Chain Reaction

Polygon’s president talks partnerships, NFTs and gaming (w/ Ryan Wyatt)

Episode Summary

For this week’s episode, Jacquelyn talked with Ryan Wyatt, president of Polygon Labs, one of the biggest market shakers and layer-2 blockchains in the crypto space that’s building on top of the Ethereum ecosystem. The past year has been huge for Polygon as it partnered with big-brand names like Starbucks, Disney and Mastercard to launch loyalty rewards and accelerator programs. Now, Polygon is looking to 2023, new opportunities and Wyatt shares what’s in store for it and how the space still has room to grow.

Episode Notes

Welcome to Chain Reaction

A show that unpacks and dives deep into the latest trends, drama and news with some of the biggest names in crypto breaking things down block by block for the crypto curious. 

For this week’s episode, Jacquelyn talked with Ryan Wyatt, president of Polygon Labs, one of the biggest market shakers and layer-2 blockchains in the crypto space that’s building on top of the Ethereum ecosystem. The past year has been huge for Polygon as it partnered with big-brand names like Starbucks, Disney and Mastercard to launch loyalty rewards and accelerator programs. Now, Polygon is looking to 2023, new opportunities and Wyatt shares what’s in store for it and how the space still has room to grow.

We also discussed: 

Chain Reaction comes out every other Thursday at 12:00 p.m. PT, so be sure to subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favorite pod platform to keep up with the action.

Episode Transcription

Jacquelyn Melinek  0:01  

Hey everyone, its Jacqueline melanic Welcome to chain reaction, a show that unpacks and dives deep into the latest trends, drama and news with some of the biggest names in crypto breaking things down block by block for the crypto curious.


Hey, everyone, welcome back to chain reaction. This is the launch of season two. And I'm excited to have Ryan Wyatt here to kick things off with me. Hi, Ryan. How's it going? Good. How are you? Good. You've


Ryan Wyatt  0:30  

got like a podcast voice. So I'm not you didn't have that before we started hitting the record button. So I feel like the space just got here.


Jacquelyn Melinek  0:38  

No, this is just this is how I talk Ryan. Right. Yeah. But for those out there, Ryan and I know each other from past interviews and the occasional Twitter banter, as you can probably already tell, but for those of you who don't know, Ryan, I want to give you the introduction that he is now the president formally dubbed CEO of polygon Labs, which is the home for all NFT gaming and Metaverse, projects that are on the polygon protocol. Before polygon, Brian worked as the Global Head of gaming at YouTube, which to me seems like every teenage boy's dream, right, Ryan? Yeah. Yeah, Ryan, it's great to have you on. And thanks again for joining. How's it been?


Ryan Wyatt  1:17  

It's been good. It's been good. Yeah, we just had, we had a really fun big year, despite kind of the craziness that, you know, crypto web three experienced, it's fun, you know, part of the shift from Polygon studios to Polygon Labs is bring all of our team and company under one roof. So I'm really excited to lead the entirety of our polygon team. And so it just a lot going on. Like you know, all too well. Never a dull moment, super happy to be here chatting with you and excited for what 2023 holds for all


Jacquelyn Melinek  1:46  

of us. Yeah. And I'd love to get into everything polygon related, because you guys have definitely been in the headlines recently. But before we get there, I'm curious, I want to talk a little bit about your background. As I mentioned, you worked for YouTube before polygon. And I'm curious if your role of scaling YouTube Gaming has impacted or influenced your decisions when it comes to building a polygon? And if so, how do you kind of carry those experiences into your career today? And what old practices from that traditional world? Are you not bringing into web three?


