Transcription Episode 95

Hi everyone and welcome to another episode of Living on Blockchain. Today we are speaking to Mayur. Mayur is a seasoned entrepreneur and a thought leader in various domains including product management, design and blockchain technology.

He is the founder of Arcana Network. It’s a pioneering venture focusing on revolutionizing Web3 through innovative blockchain solutions. So they have several products like Auth SDK, Sendit, Arcana Gasless.

The ultimate idea is to make blockchain very accessible for the end user. They’ve recently launched and listed their token as well. This was a very interesting conversation I think in terms of how to build for the future and how to remain building in Web3 and remain relevant while building useful products.

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

How are you doing? Hi Talusha, thanks for having me here. I’m doing not so bad, not so bad. Okay, good.

So tell me a little about, see I’ve known you for some time but for our listeners, can you tell us a little about your background and how you got into Web3 and then we know we can touch upon what you’re building with Arcana. Yeah, sure. I’m an engineer by trade.

I’ve been working in tech for the past 18 years. I actually got into Web3 or blockchain as it was called back in 2017 and it was actually when I was on paternity leave. We were expecting our first child and I was working in a small technology services startup as the head of product and while on leave I had a lot of spare time to myself and there were all these people talking about this new thing called Bitcoin.

Then I started to give it some time and started to read up a bit more about what was happening here and that led me to Ethereum and then my head was fully turned at that point and it became abundantly clear to me that this is going to have to be the rest of my life’s work. It would have to be in this space. So yeah, that’s sort of like how I got in.

Wow, okay. So from being on paternity leave and expecting a wonderful little blessing, you also received another blessing in terms of starting to work in Web3. So tell me a little about how you started Arcana and what are perhaps the core values driving your vision for the company? Yeah, sure.

So like I said, I got into blockchains back in 2017. By 2018, done a few POCs, some consulting work as part of the company we were working at and then I felt like it was time for me to really start spending some time in the space perhaps on my own and then in 2019, me and a few of my colleagues from my previous place of work, we quit our jobs. We started working on this idea for decentralized storage.

We put in a lot of early work, we quit our jobs, started a new company and we took a proof of concept to market and that’s when we started to kind of realize that this whole thing that people are so enamored about within our space, which is decentralization, doesn’t really appeal to the market as such and in the same way that it appeals to us. So I’m sure people are crypto native, get it, they understand like the philosophy behind it, they want to build tech that enables it but the market has different demands and early enough it started to occur to us that while all this stuff is really really cool and aligns with perhaps one’s slightly philosophical, maybe idealistic outlook to how society should be, it started to occur to us that if we wanted to build a business here then we have to build something very pragmatic and blockchains don’t really find a place everywhere. It’s not like a silver bullet to everything that we see.

So that’s sort of like shaped our way once we started to like pivot from that idea to a couple of other ideas before finally arriving at what we are doing at Archana today and those ideas and ideals sort of like hold true even today for us. We err on the side of pragmatism, we want to clearly build a business that is valuable to people and valuable to the market at large, we want to solve real problems. Sometimes we do so at our own detriment within the space because there is a significant gap between what customers and the market expects and wants and versus what we are almost like, you know, the purists within the crypto space expect to be built and so it’s finding that balance between the two and that’s what sort of like guides us today at Archana.

Right, I think what you’ve said is so relevant even today, you know, it’s now even I’ve been around for like a very long time, like I started with the early mining days of you know Ethereum and whatnot with the equipment that we had at that point and obviously we’ve seen multiple cycles since then but what still remains true is that a lot of entrepreneurs and builders are building within an echo chamber of sorts, we are building for principles that we tend to believe in and our peers tend to believe in but we don’t really understand that the general population at large or their potential users that is not a priority for them and that can be heartbreaking but it’s also a harsh reality. Yeah, no, I fully agree. I think a lot of what is getting built even today is to solve problems that we as an industry created ourselves and yeah so I think we are going through that cycle at the moment trying to like come to terms with you know what it is that markets want and coming to terms with you know like the gaming industry is a great example where everyone thought you know we’ll build these web-free games and on-chain games and people will come because there are incentives and then it turns out gamers just want to play games that they like to play and the incentives don’t really you know attract them and that was I think quite the field to swallow because I think in the previous growth cycle there were a lot of like gaming startups that was the whole meta that came in like you know burst onto the scene and then most of them don’t exist today and now you’re seeing people building you know stuff that is more relevant to the audience as opposed to you know presuming what audiences would like is what their ideals sort of like align with and that’s not the case so yeah absolutely.

