Transcription Episode 66

Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of Living on Blockchain. Today we are speaking to Ramon. He’s the co-founder of Kinto.

Kinto is a KYC L2 and he had previously founded Babylon Finance, a DeFi protocol that did really well in the bull run. Before that he’s worked at the YC building products, helping founders. He’s also built games and applications for platforms like Moz, Google, Zynga and he had also founded a platform called NetGimmicks, a user-generated trivia platform that saw more than 100k MOU.

So a little bit more about Kinto when we hear decentralization and something that is KYC, it seems a little at odds with each other. But Ramon explained this in a very beautiful manner and told us a lot more about his vision for Kinto and how it wants to offer non-custodial, transparent, permissionless financial services to the end user. So I’m really excited for you to hear this one.

Let’s deep dive right in. Hi Ramon, thank you so much for taking out the time to speak to me today. How are you doing? Doing great, thank you for having me.

It’s my absolute pleasure to have you on the show. Can you tell us a little about your background and how you got into Web3? Thank you, yeah. I’ll try to make it as quick as possible because I’ve been doing so many things in the last decade.

My background is as a computer engineer. 14 years ago I moved from Europe to the US, studied a master’s and then created a gaming company. This was when Facebook and games like FarmBeat were really popular.

So I created a game in the Spanish social network and I got hired by Zynga and then I worked there in the valley for a couple of years in the game studio. Then I continued working in the valley for different companies like Google, I also have my own consulting company and eventually I found myself at Y Combinator. That is where I work with Sam, that is now very popular because he’s the founder of OpenAI and he’s in the news everywhere lately and this was a great experience as well.

This was around 2016 but since that time I couldn’t think of anything else besides crypto. A lot of things led me to crypto, for example one of the angles that led me to crypto was when I was in Zynga, Facebook changed the way the monetization worked and basically destroyed Zynga’s revenue because the timeline worked in a different way and then the revenue plummeted overnight and then that led you to understand that if you are building on top of a platform that is owned by a company then you don’t control your future. So the idea of building in a credibly neutral and open platform is really important.

That is also how the internet started, you could create any website without asking anyone and make it available for everyone in the world and crypto offers the same potential. That is absolutely true, that is something that I think a lot of people who have worked in the early days of the internet boom, like the second wave perhaps, they seem to resonate with that now it’s very difficult to actually really put what you are saying or you’re thinking online and earlier that was not the case and decentralization kind of solves that. Exactly, unfortunately the internet evolved in a way that websites were really simple, really powerful but then eventually people wanted to make these applications more powerful and in order to store data then these companies like Google, Facebook became like these giants that are hosting all the users data and then become bigger and bigger and then all the applications depend on the data that is living on those data centers.

But crypto I think is a powerful counter trend that is gonna again be helpful in breaking and keeping these giant corporations in check and then it’s gonna give everyone every user power to control their data. Yeah that is very important and it’s going to become even more important I think moving forward and this is something which is very difficult like if you get it you get it otherwise there are people who perhaps for them this is not really a very high priority and I would actually come to that because that is something very interesting when you know you’re starting or you’re trying to wear off in a technology where the value proposition perhaps is not always very clear to the end user how do you you know make it more clear but before that you know if you could tell us a little about Kinto and what inspired you to create the first KYC, the L2 chain. Yeah as I was mentioning one of the ideas that brought me to crypto is this idea of a developer building an open platform.