Ryan Wyatt  2:15  

Yeah, there's a couple good things in there. So basically, when I was in college, I was playing games competitively, like eSports tournaments was commentating, eSports tournaments, got really interested in this idea, this crater economy of people watching people play games, which at the time was really foreign, most people would have said, Oh, my gosh, like, nobody wants to watch you play games, they want to play them themselves. And that was kind of the general consensus amongst everyone. And so very early days, this is 2000 1807, or whatever it is, at the time, 2008. And so that evolved, inevitably, me actually going to YouTube and working at YouTube for almost eight years, starting the gaming vertical in business, there's a lot of similarities, and I loved it there, it was so much fun. That team went from zero people into a large organization that's generating billions of dollars of revenue for YouTube on the ad side, and, you know, working with gaming creators and game developers across Google Play, and Google Cloud, just like very, very fun, chock full of great learning experiences for me. And I actually think a lot of people, when I made the shift over into polygon, we're like, what this is, this is kind of a shocker, you know, you're going over in this space. But if you actually unpack it, there's a lot of similarities, right? Like, one YouTube's this platform that all different verticals plug into, from gaming, to lifestyle, to beauty to vloggers. And everything in between polygon is this platform, or developers build all types of from social media to games to, you know, big fortune 500 companies. And so there was actually a lot of similarities. And then the one piece, ironically, that we didn't really touch in 2022 is the web three creator community, right, we focused on a lot of this other area, and we can talk about that. And so this year, I'm excited because I think the next thing that's really applicable from my past life that that hasn't been, is basically tapping into the actual PFP communities and the Artists Communities and these creators that that are building and so I'm excited to see how some of that translates. It's not always one to one, but there's enough you can draw from but at the end of the day, these like blockchain decentralized protocols, there's no playbook, right? Nobody's done it before. You can take things that might feel similar in nature, but you really are kind of traversing the wild wild west and learning as you go and taking previous knowledge and sometimes it fits sometimes it doesn't.


Jacquelyn Melinek  4:28  

Right. And it seems like polygon is building its own path here. You know, in 2022. As I mentioned before, we saw a lot about polygon in the headlines, and especially in the second half of the year and even into 2023 We just started January and we're already hearing you know, MasterCard announced plans to launch a web three incubator with polygon. And last year polygon partnered with a number of big brands like Starbucks for its Odyssey digital collectible rewards program, Disney for its accelerator program and also had major clothing brands like Prada and Adidas launch NFT projects on it's now work. So you know, it's safe to say like polygons business development team definitely got their name out there with these partnerships. And for me personally polygon went from being just known as like, layer to scaling blockchain for Aetherium to its own thing. I guess my first question here in regards to all of that is how did polygon accomplish all of that in such a short amount of time? And why did it decide to go that route for business development?


Ryan Wyatt  5:25  

Yeah, I don't, you know, I almost had like anxiety, hearing all the partnerships, like we did a lot. We did do a lot of work. And so I feel covering it. Yeah. And it's like, I think that's honestly, it's like a fraction of a two. I think there's a lot of things that kind of went into play here. Right. One, I think, you know, we brought in a lot of new folks, myself included, right, I started a year ago, right. I've been at polygon a year now. And when I kind of came in, I brought some folks with web to background, you know, Mike blanks our CEO, he spent 20 years at EA, you know, Jennifer Kaltura, was running marketing teams at Facebook, you know, Ron Shepherd, who's from Unity, like we brought in, we brought in like web two people that were really web three curious. And my goal was to merge them with a existing group at polygon, that was what I would call web three native, there was just this opportunity for like a lot of people to learn from each other and develop different skill sets. And that didn't come easy. Like there was definitely cultural clashes and challenges that you face, like bringing those organizations together. New garden Old Guard, like, I won't lie, like we've definitely had to navigate how do you come together as like one unified team and help each other out. And there's a lot that's gone into that. But I think some of those, like difficulties that the team faced and coming together, like actually built a really strong, unified organization, in the end that it's funny, what you said that really stuck out to me is you're like, Oh, the second half of the year, right. And that, to me, I'm like, that's when you started to see like, much more of the organization, gelling and working together and firing on all cylinders, and people identifying weeks and strengths. And so that played a big part. The other part was, we kind of looked at the space PFP was really what was was gaining a lot of traction right at the time and SWANA and Ethereum pretty much just had that. So they were kind of the darlings of the conversation. And for me, my personal perspective was like, if this thing is going to be big, this web three and crypto, it's got to be bigger than just this. So where can we swim upstream and put our energy and time where there's a little bit more whitespace, if you will. And that's where fortune 500 big enterprise kind of came into play. Because we were able to have a team that speaks that language. And we were able to then leverage this great group of web three native folks of like, how you do it authentically how you do it, right? And kind of bringing all that together gave us a really good luck in all these rooms. So when these big companies are speaking, they're already doing their due diligence, right? Like a lot of them have already made a certain amount of decisions by the time they're even coming to the table, some more than others. But you know, they're big companies for a reason. And they have their own thought process. So it was just great to be able to get in the room and kind of talk through how they can find success in web three and hold their hand through that. So I think a lot of these things all culminated into us being able to knock some of these early ones out. And then truly, there's kind of like a force multiplier, right? Like, there's the network effects that have kicked in, when you look at all these different protocols. It's very reasonable to be like, well, I'll go to the one that like at a in Starbucks, and Nike and Adidas and all of our morale, right, because clearly those companies have done some due diligence. So as long as I connect with these teams and talk to him, that's that. And so then that's been more of the enterprise side, but then the gaming side, you know, there's grants and investments, right, it's a little bit more they need, like more like financial, you know, supports, right? Because games are long. And so there's kind of like different methods for each category that need to be deployed in order to get them excited. And building, if you will.


