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Ryan Gill, CEO of Crucible Network, on the Open Metaverse, Pattern Recognition, and First Principals | Ep. 276

In an exclusive interview with cryptonews.com, Ryan Gill, Founder and CEO of Crucible Network, talks about the Open Metaverse, self-sovereign identity, and how to develop the skill of learning. 

About Ryan Gill

Ryan Gill is a pioneer of the open metaverse movement. He is the founder and CEO of the Crucible Network, an enterprise offering easy on-ramps for developers to leverage web3 technologies, as well as a founding member of the Open Meta DAO, an organisation supporting the delivery of products, experiences, services, best practices, and tools underpinning the emergence of an open metaverse. Ryan stands out as a visionary leader and entrepreneur and has been among the first industry figures to promote the term ‘open metaverse.’

Ryan Gill gave a wide-ranging exclusive interview, which you can see below, and we are happy for you to use it for publication, provided there is a credit to www.cryptonews.com. 

Highlights Of The Interview

  • The Open Metaverse (policy and standards – Offering an alternate future that is open source and driven by the community)
  • Self-Sovereign Identity (Verification of ID in Gaming)
  • Emergence SDK – a tool kit for game developers: to build Interoperability into game worlds
  • The future of the metaverse: Why the metaverse has a strong future and how it can be a prosperous one for developers and users.
  • Learning as a skill – pattern recognition and first principals

 

 

 

Full Transcript Of The Interview

Matt Zahab 
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to the Cryptonews Podcast. We are buzzing as always, and I’m super pumped to have today’s guest on the show, Ryan Gill, CEO of Crucible Network, also the founder and CEO of Open Meta. Ryan is a pioneer of the Open Metaverse movement, and he is the founder and CEO of Crucible Network, an enterprise offering easy onramps for developers to leverage Web3 tech, as well as a founding member of the Open Meta DAO. An organization supporting the delivery of products, experiences, services, best practices and tools underpinning the emergence of an Open Metaverse. I love this, as we need more of this shit in Web3. Ryan stands out as a visionary, leader and entrepreneur, and has been moving the first industry figures to promote the term Open Metaverse. Ryan, super pumped to have you on. How you doing, mate? Welcome to the show. 

Ryan Gill 
Thanks Matt. Glad we made this happen. 

Matt Zahab 
I know it’s been a hot minute, pumped to have you on. Folks, we are recording on Monday, October 16th, and this episode is going to air a week today on Monday, October 23rd. But as we are recording, it is bright and early in the morning for myself. Ryan is across the pond in beautiful London. And we just had a crazy Bitcoin candle, not one of those red ones, one of those nice, fat, tall green ones. And everyone thought it was Bitcoin ETF approval. BlackRock is going to be dancing. Everyone’s so pumped. It ripped 7% in about four seconds. The Team at Cryptonews was doing our due diligence, looking around. Is the source legit? Cointelegraph, you should never shout it a competitor, but Cointelegraph, you can fire it out in articles saying it was true. And this is not true. How crazy is this? 2023, the fake news is still producing 7% candles. How freaking crazy is this? 

Ryan Gill 
Yeah, I mean, fake news has been peaking all week, right? So I think this information is part of where we’re at now. I think it does reinforce how emotional all this is, right? And certainly can’t write off the fact that maybe these leaks are intentional, but yeah, at this point right now, they’re unverified. 

Matt Zahab 
Isn’t it wild though? Like 7%. And again, we’re not talking 7% on fake news for a shit coin. We’re talking 7% on the creme de la creme of all cryptos, the big bad boy Bitcoin itself. I can’t believe this is still happening. And again, I guess my follow up to that is, do you think there’s any warrant? Do you think this is a precursor to this actually happening? 

Ryan Gill 
Yeah, I mean, I think the next chapter is ETFs, right? There’s not just this BlackRock one, the iShares one, but like multiple. And for sure, the next market swinging up will be catalyzed by ETFs, by institutional buy-in and adoption and then all the way up to the halving. 

Matt Zahab 
That’s what the industry needs right now. We need a little light at the end of the tunnel. But enough about Bitcoin. We are here to talk about you, Crucible, and of course, the Open Metaverse. But before we get into that, I’d love to learn a little bit more about yourself. Walk me through your past, walk me through childhood, all the way up to present day, why you got into crypto, and then we’ll get into the fun stuff here. 

