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October 5, 2022

Solving the Usability Problem with Web3

with

Omer Sadika, co-founder of Odsy Network

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In this episode, Omer Sadika joins us to discuss one of the most important issues in crypto right now: usability.

Why? One of the factors that will most affect crypto’s long-term value is onboarding more users. The space has already garnered lots of mainstream attention over the past few years, but getting millions more users into Web3 is going to require major improvements to usability. As it is right now, even setting up a basic wallet and supplying it with some tokens can be a complex and daunting task. In this conversation, we dive into the biggest usability issues both new and existing users face, why these limitations also make things difficult for builders, and several approaches we can take to begin solving these issues without compromising decentralization or security.

Omer Sadika is the co-founder of Odsy Network, a security-first blockchain of dWallets that provides a programmable, decentralized, universal access layer to all of Web3. Omer has an extensive background in cybersecurity and even invented a new category in the space called API Security. He also founded Salt Security, the first company in the API Security category.

Mark:

Today we're talking about usability and access control with Omer Sadika of Odsy Network and dWallet Labs. Welcome Omer. Thank you so much for joining us.

Omer Sadika:

Thank you for having me, Mark, I'm really happy to chat with you today.

Mark:

Now, one of the most important issues in crypto is usability. And one of the things that long term will affect crypto's value most is when more people come into crypto. And so, traders need to care about it, but the reality is, it is so complicated to actually use Web3. First, you have to go to, let's say Coinbase and you have to connect your bank and go through KYC and then you can buy crypto. That part is easy. Then you have to set up a wallet, download a wallet, set it up on your own computer, or your browser. You have to remember some seed phrase, you have to keep it in some strange place in a piece of paper. Then you have to send the crypto from Coinbase to your wallet. You have to make double sure you're sending it to the right address, you mess it up, the money's gone.

Mark:

And then, you have to keep it safe in your wallet from hackers and whatnot. And that's a whole another thing. And then, every time you want to do anything Web3, you have to click confirm and approve your wallet. And there's all these numbers flying everywhere. Let's just say that, it's not something I could ever hope to help my parents do. It is just a lot. And if we're going to get millions more users into Web3, then we really have to solve the usability problem. And it seems like that actually really comes down to access control. So today I'm really excited to talk about with you. So thank you so much for joining us. I'd love to start by just understanding and helping our audience understand what makes you such a credible expert and guide on this topic.

Omer Sadika:

My background is cybersecurity, I'm coming from cybersecurity. This is what I've done in Israel for most of my life. Also, I started a category in security called API security and the first company in this space called Security, which today is a unicorn. Really, the way I think about everything in life, not just tech, is in terms of security, this is the way that my brain thinks and works. And when it comes to crypto, it's really crazy, if you compare it to Web 2. Just imagine that your bank will tell you to remember some seed phrase and store it and if somebody steals it from you, then they got all your money. Or even imagine your note taken up, that you can't use it, you can't log in without getting this key. It just make no sense the process, the security aspect, and also the limited capabilities that you have in that terms.

Omer Sadika:

It's so hard to build around it. So if you think from the perspective of the user, also try to think from the perspective of the builder, what they're trying to build, new protocols, new solutions, new products. How hard it is? That should be the number one priority for crypto community in order to make the accessibility to anyone. Because if we really want to connect crypto to real life, to people, and we want it to be mainstream, we need to solve that issue. And I think it's really important, also, to make sure that the way we solve it is in a decentralized way because that's the whole point of crypto. So if you'll say, "Just let's have centralized solutions," that do it for you, so then what's the point? Just use fiat money and use your bank account.