Jacquelyn Melinek  8:51  

Why do you think so many big brands are getting into it. Now, you said they were thinking about it beforehand, and you guys kind of came in and held their hands or perhaps helped bring them to the next step. But what's the big turning point you think, for these brands, and also, given everything that's transpired last year, with major catastrophic events? You don't have to name them, but you can, do you think that'll kind of inhibit onboarding in the future?


Ryan Wyatt  9:15  

Okay, so two questions. I think first, in general, it's just good to only when you work at like a big kind of tech company or a big brand, it's just good to always have some part of that company. I don't want to call it r&d might be too strong return but like, be forward looking forward thinking right? And so it doesn't, it's not a big lift. In some of these instances. Starbucks is a big lift, you know, Nikes a big lift, but there's stuff where it's like, just get in, you know, Macy's did a fun like NFT launch with sweet IO and stuff like that, you know, get in learn, explore, it doesn't have to be all these big theatrics. I think it's a great learning experience. And as you know, all too well. There's a steep learning curve. So I think there's just value in saying I'm going to dabble in this and it's okay to just dabble as a big brand like be authentic figure. got what it takes to do that and so forth?


Jacquelyn Melinek  10:01  

Do you think everything that's happened last year will inhibit onboarding the future?


Ryan Wyatt  10:05  

Yeah, it's certainly going to slow it down. Right? You know, the FTX thing, it more than anything else, it just it was a company that was presented to a lot of people as one of the very few credible crypto companies. And it couldn't have been further from, right. And so I think that's a tough reality, and a segment in industry that is already rife with issues and has holes and so forth. And that's okay. Right, I actually think, at the end of the day, these are the things that have to kind of turnout in order for like the soil to be enriched. And I know that sounds crass, but it is a little bit of a reality. When you see these kind of new technology formats, the internet included, you see a lot of like bad actors, people that have used it. And they're almost like those people are almost at the same speed as the entrepreneurs and the people that are trying to act good. And so from an outside perspective, the destruction in the in the malice that has happened from some of these folks, always is gonna speak 10 times louder than what the like entrepreneurial, good faith efforts are. But those good faith efforts are what long term went out. And so I think you're just seeing this decade of the maturation of crypto play out. Like I think it's super unfortunate, everything that's happening is hurt a lot of people, you know, you can't take that lightly. But on the other side of that people learn, they start to set regulation and rules in which to abide in people know the framework in which to operate. Learning comes from that development comes from that. And I think we're going through an era where we'll be hyper criticized. But I actually think that that's not a bad thing. Like to be honest with you. Like, I think it's a great opportunity for our space, to like really rise above and establish ourselves in what what can happen in this world of decentralized apps building on blockchain protocols, is pretty exciting. So you just have to take a long view on it in order to not be so emotionally tied to, you know, the ebb and flow of this space, I kind of have this decade point of view, and nothing that happened in 2022 has changed that point of view in the slightest, it has certainly changed my point of view of how to navigate the next 18 to 36 months, in order to stay the course of that decade point of view. But the end goal and where like the ship's gotta go, it's still that dock, and we still got


Jacquelyn Melinek  12:23  

to get there. I like that decade point of view. Where were you a decade ago, a decade ago, I was in high school.