Ryan Gill 
Sure, yeah. Growing up, I was sort of first musician, self-taught musician, made a lot of music, but decided I never really wanted to do anything career wise with it. And then through school, kind of got really into filmmaking. So first and foremost, a creative, but really kind of found my footing in the startup investor world, the venture capital world in LA, being a part of like the very first movements around the blockchain have been through three cycles now. So certainly have paid the dues and seen the patterns, but truthfully, I think my story is really about the fact that I dropped out of college, and sort of made a commitment to myself that from 20 to 30, it would be kind of my workshopping years. I would just try everything, and really not look at the receipts so much, but by 30 really be building. And Crucible is the culmination of those years, and my own personal thesis of what now is the Open Metaverse. I incorporated Crucible in 2018, so I was actually two years ahead of the game on that, but now six years in, really committed. And also very early, to imagine incorporating a company for the Open Metaverse in 2018, COVID maybe sped everything up, but 2018 for those two years, no one really knew what I was talking about. 

Matt Zahab 
Hold up, sort of interrupt there, Ryan. Before you move on there, what sort of ticked you off that the Open Metaverse would be a thing? Because again, doing that in 2018 is unheard of. That’s absolute banana lands. Was there a mentor or a talk or a workshop or was it just a culmination of everything you’ve learned? Being in the arena, I hate that quote, but love that quote. But you know what I mean? It’s like, how do you know that this would be a thing? 

Ryan Gill 
I always have a gift, I think I have a gift of pattern recognition extrapolation. So seeing patterns and then sort of extrapolating those patterns forward. And so, I mean, I’ve always sort of said, you could drop me at any timeline in history and I’ll be focused on what’s coming next. This is kind of who I am. And I look at what’s coming next and how it solves problems, you know, for the current day. So innovation is just sort of, I think, where my experience, my expertise is. I’ve put 10, 15 years in focusing on a career around innovation, many different places from creative all the way through to technology. But I think the most sort of seminal period of my life was working directly with Peter Diamandis in that whole world of, you know, now it’s commonplace to talk about AI and automation because we’re living through it. But, you know, this is a group of people that was sort of the canary in the coal mine of trying to like tell people that this is coming and also shape and frame the opportunity that exists. And Peter was somebody that I always really looked up to with XPRIZE. I thought, you know, XPRIZE is such an important framework in the world. And if you really understand his story, he’s been a part of all the innovation that’s taken place. And so he actually brought me in as a head of Web3 for him in 2017, whereas the sort of like ICO token fail, bull market was happening, everything was being thrown at him and he didn’t know what to make sense of it all. So he wanted to come in and have somebody really take the responsibility of filtering all of that. And so him and I sort of worked directly for a while and I got through that to sort of peek around the corner of the future and meet the people that are building it, spending a lot of time with people like Philip Rosdale, but also meeting the founders of self-driving cars and self-flying cars and really just, you know, that William Gibson quote, I believe it’s William Gibson where he says like the future is already here. You know, it’s just that like people haven’t caught up and recognized that it is here yet. And so, you know, to me, innovation is not about predicting the future, it’s about recognizing where it’s happening today and then sort of that extrapolation. So that’s where I cut my teeth, that’s where the expertise is. And in that time, getting to be head of Web3 for somebody who’s so important to the space of innovation. I just shaped it. And then coming back to like my own mental model of saying, I’m gonna build my thing at 30, I was always trying to hone in on what that thesis was. What could I dedicate 30 to 40 to, you know, cause I kind of think in chapters of decades. So 20 to 30 was the workshopping, 30 to 40 now is the building. And I’m, you know, I’m gonna be 34 in a couple months. So we’re still in it. 