So you know talking a little more about we’ll talk a little more about how you know builders should perhaps be more aligned with what the users want but before that if you had to sum up in one or two lines what Arcana does how would you do that? Yeah so at Arcana our mission is to make web 3 more effortless we want we believe that essentially the path to you know I yeah this term is a bit overused but the path to mass adoption yeah is if people are able to build higher quality of applications that solve real problems in the real world and this happens in web 2 all the time and but how do you make them better make them make the incentives more aligned make it more open free trustless those sorts of things right so all of that is utterly possible but these developers need the right set of tools to be able to make like you know go past some of these problems that web 3 sort of inherently puts forth to you to users and the users are left you know trying to figure out how they how they can navigate these waters and usually they they choose not to so yeah so our job is to build these sorts of tools that help developers focus on what it is that they want to build their core value proposition build these things out not have to worry about like things on the user experience side especially so like for example we’ve released two products the first one sort of abstracts away wallets so now end users can come to a web 3 application and log in with just their email or social accounts things that they’re very familiar with and will do very easily and we give them a non-custodial wallet so we’ve abstracted away the wallet then our second product it tackles the next issue that people have usually you get by by wallet abstraction you’re getting people through the front door so from landing page to home page that journey is now been sort of solved then the next thing is how do you get users from home page to check out and if that involves sort of like on-chain operations then usually that involves some form of gas especially in the ethereum ecosystem right so how do you kind of abstract gas fees away and have different sort of business models more familiar business models with your end user where you know at checkout they’re perhaps paying a convenience fee which covers like all your gas costs and things like that so we have we have like a gasless sdk that’s our second product and now we are on this this path where this year we’ll be looking to abstract away chains altogether so just to kind of quickly touch upon it what what what i mean by that is um right now you have all of these applications jumping from one chain to the other chasing where users are going and what if there was a way in which these applications just build on whatever chain they feel most comfortable at in terms of the technology in terms of like the support in terms of the ecosystem etc and they are able to attract users from any chain and so how you do this is through chain abstraction of course this is like a 10,000 overview and glossing over many details but roughly can we imagine that sort of world and that’s what we want to kind of enable brilliant i mean i think you are trying to essentially solve for the user these are you know these are resistance points for any platform uh when when they’re trying to onboard a user when they’re trying to retain a user and that is essentially what you’re trying to solve with uh if i’m getting the names of the products right with auth sdk and arcana gasless correct that is correct and then our chain abstraction is what will hopefully take it to another level right okay so this is uh wonderful what is the kind of traction that you have uh seen on these products so with our auth sdk and our gasless sdk we actually built a consumer product of our own uh we of course have multiple customers in the nft and gaming space especially uh using these sdks as we speak but just to give you an example we built a product of our own uh it’s a consumer product it’s called send it it’s like paypal for crypto right so what you can do is basically uh for example i can say uh let me send i want to send crypto to tarucha and for this i would require you know a conversation with you where you give me your address and then i have to make sure i copy paste it correctly you need to make sure you copy paste it correctly and then you know i key it in and then i basically do the rest which is select a chain select uh you know how much crypto i want to select a token or a coin and then select and input how much i want to send and i send it now this presumes that you already have a wallet but what if you didn’t have a wallet right um and so what what this basically allows you to do is for me to say let me send crypto to tarucha at i key in the same parameter i hit a button it actually then creates a wallet for you on the fly and this money then gets transferred to that particular wallet address and now but this wallet address only you tarucha can access with your email and and then it is yours so now i’ve sort of like onboarded you to crypto so yeah so that’s the product that we sort of imagine we quickly try kind of put this out because we start to realize that you know as an infrastructure company there is only so much retail interest you can garner what what we need to kind of provide like our community is something that they can touch and feel and interact with to get a sense of what our tech is capable of so in like literally two weeks we kind of spun this up but our goal was a fairly lofty one in our mind that back then we wanted like 50 000 users over three four months and we were like let’s try and get these users and it turned turned out quite well for us because we actually got 50 000 users in in six days we got 100 000 in 12 and now send it has over 500 000 users who’ve done over 5 million transactions on the platform so yeah so i would say it turned out pretty pretty good yeah i think uh definitely it has a very valid use case and as you said that these are uh you know very essential problems that anybody if you’re trying to onboard them onto web3 would face and if you are trying to solve for that uh you would definitely you know find traction because uh this is this is as it’s a use case it is it’s not something that you know abstract that you’re thinking needs to be resolved but users actually need this so uh great work on the kind of traction that you know you guys have seen yeah please go on yeah i mean it just goes to show that if if if you have a useful product you kind of uh you know augment it with incentives then people will come and use them just to just for the incentives but will actually stay because the product is useful right so right now what we’re seeing in this space very clearly is that you know people run these like point systems and airdrops and people come and usually these hunters they come and once the air drop ends everyone is gone yeah uh and then uh so so basically you have all of these products which had huge traction and now are just you know uh uh like graveyards so yeah but it goes to show that if you if you if you use incentives which are very easy to kind of you know kind of design and and give out within web3 and incentives are not a bad thing i mean this happens in web2 all the time but if your product is not useful your product is not well thought out then you will not be able to retain and retention is the name of the game as of today i would say yeah absolutely i think again you kind of hit the nail on the head uh a lot of like builders are building platforms where you know you are initially when building a community or get to gain the initial attraction you are incentivizing and financially incentivizing the users to be a you know to use it to sign up to be a part of the community but then uh once