Ryan Wyatt  12:29  

A decade ago, I was like a year away from working at YouTube and running and starting the gaming business. Yeah,


Jacquelyn Melinek  12:36  

there you go. Yeah, can happen in 10 years.


Ryan Wyatt  12:38  

Yeah, that's what I'm saying. People underestimate that. You know, like, I think it's what is like you overestimate like what you can do in a year, underestimate what you can do in kind of a decade, and I think crypto is gonna feel that in a really positive way.


Jacquelyn Melinek  12:49  

Yeah, for sure. And, you know, there's a lot of talk about onboarding the masses and things like this will help to do that, I think. But still, crypto is pretty crypto focused in my eyes. Like when I talked about it to people who aren't in this space, they have no idea what I'm talking about most time correct. And sure we have these big brands like Starbucks and Disney and sports teams, like MBA diving into it, and that brings their consumers with them. But how do you think like mass adoption can truly be achieved here? And what's the speed for that? Like? What's the timeframe?


Ryan Wyatt  13:19  

Yeah, I think really, at the end of the day, consumers aren't going to care at all about like, the infrastructure and the tech in the way that maybe you care about it, or I care about it, right? And that's like, not their job. I'll give you an example. Like if you look at a gamer gamer just wants to go in and play fortnight, right? Like they don't care about all the things that epic has done with the Unreal Engine to get it where it's at. They don't care that fortnight is running on AWS or Google Cloud. They don't care who's providing the payment rails for fortnight and epic store. Nobody cares about that. They're just like, I want to play fortnight I want to buy some scans. And that's it. Right? And so where you have right now the people in crypto are like, Oh my gosh, like build on this protocol and transactions per second, and like wallet and seed phrase, and you know, like custody and all these different things where it's just a lot of like, search. Yeah, it's way too much. It's like a bunch of nonsense tech jargon. And so once that gets like abstracted away, and you basically are like, I'm using Starbucks Rewards, and they have me doing two challenges of like ordering almond latte two weeks in a row, right? And I get a stamp, which happens to be an NF T, but I don't know that I received a stamp, that stamp I can sell, I can trade it to you, I can redeem it and burn it as a physical experience, whatever it is, right? And all of somebody just that person. It's like, well, that technically is a crypto user. Right? But they don't know they don't need to know right? Like it's not their job. It's a product feature that allows you to get a stamp that's like verifiable on chain, and that you can sell tray, whatever you want to do with it. You can burn it and actually use it and cool you have that autonomy but you're not talking about all of these different things. And so yes, you We'll get at some point of mass adoption of web three, like, I don't think it's this, I don't think it's gonna like up end all of what we call web two, I think you have a subset of kind of these features that are on protocols like decentralized protocols that people aren't talking about. And again, just like you don't know, like, if Netflix uses Google Cloud, or AWS, or anything like that, like, and you should never care about that, right. And so I kind of think we're in the infrastructure days right now, which are so not exciting to 99% of the people. Hence, when you're in a conversation with somebody who talks about it, they don't give a shit, they shouldn't, right, like, I try to think about the conversations I'm in, I'm like, we're not going to even do this, because I don't even know where to start with you, right. And so that's where I know where we're at is why I say a decade because this stuff shouldn't be on their mind, let's build it, then make it really easy to go use and make it like the crypto stuff passive, then you get this crypto naive adoption pretty easily. Because the idea of what these protocols really stand for is this idea that in theory, you just you own more, right, like you have more like autonomy over digital ownership that is happening in the space. I think when you distill all of the noise away, it's hard for people to argue that they wouldn't want that. So yeah, I spend a decent amount of money on digital goods. And sure I want to hear about how I can own, you know, add more true genuine ownership over. And then it's like, cool, that's all you need to know, you don't need to know, it's like what we do and how we do it is effectively just product features of what we're using. We might use some things that are on chain, we might use some things that are centralized databases could be a hybrid, and you have this whole spectrum of decentralization, right? And things fall on different lines like Bitcoin being, like, incredibly decentralized, and whether you believe in it or not, as a storage of value of good is up to the people that want to participate in it, right? All the way to something like that Starbucks that might be like decentralization, if you will. So I know, it's a long winded answer. But I believe great consumer experiences is all that needs to be accomplished for mass adoption. And I don't think that's like, some wild unattainable thing that can happen. It seems very easy. It's just which protocols are going to do it.