The other idea that is what a lot of people used to get into crypto was the idea of money that is independent of the state and that is independent of central governments not because we want to live on a world without them but just in case they don’t behave properly you have a chance for example Argentina has been suffering 100% hyperinflation for the last decade every year constantly and the citizens there don’t have a choice so having that freedom is one of the other avenues that brought me to crypto and in the end I see it as a really powerful wave that can create a lot of wealth for the world the same way startups help create a lot of value for the world I see crypto as a world as a way of democratizing access to finance and financial investments. Before starting Kinto I actually created a DeFi protocol on Ethereum that was called Babylon Finance that helped users kind of invest with their friends for example you could create an investment club and you could create this investment club and ask your friends to each put 500 dollars and then invest together in something on chain for example let’s buy Ethereum together or let’s buy this token or let’s lend money in this lending protocol and then borrow it and use it to generate profits for everyone. It was going quite well with the latest cycle in crypto we got to more than 50 millions in deposits but then another protocol in the ecosystem at the same time the terror exploded the three arrows capital June 2021 I believe it was then another protocol got hacked in the ecosystem and then because some of our users in Babylon decided to invest in this other protocol five million so you suffered as well right okay and then that problem created kind of like a bank run on the rest of our deposits and then we went from 50 million to five eventually all the money was recovered so we gave all the money to our users but it kind of destroyed our growth and made it really clear that no matter what are the promises of crypto you know decentralization efficiency security users are not going to care if they’re losing their their wealth left and right because of a smart contract hacks or because of a scam because of racks so that’s the thing that needs to be really buttoned up and needs to come first before offering the unique value prop of crypto so that’s why I’m building Kinto now with security at the forefront to make sure it matches the security of track five and then it can deliver at the next in the things that crypto is really good at like providing access 24 7 providing greater efficiency and reduced cost wow okay that’s brilliant like you know you saw a problem and you set out to solve that particular problem and I think this is a very pertinent problem to solve in this day and age especially I know of so many good founders who are you know built a d5 protocol and uh you know a product that worked really well in the bull market and then because of unfortunately because of hacks that were not even their own uh you know they had to really pull down the shutters on it and uh you know mine is a very similar story as well like we built a platform called Unifarm a group farming and staking protocol and uh it was the first of its kind where you stake one and you you know receive the token uh of multiple uh native tokens that are there in the same pool and uh you know we kind of had a similar trajectory it did well and then because of all of these other external hacks uh which were not our own it kind of did have a negative impact on us as well yeah and it’s something that comes with the territory when you are working on on a new technology you know there is a lot of volatility there is a lot of innovation but at the same time the technology needs years to mature and I think hopefully crypto is going to get there in the next few years because now it has been a decade since bitcoin appear and then ethereum a few years and then the thing is getting slowly better and soon will be able to match everything that traffic can do better and then solve all these pain points right absolutely I do believe that there is some more maturity in the market now after all of these cycles and uh hopefully the repercussions will not be so far reaching when you know there is some isolated incident happening uh somewhere else in this space now you know you’ve mentioned how uh learnings from Babylon Finance basically inspired you to create Kinto uh can you tell us a little about uh you know Kinto how how is it different uh from other L2 solutions especially in terms of its focus on providing a safe and ensured access to financial services which is usually a problem that is feared by a lot of users who are just delving into this space yeah um our main difference between Kinto and other L2s is that we have KYC at the chain level and what that means is that before being able to send a transaction every single user needs to go through KYC then I understand you know I’m a crypto native and as soon as I tell this line then everyone automatically gets like an allergic reaction because it’s like oh that’s not the crypto way this is decentralized that’s not the way but we’re we’re doing this in in a decentralized way meaning that we are giving users the chance and uh to choose which KYC provider they want to use and they also can choose which providers are available in the network so let me explain the first time you you visit Kinto you will be able to pick a KYC provider that you trust for example think about providers like Stripe or Plaid or Synapse and then you go through the KYC process then anytime you visit a different application on any recent application on Kinto you can reuse that KYC and then if that application requires some private information from you like your date of birth the application will ask you and you and only you can sign a signature and give it to that application that then they will use to to get your date of birth so the user is always in control we Kinto never store any PII and we give you the choice of which KYC provider do you trust to store your information and you will always have to give your information give permission similar to how Facebook permissions pop-up work that is like oh I I want to give this or I don’t want to give that and so on but you the user is always in charge all right okay so basically because the user is in charge you’re the argument you know for having no KYC or you know providing a synonymous environment for web3 natives that gets taken care of is that what you’re okay all right yeah exactly and also yeah because many people you know in crypto they want they want to sacrifice a growth in terms of purity you know because they they say oh any centralization is bad but the problem is like I think a long-term regulations and governments will catch up to the technology um maybe 10 years from now we won’t need KYC because signal knowledge proves you will be able to prove that you’re a citizen of the US citizen of the UK citizen of India whatever without having to actually give them a picture of your passport but until the regulation and until the governments are able to catch up on the technology if we want to onboard all these institutions today and we want to grow the pie of crypto we want to create as much value as possible today then we need to give a way for financial institutions and regulations to jump onto public blockchains because what we don’t want is we don’t want these people to create CBDCs we don’t want them to create these private blockchains by JP Morgan and these institutions because we want them to we want to onboard them onto public networks and Kinto is still settled on Ethereum it has all the other settlement guarantees of Ethereum as a public blockchain and we in Kinto is still going to be governed by a by its users and it’s still decentralized and it’s still permissionless but it has that rule that every user that wants to enter the network needs to go through KYC.

