Dialogue with Magic Eden Co-founder: BTC only accounts for 50% of revenue, multi-chain market should focus more on users than incentives for trading volume

24-05-27 14:46
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Original title: "Zedd: Unpacking the long march of Magic Eden towards the market winner"
Original source: Mable Jiang, HODLong
Original compilation: Mable Jiang

This article is compiled from the podcast "Hou Lang" (HODLong), which aims to explore the development of the Web3 community with listeners. The dialogue guests include project operators, investors, other ecosystem participants, etc., with a special focus on the Web3 community in Asia. This episode interviewed Zhuoxun (Zedd), co-founder of Magic Eden, hosted by Mable Jiang, the host of "Hou Lang". Mable Jiang was a partner at Multicoin Capital and is currently the growth officer of STEPN, Gas Hero, FSL Ecosystem and MOOAR.

Before entering the cryptocurrency field, Zhuoxun's early career was working in the strategy department of startups and consulting for corporate clients at Bain & Company. Then in 2017, Zhuoxun joined dYdX, which became his starting point for entering the crypto field. It was also during his work at dYdX that Zhuoxun met Mable Jiang.

Zhuoxun has been working full-time in the cryptocurrency industry since 2017, when the crypto market ecosystem was still small and people were mainly building some DeFi protocols. Zhuoxun then left dYdX and joined Coinbase as a product manager, and worked there for about a year and a half until he founded Magic Eden in September 2021.

NFT was very popular on Solana at the time, so Magic Eden initially focused on the Solana market for about a year. At present, Magic Eden has penetrated into other chains such as Bitcoin and Polygon, especially its close connection with the Bitcoin ecosystem has almost made it the "king". According to DappRadar data, the 24-hour transaction volume of the Magic Eden NFT market reached 6.76 million US dollars, only lower than Blur's 24-hour transaction volume of 15.93 million US dollars, becoming the second largest NFT market in terms of transaction volume.

The biggest advantage of Magic Eden is that the transaction cost is extremely low, which provides users and creators with a more economical trading option compared to the traditional NFT market. In addition, the platform does not charge creators for listing NFTs, a policy that further lowers the barrier to entry for artists and creators. This podcast discusses the work Magic Eden has done to explore the multi-chain market. Mable has organized the original text as follows:

How does Magic Eden build a multi-chain market?

From Solana to EVM Ecosystem

Mable: Welcome to the latest episode of "Hou Lang", I'm the host Mable. I'm very excited to welcome an old friend back to our show today. The guest is Zhuoxun, or you can call him Zedd. Zexuan is the co-founder of Magic Eden. A lot has happened since we last chatted. If you're interested, you can check out the previous episode. Zhuoxun, maybe you can share with our listeners the journey of Magic Eden from 2021 to now.

Zhuoxun: Thank you for having me again. It's great to be back. I think it was in 2022. I remember that time I was still working remotely from my home in San Francisco. Before joining Magic Eden, I worked at dYdX, which was the beginning of my crypto journey. I first entered the crypto space from the end of 2017 to the beginning of 2018. The ecosystem was still small and different at that time.

People were just building various DeFi protocols at that time. I feel very lucky to be a part of this journey. Then, a few years later, I worked for a while on the institutional trading team at Coinbase. About a year and a half. Then, we founded Magic Eden in September 2021. It's been a crazy two and a half years. "

We started building on Solana in 2021. At that time, NFT was very popular on Solana, and we were very lucky to catch that wave. We were a pure Solana market for about a year. A few months after the company was founded, we always felt that we needed and wanted to become a multi-chain market. Now I still think that not many dApps are truly multi-chain.

I think there are dApps that do well within the EVM, like scaling to layer 2 networks. But our goal is to be able to facilitate the trading and exchange of value on any chain. In order to do that, you have to cover every important chain. So we first expanded to the EVM through Polygon, then Ethereum, and a year ago also included the Bitcoin ecosystem, which we can talk about in detail later. It's really crazy.

Mable: When you decided to move into Polygon, did you consider other options?

