Jupiter Infrastructure AMA Series with Chris McCann (Race Capital)

Jupiter Infrastructure AMA Series with Chris McCann, Partner of Race Capital

Episode description:

In this episode of Exploring Solana with Jupiter, Chris McCann gives us an idea of the what’s and how’s of the Solana Ecosystem before it became what we know of it today. Together with your host, Ben Chow, let’s unravel the past, the present, and the future of Solana as well as learn some tips and techniques used by famous crypto core developers for the success of their crypto journey.

Episode timeline:

[04:23] Introduction of guest - Chris McCann
[06:08] What got Chris into crypto?
[12:22] On Chris’ convictions about investing and crypto
[14:59] How did the team dynamics of Raj and Anatoli develop?
[19:24] The technical choices the team had to make
[23:33] Focus, focus, focus.
[30:39] The biggest challenges of the Solana ecosystem in the past
[35:59] What should be considered from an investment standpoint?
[41:55] The changes at present
[47:13] Other guidelines in making investment decisions
[52:17] Is the team ready for this?
[55:24] Be true to yourself.

To learn more about Chris McCann, follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mccannatron

AMA Transcription

[00:00:00] Ben: Hi! Welcome to Exploring Solana with Jupiter. I’m Ben Chow, one of the co-founders of Jupiter and the host of this podcast. For those who don’t know, Jupiter is the key swap aggregator and infrastructure on Solana, giving you the best price swaps for any token, and with almost 10 billion in trade volume and representing 2% of Solana’s daily transactions, we are one of the most popular DeFi protocols on Solana.

[00:00:26] So in the AMA series, we’ll talk with key crypto folks in the Solana ecosystem and deep dive into the important topics, prompts, and stories of today.

[00:00:34] Chris: Hey guys.

[00:00:35] Ben: Hey, Chris, how are you doing?

[00:00:36] Chris: Good, man. You?

[00:00:37] Ben: Yeah, I’m doing great.

[00:00:38] Chris: Cool. Am I allowed to say your name on here? Or are you staying like doxed anonymous or something?

[00:00:44] Ben: Oh no, we’re we’re we’re totally doxed. Totally doxed.

[00:00:47] Chris: Alright. Cool, cool.

[00:00:48] Ben: Any, any name you want to give, it’s okay.

[00:00:51] Chris: All right. Hey Ben, you never know half these things sometimes.

[00:00:56] Ben: Yeah. Yeah. Actually I, on the flip side, when I’m hosting, sometimes I’m like, oh, hey, what do you want to be called?

[00:01:04] Chris: Yeah.

[00:01:05] Ben: Then I feel like I, I pronounced like some people have weird handles, so I feel like I’m saying it wrong all the time.

[00:01:12] Chris: Go. Yeah. I’ve always been doxed too. So yeah, you, you could always say Chris, it’s super easy to find me.

[00:01:19] Yeah, yeah, no. It’s cool. Like, uh, I mean, I honestly, I mean, I think there’s good reasons to stay anonymous, uh, but, uh, I’m a big fan of being doxed. I think, I think it’s done wonders for our community, you know, cause I, I think they built a lot of trust early on and it’s been good for the Jupiter project. But you know-

[00:01:37] Yeah, I could, I could understand it the other way too, but yeah, I guess it’s my natural self is more of like, just what you mentioned. Like I’m much more comfortable being me, me, the person. And then I think it adds a lot more chance to do that. They follow you and it’s a lot easier versus the other side, you always have to worry about this like extra identity thing that you’re managing. And I don’t know, it would drive me, it would drive me crazy to have like a, like a different self that I have to manage.

[00:02:05] Ben: Oh, yeah, that would be interesting if you had actually a different persona too, that would be crazy.

[00:02:09] Chris: Yeah.

[00:02:13] Ben: Um, cool. Well, just just so you know, uh, we are actually also live streaming this to discord from Twitter. So, so we have, uh, our community following along, along with people on the Twitter, Twitter spaces. So it’s pretty janky actually, by the way, because Twitter doesn’t make it easy. I’m litera, I literally just have my phone on speaker and I’m pointing microphone to things.

[00:02:36] Chris: I was going to ask, how do you port it over? And what’s the latency and all that. But yeah, I guess if you can just do the speaker too.

[00:02:41] Ben: But yeah, it kind of works and actually it turns out, you know, a fair bit of discord users, I guess either don’t use Twitter or are just more comfortable with it, so cool.

[00:02:54] Chris: Yeah, I guess, yeah,

[00:02:55] Ben: We have a text channel so I can do, I can chat with them as well.

[00:02:58] Chris: That makes sense. That’s cool. Yeah. I know a lot of Twitter spaces things, I’ve actually not done a lot of Discord Stages things. Um, but the, the, the real real time live chat would be an interesting one because it’s kind of , it’s a little clunky.

[00:03:10] You can’t really, I mean, I guess technically you could do it on Twitter sort of, but it’s not really meant for that.

[00:03:14] Honestly, we’ve been experimenting with Twitter. I think there’s pros and cons. Uh, that really we, we’ve had really great discord PMAs, partly because with the text channel, uh, we actually hold trivia and give up NFT prizes.

[00:03:28] And it’s sort of like, we’ll do the trivia, like really fun trivia with the community where we’ll do like, what’s the most wrong answer for why this project, um, came up with their name, you know, so it could be like friction or something, and then it’s just fun for the, for, for everyone listening in and, and, and for like, you know, just the, um, the speakers and everything.

[00:03:47] So there’s been a lot of fun, fun answers actually. Um, I mean, it makes it harder to do on Twitter, but, um, I dunno, we’re trying it out. We’ll see.

[00:03:56] Cool.

[00:03:56] Ben: Um,

[00:03:57] Chris: By, by the way, I’m not going to do the double sound thing, but I’m currently in your Discord, looking at the AMA stage. Where’s the place where you ask that, ask questions? Is that like the AMA clips and stuff or?

[00:04:07] Ben: Oh, no, there’s the Twitter spaces.

[00:04:11] Chris: Oh hold on, I got it, I see it, I see.

[00:04:13] Ben: Uh, I think we have a pretty decent crowd. Why don’t we get started?

[00:04:16] Chris: Sure.

[00:04:17] Ben: Uh, and you know, usually more people trickle in. So for everyone listening in, I’m really excited to have Chris McCann, general partner at Raise capital and an early investor in Solana, and the Solana ecosystem. So for people who, I mean, I ask the question for everyone, but for people that don’t know your background, um, do you mind sharing a bit about yourself and you know, what got you into crypto and, um, you know, what led you to invest in Solana?

[00:04:44] Chris: I will, I will give context and try to keep the answers short here. I don’t want to go on for too long, but hey everybody, my name’s Chris McCann. Um, has been mentioned, I’m a GP at Race Capital At Race, we focused on all things, seed, pre-seed, sort of infrastructure broadly. Um, and I guess what makes us interesting is we invest Web 2 and Web3.

