Updated: Apr 9
Jim's background is in Crypto from the early days, and he's been in the game for about five years. He's worked in various roles in the Crypto space, most recently as a product manager at AAVE. Catalyst is a protocol built on Ethereum that solves some of the challenges surrounding the integration of new blockchain ecosystems into the Ethereum layer. Follow Dee on Twitter (@dthinksweb3) Follow Jim on Twitter (@0xJim)
Welcome to this episode of designer dalla. We talk about everything web three and design. I'm your host, D. Lee's.
And welcome back to designer Tao. I know we've been out for a while but doesn't matter, we get some good stuff coming. So today I am with Jim who is a crypto OG. It's been a game for five years, I've been to places like Ivan, things like that. But I don't want to put your thoughts your intro, because I always do that. I'll have you introduce yourself.
Yeah, happy to happy to be on. So tell me. I mean, we already talked about this, but like, tell me a little bit about your background and like the audience with record so they understand like, your area of expertise, and we start talking about crypto stuff.
Yeah, sure. So it's like what you mentioned, I've been in crypto full time for about five years. But I've actually known about it for like a little bit over 10 years. I guess like My story started was like, freshman year university, I just like, was in the same dorm room is this dude who was like, incredibly into crypto, or Bitcoin rather, specifically at the time. And like, he was kind of like your typical Bitcoin lover and like 2013 It's like super libertarian.
Like for like, like a tinfoil hat where for like, a lot of like the government conspiracies, but I was definitely, like, really interested in kind of like, the core concepts that Bitcoin was was was was kind of still holding up for and was like, interested enough to read the white paper and kind of like pay attention to it and buy like Bitcoin on Mount Gox, which eventually became nothing, which was sad.
But yeah, so like, I was always kind of like, you know, tangentially aware of it, and somewhat financially invested, or at least as invested as you can be when you're like a poor college kid. But yeah, and so that's kind of like my intro to crypto. And then, you know, was just kind of following it following up into ICO decided I want to join, you know, kind of full time. And so my first role in crypto was actually that of like a researcher. And so I worked at a consulting firm in San Francisco and was essentially doing a lot of research for crypto and in kind of packaging up for for a lot of like, institutional clients like banks and payment companies and what have you. And then very quickly, I realized I didn't want to do that anymore. And so I wanted to be a builder. And so I joined ripple as a product manager, who was there for about two years, kind of building their their core blockchain kind of work, and also tangentially helping out with their payments product to send kind of like cross border payments. And then defy summer happened in 2020. And I was like, Yeah, I don't really want to do that anymore. I want to like build in in defy or rather, I want to build on Aetherium and build kind of with smart contracts. Because ripple was kind of just pure, pure payment payment based blockchain. And so I joined as a pm for an NFC company and called unstoppable domains, which was, you know, I think a step in the right direction, I was definitely predicting the the buzz of of NF T's, but not necessarily the right category. Right. I was picking names, which are important right in the form of a username in the metaverse, and that was kind of my thesis. But, you know, obviously, it wasn't as big as like art and community and PFP projects or what have you. And so I've kind of got jaded a little bit and left to join Ave, and kind of go back to my financial roots. And so is that Ave, as the head of new products and experiments. And so did a lot of kind of work around core infrastructure work as it pertains to have a lot of ideation around new products that could complement the of a product suite. And that was there up until November of last year, or else was there for a year and a half, and then eventually decided to start my own thing. And so now I'm one of the two co founders of a project called catalysts, which is a cross chain liquidity protocol.
I guess. I've been around Twitter like talking a lot about inoperability. And, like, I guess I'm curious, why is that so important? And like how does that like help the end user because I feel like in crypto a lot of times we talk really heavily about technology, and to non technical folks are like y'all just want to nerd talk about a bunch of stuff we don't care about. So like, I guess that's so important in terms of like, the greater you know, sustainability of this ecosystem.