Mark:

I heard three things which I'd love to unpack. To start, to make sure we all understand the problem before we talk about the solutions. And so the first is, it's really hard for a user, the seed phrase issue, you wouldn't expect to the bank. The second is, it's hard for a builder to work around that. The third is, needing to do it in a decentralized way as opposed to a centralized way. Let's talk about each of those and let's unpack them bit. And let's actually start from the back. The simple answer here, presumably, is you just do this in a centralized way. Someone holds your seed phrase for you, and then you have an easy user experience. Maybe first, why do we need a seed phrase? And then second, why can't someone just keep that seed phrase on our behalf?

Omer Sadika:

First of all, it's an option, you can do that. But I think the whole premise of crypto is to be decentralized, not to have a centralized entity or centralized organization that control it, that can center it, that have access to it. Think about banks or central banks, for example. They have this access, they have this power, and in certain ways, if you access crypto in a centralized way, what you actually do is to make crypto less decentralized. Because if you have 5 or 10 organizations that almost all of the assets and all of the voting power in crypto, it means that literally they control crypto, so it's not really decentralized anymore. And I think this is what people really should understand. I'm not even talking about all the issues that we have seen recently, when you give centralized in... Companies that invest for you, all the assets for you, what could happen.

Omer Sadika:

We think we have witnessed a few of those issues in the last six months, something like that. So I think people understand also that problem, but I think the main issue is that you give other people the power and when you do it, you just become centralized. So that's one. The reason why we need the seed phrase is because the way blockchains operate today. Today, the way that you authenticate to the blockchain, the way that you prove that it's you, it's using the private key, but you don't really want to share your private key with everybody else. Because then they will be able to sign transactions on your behalf. So because of that, the way in cryptography that we do that is to derive public key from this private key, and with this public key we can prove that we sign the transaction without others being able to sign on our behalf.

Omer Sadika:

So this is why we need it. Seed phrase is just a simpler way to describe private key. Specifically most wallets, what they do is to provide you master private key, which is many private keys together. It's very complex to explain it. But really the point of seed phrase is just to have words, simple English words instead of... Or the languages, there are other options, instead of using hexadecimal [inaudible 00:07:28] or some other formats that human beings can't just read and remember. So that's really the point. So it's all about this private key.

Omer Sadika:

The problem with this seed phrase, is that it holds all the power. This private key holds all the power. And once somebody got it, once somebody got your seed phrase or your private key, they can do whatever they want. They can sign any transaction that they want. So they can authenticate on your behalf. And that's the problem. That's the issue. The issue today is that all the blockchains, and in general in crypto, we have only authentication in terms of access control. I'm talking about the blockchains, I'm not talking about the protocols inside the blockchains. You have some smart contracts that try to create vaults on top of it, but when you interact with the blockchains themselves, as externally on the account, it's binary, it's static. It's either you have full access or you have no access. And that's really the issue. That's really the big problem.

Mark:

Got it. A seed phrase, very concretely, is a bunch of words. It's like apple, dog, cat, table, chair, rain. And if you know that, you fully control all the money in a given decentralized wallet. You can take that, you can re-instantiate that wallet on another computer and just send the money wherever you want. Got it. And obviously practically, it's really hard to keep track of that and keep it safe. So, that makes sense. And then why is it that make it hard for builders. I get why that makes it hard for individuals to keep track of. Why does that affect builders?

Omer Sadika:

So I'll give you an example. Let's say I'm a builder and I want to build a protocol for Dow, but in my protocol I want to be able to hold assets on different blockchains. I want to hold assets on Ethereum, I want some NFTs on Solana. The same applies to DeFi protocol or gaming protocol. How I do that? It's super complex. How I do that? I live on one blockchain. I have smart contracts on Ethereum, for example, how I can hold assets on Solana? So you have solutions around it today, like trapped assets with breaches, but still those are causing a lot of other issues and security bridges and also some types of problems, also financial problems, like liquidity and other stuff. You're basically relying on the bridge and your opt assets when you operate that way. So for you as builder, you have no flexibility when you want to build protocols that are multi chain, that are interoperable.