[00:05:02] We actually find there’s more similarities than dissimilarities sometimes. Um, so, so we invest across both and we’re super comfortable on both sides. And then the thing we’re probably most famous for is we’re the early seed investors for, um, Solana, FTX, and Databricks, um, all together. Um, and then before this, I used to work at a more traditional VC fund, Greylock partners.

[00:05:26] I work mostly with Reid Hoffman and John Lilly. Uh, Reed was the former founder of LinkedIn. John was the former CEO of Mozilla. Um, at Greylock, um, uh, I did a bunch of stuff, but I guess the companies I was most involved with were Coinbase, Figma, and Discord, all within the series A, kind of early stage timeframe. Um, and then before that I was mostly a fan of myself.

[00:05:47] So I started one of the earliest tech newsletters called Startup Digest, subscribers it was acquired by Techstars. And I guess this was way before tech newsletters are cool. Uh, I guess now that probably sounds like a much more normal thing, but I guess back then nobody was doing techniques letters. I was very much, uh, one of the odd balls kind of out there.

[00:06:07] Um, and then I guess to answer your other two questions, I guess what got me into crypto is, um, so Greylock where I used to work at actually made a handful of these early investments, mostly in the Bitcoin space in the 2013, 14, 15 timeframe. Um, so they invested in Blockstream Zappo and Coinbase, kind of all within that timeframe.

[00:06:26] Um, and, and through all those investments, I got to meet a lot of the kind of early sort of Bitcoin core developers, the people kind of in the ecosystem and a lot of people kind of doing stuff within the Bitcoin world. And honestly, I was just really weirdly fascinated by all this stuff. Um, the ecosystem of people building Bitcoin things was totally 1000% different than the people building normal companies. Where they came from, their pedigree, why they were doing it, it far more had this like open source hackery vibe, um, which was just totally different from your typical Silicon valley lineage.

[00:07:03] And so, uh, you know, I figured the best way to learn about this stuff is like, I should just buy some Bitcoin and kind of play around with it. And so yeah, bought it kind of within the 2013 timeframe, um, kind of just held onto it, like experimented with some of the silk road stuff, but honestly, I didn’t really do that much with it, kind of just, kind of kept it and followed along.

[00:07:22] And then I guess the two other turning points was in 2015, 16 timeframe. I used to live in like this big packer house kind of thing. And then one of my roommates at the time, he wasn’t a founder, but he was like a very sort of early Ethereum core developer. And so he kept telling me about this, Ethereum and the smart contract thing.

[00:07:41] And then he kept saying like, you need to participate in the Ethereum ICO. You need to participate in Ethereum ICO. Um, luckily I did listen to her. Unluckily, I did not listen to him enough. So, so I, I participated a little bit, a tiny bit, um, which I still helped kind of through Ethereum to this day. Um, but honestly, back at the time it was a little nuts.

[00:08:02] Smart contracts are still very conceptual. Like, there was no daft or like nobody was building any of this stuff. And so, it was hard to imagine what this would become. Uh, but I guess through that experience like that, to kind of see the, all the early, um, sorta dabs at ICO’s and all that sort of stuff with them in 2016, 17 timeframe.

[00:08:22] Um, and then I guess, surrounded out to the Solana side. So, uh, around this time I had less grail off. Um, I was making kind of an, uh, a couple of, sort of early angel investments just on my own as me as a person. Um, and then, um, uh, this is when I started sort of hanging out with my now partner, Edith Young, a lot more.

[00:08:39] We’ve been good friends for over 12 years. Uh, she, she at the time was a general partner of five hundred startups. Uh, she was starting this 500 startups blockchain accelerator track. Uh, we were looking for companies to put into it. And so we had a lot of friends, kind of send us, uh, other friends of people, starting things.

[00:08:54] And we had a good friend of ours named David Queck who introduced us to this guy named Anatoly. And it totally was starting this new project. At the time it was actually called Loom. Um, a lot of a lot of people might not know the history, but Solana was not called Solana from the beginning. It was actually called moon protocol.

[00:09:09] Side-tended, I, I’m always, I guess I’m happy to explain that the full story longer, but yeah. Anatoly had, had this idea. It was super, super, super early stage. Um, Anatoly was a former, um, uh, infrastructure engineer at Dropbox. And before that he was a core gopher at Qualcomms, and a lot of the sort of low level protocol stuff he was working on beforehand, um, especially if there’s um, sort of brew and the city made chips that some of the stuff he was dealing with. For him, he was like, could I apply all the same stuff I was doing through sinking transactions through time? Could I apply the same thing to distributed crypto networks? Could the same consensus mechanism work?

[00:09:49] But again, at the time it was very theoretical. Um, there was almost basically. There really was no white paper. There was no tests matters, there was no main matters, there, there was no apps. There was no anything. Um, it was pretty much an idea and Anatoly had. And, um, my partner Eda, uh, her last company was invested to Qualcomm.

[00:10:08] And so we actually knew a lot of, and totally his former bosses, coworkers and all that. And so we did a referee check on him with all of his former colleagues. And the only questions they asked us is what is Anatoly doing? Can I invest? Can I join?

[00:10:24] And so this gave us a lot of conviction that Anatoly was a very special person. We did not necessarily know or think of what could this could become 'cause again, it was very raw. Um, but honestly we just fell in love with the Anatolyan rods and we just really wanted to support them. And, and this is also, um, I guess, keeping in mind the time, this was like the beginning of 2018.

[00:10:46] So kind of not too dissimilar from today. All the crypto markets are crashing. A bunch of people were pulling out, like nobody really wanted to invest in this stuff anymore. I remember like right before I actually made the investment, uh,

[00:10:58] Ross actually gave me a call and he’s like, “Hey, I just want to confirm. You still want to invest?” And I said, “of course, like my commitment is to you guys. Like, of course I’m still in”. He’s like, “okay, because the majority of people who committed to invest, they’re actually not going to invest anymore. Are you still okay with that?” And I said, "of course my commitment’s to you guys, like I’m still in this.

[00:11:17] And he’s like, okay, this is going to be a very rough ride.

[00:11:23] So yeah, it was a, um, yeah, I I’m happy to elaborate and my intro is probably way too long, but yeah, I guess that’s some of the contextual history of me, uh, sort of early how I started playing around with this stuff and sort of how I met the guys, uh, when they were like, yeah, literally just first timer into this thing.

[00:11:41] Ben: That’s a wonderful intro. And, and, um, I mean, I don’t think a lot of people actually know those early days or, or, um, I don’t, I don’t see a lot of people talking about them, so it’d be great to like, just hear a little bit more, um, it sounds like what’s interesting about it too. It’s like, even at the very start, it was sort of a rough, uh, you know, because of the markets.

[00:12:01] And I think we’ve, we see sort of similar things now. I mean, just, you know, with the market being cyclical or just like, you know, the, the bear market, like, you know. People can pull out or, or get lukewarm on funding, like, um, I mean, it’s really cool to hear you, you know, uh, have such strong convictions around the people.

[00:12:21] Um, I mean, does that sort of just how you operate or how you think about investing?