Jacquelyn Melinek  17:01  

All right, Ryan, what would you say is polygons big theme for 2023? And how does that product vision also being tied to Ethereum play into that?


Ryan Wyatt  17:12  

Yeah, I think on the first part, we talked a lot about how we think some things are going to like slow down and 2023. I think our strategy moves into what are things that are happening, like natively in web three that are already like, Yep, those things work, they have shown that they've worked, like, Let's lean into that stuff, you'll see us focus really on creator communities PFP, art, so forth, we won't abandon it's like, again, that that long term goal exists, this idea that will continue to help fortune 500 companies and enterprises like definitely on board, we will, I think we'll just have a little more time and flexibility to focus on web three native projects, because some of this stuff will slow down. So it's not really a huge strategy shift. But I think what it does is it opened up some free time. With that free time, we can now focus on the native community. And we're in a much better position than we were a year ago, like more credible brand, way more on ramps and marketplaces, more wallet support. And so it's much easier now to cultivate a creative community than it would have been a year ago. So that is a big one. And then product is gonna be huge for us, right? Like, we gotta land you know, our z k tech stack, you know that we spent a billion dollars in 2021, on three different z k companies brought them in house, they've been working together collaboratively and on different projects, right, that's kind of been part of how they've been able to advance the tech is this mix of both collaboration, solving things in house for their own problem sets and working together? That is existential. And by that I mean, the polygon protocol today is like sufficient for the environment that it is in today. But if you have this idea that this thing is going to 100x 1000. Next, as far as like users, and TPS and so forth, polygons, current protocol would not be in that fact, all of them would be in a tough spot, right and including polygon. And so we're not actually in his place, the protocol is in a place where it can actually scale with rolling out kind of the z k tech stack and actually making that a proper z k roll up that allows you to check off the box of is this protocol capable of dealing with orders of magnitude more volume and users and transactions? So we have like a half check in there, right? Because we're like we have an interest that we know we can do it, but we haven't done it yet. We haven't rolled it out. It hasn't happened. And so I think we're like, oh, that we got to land that or else that's a big problem. So I think between those two, those are probably the big focuses in 2023 for polygon.


Jacquelyn Melinek  19:32  

Okay, and one sentence can you just explain what Z K is for those who may not know


Ryan Wyatt  19:36  

Yeah, basically it polygon right now as a protocol, the easiest way to think of it is like we are effectively like a side chain for Ethereum. And so we checkpoint information back to Ethereum. What our z k will be able to do is handle way more volume of transactions per second, and directly checkpoint them onto Ethereum. So it's a basically a method that just allows us to scale it's a type of cryptography that our team has been Working on, and it's how we can like make basically upgrade our, our protocol, if you will. In layman's terms.


Jacquelyn Melinek  20:06  

I guess it wasn't fair for me to tell you to say that. And once


Ryan Wyatt  20:08  

one sentence I don't. I'm not sad. I'm not sad. You're technical enough on it to give you one sentence, you know? Like, I feel like when you really know something so inside and out, you can provide one sentence I know it well enough to do it in like two or three.


