The Main Chain
By Infinity Ventures Crypto (IVC)
The Main ChainMay 24, 2022
Bringing Justice Through Fair Trade Execution
Zorrik Voldman, CEO of Deepwaters, has a fascinating life story, both in and out of the crypto world. Having migrated from Moldova to the USA at a young age, Zorrik has been a defense comms software engineer, a payments gateway company co-founder, and a commodities day trader, making millions in the process. Zorrik later moved to Hawaii to take up surfing, where he also got invested in crypto investing.
Through his trading experiences, Zorrik learned several tricks that exchanges use to make profits for themselves, sometimes to the detriment of the traders themselves. Zorrik, believing these tricks to be unethical, decided there was space in the market for a more ethical exchange, and so Deepwaters was born. By preventing its own team and systems from being able to read orders before they finish executing, Deepwaters keeps itself from manipulating orders and trades. Via this and other ethical trade execution features, Deepwaters increases trust between itself and its users.
IVC Founding Partner Akio Tanaka sat down with Zorrik to discuss his unique career path, the tricks other exchanges use to profit off investors, what differentiates Deepwaters from those exchanges, and what’s next for the Deepwaters team.
Kaito Cunningham - The Human Element
If you’re running a company, you often need to outsource several peripheral functions such as payroll, expenses, and financial reporting, so that you can focus on your core business. DAOs have the exact same needs: realizing the business opportunity for providing these services to DAOs, Kaito Cunningham, CEO of Utopia Labs, and his team built their own tools to help DAOs manage their payroll and expense management needs.
Kaito’s career is nothing short of meteoric. Having operated his first startup during his freshman year of college in 2019, Kaito eventually dropped out of college and moved from Vancouver to San Francisco to work on Utopia Labs in September 2021. By June 2022, Utopia Labs received series A funding of over $23 million, which IVC took part in. But listening to Kaito describe his journey, it’s clear it wasn’t sheer luck that got him where he is today.
Join IVC Founding Partner Akio Tanaka as he sits down with Kaito to discuss how Kaito’s team started their company before they’d ever met in person, how they converted their first clients, why San Francisco is still an ideal place to build great products, and the vision for the future of Utopia Labs.
Alex Migitko - Staying Ahead of the Curve
Alex Migitko, CEO and Co-Founder of Unique Venture Clubs, has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to developing crypto solutions. A developer as well as CEO, Alex has had a hand in several projects that were ahead of their time, including using cryptocurrencies to purchase in-game assets in 2016, biometrics-based user authentication on-chain for MFA in 2018, and now with his latest venture Unique Venture Clubs, automating the creation of companies on-chain.
Alex’s team created their prototype for Unique Venture Clubs at the second Solana Hackathon in early 2021. The prototype enabled groups of people to invest together in purchasing NFTs. After garnering attention and traction, Unique Venture Clubs continued adding features to their platform, which helps on-chain investment clubs create investment logic systems to manage investments, but without investors having to write a single line of code.
And now’s an exciting time for Unique Venture Clubs, as their platform recently launched on Mainnet. IVC Founding Partner Akio Tanaka sat down with Alex to learn about which features are being launched now, and which are coming down the pipe, including allowing on-chain companies to own real-world assets such as real estate.
Alex also discussed growing up in the USSR, dropping out of college to join a gaming company, why Serbia is the ideal place to run a crypto startup, the difference between developing on private/enterprise blockchains and public blockchains, and how the Unique Venture Clubs team determined which blockchains and programming languages to develop with.
Ahmet Ozcan - Fundamental Innovations
It's an exciting time right now in crypto - with decentralized exchanges (DEX) still in their infancy, crypto users are evaluating their potential. As DEXs transactions are completely automated, they can be interacted with in a 100% programmatic fashion. which means they are ripe for applications to be built on top of them. That’s where Semiotic AI comes in.
Dr. Ahmet Ozcan is the CEO of Semiotic AI, which aims to build automated decision-making tools for decentralized markets on the blockchain. The Semiotic team are the brains behind odos.xyz, a web3 application that allows traders to make large token swaps and trades across disparate DEXs, quickly and efficiently. If one DEX doesn’t have the liquidity needed to complete the transaction, Odos will map trades across DEXs, making large trades effortless on the part of an investor. Semiotic has also been in the news lately for their contributions to The Graph, the indexing and query layer of Web3, for which they received a grant of USD $60 million from the Graph Foundation.
Dr. Ozcan chats with host Michael Waitze about how odos works and details its future roadmap. He also discusses why The Graph is important, what it does, and how Semiotic is contributing to The Graph, and to the future of web3, including how their AI solutions simulate how different incentives motivate actors to work either for the good or the detriment of blockchain systems.
