Transcription Episode 75

Hi everyone and welcome to another episode of Living on Blockchain. Today we are speaking to Tommy. Tommy is the original contributor to PsyOptions.

He was also a part of the team that won the Solana Serum DeFi Hackathon. He brings over 10 years plus of experience in engineering and he’s been building on Solana since the early days. So right now what started as PsyOptions is psyFinance because they are creating more DeFi products to help the end user get into the DeFi space and be a part of this particular revolution.

So I can’t wait for you guys to hear this. Let’s deep dive right in. Hi Tommy, thank you so much for making out the time to speak to me today.

How are you doing? I’m doing great, thanks for having me. It’s my pleasure. So for our listeners, can you tell us a little about your background and how you got into Web3 and as an original contributor to psyFi? Yeah, so I’m an engineer by degree.

I started studying electrical engineering as an electrical engineer and I found out hardware was not really as interesting to me and started switching to software. So I’ve been a software engineer for the last 10 years and I got into Web3 in 2000. I started in 2015.

I started paying attention to the Ethereum ICO, but I was still in college at the time and didn’t really have money so I didn’t participate. But then in late 2016, early 2017, when things started coming back with Bitcoin, Ethereum and a lot of people building on top of Ethereum, I started building some smart contracts in Solidity on top of Ethereum. And that was just more part-time, getting my feet wet.

I still had a full-time job as an engineer in the Web2 space, but I always loved Web3. I was just messing around and participating in hackathons and after winning a hackathon in the Solana ecosystem in 2021, that’s what pulled me full-time into Web3. Wow.

So that’s quite an organic journey that you had there, that you were working as an engineer and then you switched gears a little bit and Web3 fascinated you and you won a hackathon in the Solana ecosystem. Is that how the psyFi platform came into existence? Yeah, that is actually. So my twin brother and I were messing around on just building on top of Solana when they first went to mainnet in summer of 2020, late summer 2020.

And we entered a hackathon in the very first Solana hackathon ever, which was in November of 2020. And we built like an Oracle system, didn’t place there. But shortly after that hackathon, we wanted to automate an options trading strategy in traditional finance, but our brokerage wouldn’t give us API access to our data and our accounts.

And so there was another Solana hackathon coming up and we were like, why don’t we just try building this into the blockchain on Solana? It’ll be a fun project and we’ll have API access built and we’re just building this new options infrastructure. And that was really the genesis behind just building options into the blockchain. And then winning the hackathon is what actually turned it into a full-time job and a company and all that.

We never set out to make money and start a company or launch a token, but one thing led to another, you win a hackathon, investors reach out, other people in the ecosystem reach out and you kind of piece it together from there. Right. Absolutely.

Then it kind of, all of those doors open for you. And at that point, you and your brother started off with Correct. It was originally PsyOptions and, but we started over time, we’ve been building this stuff for over three years now.

And so a lot has changed. We have, we built a bunch of options infrastructure from like American options to cash settled European options. And then options are very complex financial products.

And so we started moving into other areas of the financial system and added a borrow lending platform. And so people could just borrow and lend assets in an over collateralized manner, similar to Aave and whatnot. And so we started getting into other things outside of options.

And so we rebranded from PsyOptions to psyFi because people just always associated with only options. And we wanted to eventually build outside of that. Absolutely.

You wanted to scale, right? That makes sense. So in terms of just sort of the Solana ecosystem, what were the kind of reasons that you were attracted to it? Yeah. I mean, there was just a lot of missing infrastructure.

There still is. So there was not many people building on Solana. I mean, when we originally started, Solana was just this kind of new blockchain that didn’t have any traction, but that like quickly changed within a few months of us like building there.

It was pretty crazy, the trajectory on how many people were building on the ecosystem and how many developers there were. But so we thought we saw a lot of technological advancements with Solana, with the parallelization of transactions and the improved throughput that that provides the blockchain. And so that was one of the key factors that drew us into Solana in the early days.