All right okay awesome uh so right now uh your layer 2 solution is open for developers as well as users? um correct we haven’t launched yet but developers can start working on it and actually this week we’re releasing our launch program. Wow congratulations. Thank you it’s going to start on November 27th and users are going to be able to start KYCing onto the network then they will be able to create their smart contract wallet that is another of our differences with other L2s because we’re gonna we’re gonna allow users to not have to install metamask we’re gonna allow users to not have to worry about gas and using this new technology that is called account abstraction we’re gonna be able to offer users the holy grail of crypto that is non-custodial wallets meaning that the user is the only one that has access to his funds but doesn’t need to worry about all the intricacies of private keys, gas, you know metamask browser extensions and so on.

Wow brilliant so uh you know initially obviously you know you’re working on an L2 solution uh there is a bit of a chicken and egg problem right how do you reach out to these users and how do you get these applications that will drive in the users how are you trying to solve it? Yeah the niche that we’re focusing on and that we found success at onboarding is RWA protocols. RWA protocols so far have had a hard time growing you know protocols like Centrifuge, Truefire, Goldfinch because each one of these protocols on mainnet they have to create their own KYC service because usually these assets can only be accessed by a certain specific kind of users you know in a specific jurisdiction or whether they’re accredited etc etc and they cannot be composed with other assets because because they have different requirements you know again one one asset may only be available to US customers or one may be available only to Europe etc. The cool thing about Kinto is like once you’re inside all all the assets and all the tokens can be composed with all all the other assets that belong to the same universe and they are all already in a KYC environment so then it’s much easier for them to access composability because composability is in the end what makes DeFi DeFi you know being able to use access assets as collateral then being able to borrow from them and then the other major headwind for RWA protocols was that institutions were not comfortable deploying capital on mainnet because for example a liquid hedge fund that is risky may want to do things on chain but an institution that has more strict counterparty requirements is afraid to lend the money on Aave because it doesn’t know which other people are in that pool and then they are not comfortable taking that risk.

Again in our chain everyone absolutely everyone is going to be KYC and we’re also going to run a 24-7 AML on everyone so institutions can be assured that if they don’t want to take counterparty risk that they are not going to. Right wow wonderful okay so you know now that kind of brings me to my next question you are built on top of obviously the Ethereum network using the OP stack can you elaborate a little bit more about the OP stack and how it enhances windows capability? Yeah great question actually it’s really timely because just yesterday we announced that we’re switching from the OP stack to Arbitrum and wow yeah they are both optimistic rollups meaning that they use a similar technology for the product tools that is different than the CK layer tools and we have switched from Optimism to to Arbitrum basically because their tech is a little bit more advanced their developer support is really really really fast and really really great it has been a pleasure working with them and then Arbitrum has also released this feature where as an L2 you don’t need to publish empty blocks so kind of makes your settlement costs cheaper instead of having to post every second a new transaction on mainnet you only need to do that when there are transactions that and when your chain is starting this is important because you will be able to save quite a bit of Ethereum money. Yeah yeah okay okay wonderful that is great so you know you’ve made this switch obviously very consciously and so as against if you had to give somebody advice building on Ethereum versus on Arbitrum what would what would you say to them? And this is from the point of view of a developer of an application or a developer of a chain.