Jacquelyn Melinek  20:22  

No, that was good. That's good. All right. Let's dive into gaming and NF T's. Yes, I would love to hear what your outlook is for the future of both and the potential for things to grow in the current market we have. And on Polygon,


Ryan Wyatt  20:36  

yeah. Okay, so a couple of things. One, we're showing up big at GDC. In March, we're going to have a big booth and everything, it's going to be fun. The games aren't these like revolutionary, you know, like triple a polished games that are gonna change the world. But there are some cool stuff where people be like, show me real use cases, that will be fun to share with like game developers. One of it is like what Midnight's society has been doing with like memberships and access and how the rolling updates to the game. And the only part that they've really made NF T's are these, like membership passes, which has been really cool and the stuff that they're doing there. You've got a pirate nation, it's the X lead of Farmville. He has, I think the company is called Proof of play. But the game is called pirate nation. Super fun. Everything that you do is on chain like, oh, and it's on Polygon. But all the things like when you go to a quest, when you forge, when you like build something, it all is like each one of those things are verified on chain. So the whole thing is built. And so like there's cool things that you can it's rudimentary still, right? Like it's a basic in theory, it's very similar to like, it's a pirate version of Farmville, and it's in a lot of similar ways, but like, how they're starting to think about what can you do when all this stuff is on transacting, you can put these items that you earned up in marketplaces and sell them people remember Farmville from back in the day, you get like peaches? Maybe like rare you do stuff with them. So yeah, I think it's cool. Like, I think it's gonna continue to take time to develop and I think people are gonna keep, you know, nibbling in it and doing fun stuff. I do you still believe like, the fun thing about gaming and web three is passionate communities can get these projects going like you don't need to always be the like, where the gaming is going is with these mergers and acquisitions with big games being like as a service basically offered to you and having seasons and all this stuff. You kind of have seen this, like monopoly of a handful of IPS at the top of gaming, despite having billions of gamers in the world. And so I actually think some of this stuff, we're passionate gamers, there might be like, very fragmented, smaller communities. But they'll be able to be like active participants in them and like, continue to run them. And so I think there's, it's going to take time, though, like good games take a long time to be made. And so when you start to see those ones that break through, I think it's still like we're a couple years away. But this should be the year in most likely closer to the second half of the year, where there's stuff that's not like v one web three games, which was like played earn a lot of like Ponzi nomic rudimentary games, that gave a bad rap, but started to show maybe some like, okay, there might be something there around digital ownership, but this is like, this is not okay. Right. I think now you're starting to see some of the like v two projects, if you will. And my guess is there will be a lot of game developers where if they didn't get kind of red pilled, or like it didn't flick for them, then they'll start to get it, you know, a little bit more with this next iteration of it. But gaming, you really have to look at it out of all of these verticals, the most over a three to five year timeframe, because it's just development cycles are pretty long.


Jacquelyn Melinek  23:38  

Yeah, someone recently compared it kind of to the mobile gaming industry. And early on how like triple A gaming studios didn't want to get into this at the time. And then these like independent studios would pop up and like things like Flappy Bird and other they made it random games made a ton of money. Yeah. And then they got into it. And like when you think about Flappy Bird, it was just like tapping the screen. It was so simple. And like, there are crypto games out there today that are that elementary level perhaps. Yeah,


Ryan Wyatt  24:03  

yeah. And it's the same kind of like disgust you know that some of Well, I'd say I should that sound like totally fair. There's a lot of AAA publishers that are good ones. Yeah, pretty smart. And they also see kind of this and like are not, they're not ignoring it. They're figuring out how in the most appropriate way if and when they should enter it. So and then there are some that obviously have outright ignored it or been vocal about it. But I do think there's a lot of eerie similarities there. I think the one thing that's a little different is, in the mobile era, they had a little bit more of a leg up than web three in the sense that everyone had these like new phones like hardware, and they're like, What do I do with it? Right? And so, okay, I'll install this, you know, this basic game where I'm just like holding my finger and getting a bird to like, go in between pipes, you know, so I think there's still more work to be done about the point of entry into this stuff. So discoverability of these apps and games and stuff will be really important, because you want to have that same kind of faucet that mobiles like phones provided for the start of the mobile game era.


Jacquelyn Melinek  25:05  

In general, we kind of talked about the need for real world use cases and crypto. And we talked about adoption earlier. But what are the utilities you expect to see expanding? And what are some of the ones that don't exist today that you think will come forward in the coming 12 months to couple years?