Omer Sadika:

It's because of that, because it's so hard to implement decentralized access control in crypto. It's so hard to be able to build the access control that you want to different blockchains.

Mark:

It is also hard to just do basic things sometimes. Can we zero in on, you have money in your wallet, you go to Compound Finance, or Clipper, and you want to do a swap, and you have to approve your wallet, connect your wallet, do all these things. Why is that user experience rooted in the self custody of seed phrase? Why is that rooted in access control too?

Omer Sadika:

First of all, today, the way that you have to access all of those dApps, especially if it's multi-chain, when you have different type of chance, is because at the end of the day when you create a wallet, let's say I'm building MetaMask. The way that they think about it, is how I create the full flow, from creating the wallet itself, the account, the seed phrase, to starting transactions and other transactions or actions that the user wants to do. But if you think about it, then you go to Keplr, for example, which is the Cosmos wallet, and you have to do almost the same thing, but now you have to create another seed phrase. You can probably import the same seed phrase, but most users won't do that. They won't even think about it, just because this is the user interface, they're competing with each other.

Omer Sadika:

And again, it's because of that design, that design of the seed phrase, because the way that you think about seed phrase is like the account. So if I want an account on Ethereum, I have to have a seed phrase on MetaMask for Ethereum. But it's not the truth. The truth is that this same private key can be used also in Cosmos with Keplr. You can use the same one, you can use the same seed phrase. In general, if it's the same sign in algorithms you can use the same private key. You can only also use if it's different signing mechanism, but it's not good thing to do, because of security issues. You see, here also comes other aspects that the normal user can really know. I don't know, maybe if I use the same seed phrase on different wallet, maybe it's a security vulnerability, maybe it'll create a weakness to my wallet. I don't know.

Omer Sadika:

So you need to be expert in order to understand so basic stuff, this is why it's so complicated. Also the usage of the dApps itself, because you should have wallet for every chain and you should manage different seed phrase for every blockchain. And it's not because it makes sense in terms of feasibility, it's just the design that forced everybody to take this path.

Mark:

You mentioned one reason for why it's important to self custody and figure out access control in a decentralized way, as opposed to just having a Coinbase or some custodian hold your seed. And that is, you mentioned philosophy, and I suppose there's also security. They then have to hold your key and they're a security risk, because they're then a honey pot, where if they're holding a lot of keys, they're a big target for hackers. And there's a third, which I want to flag, which is regulation. Most of the way that our financial regulation works today is, it assumes that someone is holding money. If you're sending money, you're sending it through some other company and that company is a financial intermediary. If you're trading a stock, well the broker has to hold your money, and the exchange is to hold your money in order to actually facilitate these trades.

Mark:

And so, all of financial regulation is built around the idea that if you hold people's money then you have to do KYC and AML and this other set of things. And so, it's a big deal to hold people's money. It's like a huge compliance overhead. And Coinbase and centralized exchanges, they do that, they have this compliance overhead. But decentralized finance and decentralized apps, they would prefer to offer their service as software instead of custodying your money. And they can do that because they're not subject to a set of regulations because they don't hold your money anymore. But the trade off for that is they can't hold your money, you have to hold your money. And then, we get into the very issues you've brought up, which is as soon as you're holding the seed phrase, it's very complicated use and it's binary. You either have full control of it or no control of it. And if you lose it, you're screwed.

Mark:

And that seems to be a big problem in DeFi because that's really what makes it so hard to make it easily usable at the end of the day. And obviously any usage of DeFi affects traders as well. This seems like such an important issue. It seems like the crux of the usability issue, and the crux of the issue to get so many more people into DeFi and in crypto and various steps in blockchains and just bringing them in to actually using these chains is access control. So with that said, let's dig into access control. What is access control? And what does your company do?

