Cryptonomix

Mackenzie Patel, Senior Revenue Accountant at Figment

Episode 8: Mark Eckerle and Mackenzie Patel, Senior Revenue Accountant at Figment

In this episode, Mark Eckerle and Mackenzie Patel, Senior Revenue Account at Figment, one of the world’s largest blockchain infrastructure and services providers, discuss the staking offerings of Figment and the variety of its core customer base. Figment’s mission revolves around the Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism so in addition to Figment, the two discuss the differences between PoS and PoW and the ETH merge.

Transcript:

This podcast was transcribed through a third-party application. Please disregard any misrepresentations.

Mark Eckerle:

Hello listeners, welcome to this episode of Cryptonomix. Before we jump into today’s discussion, please keep in mind this recording is for general education and is not intended to constitute investment advice. Any opinions expressed are those of the participants and do not necessarily represent those of Withum.

Mark Eckerle:

Hello listeners. Welcome back to another episode of Cryptonomix, brought to you by Withum. I’m your host, Mark Eckerle, and today I welcome to the show Mackenzie Patel, Senior Revenue Account at Figment. So Mackenzie, I’m gonna kick it right over to you to give us some background on yourself as well as your company Figment, and kind of tell us what you guys do.

Mackenzie Patel:

Sure. Thanks for having me on Mark. Really excited for this. So, as you mentioned, I’m the Senior Revenue Accountant at Figment, and so that means I handle all of our different
revenue and staking revenue, data hub revenue, all of our different product lines. So oversee all of that. I joined Figment over a year ago now, which is pretty crazy. I started off doing more like rewards analysis, like reporting and FP&A, but my background is accounting, so I slowly made my way over to the actual accounting team. And then before Figment, I was actually a revenue accountant over at Honeywell, which is like a manufacturing type of company. I was out in Arizona doing revenue accounting for their aerospace department. So going from jet engines to crypto was very different, but it was a really awesome transition and I really just fell in love with the crypto space. And so before that I was attending University of Florida. I got my degrees in accounting and so I’ve been doing it for oh, about a few years now. In the crypto space specifically only about a year, but that feels kind of like a long time for crypto.

Mark Eckerle:

Time definitely flies when you’re in this space. It’s pretty crazy

Mackenzie Patel:

I know things move so quickly and especially like in my world of crypto accounting, there’s no guidance, so things tend to shift and change very often, so you really have to stay on top of it.

Mark Eckerle:

Well, that, that’s what I was gonna ask too. I mean this isn’t, I’m not gonna focus too much on the accounting side specifically talking about guidance and things like that, but being in the crypto space and applying ASC 606, the new revenue standard, obviously being the new senior revenue accountant, there’s definitely some inherent challenges and hurdles there, I’m sure. Which was a fun process I bet. To go through.

Mackenzie Patel:

Yeah, don’t have to get into it in too much detail, but you know, there’s the five step revenue recognition process and every single step has challenges in the crypto world, especially with noncustodial staking, which Figment deals with. And so yeah, there’s definitely, it’s a whole can of worms.

Mark Eckerle:

I’m sure it was exciting.

Mackenzie Patel:

Yeah, it makes the job very interesting for sure. I always tell people I log on to work and I don’t, I don’t really know what I’m gonna do that day cuz things always change. So I like that. That’s more my, more my pace.

Mark Eckerle:

That’s the beauty of this space. So why don’t we jump right in, tell us a little bit about Figment. What, what’s the company doing? What are you guys building and, and kind of give us a little bit of background with the company.

Mackenzie Patel:

Sure. So Figment is a blockchain infrastructure provider. And so first and foremost we, we run validators on over, I think we’re over 65 purpose stake networks now, which is a lot of different chains. And so yeah, protocol infrastructure is definitely one of our main things that we do. So in addition to running validators, we also run different infrastructure like APIs for blockchain data. So if you’re like a blockchain developer and you need data from a specific blockchain, you can access or query one of our notes and get data that way. And so those, those are kind of the main things that we’re focused on, but all relates back to blockchain infra, which most people don’t really think about or think is like a not sexy sort of part of crypto, but it is so fundamental and like so necessary cuz without it, like blockchains wouldn’t run like validators power the proof stake ecosystem and we’re a part of that.