And then there was other great organizations contributing and building on top of it. And so there was a group building an order book. There was people building automated market makers or AMMs and a bunch of other critical blockchain applications that we saw had success in Ethereum.

And so we saw a lot of these great teams and developers putting resources behind building on Solana. And that’s what drew us in and built more conviction to continue building and make it more than just a side project. Absolutely.

So as of now, if you had to perhaps recommend an ecosystem for a builder to start on with, especially if they’re building in the DeFi space, what would you recommend? Oh, absolutely, Solana. I’ve explored a lot of other ecosystems. Well, I also, it probably depends on what they’re building, too.

I would ask what they’re building. There’s a lot of pros, but there are some cons when you have this kind of monolithic shared resource. And so depending on what you’re building, that might dictate.

But for most applications, the general answer is going to be Solana for me. I’ve explored a bunch of different blockchains and app chains and things like that. But most applications are perfectly like fit into Solana.

Right. As somebody who has, you know, recently there has been a creation of Armark, which is, it’s kind of gaining a lot of attention. Can you explain what that is and how it fits into the broader Solana ecosystem, like from your perspective? Yeah.

So as we built out psyFi and launched the side token and created a DAO and governance infrastructure on chain and contributed to a general ecosystem governance infrastructure, we realized once you launch a token, there’s so much work that has to be done to create the kind of tokenomics or governance or, you know, community participation in the ecosystem or your sub ecosystem, if you will, that it’s a full-time job for a full engineering team and a full product team. And so that was kind of the genesis for Armada. And so Armada’s goal is to take care of everything token related, so teams can focus on their core products.

And we do that with three main verticals. The first is token launching or token generation infrastructure. So a few different auction mechanisms for creating a new token and launching a new token and determining what the fair market price is based on the actual open public market for that.

There’s also airdropping infrastructure. So a lot of teams that are working on building point systems or need help building point systems can leverage that infrastructure to airdrop. And then the second piece is once you have a token, well, the next thing is people need to be able to buy or sell that token and get in and out of your community or increase their level of involvement in that community.

And so then you need on-chain liquidity. So we have, we built a product on top of Orca’s Whirlpool called a Concentrated Liquidity Market Making Vault, where community members can delegate their tokens to an institutional market maker, which will manage the liquidity on-chain. And then we have another program that’s actually, should be coming out on Q1 called Liquidity Bonding that helps increase more liquidity and incentivize more community liquidity on an underlying token.

And so like that second vertical is all about on-chain liquidity. And then, and given Solana’s infrastructure, Solana should be the best place to trade any sort of Solana-based tokens. There’s no reason for centralized exchanges when you have central limit order books and AMMs and all these other price discovery and liquidity mechanisms on-chain.

Right. And then the third piece is tokenomics and governance. And that’s one we’re seeing a lot of interest in right now from, you know, because even if you’ve already launched a token or have liquidity, a lot of people want transparent on-chain tokenomics.

They haven’t invested in DAO infrastructure and things like that. And so we’re seeing a lot of existing teams reach out to us for knowledge and understanding of setting up their own tokenomics and governance infrastructure on-chain. Yeah, that is what I was about to say, actually, you know, as somebody who’s been on the other side as a founder, you know, that this entire token aspect is like a full-time job and you need to monitor and manage so many parts that it can be very, very daunting.

So it’s more props to you guys for creating a platform that can really help founders. Thank you. Yeah, I mean, we’re definitely seeing the traction and, you know, we felt that pain point ourselves.

So, yeah, the more we don’t have Solana teams or just Web3 teams in general burning money, reinventing the wheel, the more efficient, you know, our systems will be, the better the products will be. So are there any plans to, you know, get this product to go beyond the Solana ecosystem into other chains as well? Yeah, we’re definitely evaluating multi-chain play here. But I think there’s a lot of infrastructure that is very technically challenging and it’s not, you know, this would all be stuff that we would have to custom build on each chain we went to.