Omer Sadika:

First of all, I want to wed something to what you said, something small, but I think it's really important also to understand, is that it's not that they hold the key for you because they don't really hold the key for you. They hold the assets with their keys, with their private keys, with their seed phrases. So it means that the only thing that they promise you is the underlying assets that they hold for you. So anything related to rewards, airdrops, DeFi, whatever, they can do whatever they want with that. They hold the need for you, they do the custody, it's there and you don't gain anything out of it. Only if they want to share with you something, but it's their choice. So you also lose a lot in that transaction.

Mark:

That's a good point. So I guess what you're pointing out is there's two types of custody. One, they host your wallet, so they hold your private keys and then you can send them the username and password. The second is, they hold the assets on your behalf, with their own seed phrase and then you trust them to give it back to you or use it as you want to. But then we're just back in normal finance and you can't really take advantage of the systematic safety of always holding your own assets everywhere.

Omer Sadika:

Exactly.

Mark:

Which is one of the things that blockchain promises, do I understand it right?

Omer Sadika:

Exactly. That's exactly correct.

Mark:

Cool.

Omer Sadika:

Access control in security is the mechanism that control the access, it can be even to house. If you want to access your house, you have the keys, it's to anything. And in software it's super important because you want to make sure that you don't just create access control that make it hard for the user to use your software. You want it to be also user friendly. So because of that access control in cybersecurity is how you find this balance between making it super secure to making it user friendly. So you want to find something in that middle that works for most users. So access control is first of all authentication, our authenticate to the app or to anywhere that we want, but it's also authorization. How I can prove that I can do this action? I can do or I can't do.

Omer Sadika:

So any type of doing those stuff are part of access control. Also another aspect of access control is to create some way to trace the action that happened. So it's like a log, think about it, access log, something like that. A way also to see what people try to do, what they try to access, what they try to authenticate, what they already did. So every action that, for example, you do with your bank, there is some log in the bank that says you did it with this username that you logged in to the bank and so on. So all of that, when you combine all of that and everything around it is access control. What we do in Odsy, in the project, so we have Odsy, the project, we have Odsy Foundation, which is an nonprofit that support the blockchain, and we have dWallet Labs which is the tech arm, the tech company, that works on building this blockchain and supporting the ecosystem.

Omer Sadika:

But our goal is to solve the problem of access controlling crypto. That's really the goal of Odsy network. So it's a new blockchain with that goal, we want to become the access control layer for Web3. The way that we do that, is that we created a new primitive, a new concept, we call it a dWallet. dWallet means dynamic decentralized wallet, and that's the whole point. The whole point is to make a new way for you to create a very flexible but very robust access control at the same time. So it can be flexible and robust. You can build whatever you want. So we are a platform for builders. Our goal is not to go to the end user. Our goal is to have protocols on top of us, that will give you different type of protocols for different types of problems. But the idea of dWallet is that those primitives are programmable and also transferable.

Omer Sadika:

And I think this is really the basic. So that means you can build protocol on top of them, you can build whatever logic that you want, how to interact with the new wallet, how to make decision of signing transactions on different blockchain, what is the users that you need? Maybe you need multiple users to sign together, whatever you want. So this is about it, but also it's transferrable because you can change the owner. So it's not like private care seed phrase that you own the seed phrase and you can just go to your friend and tell him, pay me a million dollar and I give you my wallet. Because he will say, "You still have a copy of the seed phrase, I can't trust you. I can pay you and then you can steal everything out of the wallet. How I can trust this transaction?"

Omer Sadika:

Our approach is very different because the dWallet is a primitive that lives on the blockchain, you can change the ownership, the same way that you do with NFT, or any other token. So it makes the wallet itself also transferable, you can treat it as asset. So it can be like a portfolio of assets. I can give you example, examples for use cases. I think the obvious ones are custody. You have written custody, you have institutional custody. But imagine for you, instead of having one seed phrase that has full access, you will have a few seed phrases for backups that you need their combination to change the access structure and you will have one seed phrase for your MetaMask to run Ethereum transaction, but it'll be limited. And if somebody somehow stole your seed phrase, stole your access to Ethereum, then first of all it's limited what they can do with that.