In terms of you know if you’re building an application on top of any of these chains which one would you recommend? Yeah I think it’s a good question and it depends first on the community you know depends on the kind of application that you want to create. For example Arbitrum is great for applications that are a bit more on the degen side and a bit more crypto purities you know things like EMS tend to do really well on Arbitrum because there is a lot of community and a lot of hardcore crypto users that are using it every day. Then if you want the highest security you should go to Ethereum mainnet and depending on your use case if your use case requires really few transactions but really high security then you should go to to Ethereum mainnet.

There is a reason why for example Lido ST is on mainnet or Aave and Compound they are still the biggest protocols in Ethereum and they’re still live on mainnet. That said what L2s allow they allow a lot more experimentation so for example games or user applications like FriendTech that was built on base they are now possible because all these L2s allow to settle a lot more transactions per second and much cheaper. So when you can send 10x more transactions 100x more transactions then a lot more different use become available and Solana is also doing a lot of a lot of these use cases in terms of gaming as well.

So I think that it’s gonna finally become doable for developers to create applications that are able to transact value in seconds and still non-constant because that’s the main problem of the internet that the internet you could then send value natively and that’s why all these companies like Stripe appeared to fill that gap or PayPal many years ago. But now thanks to crypto you can send value natively in seconds and without having to trust intermediaries. So in the end that’s the new thing of crypto and that unlocks a lot of things from payments in gaming being able to own your game items, NFTs, artists, then also of course investment and in Kindle we 100% focus on financial investments and there is a lot there from commodities to real world assets.

Right now everyone wants treasuries, everyone wants the 5% deal that you can access in money market funds and that’s going to be one of our launch products so that’s going to be also another another use case. But those use cases, some of these use cases require regulation and require a strict counterparty AML requirements for the use cases that require this strict compliance requirements. We provide all these tools for developers so they can develop them on Kindle.

Okay this is very very interesting. You know you describe Kindle as basically non-custodial, transparent, permissionless and governed by the community. So as you know somebody who’s just naturally curious about Web3 and how it works, I would love to understand how does this design contribute to security and trustworthiness of the platform especially because there are financial services that are on the platform or going to be on the platform.

Yeah the best way to think about it is that we’re gonna we have from the start we have the same security guarantees of Ethereum, Arbitrum or basically the same as Arbitrum or Optimism as an Ethereum product. Then because every user has to go through KYC, imagine if you are a hacker and you want to hack one protocol that is on Kindle. Usually when you want to hack a protocol you need to send transactions from one or two or three different accounts.

In this case in Kindle you will first need to steal identities for all the accounts that you need. You will need to do that and it’s something that you don’t need to do right now in any other chain. And then after you do that you need to execute the hack and then you need to do all this before any of our partners detect that your identity that one of those identities have been stolen.

Because the moment we detect that, that user will be frozen on Kindle. And the moment also that we detect the hack because we are also working with on-chain monitoring and analysis partners like Chain Analysis and HyperNative. And the moment we detect any hack, governance can freeze the attacker.

So in this case we basically provide the same security as an airport because first the way you need to provide your passport, your user ID to be able to come onto the network. And then so in order to do a successful smart contract hack you need to create the hack. That is really difficult to do and security is getting better because of the obvious, because of the maturity of the ecosystem, because of the systems that are in place now.