Yeah, I'm glad you gave that caveat or else I was gonna give you a nerdy answer. But I would say like this as it pertains to, why is it, you know, relevant and important to the end user, I think like when a lot of people talk about the UX limitations of blockchains, it's kind of, you know, inherent into some of the systems that have been created, right. And so it's like something like, having a wallet, right, and like having to like sign transactions with a private key, and people lose private keys, or people get their private keys stolen, and then they get their assets stolen, right, or the report dates or what have you. And like, that's, that's like, obviously a very, very terrible kind of user experience for the vast majority of people. But that's something that's just kind of baked into kind of the underlying blockchains, right, especially when you think about Aetherium as the most popular, like smart contract platform where people are interacting with a lot like, you can't really change the theorems like, like whole underlying account level infrastructure, right, or at least you can't do it in like the matter of even like a year, it will take a matter of like, you know, like four or five years in order to do so. Because that's just like, how complicated the Areum is at this point. But you couldn't make a new blockchain, even a new blockchain that's built from scratch. And it could have kind of infrastructure that's built to allow for things like oh, like, maybe you can just log in with your email or, you know, do like a Google login, right? Or have like, you know, some form of like recovery, or some form of like, you know, like delegate, you know, your key recovery to like, some, some other entity like that. That's where I think like, multi chain and like the interoperability problem becomes really important, because it's like, Okay, now, it's like, you've built this new blockchain from scratch, you want everyone you know, all these new users, all the mainstream users to interact with this one blockchain. But they still want to do things with Aetherium, right? They want to like, interact with all the assets on Aetherium, with all the NF T's with all the other kind of establish protocols. And that's where interoperability comes in. Right? It's like, interoperability is like super important for kind of this mainstream adoption that we're all talking about. Because it's like the underlying layer that allows all these different kind of chains that are configured and optimized for different things to interact with each other, like quite seamlessly, right. So it's like you have a chain that's really good for UX kind of what I was talking about. But you still have like chains are good for like games and have NF T's or have like a bunch of liquidity for defy or what have you. And so that becomes really important for all the
eath Denver this year, but essentially, the thing that I kept hearing over and over again, was abstraction, abstraction, abstraction. And I'm glad we're here, finally, you know, I felt like I kind of knew that other designers like people, generally are not gonna like onboarding, telling people like how this works is not going to be enough, it needs to be baked into the user experience, like. And I think the part you touched on about account recovery is really important. Because if people are coming from, like a centralized mindset, you know, they're used to being taken care of, or like a centralized body, being able to control things. And so they go to crypto, they, you know, make beginner mistakes, and they look to the company or their wallet, because that's what they're used to, you know, to like help. And a lot in the very beginning, I was like, we can't do anything for you. And they're like. So I think the future may be just like, all these chains are working, it'd be completely abstracted from the user watch chain they're on, and what task is, you know, associated with what, whatever chain, and it will just happen all, like on the backend, I think is, is kind of what we're moving towards. I don't know if you've noticed that trend.
Yeah, I mean, it's definitely a trend that I think people have been really interested in, kind of having a be realized for like, the last few years, right, like the second like, like a multi chain, like a true multi chain thesis, like really took foothold, I would argue is probably like, early 2021. And like the, like the rise of like alternative l ones like avalanche and polygon and binance Bar chain, people were like, Oh, like this could actually be like a real thing. But like, you know, flash forward two years, we're still kind of chipping away at it bit by bit. And I do think like, a lot of it has to do with not having robust interoperability and kind of infrastructure in order to enable it, enable that kind of like smart routing the different chains and kind of having like an overdose overlay network to obstruct that for the user. But I agree I was in Denver, and I think a big conversation was around like, you know, again, abstraction, right as a kind of like a big thing that happened in Aetherium, during eath Denver and how that, you know, all the different ramifications of it, as it pertained to like roll ups and different airlines and cross chain protocols, etc.
