This is part of a series of interviews with founders and builders in the Web3 space called the Web3 Growth Handbook. The official handbook will be released in the coming months, but you can read all of the other available interviews here.
We need to figure out how to present the [web3] experience and message the experience. People need to understand the risks but might not need to understand how everything works behind the scenes. How do we present this to normal people to get them to use this?
Prize-linked savings systems may not be commonplace, but they are certainly not new in the world of finance. Back in 2017, Freakonomics did a podcast focused on the implementation and eventual state constitutional amendment focused on no-lose lotteries in Texas, a similar concept to prized-linked saving. What Leighton Cusack, CEO of PoolTogether, has done, though, is take the idea and apply it to the Ethereum blockchain.
PoolTogether launched in September of 2019 and has quickly impacted the entire Web3 ecosystem. It’s difficult to talk with anyone in the decentralized finance (DeFi) vertical within Web3 without them mentioning PoolTogether. A trustless prize-linked savings system is almost a match made in heaven for DeFi. It encourages saving of assets by offering winnings without the risk of losing the original principal. So while many DeFi applications are asking people to lock their tokens up in exchange for interest, PoolTogether is tapping into the natural human inclination to win prizes, but with none of the risk. While someone may ultimately walk away with less earned than if they put their money in another DeFi application, they have the chance to earn more payouts than is possible with those same DeFi applications.
We had the chance to talk with Leighton about what needs to happen to accelerate Ethereum’s growth, how to overcome the early challenges of building a new product, and more.
How do you define growth at PoolTogether?
Increasing active users is growth to me. We measure that by people who have money in the pool. Unique Ethereum addresses with money in the pool, specifically. The second growth metric we look at would be assets under management. I.e. total money in the pools.
What has been the most difficult part of growing your company so far?
I would say there were a few things. The wallet fragmentation and fiat on-ramping have been most difficult. Particularly, what I mean about wallet fragmentation is that not all wallets support all platforms. That makes it difficult to support all users in a user-friendly way.
What do you think needs to happen to overcome that barrier?
I think on the wallet side, we need better multi-platform wallets. I think smart contract wallets are kind of solving this. We need to also figure out how to present the experience and message the experience. People need to understand the risks but might not need to understand how everything works behind the scenes. How do we present this to normal people to get them to use this?
What tools do you wish existed to help you with growth?
Definitely better on-chain analytics. Being able to message people based on their Ethereum address without exposing their real world identity would be really cool. I wish there were better ways to refer people in. Being able to easily share things for onboarding would be big.
What are your predictions for Web3/Blockchain growth in 2020?
I think 2020 will be a breakthrough year with exponential growth on all metrics. I feel really good and everything is aligning. It’s all coming together to create an ecosystem that works and creates a compelling value proposition.
If you’re interested in making your money work for you while giving yourself the chance at winning money, give PoolTogether a try. They’re changing the way people think about increasing their savings.