And so, you know, we can help with the ideal tokenomics and governance like modeling stuff. Or we have a few partners that will help with tokenomics modeling and token launching mechanisms. And then we would help build that out on a case-by-case basis if the opportunity is large enough.

So we are definitely evaluating a multi-chain future here, but we’re just finishing up a few core pieces of Solana infrastructure in Q1 and seeing where that plays out. That makes sense. It’s always sort of sensible to weigh these things out because as you said, you know, you’ll need to create something for every chain from the ground up.

And that itself is a lot of work. So getting the foundation right is important here. Yes, exactly.

So how does Armada contribute to Syfy’s mission of generating sustainable yield for users? So Armada is going to be powering all of Syfy’s actual tokenomics and governance. So Syfy will be dogfooding all of the Armada infrastructure to start. We’re going to be releasing probably by the end of January 2024, releasing some updates on staking and governance for the Syfy DAO and ecosystem.

And then how the actual Armada and Syfy brands and tokenomics models play together, like we’re not sure if Armada is going to have a token or not. We’re just trying to find product market fit and solve these problems before we figure out how all these pieces come together on-chain. So we’re just going to, you know, things are going to change and be very dynamic as we go forward with how these ecosystems play together.

Yeah, absolutely. Like that happens, right? Because the space is so dynamic, things keep changing. You’ll have to see how that kind of plays out.

So is Armada right now open for all users? Like anybody can go and sign up and use the services? Yeah. So there’s a few things that are, you know, it’s a B2B and a B2C approach if you want to take kind of consumer models. So there’s, you know, only, it’s really it makes sense for teams, you know, if they’re launching tokens or people who want to launch tokens to use that token launching infrastructure.

It makes sense for organizations, DAOs or teams for using the tokenomics or governance infrastructure, right? That’s not for just kind of everyday average community users. Those are people who are launching tokens or are big holders of tokens and trying to create tokenomics for their DAO or organization that they are a big part of. But on the liquidity side, that’s where there’s an everyday user component where people could just go to and interact with the pools, deposit assets and, you know, delegate those assets to institutional market makers and provide liquidity.

So there’s going to be, there’s also some liquidity mining infrastructure to that on-chain like that on-chain liquidity component. And so we’ll see a lot more. We’re just still in a very early phase working with new, onboarding new market makers and improving that infrastructure before we do a lot more consumer facing marketing.

Okay. Yeah, that makes sense. I would assume that because primarily at its essence, this is something that will be very, very attractive for the founders and to be more of a B2B product.

But obviously the liquidity mining aspect is consumer driven and it would make sense to market it to consumers. Now, because right now we are, you know, in the middle of, not middle, perhaps the end of this particular bear run that we’ve had in the, you know, there’s this particular liquidity mining aspect of your product. Do you reckon that, you know, you will be pulling out this product and marketing it more aggressively in the bull market? Oh, definitely.

I think it makes a lot more sense. Right. There’s a, there’s a few other like strategies like that we’ve built in and haven’t fully released yet that makes sense in the bull market.

There’s a few, there’s a few liquidity mining like pieces that makes more sense in the bull market too. So it’s just, yeah, without a doubt, things will be more aggressively marketed in the, in the bull market. I think we’re also seeing a lot of Solana teams are more interested in launching tokens.

So we really see the teams as this big top of the funnel participant in our ecosystem where we’re delivering this infrastructure to these teams. And they’re also, you know, helping market these products to their community because it ultimately benefits the entire ecosystem, Armada, their community and Solana in general. Right.

Absolutely. So can you tell me a little more about, you know, the kind of milestones that Syfy has seen, because, you know, you’ve grown, as you mentioned, you’ve been using it for the last, you’ve been building on it, sorry, for the last three years or so. So since it’s early days, it has grown quite a bit.

What are the kind of bigger milestones or achievements that you’re particularly, you know, proud of, fond of that your team has achieved? Yeah. I mean, the biggest one is in the last bull market, we hit over $100 million in TDL on just options. Yeah.

