Daffy Durairaj – Co-Founder, Mango Markets Ep #53

EPISODE SUMMARY

Daffy Durairaj is the co-founder of Mango Markets and is currently working full time as a developer in service of the Mango DAO. 00:28 - Origin Story 04:44 - Seeing the order book 10:20 - The idea behind creating Mango Markets 15:38 - Going from creating smart contracts to creating Mango 17:32 - How big is the DAO? 20:01 - The Launch 29:15 - VCs and the launch 32:43 - Decentralization and getting stuff done 34:55 - Will DAOs ever compete with big tech companies? 40:43 - What’s next for Mango Markets? DISCLAIMER The information on this podcast is provided for educational, informational, and entertainment purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness, or fitness for any particular purpose. The information contained in or provided from or through this podcast is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, investment advice, trading advice, or any other advice. The information on this podcast is general in nature and is not specific to you, the user or anyone else. You should not make any decision, financial, investment, trading or otherwise, based on any of the information presented on this podcast without undertaking independent due diligence and consultation with a professional broker or financial advisor.

EPISODE NOTES

Daffy Durairaj is the co-founder of Mango Markets and is currently working full time as a developer in service of the Mango DAO.

  • 00:28 – Origin Story
  • 04:44 – Seeing the order book
  • 10:20 – The idea behind creating Mango Markets
  • 15:38 – Going from creating smart contracts to creating Mango
  • 17:32 – How big is the DAO?
  • 20:01 – The Launch
  • 29:15 – VCs and the launch
  • 32:43 – Decentralization and getting stuff done
  • 34:55 – Will DAOs ever compete with big tech companies?
  • 40:43 – What’s next for Mango Markets?

DISCLAIMER

The information on this podcast is provided for educational, informational, and entertainment purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness, or fitness for any particular purpose.The information contained in or provided from or through this podcast is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, investment advice, trading advice, or any other advice.The information on this podcast is general in nature and is not specific to you, the user or anyone else. You should not make any decision, financial, investment, trading or otherwise, based on any of the information presented on this podcast without undertaking independent due diligence and consultation with a professional broker or financial advisor.

Anatoly (00:09):

Hey folks, this is Anatoly and you’re listening to the Solana Podcast, and today I have with me Daffy Durairaj, who is the co-founder of Mango Markets, so awesome to have you.

Daffy (00:20):

It’s great to be here.

Anatoly (00:22):

So origin story, how’d you get into crypto? What made you build Mango Markets?

Daffy (00:30):

How did I get into crypto? So, I started off really not wanting to get into crypto. I was really interested in algorithm training. I did that in college and did some competitions that I did well in, and I wanted to trade equities, but it turns out if you have not enough money, if you have a few thousand dollars it’s just not allowed. You’re not allowed to algorithmically trade. There’s a patent day trader rule, and I was infuriated and I was just looking around and I found Poloniex where you can do anything you want. The thing that actually hooked me first to Poloniex was the lending market because immediately as soon as I saw an open lending market, I was like, “Oh wow, I have to buy some bitcoin, and I have to lend it out.” And, Poloniex was all bitcoin, and then it gradually got into just the meat of it, which was algorithmic trading and everything about crypto seemed exciting, but I actually didn’t want to hold bitcoin. Poloniex was all bitcoin, but again, I think the government sort of pushed me in the right direction.

I was like, “Okay, I don’t want to hold bitcoin, I’ll hedge off my risk on BitMEX, but again, not open to US persons, and so I was kind of reluctantly holding bitcoin and thinking, all right, I have a few thousand dollars if things go bad in this whole bitcoin thing. I’ll come out okay. I’ll get a job or whatever, but just never got a job, just kept holding bitcoin and continue to trade crypto, and I did that for about five years. Then, I wanted to actually start trading on chain because I thought this was probably for a lot of the reasons that you built Solana, the censorship resistance, and the global liquidity of it, and the openness of it, the fact that you’re not excluding people that have a few thousand dollars. I wanted to build on chain and I was just not very bullish on a lot of things, so I kept going back to trading, and then I saw Serum DEX, and I was just hooked. I placed a trade and it felt totally natural and normal. It wasn’t like $40 and takes 20 seconds and you don’t know if it… And, then MetaMask was jammed and you’re like, “Oh, but how do I cancel this?” So, that was a long-winded way of saying I was a trader and then I saw Serum DEX and then I had to start building the tools that would make Serum DEX even more fun.