Matt Zahab 
Man, I love that. What a great start to the pod here. So many lessons. And again, just for the young folks listening, I’m 28 and couldn’t agree more with everything Ryan just said. When you’re in your 20s, like your tolerance for risk should be just stupendously high. Oh my God, there’s no reason. It’s with social media and everything else and just tech, it’s so easy to have a moonshot. But again, to get that moonshot, you gotta spend time in the arena, you gotta get your reps in, learn as much as possible in your 20s. Then I love that point. I wanna go back to pattern recognition one last time here, because that truly is a skill. And I know you said you have a gift for it. And I’m sure you do, but I also wholeheartedly believe that that is something that you can actually build. And again, it takes getting reps in. This might be a theme of the pod, getting reps and being in the arena. But, and I’m gonna throw a shitty question at you here, but how does one get good at that? Like, would that be the equivalent of a trader who, and again, all good traders I know, and there’s only a few of them. Everyone says they grow on trees, but they certainly do not. All good traders I know have a journal. And every night and every morning, they’re always journaling, not just the quantitative, but the qualitative, because the qual almost has more emphasis than the quant nowadays when it comes to trading. And we just use that example, because it’s, you know, it has a parallel to what we’re talking about here, but how does one become good at pattern recognition as a whole? Not an easy skill to learn, but one of the most valuable you can learn in the whole world. 

Ryan Gill 
So, I mean, you mentioned I said gift and you said skill. I think there’s the talent versus skill argument, which happens a lot in athletics. Like there’s nobody who has natural talent that’ll outbeat somebody that works hard. Right? Now somebody who has natural talent who works hard is great. You know, you start to get into the realm of greatness. And in the sense of what we’re talking about, pattern recognition, more intellectual things than athletic, things I think first principles is probably the first place to start of being able to break things DAOn to their absolute fundamental and not getting caught up in the external or externalities of what other people are doing. Right? And I think clearly the ones won the games with that kind of thinking that sort of first principles thinking. So pattern recognition, I think starts in understanding the fundamentals. So, you know, studying mental models, understanding how to think in first principles is the foundational cornerstone to that. And then it’s really understanding how things progress and how they change. And certainly with the internet, how you could recognize patterns that you start to put into a narrative. Right? And to me, pattern recognition is storytelling. So I come back to my creative roots. And you know, it’s pattern recognition is being able to put the story together from all the data. And doing it with first principles is one where you can be sure it has fundamental value. It’s not caught up in whatever the next trend or fad is. And in the sense of what I do, pattern recognition is very much about we are through the prologue and maybe the first three episodes and what does it look like in season two? You know, just to come back again, I wanted to be a TV writer when I first moved to LA, a showrunner, but I still, I flexed that showrunner muscle as a founder. You know, this is just how I do it. And I don’t know that a lot of people relate to that, but it’s certainly how it works for me. 

Matt Zahab 
Any resources, books, blogs, podcasts, audio books that one can dive into to learn more about First Principles? I’m a big First Principles guy as well. I mean, I’ve done it shit ton. Again, you have Elon Musk, you have all the famous philosophers, you have the Socrats, and of course everyone else, the Tim Ferriss podcast when I was younger, learned a shit ton from him. Shout out to Tim Ferriss. But any good resources to learn from? 

Ryan Gill 
Yeah, Shane Parrish was always my secret weapon. Yeah, Farnam Street Blog. And he’s even published mental model books and stuff. It’s really difficult once you get into mental models, not to end up in game theory. And so also like, you know, game theory is where it starts to really matter. That’s where the stories actually get played out into potential outcomes, you know? But yeah, look, it all comes back DAOn to storytelling. I have come full circle back to this place where I really think that narrative is so important. 

Matt Zahab 
Yeah, well said. Also, we don’t do any free shoutouts on the pod, but huge shout out to Shane Parrish. Obviously, he’s had a big emphasis on Ryan and myself’s life as well. And he’s a good old Canadian boy, so we love to see that. And he just released a new book. I might even plug that at the end. 

Ryan Gill 
Volume 2, right? 

Matt Zahab 
Yeah, he did. Just a new book. So huge shoutout. 

Ryan Gill 
But also just to get really specific, it’s the Farnam Street blog, is the website. Yeah. And his podcast specifically, his podcast and the way that like, it’s all around learning how to learn. 

Matt Zahab 
The knowledge project. Yeah. It’s phenomenal. Which is like folks, if you can learn how to learn, you’re unstoppable. You know what I mean? Like that’s just the learning is the skill. What a start, Ryan. I love this shit. Let’s get into crypto for a second here. Talk to me about Crucible and the Open Metaverse. And then we’ll break DAOn everything. We’ll get into the nitty gritty. You said you started in 2018. Why did you feel that there was a need for an Open Metaverse way back when? 