the airdrop is over what what happens then you know you cannot possibly find a pmf when all of these early adopters uh actually leave so it’s important that you’re essentially trying to solve for a problem that the user also finds important to be resolved and you know they are they’re excited to use the product i think building a business we at web2 web3 is very similar you need to really be able to solve uh for a problem that the user faces and make your particular solution like a painkiller and that that the user needs and you know they will stick around and they will stick stay engaged with the platform absolutely no 100% agree and i think that the the metaphor of the painkiller versus the vitamin is what you know more builders need to focus on absolutely i totally agree now you know talking a little about the painkiller vitamin and the challenges one faces when building such products can you can you talk a little about those aspects of your journey oh yeah i mean uh for sure uh this there are certain controversial stakes i have here um essentially i i strongly believe like the industry as a whole sort of like forces you to play a very short-term game right uh and and long-term thinking is almost by design sort of not very well rewarded because now you have these cycles baked in to crypto and you’re talking about bull market and bear market and how you are they say you know bull market is for marketing and bear market is for building and things like that and and it starts to become very difficult because you really have to like now switch gears from one to the other and and those sorts of things and that’s that’s hard for like any team to kind of like you know uh do and do well within the space and it’s it’s an unfortunate sort of thing because of the sheer speculative nature of our industry that you but it’s also an unignorable fact and if if we as builders sit here and say you know i’m going to do things only my way then you are disrespecting what the market is demanding and that in in a sense will only leave you at a loss uh so it is very important to understand that there is this game to be played and there’s a way to play it and but it’s it also starts to like you know lay a lot of unnecessary pressure on builders to kind of play this game while retaining your integrity and then those sorts of things because you see like low integrity actors really making it big in the space and then you are starting to question you know what should i be doing should i be doing these sorts of things and it’s a lot of pressure especially for young founders i feel who get into a lot of pressure as well as demotivating right like i i’ve seen this right like over the years i’ve seen so many bad actors like you mentioned uh indulging in perhaps very short-term activities and then you know you start to wonder what are you doing wrong absolutely uh it it it definitely is disconcerting demotivating like you rightly put it and especially for uh you know younger younger founders and we have a lot of young people in the space uh i’m probably like definitely a boomer compared to all of these people but you know they come in starry-eyed then they want there are so it came in because the whole sort of like philosophy appeals to their ideals and they’re like you know i want to build something decentralized and things like that and then you start to see this game unfold in front of you and then you’re forced to play this and then and then yeah of course it can be all of these things if you don’t quickly adapt then you get left behind and and yeah uh that is definitely uh one of like like the biggest challenge we faced i think most people face right so how do you overcome this uh you know because you mentioned that okay i think both of us you and i both have been around for a while and we are both as compared to the other folks who are building in the space you’re probably uh very ancient so for the youngsters like how would you suggest uh that they kind of overcome this demotivation and when they see you know these you know i won’t say bad but perhaps incorrect way of doing things uh by by these folks so how do you overcome that what would be your suggestions to them so we in fact had like long chat about this within the team uh very recently and uh just to share some of like the insights that was that was shared during this discussion that we had internally was that essentially for uh high integrity actors within the space the job is cut out for us it’s going to be not very easy and if you just want to if you’re just here to build high quality products that people will use then you will probably not see the same quantum of success as someone else who actually acknowledges the fact that there is a game to be played the market has certain demands and the second you acknowledge that then you start to kind of you know have to make certain very key decisions in and the way we look at it is we want to keep our integrity intact so if you look at like a like a vertical graph where at the bottom is just building like how you would build in web2 and at the top is like the most degenerate way to kind of release a product and a good example of this is some of these meme coins that we see here today right so right there like there is no utility there is absolutely nothing going for them but they have a few key actors within the space promoting this then making a quick buck and getting out of it right so uh if you look at that as like a vertical like spectrum and you need to kind of draw a line somewhere horizontally in this vertical spectrum and say this is the line i will not cross and that once you set that line that line is clear then you basically have to act at the limit of that line throughout your journey within this space and because if you if you if you sort of and pardon my language but if you half pass it within this space and say no i’ll be like some ways away just to be safe uh the problem is that there’s a lot of opportunity that and a lot of value that you’re leaving on the table and that is that is something that you know uh someone else is going to grab that and usually it’ll be a competitor and then you you sort of lost out but i think what you need to be able to do is very clearly define this line and very clearly commit to operating on or just very close to that line almost at all times and once you do this then you can you know when the speculation dies out when everything dies out you are left in a position to be able to almost build in peace almost where the demands are lower and and those sorts of things start to happen so yeah this is how we feel should be the approach and this is what needs to be almost like taught to every new sort of builder in the space saying this is what you need to expect so be ready for these sorts of things it’s not as simple as saying oh markets are great so i’ll raise a lot of capital or release a token and this and that no this is going to be the problem and you need to kind of you know come to terms with it as early as possible yeah that is true i think at times uh you know self-awareness is good but you know a lot of self-awareness i think this goes for life as well does not really help because it kind of paralyzes your decision making capability and you know your ability to take action because at times you’re sitting and intellectualizing your feelings or thinking you know how to philosophize and move forward uh it’s it is a detriment i think it doesn’t help uh you know because not everything really has an answer and it’s it’s best that you know you accept uh status quo as is but keep pushing for what you believe and in your own way absolutely absolutely 100% agree so now i want to really understand what is the you know you mentioned how obviously you want to you’re building arcana because