Anatoly (02:59):

That’s awesome. I got into it by trading. Basically, I set up like an Interactive Brokers IRA account, and that let me kind of bypass the rules.

Daffy (03:11):

Really?

Anatoly (03:13):

With a very small amount of money. I think they probably closed these loopholes already. I wrote a bunch of stuff on top of their Java STK and started trading there.

Daffy (03:22):

I remember I actually got started that way too. I did a bunch of stuff for their Java, and we can tell you we’re both programmers. We wanted to build this money machine. It’s so fascinating, and it’s a machine that-

Anatoly (03:40):

It prints money.

Daffy (03:40):

It does things and it prints money. What more could you want? So, I got started with Interactive Brokers, but I guess the whole IRA thing… Because I was a college student, and so even talking to an accountant would take a huge dent out of my net worth.

Anatoly (04:01):

Totally, it’s all really not designed for… The whole financial system in trading in the US is designed to funnel retail towards an app like E-Trade or Robinhood, which takes a cut, and then sells that trade to somebody else, who will take a cut, and then 10 other people until it gets an exchange, and that’s how everybody’s protecting their neck. They’re all taking a little slice, and I think what’s cool about crypto is that even centralized exchange like FTX is 1,000 times better and less extractive of the users than anything in traditional finance, simply because they can guarantee settlement. Such a very simple thing.

Daffy (04:49):

You feel it right from the beginning. You go to Poloniex in 2016, and it’s like, oh, you have an email, you have deposited bitcoin, and now you’re just lending to people. So, just talk about not being extractive. To see the order book through Interactive Brokers or Ameritrade or whatever costs you a lot of money and it costs them a lot of money to provide it, and I don’t think I’d ever seen an order book. This was my passion, this is what I love to do, and I’ve never actually seen it.

There’s that story of the blind men who are touching this elephant, and so I had kind of figured out maybe what the order book looks like, but then on Poloniex, you go there and you just see the order book and you see all the lights flashing and you’re like, “Oh, this is it. This is where the trades are happening.” And, that’s free, and of course, a big part of Mango Markets as well is you can see the order book. That’s it, that is it, there’s nothing more, and it’s all on chain and all this stuff. So, in terms of not being extractive, it’s a really big piece of what motivates people to come in.

Anatoly (06:02):

I don’t know if you ever tried to get data, real data. I wanted timing information when a bid comes in or when an ask comes in versus when it’s filled. How do I get access to it? Because when you get data from any of these places, basically it’s like a little better than Yahoo Finance, which is like every five minutes they give you a low and a high.

Daffy (06:27):

I don’t know, did you ever succeed at doing that in Interactive Brokers?

Anatoly (06:32):

No, I recorded some of it, but it just never had that fidelity and it always felt like a gamble. I’ll build some models and sometimes stuff would work locally against my simulations, but then whenever I would actually try to run it, I’d see that fills take a little longer than they should and all this stuff really feels like you’re not interacting directly with the trading system, that somebody when they see your order they’re like, “Well, maybe I’ll put my order ahead of yours or do whatever or slow you down a bit.” It just sucks.

Daffy (07:16):

It feels very opaque, it’s like a black box, and of course, this is all for people like me who are kind of looking on the outside looking in. So, if I had gotten a job at Citadel or somewhere, then I could probably see what’s actually happening, but the fact that the vast majority of people are going to look at it and not really know it’s actually happening, not everyone wants to see an order book. That’s an important fact, but there are a large number of people who need it to be a little bit transparent to be involved.