[00:12:26] Chris: Yeah, I guess, I guess maybe more broadly on the investing side. So we focus really on pre-seed seed, typically leading or co-leading. Um, most of the rounds that we do, um, versus, uh, I guess more of like the growth, safe stuff.

[00:12:42] So I guess since a lot of history, like when we invested it was, I don’t even know if they had a name for it, but it was like the pre-seed route or like whatever, the first kind of aims around with B, um, versus if you want to look at the other extreme, like the last round that Andreessen Horowitz did, where they raised, uh, PI a hundred million, 314 million bucks that would kind of be considered like your grip stage or kind of like late state stuffs.

[00:13:03] Um, for us, we focus all purely on the super early stage. We don’t do any of the growth stage, late stage. We don’t do liquid trading. We don’t, um, we don’t do any of this stuff.

[00:13:13] It’s primarily just kind of this very early raw stuff. And in that one, like, you’re honestly, like as much as you, as much as investors, don’t like to admit it, you’re really betting on the team. Um, because more likely than not, the teams are going to pivot and maneuver and change, you know, they might stay within their first idea, but like things are going to change.

[00:13:34] It’s just, it’s just kinda natural. It is what it is. Um, and so you’re, you’re betting that this team, whatever their ability in this broad market space, that they’re going to figure this out. Um, some teams are a little bit further along AKA maybe have like best NBP with some initial customers or users or something.

[00:13:52] Some teams are super early, it’s more pure concept idea. Um, the further down the spectrum you go, the more risk, the more reward. Um, but that’s kind the, that’s sort of the name of the game with a lot of us, um, venture investing stuff. So a lot of the things we do is trying to understand who the founders are, why are they doing, what they’re doing? What is their background that led them to this point? Why are they working on this idea as opposed to all the others?

[00:14:17] And the team dynamics, like why did Anatoly and Ross come together? Um, like how did they knew each other sort of what’s the dynamics within there? Because again, in the super, super early stage, a lot of this stuff matters a lot more.

[00:14:28] You know, now that’s the one is at scale, you know, they’re huge and they’re an ongoing sort of institution and they’re much bigger. A lot of these core questions matter a little bit less, but in that early day when it’s literally just them and a handful of people like sitting in the back of 500 startup office, Uh, working on a Friday night when nobody else cared at all doing like that stuff matters a lot.

[00:14:49] Ben: Yeah. I can’t agree more. Um, w- you know, was there, can you talk a little bit about how Anatoly and Raj got together? I’m not sure if everyone knows that story.

[00:14:58] Chris: Yeah. Um, so yeah, I believe, Anatoly was friends with Raj previously. Um, and it’s all, uh, everybody probably knows. Anatoly is very gifted and, uh, amazing on the development, in core developments.

[00:15:10] Uh, although he’s probably a need at the weaker, the business and partnership and sort of a more outgoing perspective. He’s gotten a lot better at it, by the way. He’s a pretty good, um, public speaker. It’s really funny. But yeah, in the beginning he was the typical CTO technical guy, and he really wanted a business person on the team.

[00:15:32] And so, um, uh, yeah, so he was talking to one of his old friends, Raj and convinced them to, uh, join him with him on this endeavor. Um, Raj beforehand, he actually used to do some venture things. He was a product manager at an early stage, um, healthcare company, um, kind of a, sort of more, uh, pedigreed degree, more in like the traditional kind of web to, um, space.

[00:15:55] Um, and Roger, we really loved because Ross was just very, um, tenacious. He’s very, uh, he’s not going to stop at nothing. He’s going to go get it, whatever it is like he, and he’s very, um, uh, organized. Like he’s kinda more about like COO type. Um, and again, the, the dynamics between the two of them worked really perfectly together.

[00:16:15] Um, Roger really rounded out a lot of, um, what Anatoly was doing. And then at the end of the day, you can build the fastest, greatest blockchain consensus mechanism in the world, but if nobody’s actually going to use it then none of it matters. And so finding those early development partners, actually working with a few dabs, like getting people to get bought into this, this stuff matters a lot.

[00:16:38] And so you need somebody to take that effort. Um, I don’t know if I want to get too far into it, but there was also actually a few other early people on the mix, kind of quasi core members who continue with the team. Um, and then a lot of the early core technical team actually all came from Qualcomm… So actually a lot of those people, when we called them and said, “Hey, what is Anatoly doing? Can I join?”

[00:16:59] The thing that was kind of crazy is they actually joined, but they weren’t saying it in vain. Um, they weren’t kinda making it up or BSC. Like a lot of these early people actually did end up helping him. Uh, formally, officially and kind of their own capacity. And so you really saw this early nucleus of people form.

[00:17:19] And I guess the only reason why we saw a purview of this this is I wasn’t joking. They were, um, I guess when they were, when they joined the 500 startups blockchain accelerator chat, they literally worked inside the 500 startups office. And given I left Greylock at the time, I had nothing else to do. I used to hang out at the 500, so it helps a lot.

[00:17:36] And so on Friday nights at 5:00 PM and everybody would be the salon and guys would always be in the back, always had known to working, no matter the price, no matter the volatility, no matter any of this crap, um, they were always heads down. And I, I think this has come to now and it’s always a quote he always gives at eating glass cause this is honestly what they had to do in the beginning.

[00:17:59] Um, most people really did not care about what they were doing, um, that they did not have an easy time, uh, getting a lot of the kind of early Ethereum developers kind of interested in this stuff. They really had to kind of form their own tab. Um, and they had to do it on their own accord. They really had not a lot of help around them.

[00:18:19] They had, they really had to kind of rough it out for while. Um, so I think that that’s this quote that he always gives out eating glass. I think a lot of it came from kind of that, that, that early, that early time they had to spend together.

[00:18:31] Ben: Wow. That’s amazing actually. Uh, yeah. You know, it’s funny because I feel like it’s morphed into sort of you know, eating glasses sort of like the learning curve of, of developing on Solana now, and, um, uh, it, it, so it’s funny to hear hear kind of this even earlier story of it. Um, uh, one of the things I think is amazing and sort of a testament to, I think like how cool that ecosystem the community is, is that they’ve taken this attribute that, you know, in a lot of places could be like, oh, this is, this is a horrible thing, right? And turned it into a strength, and I really love that framing and that thing that people can be proud of, you know?

[00:19:10] Chris: Yeah. And yeah, a lot of it too, also kind of came from the technical choices that they made. So I remember from early on, um, even early on in the beginning. Um, when they, you know, were events eventually when they changed the name or whatever, it’s just Solana.

[00:19:23] Um, they made the count to her and totally made the conscious choice, um, to build a VM, a built-on Russ parallel system, kind of what it is today. Um, and they made the very tough decision to make this non EDM compatible um, which at the time, the reason why a lot of the early cause we were friends with a lot of their theorem guy, we, you know, we used to tell them all about salon and they were always interested in the scalability portion.

