Interview Figment – Blockchain Simplified – Clayton Menzel
Interview Figment – Blockchain Simplified – Clayton Menzel
Kindly introduce yourself and describe your blockchain journey
- Our founders Matt Harrop, Lorien Gabel, and Andrew Cronk have 30+ years of successfully starting and scaling internet infrastructure companies. This deep background in infrastructure and security, combined with a passion for decentralized technologies, led to the launch of Figment in 2018. Now, we are a globally distributed team with over 40 employees.
Describe your company and business case – what product/service are you offering to the blockchain ecosystem and your clients?
- Figment is one of the world’s largest blockchain and staking infrastructure providers. Our mission is to build a better Internet using blockchain technology.
- We provide Staking resources such as our Hubble Web 3.0 explorer and our Prime dashboard that allows token holders to research and stake tokens on various protocols. We also offer developers robust tools to build on protocols, such as Learn and DataHub. Through DataHub, developers can directly access Web 3 protocols. By providing tools to help holders and developers build the infrastructure, middleware, and application layers, we focus on building and improving Web 3.0 technologies.
What is your investment thesis – how do you select new blockchain protocols and how do you decide to support new protocols very early?
- We generally look to projects that we see opportunities outside of launch to continue supporting the network ecosystem through our tools & platforms such as Learn, DataHub, Hubble, etc. Team credibility also is critical when assessing new projects, as we typically will work closely with the project’s Team throughout the entire process. We support projects that we believe will aid in the future growth of the blockchain ecosystem.
"Our mission is to build a better Internet using blockchain technology".
How do you support these new protocols?
- We support new protocols at Figment in various ways through technical expertise, community involvement, and content production. We have been a part of over 30 network launches in the past year alone. This is something that a quality blockchain project only has to do once. Through research, guides, and community events, we support users throughout the entire protocol development and launch process. After the network has launched, our support does not end there. We continue to build resources to learn and access the network post-launch such as blockchain explorers (Hubble), Figment Learn, and DataHub.
Which regions (Europe, Asia, USA) are you most focused on?
- In terms of our customer base, we are global. That’s one of the beauties of this space, besides a few select countries of course. As a company, we have a diverse and distributed team located in 8 different countries speaking over ten different native languages.
What does the investment process and investment cycle look like?
- We have a dedicated research team that actively explores investment opportunities within the ecosystems we support. As an operator investor, we can provide a unique value proposition to teams looking for funding. Areas of particular interest include, new Layer 1s & 2s, privacy focused technology, identity solutions, DeFi protocols, and NFT platforms.
Increasing accessibility and building the Web 3 knowledge base is key to future adoption.
What are you most excited about (Web 3.0, DeFi, Interoperability, Liquidity, Farming, Layer 1/2/3, SSI, NFT, etc.)?
- We are definitely bullish on DeFi in NFTs but who isn’t? We love supporting decentralized Internet infrastructure projects like Akash, The Graph, Flux Protocol, Sentinel, etc.. We are also excited about projects like the Secret Network, the first blockchain with privacy-preserving smart contracts, and Audius, an ownership economy protocol that allows artists to release music in a decentralized fashion.
What are the major roadblocks for the adoption of Web 3.0 / blockchain-based finance (DeFi)?
- A major roadblock for the adoption of Web 3 and blockchain services, in general, is the lack of education and “Web 2 like” developer tooling in the space. Because of this, we regularly produce educational content for our token holder and developer communities.
- We have also built tools like Hubble and Learn that give token holders and developers the ability to interact with and build on Web 3. Increasing accessibility and building the Web 3 knowledge base is key to future adoption.
What protocols/networks do you support next – kindly share some insights?
- We are constantly researching new protocols and networks. One of the more recent projects we are focused on supporting is Helium, a project that creates an energy-efficient and low-cost wireless network for IoT devices.
- Another project that we are supporting is Injective protocol, a DeFi protocol for cross-chain trading through products such as perpetual swaps, futures, and spot trading.
Next steps / roadmap 2021 / 2022
- We recently released Figment Prime, which is a comprehensive dashboard to support large individual token holders and institutions, hedge funds, and family offices. This proprietary dashboard includes exportable tax-compliant rewards reporting files, industry-leading SLAs, volume and time-based fee rebates, advanced support, monthly information calls with our technical & analyst team, access to our internal due diligence library & tools, and more.
- We are excited to continue to build Web 3 by empowering users with the tools they need to succeed. Throughout 2021 heading into 2022, we will continue building out our Learn, DataHub, and Hubble platforms.
What are you looking for (funding, talent, network, sales etc.)
- We are currently hiring Engineers, Researchers, Designers, Marketers, and more. If you are interested in learning more about these positions, check out our Angel List page.
How to get in contact with you?
- RISK DISCLAIMER: All information presented above is meant for informational purposes only and should not be treated as financial, legal, or tax advice. This article’s content solely reflects the opinion of the writer, who is not a financial advisor. Do your own research before you purchase cryptocurrencies. Any cryptocurrency can go down in value. Holding cryptocurrencies is risky.