Zhuoxun: That would have been 2022. There were a lot fewer options back then than there are now. Now it feels like there are hundreds of options. At the time, I remember we were probably considering Immutable because they had some traction in the gaming space. We were also considering Polygon. There was also the possibility of Avax, I remember we were evaluating that as well, but none of them really gained significant traction.

So I think we needed to have a little leap of faith in all of these options. The signals weren't as clear then as they were with the move to Solana in 2021, where there was clearly a lot of activity and traction.

Ultimately we chose Polygon because we talked to at least some of the teams that were trying Polygon. We felt like there would be at least some experimental activity, and they were doing a lot of active business development with a lot of games. We decided to give it a try, and it felt like it was at least a good starting point to get into the EVM ecosystem."

Mable: You guys are very familiar with Solana and know everyone. But for Ethereum and Polygon, this was completely new territory. How did you guys initially try to get into this ecosystem?

Zhuoxun:It was hard for a few reasons. One was that the timing of when we decided to do this was really bad.

Mable: Was it when the FTX incident happened?

Zhuoxun: I think we launched on Polygon about two months after the FTX incident. This was a complete coincidence, by the way, because we started working on the integration before FTX. It just so happened that all the unfortunate things happened.

The Solana ecosystem was obviously also affected by the FTX incident. At least from the outside, it looked like we abandoned Solana. We received a lot of bad press at the time. This was a challenge for us because we didn't do a good job of communicating the story or intention of the multi-chain market.

From the perspective of the Solana ecosystem, it looked like we were just abandoning ship, but that was definitely not true. Because no matter what, even now, we are still investing a lot of resources in the Solana ecosystem.

Another challenge is obviously getting to know the community more deeply. First, as a company, we need more people who understand the EVM and Ethereum. It's harder to gain influence in the community than we thought. We did a good job on Solana before, but it did take some extra effort. Looking back, I would probably give ourselves a B grade, because we didn't do a good job at that time because we didn't really go beyond the existing NFT market on Ethereum.

This goal is quite challenging, but I think it's something that can be overcome over time. Over the next few years, as we did more and more on the EVM, we eventually found a way in by working with creators: working with creators on Ethereum like Yuga Labs, Pudgy, and Azuki, helping them with royalties and things like that.

Since then, I think we’ve gotten better at being a multi-chain marketplace. It was really hard in the beginning.

Mable: Can you talk about working with Yuga Labs? If I remember correctly, you were building an NFT marketplace for them in a white label format.

Zhuoxun: We had been going back and forth with them for about six months at that point, just brainstorming ways to work together. We liked each other as a team. We also connected through our Chief Gaming Officer and Yuga’s former Chief Gaming Officer, Spencer, who has now left.

Through that connection, we gradually got to know each other. Over the next six months, we went through the process of solving the royalty problem on Solana and created PNFT.

It seems that the market always goes through a process where there is no royalties for a period of time, and then royalties come back. We played a big role in this process of "coming back". I think Yuga saw this and contacted us when the existing market on Ethereum decided not to support royalties anymore.

We started talking about if we could build something that would be good not only for Yuga but for the entire creator ecosystem, and that was the genesis of building this royalty-respecting marketplace,but it wasn't just for Yuga Labs, it was for everyone and anyone. We launched this marketplace about four or five months ago. I think that gives us more entry points and advantages in the Ethereum ecosystem that we never really had before.

Mable: Is this marketplace primarily for PFP transactions or does it also include their games?


Aligning incentives to buyers

Mable: How do you feel about Blur doing so well? I guess you probably looked at how they got to where they are today. How do you view this competition?

Zhuoxun:My only observation all along is that we pay more attention to where the users are, where the users spend their time, and not necessarily the trading volume, which I think in the crypto space can sometimes be a dangerous metric because the trading volume is very easily incentivized.

So we actually look at the number of users, and we also look at revenue, and the core is actually what kind of users are paying.

For Blur, I think they absolutely do a good job in liquidity incentives, very smart,but we always feel that that is not the product or platform we want, because obviously the market should have liquidity, but the market should be a place where many people want to come and trade, not just a few traders.