[00:19:49] But the thing that always held people back was if this is not EDM compatible, this fundamentally breaks composability and composability is such a core tenant of almost everybody’s thing within the crypto space. But this is almost here as aides do this. Um, but, but again, uh, Anatoly made these very tough decisions where if you wanted to build this correctly for full scalability of all the things you could possibly do, that you would have to make this sharp demarcations, but by doing so then you couldn’t just take all the Ethereum apps that were working in, port them over, um, to Solana, you would have to build it from scratch, um, and not just copy paste, like you would actually have to rewrite the whole thing.

[00:20:34] Um, um, and, and a Solana’s kind of native language and framework. Um, and so to do this made their road tougher in the beginning. Um, they basically had, even when they were doing kind of the early VOO point, one of the tests that, or whatever, there was no application developers that signed up to be the first one.

[00:20:55] Um, cause again, nobody wanted to sign up to be the first one on a chain that had zero users. And so to, to get over that, that threshold, that hurdle again, to me eating glass, it’s not just the, it’s not just the technical hardness of it, but it’s also the boot strap hard best have, like you literally had to start this thing, like literally brown for, from nothing.

[00:21:17] Ben: So, so it sounds, this is really interesting. So it sounds like actually the starting point wasn’t like, "Hey, we’re going to break from a theorem.” There, there was even, there was a period of time where they were thinking of compatibility. Is that, is that what you’re saying? And then they, you know, um, kinda totally had to make a hard call.

[00:21:32] Chris: Yeah. Um, and again, um, um, like, uh, you should probably talk to Anatoly for all the more like deeper technical reasons why, but I remember it, yes, when they’re constructing their, um, VM. Yeah. Most of these kind of, sort of, uh, um, new layer ones, if you will kind of have this choice. I remember, like, I also spent a lot of time with like the near guys and the Avalanche guys, and there’s a few other sort of protocols that niggly, kind of make it through the Rubicon if you will. But they were kind of allness.

[00:22:00] And most of them took them far easier path of let’s just do backwards compatibility and we’ll, you know, make some, a bunch of patches. And we’ll, uh, we’ll, we’ll take a bunch of, uh, um, not shortcuts, but like we’ll, we’ll compromise on our system to accommodate EVM. Um, because you know, composability is super important, which is which it is, but which it is by the way.

[00:22:21] And that’s why it makes their path slightly easier. Uh, cause it’s easier to compose these things. You could use better masks to do all this stuff. Um, but Anatoly made this conscious decision of, again, if you want full scalability, scalability it’s not just on the consensus layer, but it’s also on the VM layer too.

[00:22:36] Um, and you need to innovate on both of these things and you need to allow for full paralyzable transactions. And so he made the choice to not to build their own. Um, but by building their own, that made their path tougher. And so a lot of these things are always trade-offs, but Anatoly the trade-off that would lead to the fastest chain.

[00:22:54] Um, cause he thought in the end, that was the thing that was most important. Um, and that they would do kind of whatever it took to get them there. Even if it costs, even if it costs them far more short-term pain.

[00:23:04] Ben: That’s awesome, man. I think that, that sort of bleeds are sharp focus, you know, um, is really important for any project.

[00:23:12] Uh, and, and it’s actually something that, you know, we talked to a lot of projects where people starting out too. And I, I think, um, you know, it’s something we think about too with Jupiter. Cause I think there’s a tendency to do the branch out and do, do more. And I think it’s harder to find like, Hey, what is the one thing that really matters and keeps focus, focusing on delivering that value and improving that.

[00:23:33] Chris: So, yeah. Yes. Especially in the crypto space. If you want to be distracted, there’s a, 1,000,001 shiny objects. There’s something new going on every week. And the controversy it’s been the same way from 2014, 15 till today. And I don’t know if it’ll ever end. There’s an unlimited things you can get distracted by.

[00:23:53] It’s far harder to pick a specific thing and focus on it. Um, uh, it’s so much tougher, but you know, we, we always tend to resonate with more of the technical teams that are on a mission. I want to build this and kind of ignore everything else. To some extent you, you, you of got to do that. I don’t fall to any things teams for getting distracted.

[00:24:14] I probably get distracted a hundred times too. Like it’s very easy to fall into this trout. Um, it’s a much harder thing to stay focused.

[00:24:21] Ben: Yeah. Conviction is super, super important. You know, I I’m curious, what do you think in those early days? Like what were the key sort of decisions or, or, or, um, or events or, or, or maybe prompts to solve that, that makes a lot into like breakout where it started to like, you know, pick up steam and get that early momentum.

[00:24:41] Chris: Yeah. Um, I guess maybe, yeah, the one that I always, uh, I remember I used to be in a whole bunch of like these early team meetings and Anatoly was probably so annoyed for me, cause I always probably said the same thing over and over again as I’m like, eh, cause I think in the beginning there always talking about like theoretically that topic can get to like 600,000 or sorry, 60,000 transactions per second.

[00:25:04] That was the goal, only one of the strip everything off and they were working to some theoretical, maximum. And I always used to tell them like 60,000 transactions is nice, but if people use zero of them, this does not matter. And so who you’re going to get to use anything like, well, let’s not talk about theoretical maximums here.

[00:25:21] Like, can you get somebody to use one transaction, one transaction and who’s it going to be? Um, and, and I think they were probably always annoyed by me as part of this question. Um, but, but again, because they made this choice of it can not be backwards compatible and made this decision really tough. Um, we tried to pair them off with, I probably can’t say who, but a lot of the who’s who of a theory of apps, a lot of them looked at this in the beginning.

[00:25:45] And again, because they made the choice to not be EDM. They decided not to do it. And so, um, they had to go down this super tough path of trying to find kind of the more key application that would build the process. Um, they talked to, you know, people outside the crypto ecosystem on different chains, Ontario, um, even some corporate people, um, some people who are sort of crypto tangental, um, and honestly they did not have a lot of luck with a lot of these things.

[00:26:12] Um, they got one, uh, very, uh, I know if I lucky is the right word, but I I’m, I, I’m not sure how else to put it, but they got one big break. And that there was another portfolio company that arts, uh, FTX, uh, started by this guy named Sam Bateman, uh, who he wanted to build a, sort of the FTX version of a decentralized decks and wanted to build this, uh, as a, um, central limit order book system that ran completely on chain.

[00:26:41] Um, this has always been a, sort of a dream of Anatoly. Um, I remember also in the, in the early days, uh, he always used to talk about, they wanted to build NASDAQ completely on chain. Uh, not NASDAQ in the sense of just the trading engine, but the whole thing. Um, all of the data, all of the transactions, all the buy, limit, order, sells, everything. The whole enchilada completely.

[00:27:05] Um, we actually paired them up with a whole bunch of the exchanges to talk about this, and nobody wants to take this risk. It was, it was such a, it was such a big, risky thing at the time. Um, but you had one crazy entrepreneur named Sam Bakeman that wanted to take this risk and, uh, um, FTX actually they, their initial, um, uh, uh, standpoint was they were going to just build this themselves.

[00:27:27] They did not think any of the layer one. Uh, ecosystems could support what they wanted to do and that they would just need to build a purpose chain just for themselves and kind of build it around that. But before they did that, they wanted to take kind of a landscape and look at all of the layer one things out there.