you want to make uh web3 more accessible and easy to use for people uh but what is perhaps the next big milestone that you guys are looking at and uh before before that i would love to congratulate you you guys uh did your uh you know tge recently and that went spendedly well uh your investors seem to be very with you so congratulations on that thank you so much i think it’s it’s quite a it that is like another question altogether and i’ll touch upon that because i think you know token uh token tokenomics and you know just that entire aspect i think that is like a another uh job it’s a full time job uh so to say but before we touch upon that i would love to understand what is the next big thing uh for arcana what is on the vision board for you yeah so uh what we’ve done so far is release these products but they’re not only like fully decentralized and having these

these sorts of like services and services we intend to offer in the very near future and beyond it is going to be key that there is a trustless decentralized network at the core of it and for a like the the way you sort of achieve this sort of like decentralization and trustlessness is when you get disparate actors to kind of you know provide these services and this is the basis of all blockchain right so for us it became clear that we need to kind of you know make this more permissionless more decentralized than it is and enable this sort of like trustlessness whenever we are providing uh any of our services because if we are able to do that in a scalable high throughput fashion we can support our goal of improving user experience and so we basically got on this path of you know decentralizing our entire back end even more so making it more permissionless so the next big thing for us is actually the release of of our own modular l1 and this is going to yeah play out over the next like in the next uh two three months we’ll have our test net out further towards the end of the year we’ll have our main net out and this all needs to be driven by some sort of like incentive

and more importantly like a disincentive model because like the only sort of model that works is proof of stake at the moment and in any sort of proof of stake mechanism you need to have something that has value powering this sort of network of incentives and disincentives and which is why we even release our token we release it even before our main net because you know we didn’t want speculative aspects of it of of the token troubling uh you know the value state and the security that we get from from the staking within our chain so you know we decided to kind of release the token early and then we are now on this path to release our testnet and mainnet and yeah that’s the next big thing for us that’s very ambitious and uh you know creating an l1 and at this point uh you know where our sector is i i think a lot of people have this uh assumption and

i i don’t believe that it’s entirely incorrect that for like building an l1 you need an entire watch s and uh what what makes you very um confident uh that you know your particular modular l1 would do well what would be the usb if you can shed a little light on that yeah sure so um i think we have we have come a long way especially in the last year or so in terms of how you could build like a application specific l1 and like for example the cosmos ecosystem has proved this over time that you can actually build this uh of course it’s another thing that you don’t have too many like breakout projects from the cosmos ecosystem but if you actually see in the more recent past a lot of them just simply use

the technology that Cosmos has to offer and build just purely because it lends itself very well to your tech requirements. So you have the Celestials of the world, the DYDXs of the world that have actually done this thing and to very great effect. And if you see, since then you have this whole sort of modular meta-playout, right? So you have now this layer tools and now you have roll-up services that will help you build more layer tools.