Omer Sadika:

They can just tell the amount that you limited this account to, and also you can just revoke the access. You can go to the backups, it can be multiple ones, it can be using other people that you trust in some combination to help you to recover. So it's really to change the paradigm, the way that people think today about access control in crypto. Also, you can build protocols for retails. So for companies with the structure of a company. Board, and management, and employees, and give them different level of access, different level of actions that they can do. So this is a different type, but this is more complex one. But I think also for builders, to build all the protocols that they wanted to build and they couldn't.

Omer Sadika:

Like I said before, a Dow that can be multi-chain, that can interoperable with different blockchain, can sign transaction, can hold assets in different blockchains, or gaming protocol that can hold NFTs on different blockchains. So this is really what we are doing, this is really what we're building and it's a blockchain. So it'll be fully decentralized, the way that you operate with the blockchain is using tokens. Our token, Odsy, so we have to pay gas fee for every action that you do, fully decentralized. That's the way that we envision this future of crypto. So we think that we're in a phase that we need to solve this issue.

Mark:

Someone has a wallet... Like with our bank, anytime, at our bank, I want to send money, if it's over a certain amount, they might call me and ask me to authorize before they're willing to send the money, so I can't make a mistake on my own. And they can lock me out if there's fraudulent activity, but they also can't or shouldn't send money on my account. So I have to actually trigger certain actions and authenticate myself in order to authorize a wire. So there's actually multiple points of approval, in order to do certain things. That's access control, it's like a critical primitive to everything we log into every day. And so, it sounds like the way you're doing it is, you're creating your own chain. The seed phrase is embedded in that chain and then ownership over the seed phrase is actually what individuals have custody of. And so you have multiple people essentially having partial custody of this one key, is that right? And if not, could you try to explain that component once more?

Omer Sadika:

The way that you describe this is a simple way to think about it. Of course, we don't just store seed phrase on the blockchain because it'll be easy to check back our blockchain and get access. We're using a very advanced and edge cryptography field to do that. It's called MPC, Multi-Party Computation. So, the way that we are doing it is in a very secure way. We're all cybersecurity experts, of course, and we have the top cryptographers here in Israel. So we have really the best team to do that. But a simple way to think about it, you can imagine the seed phrase lives on the blockchain and there are some logics. We call it wallet contract, which is a dedicated smart contract that controls the dWallets, and every time that you want to run transactions, it goes to those smart contracts and then they make the decision, if you can do that or not, if you're authorized or not. They also won't trade-

Mark:

And who else you might need approval from, in order to do the thing you're trying to do.

Omer Sadika:

Exactly. So let's say that it's a Dow, so the way that you can do it with a Dow, let's say that it's vote, you need to get 51% of the participates, in order to be able to send a transaction. So, the way you can propose, for the Dow, and then you need people to vote, but only when it reached to 51% then the blockchain will sign the transaction.

Mark:

And then the individual people who comprise that 51%, they still have to custody a private key, though.

Omer Sadika:

They have private key, but that's the idea. What their private key does, what it does is authentication to the dWallet, not to the blockchain itself. And the dWallet use this authentication to create a level of authorization and that's what is really missing. There is no way to do authorization. Also, there is no way to have access log. You can't really create log of the access, because what you see it's only the final approved transactions, you don't see all the process to decide, to make the decision. So what we do was to take this concepts of seed phrase, which is just authentication and we are extending that to authorization and access log in. Basically what is really access control, what is really robust access control.

Mark:

I see. And so, what it does, it's not like it eliminates the seed phrase, what it does is create more options than just all or nothing. You can have many people whose seed... One person loses their seed phrase, it's not the end of the world. You can have one person who's able to recover a wallet, but they're still not able to send all the money in it. And you can code up whatever rules you want around what wallets can do, and what they're limited in doing, and what kind of authorizations they need. And that essentially solves the custody problem, but in a decentralized way.