So that was a big one. But then, you know, that was in a low interest rate environment. And so this bull market is slightly different.

And where we have interest rates that, you know, the highest they’ve been in the last so many years, the risk reward profile for people looking for volatility based yield has changed given this risk free rate, or pretty much risk free rate of return. And so that’s kind of why we’ve expanded outside of just, just option selling vaults and short volatility products, or, and we’ve gone into the bar lending and have built a new options AMM. So people can run more robust strategies that fit their needs.

And, and so I’m really excited about some of the work that our team, our partner team in Singapore has been doing on an options AMM called SDX. And, you know, that’s going to play, it’s using the psy-fi infrastructure and is going to play a role in the ecosystem. So there’s definitely a lot of stuff that we’ve been building over the last 10 months with Armada, SDX and psy-fi that will be coming, you know, full circle, hopefully in the next quarter or two.

Wow, that sounds brilliant. Absolutely. So, you know, in terms of just what is perhaps the next big milestones you guys are looking forward to, that that is something that I would be very interested in knowing for psy-fi as well as for Armada.

Yeah, so for psy-fi, I mean, for the biggest one that I’m excited is, it’s all this governance infrastructure and work. So for the longest time in the Solana ecosystem, you’ve had to make a decision, do I stake my tokens or do I participate in governance? There’s been no way to participate in governance and get staking rewards. And so we’re pushing an update by the end of this month for staking and governance with the psy-fi ecosystem.

So that one’s been a lot of planning and there’s just so much work. Right. So in terms of, you know, the bigger milestones you’ve mentioned, given your, you know, the niche that you’re building in, basically it’s automation of trading strategies, which is a notable feature in psy-fi.

How is it streamlining the user experience? And, you know, if you could tell us a little more about the open source financial tools that you guys are building so that the listeners can get an overview of these products and they would perhaps go on and try to use them. If you could tell us a little about that, that would be wonderful. Yeah.

So, I mean, let’s just start with options. I mean, they’re extremely complex financial products, right? So a call option for those who don’t know in the simplest terms is if you buy a call option, it’s giving you the right, but not the obligation to buy a asset at a specified price at or before for an American style option, a specific expiration date. And so, and then selling an option is basically underwriting and locking up if you’re collateralizing and locking up those assets and selling that option or that right, but not obligation to someone else in return for some premium.

And so these, you know, it’s a very complex product for those who have never really messed with options. And so the psy-fi strategies will automate selling options, whether it’s selling calls, selling buts and vertical spreads and different combinations of one or two options to give different risk and reward profiles and different amounts of leverage. And it will, you know, create that two-sided marketplace for buying and selling and running those automated strategies.

So, you know, they’re very complex products. And so for those who don’t know how to use them, these automated strategies allow users to kind of just deposit assets and participate in a regularly running strategy without rolling or managing those positions themselves, without evaluating, you know, the volatility of an underlying asset. Yeah, exactly.

Determining whether, what, you know, what delta their option should be and all these other complex metrics that go into determining, well, what should I price this at? How, how, what should the strike price be? When should I roll it, et cetera? Yeah. You know, you keep mentioning, obviously, options are complicated as a product and not everybody would perhaps be comfortable using them. Do you also create like educational materials so that people can get to know how to perhaps get in this game? Yeah, we have education materials on the actual, like strategies in the, on the website on as well as the docs, which are And then the other, like, if you’re just trying to understand options or, you know, really develop an understanding of these more complex financial products, Robinhood has an incredible options knowledge center.

And so we kind of tend to point people there. They, you know, they were a big part of the options craze a couple of years ago. And, you know, they, they taught a lot of people and a lot of people traded their first options on Robinhood.

So their material is great. Absolutely. I think Robinhood does have one of the more comprehensive educational material and options.