Ryan Wyatt  25:22  

Totally. Like even with crypto people are like asked the use case thing. I was like, Well, can we just agree that there is like all red and I don't even really care about the money crypto side, it's not my area of expertise or interest, but like what people are doing in certain countries with it as a like a monetary asset is already like, exist right today. So now it is moving on to what the next thing is, I actually don't think that thesis has changed. If we talked too much a year ago, I think loyalty and rewards allows for like deeper engagement with individuals on chain, because if you look at again, Starbucks and what's happening there, I think that is a real use case that actually evolves, a big industry, which is like rewards and loyalty. Hence why the best company in the business that's ever done it, Starbucks is exploring it and like there's going to be cool stuff they can do with that stuff on chain. I think other brands can enter in a really interesting way of like knowing users and a whole different way of random things to like, you could even do something at Whole Foods and be like, Oh, I know that, you know, Jacqueline likes all these almond lattes based off of what's in her wallet, I'll give her a 20% discount to buy this almond milk. Because you know, I want to try to get a user acquisition of her or something, right? There's going to be a bunch of like on chain information that helps people have better user experiences in general, like I fully believe that loyalty rewards, I'm big on it, I still won't ever like gaming is a no brainer to me is still this idea that you're gonna keep spending more money. I play valor. It's like one of my favorite games and Riot Games I play like all the time. And I just saw $100 for like a bunch of new skins. Because it's the new season, they just dropped the new skins pack, right? It was like 65 bucks. And that's 65 bucks out that I'll never get back I bought those skins, I'll never get that back. Or I'll look cool in games, I'll still suck at it. But I'll never get that money back. And so this idea of lending and owning and all this stuff as if it was like my own hat, then I can do whatever I want with it, I think will continue to exist. And then yeah, defi I think is like now no brainer, as you see in light of a lot of these, you know, issues that have been happening of not not your keys, not your money kind of idea. So yeah, I think defi will have its moment. So for me, like all of this nonsense that happened in 2022 that has disrupted this space. It's the same mission for like, what Web3 is, and tech crypto, if you will, is literally unchanged as far as kind of where there's use cases where he's of interests are and we just got to keep digging into a more it's still very early days.


Jacquelyn Melinek  27:43  

Yeah, definitely. I'm glad you said the word mission. Because to wrap it up. My final question for you, Ryan is when you think of polygon, and everything that it entails, what is your biggest hope for it in regards to what it becomes known for over the next five to 10 years? Yeah,


Ryan Wyatt  27:58  

I love I love this question. It's actually really simple. You know, we at the end of the day, are a contributing team to a decentralized protocol. And a world where this thing sets out into sale. And it's operating autonomously and independent because it has all the builders on the ecosystem, it has all these developers, it has all the onramps. And anybody can just pick up and start building on it and just be this really independent, fully decentralized protocol will be so cool, because nothing like that has ever existed in the world. And I can't wait to see what that looks like. And I think the day that I don't need to help polygon as a protocol anymore, because all of these things have happened. We'll be like the happiest day ever. So I'm very excited for that future state. And I think it isn't a five to 10 year kind of future state to be honest with you.


Jacquelyn Melinek  28:48  

Oh, maybe we could have this conversation again in five to 10 years.


Ryan Wyatt  28:50  

Yes. Yes. I look forward to


Jacquelyn Melinek  28:52  

that. Yeah. Great. Well, thanks again. That was Ryan Wyatt, president of polygon labs. Brian, thank you so much for coming on chain reaction. And thanks to everyone for listening in. Thank you. We'll be back every other week with interviews with top players in the crypto ecosystem. Catch us on Thursdays for interviews with experts in the web three space. You can keep up with us on Spotify, Apple Music or your favorite pod platform and subscribe to our companion newsletter also called chain reaction. Links to the newsletter and the stories we talked about can be found in our show notes and be sure to follow us at chain underscore reaction on Twitter. Chain Reaction is hosted by myself and produced by Yashad Kulkarni and Maggie Stamets with editing by Cal Bryce Durbin is our Illustrator Alyssa stringer leads audience development and Henry pic of it manages TechCrunch his audio products. Thanks for listening. See you next time.