Mark Eckerle:

Yeah, I mean, like you said, it’s not, it’s not the sexy role and there’s definitely a need there though because whenever you look at what the openings are in this space, right, like I myself we’re looking for crypto accountants, crypto walleters, things like that. And people that understand the space rather than a 101 or entry level, the dev position, people building out the space, those are the hottest commodity by far right. Understanding how to, to code and build, understand the technological piece of this. Because when it comes to crypto, it’s really, it’s a new space and a new technology, right? I know everyone wants to talk about it as a currency, but it is just such a massive technological change for the ecosystem. It it’s just a complete new asset class.

Mackenzie Patel:

Yeah, definitely. And on the engineering, so like we have a bunch of DevOps engineers that we call and the ones that maintain and spin up new validators and they have to go through a whole like rigorous program basically how to learn to be a DevOps engineer cuz that’s not something you just learn in school or that you can just like learn through courses online. Well maybe you can now, but we have like a very specific sort of training that our engineers go through because you’re right, it’s new. Like if, like most people are used to like traditional engineering or traditional accounting, but going to Web3 it’s completely different. Like I always say that when I was in school, like I think I heard the board blockchain maybe once in one of my classes I really wasn’t mentioned at all. And so like working at Figment, pretty much everything was self learned cuz there’s like, you have to learn it yourself cause there’s not like a, a book you can really refer to.

Mark Eckerle:

It’s trial by fire. They’re just gonna throw you right in and they kind of expect you to know it.

Mackenzie Patel:

Yeah. A lot of trial and error, that’s for sure. That’s kind of like the story of my life at Figment. But again, I really like it cuz it’s so much fun just like googling random, like crypto things and like having that be part of your job. So I really enjoy that.

Mark Eckerle:

Before we jump into it, I know you mentioned it, the staking side of things, right? And that’s really a core piece of your business working with, those types of protocols. So we’re gonna, before we give some background on what that is and ultimately means as well as ETH 2.0 or the ETH merge that just happened a couple weeks ago, can you give us a little bit of background as to who your core customers are from Figment? Right? Is it, is it a service or a product for the average consumer like myself or is it more of a B2B product where businesses will, will utilize the technology that your devs are building? Can you kind of tell us a little bit more about the product itself?

Mackenzie Patel:

Sure. So I think the really cool part is that it caters to both, right? So if you have tokens of a native protocol, let’s say I have ATOM tokens, ATOM’s a native token for the Cosmo blockchain, whether I’m an institutional, like I’m a VC fund or I’m just an individual that has, has a few ATOM, I can stake them to Figment’s validator. And so I think it’s really, it’s I guess democratizing in that way cuz you don’t have to have like a certain amount of capital. Like as long as you have like a single ATOM token, like you can go ahead and stake it. And so just to walk you through the flow of like what that would look like. So let’s say I’m a retail delegator for instance, a lot of times you can just do it right through the wallet UI.

Mackenzie Patel:

So in the Cosmos example, there’s a wallet called Keplr. And so I can like buy some ATOM, let’s say on Coinbase or Kraken send it over to my Kepler wallet and then my ATOM’s there and then there’s like a staking feature where can just go in and then see all the different validators on Cosmos. And then it’s super simple. There’s like a, a delegate button basically that you click. And so that way, again, like you don’t even have to really understand crypto that much. Definitely recommend it if you are delegating, but it’s very easy to do in the UI and then you can just see your rewards continuously accruing. You can even claim your rewards right within your wallet. And so it’s super simple and that way like anyone, anyone can really delegate if they have like at least enough tokens. And so on the institutional side it kind of works the same way.

Mackenzie Patel:

The only difference is that the volume’s typically much higher VC fund’s not just gonna be staking one ATOM. They might be staking like multiple hundreds of thousands of ATOM. But the same, the process is fundamentally the same. You’re delegating your tokens to the Figment validator essentially like voting for it, saying, hey, I want the Figment ballot to represent me when it’s proposing and voting on new blocks. And so there’s more interaction with like our, our sales team for instance, mostly deals with like the, the higher or the large institutional customers. And then that sends us more B2B, we don’t really have interactions with our retail customers beyond like we have a support email. Every retail customer like has difficulty staking or something like that. But yeah, we are mostly focused on institutional, but at the same time, like anyone can really stake.