Anatoly (07:49):

What I hate about it is that there’s a lot of people that make a lot of money from you not seeing, that they’re in the business of information assymetry and fuck them.

Daffy (07:58):

So, it’s not a family friendly podcast, so it’s good. I was going to ask that. So, there’s a funny story on RuneScape. I don’t know if you’ve ever played RuneScape.

Anatoly (08:17):

I played Ultima Online, which is I think similar vibes in the early days.

Daffy (08:22):

Yeah, so on RuneScape, just like on the point of no one being able to see anything, on RuneScape, also they had an order book because that’s the most natural thing to do, and I actually had to figure it out from first principles. I would place a trade and I would see that sometimes it would get executed and sometimes it would not get executed, then I realized, okay, if I place a trade for these water runes or something or oak logs or something, and I put the price really high it gets executed at some price that’s not the price that I said, and then I was able to form this concept of that’s the asking price. I didn’t even have the terminology for this, and then I did the same for set the price to zero for a trade and now I found the bid, and now I can make a lot of money actually underbidding the best asker and overbidding the best bid.

Anatoly (09:18):

So, you’re market making.

Daffy (09:20):

Yeah, so it’s funny, I was reminded because you said there’s a lot of people who make a lot of money in you not knowing, and I was just minting money. It took me years to accumulate like 1 million gold pieces in RuneScape and then I was able to just 30X it in a month.

Anatoly (09:46):

Too bad RuneScape is not a crypto currency. Whoever is running RuneScape, you’re missing a huge opportunity right now to just go full crypto.

Daffy (10:00):

There was some talk about some NFT or something on Twitter. Somebody was trying to encourage Jagex, the company, to get involved in crypto, and of course, I tried to signal boost it, but eventually everyone falls in line.

Anatoly (10:17):

How did you end up with the idea for Mango Markets?

Daffy (10:21):

So, I have to give credit to dYdX. It was like 2019 and I hadn’t really considered that this was possible. I was heads down writing, trading algorithms and trading crypto just kind of holding all of my wealth in bitcoin and I was borderline bitcoin maxi on that, and just seeing dYdX do it in those early days… Now of course, they’re way more successful now. Those early days seemed that you could do leverage trading on chain, and they kind of showed it as a proof of concept, which I just kind of started pacing back and forth like, oh my God, this is changing our worldview completely.

Ethereum was slow and whatever, so years went by. Actually, maybe just like a year, and then I saw Serum DEX where I felt finally, okay, all the pieces are in play and also I wanted to market make on Serum DEX, but I really need leverage. I don’t really need leverage, it just makes market making dramatically more efficient and safer. Leverage is just this tool that people who are involved in the financial plumbing really need, and it wasn’t there. I was like, “Okay, this is the time and I have to learn how to code smart contracts,” which sounds like a very scary and daunting task, but it was not that bad.

Anatoly (11:54):

The scary part was that you guys were building on a platform that was really rough around the edges at the time.

Daffy (12:02):

Well, no one told me that shit was really rough around the edges at the time. That was actually maybe important. You come in and there was nothing to do, this was August of 2020, things were not locked down necessarily here in the United States, but people kind of scattered. No one was hanging out in the major cities, they had kind of went to go live with their families, as did I. I fled San Francisco and went to the rural part of North Carolina. So, there was nothing going on and you just have all the time in the world and bitcoin is doing well, so that’s funding you in a way.

Bitcoin is this big, or crypto in general, it’s all the people who bought it or own some crypto, as long as it’s going up, it’s kind of funding whatever zany side projects you have in mind. So, this is just a side project. Wouldn’t it be cool if I could access this part of the world or this technology? And so, that’s why chewing glass… You probably coined that term, I don’t know, that’s why chewing glass wasn’t so hard because that pressure to… You have all the time in the world basically.