And if somebody is perhaps looking to get into this game, I would also highly recommend that, you know, you go check out that material before you get your hands dirty, because like Tommy mentioned, it can be a very, very complicated tool. And for the unworth, especially then, you know, it’s, it’s better to make sure that, you know, you know, what you’re getting into, because this is ultimately your hard earned money that is at stake. What, what kind of considerations go into perhaps creating something that is user friendly, you know, when, when it comes to these refi products, this is one of the complaints that we hear from people all the time that, you know, it, these products are just complicated to use.

And even just, just, just the experience itself is, is very complicated. So how, how have you been able to perhaps make this a little more approachable? Yeah, I mean, if you look at, and it’s hard to look at right now, but where we originally started with, and these trading of these options, we realized it was extremely hard, not just from a Web3 perspective, but a general financial perspective. Very hard for users to understand the product when they’re given all these different decisions that they need to make.

And so that’s where kind of abstracting the complexity of the product of Web3 and of the financial product is, you know, pretty important and is what creates that accessibility. And then those more sophisticated, you know, giving the tools to the more sophisticated users to have the flexibility to create their own structures is also very important. But I think that’s where we’ve seen a lot of time spent is just abstracting the complexities away from the financial product itself as well.

There’s always going to be barriers to entry on Web3 with on and off ramps and, you know, from, from a user starting from scratch, that’s, that’s definitely hard, but there’s a lot of other teams and groups working on that education. Absolutely. So, you know, now, given your focus on protocol development, let’s like, take a more macro view.

And could you share some perhaps insights into the Solana ecosystem, like building of the Solana ecosystem? Do you see any unique advantages or unique challenges, perhaps, while working on this and working on the ecosystem as a whole? Hmm. Are you asking relative to other ecosystems or just in general? You know, relative to other ecosystems, because you mentioned that, you know, you’ve tried in your hand with other ecosystems as well. Yeah.

I think if you asked me this two months ago, I probably would give you a different response. Two months ago, you know, Solana was kind of everyone was always asking, why are you building on Solana? Like if we were recording this podcast two months ago, I guarantee you would have been like, are you still building on Solana? Why? Probably. Yeah.

But now that we’re recording, you know, January 4th after, you know, a crazy five times or six times like price change. And there’s just very clear, clearly more people coming into this ecosystem when you compare the, you know, actually, I just read yesterday that Solana surpassed Ethereum for number of Google searches and Google search trend. So I think like now, the answer now is more of just the disadvantage would be competition.

As we go into this bull market again, there’s going to be lots of people that are forking different open source protocols and trying to compete. But I think those larger groups that have been building for a few years and have good ecosystem partnerships are, you know, it’s going to be a lot harder to overtake this time around. But so I think, yeah, I think there’s not a lot of cons right now with Solana.

I think a lot there’s some big partnerships and some institutions coming in. That’s why I think Solana, you know, if you’re looking for a place to build Solana still my go-to answer. Right.

So in terms of, again, what is, okay, let’s move to the community aspect of things, because, you know, you’re building on both the sides, you’re building for an ecosystem, you’re also building a platform, you’re building for B2B as well as B2C. So a lot of builders that get started off in Web3, they’re not able to understand the craze behind the community aspect, which is so big in Web3. And, you know, they find it difficult to get started with the community and perhaps make it engaging and, you know, make it the one that is involved with the product itself.

What would be your advice to these founders and how do you make a good community? Yeah, honestly, I gotta be transparent and say community is my weakest, you know, my weakest skill set. I am a technical founder and, you know, have tried to learn a lot more about community management and growing the community and getting an engaged community. And I would say we’re still trying to figure it out from our organization standpoint.

I think a lot of people want, you want to get involved, they need clarity on what they’re getting involved in. So you need a good roadmap. You need, you know, good documentation.

And then you need just clear instructions on how people can get involved and how they should get involved. But again, like that’s a lot easier said than done. But it’s really just about clarity and transparency, what you’re looking for in the community.