You have now Eigen layers saying you can just leverage the security so you don’t even need a validator set, your own validator set to kind of power this. So now it’s become much more easy for people to kind of imagine their set of smart contracts actually living on their own chain and not having to share block space with anyone else, not having some random application, you know, suddenly spike up gas costs. So you are in more control.

So this ecosystem has really played out really well and which is why we feel very confident of being able to bootstrap our own sort of modular L1 going forward. Brilliant. So can you also tell us a little about on the community side, what does Arcana do? You know, just shedding a little light on the marketing efforts that you guys are putting in to gain all of this wonderful traction.

I think it would be very helpful for entrepreneurs who are listening in to gain some insights from it. Yeah, no, absolutely. Marketing in Web3 is a beast.

It is something that you have to sort of focus on and as much as possible, try and do in-house. But doing it in-house and doing it well is going to be problematic because most of the times what happens is Web3 founders are so like, mostly like tech savvy geeks, nerds who want to kind of realize their products. And marketing usually takes a backseat.

Yeah. And it’s very hard for people to even like give it time of day. So what happens is that usually you end up outsourcing it and that is a big problem because outsourcing it to someone within the space, and I’m sure Tarucha, you’ve had your share of experiences where you don’t really have great actors who are reliable agencies who can actually do a good job of taking and marketing your product that you know so well and they don’t and making a complete hash of it.

Then your community completely misunderstanding you. The communication suffers, right? And then the entire perception, the narrative building, all of that can suffer in the wrong hands. Absolutely.

So it’s very key for someone within the founding team or like a very early employee who gets it completely to kind of take complete responsibility of this side of things. Even if you have to work with third party agencies, like how do you keep them honest? How do you keep them professional? How do you keep them sticking to certain KPIs? These are some of the hard things that you, it’s very hard to find very professional third parties within this space. Everyone’s out here to kind of make a quick buck, which is unfortunate.

So the more you can sort of internalize all of this sort of stuff and give it enough time of day and the resources for it for like a marketing function within your team to succeed, that then it starts to become, you know, you can start doing very powerful things that are more in your control. The communication, like you said, is more on point. But yeah, this is something that you really need to lay a lot of impetus on.

Right. Absolutely. I think I have, you know, advised certain startups and I’ve lots of times, you know, these founders that said, okay, we are more technically sound and we’d like to perhaps look at outsourcing the marketing.

And I’ve always advised against it, especially initially, you know, you do not want that. You want that initial messaging to be from the founders themselves, from the horse’s mouth, so to say. Yeah, no, absolutely.

The founders are the best marketing sort of agents for any startup. This is true of all big startups in the space, all big companies and their founders are the biggest proponents, some of the biggest voices. You won’t see too many startups where the founders are not like on Twitter every other day, you know, beating their chest and shouting and screaming from the rooftop.

And this is something that everyone needs to sort of understand. I’m sure it’s also like a very personal personality trait sort of thing. Not every founder is capable of doing this, but I’m sure there are people within the team who can actually do this and become voices.

And we’ve seen this happen. We’ve seen this play out even with, say, the likes of Solana, where it was like the early founders themselves are probably not the biggest voices. So Sanitoli is a big personality in the space.

But, you know, some of the other people within the team are some of the biggest voices also. So this is something that we need, the founders need to take note of and treat very seriously. Yeah, I think I totally agree.

You know, this is something that even if makes you uncomfortable, perhaps you need to push yourself a little bit and do it for your product. And, you know, once you I think, when you start doing anything, you know, you learn the ropes and then you start gaining momentum. Absolutely, absolutely.

And yeah, this is marketing is a function of, yes, of course, creativity, but also of like consistency and discipline. Absolutely. I could not agree more.

Now, you know, I would love to talk a little about your tokenomics and, you know, you you’ve led successful funding rounds and, you know, you’ve listed the token as well. Let’s talk a little about the kind of time that a typical founder spends on building the tokenomics and getting it right. And then let’s touch a little upon how do you envision the role of tokenomics in your network’s growth and sustainability? Yeah, so I have like another page here, which may not be very popular, perhaps, I don’t know.

