to test one out). Solana says Saga was launched to make crypto products and services more accessible for users by offering them through a phone instead of the traditional way of accessing crypto platforms and applications: using computers.

There’s lots that the network is doing to keep itself fresh and competitive. “The core thesis is going to be [focused on] new businesses, new projects, independent developers,” Gokal said. “We are still in an ecosystem and a community that is optimistic about what two developers in a garage can do.”