Ryan Gill 
So in innovation, especially around technology specifically, focusing on exponential growth and how things have ended up to that point, you go through the three acts of the internet, Web1, Web2, and Web3. And if you understand story structure, it’s in three acts. And it’s been very helpful for me to draw that parallel because the internet, Web1 was actually, if you read those papers, it’s very much about the end user, the individual. And it’s about technology protocols that could network to share information. And this was like so hugely revolutionary at the time. Great shout out is Lo and Behold, which is a Warner Hairsaw documentary. You really get to see that. And it was really about the end user and the individual. And it wasn’t a great business model. I mean, like you get like the million dollar homepage that started selling little pixels by brands that would advertise, but wasn’t purely about business. It was about information. It really important to recognize that. And then you had the dot com, which brought all the business, right? Even to the point that there was a huge bubble and people were selling things that weren’t actually there. But from that point, you can say Web2 was more about the shareholder than the end user. It was about these companies being built on these protocols and how dot coms became an actual way, a source of business engine of economics, right? And I would argue we’re still in Web2, right? Like it’s whether it got, it went into mobile, it went into apps, but it’s primarily still about these massive corporations built on the protocols. And we got tricked. I think most people slept walked into this, but these companies started giving the products away for free. And so everybody used them, not realizing that the business model is the fact that you’re the product and everything’s being sold on your back from that lens. I’ve had a lot of really important people that are friends of my life that I got to see really close up like Kaiser’s one of them. She was the whistleblower for Cambridge Analytica. And there’s been these incredibly seminal events that where everything we knew about what was happening in this space that I have been in, which is combination of innovation and Web3 kind of new tech, it’s punched through into the consciousness of the public. And that was definitely one of them. If you go watch the Great Hack, that’s a documentary all about her story on Netflix. But that’s where we’re at as the same time as everything sort of centralized into these businesses. And the cracks have shown quite a lot in the sense of where data brokers are targeting you to just buy products that you may or may not need versus change the way your mind works and what you would vote for. And so my experience of just seeing all this happen, I’m understanding that Web3 is the third act where we can bring it back to the end user again. We can bring it back to the people. And yeah, some of those people may be shareholders or founders of businesses, but the scales need to be rebalanced in the sense that it’s not so focused just purely on shareholder value. If it’s just that, then we’ve peaked at centralization, I think from this point, it becomes more and more damage on our minds, on the environment, on all these things. So as most people probably know, in your audience, Bitcoin was a direct response from a market crash. And this community of people who started in Web1 and moved into privacy and now W3C and all of these, they never went away, right? And these are the people who are cryptographers, cipher punks, and that’s what this is about. This technology is about a new system of more decentralized capitalism that balances away from this sort of crony capitalism of just pure centralization. And the internet is the way it plays out. So for me, I just saw really quickly on one hand, gaming as a business is growing and swallowing everything up. And on the other hand, these things in the protocol levels and under the surface of it all is happening. And so I just saw like the metaverse, this science fiction concept that Neil Stevenson invented, it is the internet built by game developers. And so that easy definition was one, yeah, you can probably sense that I have a good grasp on language and being able to kind of put things into simple terms. And that’s been a lot of what the early years of Crucible is. It’s like the metaverse is the internet built by game developers. Okay, so now we know where we focus. We focus on game developers and the field of game development. And that’s basically what it was. And I think my time with Peter inspired that. And then me recognizing really early in 2017, Tim Sweeney’s vision and Epic Games and this game Fortnite that changed everything and started becoming this catch cow for him. But ultimately who Tim was, what he believed and him being an important character in this. Like he was the only person that I ever heard. other than myself when I decided to execute on this call, like talking about the Open Metaverse in the terms that he was from his place in gaming, but no one was saying it in Web3. The people that predate me were Decentraland and the ICOs that were building virtual worlds, but even those people at this time were not mentioning those words together. And I think that’s probably the biggest sort of contribution that I’ve had is recognizing that Crucible is a company, but I’m starting a movement and I need to build this like a movement. And so while I’m building this business, I need to start to plant these ideas in other businesses heads as well and find all the right people and kind of catalyze this as a movement. 