Yeah, I think we're fine. realizing that, I guess it's the one thing to talk about. But one thing to plan for and like, integrate into roadmaps and I feel like, I'm starting to see a lot of projects, like move towards that direction. So going back to like, like cross chain UX, I know, historically, it's been pretty much a nightmare. I mean, when I first started, like, even two years ago, I had to watch several YouTube videos on how to like bridge acids to fog. And, and like, you know, part of the inoperability. And I have no problem with cross chain like UX. So what are your thoughts on inoperability? And like cross chain UX, and how those things kind of go together? And the things that you've noticed or, like, have
thoughts about? It. So I'll start by saying that like crushing UX, like sucks. I think that's just like something that everyone recognizes even the people that spend, you know, 100% of their time trying to fix that problem. And it's hard to like, diagnose exactly why it sucks. But I think Do you think it's a combination of like, two things. The first thing is just like, a lot of the infrastructure is like, really kind of early. Right? And so when you think about, like, you know, your, your use case, for example, right, you're trying to like, move assets from the theory, I'm on the polygon, like, the early kind of, like implementations of a way in which you can actually lock assets on a theorem and then kind of like, make these new assets on Polygon was, like really rudimentary. And so what that meant was like, it was really slow, right? And there wasn't really like a lot of, I guess, like visibility into what was happening. And so you're basically like, as a user, like, kind of like, throwing your money into the abyss and you're like, Okay, I hope something comes, comes back, right? Because like, the infrastructure was just like, not really that great. So I think that's like one piece of it. And like, over time, like things have improved, like, the bridge is improved. For polygon, for example, there's been like better documentation, there's been better UI better data indexing, in order to make kind of that process more visible. And broadly, there's just like, better tools now, right? Things that go faster, or things are safer, etc. So I think that's like the first piece. I think the second piece is kind of round, just like, I don't know, like, I guess I just kind of like UX laziness, right? Where it was, like, a lot of the kind of pain or like, a lot of the very technical processes are kind of exposed. And so like, the fact that like, you know, I think like in the early days of bridging, it was like, user, like, you have to do the bridge, right? And you're like, Okay, you're like, Okay, I guess I'm just gonna get to like another website, and like, move my assets, and then go back to the application I originally wanted to use. And then now I have assets. And now you're starting to see that, like, at least some applications are like, Oh, no, like, we have like a bridge, like, inside our application, right. And so it's like, you don't really have to like leave your screen, you can kind of do all these things, all within kind of the context in which you want to do in the first place, right? It's not like someone is trying to bridge for the sake of bridging the bridge, because they want to do something. So that's better. And then over time, like, that also just becomes like automated, right? Like, I kind of like I think there's like one like stage that we're at right now this like kind of intermediary stage, just like it's good, because like, we're not like moving screens, but like, the user still has to click all those buttons, even though it's like, you know, technically on the same screen, until eventually, it's like, okay, like the users not even clicking buttons, just like kind of happens underneath the hood. But yeah, I think that's like another kind of huge blocker that we see from the from the UX perspective. But like, a lot of the people thinking about this problem are like working really hard to try to solve it. It's just like, I'm sure, like, once you kind of peel back the curtain, you realize that there's a lot of limitations that people need to work with, that maybe aren't like kind of top of mind when you look at it from a high level. And like, as someone that, you know, spends a lot of time building and cross chain, I kind of recognize that as well.
Especially like, when I migrated from a web to design to web three designer, like I, I guess came in with a certain level of privilege because like, anything that I wanted to do was possible before you know you from a UX perspective, and then coming in here and be like, Oh, no, it doesn't work like that. Like you have to design around this, like technical limitation, though. Like what? Um, so And also, I think, I don't know I think the monitor or the web three right now it's like one less click and I think we've gotten a number of clicks down but like ideally, like you said, if you want to do someone another career chain, you can just insulate by switching by versus having to even know what the word bridge means. Usually, they don't think people realize like, the huge like, vocabulary gap that you have to like cross when you're starting to become a website or user. And these these terms feel very native to us, but it's very intimidating, especially if you're like a non English speaker, and or like just simply don't understand this where they never talking about and the barrier of entry is still fairly high. And because of the things you've already talked about, I guess what are your perspectives on? Are they even care about like the touch points in which, like, this happens, I've noticed a lot of wallets are starting to take on a lot of this work in terms of interoperability, and cross chain compatibility. There are a few exes that are doing it, but I'm starting to see more and more wallets themselves, like, kind of baked that into the process. Do you have any like a point of views on that?