So even though Blur has completely dominated OpenSea's trading volume in the past six months, OpenSea still has more users than Blur. Even though the difference in trading volume is another order of magnitude.

In summary, trading volume is a potentially dangerous metric. We also think about this from a user perspective, but I think it's very smart that Blur provides a lot of incentives for liquidity.

Mable: But if you have trading volume, you can always make money right? Is their trading fee 0.5% now?

Zhuoxun:Blur is still free. The royalty they pay to creators is 0.5%.

And the number of users of Blur is in the thousands. But if you add up all the NFT users, it's hundreds of thousands, right?

Mable:The reason I asked you about Blur is because I think a lot of people would want to build trading volume first and then make money from the scale later. But it sounds like you think the user scale is actually more important. That's true even if they don't trade very often.

Zhuoxun:I mean, both are important, you can't have no trading volume. But I do think that in the long run, having a lot of users is more sustainable.

Mable:Later you did some gamified trading rewards. How about those?

Zhuoxun:We've been experimenting with this. We call it diamonds on MagiEden.

We want to incentivize and reward users in different ways. But we don't want to do it in a completely zero-sum way. We don't want it to be a PVP game. Most of the rewards and incentives are for takers, which encourages people to buy NFTs. Because if all the incentives are on the maker side, it will encourage people to keep listing sell orders as close to the floor price as possible, which will have a negative spiral effect on the floor price. We want to create a healthier market.

Mable: It's interesting that you mentioned this. Our company has an FSL point. We have different rules for FSL points for different products. One point can be redeemed for one GMT, but you can't buy points the other way around. In STEPN, we only give points to takers.

Next I want to change the subject a little bit and talk about games. I know you have made a lot of efforts in games, especially in the past year. What do you think of this effort? Any insights?

Zhuoxun:We have had a game team since the end of 2022. Not a big team, about four people or so, and it's the same today. It's mainly a BD-led team, and so far we want to work with games that are about to launch many NFTs as part of the game. And then the second thing is that we usually work with them to launch Launchpad, and we help them go online.

I think the last 18 months have been quite an interesting journey. There was a lot of hype in 21 and early 22. I think in the last 18 months, many games were very focused, so there wasn't really that much market activity. There were some games launching things, but overall it wasn't widely spread. Another challenge is that from a product and engineering perspective, the infrastructure required for many games is also quite customized, and we haven't reached the level of depth required to serve individual games. Frankly, we underestimated the area of that complexity at the time.

And today we haven't invested product resources, but we do still have a strong BD team that works with games that are in the early launch stage.

Mable: I think that kind of "product investment" is mainly more headcount and individual specialized talent, because the customized market still mainly requires manpower to connect and understand the needs, and you also have to understand the game. But technically it's not that difficult. But if you just build a market that suits PFP, it won't work for the secondary market of the game. Then you also have to take directional risk, which is like betting on who will come out on top.

Zhuoxun:Yeah, basically if you look at our path over the past year, we've supported PFP more, including Ordinals, which is kind of an extension of the PFP category. It's interesting that a lot of people thought PFP would die and be replaced by games, but that hasn't really happened.

Mable: My biggest view on games is that a few games with significant trading volume may take up 80%, 90% of the market share. When they get big, they tend to build their own marketplaces because they know their products best.

People in the last cycle, like Fractal and all those projects that are doing NFT marketplaces for games are talking about how they want the game market to be a place with a lot of natural trading volume, because games naturally have a need for high-frequency trading. We just talked privately about MOOAR's own customized market interface for Gas Hero. The fact is that the effort to build this kind of custom market is severely underestimated. And you have to bet and choose the games you think have opportunities to support, just like investing in games.

Next I want to talk about your trump card, the Bitcoin NFT market. How did you start building around the Bitcoin ecosystem?

Now when people talk about Magic Eden, they say, oh, they won on Bitcoin NFTs, Bitcoin brought them everything. So I was actually shocked when you just told me that Bitcoin only accounts for half of your revenue share.