Matt Zahab 
I love the, and again, I know that’s your Crucible’s mission is to empower gaming developers and gaming creators. And there’s this famous graph, I mean, famous is perhaps a stretch of a word, but I think I saw it a couple of years ago and it was the growth of gaming as a whole. And I also love like the CEO of Netflix even talked about our competitor is not Hulu or any of the, you know, the Disney plus or whatever, Apple TV, Amazon TV, any of their competitors he’s like our biggest competitor is gaming companies. This is what in people’s free time, they do a couple of things. They spend time on social media, they watch Netflix, IE and streaming service, but more often than not, it’s people gaming. And then you got to think about the Gen Zers where it’s like, I always talk about my little cousin who she’s addicted to Roblox and like, like these virtual worlds going on, it is like outer worldly things that we, you know, could fathom, but also can’t because we’re not in the weeds every day. Like the younger generation, the Gen Zers and the Gen to follow them, this is all they do. They love this shit. When you and I were young, I’m sure you were like me, I was playing road hockey or basketball or soccer or football on the streets, you know, that’s what I was doing. And then I had to come home for curfew or else my parents would kill me. And it’s like, we were out on the streets screwing around having fun. Nowadays kids, these were my best friends. Now their best friends are, you know, kids from halfway across the world in different countries who they’ve never met IRL, but they spend four or five hours a night shooting the shit with them. Like it’s a wild world that we live in and it’s going to get crazier and crazier. 

Ryan Gill 
Yeah, I mean we’re playing hockey and baseball and basketball and football, but we were also playing Golden Eye and Halo I mean, you know, yeah, it’s been a key part of you know It’s very nostalgic video games all the way I used to get you know every console and 64 Nintendo and so I’m not necessarily a gamer playing them all the time today, but I recognize why it is a thing and why it’s important and why it has swallowed up all of media. And it will shape the rest of our lives moving forward gaming is it. 

Matt Zahab 
Yeah, it’s powerful. And again, competition is so powerful in life. And that’s just such an easy way to compete with very low barriers to entry. Ryan, you’ve been absolutely on fire, but we got to take a quick break. And folks, when we get back, we are going to jump more into Crucible and Open Meta DAO, which I cannot wait to get into. Until then, we got to have a huge shout out to our sponsor of the show. You guys know who it is, PrimeXBT. We love the team at PrimeXBT. Longtime friends of cryptonews.com and longtime sponsors of the Cryptonews Pod. PrimeXBT offers a robust trading system for both beginners and professional traders. It doesn’t matter if you’re a rookie or a Vet, you can easily design and customize your layouts and widgets to best fit your trading style. PrimeXBT is also running an exclusive promo for listeners of the Cryptonews Podcast. The promo code is CRYPTONEWS50. That’s CRYPTONEWS50, all one word to receive 50% of your deposit credited to your trading account. Again, that is CRYPTONEWS50, CRYPTONEWS50, all one word to receive 50% of your deposit. Credited to your trading account. And now back to the show with Ryan. Ryan, let’s jump right into it. Before we get into some of the nitty gritty stuff, and I can’t wait to get into the self sovereign identity, which again, verification of ID gaming. Absolutely huge. You guys are buzzing on this. Also the Emergence SDK, a toolkit for game developers, building interoperability into game worlds, massive. And we’ll conclude with some feature of the metaverse stuff. But until then, I love asking our guests for a little elevator pitch. Give me the elevator pitch on Crucible Network, and then we’ll get into the nitty gritty. 

Ryan Gill 
Elevator pitch is that the metaverse is the internet built by game developers, and if it’s not open, it’s a problem. It has to be open, and that’s what we exist for. And because it is game developers, we’ve designed tools for game developers to do that. 

Matt Zahab 
Walk me through some of those tools. Let’s start with the self-sovereign identity verification of ID and gaming, which is absolutely massive because you have people being fugazy here, fugazy there, fugazy everywhere. Everyone needs similar to how when you log on to a social media platform, and the only way you can really, truly get rid of bots is to verify them and or connect them to something that is singular like a phone number. There’s only one phone number, you can’t really replicate phone numbers. So that’s a great little way to look at it, but I’m gonna throw the ball over to your court, walk me through what you and the team are doing on the self-sovereign identity aspect of what you’re shipping out. 