What do you mean by like wallets taking on more of that process? Like, yeah, I get like my sample
too long ago, like bridging happened at the dex level, essentially. So if I went to Xi swap, and I wanted to go to my polygon, I had to go to social often polygon them back. Versus now like the Coinbase wallet. And like the Phantom wallet, you can literally just bridge right in the app before even like go to the decks essentially. And I'm seeing more wallets chart like baking more features for like that, of being able to manage your assets all the wallet level without even having to connect to adapt.
Gotcha. Yeah, that makes sense. I mean, I think it ultimately comes down to like, what interfaces do users want to use in order to like, get the job done that they need to get done, right. And so, like, me, as someone that's kind of used wallets in all of its iterations for many years now, like, I kind of have a different relationship with a wallet, where wallets are really just like, kind of a place where I sign transactions, right. And I'm more, I'm more comfortable using kind of the, like the desktop clients, or, you know, the mobile clients or kind of like the web app, in order to actually have my experiences. And so to example, like, sushi, you know, like your sushi swap example, you know, sushi swapped and bridge them going to polygon and then going back to sushi swap. Now we're kind of seeing like sushi swap like, own that Endo, unexperienced as well. Right? So they're integrating, you know, they've integrated something called Stargate, which is a token bridge built on top of layer zero, in order to kind of connect all those disparate liquidity pools or disparate deployments across chains for sushi. And so now you can just like say, like, hey, like I've eath and I want to get, you know, Ethan Aetherium, I don't want to get mad, I can polygon and you can kind of just like, do that straight through on sushi swamp. And so that's kind of like the experience that I personally feel more comfortable doing. But I do think there are like a lot of newer users or maybe just people with different kind of mindsets that see wallets as kind of their, their main gateway into interacting with a lot of web three applications. And so that's where you're starting to see like, these wallets become a lot more like kind of just like web explorers, right, they kind of just look like you know, you can like go on sites or you can kind of search applications and do all these things within within these wallets. And so, you know, you mentioned Coinbase Coinbase wallet is is a really good example of that it's like you can literally they have like a browser you can literally just like enter in a URL like an application and interact with it using that wallet. And I think like wallets broadly as a design space is really interesting because I don't really know like, where it I don't really know where the space is going like it can move in so many directions like wallets are trying to like, move more deeply into the stack or like they're trying to be like, you know, exposing like airdrops right? There's a wallet called daylight that does that. It's like, Hey, we're wallet but like we can also you know, when once you input your address, we can also show you that you've qualified for all these airdrops so you probably didn't really realize right? Or it's like you can do governance voting. Like I know, Commonwealth is really kind of big on that. Rainbow wallet, of course, is really big on NFC collections. And so it gets really interesting kind of Seeing where like the wallet space evolves in that regard. But I do think, you know, I do think broadly that using your wallet for like swaps or for NFT collections or for what have you, it makes a lot of sense. Yeah,
I guess the innovation I'm seeing is happening. And maybe I'm biased because I, because I see more UX, like things being released on the vault level versus on the app level, I tend to like study wallets more heavily. But if you really think about if you're a new person to web three, the wallet is like one of your first touch points. And so they're really trying to like build loyalty. Because like, I don't think, I don't think the most beginner users know that they could just take their keys and like, go somewhere else. They assume like, Okay, I have an account with Google. That's my Google account, I have an account with, you know, fat, and that's my Patreon account, I think. And so they're really trying to build that loyalty of by having so many features at the wallet level. I guess, in your opinion, like, kind of the biggest hurdle to get to this, like UX utopia, we've all been talking about any crypto. You mentioned the infrastructure before. But is there any other things that you see as like roadblocks to some of these, like, big dreams that we've been talking about in terms of like, cross chain UX?