Zhuoxun:That's indeed true. It reflects the actual situation of the business because Bitcoin is about 50% of our business, and Solana is still a significant part of our business. EVM is still the smallest part of our business. So it's kind of interesting that we are almost using a dumbbell strategy, with Bitcoin on one side, Solana on the other side, and a bunch of EVM stuff in the middle.

I think this is a good state of affairs because there are a lot of really interesting developments and experiments going on on both ends of the dumbbell, which are Bitcoin and Solana. So our strategic position is actually very good.

But how did we start building on Bitcoin? To be honest, it's pretty crazy because if you asked us at any time in 2022 whether this was in our plan, it was absolutely not. It was probably not in anybody's plan either. And then in early 2023, one of our team members, who is actually our general counsel, told us about Inscription along with a couple of other people. You wouldn't think he'd found out about it, but it was very theoretical at the time and we didn't think it was on our roadmap to support this market.

We had never seen Inscription before, and the concept mechanism didn't exist before. We just thought it was interesting because it was actually what people thought NFTs should be, right? Just something that's on the chain. Maybe like you can't do much on Bitcoin because it's not as efficient.But it became clear pretty quickly that the market demand was real.People really needed a market because I remember in the first few days in the Inscription Discord, there were less than 100 people there, and we started seeing people doing OTC trades in spreadsheets on Discord.

Not because I had inside information, but more because people from the Magic Eden team were already in the Discord because they just loved these new things. That's why it's important to make sure the people in your company also love discovering new things. It's so important, and I don't think we would be doing these things here if we hadn't built our culture and our team that way.

When we saw this, we thought, okay, people must want to trade this stuff. So we started working on a version of a marketplace, because at that point we didn't know if it was even possible to build a trustless, noncustodial marketplace. It was really technically uncertain. My co-founder Rex, who's a genius, spent a weekend working on this, came back and said, Yo, guys, it's technically possible. Then we were faced with this choice: Should we mobilize a whole bunch of engineering resources to do this? And where? It's actually a very hard question to answer.

We finally decided to transfer some engineers in the Polygon market to work on Bitcoin after Rex found out that this was possible.

How to deeply understand and integrate into the community?

From Ordinals to the Bitcoin ecosystem

Mable: They should learn a lot of new things, right?

Zhuoxun: Absolutely. Because the two are completely different. And we don’t have Bitcoin developers in the company, right?

I realized from my experience at dYdX, or even today, it’s hard to find very good smart contract developers. You just need to find great engineers who can learn quickly.

I think this is what we have on Bitcoin. We have excellent engineers. They were passionate and excited about Bitcoin, and then they learned.

At that point we made that tradeoff, but it was a very hard decision to make because it was hard to understand what the ROI of this thing was. Will this thing take off? I don't know. It's hard to say, very hard to say. But we ultimately decided to do it because we just felt that if people were willing to trade NFTs on Ethereum and Solana, and Bitcoin was the most well-known chain, and people had been wanting an ecosystem on Bitcoin, we felt that people would want ways to make more Bitcoin on Bitcoin.

So we decided to do it and held a hackathon within the company with about 10 engineers in California. And then they did a rapid development of the Bitcoin NFT marketplace in a week. The whole process happened in about three weeks, and the marketplace was officially launched in February or March of 2023.

To give you an idea, we did the inscription market first, and then we supported this thing called Rare Stats, which was basically like collecting rare coins on Bitcoin. And then we also dabbled in BRC20 a little bit. We eventually removed support for that. Mainly because we didn't have the resources to handle both inscription and BRC20 at the same time. We felt that inscription was more of our core, and it was better to focus on making sure we were the best at that, very, very well.

Recently, we also did Runes.

Mable: For people on the show who don't know about the Bitcoin NFT ecosystem, can you give us a quick overview? What are these categories and what are the differences?

Zhuoxun:Inscriptions are basically you can think of it as NFTs, but unlike NFTs on ETH and SOL, you're actually inscribing media or data on the chain. BRC20 and Runes are basically different fungible token standards. There are actually more, like BRC420 and some other things, but the main ones are BRC20 and Runes.