[00:27:44] And so they looked at Ethereum and Appalachian year and all that sort of stuff. And they looked at Solana and Solana at the time they came out with this little, uh, they they’d built, I think they’re on the test that like 1.1 or 1.2 or something. Um, and they built this little thing called the Solana break game.

[00:28:03] Um, it was this little, very simple thing. It was basically just like a screen, um, that was showing kind of all the live transactions and then they had a little space bar at the bottom. So where if you click the space bar, it would basically instantiate a transaction and you can kind of see it go through the whole system and you can see sort of visually how fast these things are being processed.

[00:28:23] And then I remember a Nishaun on the FTX team is kind of a sort of main CTO technical guy. Um, they were looking at the thing, they were pushing the space for as fast as they could. And they can see that, uh, Solana was extra processing all this. So, of course these guys are engineers, so they’re like, okay, like, can I put an auto clicker on the site?

[00:28:40] Can I click it a thousand times? Okay, let me grab the eight. Yeah, let me throw like a million transactions per day. Like how much can this thing handle until they completely broke the, uh, uh, Solana network. Um, but that actually gave them the competence of like, wow, like this thing could actually do what it says it can do and it can do it for real.

[00:29:00] And so honestly, FTX would see her most. As the first, biggest brand, if you will, to make like an actual substantial investments in claim and, um, effort and energy to build their own application serum on Solana. And, and by doing that, you’ve got two things. One, not only did you have something that was actually going to use all this stuff now, but probably more importantly is you have the brand of FTX, which is growing incredibly fast.

[00:29:28] Taking this big public, uh, um, sort of reputational risk of building on Solana, which gave a lot of people now a lot more of the, the freedom, experimentation and curiosity of, hey, if FTX is building on this thing, like, you know, let’s take a look like let’s poke around and a lot of these things. And so this is about the time where I think the very first hackathon for Solana, happened maybe six months or so after that was announced.

[00:29:58] And that was the time where you finally start to see some emergence of some actual developers kind of playing around with this a little bit more. I guess it’s still very kind of early stage, it’s still very like raw, like, you know, not nobody like serious for saying, but you got people finally kind of taking the plunge for themselves because everything up until that point, um, it was mostly very, uh, uh, it was mostly very validator centered.

[00:30:25] And before that you did have a lot of, uh, validators and part of our people and taking people, uh, kind of spinning up to get the network up and like, but you really didn’t see the emergence of any of the app ecosystem until sort of post, a post here.

[00:30:38] Ben: Interesting. Interesting. Switching it up just a little bit, like for those early projects, like say post serum, like, what do you think? Cause I’m really curious about, um, ecosystem, uh, early in those days. What, what do you think were the biggest challenges for them?

[00:30:54] Chris: Yeah, I guess there’s a few obvious ones of. Um, a lot of these very, very, very early things. You were essentially building on a chain that had no composability for other ecosystems.

[00:31:06] Um, and you had very low, limited user base to start with. Um, so not a lot of, um, uh, not a lot of user base to get traction on and you basically had zero TBL. You really did not have any of the DeFi apps there. There was no TBL to pull from. There was no, um, there, there was nothing really existing. Um, w what some entrepreneurs, like, like, love this stuff, like, um, uh, again, none of these correlators are sad, so there was, there was no lending. There is no, I mean, you had the, kind of the basics of a serum, but serum was really just like the central limit order book. You really need to build the AMM and the trading applications on top. Now, when we look today, Jupiter is kind of very abstracted all the way above that. But from the beginning you had, you had, if you built Jupiter, there was nothing to pull from.

[00:31:55] So I guess, unless you’re just going on like pure serum itself, but a lot of people didn’t need serum for portraying. And so, um, a lot of it’s basic stuff like this is kind of what needed to be built in the beginning. Um, which, which again is a blessing and a curse at the same time. It’s a curse in the sense that like, there’s again, nothing to fall from so you’re really bootstrapping this from scratch.

[00:32:17] Um, but it’s also a blessing of the entrepreneurs that went to build these things. They now have become the core, you know, infrastructure layers, trading layers, all that sort of stuff that now most of Solana sits on. Um, so whether it’s, you know, serum or radium or stabbed or stable swab, which turned into, uh, uh, which turned into Saber, uh, like these are all the early, early, early prototype, typical things.

[00:32:41] I’m actually going to try to find, um, I don’t know if I can, no promises, but there is um, a friend of mine, uh, he, he, um, he sort of diagrammed out the, uh, the early Solana ecosystem back during that time on like a piece of napkin with a pen and somebody, and somebody took a picture and this is like the very first, um, kind of picture of what that early ecosystem was. Um, I guess I’m talking, let me see if I can find this. It might be a little bit harder for me to find it. Um, th th like that was like the, like, that was it.

[00:33:19] Yeah. Let me say that.

[00:33:22] Ben: I mean, I think it’s amazing. Uh, I, you know, I mean, obviously, you know, like in the beginnings of any ecosystem, you know, it is a temple, but it’s like being here now with, with, you know, how large Solana is. And I see some of the diagrams that a lot of the, um, uh, um, you know, Solana news sites post out on projects and it’s like, like super dense and packed can’t even fit on a, on a slide really.

[00:33:49] And to think it all fit on a napkin that someone hand drew, like that’s pretty crazy.

[00:33:55] Chris: Yeah, I don’t, yeah, there is. Oh, it was the, uh, the s- somebody from the coin 90 18. There were, I think one of the people who made it because the coin 90 18 was one of the very first, I think it was the first wall at that actually allowed for them SPL champions. You also had that too. It’s like, um, um, almost everything was at ERC 20. And so all the wallets and all the exchanges and all the things, so, you know, of course at ERC 20 support. And so anybody building an ERC 20 token, you were not guaranteed, but like your path was far easier to get your token.

[00:34:29] Let’s set it on all these things or whatever. Um, but Solanas, it’s a different chain, SPL 10 pen. And so nobody had SPL support. Um, there was almost no wallet, the only wallet that existed at the time which still exist today, although nobody really uses it. Well, it’s the whole sollet thing, but S O L L E T.

[00:34:48] And that was built by the Serum guys. Um, because again, there was actually no wallet to new Serum. And so you kind of need a wallet in order to use the thing. And so they, they built this like really janky, but it’s, you know, it worked, it worked to be fair. It wasn’t like the best of all it’s in the world, but they built this like simple thing to just throw it out there.

[00:35:08] Um, because again, you wouldn’t have been able to interact with this in any other way. Um, you, you could use the, I remember the very, first of all that I set up was the whole command line interface, the CLI tool base, which is fine and it works, but like, you know, that that is not a very, um, uh, it’s not very consumer friendly.

[00:35:28] Um, so, so yeah, you kinda needed like an interface with us. Um, I remember the step finance guys were also a very, very, very early, um, uh, team and builders on. 'Cause like, you kind of needed a window to look into these things and, um, um, um, a place to kind of see all those early apps and all that sort of stuff.