Yeah, I do think like, you know, the gold standard is having like, I think you said it pretty well, like one less click. It's kind of like the trend that we're seeing in this space broadly, as it pertains to design. Like when I kind of think about that problem, where it's like, okay, like, how do we get one less click? Or how do we get into the world where there's like, as few clicks as possible? Or like, I guess, said differently? Because it's maybe that's not like the end all be all. It's just like, how do we mimic a very, excuse me, like a very convenient experience that is analogous to what people are familiar with, from a web to context. I think the biggest blockers are really just like, like, the constraints in which we have to build these solutions, that kind of don't allow us to exactly how like a one for one replication of like a web two experience, right. And so I don't know if you read this blog post that came out a few years ago, but it's by Foundation, like the NFT marketplace, it was called crypto wants to be seen. It was basically talking about how like foundation v1, like, like, hit a lot of details around blockchain, things like gas prices, and block times for bidding and stuff like that. And like keys and everything. And then their blog posts, they said, like, Yeah, we tried to do that. And like users ultimately got like, really confused. Because we tried to like gloss over concepts like block times. It's like, oh, like, Why didn't my bid not go through? Or like, why is my bid so expensive right now. And they're trying to explain it in like non crypto terms. And so when they launched Foundation, v2, they're like, no, like, you know, crypto wants to be seen, we're going to expose all those things, right. And so that was a I don't necessarily like, agree, like to either direction, right foundation v one versus e two. But I do think that like, you can start seeing that there's like inherent things about blockchain that just like, need to be exposed and needs to be understood. And so it's kind of like a tough thing to reconcile, right. It's like you want to have this like replication of a one to experience you will also still want to educate this kind of new wave of users of why kind of the UX trade offs you made are so important from like, you know, the principles of blockchain. But I think with that said, like, there's still kind of like a lot of opportunity to to increase the UX. And, and I got kind of going back to my original answer, I do think there's just like a lot of constraints that we have to work with, right? Like when I think about, like, why do we need to do a token approval? Like before we do, like, any sort of interaction, right? It's like, oh, that's just like the way that like contracts are made on the Etherium. Right? And so it's like, okay, how do we kind of like, get past that hurdle? One way is like, okay, we can just like make a new blockchain that doesn't have token approvals, right. Or another way is like, okay, we can have a way in which you kind of combine transactions, right? So it's like, you can combine the token approval with the swap and then you realize that you can't really do that and like A very easy way on Aetherium. And so you have to use this like, off chain kind of service called a relayer. Right? So something like a gelato or iconomy does that. But then you kind of like trust them to hold your keys. And so it gets really complicated. And then there's a lot of discussion around okay, how do you make sure you're not trusting these entities? And so then you start enshrining like what the job that they've been doing, which are not called like paymasters. And that's now been like, that's now a part of theory on right with like ERC 4337. Like, that's like now just like a part of the protocol. And so you can kind of see how, like, when you peel back, you're like, oh, like there's a kind of like, a lot of like, like a UX can be unlocked. But then you like kind of give up on the decentralization or the trust lessness principles that you want to have.
Like, I've been talking about this a lot recently. And it's like, are we wasting our time in terms of like, do we need to create a one on one web to experience in web three in order for us to reach mass adoption? Or is there a way for us to, like, baby step people into this world and educate as we go. And I think definitely, like people taking the one one or the other, like, either, I'm going to expose everything and confuse people, or I'm going to abstract everything and also confuse people. I mean, I forget the name of the law is like this UX law that like basically says, like, there's only a certain level of abstraction that you can do before, like, you start to hinder the user experience, or like, not give them enough information to like, make educated decisions, essentially. And I think, I mean, not related to the technical stuff that you've been talking about. But I think that just stems from living in startup world where you don't have enough time to like, really get to know the people you're trying to serve, or you don't even know the people you're trying to serve yet. So you're just kind of like, meandering around until you like strike a chord. Because like, I was asked this in the interview was like, Well, what level of abstraction do you do? And I'm just like, well, who are we targeting? Like, are we targeting like, you know, grandma's retargeting, you know, like, Gen Z? Or, like, all those things go into play with like, what level of abstraction that you want to have, essentially your app?