Runes are very, very new. It's only about three, four weeks old, while BRC20 has been around for almost a year. And Runes are almost like a slightly more user-friendly version of BRC20, which doesn't require like some of the inscription activities to move them around.Runes are also developed by the same team that developed the Inscription protocol. That's why it's getting a lot of attention and hype.

Mable: Who are the people who are trading these different assets?

Zhuoxun:That's a good question. So one interesting thing that we've noticed is that our users on the Bitcoin product are more in Asia than on Solana. Another interesting thing that we've noticed, and maybe a counterpoint to this, is that we make sure that the Solana users that we know are doing a lot of things on Magic Eden are also using our Bitcoin product. So there's more synergy than people think, and it's not as isolated as people think.

Mable: In terms of trading I think the people who are going to be interested in tossing around on Solana are not the so-called OGs. They have a growth mindset, and then they're willing to learn. That actually made me realize a very interesting thing, which is that markets can also have your own local community. I don't think OpenSea has that, they're too neutral, I think Blur has it, Magic Eden has it too. There are definitely core communities that just want to use your product, and they'll try it no matter what you do.

Zhuoxun:I think that's true. This has also been strengthened recently because we launched a wallet that supports multiple chains three months ago, and then you can also exchange assets on multiple chains. You have Bitcoin and you can get SOL instantly, which is achieved through a partnership with Exodus.So if users want to convert between Sol, ETH, Bitcoin, etc., you can do it through the Magic Eden wallet.A lot of our users downloaded the Magic Eden wallet, and then they just converted some SOL to Bitcoin and then started using the Inscription Market.

Mable: I think in our industry, there's always a need for speculation and trading, even if there's nothing to it. I think memecoins have proven that, but you just mentioned that there are actually quite a few people building things on Bitcoin. How do you think the Bitcoin NFT ecosystem will develop?

Zhuoxun:There will definitely be a lot of things like Ordinals, they're not NFTs with utility, it's not like people promised ETH NFTs before, you don't need to attach some utility. I actually think that's great, you know it's what we call a collectibles market.

And then a lot of the stuff that people are building right now is basically a lot of tools around how to mint and carve inscriptions and runes, and a lot of people trying to figure out if there are other ways to make trading these things easier, because trading on Bitcoin L1, I sometimes joke, is like going to a spa, it's slow and relaxing.

Because you trade memecoins on Solana, the market cap can reach 100 million in 30 minutes. But it takes 30 minutes to do a transaction on Bitcoin, and if you are used to trading memecoins, you come to Bitcoin and it's like doing a SPA. So, the work we are trying to do, including us, is how to make the trading experience better.

Mable: You are building markets, so you may know the entire technology stack very well. Have you ever thought about building a second-layer network yourself?

Zhuoxun: There is no absolute in this world. We don't have the bandwidth to undertake this task at the moment. And we only want to do it if it is a native Bitcoin second-layer network, not to say that many second-layer networks today, just call themselves Bitcoin second-layer networks, but actually for narrative. They are more like a Bitcoin sidechain, which is nothing bad, I think it's a good thing that people are researching and trying to experiment with it, and we may even end up working with them to some extent, but it is not at all like Optimism Rollup is to Ethereum.

Mable: You know history always repeats itself, and it's the same on Ethereum. In 2018 and 2019, sidechains all called themselves second-layer networks, because it takes time to build a true second-layer network Rollup, including fraud proofs and so on.

Today, your position in the Bitcoin ecosystem has obviously helped you to become the number one in everyone's mind. Now when people mention you, they will say, oh, they are definitely the number one. But in fact, it was not like this two months ago. Many people still said that OKX did a good job.

I mean they are still doing very well, and I think they are a very respectable competitor for you, because as a centralized exchange, it should not have the kind of genes to build such a decentralized market.

When people say number one, I think they mean all chains and not just on Bitcoin. My question is, what are you doing at the company level to further ensure this success and make this success continue?