And then you also need to steal a real identity to make or several of them to make it happen. And some assets you know may only be available to accredited investors in the US. So it’s not only that you need to steal an identity, you need to steal the identities of accredited investors in this case to be able to hack a protocol that is only served to accredited investors in the US.

Does that make sense? Yeah, I think it does. That is a wonderful way to sort of put it. If you had to explain the security aspect or what Kinto does to say a five-year-old, how would you do it in a sentence or two? Yeah, the best, the five-year-old is, but the way I would put it is that we are creating a new platform for financial applications in the future.

So we can replace the banks and all the institutions that deal with money and are able to help citizens save money, invest money, access money, send it to other people. And that right now in the traditional financial system, they are really, really old because they are like 70, 80 years old, mostly written in COBOL. And they are only available Monday to Friday, they’re only available nine to five.

So we’re going to, we’re creating this new infrastructure that is going to be available 24 seven. It’s going to be a lot cheaper. It’s going to be more secure.

And it’s basically going to help you access your money faster, send it to other people faster, and being able to invest it, to grow it faster as well. Okay. All right.

I think that’s a great way to put it and a very easy way to explain perhaps to somebody who’s starting off or who’s not that technically sound. Can you tell me, are you still working on a decentralized asset management protocol as well? Is it separate from Kinto in any way? It was separate, but I closed it last year once, one year and a half ago, Babylon Finance was closed. But again, it was also one of the only protocols that were closed and all the money was returned to token holders because I didn’t want to keep the token zombie and just stay there forever.

So the treasury of the protocol was shut down and all the value remaining was split to token holders. But asset management is still an area that I think is going to be really, really big in crypto. But I think it’s still early because asset management requires the industry and the assets to be mature enough that they can be composed.

Being able to create indexes. Vanguard was really successful creating indexes for funds and assets because all the assets were already really, really mature in crypto. It’s still a bit early.

And most users in crypto right now are DGNs and they want to use the things themselves. So they don’t want to give money to other managers. But soon when people like my mother, when people like my grandpa get on chain, then they are not going to want to do these things themselves.

And once they are on chain, they will require services of money managers, they will require services of people that know how to invest, and then they will delegate their investment decisions. And that’s where asset management protocols will come in. Right.

Yeah, wonderful. So before, Kintu, you’ve had a lot of experience and you’d also worked on a user-generated trivia platform. How do you see the evolution of user-generated content and platforms influencing the development of decentralized finance or blockchain-based projects? Yeah, that’s a great question.

Lately, it’s changing quickly because user-generated content is soon going to morph also to AI-generated content. And you can see also the first signs of this in governance, where you see a lot of governance decisions and governance, even proposals can be written by AI or can be summarized by AI or can be taken action via an AI to vote in these decisions. But the user-generated, many years ago, it was really time-consuming because a few users create most of the content and then most users are just consumers, not creators.

And then for the content that gets created by users, 90% of it needs to be curated and adapted and watched carefully because there is a lot of the level of quality that you need to uphold to be able to make it digestible. It’s really hard. And that’s why companies like Quora, they require things that are really, really large to be able to monitor, manage, and craft this company or then result in incentives like Wikipedia.

But then you run into problems like censorship, not maintaining neutrality. So I think crypto is going to help first providing incentives for all these open source projects. So a lot of protocols and companies can be just maintained by their community.

And at the same time, being able to verify that content is real. And with AI, there’s going to be a lot of content thanks to crypto. You will be able to verify that content is authentic or not, because I believe all the content will eventually be signed by your wallet.

And then people will be able to verify, okay, this video, this podcast was recorded by Tarusha and not somebody else. And nobody can fake your wallet address, your signature. So that will be a way that AI and crypto and generated content will overlap.

Yeah, absolutely. I do think that is the case. I think that the advent of AI defects and all kinds of content that is being pushed out via AI, there is nothing wrong with that.