Mark Eckerle:

Yeah, it’s open to the public.

Mackenzie Patel:

Exactly. Yeah. And well that, that comes with the pros and cons. So I mean, the good part is that anyone can access it, but then especially as more regulations come down the pipe, like let’s say we might issue 1099s in the future. Like if I just have a blockchain address that’s a string of alpha, the numeric characters, I have no idea where this person is. Like how am I gonna issue a 1080, like a 1099 or know where this person’s located in the world? So from like a regulatory reporting standpoint, it can get really challenging, but I think just from overall like access standpoint, it’s really liberating. So you get pros and cons there.

Mark Eckerle:

Yeah, I was gonna say, you’re, you’re preaching to the choir too, because we see the same thing right? With a lot of companies that we work with because to your point, that’s one of the beauties of crypto, right? Is the anonymity piece. Like I don’t want to give up all my personal identifying information if I don’t have to, but that’s kind of one of the inherent challenges that we’re gonna face as a space if we want that regulation and we want to kind of go by the book, right? If we want to do things right and ultimately bring this space forward, it’s one of those boxes that we’re gonna have to check in order to kind of get mass adoption, right? People don’t wanna do it, but we’re gonna have to.

Mackenzie Patel:

Yeah. Cuz I mean you still want blockchain users to like be safe. Like if, if they’re not financially literate or don’t, you know, you don’t want people staking their entire like life’s savings into crypto. Like maybe the regulation is a good thing, but at the same time I don’t really want it to hinder the ethos of Web3, which is like openness and immutability and like all those kind of properties. And so I think we’re at a really pivotal point now where we’re trying to start the right balance between regulation and then also like freedom of the technology. So we’ll see which way it turns out. Hopefully, hopefully in a good way.

Mark Eckerle:

Figures crossed we’re always, we’re all working together on the same team to bring the space forward.

Mackenzie Patel:

Yeah, exactly.

Mark Eckerle:

So one point that you brought up earlier in your explanation was about the Keplr wallet. And I think it’s an important distinction to the audience just to understand what, what that terminology really means because it’s not your standard wallet infrastructure. And ultimately if, if a customer is using Kepler, are we giving our assets to Figment? Are you guys taking title to customer’s assets or what’s kind of the background there, the infrastructure from a customer’s perspective?

Mackenzie Patel:

Sure. That’s a great question. So at its core, Figment is a non-custodial validator, which means that we don’t ever take custody of our customer’s assets. So when I’m delegating tokens, let’s say ATOM, I’m delegating to Figment’s validator. Figment isn’t ever taking control of my assets. They’re still pretty much in my wallet. Think of it as if I’m like voting for Figment’s validator when I’m delegating tokens to them, they’re not actually taking control at any point. And just to clarify what I mean by Keplr, so think of like meta mask, but for the Cosmos ecosystem that’s kind of what Keplr is. It’s just a hot wallet that holds funds. So yeah. But at no point does a validator ever take control of them.

Mark Eckerle:

Yep. Perfect. Perfect. That’s kind of what I envisioned, but again, someone that’s coming in new, I haven’t used Figment, I was just curious of what that, that distinction is, because to your point right, it’s with what transpired this year that kind of owning your, your keys, owning your funds has been more critical than ever. And I know that’s been the, like you mentioned the ethos of crypto, right? We want to take title to our funds, own our assets, and kind of bring everything, bring the responsibility to us as opposed to third parties. So, I always like to make that distinction what the, what the protocol is working on and kind of how the, the backend is working cuz anyone transferring their assets as we saw in, in May or June, right? Anyone that had their assets at a Celsius, BlockFi obviously didn’t affect them as much, but Celsius, Voyager, companies like that where they were, you were getting that lending interest. You’re people may have thought using those platforms that they had titled, so there’s assets but they really weren’t there. So always like to make that distinction as best as possible.

Mackenzie Patel:

Yeah. And I think as a user it is important to know always where your funds are being held and who actually controls them. So if it’s in a wallet that you hold the private keys to, then you can have more comfort there cuz you know, you hold those assets, but you can also stake through a custodian, which in a lot of cases custodians actually do have your private keys and so they might have control over your funds that you are staking then. And so in that case, like you don’t have as much control, but then you also have the benefits of being with the custodian, which is more of like traditional type of infrastructure. So it can kind of go both ways, but in the Figment model where it’s not custodial staking, then the assets are yours.