Guest Links: https://www.linkedin.com/in/asozcan/
Organization Links: https://www.semiotic.ai/
The World Without Borders
It was exciting news when YGG announced that its first subDAO, YGG SEA, was launching. The organization is focused on growing the play-to-earn player base in countries in Southeast Asia. So how are YGG SEA and future YGG subDAOs working to do that?
YGG SEA’s Co-Founder Irene Umar and Chief Investment Officer Daniel Wang, join our host Michael Waitze to discuss all things GameFi, including their career transitions from finance to gaming, how GameFi concepts mirror existing finance models in the real world, the roles that YGG subDAOs play, and how YGG SEA is leapfrogging its scholars into the newest generation of FinTech.
And word to the wise, YGG SEA will be running its IDO (Initial DEX Offering) for the new $SEA governance token very soon, so follow them on social media and keep your eyes peeled!
Aron Beierschmitt - Go Unstake Your Unicorn
Imbued with an entrepreneurial spirit, Aron Beierschmitt started his first games company at 19 and has been involved in the games industry ever since. Now as Co-Founder & CEO of Laguna Games, Aron is currently working on releasing Crypto Unicorns, an on-chain unicorn pet-collecting and farming game.
Aron explains the process of priming the Crypto Unicorns economy before it even releases, including developing the Crypto Unicorns mini-game Dark Forest that features unicorn-staking.
Aron also expounds on his experiences pivoting from developing traditional games to blockchain-based games, his rationale for choosing Polygon to develop games on, why he believes decentralization is the future of everything we do, and much more.
Guest Links: https://twitter.com/abearschmitt
Organization Links: https://laguna.games/
Chris Chang - When the Dilettantes Disappeared
Having founded the Mr. Block Youtube channel and crypto community in 2017, and participating in crypto from way before then, Chris Chang is an old crypto maestro.
Chris touches on how he approached starting his own Youtube channel, discusses weathering early crypto bear markets, and explains the rise of vital components and concepts in the current crypto ecosystem, including decentralized exchanges, DAOs, and exchange liquidity pools.
Among his many other roles, Chris is also a core member of Curve Finance: he also takes the time to do a deep dive on how it works as well as what its advantages are as compared to other liquidity pools.
Thomas Vu - The Natural Progression
Thomas is currently Head of Creative and Franchise Development at Riot Games, the creator of League of Legends. Launched in 2009, LoL is arguably the most popular eSports game of all time, with 115 million players still playing it every month.
Having worked on The Sims, League of Legends, and Arcane (TV show set in the League of Legends universe), Thomas Vu has had a long career in video games and game-related development.
Thomas shares more about his time working at NASA, why video games often translate poorly to the big screen, how sandbox games like Spore and the Sims are connected to the Metaverse, his opinions on mass adoption of tokenization and NFT adoption in mainstream gaming, and his thoughts on play-to-earn DAOs and their business models.
Renz Chong - The Factory of the Metaverse
Play-to-earn games like Axie Infinity include ways to breed new characters and assets, but controlling the creation of these new assets to have desired traits can be just as difficult as breeding real animals.
Billing itself as the “Factory of the Metaverse”, BreederDAO studies the breeding rules of different play-to-earn games and distills breeding new play-to-earn game-based NFT assets down to a science, allowing them to optimize new assets for specific needs and uses.
CEO Renz Chong joins our host Michael Waitze to discuss how BreederDAO pivoted from leasing out assets to generating them, how breeding really works in play-to-earn games, and the upcoming plans for the anticipated launch of BreederDAO’s own token.
Beryl Chavez Li and Gabby Dizon - The Power of Financial Inclusion
How did a gamer and a finance expert come together to build Yield Guild Games (YGG), GameFi’s biggest play-to-earn gaming guild?
As Yield Guild Games found their groove, co-founders Beryl Chavez Li and Gabby Dizon learned a lot on how to structure a GameFi DAO and provide a great experience for its members. Today, they’re working to create subDAOs in different regions across the globe that aim to match the same experience as the original DAO.
Come listen as our host Michael Waitze holds a fascinating conversation with Beryl and Gabby, where they discuss the origins of Yield Guild Games, how play-to-earn gaming and yield farming spread across the Philippines, how YGG institutionalized the lending of gaming assets, and how play-to-earn gaming is improving the lives of many players in developing countries.
Robby Yung - Luck and Circumstance
In this inaugural podcast, our host Michael Waitze chats with Robby Yung, CEO of Animoca Brands, which is a Hong Kong-based game developer, publisher, and investment company. As a developer, Animoca launched the Sandbox, a decentralized gaming platform built on the Ethereum blockchain where users can buy and sell virtual real estate. Animoca is also the China publisher of CryptoKitties, a blockchain game where players purchase, breed and trade virtual cats.
Robby discusses his years living in Shanghai, listing Animoca Brands on the Australian stock market, pivoting from a product company to a platform company, the difference between the open metaverse and proprietary metaverses, and building more inclusive economic models with NFTs, crypto, and pay-to-play concepts.