[00:35:48] But yeah, man, all this super early stuff was super raw. Um, it, it was not for the, uh, it was not for the faint of heart. It’s just,

[00:35:58] Ben: And you know, I, I, I’m curious from, from the investment standpoint, like early on, I mean, you invested in a number, um, projects early, like what, what was, what were you looking for in those days?

[00:36:09] Chris: Yeah. Um, I guess I’ll take the more, um, honest approach here. So I guess two things. So one, since we were early seed investors in Solana itself, obviously I had a huge, um, uh, um, sort of bias incentives.

[00:36:24] See the thing worked out because I want it Solana itself, to work out. And so honestly, in this like really, really early age and, and still to this day, by the way, um, I kind of more personally just acted as a individual sort of user contributor, liquidity provider for a lot of these things. Um, cause again, for most of these projects, like when they’re first starting out, um, again, since a lot of this stuff was super new and super raw, people were kind of scared to like try out a lot of these things and, you know, put some real fun at work.

[00:36:53] Um, mostly things are, you know, pretty early sort of small scale. And so for a lot of these things, I was like, Hey, I’m happy to be here for Cesar. I’m happy to try it out. I’ll give you some product feedback. I’ll be the first liquidity writer. I’m not going to throw like a decent amount of money, but out there, like something on here, just so it doesn’t show it zero.

[00:37:10] Um, and I’ll play around with things. Um, but in that, in that, that early, early, early prototypical phase, outside of serum itself, we, we really didn’t invest in, um, a lot of things just cause I didn’t really feel the timing was quite right yet. Um, the first major investment that we did as a fund, um, in the ecosystem was really, uh, probably Saber itself.

[00:37:33] Um, so when Saber was coming out, um, the, the, the, all the kind of core pieces sort of started to have a little bit more weight attached to them. There was a really no TBL to pull from. Um, but the, the, say the same we’re brothers, Dylan, and Ian, um, I guess, similar to a Rajan and Anatoly or similar to Sam Bankman, um, we honestly just fell in love with them.

[00:37:58] Um, they were super scrappy. They filling the, and they were, they were part of like the original original crew that actually invented the term in the word DeFi and sort of all the concepts that we do today, they were part of the, I kind of initial, um, core set of people which came from it was like this little small conference that they put together in San Francisco and actually attended maybe 2018, 19 or something like that.

[00:38:26] Um, uh, and, uh, I I’d always found them super impressive. Uh, they were, they were, they worked on this little open source thing initially called StableSwap. Um, they were basically porting over the curve, stable slot mechanism, but natively on Solana, which again, you couldn’t just do copy paste.

[00:38:45] Like you kind of had to rewrite and rethink all this and that they were part of the very first hackathon. I think there are one of the, I don’t think they were the grand prize winner, but they might’ve been the second or third, um, prize winner for the first hackathon. Um, but they decided that they didn’t really quite feel that the Solana ecosystem was ready for it either and so they put it on pause for a little bit.

[00:39:06] And then, um, and then Ian started to working on the code base again. And the, um, uh, when, uh, I, I’m not sure how many people listen to this. I, I can share a little bit of our secrets, but one of the things we look at for race capital a lot is, um, we actually crawl record, um, and monitor a whole bunch of the, uh, uh, get hub, open source repo.

[00:39:26] And so we actually noticed that the, uh, that the stable, swap repo was being worked on again. And so I remember I came to Ross and I’m like, Hey Dylan, and Ian I’m like, what are you guys? What do you think about this? And Ross is like, these guys are these. I was like, okay. And, um, and they, they decided that they felt now is the time.

[00:39:49] Uh, and they really, they really believed in the kind of feature and promise that what Solana would be. And they wanted to launch one of these marquee applications, which would become Saber. And so we decided to be the lead seed investor for the project itself. Um, and th this is, uh, I give a lot of hats off to them because again, kind of before them, there was maybe some TVL, but like, it was very small scale.

[00:40:12] Um, Saber was really the one that pushed it from almost nothing. So like over a billion, um, TBL, almost not through their only accord, obviously they’re, they’re sitting on a whole bunch of these infrastructural pieces that need to exist, but they really were the ones that pushed a lot of people to bridge their assets from these other ecosystems into Solana and take a really hard look at this stuff.

[00:40:36] And now all of the kind of new things that are starting today, again, now you don’t need to do all this painful stuff of starting from scratch. Now there’s some things actually pull from, um, but that was like the, that was the very first, uh, investment we did from race capital beading seed company, kind of in the ecosystem, kind of at the time.

[00:40:53] And before that, I was mostly just a, kind of a power user sort of early liquidity provider for a lot of this stuff.

[00:41:00] Ben: My first experience with, uh, with those guys, you know, coming from the material side, um, was very interesting, but, um, I really, uh, I agree with the beast. And, uh, and for me, actually, the thing that really impressed me was that focus, um, that they had, I mean, it was clear like, you know, they’re, they’re focused on sort of, uh, pulling in and getting, um, uh, you know, bridged assets into Solana, um, was, was like a main driver for them.

[00:41:32] And, and, uh, I think they, they, they just, you know, they were beasts for sure.

[00:41:37] Chris: Yeah. That’s very odd, very, very Ross.

[00:41:44] Ben: Uh, but, uh, yeah, matters back to that. You know, one of the, one of the teams, we respect a lot in the, in the, this, so, oh, that’s really cool, dude. It sounds like a sound, sound principle in terms of investing. Do you think any of that has changed given the new projects that are coming on? I mean, now that we’re seeing a lot more, um, new, new protocols that are composing on top, especially all the projects that are coming out. Any of that investment thinking changed or shifted?

[00:42:11] Chris: Yeah. Um, maybe two or three comments to this. Um, one kind of, again, in this early part of typical phase, you could have done the very simple, very, very hard, but very simple exercise of lending markets on Solana don’t exist. There should be one. A stable, swap mechanism doesn’t exist. There should be one. A dex aggregator doesn’t exist. There should be one.

[00:42:34] But now we’re trying to have at the time where I won’t say all these pieces are set, but all of these pieces are far more formalized now. Where, you know, maybe you could build the next deck, that’s a little bit faster or cheaper or whatever.

[00:42:48] Um, but you have pretty certain competition from migrants or the other folks. And by the way, most people are now using Jupiter. And so they really care about best price. And so, um, now the competition is much more fierce than these, these simpler, easier to understand categories. Um, so now, now we’re finally ready for either step two or step three of them.

[00:43:10] Um, step two, which I, I’ve always said is, you know, again, in the beginning you need all these pieces to exist and it’s not like you can build an ecosystem without it. So I think a lot of people criticize that extra why Solana and stuff, but like in hindsight, you do need it. Like it’s a necessary precondition.

[00:43:27] Um, but now we’re kind of at the question of, okay, what is Solana uniquely capable of that others’ ecosystems cannot do. There is no easy analogy anymore. Um, maybe one tangible example of this would be like Solana pay. Um, I actually think salon is very well suited for generalized payments, even in period, US dollar, USCC format, um, to merchants B to B, B to C.