Mark Eckerle:

Perfect, perfect. Awesome. So, jumping into staking now, can you give us a quick 101 as to what proof of stake is versus proof of work? And, kind of dive into what the staking ecosystem really is and the value proposition there?

Mackenzie Patel:

Yeah, definitely. So I always love explaining this cause I think it’s so interesting like talking about the differences between both of these systems. So I’ll start with proof of work. So I think that one’s a little more, you know, people might know that a little bit more because of Bitcoin for example, uses proof of work. And so in that system it’s pretty much you have these actors called miners and they’re competing to solve complex math problems that are only increasing in difficulty. And so in this way, the chain, in a proof of work consensus mechanism is secured by energy. And when I mean energy like computation power, electricity, cuz the surveys that are running these calculations, they’re called GPUs. They just take a lot of energy to solve these math problems. And so that’s kind of the core of how the network is secured.

Mackenzie Patel:

It’s by energy. And so in proof of work, the miners are all competing because they want to mint new tokens like for example, new Bitcoin, but in that case it does require a lot of capital to get started. Like you have to buy the servers, like the mining rigs, all those kinds of things. And so that’s why it’s just like very capital intensive and again, also very energy intensive. And so what happens is that in proof of work you can also get kind of centralized because the different mining pools can form together. And so it’s just a way for them to share resources and then share in the rewards as well. And so that’s sort of the proof of work model. Now, proof of stake is actually quite different. I think they reap sort of the same goal, which is having a secured blockchain, but they reach that in very different ways.

Mackenzie Patel:

So in a proof of stake world, it’s being secured by users assets. So users have tokens for the native protocol and then they’re, they’re locking them up or they’re staking them to the blockchain. So in that way that the blockchain’s being secured not by like electricity or energy, but basically by like by assets, by like financial capital, which I think is, you know, really interesting. It’s definitely more energy efficient. You don’t have to run like a bunch of mining rigs, you just have to stake assets. And so there’s, I feel like different ecosystem or different players that are involved in the ecosystem. So just wanted to get that get into that a little bit. So you have the validators, for example. Figment is a validator and then you have delegators, which are staking their tokens over to the validators. And so just to clarify that a bit, the validators role is to basically look at transactions that people are submitting, make sure that they’re legitimate, bundle them into blocks, and then add those blocks to the blockchain.

Mackenzie Patel:

And so you have this really rich, rich ecosystem that develops and in exchange for doing this work, the protocol rewards the validators and the delegators. We’re basically making sure that the network is secure and that the transactions are are valid. And so that’s kind of the difference between the two models. I know know people sort of focus on the energy aspect a lot, which is really important, but they’re just fundamentally different like one’s being secured by energy, one’s being secured by by assets. And so hopefully that gives a good overview. There’s, it gets way more complex than that, but I think that’s a good high level view.

Mark Eckerle:

One follow up I have there is to just kind understand the, the possibility of centralization. Cause I know you touched on it with proof of work and my counter argument to that would be yes, there are a hundred percent I agree with you with the PoW system, there could be mining farms around the world. I know we had some centralization before, before China ultimately banned it. I know China was kind of becoming a large player in that space, right? My counterargument to that would be within a proof of stake ecosystem, couldn’t you set up kind of liquidity pools like staking pools and kind of centralize the, the landscape from that perspective? Like as well, like couldn’t a Coinbase or a Kraken aggregate all their users’ assets, assuming that they, they ultimately stake ’em, but couldn’t that become a large player within the ecosystem kind of forming some type of centralization as well?

Mackenzie Patel:

Yeah, I think that’s a really strong counterpoint. I mean, you do get situations where you have really large validators, which I think is what you’re talking about that aggregate a bunch of stake. And so in that case, maybe on a network you have like the top 10 validators control, like 80% of the stake assets or something like that. And so that definitely is the case. My counterargument to that though is that those assets that are being staked, like that could be composed of like thousands upon thousands of individual delegators. And so their stake might be rolling up into like a Coinbase or a Kraken node, but when you get down to it, it’s actually like, like thousands of individuals that are staking their assets to the protocol. So it’s kind of like they’re being bundled up versus like seeing them in a disaggregated way. So does that that make sense?