Anatoly (13:30):

Basically, COVID and lockdowns were so boring that chewing glass to learn how to code smart contracts with Solana was like a reprieve from the boredom.

Daffy (13:45):

And, I’ve heard you kind of say, okay, a bear market is when everyone is coding. To give the opposite perspective, I feel like a bull market, unlike much more chill, oh yeah, nothing really matters. Crypto is going up, it doesn’t matter what I do. The rent is going to be paid for, everything is going to be fine, might as well engage in high variance new ideas, new projects. In a bear market, I’m very I got to grind, I got to squeeze out a couple of more bips out of this trading algorithm because I got to pay rent. So, that’s the bullish case on bull markets.

Anatoly (14:30):

That you can try something crazy. That is the point where people enter this space is in a bull market. It’s that they kind of start coming in droves because they’re like, “Everything is crazy and I can also be part of the party.” But, it’s hard as a founder to stay focused because you are in that high variance, high risk taking kind of mindset.

Daffy (14:58):

There’s a trade off of during a bull market there’s a lot of things looking for your attention, and a bear market is very calm, or it can be. If you built up a lot of liabilities during the bull market, now you have to stay afloat during the bear market. Maybe it’s calm in the external world, but internally it’s not calm. You’re like, “I got to do X, Y, and Z today every day.” There’s that natural pressure.

Anatoly (15:32):

So, you decided to learn coding on smart contracts on Solana. How did you end up going from there into Mango?

Daffy (15:39):

Initially, it was called Leverum. Not it, there was just an idea and there was a command line tool where you could… The YouTube video might still be out there, and Max was out there somewhere on the internet and he saw it and he thought it was a great idea. And so, he reached out to me and we did some other things like speculative about a prediction market, and then we were like, “Okay, no one is going to build margin trading.” A lot of people are saying it, but it doesn’t look like if we just wait it’s just going to happen in the next couple of weeks or something. It’s probably we just have to build it.

Not we just have to, but we totally should. This is clearly a very important piece of the Solana ecosystem. So, we started building it. Mango was just we were thinking alliteration is good. Everybody loves mangoes, it’s a fruit that I have never heard of anybody who doesn’t like mangoes. It’s probably the high sugar content and Mango Margin was the idea, but then we got the domain Mango.Markets. It’s kind of evolved now. When you’re starting off with something, you have kind of a narrow scope. You’re like, “I just want to be able to borrow money.” And now, there’s this Mango DAO and people are talking about NFTs and drones. I’m talking about drones. I don’t know if anybody else is, but it’s just gone way higher and now I’m like, “I’m a humble servant of the Mango DAO.” And, that’s totally a normal thing to say.

Anatoly (17:27):

How big is the DAO?

Daffy (17:28):

How big is the DAO? That’s a good question.

Anatoly (17:30):

In humans

Daffy (17:31):

That’s like a philosophical question. In human terms, wow, again, even still a philosophical question. So, I think if you go to MNGO token, if you go to the Solana explorer and just type in mango or MNG or something, you can probably… I don’t know if they have a list of unique token addresses, so in some sense that’s the DAO, but in terms of the number of people who actively post on the forums and make proposals, that’s much smaller. I’m guessing there’s thousands of people who have votes, but the number of people who make proposals and add meaningful commentary on the forums is maybe 20 people, and it’s expanding pretty quickly.

I always see new people coming in. There’s also not just people, there’s the wealth of the DAO and the cultural reach of the DAO, the spiritual significance of the DAO, all of those seem like size if you ask how big is the DAO. You interviewed Balaji Srinivasan, and there’s this idea that he had on Twitter that was like a DAO should buy land in Wyoming and send a drone to circle it and this is kind of like a moon landing sort of kind of thing or some kind of significant breakthrough where the DAO is controlling physical objects in the real world. So, this is very exciting to me, but it has nothing to do with margin trading, it’s just something exciting that maybe in a bear market, I don’t know, I’ll push to get this done.