But you know, at times the intent does matter. Actually, most of the time intent does matter. And I do think that there is going to be an overlap in terms of what decentralized technology brings to the table and how AI is kind of moving forward.

So I think that is a very good take. And it’s a very pertinent question that everybody should be asking themselves, how can we perhaps make sure that this content is actually been generated by an X person and it’s not been generated by AI or it’s not like a fake in some way. Exactly.

And that problem is going to get bigger and bigger. And one question for you, what area of DeFi or crypto are you most interested in at the moment? At the moment, I think, I’m always very interested. It’s not so much about the tokens themselves.

If I had to look at tokens, then it would have to be like the OGs, like, you know, I’m interested in Bitcoin, I’m interested in Ethereum, I’m interested in, you know, those tokens, because I know that they’ve stood the test of time, right? And they are still here to tell the tale and they are still helping out and developers and creating more. All these new layers that are coming up, their token launches and the potential launches also is a very exciting prospect for me, but I’ve never been much of a trader. I’m more like somebody who buys and lets it be.

I don’t think I have the capability and the nuanced way in which traders like work. But having said that, I truly feel very bullish when a project is solving a real problem and also is able to acquire users, because, you know, it’s not always easy to show that to the users, because at times you might be solving a problem which is very real, but the time might not be right and, you know, you might not be able to acquire users. I firmly believe that if you’re building anything or if you are running a business, you should be, you know, you should be able to acquire users, you should be able to monetize it.

Like that is my take. Yeah, that’s really important. Timing is really important.

Being early is the same as being run. And what you said, yeah, regarding assets, Lindy, yeah, the assets that have been out the longest, same with gold and silver, there is a reason why people still trust them after thousands of years is because they’ve been around for thousands of years. Yeah, yeah, absolutely.

So tell me a little about, now that, you know, we’ve kind of touched upon tokens and adoption, what is, how do you make sure that the users that you are targeting are able to understand the value proposition that you bring to the table via crypto? Yeah, the cool thing about crypto is that crypto versus a traditional web tech company or a SaaS business has a lot more incentives to pull down because you can use airdrops. You can see, for example, what Blast did in the last week that has gotten more than 250 million in TBO in a matter of two days. And it’s the power of incentives because people want to get early, because in the previous wave in Web2, you didn’t get anything for being an early user of Facebook.

The cool thing in crypto networks and crypto protocols, if you’re an early user, you get like shares of the network. So then if the network goes well and you help to create value, then you will also get part of it. So that’s a benefit that crypto has versus traditional company.

But as you know, there are so many things going on at the same moment that it’s really hard to get attention. In Quinto, one of our main objectives is to create the best launch program ever. And because we have KYC, the big team at the chain, I think we can create the most successful airdrop ever because we can remove farmers.

Traditionally in this crypto network, whenever there is a new token, people, especially in countries that are still developing, there are farmers that create thousands of accounts just to get as much airdrop as possible, but they are not really adding value to the chain. In our case, because every single user has to go through the KYC, we are civil resistant by nature. Every user can only access our launch program once and they are not able to create fake accounts because they need to show their passport, they need to show their user ID.

And that also allows us to be able to give more power, give more choice to the users that are going to be part of our founding members and they will receive more benefits for joining our launch program. Brilliant, brilliant. I think that does create a good value proposition for people to be able to sort of identify why Quinto is going to change the way users interact with Web3 applications.

What is the next big milestone for you guys in terms of the platform itself? Yeah, as I said, our launch program starts next week, but our big milestone is that on February is when the chain will be live on mainnet and our first products will be live. And our first products will be access to these tokens that will provide you basically a stablecoin, but that will give you the 5% of available in US treasury bills. So you will be able to use these tokens as collateral and being able to learn from them, borrow from them, or even loop them if you wanted to leverage a bit even the geofront treasury.