Mark Eckerle:

Yeah. So they’re being bundled up to get the incentive from a rewards perspective, but they all have a vote if there are any changes to the protocol or anything like that. So everyone’s vote counts. It’s, it’s almost taking it, taking a analogy to almost like our democracy here with the state perspective, right? Like each state has their registered voters within the senate, right? Their representation as far as their votes in the electoral college. And that’s kind of like how you pull their assets together for a vote, right? I’m trying to make an analogy here to an extent where your vote becomes part of a larger pool.

Mackenzie Patel:

Yeah, I think that works. I do think of staking almost like a, like a representative democracy, but I also will say that I think the delegators have a little bit more control because as a, as a delegator, your token then has rights. Like you have governance rights, so there’s proposals that are coming through as a delegator, like you can vote on that individually. Like me, if I’m delegating, I can vote on whatever proposal if I don’t vote. Usually the way it works in those protocols is that like your vote defaults to whatever your validator voted, but as a delegator you still have the option to vote whatever way you want. It’s just if you don’t vote, like if you don’t participate then it defaults to the, to the validator. So you actually have a little bit more control in that sense, I think cuz you still have the option to vote on like, like every proposal if you really wanted to.

Mark Eckerle:

Regardless of the size of your asset pool, right? A hundred percent.

Mackenzie Patel:

Yeah, exactly. I mean you’re, if you’re staking one ATOM, then like your weight’s gonna be like one.

Mark Eckerle:

Well yeah, that’s just the inherent.

Mark Eckerle:

So, talk to us about the, the merge transition from Ethereum. Right? The Ethereum network recently transitioned from a proof of work concept or consensus model to the proof of stake. And after doing a bunch of research, obviously following this very closely, we’re both in this space, there was seamlessly no hiccup in the protocol as it made the transition, which was extremely impressive to me. I kind of expected there to be delays, update issues, something and it happened like the drop of a hat, which was crazy. So tell us a little bit about that, how it happened, how it went down and kind of how the system is doing today, right? Making such a massive protocol update to the network. I think it’s the biggest one that it’s ever went through by far. Talk to us about what’s going on with it.

Mackenzie Patel:

Sure. Yeah, it’s definitely super exciting and at Figment we were obviously very excited because it’s gone from proof of work over to proof of stake. So really big milestone for Ethereum community and also at Figment. And so I also expected something to happen, you know, it’s been kind of a rough year for crypto, so I was like, oh, this would be like the cherry on top if like Ethereum went down or something like that. But yeah, it went over pretty smoothly on, I think it was September 15th that it happened. So yeah, basically the consensus mechanism switched over from proof of work to proof stake. That’s what the merge is referring to. Ethereum actually has like a whole schedule of upgrades so that our plans happen. So the first one was the beacon chain being launched, the second one was the merge. And then I think there’s some more like scalability and charting updates that are coming up in the future.

Mackenzie Patel:

And so this milestone was, was just the merge. And so there were a few important things that kind of came out of this. The first one and the one that people are talking about a lot was again, the energy consumption. And so I think Vitalic had a tweet, he said like, worldwide electricity consumption was reduced by 0.2%, which is really amazing, like go Ethereum. So yeah, definitely a lot more energy efficient now, it’s also really expensive to attack Ethereum’s network now. So in a proof of stake model, the cost to attack is pretty much like greater than the number of tokens being staked, like convert to SD. So right now there’s around I think, let’s see like 13 billion ETH being staked or 13 million ETH being staked. And so total value that’s locked in Ethereum now is around 18 billion. So basically you need more than 18 billion to execute a 51% attack on Ethereum. So the network is, is like super secure. I mean, I think we’re still secure under the proof for work model. Cause proof of work just inherently tends to be very secure. Cause you need, basically, if you wanna attack the network, you have to have more energy consumption than anyone else, but I think it’s just a cool, a cool stat to say, you know, you need $18 billion.

Mark Eckerle:

The only two people that can do it are Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos.