Ryan Gill 
So the product is emergence. There are a lot of sort of different innovative infrastructure around how we built emergence, but we’ve really sort of that is the product line. It’s an SDK on both the Unity and Unreal Engine right now. And it has all of these elements, right? So you can think of gaming as sort of exploded. And there’s all this innovation happening around Web3 and AI. There’s important things happening and it’s hard to keep up with. And so what we’ve done for game developers is package all that innovation into a set of tools and design it so it all feels like game development. We probably in the engines have the most traction of any SDK like this. We have about 40,000 downloads on the Unreal Engine, which is 4% of their total active developers. Still early, you know, downloads are happening, but games are super early in their life cycle of where they’re at and they’re shipping next year. 

Matt Zahab 
And folks, just to jump in here, games take so frigging long to build. I’d love if you could just sort of chime in and let our listeners know how long it takes that to truly build a good frigging game. 

Ryan Gill 
Well, and that’s a good point. I think I internally with the team use this word game space. And it’s something I’m gonna use more because what we’re talking about in the sense of the Open Metaverse is not video games. We’re really used to playing video games which are thousands of people and the games take thousands of hours to complete. And if you’re talking triple A quality level work, I mean. 

Matt Zahab 
Half a decade. 

Ryan Gill 
Yeah. I mean, it can take years and hundreds of millions of dollars of budget. And that isn’t necessarily what we’re saying is all going to be intropropable. And I hear this argument quite a lot, which is like Call of Duty and all these titles that we know that are video games that we understand already. And I think game space is a new concept to think about, right? Which is it feels more like a website, you know, it actually feels like a game, but in reality is more like a website. They’re all kind of networked together. You know, so the way we navigate all these websites and all these apps, it’s more like that than a video game. But it’s the experience of it actually feels more like a AAA game because these tools are making it much cheaper and much faster. Like we are very close to the point where one single developer can create something that feels like a AAA game. It doesn’t necessarily have thousands of hours in its experience. Just like, you know, with AI tools, there’s going to be billion dollar companies created by one person. We’re very much at the 10x founder level, you know, where like the thing that one single founder or a small team can do is 10xing. So game space is this concept that I don’t really talk too much about yet, but we’re definitely going to. And yeah, it’s like a meta game. Think of it more like a meta game than a video game. It’s something that NFTs sort of scratch the surface of like with loot and with the narrative side of these collections and these characters. Like everybody sort of draws the invisible line of Board Apes to a video game or whatever. And very few of them have been able to make that leap because it’s quite hard to do, but that’s the next phase of it all. So it’s game space. And I think game space is not going to take as much as a video game does, but in the ways that matter the most, it’ll feel like a video game.  

Matt Zahab 
Interesting. Game Space, are you the only one buzzin’ on this term, because I’ve never heard, again, I think you’re episode 276, 277. I’ve never heard this before. 

Ryan Gill 
Yeah, I didn’t coin it, it’s existed. In fact, it comes primarily from a book. There’s three books that I read, well, sort of shaping Crucible. And one of those is called Gamer Theory. It’s by McKenzie Wark. And he’s a computer science philosopher. He looks at computer science and code through a philosophical lens. And, you know, he’s in academia as well. And so this is like a academic type book that talks about the concept of Game Space in our life. It’s not a video game. Video games are the digital, technological version of this, but we’ve always lived in games, you know, war is a game, the strategy of it, the two sides together. That’s why like chess and military strategy are so tightly compared. I think the show Billions does this really well, where they like, you know, they run a hedge fund, but they’re constantly spitting out all kinds of references of military strategy and chess strategy and social dynamic strategy. Cause all we’re playing games. That’s what we do, right? And so we shrink wrap different things into games. Even Uber is a game to see what car can pick you up quickest. And, you know, we’ve designed all of these things in game mechanics and game space is something that McKenzie used as a term, but I’m using it more in the sense that these are things that we’ll create. 

Matt Zahab 
Well said there. Let’s jump into the Open Metaverse. When you started, I mean, 20 minutes ago, when you started the show, you had a great little pitch on why the Open Metaverse is so important. But let’s just draw, we’ve drawn a bunch of comparisons to the show. Let’s let’s keep the comparison train rolling. Let’s definitely not let it stop. Building an Open Metaverse with open standards is absolutely paramount to success for Web3. And this would be, you know, this would be the exact opposite of the traditional Zuckerberg closed slash gated metaverse where it’s all through one single vehicle that allows you to play these games that we’re talking about. Why is it so important to build an open one? 