Zhuoxun: This is a good question, and actually no one has asked me this, but we do spend a lot of time thinking about this. Because building on all these different chains is not only very difficult from a technical perspective, but also how can you keep the company relatively focused. And then, how can you create a culture that encourages the team to be close to the ground and close to the community.

Mable: This is the only way to succeed, you have to be fast and lead the trend.

Zhuoxun: Yes, if you don't know what's going on, you can't be fast. So you have to build a team that has good instincts, so they have to be close to the ground. And then you have to build the team based on enabling fast execution, because when you go to a new chain, it's like a zero-to-one bet in the company. For example, our Solana market is already relatively mature as a business, but when we went to do inscriptions, that was a zero-to-one effort; when we did runes three weeks ago, that was also a zero-to-one effort.

The way we actually organize within the company is that we are basically like a business unit model, so each of these markets on each chain is like a separate business unit in the company.For each of them, for example, like the Bitcoin team, there is a dedicated product manager, there is a full engineering team, there is a full business team, and that entire team thinks about only Bitcoin.

They won't work on Solana stuff, but they will communicate with each other when needed, because we also don't want the Magic Eden product to suddenly fork into five different versions, like how to bid or how to sweep the floor, those things shouldn't have differences. But each team should have enough flexibility to be able to say, oh, I want to go do something like Rune, which is a pure Bitcoin thing, not a Solana thing.

The reason for this setup is also because we also want the engineering team to be very close to the business team. If the business team is deeply engaged in the community, in the users, in the creators, we want the engineering team to feel that, and we want the engineering team to be part of it. How to get the entire company, not just the business team, really close to the ecosystem is something we spend a lot of time thinking about.

With the premise of such a business unit setup, it is also very important to think about how to set the right expectations for the team and understand what it means to do a zero to one thing. Like we did Rune a few weeks ago, this is completely different from the way we usually run product cycles.

Because generally when you build a product, you build it for a while, design it for a while, and then you launch a beta version to some user groups, get test feedback and maybe launch it to more users, so it will be a longer iteration cycle. But for zero to one, my philosophy is that you have to be fast, you have to get to market, which is very important, and then once you are in the market, you can iterate quickly.

From start to finish, it took us about three weeks to build Rune, and we could definitely have taken eight weeks because we could have polished it up a lot more and put more features on it. But we talked about it internally and thought that the most important thing should be to get this thing out to market as quickly as possible to see if users really like it, and if they do, we can do more.

I think this was a very conscious decision because you have to constantly resist that urge (to do it better before launching). We are now over 100 people, not very, very big, but definitely not a small company anymore. As you get bigger, there is a natural tendency to slow down, so you have to resist that urge, and in a zero to one moment like this, you have to really resist it and make sure the team is aware of it and everyone is aware of the need to launch as quickly as possible.

Mable: I think the interesting thing about Bitcoin NFTs is that it's just getting started. So you've been growing with it almost from the beginning, so a lot of things, like the Rune standard are also evolving. So speed is very important, whether you deliver in three weeks or eight weeks, I think a lot of things will change in those five weeks.

So I think getting real user feedback is the easiest way, and a lot of users in Asia are joking that they feel the team is very similar to the Chinese team, very fast, very impressive. Then there is a joke that someone said that if an engineer leaves Magic Eden, it's because it's too stranglehold (referring to the fast pace). This is a compliment because many of them want to hire former Magic Eden engineers.

I think it's very hard to foster curiosity, people often don't want to learn and try new things, especially at a very fast pace, which is tiring. But I think if you hire people who are hardworking and curious, then you will actually foster a very, very valuable ecosystem.

Zhuoxun:Yes, it definitely takes effort, because it's hard to always hire people who have amazing abilities and are interested in all things Web3. They have to be willing to learn and fit in with the culture. We spend a lot of time thinking about how to do this and make sure it's well known within the company.

Mable: In addition to Bitcoin, do you see demand for supporting other chains, such as other EVMs or Rollups?

Zhuoxun:Right now it's just keeping an eye on, such as parallel EVMs. The second layer network on Ethereum is also interesting, but there's not a lot of activity there right now. Another thing we're also looking at is the market for fully verticalized application chains.