You’re going to get a lot of people in the community that promise to help out and want to help out. And then, you know, when push comes to shove, they don’t do anything or they leave. So especially in the bull market, you’ll get a lot of noise in the community.

Absolutely. I think, you know, in the bear run or where we are right now in the market, there will be folks who join, but, you know, the challenge is how do you engage and make the community a highly engaged one? That becomes a bit of a challenge as well, because a lot of the perception that the users come with as well as founders, financial incentive is very big, right? In growing a community, which is not perhaps the most sustainable way to have like a engaged community. Yeah.

Yeah. It’s a tough balance. Yeah.

It has to be. It’s a thin rope that, you know, you need to perhaps balance on. And I think creating a community and having an engaged community, even though it’s very, very important, but it can be troublesome getting to a point where the community is actually actively contributing in a positive manner to your project.

Yeah. And it can be distracting if you’re spending a lot of time on community and they’re not really helping the platform or helping the grow the community or whatever the goals are. Then it’s actually just becomes a waste of time.

And I remember in the bull market of 2021, when we were first getting started, I made the assumption that, you know, this needed to be very decentralized and community is going to be, you know, contributing in meaningful ways, whether that’s to code, to marketing, to whatever. Yeah. In an ideal world, it would be, but that’s just not how it plays out in the real world.

Yeah. It’s just not the case. And it just took so much time away from product and engineering and other aspects of the organization that need to come first before community.

And so that’s where that, you know, taking the time to put together the roadmap from a product perspective and the documentation from a community perspective of where they can contribute and how, and really thinking through what is the purpose of this organization? What is the purpose of this community is extremely important because it’s going to be different. Like the community for a meme token is very different for a community of a complex DeFi or, you know, financial product. Yeah, absolutely.

I think that that is very, very true. Two of us have not been spoken, depending on the kind of project you have, your community will look very, very different. And I’m so glad that, you know, you were honest here that at times the community can be distracting and that itself, you know, it cannot be the highest priority.

The product has to be the highest priority. You get something that works and then automatically, I think a lot of things get sorted. I totally agree.

So how do you, you know, you’ve mentioned that, okay, community building perhaps is not your strongest suit and you have other folks in the team who would perhaps be doing that, but are there any active, you know, initiatives that you guys have taken to engage with the community or to get community feedback? Right now we’re doing a lot more like ecosystem partnerships with like the B2B side and, and a lot more like one-on-one like outreach for traders and whales and things like that. I think we see a lot of, if you get good flow from institutions, from whales, from teams and good support from those groups, the initial community tends to follow. And so I think we’re spending more time doing, starting to ramp up like Twitter spaces again.

And we’ve, you know, through the bear and now this potential pull, we’re, you know, spending more time doing one-on-one BD and outreach, working with family offices or things, you know, groups like that because if you build a product for them, you can make it easy to understand, you know, you can slowly start getting retail participation as well. Once they see, you know, institutions or family offices putting seven, eight figures into a product, then there’s trust built in there and whatnot. So we’ve been spending a lot more time on, on those, those one-on-ones and that’s our, that’s our take right now.

And that’s, that is, that is a good way to do about it. I think, as you’ve said, you know, then the community follows when it sees all these positive signals. So are there any collaborations or partnerships that you’ve talked about B2B partners that you are particularly excited about? Yeah, actually a few.

We’re, Bonk announced this like a month ago that Armada is going to be powering their tokenomics and governance. And so we’ve been doing some alpha testing with them that should be launched sometime in the next month or so, if not sooner. We are working with another group that is a big Solana player that doesn’t have a token, wants to launch a token, unfortunately signed some NDAs and, you know, probably can’t really name drop them at the moment.

But there’s a, there’s a bunch of groups. I mean, there’s a few groups that we’re working with on the tokenomics and governance side that are existing blue chips that are doing a lot more tokenomics and governance stuff. There’s Hero Network, Pepperdex, Flowmatic, Metaplex is discussing revamping some of their governance infrastructure.