Omer Sadika:

Also it adds another layer of hybrid, between centralized and decentralized. Think about an idea that in order for you to recover or to do some actions, you can use centralized solutions. Think that maybe from your Coinbase you can sign transactions on your dWallet, but only specific transactions that you're approved to do from Coinbase. And you can always revoke access to Coinbase to your account. So you don't use Coinbase account, you don't use the seed phrase of Coinbase, you actually let Coinbase get partial access to your dWallet. So it's hybrid, you get some exposure to centralize solution so you can combine them even.

Mark:

And that's great, because if Coinbase were custodying the ability to recover your wallet, but they can't actually spend your money, that's not custody for regulatory purposes, I don't believe. And so that solves a lot of the issues that we discussed earlier.

Omer Sadika:

Exactly. You can also do combination, maybe it can be five different centralized solutions that only together they can recover, not one. So Coinbase can't steal your accounts and they need to collude together with... I don't know, let's say Binance, so it won't happen. So you can think about so many type of combinations that you want and that's the idea, that's exactly what we want. We want builders to come to Odsy and build protocols and come with ideas. What I believe will be the next type of custody. Will it be this combination or maybe it'll be based on family, to recover, or friends, or whatever people want, but we want people come and build on top of us.

Mark:

And presumably, to every problem there's multiple approaches. This makes a lot of sense and in particular it's done in a decentralized way. So if your company went away, the service would still run. What are the other approaches to this access control problem that you see out there, and what are some of the pros and cons of those approaches?

Omer Sadika:

There is the approach that started a few years ago, and that's to use that this technology that they said, MPC, multiparty computation, but in more of a centralized way. You have examples in companies that do it with retails, with normal users, and you have examples for institutions. In both cases, the idea is that those companies doesn't have full access of your wallet. What they have is they have partial access and they can sign transactions only together with you, for example. I think if you compare it to just doing whatever you have today, in some cases it's better, in some cases I've seen some bad implementation, which is even worse, because if the way that they implemented that is not very secure and you actually relying on them, so in some cases you'll be locked because of them. Some of them doing it really, really good, which is better than just using MetaMask as is. But I think it doesn't really solve the problem, you still have this problem, you still have to trust one centralized entity.

Omer Sadika:

It might maybe reduce some of the regulatory aspects, because of this design. So, that's one. I think hardware wallet is a different approach. So you can do cold and hot wallet, which I think it's something that most people should do, especially if you have real amount of money, not $2,000, if you have tens of thousands of dollars, of hundreds, of course don't just have hot wallet, with all of your money. By the way, you can also will be able in the future, once we release Odsy Network and dWallets, you'll be able to combine this approach with dWallet. So you can have a dWallet and you can have different access to this dWallet. You can have hot wallet for the day to day use, and cold wallet for changing the policy. So you can also combine those approaches. I think those basically the approaches, you also have those that are trying to use new type of authentication, like biometric for example.

Omer Sadika:

I think it's good path for recover. I'm not sure how good it is for the day to day use, to get full access, because at the end of the day, biometric is something that you can feel, it's good, but if you have a million dollars and the only thing that they have to get is your fingerprint, they can find ways to get it. Of course, you have more advanced technologies to do that, but in general I think you need to have... I think that the really problem is the problem of not being flexible enough.

Omer Sadika:

On top of that you can build some layers of, for example, biometric or other different type of authentication to improve that. You can add often called access. So we can add types of different access layers to the wallet itself, but it's just additional layers to make it more secure. But to be honest, today probably for the average user it's super hard to use it properly, especially because you don't understand it. So I come from cyber security, for me it's clear. I know what it means, I know exactly what I'm doing and I can see easily how 99% of users can easily lose all of their money because of small mistakes.