Building a strong native community

Mable: Well, I think for application chains, especially application Rollup, if they have a lot of users from the beginning, they may build their own market. They can do the full stack. Because they have already done the hardest part, which is user acquisition. For example, like Ronin, for example, they will require people who work with them to use their market.

I want to talk a little bit more about the community aspect. You guys have done a great job of building native communities, especially on Solana and Bitcoin, what do you think you did right to cultivate a native user community?

Zhuoxun: One is that we have to make sure that there is a DNA in the company that represents the community,For example, when we went to Polygon, we hired this dude named Johnny. Yeah, he knows everyone on Polygon and likes Polygon. He will always speak on Twitter space just because he likes Polygon. So one is having the right DNA in the company that reflects what you're trying to do in the community,

and two is making sure we have a very active social media presence.

And three is real-life exposure.So we always have events at every conference. Like last year at NFT NYC we had seven events that week.

The last thing is, learn from your mistakes and problems. We screwed up a lot in two and a half years, but now I think we have a better relationship with our community because the community has seen the ups and downs along the way, and I hope they know that we are here for the long haul.

Overall, what we really care about at heart is building. We like to build a lot of things, and we do it very quickly, and we are a very execution-driven team, and that's what we want to be known for.

Mable: People do recognize that now. Now I think for Bitcoin, you guys are onboarding very quickly, and then you grow with all the new things, and that's definitely true for Bitcoin. For Solana, you guys are very aware of the meme culture there, and you guys have that atmosphere of exploration and innovation throughout the company, and that's also a very good fit. But it's definitely harder for you to go to Ethereum, where there are obviously more competitors and strong power factions.

Zhuoxun:I think to be recognized in a community you have to do a lot, like protocol development, open source stuff. In Ethereum we did a little bit, but we were not that active. If we want to gain community recognition, we should be more active in the open source community and need to contribute more over time.

Mable:But I would argue that you are user-oriented rather than trying to please the Ethereum Foundation. Of course, if you are building a zk-Rollup and get forwarded or praised by core developers, it may be good. I am not sure if it is the same about the trading market.

Zhuoxun:It is also because Ethereum does not have so many low-hanging fruit optimizations to do now.

Looking at the Bitcoin ecosystem, when we built the market, we immediately open sourced it, which I think is really helpful to many people. Everything we do on Bitcoin now, like runes, we also put the code out, which I think is very consistent with the spirit of Bitcoin.

Mable: How has the distribution of Magic Eden users changed in the past few years?

Zhuoxun:There are more Chinese-speaking users now than two years ago. Even for Bitcoin, we did not actively try it, but it is cool to see the natural growth, so we want to do more in this area.

Mable: You don’t have Chinese or I guess East Asian team members on your team, no one who knows the language, I think it’s hard to build a community, how do you feel about that now?

Zhuoxun:Well, I agree, it’s hard. We don’t really have a community in Asia right now. We want to figure out the right way for us, and then we can invest in that resource to make it happen, (Mable: I think the resource is people.) We don’t have the right people right now.

Mable: Do you want to hire? This podcast is actually very good for recruiting, some people have found jobs here.

Zhuoxun:Well, I didn’t realize it was also a job network. Anyway, we’re always looking for good people in the community, so if there’s anyone in Asia who is passionate about growing, NFTs our wallets all this stuff, we’d love to talk.

But on the other hand, I also feel like even without geographic expansion, we already have a lot of things that we have to deal with. So we also want to be careful and do it the right way and not just expand Magic Eden to a point where we just can't handle it.

I have a funny story. I remember in the early days of Magic Eden, I think it was week three. We were trying to find any way to grow, and we added a bunch of languages to the Magic Eden website, Korean, Turkish, Chinese, maybe a few other languages. We probably found one or two KOLs, but obviously it didn't work out, and we quickly took it off the site.

Mable: If you want to grow in a local community, I think you need local people there. Just like if you expand to Polygon, you need someone who understands Polygon. It's been an interesting conversation, thanks for coming!

Zhuoxun: Thanks for having me!

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