Anatoly (19:23):

Do you want the control to happen on chain?

Daffy (19:25):

Yeah, I think that’s necessary. Maybe not the total control, but some kind of signal that distance… So, you can kind of think of Congress authorizes a certain thing and then the executive branch does it. If we could make that link be as automated as possible, I think there’s something useful there, at the very least something exciting and interesting, kind of like the moon landing where maybe there wasn’t anything useful, but it was inspiring for sure.

Anatoly (20:02):

So, the DAO, if you guys decided you want to do something with leverage and lending, and how you guys launched was really unique. I don’t even know if people did this in Ethereum. To me, this is the first time anyone’s kind of done this style of launch. Can you talk about the design and how you guys thought of it and what let you make those choices?

Daffy (20:25):

So, people early to Solana may be familiar with the Mango market caps and how that went, which somewhat argues the first NFT on Solana, and that was done pretty much sort of like how NFTs are typically done where there’s a mad rush to grab the caps as soon as possible and the price is swinging wildly and there’s a lot of people. Now, I think we put that together as an April Fool’s kind of thing, very quickly, and so it was great for what it did, but the experience from that was, okay, there’s going to be a lot of angry people. If you do it in this way where the DAO is raising funds, and this is the inception of the DAO, the DAO is raising funds for insurance fund, you probably don’t want it to just be distributed to the people who were the fastest to click.

And, that was the idea. We probably don’t want that. It doesn’t seem useful, it seems like a lot of angry people, and a lot of frustrated people. So okay, so you take out the time component, you take out the luck component, and then you’re left with you kind of have this sort of auction that lasts 24 hours, but then what if X somebody comes at the last moment and dumps in a huge amount of money and raises the price for everyone? Everyone gets the same price. So, our design was we’ll have a withdrawal period or a grace period at the end, the remaining 24 hours where if you kind of don’t like the price, you can bail out. It had some flaws and I think we knew about those flaws from the beginning. We were like, “Okay, we just pushed to this game of chicken to a later point where someone can put in a lot of money to scare other people away and then they pull out at the last second. And that did happen, but it’s not clear if that was net positive or net negative.

Anatoly (22:28):

And kind of in summary, there’s this 24 hour period where people deposit funds in for a fixed supply of tokens.

Daffy (22:36):

Correct.

Anatoly (22:37):

And, then the period is over, and now everybody knows what the total amount in the pot is for the token and there’s kind of this price that’s created and then if you don’t like the price, you can withdraw the entire bid or as much as you want. You can only reduce your bid.

Daffy (22:54):

Correct.

Anatoly (22:54):

But, you don’t need to withdraw the entire bid, you can just reduce it.

Daffy (22:57):

Correct, yep.

Anatoly (22:58):

So, then that pushes the average price down at the same time, so for every dollar you take out, you kind of get a better price per token.

Daffy (23:07):

And, you see the price ticking up during the first 24 hours as more and more people are putting money in and then the price ticking down over the next 24 hours.

Anatoly (23:19):

I’m a huge fan of this setup because it creates a lot of… There was news, you guys made the news because it was almost half of all of USDC that was minted on Solana ended up in that smart contract. It was like 45% of it.

Daffy (23:43):

I remember actually because we saw the USDC on Solana was 700 million the days before and then it had climbed up to like 1.1 billion or I don’t know what the number was at the end, and there was 500 million in the contract at the end of the first 24 hours. That was not the intention.

Anatoly (24:05):

It’s like it was minted.

Daffy (24:05):

And honestly, I think you could appreciate it better from the outside than from my point of view for sure, and of course, I also could appreciate it better from the time distance, but that was not expected. We kind of knew that there would be a lot of money placed in the beginning and then money would go down. That was in all the documentation that we wrote, and that was expected and we had all these dev calls where everyone was always talking about it, and I was like, “Okay, come on. Literally, there isn’t that much USDC in Solana.” So, it can’t be that bad, but of course, I underrated the possibility that someone could just mint a whole bunch of new USDC and bring it in from somewhere else. It made the news and a couple of other projects did the same thing, and I wonder if maybe it’s a one time kind of thing. The game only works once. You can’t expect to scare people every time or use the tactic every time.