Okay, wonderful. And in terms, so this is more, you know, moving towards perhaps the market space in general, like looking at the market currently, what do you truly believe would be the factors that will pull this market from a bear to a bullrun once again? Yeah, I mean, the boring answer is that probably the four-year cycles are still in play. The Bitcoin hubbing usually is the thing that triggers the next bullrun, but I think the bullrun has already started or is in the early innings, because you can tell that one good indicator to measure is the amount of stablecoins that are in the whole crypto.

And in the last couple of weeks has finally started to go up again after going down week after week for the last two years. So now it looks like finally money is starting to come back in. And then usually Bitcoin starts the process because Bitcoin, because of the hubbing, creates a scarcity and that the scarcity drives value up of Bitcoin.

And then people get profits from Bitcoin that then may be deployed on the Ethereum network. Then the Ethereum people does the same to other networks, to other tokens, to other protocols, and kind of will start this ecosystem. The main difference in this cycle is that we’re also going to have finally the institutions that are coming, that people in crypto have been saying it for many cycles, but the ETF looks like there is a 90% chance that it’s going to get approved in January.

And that is going to unlock a lot of basically the 401ks and the passive money that everyone, because working at a company and their paycheck goes to investments every two weeks. And now they have a choice that they are going to be able to put this into Bitcoin or Ethereum, if the Ethereum ETF also gets approved. So that’s a massive difference.

And then that gives legitimacy of the space. BlackRock saying that, and Largest thing saying that Bitcoin is the time for Bitcoin is right now, is a huge investment. BlackRock being the largest fund manager in the world.

Right. Right. Absolutely.

I think those are going to be very big factors to actually drive in the bull run. And as you said, we can see the early signs already, which is wonderful to know. And especially for people who’ve been toiling hard and they’ve survived this particular bear market with all of its scams and whatnot, this is the longer what is your take on this space in general? Because you are creating an L2.

Which niches do you think would do really well in the coming bull run? Yeah, I think it’s usually different every cycle. And the previous one was the DeFi Sampler. I mean, the geofarming protocols, like yarn and compound started with the DeFi Sampler.

I think this cycle RWAs is one of the that is getting stronger. And being able to access geo from treasuries. Then another one that is always a few months away is gaming.

And I used to be a hardcore gamer, games like Diablo or StarCraft. And I totally understand the value prop and gamers do as well because it’s in so many of these games, just spend many hours trying to find these items. And then some of these games like Diablo, they even have a store where you can sell these items to other players.

They have a marketplace. But in these games, these items then have a fee. You are forced to sell them only through the marketplace.

They take a big fee and then you cannot take the item with you. So it’s not really yours, it’s just owned by the gaming company. Then games that truly hit it, that became, become hit games that also adopt crypto, I think will be game changer.

The problem so far is that we didn’t have good crypto games. We just had like crypto websites that looked a bit like a game. But the moment you have like a really big game that also adds good crypto mechanics, I think that’s going to be really powerful because then it becomes a world, an universe that is really being built by all the players and all the players are also the owners of the game.

And then they’re incentivized to make the game grow and they can earn money to make the game grow. You see worlds like Minecraft or like World of Warcraft where a lot of people created a lot of time and there were a lot of secondary stores that created a lot of value. Imagine if they were able to use crypto to transact with all these game items and scenarios, mods, etc.

I believe gaming is coming. I don’t know exactly if it’s going to take two, five, ten years because a game studio is really hard to make a hit game because either you make it and it’s one of the 0.1% of games that are hits or you almost don’t make any money. So it’s really hard to create a hit game and usually you need to develop 10, 20, 50 and reverse.

I believe it was the 51st game until it was the hit. Yes, I do think gaming is already big and it’s going to become even more big in the coming months, I think. Now, you know, we’ve been having such a wonderful conversation.