Yeah. Yeah, I mean, well, that's really that's, I think that's like a really important point, because like, you know, when people talk about like, design, in crypto, like a lot of it goes into, like the inherent issues of like the UX, right. But I think another thing that I think not enough people really think about, and crypto is just like, being very user centric. I think in many ways, are just like, very, like product focused. And like the development of what people are building, I think, like, we glorify a lot of like, projects are like, here's a white paper. And here's our vision. And everyone's like, yes, like, do that, like, I don't care if it takes like 235 years, like I want this, you know, and you're like, okay, like, maybe it's better if it's like iterative and becomes more of a conversation with users. And so you ensure that, you know, once you're sinking in, like 10s of millions of dollars, it's actually like, building something that people want. And I think that's like a very glaring problem is
a space that I use, I am always studying new patterns. I'm always keeping up with the space. And I've downloaded apps where I was like, this is cool, but like, why would I ever need to use this? I think, excuse me, a lot of people are building in bear markets, they're scared, they're trying to get more out of users. I think I'm starting to observe a lot of churn essentially, like meaning. Like, if you're a dowel tools, there's only so many dowels that's going to be there in order for you to be sustainable. So that people are pivoting to web to audience to like, grow. But they actually. And their response to that is like abstract everything. And I'm starting to think like, you know, there was a point in which an old computer where the computer was brand new. And we had to teach people how to use it. Right. People had to learn with mouse for that, and our keyboards were. And I feel like, we're basically, you know, there again, and it doesn't do us a service to like, you know, prevent that learning by making things feel like a centralized app, because like what you said, there's just a neat thing that will come up that just are very web three. And if you haven't done the work to, like, onboard that user fully, you just eventually like, basically delay friction and the user experience. I guess.
Yeah, definitely. It's a really fun trade off like a very fine line to kind of
be online. How do we I like epically educate people to this new computer thing. Um, I guess, do you have any thoughts on like, onboarding and how that speaks to like, your whole ethos, and ability and cross chain?
Yes. Is the question on like, what is the onus of like us as crypto natives to like educate people on on, like the importance of of these principles and why that's worth the UX trade off? Yeah, I mean, I definitely think it's important. I think, like, maybe not the best analogy, but I think of like, cars versus like, carriages. Right? Where it's like, I imagined, like, the first car came out. And people were like, Why the hell would I ever use that? Like, what is this thing? Like, it's a machine that runs, I had to fill it with gas, there's like, all these moving parts, like, I'm good. Like, I know what my horse does. It's got a cart in the back. It gets the job done. You know. And I think it's kind of like, a maybe like, a similar analogy for us where I was like, you know, when if you look underneath the hood, you're like, why would like someone that is grown up with, like, you know, the internet and grew up with a lot of kind of like, centralized, like centralized tech platforms like us this right, it's like, a lot of responsibility to own your own keys, like there's live exploits. There's a lot of kind of UX hurdles, there's a lot of really complex terminology. I think it's all about like, articulating, like, why, you know, like, why is it beneficial for us to do this? Right. And it might seem like a little far fetched for a lot of people because like, it kind of goes outside the concepts of like, their mental models of the world. And so cars, it was like, Yeah, cars are, like, dangerous. And like, you know, I imagine like the first cars weren't even that much faster than like, a horse carriage. But it's like, they're dangerous, but it's like, oh, it's like automated now. No, you don't take care of a horse and stuff like that. And like we looked at went through, it's like, oh, it's like all about self sovereignty, right? It's all about like, openness, and freedom and border lessness and stuff like that. And that those are like, very abstract concepts. Right. But I think over time, like, there's like, kind of an education and a shift where it becomes like, really important. And, and I think over time, you'll see high like us and prove to right, it's like, the first cars were like, manual, right? In terms of like shifting gears and now like automatic, and now they have like climate control. And they have windshields and like, you know, like, all these different things, right? And so it's like, I imagine, like overtime went through, it'll become like, much better from UX perspective, where like, when you look, in hindsight, it's like, okay, this is going to be like a no brainer. When you look,