Anatoly (25:10):

Maybe, I think a lot to be said, but there was no other way to go. Mango took it all, so there was no private round, they were never listed anywhere. This was really the only way to get it, and the anticipation of a project that was awesome, and from every other perspective is… What I always tell founders is that you should always raise the least amount for the highest price. The VCs kind of have more power than you usually because they have more information, they look at many deals, people come to them, they have the money, but it’s sometimes the founders have this asymmetry where they’re the only ones without equity. They’re the only ones without tokens and that moment is if you can get everybody at the same time to compete for that thing, then you’ve kind of created the symmetry there and you maximize the capital raise for the DAO, for the project, for the community, and therefore that actually is a good thing. You have more resources to build a vision.

Daffy (26:16):

Although, I’ll clarify, I think the DAO is still handing out a lot of tokens, so there’s still a lot of ways to acquire Mango tokens, and that was kind of the inception for the insurance fund. The DAO has been paying people out of the insurance fund, and so it’s been useful, but there’s still more tokens to be had. There is a slight private rounds and I totally understand why people do them, but like I said earlier, if you are in crypto for a while, and this the cool thing about bull markets, I don’t actually need money, I just need to pay rent and bitcoin has gone up 50%, so I’m solid.

And, no one was paid anything. There was just Mango tokens that were given to people and they were told the DAO values your contribution or this is the inception of the DAO, and everyone worked to build this thing. People worked without even the Mango tokens and sort of the tokens were given after the fact. I think it’s a valuable way to build crypto projects actually.

Anatoly (27:30):

I want more teams to try to totally from genesis this DAO first approach, but it’s really tough because you guys had such a principled view on how things should be done and there’s a lot of people out there that are offering money for that one thing. How did you guys have the discipline to just go stick with this?

Daffy (27:54):

We had a lot of discussions about all these things. We talked to VCs and we still do and we like all VCs actually. So, I think Satoshi, I’m not trying to draw a comparison to us to Satoshi or anything, but there is this beauty in that story and I think there’s a lot, maybe even the majority of bitcoin’s value at least to me… To me, I just love the narrative. I love the story of Satoshi, the pseudonymous founder who is one of the richest people on the planet right now. Obviously, they’re in a no VCs. This person wanted to not make a big fuss. It was kind of like this clockmaker prophetic person who just came and then left, built this thing and then left, and that’s such an amazing story.

There are these long, long payoffs. Maybe they take a while, but they definitely do pay off that if you’re not hurting for rent, again, I was in a position, all the other Mango devs were in this position as well where it was a bull market, we’re not getting eviction notices or something, we could kind of float the boat for a while. Just consider the longterm payoffs, consider the five year payoffs. Stories are amazing.

Anatoly (29:17):

The weirdest thing is that every good VC will tell you that you should maximize for the highest return. Don’t worry about the middle exit, or don’t compromise. Actually, imagine you’re taking over the world, what are the steps to get there? And, the risk don’t matter. Actually maximize for the high and this is the irony here is that I think this kind of fair launch, most distribution will probably result in overall longterm, better, and higher returns, but the risks that I always find is that humans are hard to organize and at the same time, cryptography is this new tool for organization.

It is what allows us to massively scale agreement and complex problems, really, really complicated problems. We can just click a button and vote and agree on that one and you know. You know that the decision was made, but I’m curious, do you see tension between the decentralization, kind of the disorganization of the DAO and getting shit done? I’ve got to build stuff.