So there’s a, there’s a lot of exciting partnerships coming out in Q1. Wow, brilliant. That is, that is again, a very positive signal.

And I think, like you mentioned, the community follows when there are positive signals around the product and the platform, it just creates a layer of credibility and additional layer. And that always helps. Yes, exactly.

So because you’ve been working in DeFi for some time, what do you think is going to be the next big thing, according to you in the DeFi space? That is a great question. I think we’re going to see a lot more, I mean, for the Solana ecosystem specifically, we’re going to see a lot more token launches, but that’s not going to be the big product. I think the big thing that we’re seeing is more transparency of tokenomics and governance.

A lot of early governance infrastructure, right? You have these tokens that are participating in this community, but what does the token actually get you? How decentralized is this community? And things like that, right? So what are you actually controlling? What is the community actually controlling versus a core team or contributing members? So I think, and this is obviously why we’ve spent so much time on Armada, but I think we made the bet 11 months ago that a lot of people are going to want transparent governance and transparent tokenomics and have these things be all on chain and autonomous where there’s not central parties that are actually controlling and dictating what happens in an organization or community. Right. So in terms of the market at large on a macro level, what are the niches apart from DeFi, do you think that would do really well in the next upcoming bull market? That is a great question.

I think I like playing video games, so I’m a gamer, but I, you know, in the last bull market, I would have said gaming and whatnot and blockchain backed gaming. But I think we’re realizing that they’re not, the games need to be fun first and foremost. And there’s just, you know, to build a quality game, it’s a lot longer of a development cycle.

And so I think that’s been kind of a letdown and kind of called that one wrong. But so I’m not going to say gaming this time around. I really think like cross-border payments and more infrastructure that underpins not just, you know, decentralized finance or like, but just kind of traditional finance and just the global economy.

I think that’s still going to be a big piece. I mean, we see that in a high interest rate environment, a low interest rate environment, that stuff is always extremely useful and vital. I mean, look at Visa talking to Solana and, you know, I’m not sure where the latest update on that is, but if they’re going to be using some of Solana’s infrastructure, you know, that’s a big nod to payments and transfers.

So cross-border payments and infrastructure, these are the niches you feel would do splendidly well in the next full run. Yes. Okay.

So now coming to a few fun questions before we wrap this up, actually, you know, the one that I had about getting a sneak peek into your development space is something that I would still ask you perhaps, you know, even though you answered in parts, what is like a unique feature of the way your team or you approach features and development? Like how do you decide which feature should go first? That’s a great question. We focus a lot more on like customer or consumer or user requested features. So I’ll have, you know, let’s just give an example.

Like I have an idea of, hey, I really want this. I think I want this feature. I think people would want this feature.

I would use this feature occasionally, but I think users would, but then some of the team will be like, okay, that’s just you. Let’s put it on the board, open up a ticket for it, but then let’s either go and ask people about it if we really feel that strongly or wait until someone else asks about it. And so we’ve had a few times where we have these hypotheses about a feature, and then eventually a month, month and a half later, a week, whatever, someone asks for it.

And then we’re like, okay, as long as one, you know, especially in the B2B side, if one person’s asking for it and they’re an early adopter, then like it’s, you’re going to jump the priority on that ticket. That becomes the greatest green signal, right? Exactly. Should be working on that.

Yeah. But so that’s, since we’ve been, you know, we have, we’ve been in the space a while and we have connections and dialogues with customers or users, you know, that’s how we do it. And I think that’s why it’s extremely important to focus on the one-on-one conversations.

You know, if you have a broad community in a discord or a telegram and you know, it’s pretty hard to filter out the noise and get product feedback. A lot of those people might not be just like providing product feedback. Some are, it really depends on the type of community and the member and whatnot.

But that’s why those one-on-one conversations are extremely important. And you can’t really replace those. Absolutely.