I almost lost track of time and we are almost out of time as I can see it. I would love to know perhaps a snippet of one interesting anecdote while you’ve been building Kinto which was a little different from the usual entrepreneurial journey that entrepreneurs have. Any anecdote that you would like to share while building Kinto? Oh, that’s an interesting question.

You know, there is usually this pushback from crypto people against people from finance. I was in New York this summer talking with some of the largest financial institutions in the world and I was surprised because they were actually really knowledgeable of crypto. You know, I was expecting them to be really behind and it kind of took me by surprise.

I was in an elevator of one of these institutions and talking with my co-founder and we were talking about one token. I think we were talking about Ethereum probably and then someone in the elevator replied to us and we started talking with him and then he’s the person that we actually were having the meeting later. So, yeah, that was kind of funny.

That is like the institutions are now finally curious about crypto and it’s like, oh, that’s a pet project. Yeah, that is always interesting to see, right? When things kind of move in a different direction against how you were expecting and institutions and, you know, these bigger enterprises taking interest in the Web3 tech is always, it does give a sense of validation. Like, no matter how hard we would like to say that, okay, we don’t really care about it because it does create some credibility in the head of the end users as well, right? If some big enterprise is perhaps talking about Web3.

Yeah, I think it’s important to also not have an us versus them. It’s going to be a combination of both, you know. We need to give them a way for traditional finance to be able to come onto Web3 because the natural reaction and their natural instinct was to create, you know, private networks.

That is also the same natural instinct that companies had in the 2000s, like, oh, let’s build this private internet. But in the end, always public network wins and the internet won the internet and it’s the same thing here. So, we want to make sure institutions have a path to come on chain that also meets their compliance and counterparty requirements.

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, we’re going to support them all the way and this is wonderful. So, now, you know, I would like to ask you something that I ask everybody that comes on the show.

You know, you have a rich experience as an entrepreneur, as somebody who’s built many products and, you know, you’ve seen like the upward as well as the downward trajectory like any other entrepreneur for the various projects. What advice would you give aspiring entrepreneurs to really start living on blockchain? Yeah, I think the best advice is just to use it. You know, analysis paralysis in general is a detriment for entrepreneurs.

You know, you need to be biased to action and it’s the same for learning. You know, you can buy a book that is going to be outdated, especially in crypto because everything moves so quickly. So, there’s ways just, you know, get your wallet set up and you don’t need to put, you can just put $10, $20 and start playing on Arbitrum, start playing on Solana and get interested with the projects.

And because the moment you put $5, you’re going to become more interested in it than if you just look at the website, don’t actually touch it, but just say, oh yeah, more or less, I know, but it’s the same. I could encourage people to play with them because until you really use them, you don’t get the magic moment. Oh, I can send money and it doesn’t need to go through the bank.

Oh, I can do this and I don’t need to write a username and password because that’s another magic moment for people. It’s like, oh, finally, I don’t need username and password anymore. My credentials are not going to be stolen.

They get stolen all the time everywhere by banks, by everyone. Crypto is going to solve those problems, but you need to be able to use it to be able to get it. Yeah, I think that’s wonderful.

Yes, absolutely. So, once again, Ramon, thank you so much for taking out the time to speak to me. I think what you’re doing with DevSkin is going to change the landscape of how people perceive layer tools and how users interact with web3 applications in general.

I, for one, am very excited to try out once your platform does go live. I’ll be happy to sign up to get the action of the developer console as well on November 27th. That’s what you said.

Is there any link where DevSkin go or users can go and check it out once it does go live? Yeah, yeah. and then there is a button there that says Join NGAN. That is the name of our launch program.

All right. Awesome. Okay.

Well, I’m sure to put the link in the description of the episode. It was really wonderful speaking to you. Before we wrap this up, any last thoughts? No, thank you.

This was really fun. Time flew by. I really appreciate it.

Thank you so much and all the best for all the upcoming milestones for Kinto. I, for one, will be rooting hard for you guys. Thank you.

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