Daffy (30:34):

No, 100% actually, on a daily basis actually. There was a podcast with the guy on Twitter that goes by Austerity Sucks and this was back in April. We talked about this and he brought up a similar point and he was, “Yeah, this DAO thing, it’s all a fine and dandy idea, but do you think this will work?” And I, to be honest with you, am skeptical, however it is always felt to me sort of a high variance idea, kind of like if you were in the 16th century Netherlands or the 17th century Netherlands and you were like, “Okay, we’ve got to get spices from India. How do we do it?”

And, you come up with a joint stock corporation and then the join stock corporation is everywhere and I don’t think anyone has really figured out how to do DAOs well or what’s the right mix, how do we communicate, how do we coordinate, all those things. I don’t think anyone’s quite figured it out yet. No one had figured it out like six months ago. I still don’t think we have figured it out, but if it works, the payoff is enormous. There is global coordination, there isn’t a jurisdiction. I imagine the DAO is controlling drones one day. It could be wild. So, even taking into account all of my skepticism, I was still like, “Okay, we should do the DAO idea.” Anyway, not just me, Max is totally on board with this and Tyler and all the other people who kind of built Mango Markets. But on a day to day basis, as of October 2021, now I’m thinking, okay, maybe what we need to do is have small teams that build things and then pitch it in front of the DAO and get compensation. So, the DAO is kind of the government and it subcontracts out to people. Maybe not like direct democracy rules everything and we’ll try that out and if that doesn’t work, we’ll try something else out, but try new stuff out quickly.

Anatoly (32:45):

That’s awesome. This is actually a really good strategy to incentivize product development. Building an MVP, which means you’re the PM, and the implementer, the dev, and you go do all the work and here’s your management. It’s all done, just give me money.

Daffy (33:09):

And, there’s some maintenance tasks, so it’s not purely new products, so I’m thinking Mango V4, but also in the meantime, there are all these nodes that need to be paid for.

Anatoly (33:24):

I think you guys will need to split. We called it KTLO, keeping the lights on work. You for six months, you’re on KTLO duty, and you get paid a salary effectively, and you just got to keep the lights on, but then some other folks are like, “Go build something that you can propose to the DAO and the DAO will fund it.”

Daffy (33:49):

I think that’s basically what we have coalesced on is that, well, some people should be doing KTLO and other people should be doing new things, building the new product, and it takes kind of the risk out. The DAO doesn’t have to pay for whatever stuff that I produce for Mango V4, but we both have some kind of incentive to be honest about it. If it’s clearly a huge improvement or even a very substantial improvement, DAO should pay me something because if the DAO doesn’t, then you can expect future builders to not go for it. And, we have these discussions on the forums.

People make good arguments like this. I think the average IQ in the Mango Markets forums is very high. I think probably higher than most legislative bodies. I’m just going to go out on a limb and just say that. Not ours of course, ours is obviously very high IQ, smart people in our government, but you know.

Anatoly (34:55):

Do you believe five years there’s going to be a 30,000 person DAO. Imagine a tech company, 30,000 engineers, or 30,000 people, they got product managers, teams, layers of bullshit. Is there going to be a DAO that’s competing with a big tech company?

Daffy (35:16):

It’s legitimately really hard to figure out how this might look. The reason why I hesitate so much with the question of a 30,000 person DAO is I’m not sure it’ll look exactly like a corporation that we can say, okay, these are these 30,000 people. You might never be able to figure out who is part of the DAO and maybe that’s one of the benefits of the DAO. If I asked you, how many people are part of Solana, not Solana Labs, but Solana the community? It’s a little bit difficult to even answer, lots of people, various levels of involvement, and financial. Some people have a lot of financial stake until you don’t, but some people have a lot of financial stake and no involvement at all. It’s wild all over the place. Does Bitcoin look like a country or a corporation? I can even point my finger on what it is.