Mackenzie Patel:

Basically if they, if they collude it then we might be in trouble, but hopefully that doesn’t happen. So I think they like crypto though. I think we’re safe there. But yeah, and the merge, basically it’s at the stage for, for sharding as I mentioned sharding’s just a term that refers to like breaking data up into more of like a database form. I basically like splinting up a database and that as opposed to help Ethereum become more scalable, more efficient. And so the merge kind of laid the groundwork for that later update. Now I did wanna get into some cons as well cuz the merge was awesome, but they’re still, you know, proof of stake isn’t all like rosy. I guess I will say, but on the con side, you do need a large amount of capital to participate in this.

Mackenzie Patel:

And so we didn’t mention before that proof of stake. Like you just need a lot of, like a lot of tokens and those tokens might be expensive. So to run your own Ethereum validator, you need to stake 32 ETH, which as a price of over like $1,300 now can be pretty pricey and pretty out of reach. And so it’s just kind of expensive to have your own validator. Now that being said, there are things like Lido, which is like liquid staking or rocket pull. So if you have less than 32 ETH, you can still get access to staking an Ethereum and get rewards back in STE. So there is kind of a counter to that, but it’s just like an extra step you have to do to participate. And then with staking, this isn’t, you know, specific to Ethereum, but any proof of stake networks there is slashing. So if the validator misbehaves like a double signs or like has a problem with attestation, then you can be slashed, which means a portion of your principle is basically like taken away from you. And so that is a concern. Slashing isn’t as much of a thing on proof of work. If you misbehave in proof of work, you just kind of like wasted money, like wasted energy basically. Whereas in proof of stake you just get flashed.

Mark Eckerle:

Yeah, I was gonna say that’s the, the inherent risk you’d run, right? If you’re being a bad actor or if you’re a validator, something’s not up and running properly, right? That’s the staking mechanism, right? You lose your stake to an extent.

Mackenzie Patel:

Exactly. It’s literally the way the system is designed, like it’s all of these systems are based on incentives and like very complex incentive designs. And so it’s designed in the way to encourage like optimal behavior and optimal activity, which it’s so cool. Like blockchains are like little mini universes, you know, that you can just sort of orchestrate and put incentives on top, which I think is really interesting.

Mark Eckerle:

And, and that brings me to my next point. So, so talking about the pros and cons of the ETH Network and kind of what just happened and now there’s obviously a ton of other networks doing this, right? So Ethereum’s not the first proof of stake network. So what other ecosystems are working in this space with a similar model? And then what other kind of blockchain technologies does Figment work with as well? Where else are you guys set up as validators?

Mackenzie Patel:

Yeah, so we’re on, as I mentioned like over 65 proof of stkae networks, which is a lot. And so the model we’re seeing is definitely like when new networks launch, they tend to be proof of stake. Now, like there are some proof of work networks still, but I think kind of the, the general trend within blockchain is, is moving to proof of stake. And so we’re on a bunch of different layer ones like Ethereum was just, you know, one of ’em. But we’re on other ones like Near or Flow or Oasis. We’re on a bunch of em, Cosmos Space networks. I personally think Cosmos is just like the coolest ecosystem. If you haven’t heard of it, I’d looked into the Cosmos SDK, but basically it’s like this, this kit that allows you to spin up a blockchain really easily using the software development kit and so on the Cosmos network.

Mark Eckerle:

Do I have to know how to code in order to do that? Or is it very user friendly?

Mackenzie Patel:

I don’t think it’s a no code. The Cosmos key is not like a no code tool. I wish it was or else I’d create my own like blockchain. So, you do have to know some coding, but it does make it a lot easier than trying to do it from scratch is my understanding. And so a thing that operates on, I wanna say like 15 to 20, don’t quote me the exact number like Cosmos Space Networks, but they’re really awesome. They all have like their own function. Like they’re all separate layer ones but they all do like their own things. Like Juno does their contracts. The Crescent does like liquid staking and there’s just, there’s a bunch of them out there. And so the reason why I think they’re so interesting though is cuz they have something called IBC or inter blockchain communication because that’s a fun term.