Ryan Gill 
I think it’s necessary. I think it’s impossible to do it without it because, for example, open infrastructure, Web3, whatever you want to call it, is the only way to scale AI. There’s actually no possible way to do it without it. I think we need to shift the narrative from it’s like a nice to have, you know, up until now it’s been a nice to have. It’s like, if you bought Bitcoin, if you bought Ethereum, great for you. You know, I’m not interested in it. You made a lot of money. Great. If you were into NFTs, you like art also, great for you. I don’t really care that much about it. And now even with game developers, it’s sort of like, I really don’t care about it. Don’t make me do this. So it’s always been this sort of like, if you’re in it, you’re in it and it’s nice to have. But I think, you know, we’re going to start to see really quickly, it’s a must have. You must have it. And for the first principles, reasons why it was started in the first place, why not the speculative purely like profit seeking thing. That’s more of the economic incentive engine that was designed to get it to scale globally. There’s a reason, there’s a first principles reason why this matters. And that is a must have. There is no optional way of saying like, this is kind of just nice to have if you like it, you know, but again, AI hasn’t scaled to that point yet. And digital property ownership isn’t mattered to that many people yet, you know, and when it does, it’s the only way. 

Matt Zahab 
When will it? Again, we’ve been, I’ve been doing this show since 2021. We’ve had dozens of guests come on and I agree with all of them. I do believe that interoperable Open Metaverse is the future, but we still haven’t had that catalyst. We still haven’t had that domino fall that where people are like, shit, I need to be in this or I need this to happen. And part of the reason is because people don’t like change, you know, humans are creatures of habit. It’s tough to go to an Open Metaverse when you have so many incredible games like the FIFA’s and the Fortnite’s and the Madden’s and the 2K’s and the CODs. I can go on and on. But what domino needs to fall in order for people, the, I’ll quantify people as more so Web2 gamers who are the largest demographic of gamers. What needs to happen in order for them to be like, damn, this is legit. This is something I want to be a part of. 

Ryan Gill 
It’s gotta be fun. People have to care about it. So it’s a combination of it just being fun and also not too complicated. And at the same time, there’s a big generational shift that’ll take place where not necessarily our generation, but though definitely the one that’s younger, I don’t know what we call them, Gen Z, I guess. Like they just get it. It’s hard, they already live it. So it’s like when they kinda, when they step up, it’s just a different paradigm, it’s a different lifestyle. The problem I think generationally is like those who control things are still very much of older generation that don’t understand this at all. And will likely never want to change their paradigm at scale. There’s a few that you find, I mean, I talked to older people in their 60s, 70s, 80s that like love this stuff, cause they’re just very optimistic. But in general, like there’s a difference generationally. And we’re caught in the middle. As millennials, I think we’re caught in the middle of like, there’s some of us, but it’s not all of us. But by the time it gets to Gen Z, it’s pretty much all. You start to get down to like high school kids and like, I don’t remember the exact number. You could look at, there’s a Jeffery Study by this, but it’s like between 95 and 98% to play in these games. 

Matt Zahab 
What does the future of the metaverse look like? And this is a question I ask all the time. I’ve heard many different answers, but there seems to be one similar thread that intertwines everything. And again, this is really one of the main topics of the show, which is just it’s open and it’s interoperable. But that’s more on the macro side. If we could get more to the micro side of things, what is the future of the metaverse actually look like? 

Ryan Gill 
It starts to look like a digital economy you can walk through like I we’ve had a physical economy you can walk through So it’s like a pretty easy concept to learn. But like the economy is just becoming more and more digital. Yeah, we have all these kind of buzzwords and terminology for it, but you look at the what the internet means to you today and you look at how the internet was defined in the 90s and it’s not a different definition It just actually resonates with you because you use it all all the time. So in the 90s, you’re gonna define the internet and email the same way that you define it today, and it’s not like those words do a better job today than they did in the 90s. It’s just that it’s become life, you know, so you don’t get so caught up on the words. You just inherently understand it, you know, and it’s a part of your life and it’ll be the same things. It’s like the words that we use to describe this stuff won’t change It just will become a bigger part of our life. 