Mark:

Interesting. So there's lots of approaches, lots of people are working on this problem. And ultimately, once it's solved and once we all gel around an approach, the end users won't really have to know about how all this works under the surface. And so, I'm looking forward to that day. Out of curiosity, access control is something we've had to figure out in the traditional markets. It's not like in Web 2 and the internet, cyber security is trivial and custody is trivial. That was the whole thing we had to figure out. How long do things like this tend to take? Do we think crypto is working... As a community, is working incredibly fast towards this problem, making incredibly fast progress, or is it kind of slow progress relative to similar issues around access control that we've grappled with in other generations of technology?

Omer Sadika:

Probably in the last decade the focus wasn't on access control, and I think that it's not good. Just that good, because we want crypto to become mainstream, we want everybody to use crypto and we have to have the right access control for that. But I can see why people focused more on the other side of crypto, not on the access control but on the applications themselves. Because people wanted to be the first one to build the protocol that will rule in 20 years, in 30 years. And they said, "Okay, we'll solve that problem in the future." Anyway, today the users that we have in crypto are only the early adopters, the real crypto users. So it makes sense, probably for the beginning, for the first 10 years you can live with that. Although it's crazy to believe that we got to trillion worth of crypto with no real access control. It's crazy.

Mark:

It's remarkable.

Omer Sadika:

But it happened and that's the situation. But I think from now on, if we really want crypto to become mainstream in the next 10, 20 years, that should be the focus, that should be the priority. And as space and as a community, we need to shift really the resources and the funds toward those solutions, because that's really the way to connect crypto to the real world, that's the way. And that happened, you're right, also with the Web 2. When Web 2 started it was impossible to use it. It was super hard. You just did the username and password and it was so easy to act and get your access to anything. But today it's all, it's like you feel that you have solutions, you feel that you don't have to think about it, but it takes time. It can take five to 10 years, but we really need to focus on that.

Mark:

That's a great point. Banking didn't come on... We had user names and password pretty early into the internet, but banking didn't come on the internet day one, because sufficient access control and security wasn't developed yet. So, now we all use online banking, but that actually was a gradual thing over decades, not an overnight thing. And I guess that makes sense, because to your point, building a new technology is a bit of a chicken and egg problem. Make it usable and easy, but prove real use cases to make people want to use it so that it's worthwhile making it easy. And you have to zigzag and tack. And so, first is you have to create the technology, then you have to explore, what are the use cases that people who can handle the self custody issue look like? Is this actually valuable to them?

Mark:

And then, once you show that there's actually real use cases here, then you can think, "Okay, let's go back and solve some of the primitives and underlying issues that make the same use case practically usable for the wider public." And that's just kind of a natural progression. And it sounds like now we're in that time of crypto where we've actually identified some real use cases, store value to certain extent, but definitely decentralized finance at this point and definitely unique assets, NFTs for collectibles, domain names, license rights, etcetera. There's some real use cases that have emerged. And so, now that we've established that and we've got to a trillion to $3 trillion market cap or whatever it is, now we can go back and actually make this usable for the general public. So I guess that makes sense to me, that now's the time when this is actually coming into focus.

Omer Sadika:

Exactly. To my opinion, the state that we are right now in crypto, it's like the internet in probably 95, 96, 97. It feels to us we have so much in crypto, we have so many solutions and protocols, but I think it's just the beginning. I believe that almost any type of application or software that you're using today, we can replace that with a decentralized version of it, but we are not there yet. So if you think about this potential, if you think about the world that is fully decentralized, then the access to it should be amazing.

Mark:

And how much longer do you think we have to wait here? How much longer do you think we have to go? Do you think we have five years until we have the primitives in place where crypto can be usable by, let's say, the general public? Do you think we're a year away or do you think it's 10 years away?