I think people forget. And then people did forget the last like, bull market, which is like a highly motivated user who will suffer through a poor UX, if they feel like there's like, you know, light at the end of the tunnel, or it's gonna, you know, unlock something for them. And so, I think, I mean, as you were talking, I was thinking, well, maybe we just have to be really comfortable with this, like, I think we've been trying to fight against it, and like, abstract or do away with it, because we want so desperately to adopt. And next, you know, you know, 1000s of active users, so we can raise money, again. But I think, collectively, we have to kind of like, just kind of be okay with where we're at. And like, work through it as much as we can versus like, continuing out, I think we do ourselves a disservice if we recreate a one to one, you know, web two experience in web three, because we kind of like lose the magic of of it all. I don't know if this feels like an app that I've already used before, then why not use it the less complicated app, which is probably a web two so speaking, peoples like core values, yeah, definitely systems. I think I went on a mini rant about this, about like creating an ethos around our products. That then like, like, you know, there's a difference where people will choose Nike versus Adidas, right? It's because one maybe better aligns with their values and other ones where they both sell shoes. And so, creating ethos around our products to speak to like this thing, either self sovereignty or wealth inequality, or that that like spiritual need. So, so then, when we in certainly give them a shitty UX experience because we can't, like make it better because of the technology, at least now still here for the vibes, I guess. It's kind of
at the very least a
little bit we just haven't done at the scale
Do you like it happens like every, every little bit like there's like more and more people that like kind of understand the ethos of it. Right. And like, it's tough, because it's like, you want to lean on the ethos, but it's like, it's kind of like, so intangible in many ways. But I do think like every cycle that I've seen, right, like more and more people kind of get more involved and more kind of excited about the principles of web three, right, it was like versus started with payments, essentially, and then eventually went to, like, you know, like finance, and then art slash the crater economy. And with dowels, it was just like, work in general. And now there's like, the Sci Fi, like, decentralized science, like kind of convincing people that this is like the future of like, you know, like scientific research funding and, and peer reviewed research and stuff like that. And so, like, I think like, every cycle, like new things kind of pop up, or people are like, oh, like, this is actually pretty pertinent to what I'm doing. And it gets like, more and more people excited, which is, which is a good thing. Yeah. Honestly, like, like, I understand, like, the barrier is like, incredibly high. And of course, like, Aetherium is expensive, but like polygons, like, not terribly expensive. And the polygon has its own issues from an info perspective. But I don't know, like, I feel like I'm at the point where it's like, it's like a new crypto thing comes I would just like, use it. And I'm like, yeah, like, you know, I kind of like learned what it means to like, use this stuff. And, again, like, I don't want to go back to my old analogy, but it's like, you know, when I first started driving a car, I was like, What the hell is going on here? And it's like, I just hop on any car, really, I don't even it doesn't even care. I don't even care if it's like, the wrong side of the street. And like a different country. I'm just like, yeah, like a car is a car, you know, like, it works. I have my mental model for it. So like that. Like that's, that's kind of like my maybe naive take on UX in this space. It's all about just like overcoming that initial barrier
to value then become a lot more user centric. And product agnostic, I think is the key or, you know, person centered. I hate the term user. It's like, so weird. But anyway,
users a word term, user,
like, it feels extractive. You know.
Um, I was just gonna go on I like many, I guess, um, I think I think I found someone recently that said, like, man, LT releases, like, every five seconds, like, What the hell is like, so many l twos? I guess, are there any like L twos, or like chains that you, like, prefer, or like what they're doing or see a use case? And like, I guess, in the chain wars, like, what are your perspective is at this moment? I
don't know, I feel like like, in many ways, Aetherium has won, and just like, really just like, continues to take on more like insurgents. And just like when, and it kind of, like, evolves, right? I think that's like, the beauty of a theory versus something like Bitcoin is like it evolves. And so when you look at a theory on an aggregate, right, like, when you look at all the all the roll ups on top of Aetherium, you're like, yeah, like, there's really not a lot of fault that I can find in this, like, new roadmap or new system. Right, in terms of like, all the things that need to be accomplished, for mass adoption and, and for the scale that we need to have from this underlying infrastructure in order to enable mass adoption. What that said, like, I do think that there are other projects that are really fascinating. Mainly from like, a talent perspective, I would say, talents and kind of just like innovation perspective. So I'd like I like suite a lot as a kind of, it's a monolithic chain, but it has kind of like parallel execution. It has a really kind of novel, like design or to allow for high throughput through the system, like cosmos as a builder in cosmos. I like all the infrastructure that's been built with the cosmos SDK and IBC. And so there's other like, things in the in the periphery that are really fascinating, but I don't know, like, I'm just gonna be a realist here. And I think that like a theory, um, it's just like, kind of won many battles throughout many years and has built kind of Lindy from,
like, if that's your value add at the chain, like it's not going to be enough anymore.