I totally agree. So now to another, you know, hypothetical question. If you had to put in three concepts or three ideas in a time capsule to do with Web3 for the future generations to find, or perhaps to be open in the next decade, which will be the three ideas or concepts that you’ll put in that time capsule that you feel will stand the test of time? Oh man.

I mean, one, one that’s not even like, it’s more of a concept. It’s just about how crypto and just DeFi as well as governance, they are all these extremely public and fast paced experiments of bigger systems that we have in our everyday life. And so being able to condense the understanding and knowledge of, you know, how, how governance works and relating that to governance in a local, you know, a local domicile, or even in a large, you know, a country or something like that and relating governance to, to how that works and, and talking about currencies and what happens when an organization issues a currency and relating that to, you know, the Fed and the central bank and, you know, the United States dollar at being the global reserve currency and, you know, how that affects the economy and how crypto is just such a, a public and fast paced arena for, for learning and understanding these things.

And, you know, things that have learned, you know, took a long time, you know, hundreds of years to learn and develop in, in the traditional space. I think just you learn them very quickly when you just dive into crypto and, and whatnot. And so I don’t know how to put that into a capsule, but condensing that knowledge, I mean, it’s been pretty valuable and would stand the test of time because there’s a lot of things that crypto has done, Web3 has done, that, where mistakes were made.

And those mistakes were made in traditional finance a while ago, but in crypto, it’s a much more public arena. So a lot more people are, are seeing and learning that. And then thinking about the next iteration and how to improve on those.

So it’s, I don’t know, that’s, that’s what I love about crypto really is just the, the fast paced nature, how open it is and how everyone can learn, you know, and think critically to improve systems and infrastructure. Yeah. We’ll be still so early, right? There is so much to be done and the beauty of the space is that you have to continuously evolve and grow and adapt because there are so many new ideas and everybody all over the world is kind of involved in this industry.

And that is what makes it, I think the most, perhaps exciting industry to be in at the moment. Yeah, I totally agree. So now, you know, we kind of have to wrap up and, but I won’t let you go without asking you this particular question.

This is something I ask everybody who comes on the show. You’ve been an electrical engineer and, you know, you were in the Web2 space, you moved to the Web3 space after seeing the allure of the technology. If you, you know, come across somebody and you had to give advice to someone who’s perhaps dealing with the same dilemma, what would be your advice to them to start living on blockchain? Just jump in, you know, you don’t have to, you don’t have to make a drastic change.

You know, I started just part-time tinkering, you know, and when I say jump in, I don’t mean quit your job and jump in. I mean, just start reading up on it, start developing on it, just come up with a project and hack around. You know, I worked a full-time job while building the original PsyOptions and entering hackathons and all that kind of stuff.

And so it was just part-time for fun. And then you never know where it’s going to take you. So, you know, the advice is just dive in and get started and hack around.

Absolutely. I think that’s good advice. I feel like this is something that I keep telling people as well, that if, you know, if you’re curious, go ahead and do a little bit of reading up, learn a little about it, but don’t just get caught in the learning and, you know, the reading.

You’ll have to actively get your hands dirty and tinker with the technology a little bit for you to really make anything off it. Because again, because the space is very dynamic, there is innumerable stuff that you can read and imbibe and concepts that you can learn. And every day there is a new thing.

Yeah, exactly. So, you know, and learn by doing, right? Don’t get caught in just learning, but learn a little bit, but do a little bit. Yeah, absolutely.

That’s just good advice. Great advice. Okay.

So thank you so much, Tommy, for taking out the time to speak to me. Before we wrap this up, any parting thoughts, anything that you would like our listeners to know? Check out the Solana ecosystem, check out We have a lot of interesting stuff coming out on the on-chain piece for different members of different communities and whatnot. So a lot of exciting stuff.

Absolutely. I think our listeners will be very interested in checking out psy-Fi, Armada, as well as the Solana ecosystem as a whole. All the best, Tommy.

Thank you so much for taking the time to speak to me today. Thanks so much for having me.

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