Anatoly (36:20):

So, even LINE had a battle that had 8,000 people all coordinating over something and I think they have corporations within that game that are maybe probably span up to 1,000 I’d imagine. So, that’s people organizing using tech for a common goal without a job, without a structure that you normally have at a company. Linux was built by people organizing online. I think as soon as you have something to lose and in Linux and even LINE you start building up a virtual token, your reputation is a contributor to this thing and becomes a thing that we don’t normally think of as valuable in a monetary way, but it’s valuable to that person, but I definitely care about my ability to continue contributing to an open source project. So, where tokens I think can get there is if there is something of value being created by the community, some common goal that everyone is working on and that token is in the middle of it and is uniting and organizing it. I think that could scale as large as a corporation.

Daffy (37:45):

No, I agree with you. I just think it’ll always be a little bit hard to figure out how many or who is involved, just by the nature of it. I just think it’ll be always a little bit hard to figure out, but will 30,000 people be building on Mango or some DAO? You already know the numbers better, but we might even be approaching that with Solana. So, I’m not part of Solana Labs or affiliated with Solana in any way, but building on Solana, and also I have a financial incentive too, but also I have a reputation incentive and it feel like I’m part of the Solana corps or whatever it is, but I don’t know what it is. It doesn’t even exist. It’s not even a DAO. There isn’t even a DAO there.

Anatoly (38:39):

Oddly enough, I feel the same way about Eth and bitcoin even is that we’re competing with them.

Daffy (38:50):

But, it all feels like we’re actually kind of a part of the same team and-

Anatoly (38:54):

This is the weird part that I think is going to be really interesting how it plays out because I don’t think it’s obvious to anybody what is crypto. Is it the token? Is it the coin? Is it the network? Is it the cryptography itself?

Daffy (39:10):

It’s not the cryptography itself, so we can strike that one out.

Anatoly (39:14):

Are you so sure? I think it’s honestly the power that a person has to be able to make these very concrete statements that are unbreakable no matter how… That’s the math. The math behind it is what allows them to do them.

Daffy (39:36):

I don’t totally know the cryptography itself. I know basic 101 number theory stuff, but I remember going through my first programming class and coming up feeling just very powerful. I’d write stuff down and then it happens. Kind of like a king, actually, more powerful than a king in a lot of ways because I was writing these training algorithms and it was happening around the world in ways that probably a medieval king couldn’t imagine and crypto brings that to finance where things of actual value can be moved.

Mango Markets exists and you can go there and place a trade right now, but it was just somebody who wrote it. I was involved based on you can see the GitHub contributions, but it was just people who wrote it and that’s probably… We can maybe chalk that up to the cryptography.

Anatoly (40:43):

So, what’s next for you guys?

Daffy (40:46):

There’s drones on the horizon. Yes, sometime in the future, but we have to do a lot of the nitty-gritty, roll up your sleeves kind of work. On Solana so far, there isn’t… Maybe a lot of projects are struggling with this, indexing all the data and providing it for people in a usable way because there’s just so many transactions. It turns out if transaction fees are really low, people just make a lot of transactions and they don’t think about it.

And so, gathering it up and displaying it in a useful format to people, that’s a very immediate term and then slightly medium term is sort of becoming the place where everyone does leverage trading and does borrow and lending, all the crypto natives. And then of course in the longterm, I would say it’s somebody like my mom should be able to store her money in Mango Markets and not think twice about it. It’s not a good idea right now I wouldn’t say, but that’s the goal. That involves a lot more social things than just technological things. That’s get it to a level where she can do it safely and feel comfortable and manage her keys, or even if she’s not managing her keys, have a solution for how the keys might be managed, that she’s not falling for scams, and that’s I would say my longterm goal.

Anatoly (42:09):

That’s awesome, man. On that note, man, really awesome to have you on the podcast. Great conversation. I’m always excited about what you guys are doing and how the community is building this ecosystem of its own, so really amazing. It’s serendipity that you guys started going on Solana, just really lucky to have folks like you in the ecosystem.

Daffy (42:35):

Thanks a lot. It means a lot. This was really fun.

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