Yeah, yeah, totally, like some of these roll ups, like, you know, at scale, like they're gonna be like, as cheap as polygon right now. And so it's, it gets harder to kind of like justify moving ecosystems. But the fact that reality is like, there will be multiple ecosystems, right? That's just like how the world's going to work. And, you know, I think that's where, like catalysts, you know, what I'm building is very kind of well positioned in order to kind of connect those ecosystems together. Yeah, I think. Again, I
think I'm gonna say I hope everybody wins. But I think you're right, my instincts, like say that, because in a theory is innovating, like technology is getting better. And I think, I think instead of like focusing on adopting mass users, I think people should focus on honestly marketing, because I think that's what really is gonna set one chain, apart from another one is like, how are you speaking to people versus actual technology? It's like, at the end of the day, most people are not going to care about the tags are not going to care about. They're gonna be like, are you solving my problem? Or do you rely on my values? You know?
Yeah, narrative, right. Marketing feels very, I don't know, like, a good transactional, but it's like narrative, right? It's like, Can you can you really inspire people towards kind of the, the vision of the future that you're building towards? And I think that's really where a lot of people are really excited about cosmos is like cosmos inherently does have like a very different vision than Aetherium. It's all about like, full stack sovereignty, as opposed to like, a theory is like, no, like, here's, like, standard playbook that everyone needs to capitulate to, I guess, I guess emotions,
especially in defier, like, I have like a mini timer in me, like, I'm trying to fight it, and like, get on board with decentralization, because I do see all the benefits of decentralization, but like, how do you reconcile with like quality control, and decentralization, because I feel like the chains that are slightly less decentralized, they often, you know, their value is like, well, we're less decentralized, but we have like, control over XYZ, in terms of quality or security, or like, whatever, what have you. And so I guess, how do you reconcile those things? But surely have like a decentralized like point of view? And, and, like, you know, eat us essentially?
Yeah, happy to answer that. The net of it is like, that's a huge, that's huge tension, right. It's like having kind of control over like exploits, or being able to, like, have fixes really quickly, or just have have more kind of control. Versus like, versus like ceding away that control, which is good, because then it's like, you can't become like a malicious actor. It's very kind of philosophical. I think it's like the same way how it's like, okay, like, would you have a benevolent kind of authoritarian government? Right, and like, you know, where it's like, okay, like, some things are bad, but like, a lot of things are really good because they've made really decisive decisions. Or would you have, like, you know, a pure democracy that's like, really, really slow, but like, at least everyone has a voice. And there's no, like tyranny of the minority. I think ultimately comes down to like, I mean, like, this is kind of a cop out answer, but it's like progressive decentralization. Right. But it's like, when you choose a decentralized is like, super subjective, right? And it's like, oh, like, I think we're ready, decentralized, and you're decentralized. And then you find another bug. And you're like, oh, like, how do we how do we solve this bug? Like, I wish we didn't decentralized so quickly? Right. And so I don't have a good answer for you. I think there's a ton of tension on that. And there's a ton of tension on thinking through any sort of, you know, project that wants to decentralize and what are the right milestones in order to do so?
Yeah, it's, it's tough to so I don't think I have an answer either. I tend to lean more toward authoritarian because of my military background. I'm just like, I want everybody to get their own way, but also want to control how you get there. Yeah. Okay, well, nice talking to you. I don't want to take too much of your time. Awesome. Thanks so much for your time. I appreciate it. Yeah. Thank you so much for listening to this episode, designer doubt. I hope you enjoyed it. You are To learn more about designer Dow follow us on Twitter, make an account on our website, which is designer dalla dash x, y, z. If you're interested in joining the community, feel free to join us on telegram as well. Until next time, thank you