[00:43:54] Um, I think there’s a huge white space here that has really not been attacked by any other protocol at scale. Um, I think there’s something definitely here. Um, there’s a lot of, uh, empty white space. Um, again, at this point, these companies will be blazing their own trail, um, that there there’s no easy analogies anymore, but like again, huge white space that does not exist.

[00:44:19] You could probably argue the same thing for gaming, although it’s not really a big area that we focus on. The gaming, it seems like there’s also a lot of white space that you really could um, do with cheap, cheap and bastions and actions.

[00:44:32] Um, the other question that I think the, the, um, earlier participants all need to ask for themselves, um, is the, the second part for things that do exist, what is either the ultimate cap or expansion plans of these?

[00:44:48] So, for example, if you are the biggest decks on Solana, if you were the biggest lending platform on Solana, or you were the biggest, uh, um, stable swap on Solana. What’s next? Either a: These things are fundamentally limited by the size of the ecosystem. So however big Solana is, these things are capped and so you need to grow the whole pie for everybody, or can you expand to other things? So can you, you know, maybe not just take up your core thing that you’re already winning on, but can you expand a product lines or feature sets or whatever to take more of the vertical stack?

[00:45:23] Um, or another question could be is could you expand these things multichannel? So if you have one Solana for lending, can you win terra, can you win near, uh, should these things, do you want in the same? Should they cover us? So they do all that, all these other things, um, you have these more strategic companies for each, each protocol, each founder, each thing to consider for themselves and where they’ve said and all that. Um, but again and again, in the beginning you need the super amera focus to win. But once you win, whatever that category you started off to be, then you need to answer your question of what’s next and like, where is the ultimate, uh, uh, um, uh, sort of value driver here next? Not just what you have so far.

[00:46:04] Um, so, so yeah, I’ve probably been having more of these conversations. You know, not just probably a company founders, but even people outside of that on, okay, I’ve won this category, but like what what’s like the next thing we should double down on? Um, which again, it’s a very core sort of strategic question that each founder needs answer for themselves.

[00:46:22] Ben: And it’s really funny. I feel like you’re speaking to us right now. Um, and cause I mean, we, we, we, we think about, uh, this quite a bit, um, and, uh, for Jupiter and, um, you know, I’m kind of curious to hear your thoughts, like, because you mentioned a couple of different categories, which, which are all the same categories where we’re thinking about, um, uh, which is like, you know, do you, do you help grow Solana? You know, and, and for us, for Jupiter, it’s sort of like, yes. I mean, we’re, you know, w w we also think it’s super early. Our goal is help grow the volumes on Solana, and what can we do to do those things. But, you know, there’s also, you know, cross chain, you know, everyone is going after it. There’s a lot of players.

[00:47:04] There’s a lot of energy, as well as, uh, you know, um, adjacent market opportunities, you know? So I’m just sort of curious, like, are there other guidelines for picking directions that you’ve proposed or-

[00:47:19] Chris: Yeah, there’s only, uh, I guess at a, at a high level again, maybe not to make it like a, uh, like a Jupiter specific thing, but I guess to think about this broadly is I always go back to like the end customer said, and I guess the end assets.

[00:47:33] So there’s really only a few places to pull this from. So either you’re going after existing, uh, dollar assets within, or sorry, not existing assets within Solana itself, so you have sort of two buckets, one, you have the assets that are already defined aka you’re more fiercely competing with the other competing protocols.

[00:47:58] So I guess for you, it’d be taking away, um, more exchange volume for others and bringing them to you. Um, you have assets that are on Solana, but not being used within DeFi. Um, one interesting one is when you actually look at the, uh, the amounts of Solana state, the vast majority of it, if not the overwhelming majority of it is still in simple staking.

[00:48:22] This is not in liquid staking, and this is not being used in DeFi. This is not an option pools. This is not trading. Um, the vast majority is not being put to work. So can you convince people who already have Solana assets to do more things with it? Um, so I guess that’s growing the pie within the Solana ecosystem. Um, then you have growing the pie outside of Solana ecosystem, um, either specifically or narrowly or broadly.

[00:48:48] Um, so can you go after some of these other like minded ecosystems, like we see a lot of crossover between a Solana and Terra. So, can you convince people from the terror ecosystem to move their assets into Solana to do something like that? Um, I think some of the options volts have had pretty good success following kind of this playbook.

[00:49:07] Um, you could do the same thing, not just for a Terra, but you could pick near, you can pick, you know, avalanche or whatever your think is, um, the more broad approach so you could try to do this with all of them. So, you know, you could partner with a wormhole or Albridge and you could try to be the cross chain kind of connector to do this.

[00:49:25] Um, uh, Saber had to do this from the beginning, mostly from the fact that Solana had no assets in NUPI. And so they needed to bring things over, and so this is the kind of approach that they did partnering closely with Albridge and wormhole to do so, or the much more difficult one in two flavors is you can convince people to bring assets that are not in digital format, not in crypto at all, and bring them over to crypto for the first time.

[00:49:51] Um, so you either have your two categories, you have individuals or institutions. Um, individuals is, can you get people who have never put their money into USBC at all whatsoever to convince them to do it for the first time, for some reason, yield farming, or I think NFTs are actually a pretty good capture mechanism for it.

[00:50:10] I don’t know why, but just NFTs tend to consumers just tend to like, kind of get this more viscerally more. And like, they’re more interested in this and they’re more willing to like put some money to work, to buy an NFT, and then once they’ve done so instead of the wallet, all and all that, then they might kind of experiment and start to look, but it’s a much, it’s a much harder path because you’re convincing a completely net new user.

[00:50:32] Or two, you have more of the institutional side. So can you convince funds and family offices and all that sort of stuff to also put some assets in for the very first time, much, much, much more difficult. Um, but that’s the, that, that is the more, how do you grow the overall pie for everybody kind of net new?

[00:50:51] And a lot of these are usually around sort of more breakout kind of applications. So I don’t know if you had some breakout game, like, um, I think one of the major publishers, um, I’m probably going to say the name wrong, the PVG sort of say, they’re going to create a game that can bring a completely new set of net new, you know, users to something like this.

[00:51:13] Um, but again, the question from .Always from the founder side is one is, do you wait for this? You know, you could just sit here on your hands and wait for a year and hope that the pie grows for everybody in gross for you. Or two, is do, do you take a more proactive stance on one of these different categories?

[00:51:29] And if so, you probably need to focus on whatever is the category that makes sense for you and what you’re doing. Um, cause again, you probably can’t tackle them all. And some of these are far harder than others, like, you know, trying to convince institutions that have never put a dollar in crypto is probably going to be a much harder task than somebody who owns some SOL already, but has not done anything like that.

[00:51:52] Um, so again, it’s just a very different customer said, your user says, why they’re doing it and kind of all that stuff.

[00:52:00] Ben: Yeah. I, you know, I would, I would add to that like, uh, and this is something that, uh, some factors in, in how we make our decisions too, is sort of like, um, also to look internally towards the team and, and, and say like, you know, uh, because I think that’s a big, that’s a big, uh, that’s one of the biggest factors for any decision outcome and, and say like, you know, what, what are, uh, a, what are we most excited about? You know, like, uh, like really asking like hard, hard things, like hard, hard, like the deeper question of excitement. Like, you know, not, not that like, here’s a shiny thing, but like, you know what really, like, no matter what happens, we, we, we would really love to do, you know?