Matt Zahab 
What year do you think if you were to throw a bit of a hot take, we might as well jump in the hot take factory at the segment started, which is always one of our favorites and concluding segment to the show. But if you were to, if you were a gambling man and you were to pick a year or a stretch of years where the Open Metaverse is actually going to pop off, what’s your thesis slash bet there? 

Ryan Gill 
I don’t know if there’s a singular time, but I like this. I used to do this a lot. I used to get like 12 people together at a time to make bold predictions and start arguing with each other. So my bold prediction is that the Open Metaverse already started, but it’s the prologue of it. And that next year is the year where games start shipping that are fun that people like. And in the same way that like free to play in gaming was violently pushed back against, but created the space for mobile gaming and for Fortnite and grew that industry so meaningfully that like everybody that pushed back against free to play now just feels like that was a stupid idea. Cause there’s really nobody arguing against that anymore. The full interoperability is the next full measure, I believe. And I think next year is where these things start to ship and people spend time in them. And what is the Fortnite or Roblox or Minecraft of that? I don’t know. Part of the NFT game was like choosing, putting those bets donn and choosing who it will be. But I think to me, I’m built, what we’re built for, what Crucible’s built for, what Open Meta is built for starts next year. So even though I started it in 2018 and COVID sped us up, it’s still, it’s just been plumbing, up until now. And I get it, it’s frustrating to put bets down and be early, but like, don’t get so caught staring down at the ground that you think it’s dead or that it’s wrong. Because I see a lot of like these articles like the metaverse is dead and people point to meta and people point to Decentraland and Sandbox and the numbers of people. And fine, let’s say the metaverse is dead, so long live the Open Metaverse. Let’s move on from that concept of the metaverse, which we say is dead, didn’t work, and let’s move forward to what really needs to be. And so like, that’s a great way to reclaim that narrative. But I think we will look back and say that 2024 was like the first year, and then the bull market that happens will be another huge rush into digital assets, digital property, new stories, new IP. Like NFTs failed economically, but a lot of great important kind of IP exploration and experimentation came from that. So I will make a bold prediction. I believe that new forms of narrative in digital assets, digital property as a new place to tell stories will be the focal point of the next bull market. It will be through what feels like gaming, but I really believe that narrative’s the more important thing. If you look, here’s basically my thinking on that. If you look at NFTs and say that was Wall Street, right? And NFTs was pretty much just Wall Street speculation with a glimpse of storytelling and character. And that’s kind of what hooked people about one collection over another one. But then you look at streaming and how much time everybody spends film and television and move like this sort of episodic storytelling. I mean, everybody on the planet is sort of hooked onto that. And as like storytelling has always been an important part of our species. And so I think the next part of this looks like where the NFT space moves away from Wall Street and starts to look more like what’s on streaming. 

Matt Zahab 
Well said. Ryan, you’ve been on a roll here. We are getting tight for time. Gotta have you on for round two because we barely scratched the surface here, but this has been an absolute treat of an episode. Really appreciate you coming on. Before you go, can you please let our listeners know where they can find you, Crucible and Open Meta online and on socials. 

Ryan Gill 
Yeah, I am @RyanCrucible on pretty much everything. Email’s [email protected]. If you go to my Twitter, I have in my bio, you can find @CrucibleNetwork on Twitter. You can find @OpenMetaDAO on Twitter. crucible.network is the website, and then openmeta.xyz. Just to clarify, Crucible is the business, and what we’ve done is create our community into a DAO. We’ll do the sort of big public sale and everything next year when the timing is right, and turn this into that movement that I refer to. 

Matt Zahab 
What an episode. Ryan thanks again man. Truly a treat. Pumped to have you on for round two. Wishing you and the team all the best and we’ll keep in touch. 

Ryan Gill 
Thanks Matt.

Matt Zahab 
Folks, what an episode with Ryan Gill, CEO of Crucible Network and of course Open Meta DAO, if you guys enjoyed this one, I hope you did. Please do subscribe. It would mean the world to the team and I. Speaking to the team, love you guys so much. Thank you for everything. Justas my amazing sound editor. You’re the GOAT and you know it. Appreciate you as always and to the listeners. Love you guys. Thank you so much for listening. Keep on growing those bags and keep on staying healthy, wealthy and happy. Bye for now and we’ll talk soon.