But essentially, I feel like, you know, releasing a token is a company going public. That’s, that’s the be all and end all of it. And we have to understand that.

And you have to be sort of ready for it. If you look at traditional markets, then typically people IPO many, many years into their existence. And what this affords them is achieving a certain degree of maturity, not only personally for founders and for people, but also like processes and systems and all of those sorts of things.

What what happens in our industry is like, you know, you tokenomics is what is is, is taking someone’s Excel sheet of tokenomics and sort of like, changing numbers here and there. And sort of like presenting it as you know, something extremely well thought out most of the time is what happens. Yeah, because you’re in a rush, you’re in a hurry, you need to get it out for suddenly there is a bull market and there’s people are telling you left right center, you need to release token and things like that.

And you this thing don’t play out very well when done in this fashion. And people, most of the time founders themselves are simply not ready for what it means to go public. And, of course, not at the scale of traditional markets, but sort of close to it.

And you have 10s of 1000s of people that you need to kind of impress, in order for them to be able to kind of, you know, say, put their hard earned money into your vision and what you want to be able to do. And if things don’t go as to like plan, which is basically people becoming richer, off of your hard work, then you know, they are going to come back to you and crib and complain and shout and scream and all of those sorts of things. And then you need to kind of go into like, firefighting mode and all sorts of things start to happen, which take you away from what you were building in the first place.

Exactly. So yeah, so this is something that I think needs to change. It’s already started to change, like people earlier would launch projects and go to like, release a token in the first few months.

Now it is a couple of years. And that is something that, you know, stakeholders within your ecosystem, whether it’s investors or anyone else are willing to accept. And people have more time to be able to kind of, you know, build things out, gain more maturity, build out a team, build out teams of people that can actually manage, you know, going public and things, those sorts of things.

So yeah, I mean, we obviously had our time, we took our time as well. So I think we were slightly in a better spot than some of the other people are like, we had enough time to sort of plan this and things like that. Of course, nothing ever goes to plan when you release a token.

I’m sure you know all about it. So I mean, similar things happened to us. I mean, we launched to what was seemingly a good market and then war breaks out and now macro affects crypto and then suddenly everything goes downhill.

And then we have 1000 people in my DMs shouting and screaming and saying that this happened and that happened. So yeah, I mean, you know, you need to have some thick skin for sure. But you need to have, you know, right guidance, right people around you, you need to also be planning for this very, very intricately.

Yeah, so it’s not easy for sure. Absolutely. I think this is one of the harder things that one has to do as a Web3 entrepreneur, I think, simply because like you said that this is, you know, when in traditional sense, a company goes public, they’ve had all of this experience, they have this wealth of experience, they have these products that are fully functioning, they have massive amounts of traction.

And you know, they their vision is very cut out for them when they do go out and seek funds from the public. But very on the contrary, when you know, you’re doing it in Web3, you’re very early and the team might not be that mature. And when you are going all out and going public with your token, then you need to have that sense of decorum, that stability.

And, you know, just somebody who’s sound with designing this rather than just copy pasting something that you’ve seen online, because this ultimately defines how your company’s entire vision is going to play out. Yeah, no, absolutely. I don’t think enough thought goes into that, like you rightly said.

And if it can determine the whole entire existence of your startup in the long term, short term, things may just be fine. But you have to get very lucky for it not to affect you in the long term. And that is something that, you know, I think more people need to be made aware of.

Absolutely. I think this is not something that one should take lightly. Nowadays, I don’t think it is so much of a trend.

But, you know, in the last cycle, there were all of these experts as well, who used to tout their services for designing tokenomics of projects, which I found very absurd as well. Unless, you know, somebody is really personally, you know, they had their skin in the game, and they really understand your vision, how can they design something so essential to a project like tokenomics? What is your take on that? No, absolutely. And this is across the industry, they always have these so called experts who have absolutely no skin in the game, and will fleece you for a fee, and you feel that you need to, you’re at their behest.

And there is no other option. The option, unfortunately, was that you need to pay a lot of attention to this and nobody told you that you need to. And that is the unfortunate part.

But, you know, if you get the right sort of like backer, if you get the right sort of advisors in this space, then you are, you are in a better spot to be made aware of some of these things. And but all of this needs to become more common knowledge, this needs to be spoken about more openly within the industry, as it is, so that people start asking these questions, even with the people that they have available to them. And, you know, so you avoid these pitfalls where you feel like, Oh, I have no other option except to work with this random dude who claims to have done magic for someone else.