[00:52:41] And then I think the other thing is that, cause I feel like timing is also important. Uh, you know, and, and, you know, Jupiter is a good example of timing in the market too. Like, you know, it, it, it was a good time to launch, but then I think as a team, we kind of look at like internal team timing. Like, are we ready for this?

[00:53:01] Or does it feel like, you know, we’re, we’re, we’re, we’re early as a team, you know? And, um, I kind of share this because I think a lot of people try to try to catch external timing and something like, um, and for instance, like, I think late last year there was sort of this pressure to like token launch. Like everyone was trying to like launch their token.

[00:53:23] You know, because of the coming, the coming there and everything. And, you know, we, we were facing a decision of, uh, you know, should we do that or wait, you know? And, and a lot of it came down to, you know, like it would, it would feel rushed. Like we, you know, there, there, there, there was no, like internal right. Readiness for that kind of thing. Um, and that, that seemed to have worked out.

[00:53:45] I feel like for us, like, you know, having a better sense of our internal timing, um,

[00:53:51] Chris: And by the way, I do have to go in four minutes, just FYI, and maybe one comment to that is, yeah, I think a lot of people forget too, that I don’t know. Maybe sometimes they can feel it in the cryptos.

[00:54:02] Everything has a protocol and it’s a decentralized thing of contributors. And like there’s no companies that I every visit soon, whatever. But at the end of the day, I, again, the vast majority of these things, at the end of the day, they are structured like team. Then there’s real people like you in a band and whether they’re anonymous or not anonymous, like there’s real people behind all this stuff.

[00:54:25] Um, and real people have all of these same, all the same team dynamic and leadership, are going to keep on seeing and focusing, but at the same time, exploring these other areas and getting people on the same page and making sure you’re doing something that’s actually exciting and having goals and doing all that stuff like this stuff matters.

[00:54:43] Um, and again, maybe we should just see this a little bit more because we’re more on the investment side and we’re backing these teams really early on when they don’t have this. Um, and, and for the vast majority of these things, almost all these things, uh, nothing is ever up until the right perfectly, all the time.

[00:54:58] Um, in fact, all these things have huge volatility to them, not just the price of crypto, but also the, uh, uh, the, the just overall mood from what you’re doing. Um, counting any new sucks. It’s hard. Um, uh, this is why everybody is not founders, nor should they be. Um, because, uh, um, uh, it takes a toll on, um, the stuff like literally takes your blood, sweat, and tears, and most of the time is pain and suffering.

[00:55:24] Um, some people can bear that some people can’t, and I think you have to be true to yourself. Um, like what type of person you are. Um, so yeah, these things are at the end of the day human enterprises, whether we like that or not, um, uh, whether we want to, you know, put all this in code or nods, um, at the end of the day, there are still human fine. All these things.

[00:55:44] Ben: Dude. Fantastic. Uh that’s you know, um, I think you shared a lot of amazing things on that. Uh, uh, you know, we’re sort of a little short of time now, but, um, uh, any, any, any last words for like, you know, maybe something that you’re excited, excited about, um, coming up or something you want to share, and-

[00:56:07] Chris: Yeah, maybe a few general comments. Yeah. Yeah. Anybody listening to this, to us entrepreneurs starting something new, like I’m always happy to talk. Feel free to DM me on Twitter or whatever. Or my email is chris@race.capital. I guess a few areas we’ve been looking at, looking at more recently Solana pays, sort of all the payment infrastructure.

[00:56:25] Um, um, again, whether it’s like merchant payments or B2B payments or payroll payments or a lot of this stuff, I think there’s a lot of, um, sort of white space here. Um, two, I, I play around naturally with a lot of these kind of NFT, DeFi for NFT, sorta stuff like that, slightly more of a personal, personal interest, but I always love learning about, uh, kind of this new stuff.

[00:56:45] Um, and then three, anything, any more like these deeper, um, um, sort of developer tools or infrastructural tools. Like we recently just sit at their investment and kind of in the notification infrastructure space, uh, notify. But at any of these things that development teams are going to need to use, um, this is also other areas that we like as well.

[00:57:04] So don’t be shy pretty much any time. I’m an open book. I always have time to chat.

[00:57:08] Awesome.

[00:57:08] Ben: Well, thanks, Chris. Uh, super glad to have you here. It’s been amazing. Um, I’ll let you go to your next thing. Uh, everyone who’s been listening, thank you for, uh, coming by and listening. Hopefully, it was interesting and useful for you, uh, and, uh, uh, I hope to see you in the next one. Thank you, everyone.

[00:57:25] Chris: All right. See you guys.

[00:57:29] Ben: I’m Ben Chow, and you’ve been listening to exploring Solana with Jupiter. Thanks so much for listening. If you enjoyed this podcast, subscribe and let us know what you think.

Definition of terms:

  • Cryptocurrency - an encrypted data string that denotes a unit of currency
  • Solana - fastest blockchain in the world and the fastest-growing ecosystem in crypto, with thousands of projects spanning DeFi, NFTs, Web3, and more
  • Jupiter - ​​is the key swap aggregator and infrastructure on Solana, giving you the best price swaps for any token
  • DeFi - emerging financial technology based on secure distributed ledgers similar to those used by cryptocurrencies.
  • NFT- NFTs are unique cryptographic tokens that exist on a blockchain and cannot be replicated. NFTs can represent real-world items like artwork and real estate.
  • FTX- FTX is an easy-to-use crypto exchange where you can buy, sell, and store Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies and digital assets such as NFTs.
  • Databricks- Databricks provides a Unified Data Analytics Platform for massive-scale data engineering and collaborative data science on multi-cloud infrastructure.
  • VC fund- A venture capital (VC) fund is a sum of money investors committed to investment in early-stage companies.
  • Bitcoin- Bitcoin is a digital or virtual currency created in 2009 that uses peer-to-peer technology to facilitate instant payments.
  • Ethereum- Ethereum is a decentralized blockchain platform that establishes a peer-to-peer network that securely executes and verifies application code, called smart contracts. Smart contracts allow participants to transact with each other without a trusted central authority.
  • NBP- Naraka Blade Point (NBP) NFT is a decentralized financial payment network that rebuilds the traditional payment stack on the blockchain.
  • BSC- Binance Smart Chain (BSC) is a blockchain network built for running smart contract-based applications.
  • TBL- In economics, the triple bottom line (TBL) maintains that companies should commit to focusing as much on social and environmental concerns as they do on profits.
  • ERC 20-ERC-20 tokens are blockchain-based assets that have value and can be sent and received
  • SPL-Simplicity is an open-source crypto-currency focused on fast transactions, with low transaction fees & environmental footprint.
  • Sollet-Sollet is an open-source wallet for advanced users and developers.
  • CLI- Cryptocurrency CLI lets you monitor cryptocurrencies in your portfolio and track your earnings through the command line.