Omer Sadika:

So I think we're for sure not a year or two years away, it's more than that. I think in crypto, because it's very technical community and technical space, so everything move really fast. So I don't think we need 20 or 30 years to do that. Like in the internet, that it took around 20 years to really get to a point that you feel that it's really working. But I think we need at least five to 10 years. So something in between five to 10 years is probably the time that we need in order to feel really comfortable with this problem of access control.

Mark:

Why so long? I get a year or two, because doing anything just takes time, building anything takes time. And 10 years to me seems like distant future. It's not even very precise. Five years seems to have some precision, but it's definitely, there's some core things to figure out. It's not just kind of blocking and tackling from here. So what are the key things that are holding it back from being two years instead of five years?

Omer Sadika:

I think it's experience.

Mark:

Or five years instead of two.

Omer Sadika:

I believe it's all about experience and testing it. What we're going to build on Odsy is going to be this infrastructure, we see it as the access controller, and builders can build many type of access control solutions on top of us. But I don't think we will immediately figure out, "Okay, that's the right approach," or, "We should take this approach and combine with that approach." We need to have tens of different options, then tens of different protocols and then we'll see how the market reacts, how people react. So it'll take a few years to see this progress. And I'm not saying that maybe in two, three years we'll have the most optimal protocol and the most optimal path to do that. But how do you know that it's the most optimal? You won't be able to know that. It'll take a few more years to see the adoption from the market.

Mark:

And do you feel like there's enough focus on this? In order for there to be a bit of a Cambrian explosion in access control companies, there needs to be builders. I think the people who really know about this stuff, like you, see the problem and the solution is obvious to them. So I believe there's plenty of builders who want to work on this. And then there's capital. And for capital you need venture capital and early stage capital, not just from funds, but from whoever is giving you money. Do you feel like there's sufficient interest and excitement and realization around the nature of this problem in the finance community? Or do you feel like they're still catching up?

Omer Sadika:

I feel like they're starting to get it. So when we had the preset, for example, we got so many interest from investors that we had to cap it, the amount and the number of investors, and we ended up with 27 investors for preset, which is a lot. And we had more that wanted to participate right. After we went out of stealth with the press release, we got approached by I think over 70 or 80 different funds that talked to us and said, "Look, we want to hear more. We want to learn more because we believe that this is a huge problem. So we want to see your approach to solving that." I don't think it's the focus right now. It's not like DeFi or something that... I think DeFi, it's right now checked, it's not like two years ago. But it's not the focus today.

Omer Sadika:

I believe that in one, two years it might be the focus. It might be like when we had the ICOs and that was the focus and then we are DeFi and that was the focus. It literally can be the next trend and because of the importance of it. And I feel like investors and funds really get it. They really understand it and they believe in that. And I have to tell you, the investors, we got top investors like Digital Currency Group, they're our leading investors, together with Node Capital, and we have other amazing funds like Light Chief, Lendmis Cap, Amplify Web, really we believe the top, we have long list of investors. And when I talked with them and when I had conversation with them and I explain to them what it is, I think they all told me that the way that they see it, they see this project, is that their goal is that it'll be one of the top blockchains, just because their belief in this problem, this is how much they believe and how they feel like a solution to this problem should be in the future.

Mark:

Makes sense. Great. Well when there's talented people like you combined with capital, then amazing things could happen. And this definitely sounds like the primitive we need to figure out in order to solve the usability problem in crypto. So Omer, thank you so much for joining us today. Really appreciate it. It's been very educational and insightful. Where can the audience follow you and your company if they want to learn more?

Omer Sadika:

You can come to the website, it's odsy.xyz, O-D-S-Y, is the name, Odsy. You can have the litepaper there and we talk about everything. It's pretty long. And just because we have also a lot of technical part and a lot of about the use cases, we already try to showcase it as much as possible. But we had a lot to talk about there. Also, we have the blog and we have podcasts that we started. So we can also go to Twitter, we share a lot of content.

Mark:

Awesome. Well, thank you so much.

Omer Sadika:

Thank you, Mark.

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