And there is no other data point outside of that as to why they would be useful for me or I will be successful because of them. I mean, there is nothing, I mean, sort of like success that you want, will compound on top of what you fundamentally put in place. And that is a bare fact.

Unless you do the hard work, unless you like laid the right sort of fundamentals, whether it comes to like economics, or it comes to marketing or product, whatever it may be, you will no one is going to come, no one has a silver bullet that will come in and change your fortunes. That is just not going to happen. Unless you are extremely lucky.

Serendipity plays a very important role in this space for sure. But it will only compound what you already have. Right.

Absolutely. Wow. That’s a beautiful way of putting it.

I think serendipity is important here. It does happen, but it will only compound what you have. I think this is a portable quote from here.

So can we now perhaps talk a little like, let’s zoom out, let’s move away a little bit from Arcana. And let’s talk a little about the Web3 space in general, because we are running short of time. And I really don’t want this conversation to end, because it has been very, very insightful.

But I do need to ask you, what are your feelings about the market currently? And what are the kind of sectors or niches within Web3 that you think would do really well in the ongoing or upcoming bull run? Oh, yeah. Okay. So I need to firstly like state this clearly, like any sort of opinions I have on market are extremely ill-formed.

When I say market, I’m talking about like prices and things like that, because I don’t trade. I am an extremely bad trader. And whenever I’ve thought that, you know, I should do something to kind of sort of grow my personal sort of like wealth by operating in the crypto markets, I have only lost money.

So I should, whatever I say there should not be like a whole bag of salt. But yeah, I mean, you know, markets will do what they have to do. You cannot control it, you cannot time markets, you have to get very lucky, and those sort of things.

But the outlook currently is that, you think you’re on a nice trajectory. Now we are seemingly in like, like in this book back, and hopefully, you know, things should change at a macro level, which will probably bring in more interest when things are stable, people are more comfortable to kind of, you know, start making investment, but there’s so many sort of ifs and buts. So yeah, that is as much as I will say about markets in general.

But yeah, I mean, I’m very interested in where the market is, like the whole crypto industry is going as in terms of like the products and solutions that are getting built in the space. That side definitely appeals to me and I like to think I am abreast of what is happening. So for sure, I feel like, you know, this whole sort of modular sort of like, like team or meta is going to play out very well.

I think they’re going to be a lot of people building, you know, no application specific chains, sovereign chains, and either using like an eigen layer or using their own validator set to kind of be able to power these sorts of things, because, you know, getting your own throughput, getting control over your block space is going to be very, very important. I think, pragmatically speaking, that makes a lot of sense. So you’re going to see a lot of L2s, a lot of L3s, a lot of sovereign chains, a lot of Validiums, all of these things start getting built over the next bunch of years, because you can see that ecosystem being built and being made ready for all of these things to start happening.

And I think that’s going to play out really well. But what’s going to happen as a result of all of these chains coming, being born is a lot of fragmentation, you know, then there are that many more chains that users are going to have to go and create wallets on and put funds on and do all of these sorts of things. And especially liquidity fragmentation, and experience fragmentation is going to be like a big problem, which is where I think like the this other meta of chain abstraction, which we are, you know, sort of like aligning with everything seems to be going in that direction for us is going to play out very well.

Because now, what do you need to be able to say that while these users are on these different chains that have all these, you know, tokens and assets on these different chains, they should still be able to use any application built anywhere. And if you can make that possible, then now you have this extremely like diverse, almost like this mesh network of users and apps, but it just works. So I’m extremely bullish on these two things happening over the next couple of years.

Outside of that, you know, there are areas like AI and things like that. And people say it’s hard, I don’t understand it well enough to give you a nuanced take. Right, yeah.

You and I both, I think AI is very dynamic. It’s very exciting to be looking at it and all the developments that are happening and how there is a obvious use case with the kind of content and all the content that is being created with AI, ensuring the veracity of it using blockchain. And that is like, I think where my understanding kind of starts dimming beyond that.

But I would love to learn more and expand my horizons there. But having said that, what you’ve said, you know, fragmentation and kind of working on again, solving some real problems that the industry is facing, the users are facing, that is going to be the next big thing in the upcoming bullrun. Yeah, I absolutely believe that that’s how it’s going to play out.

But I’m also biased because we’re building in that space. But yeah, everything points there. So now, because, you know, we are really running out of time, I need to ask you just these last two questions.