Mackenzie Patel:

And so basically if these blockchains have IBC turned on, you can send these tokens to like all the different blockchains out there. So like let’s say I own tokens or I earn tokens on Juno, I can send them over to Osmosis, which is a decentralized exchange that runs on Cosmos. I can swap it out for ATOM tokens, then I can take this ATOM. Then I have one Osmosis I can, IBC it over to the Cosmos blockchain and from there I can off ramp it and like sell up the USD if I wanted. And so it’s a really cool like rich ecosystem and I just like how it’s like all connected. I think they call the internet of blockchains and I can definitely see why they call it that just cuz like it’s, it’s a whole web basically and yeah, it’s, it’s really fun to participate in

Mark Eckerle:

You you took the words outta my mouth. I was just gonna say that’s what I think is one of the next steps in this space. Cause I’m sure as you’re saying like if Figment is on 65 different protocols and blockchains and people’s heads are probably exploding like holy. Yeah, I know, I know Bitcoin, I’ll leave it at that. But the cross chain optionality or functionality is gonna be critical in this space to help grow it and the fact that Cosmos network kind of does that, right? It’s all, like you mentioned, it’s one universe in and of itself, right? They all speak to each other but they’re all acting and working distinct in and of themselves, but I really think that’s gonna be a huge kind of driver in this space to really bring it to that next level is getting that cross chain operability.

Mackenzie Patel:

Yeah, I definitely think so as well. At Figment, we really do believe in a, what we call a multi chain feature. I mean, you know, maybe one blockchain will win out but we kind of hope that it’s, it’s split amongst different blockchains that have different teams behind them, like different communities and ecosystems because there’s so many things you can do and what they probably haven’t even conceptualized yet. And I don’t think it’s just gonna be like one blockchain that like, like one winner take all kind of thing. I think there’s gonna be separate blockchains that like have their own function and they do it really well but then they can communicate to all the other chains. Now at one point I will say on that, like we are seeing like blockchains start to talk to each other through bridging or like bridges, but bridges do tend to be a little bit risky. There’s been a lot of bridge hacks recently you might have heard of like the wormhole hack or nomad, there was like another hack as well. And so the technology is still sort of catching up there. So it is a little bit risky to use those, those types of technologies, but I think they will improve.

Mark Eckerle:

And and I agree as well. I mean I think there’s not gonna be one that wins out. There’s definitely gonna be a couple. I don’t think we’re gonna end up with all the tokens that we have now, right? There’s like over 20,000 tokens and yeah, I mean the space is getting crazy, right? We’re gonna, it’s gonna get narrowed down and you’re gonna, you’re gonna weed out some of those useless tokens but there’s gonna be more than one and there’s gonna be various use cases for sure. A hundred percent and to your point, right, we’re regulation is is taking forever and it’s one thing we need for this space, but the space is constantly evolving and we’re constantly growing. Like we’re not waiting for regulation, we’re not waiting for guidance. We’re just gonna keep building and building and there’s gonna be things that we haven’t thought of today that who knows in a year from now we’ll be talking about.

Mackenzie Patel:

Exactly. Yeah. I still think we’re in the very, it’s almost like the early days of the internet where people were just like copying text onto a webpage and then they thought that was all the internet was gonna be like, I guess it was very like the terms like skeuomorphic. So I think we’re still in the skeuomorphic days of watching and we haven’t really realized the full potential of it yet cuz we, it’s like we can’t really conceptualize it.

Mark Eckerle:

It’s like we’re still taking notes in notepad. Wait til we get to the next level of something.

Mackenzie Patel:

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So excited to see what happens with that. I think it’s been really, really cool.

Mark Eckerle:

Awesome. Awesome. Well that, that wraps up my questions that I had. I think today was a great episode. Mackenzie, why don’t you tell our listeners where they can find you, kind of plug your socials as well as more about the company.

Mackenzie Patel:

Sure, yeah. So on the Figment side you can go to figment.io, all of our information is there. We’re also on Twitter, I think it’s figment_io. And then personally you can find me on Twitter. My handle’s figgy_feline cause I like Figment and I like cats. So you can go ahead and find me there.

Mark Eckerle:

Awesome. Awesome. Well thank you so much for joining us today and that wraps up today’s episode of Cryptonomix. All views expressed in this podcast by Mark Eckerle or his guests are solely their opinions and do not reflect the opinion of wi. This podcast is for informational purposes only.