One is what would be, you know, your advice to entrepreneurs and builders in this space? Because, you know, you’ve been a serial entrepreneur, you’ve been, you’re a spot leader. Can you tell us like the top two lessons that you would like to perhaps impart to builders and aspiring founders? Yeah, top two. Okay.

So I’m in no particular order going to say number one is if you are in it for the tech, and that is your strongest suit, you need to kind of as builders, as founders need to arm yourself with advisors, investors, team members who can look at other aspects for you. These were these would be people whose incentives are well aligned with you, which is why I wouldn’t say anyone else really matters. So as long as you can find the right set of advisors, investors, then you should both seek them and you should find them.

And all team team members who can like sort of create this, you know, like, basically support your skin set, which is probably pure tech, then, then you have like a complimentary set of skills that will work for you. And that is very important to seek out and put in place for sure. The other thing is, I think, especially with Indian founder is that I feel like we are extremely sort of like shy.

And shy is one word. But I also would say timid, not very out there when it comes to, you know, talking and more about our product. We are shy to like grow our networks, we are shy to say certain things out loud.

And we need to kind of get past that, because unless we do so we are always going to be looked at as, as people who can support this industry as opposed to being pioneers in the space, which we have every right to be able to sort of claim you on the back of, you know, some of the giants in the space who’ve actually done fantastically well, case in point being Polygon. And if, if we can sort of like emulate these sorts of people and see what they’ve done, and also look to the West and even to the Far East, and places like China, where you know, there is there is nothing that people feel shy about whether if you’re in a conference, go talk to everyone and anyone and tell them more about yourself, you need to have that hustle about you. And you need to have this, this very clear mindset to be able to shout and scream, because who else will, if not, yeah, if you’re not going to do it, who else will and I feel a little called out myself, I think, because, you know, even the best of us feel a shy about touting our own horn.

But you know, over the years, I’ve learned it time and again, that if I don’t do it, who would? Exactly. And I’ve seen this, especially with Indian founders, I’m also guilty of it for sure. We also sort of have so many things, when we are trying to do things.

And usually it’s like, you know, I like to think of it this way is that most of the times, founders within like Indian founders within the crypto space are usually typically like, from middle class backgrounds, and then the middle class Indian in new sorts of kicks in and say, Arre nahi karna, yeh both zyada ho jayega, this is just a bit too much, and things like that. So that you need to curb that voice a bit more. Yeah, absolutely.

I think that’s very, very good advice for our founders. And now, I’m going a little fast, because I need to wrap this up. But I do need to ask you one question that I ask everybody who comes on the show.

And this question has remained a constant for all of these five, six years that I’ve been doing this podcast. You’ve made a leap from, you know, web two to web three, you were working in tech. And then during, as I mentioned earlier, waiting for one of the greatest blessings in life, you know, you received another as well.

But you made that leap, right? So what would be your suggestions for somebody who’s perhaps still a little unsure about the space to truly start living on blockchain? What would be your advice to them? Yeah, I mean, you know, it has to appeal to you at a very carnal level, like blockchain themselves, it has to appeal to extremely cliche, they’re putting it, but it has to appeal to your soul. And what you want to do, it has to become your life’s work, because you have to immerse yourself in it, there is, there is no getting out of the space, once you are in it, and you are committed to it. So in order to be able to commit, it has to appeal to you at that level.

And if it does, then you need to, like, take that almighty leap. And once you do that, then I think the space can be extremely rewarding, as long as you remain pragmatic and understanding of the space, and what it has to offer and how it offers it. And yeah, you should definitely not give into hype, hype is the last reason you should get into this space, because it is not going to last long.

So unless you have that thing that will drive you at your lowest point to say that, no, I got into this space, because it really appeals to me, and I want to kind of make like real change happen in this world and affect it in some, some way, whatever it may be. Only then you should get into this space. And but once you do, you know, you should just commit all the way.

Yeah, absolutely. Once you do just commit all the way. And if this is something that is really speaking to you on a very primal level, then yes, this is the path that you know, you should really go all in for.

So that’s a wonderful way to end this conversation. Mayur, thank you so much, once again, for making the time to speak to me. Today, I am sure that a lot of entrepreneurs will find a lot of insights from this conversation.

And before we wrap this up, any parting thoughts? Um, not really. No, thanks for having me here and giving me an opportunity to speak my mind. Sometimes it may not be the nicest or most popular thing that I may say about this space.

But, you know, thanks for the opportunity and very happy to be able to do it. Thank you so much, once again. This file is longer than 30 minutes. Go Unlimited at to transcribe files up to 10 hours long.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *