Gamifying Crypto-Economics with Jerome de Tychey from Cometh

Jun 09, 2021

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HOST:  Hey, everybody, and welcome back to the Unstoppable Podcast.  I'm your host, Diana Chen.  And I'm here today with our guest, Jerome De Tychey.  He is the founder of Cometh, the newest blockchain game that everybody is talking about.  And amongst other things he is also the global head of Client Success at Ledger; President at Ethereum France; Associate Professor at the National Conservatory of Arts in France and he’s a former blockchain tech lead at ConsenSys as well. 

So he’s got a ton of things on his resume but we’re going to focus today primarily talking about Cometh, the newest D-5 powered space game with yield generating NFTs, super cool.  I'm not even personally into gaming that much and I am very fascinated by this and definitely going to check it out.  So welcome, Jerome, thank you so much for being here today.

JEROME DE TYCHEY:  Oh, thanks for having me.  I'm super happy to be here with your Diana and having the opportunity to talk a little bit about Cometh and what I'm doing here on your podcast.

HOST:  Awesome.  So before we dive into Cometh, I want to hear a little bit more about your background: how you got into crypto in the first place, so take me all the way back when you first got interested in crypto.  What was it that drew you in and then --

JEROME DE TYCHEY:  [Interposing] [Laughing].

HOST:  -- how did you start learning about it?

JEROME DE TYCHEY:  That moment when you first encounter the Bitcoin white paper [Laughing].  Yeah.  So I'm an economist by training.  I was starting my PhD in economics and I had the opportunity to go to many symposium about economics research and so on.  And I ended up sitting next to a guy reading the white paper.  And that’s basically it back in 2013 I think.  I barely remember the guy but he was like, hey, oh, I'm reading this thing about Californians trying to reinvent central banking.  I was like, whoa, what is this?

And it got me hooked on.  I had a background of playing video games, of building my own computers.  I had a couple of graphic card at my place so I was like, hey, well, I love this.  Let’s just try to mine some crypto, some Bitcoin.  And I liked the idea of doing central banks without, well, money without a central bank was something that got me hooked on early on. 

So I invested a little bit in GPUs.  I run a really small mining operation.  And bad decisions basically, because you know back in those days the mining communities switched from GPU to FPGA and then to Essex so like un-investment basically.  But eventually people, well, Ethereum came out and that’s -- this is where I fell in love with this protocol specifically.  I remember that back in those days I was just interested into flipping my GPUs. 

That wasn’t really a good thing back then with Bitcoin and the other things that you can mine with the GPUs.  And I met a lot of great people from the French community early on that were trying to create a community.  And we started at first a non-profit called assets, like an asset we can each, and English speakers were like, whoa, what would you call something Asseth, like it doesn’t make sense. 

But anyway, we got the ENS name, Asseth, so we keep it for this purpose.  And on the side some of the founders of Asseth built HRM France which we took as the brand of the nonprofit at some point.  And then I think it was like 2016 I started to work in this space fulltime.  First at Ernst & Young as the manager of their blockchain team and then at ConsenSys and then at Ledger right now.  And I’ve been brought into also Cometh as one of their founders, one of their architects.  So super happy to tell you more about what we are cooking with this.

HOST:  Wow, that’s incredible.  Yeah.  I always tell people, you know, the Bitcoin white paper is -- it is many people’s first entryway into crypto but personally I think it’s a very difficult entryway for most people.  I think given your background as an economist it was probably easier for you to understand what was happening in the Bitcoin white paper.  But otherwise it’s a lot to take in when that’s sort of your first exposure.

JEROME DE TYCHEY:  Yeah.  Yeah, that’s right.  And just like a couple of months after I read it I was like, well, I need to take the stand for cryptocurrency MOOC, the cryptography MOOC, the cryptocurrency one was not existing back then.  Just to understand what a Hash function is.  What are asymmetric keys?  How does it work?  Like I wanted to get deeper into it. 

But you get so much information on those nine pages that you’re like, wow, it’s hard to digest.  Well, I'm an associate professor right now where I'm teaching in a Master of Economics and I teach the blockchain course but from a micro-economy and also a bit of macro approach.  And we review the basis of what is hash function, what is all of the phrases you need to understand blockchain.

And I like to push my students to read the white paper after their first course and read the white paper after the last course to see if you have digested better so you have a better understanding of it.  And when you grasp that you can digest anything else I think.

HOST:  Yeah, for sure.  So you brought up the cryptography MOOC course that you took in the very beginning.  And now there’s cryptocurrency MOOCs and there’s so many different online courses.  So today what do you see as being some of the best resources out there for people to learn more about this.  Whether it’s MOOCs or whether it’s blogs or whether it’s newsletters, Twitter, personalities, any resources you can shout out.

JEROME DE TYCHEY:  Well.  First off, shout out to the different podcasts that are available there.  [Laughing].  Yours is one of them.  So again, it’s an honor for me to be here.  So I think you get enough podcasts for any type of personality or any type of interest.  If you’re more into the technical stuff, if you are more into the speculation, investments, like you’ll find the best thing, yeah.  You will.

On my end I used to go a lot to conferences.  Used to like back in the day when we could travel.  This is how I kept myself updated about what’s going on in the field mostly.  And I tend to read a couple of newsletters, a couple of publications.  I love from a market perspective, I love Kaiko, K-A-I-K-O, Kaiko Newsletter.  I think they are doing a great job at telling you the facts of what is going on in the markets. 

I like This Week in Ethereum from Evan van Ness.  When you read that you know you get everything that’s going on.  So I try to focus on what’s going on in the market, what’s going on in Ethereum and that’s already a lot.  I mean compared to like 2015, ’16, maybe ’17 where just going to the Reddit/Ethereum was enough.  And I also read a little bit about the Messari Newsletter as well.  And I focus on those three.  Kaiko, Messari and Evan van Ness.  And then I listen to podcasts or and I sometime read Crypto Trader but there’s so many things going on that it’s just kind of hard to follow.

HOST:  It really is really hard to keep up with everything that’s happening in this space.  So for total beginners that are listening to this podcast, since you’re a professor in economics related to blockchain, you’re the perfect person to do this, but how would you explain crypto and blockchain to somebody who’s a total beginner in a quick and easy and digestible way, in a way that gets them interested and curious to learn more?

JEROME DE TYCHEY:  Oh.  Curious to learn more.  Okay.  So I like to start by saying that blockchain is three things at the same time.  When you hear blockchain, depending on who is hearing blockchain, the person might understand something different. 

What I mean is that technically on blockchain you have three things.  You have a ledger.  You have a ledger where you call stuff.  This ledger is replicated over a network of computers.  So you have the network and the ledger.  And the replication of this ledger over this network is well organized thanks to unified accounts.  So you have a unified account that creates transactions between -- or transitions between different states, it creates instantization to transit between different states.  Or create instantization to keep up with the ledger. 

So you have this ledger, first pillar, you have the networks, second pillar, and you have the unified accounts, third pillar.  And when you have those three pillars usually you have a blockchain or usually you have a consensus on the fact that you are talking about the blockchain.

So some people may say, well, have you seen Bitcoin lately?  And the person would say, well, are you talking about the network, the Bitcoin network, how is it going on?  No, I'm talking about the unified account.  Oh, okay, the unified account.  Oh, are you sure you’re talking about Bitcoin as the ledger where the thing that we call it. 

No, I was talking about the network.  It can be confusing sometimes.  But when you think about blockchain, try to visualize that you have a network of computers that replicate the same ledger and they are heavily incentivized to keep this ledger going on well and completely available all the time, thanks to the unified account that showed this.  And to get people hooked on like why you should be interested, well, because this unified account has very interesting properties that makes it a great alterative to what we usually call money.

So a good application of this unified account is taking it as currency, taking it as a unique account you can transaction with.  You can do business with.  It’s kind of a new generation of money.  And the advantage of this technology compared to another is that this unified account lives in a ledger hosted by lots of computers so the natural step after this is to create software inside this ledger.  And you get the smart contract thing.

So, yeah, damn, it wasn’t an easy definition was it?  [Laughing].

HOST:  It’s not easy to explain, no.  It’s a very difficult task to explain it right now.  It’s like explaining the internet to somebody back in the early 90’s.  It’s just hard for people to even conceptualize it.  But I think that’s a great explanation.  I think it gives people a lot of things to go and Google more and dive down some rabbit holes so that’s awesome.

So last question before we dive into Cometh, is obviously since you first came into this space back in 2013, almost a decade ago, a lot has changed.  And we’ve made leaps and bounds towards mainstream adoption of crypt and blockchain but we’re still very far away from actual mainstream adoption.  So what do you see as some of the major challenges or roadblocks to mass adoption of crypto and blockchain technology today?

JEROME DE TYCHEY:  Oh.  So, well, I’ve seen the changes as a conference organizer or as an event organizer or as an event goer.  Seeing the changes in the topics that we were tackling.  Seeing the changes in what was the main track at different events.  Two years ago we had a lot of enterprise talks.  Not super material but early on and now getting to real maturity of the enterprise solution.  The year before we had the DeFi burst.  Everybody wanted to talk about DeFi.  Still today though.

And now I think we are at the stage where scaling is easier.  There or so close to being there that it’s not a problem anymore.  I think the biggest hurdle that we are going to have before we really get mainstreamed, the mainstreamers to the mainstream, is access to a  How do you go beyond the has link.  Like how painful it is to get a 

I mean I'm working for Ledger and I think they are doing a great job but it’s making crypto accessible but still, you have to install the 24 words and there’s lots of research on improving this.  You can install MetaMask.  You don’t have to take the 24 words traits away.  You can wait longer, maybe later.  But still, like you need to save your crypto -- I love that some companies like Argent and other wallets, like Portis like they are trying hard to go beyond that as well.

But that’s still the thing that’s keeping people… it’s kind of a barrier to entry that we haven’t -- we still haven’t figured out completely.  I’ve watched the DeFinity launch recently and I saw that they have solutions superimposed as well.  And I think altogether as the blockchain community, we will find something that the Average Joe can use easily. 

I love Thought Magic and Magic Clean solution.  We use it on Cometh for example.  It’s not perfect.  But maybe this plus -- now this safe -- might be a good approach to letting people know that they are in control of their keys if they want to reclaim them or they can be in control of their proxy account but that’s still something odd, like Cometh is easy to play. 

Like you can put that in the hand of everyone, of anyone.  And they will understand all the mechanics.  They will understand that they are earning some tokens by playing well.  That’s cool.  But to get them there, oh my god, they need to install a What-it or they need to put their email and then get some cryptos and not get into the fear of onboarding. 

Wow.  I'm glad it’s way better than maybe two or three years ago like before that we didn’t have anything that can even get you to purchase crypto with your credit card.  That’s such a… such an improvement actually. 

So, yeah, I think onboarding will be the next big thing.  Like we will end up saying, well, we have applications.  We have DeFi.  We have games.  We have enough scaling for having not too high fees.  But then how do we onboard people and that’s going to be a big challenge.

HOST:  Yeah, I totally agree.  I think it’s all about making DeFi and making crypto easier for people to use which sounds easy but then behind the scenes there’s so many different moving parts that you have to optimize for.  So it’s a big challenge but I think we’ll get there. 

So I want to move into Cometh and talk a little bit more about that.  Why don’t you start by just taking us to the beginning of the journey?  How did you get that idea for Cometh?  Where does the name come from?  And what inspired you to build this?

JEROME DE TYCHEY:  So the inspiration came from… how it was for us when I was working at ConsenSys to bring new people into crypto.  We wanted to employ hundreds of engineers and we had to explain blockchain IOTs, convince them that it was better to go work on blockchain than go work for Google or whatever company was going to employ them for doing big data. 

And we were hunting for engineers that had a big data background because we thought like, well, they are probably the most versatile engineers we can find with a good computer science background and enough taste for abstraction that they will eventually want to go into blockchain.

So we started to use easy to understand games to present the game making -- present the mechanics behind crypto and economics, like how you can design a protocol that has incentivization for a token and that people have fun with it, that people better behave as a network with it.  And I was impressed by how good of an advocate it was for getting people into crypto. 

So this is when I started to think about games that could bring people into crypto at a larger extent than just trying to find interesting stuff for engineers.  So I had a lot of discussions with my colleagues, with my friends on how we could maybe design something that could be a gateway to decentralized finance.

Something better than just dropping someone into a Discord channel and posting lots of memes and seeing numbers going up, numbers going up, yeah, I'm going to this farm, I'm going to… something that would be easy to understand and a good entry point.  Wow.

So this is how the idea of Cometh came from initially.  We wanted to design a game that would expose DeFi materials in a soft way.  It would have a game aspect of it that could be competitive.  And that you wouldn’t have to see lots of problems like how I need to change my gas price, I need to do this before I do that, I need to go see this farm and then if this farm has a lower yield I need to go to this one and so on and so forth. 

It’s just a super bad entry point.  You can have a drink, chat with someone at a bar, telling him like, hey, I'm doing this three digits APY.  That’s great.  But I mean they just go home and they say, whoa, I met this interesting dude and it was fun but I don’t know.  Well, I don’t know anything. 

Well the other approach is like, yeah, put them on this game.  Let them try.  If they play well they will earn a couple of tokens that are valuable.  Maybe they will continue.  Maybe they will want to know more.  So the one approach was to say, hey, let’s take someone onto gaming. 

Let’s have this person play.  And if this person is playing and enjoying himself, let’s give him a token that is DeFi-based.  For example, if you play Cometh, you just have an NFT or you rented an NFT.  You had fun with an NFT.  At some point you earn a token and you realize that this token is actually an LLP token.  Well you can see that this LLP token is worth $2 or $3. 

Well what is this LLP token?  That is the next question you must ask yourself.  So by first having the token in your wallet or you drop in your wallet a token that represent a curved pool.  So what is curve?  Like I need to understand what is curve.  And since you see that this token had value from a protocol perspective, we think it’s a good gateway to get people to want to dig more and at some point understand more and be willing to explore.

And then the name, Cometh, well we wanted to find something that would be catchy, easy to pronounce by anyone in the world and also it’s a play on word by the fact that you have asteroids and comets, it’s happening in space, so yeah.  This is how it clicked.

HOST:  I love it.  I think gamification is one of the best ways to learn.  So I really love the whole concept of it.  And I think definitely the ecosystem could benefit from more protocols and projects like Cometh.  So walk us through how the game actually works.  So you know if I go on Cometh, I connect my wallet and then what do I do next?  What happens?

JEROME DE TYCHEY:  So where will you go first?  You will go on at Cometh. Okay.  Now you would say connect my wallet.  Well if you don’t have any wallet, you can or if you’re using Stake DAO which is a great product of ours, maybe you can connect through Stake DAO.  If you don’t have a wallet, well you can also connect with your email.  So we use Magic Link as I said so eventually if you don’t know anything about blockchain or don’t have a wallet to connect, or don’t have MetaMask, you can just put your email.  That’s it.

Now what you would so.  Well if you don’t have any spaceship, you cannot click on play.  So we tell you like, hey, go on the starter kit.  You can purchase a spaceship there.  Right now you can only purchase a spaceship there but we want to let you do more than just purchase a spaceship.  Like maybe rent a spaceship.  So you are back in the game inside of it.  Like you need to acquire a spaceship. 

So those spaceships are NFTs.  Clearly surfing the waves of the NFT space right now.  But you can rent those.  Like there is a peer to peer rental service if you want to rent a spaceship or you can purchase one of those spaceships.  So we did lots of partnerships with companies like Badger DAO, Eros, Alchemix and so on, just to showcase their spaceships or the way they were designed and so on.  But then when you have rented the spaceships, you can actually click on play.  So that’s the first step is find a spaceship.

If you have a spaceship, you can play.  And then you are thrown into the galaxy of comets.  So on comets you have different solar systems.  You can switch from one solar system to the other by heading to a portal.  And inside those solar systems you have many players.  You see many squares.  Many little squares that are different NFTs from different players. 

As a player you can select how much you want to charge for bringing people to you, from pulling people to you.  And everybody picks their own price and why would you pay to change position?  Well this is because there are lots of faster ways passing by.  So the goal of Cometh is to anticipate the trajectory of the different asteroids, find the quickest or maybe the cheapest or maybe the most efficient pass by jumping on different people, by being pulled by different people, to end up at some place. 

So there is this already small crypto economic thing.  As a player if you are well positioned in space, maybe you are the only player that is super far away and people need to pull towards you to move beyond their current frontier.  Or maybe you are close to a comet and people want to get closer to you because obviously you are closer to the comet.  People can change their price.  And we observed that in-game when people are trying to leverage their position to have -- to extract some value from their position.  And when you are at a mining ranch from a comet you are extracting the token from the comet.  So you’re actually mining the comet technically.

The token that you find on the comet, they come from fees that the protocol is extracting from all the DeFi protocols so we have DEX running on top of Cometh called Cometh Swap.  You can check it out, swap at Cometh.IO.  And in the near future we are going to expose directly inside the game access to all the DeFi protocols like a bit of finance, like Yam Finance and others and we want to expose them directly from inside the game.  So it’s an interesting way to get a first glance at what DeFi can do: having fun. 

And at some point if you are bored with playing and you have rented, well, your renting will go off or if you purchased a spaceship that you don’t want to use, you can put it on rental for other people to use it.

HOST:  Love it.  I love the rental aspect of it because maybe I don’t want to buy a spaceship.  I just want to play for an hour or something and so I can rent it.  I love that.  And then with the tokens, so these are the Must tokens, right?  So when I get the tokens from the comets, when I mine them, or whatever, what can I do with the tokens?  Like can I play it back in the game or can I actually exchange it for like Eth or something?

JEROME DE TYCHEY:  Yeah, well, the asteroid supports all kinds of tokens so you can distribute 1155s, 721, or ESE-20.  So at the moment we distribute Magic tokens, we distribute Must tokens, we distribute also LLP tokens from the DEX.  So on the DEX whenever there is a trade, there is a small fee that gets sent back to the game.  So typically the players are actually mining LLP tokens.  So as a newcomer in the blockchain comet for the first time, the first thing you’re trying in the blockchain space, you will end up with LLP tokens in your wallet. 

So like you’re literally being thrown into the liquidity pool.  So what can you do with this?  Well you can learn more about how liquidity works on the DEX.  Which is already an end-event skill from a blockchain perspective.  But you’ve been gamified into understanding this.

So what can you do with it?  Well you can swap the token on Cometh Swaps.  You can keep it.  You can send it back to the main net.  You can try to deposit it on Coin Base and cash out if you want to get money for it. 

And indeed as you mentioned we have a native token on the protocol called Must, MUST.  And it’s represented by an alembic, the NYG alembic. And all the in-game action, the in-game transactions are priced in Must.  So we have this native token for that purpose.  And you can also stake the Must token.  You will be able to do that starting  -- well you are already able to do that on the main net.  On the main net, but you will be able to do that on polygon on Wednesday and if you hold a lot of Must, you can unlock more NFTs, more perks, crew members, pilots, items, new spaceships, tickets to enter tournaments and so on and so forth.  So we want to have this token as a way to keep people entertained and wanting to play more with the game.

HOST:  Gotcha.  Okay, I want to unpack a few things that you just said there.  The first thing is so you mentioned Cometh Swap which is your native DEX that you have.  Tell me a little bit more about that.  What are some of the cool features and what makes it stand out from other DEXS?

JEROME DE TYCHEY:  Yeah, well, it doesn’t state that much.  It’s just a focus of Uniswap.  [Laughing].  But we tried to build on top of it.  I think the DEX features as a public utility.  Something you can easily copy.  Something you can easily use and that’s great for the scale of the ecosystem that you have. 

So on Cometh Swap, the fees that are being taken away from a swap are 0.5% are sent to the APs.  Like you would see on a classic DEX.  And the small portion of the 0.5%, 10% of it, so 0.05% are sent into the game.  So it’s a DEX for the gamers, for the users of the platform.  And we tried to list as many as possible of NFT projects or gaming projects on this DEX.  So we want to create a DEX for the gaming community basically.  And also trying to find good synergies with decentralized finance protocols.

So, well, cool features?  There is a nice background on Cometh Swap.  There is a login with email.  And there is a Fiat onramp with a ramp network which is currently probably one of the cheapest ways to get crypto onto a public key.  So let’s say you meet someone at a party and you say, hey, you need to get crypto.  How do I get crypto?  Well, we’ll just go on Cometh Swap, put your email, that’s it.  You have a 

Now click on buy and you can kind of see the front network, pay with Apple Pay or pay with your credit card and that’s it.  You have crypto on this public key.  And Graph Network charges little to nothing.  I think they charge $3, up to $500.  So like it’s actually cheaper than doing a bank transfer and purchasing on a - - exchange.

HOST:  So I think that’s the coolest feature of Cometh Swap right now.  It’s designed for making a good entry point for people that have a couple of dollars, like $50, $100, $200.  If you want access, if you want a quick and dirty access to the blockchain, that’s the way to go.  Apart from that it’s a well optimized DEX like you would see on units of V-2.

HOST:  Gotcha, gotcha.  Okay.  And then we’ve got a question from the community here on Twitter.  DeFi Dad wanted to know how do you differentiate Cometh Swap from Quick Swap DEX or what’s a growth strategy as you grow AMM, automated money market liquidity on Polygon?

JEROME DE TYCHEY:  So right now in the DeFi space, now in the DEX ecosystem, the liquidity is extremely volatile and it’s extremely hard to keep… so you see an all-out war of the different DEXs, blowing lots and lots of tokens onto liquidity mining.  We are doing liquidity mining as well.  There is small incentivization of the pools that are present on Cometh Swap. 

But we really don’t want to go that direction.  It’s really detrimental to the economy of the token.  Like it’s token dumping to some extent.  So we don’t want to take this approach.  Our growth strategy is centered on user acquisition.  Keeping it user-friendly and faithful to the platform. 

We want to make it so that all the users, at some point, all the users of Cometh Swap should be NFT owners or spaceship owners.  That they should feel like, well, I have a spaceship so I’d rather go to Cometh Swap because some of the fees that I'm going to pay are going to be fed into the game and thus come back to my pocket at some point. 

So our strategy in the midterm is to bring the users of Cometh Swap as being users of the game itself.  And also to improve as time goes, the interface of Cometh Swap to make it disappear and make it present into the game so that people will use the game or will use different protocols that uses in the background but doesn’t really need to go there in the first place. 

Also I see that aggregators like 1inch, like Para Swap or claiming a good size of the market and so it’s great for us to really be close to those guys and specialize into some tokens.  So I like when we are compared to SushiSwap, to Quick Swap and so on.  Those are extremely important actors of the ecosystem. 

It’s like when you live in a town, you’re super happy to go to the mall.  Like, yeah, I want to go, I want to go to the mall because I can do all of my shopping there.  Well, we are the center of the town, luxury shop.  We list a couple of tokens.  We list them good.   And we keep a good vibe and a good culture happening around the shop.  That’s our growth strategy.

HOST:  It makes sense.  It makes sense to me.  And so speaking of your users, too, I was curious about how would you describe the users that you have now, the people are that are playing Cometh or using Cometh Swap?  Are they like crypto natives or are you seeing more and more people from the mainstream, like people that have just gotten into crypto through NFTs in the last few months?  Are you seeing more of those people on the platform?  Who do you see as your primary users?

JEROME DE TYCHEY:  So I want to take the month of July to run this research, [Laughing], to really try to qualify what is the profile of our users.  So I can only answer you with like I have a little understanding.  I have a blurred picture of what it looks like 'cause we’ve run the analysis on a couple of the addresses that we have as unique users. 

So right now we are past the 4,000 unique addresses playing Cometh.  So we run the analysis on 100 only so it’s a small extract from it.  But what we see is that we have about 60% of recent addresses, people that have only started let’s say six months ago doing a bunch of stuff.  And we have the usual degens for about 20 to 30%, people that are like jumping on everything and trying for real aggregation, trying different -- speculate on some coin, try to flip something here, flip something there. 

But those guys are also super active on this call on Telegram which is great.  So I like the idea of having newcomers into blockchain to learn about Cometh, learn about NFTs, trying out the game and then going on Discord and say like what is this LLP token.  What is B-dig, what is Pickle?  Like can you explain?  Like there is a helper bot that told me something but it doesn’t get anything. 

And I'm really glad to see that we have many of those that are actually jumping on the production boat for Cometh.  So it’s -- so far with this tiny thing that we have analyzed, that’s what we can see from the data.

HOST:  Yeah, that’s awesome.  That’s really impressive that you’ve been able to get so many newcomers 'cause I think those are the people that are hardest to get onto the platform.  And I think that’s a testament to how well you guys are doing in terms of onboarding from the mainstream.

And so this other question that I want to call out, you might not have a great answer for it because you said you’re still compiling user data but I wanted to call this out.  This is from the community as well.  Dollar Farm on Twitter wants to know are more people playing the Cometh game or are more people engaging with the Cometh Swap DEX?  And is there an overlap between these two groups of people?

JEROME DE TYCHEY:  A huge overlap.  It's almost 90% of… you know, the thing is I think you can rent spaceships for as little as $1.  So like people, we hear about Cometh Swap, we hear about the liquidity mining program potentially.  Or they will use Para Swap and see that their order is routing to us at some point, they will visit the website and saying, hey, I'm better off going directly to the DEX.  Well, anyway. 

At some point they will get some Musts and be like, well, for $1 I can rent this spaceship and try this game.  So, yeah, they try it this way.  And we have the core community, the original community are people that just bought our NFTs thinking they were cool or thinking that the product was cool or just heard about it from words to mouth that it could be a cool NFT.  So they got the NFT and now they try to play the game.

So we have a really large overlap.  Over 90% of the people that have tried the swap have also tried the game one way or another or bid on an NFT or bought an NFT at some point.  And we want to keep that ratio super high.  Keep it close to 100%.  And we are looking at ways on getting the token into the hands of more people so that they get to try the game actually.

HOST:  Yeah, for sure.  And so something else I found interesting, too, about your user base, is you guys -- I know earlier in February of this year or something, Cometh was at the top of the DAP Rater Game Charts when you first launched the L-2.  And the interesting thing I found is that Cometh never had the most number of users but it did have the highest value.  So I think that does speak a little bit to your user base as well and just like how devoted they are to the game.

JEROME DE TYCHEY:  Yeah, they play like crazy.  [Laughing].  No, but, I mean the thing is from a blockchain perspective and we are glad to be on the scaling solution like Polygon right now, because at some point we were presented maybe 10% of each block in terms of block space consumption.  The thing is when you don’t have to really care for the gas fees, all you care about is how much value you transfer when you pay for an in-game service. 

And since people were getting paid for the game service and also paying others for the game service, they felt like they were cycling the same economy.  So this is kind of the game behavior right now.  People jump a lot in the game then jump back then log in six hours after this and realize they earned some -- because they were just paid for being there.  And that then they play again and play again.  So there is a flourishing economy inside the game indeed which translates into a huge activity from an outside perspective on that product and so on.  So indeed.

HOST:  Yeah, for sure.  And something else you mentioned earlier, too, is your partnerships with -- you know you just mentioned with Polygon and then with Yearn that’s upcoming.  I'm curious.  What are some of the key partnerships that you guys have made in the past that have been the most impactful and then maybe what are some upcoming partnerships that you can sort of tease to the audience that they can look forward to?

JEROME DE TYCHEY:  So I don’t think we have a partnership upcoming with Yearn.  But with Yam.  Yam Finance. 

HOST:  Oh, Yam is what --

JEROME DE TYCHEY:  [Interposing] Yeah.

HOST:  -- okay, okay.

JEROME DE TYCHEY:  -- yeah, yeah, yeah.  But if Yearn is listening like I'm easy to reach [Laughing].  So please come and find me.  I’ll be happy to chat.  So, well, all of the partnerships that we did were the done like the following.  Like we do a spaceships collections with those actors.  Then we put the spaceship collection on sale and also we put them unlockable by a staking of Musts.  So we try to do cross-productization of the two communities.  Like we introduced like a community to these projects and then our project gets introduced to this community.  And it’s a mutually beneficial way of letting people know about what’s going on in the space.  And with the proceeds from the NFT sales, we just get the projects’ token and we list it on Cometh Swap.  So it creates a liquidity that keeps on delivering on the DEX basically.

So I will want to say that I prefer these partnership against this one.  Well, I love the Pickle Finance spaceships.  I think they’re really cool looking.   Also the Pickle Finance team is just awesome.  I really liked the design of the Claro spaceships.  I want to give a shout out to DokiDoki.  It’s a vending machine, a cash open vending machine project on blockchain. 

It was probably the collection that got sold out the quickest.  Like we shoveled some spaceships inside the cash open machine and people would spin it like crazy.  And usually after we do any kind of partnerships like this, we get 300, 400 new players that come into the game or try it out.  So it’s really cool.

And in terms of impact, I kind of feel like we still have a lot to deliver in terms of connecting the metaverse of DeFi inside the game.  Like giving people the opportunity to connect directly with any different protocol from inside the game would be a game-changer, literally.  And that’s what we are looking at in the midterm. 

So, yeah, we still have to improve some in that.  And about the next upcoming projects.  We’ve teased for some time the Yam.  We have a lot of collections that are ready to ship, just waiting for the right moment to do so.  And I don’t want to tease too much.  But, yeah, we have something coming on the 15th of June or close to that date. 

A partnership with a comic book artist that worked with Star Wars before and that designed something specifically for Cometh which we will announce the beginning of our tournaments and the eSports season that we are going to have with Cometh.  I'm really looking forward to that.  I hope that the community from -- the comic book community will get interested in that and maybe take a couple of people down to the blockchain road with this kind of partnership.

HOST:  That’s awesome.  And then looking ahead in the broader ecosystem of let’s just say like blockchain gaming, what do you see happening in the next year in the blockchain gaming space that you think would be super exciting and cool?  And then looking even farther ahead, where do you see this space being in 10 years?

JEROME DE TYCHEY:  Oh, wow, 10 years, oh my god.  [Laughing].  I have an answer for six months if you want [Laughing].  Well, so on our end we are really trying to get closer to all the big players in the blockchain games, like we love the team at Axie Infinity for example.  I think the Animoca guys are doing great stuff as well.  Some underdogs or less-known games like… yeah, lots of great things are happening. 

And the way we would see that evolve in the short run is adding more interactions between those games or actually that’s one of the things we are going to explore on our end.  Like being able to -- if you have an Avegotchi Ghost in your wallet, you should be able to see it one way or another inside Cometh.  You should be able to maybe equip it as an item.  So having an easier -- a change that will be just aesthetic or maybe a boost in your statistics of your spaceship at some point.

So I love the approach like when I was a kid, we were playing PlayStation 1, sometimes you have a save in your memory card that changed something in another game.  It felt crazy.  Like, wow.  I want to see that in the blockchain game space.  I want to be able to unlock specific features if I have this spaceship in my collection. 

So we teased that with Pickle Finance notably that they did a series of NFTs and they were basically proof of concept arts from the spaceship we designed with them.  They were really cool, like the spaceships that we shaped as a Pickle but from a pixel art perspective now done in a Renaissance way of drawing things like it was really cool art.  I want to have more of those interactions. 

I think it will bring people into collecting more, enjoying their collection more, and also getting interested into more projects at once.  So, yeah, that’s one thing I want to see happening.

And on the Cometh end since we are going to try to activate some sort of competition, tournaments and so on, I want to see people feel more attached to one of the projects because they have the spaceships or they have their NFT of this project.  So for example the Budget DAO spaceships are very popular among the players because they are super-efficient at one specific way in the game. 

So maybe in a tournament people will just start to want to support people, players playing those kind of spaceships.  People will kind of feel more attached to those projects and create a sense of belonging into a certain community because you start to like the kind of spaceships that they display or the kind of an NFT that they have.  And I think we are only starting to see what the power of those collectables can really do.

HOST:  Super cool.  So switching gears a little bit.  Something else I wanted to talk to you about is ECC, Ethereum Community Conference.  This is a conference that you’ve been hosting for years.  And it’s the largest annual European Ethereum conference.  And so it’s happening again this summer, this July in Paris.  And it’s going to be in person which is very exciting.  Can you talk a little bit more about what the conference is?  Who is it for?  Who should come and attend?

JEROME DE TYCHEY:  Sure.  So I want to correct you on something.  It was the biggest conference in the world in 2020 because everything else was --

HOST:  [Interposing] Oh, wow.

JEROME DE TYCHEY:  -- cancelled. 


HOST:  Love it.

JEROME DE TYCHEY:  No.  We are a… we don’t advertise this conference too much 'cause it’s organized by a nonprofit and so everything is at cost.  So going to -- how much does it cost to go to Bitcoin Miami, like $1,500?  Something like this. 

HOST:  Something like that, yeah.

JEROME DE TYCHEY:  Yeah.  Well if you want to go to ECC, that’s $300.  That’s it.  So it’s really a cheap conference.  But it’s super intense in its content and the way it’s organized.  So as a nonprofit we publish our book.  So we say what we spent and if we end up with a profit we spend this money into academic paper awards.  So we try to give back to the community as we can. 

So indeed ECC was organized in the first place in 2017 I think or was it 2018.  Well it’s -- we did so much really great conferences I'm getting confused now. 

We usually organize it the first week of March.  Yeah, the first edition was in 2018.  And we’ve been able to organize this conference every year in the first week of March.  And now we are putting it in July because obviously we couldn’t do it in March this year.  So we got the green light from the authority in France.  A priori people will be able to fly from the U.S.  So think about planning your trip to Paris.  It’s going to be the 21 and 22nd of July. 

We already have lots of speakers that have been confirmed and you can check it out on the website.  It’s going to be in three days-long conference.  And you should come to this conference if you’ve heard about blockchain.  For me it has been the best way to learn more about blockchain, to discover more about this ecosystem by just simply going. 

You shouldn’t say, well, it’s a developer conference and I'm not going to understand anything.  You should just come.  Because there are developer talks there.  There are talks about extremely complicated way of doing zero knowledge proofs.  Well maybe that’s not for you.  There are talks about decentralized finance: maybe that’s for you.  There are talks about philosophy and blockchain: maybe that can be interesting, too. 

Maybe there are talks about governance that are talking about doing business in blockchain.  There are introductory talks as well.  There are workshops where you can actually learn something about how to use blockchain in different ways.  And there is also a VC track.  So if you are a startup looking for funding, you should apply to ECC if you land a talk there.  And you want to raise some money, we will put you in the VC track as well.

So it’s a community conference and if you want to learn more about the community, if you want to mingle in this community or if you just are curious about blockchain, that’s the way to go.  Meet the people that are building stuff here.  And you will find super friendly people.  You will end up with lots of swag you can come home with.  And lots of stickers from -- for your computer.

HOST:  I love it.  Yeah, I'm just looking at the website right now and you’ve got a solid lineup.  Tim Bako from ConsenSys.  We had him on the podcast in the past, too.  Steven Cline from the Graph, Stani Kulechov, Aave, yeah, very solid lineup.  Everybody definitely go check that out. 

All right.  So I’ve got one more quick, random question from the community.  This question is from Hamza Khan, he said how did Jerome make the future of France meme into a reality.  Love Cometh.  I actually don’t know what meme he’s talking about but do you know what he’s talking about?

JEROME DE TYCHEY:  So, well, it’s… sometimes people were referring to DeFi as the future of finance.  And since we got a little bit of a French Mafia in the DeFi community so people were correcting people saying, oh, it’s not the future of finance, it’s the future of France.  [Laughing].  Or at least we got lots of French speaking people in the community which is great as well.  I mean Vitalik speaks good French so like it’s one of the perks of having a Canadian in this community I guess. 

So how did we do -- how did we make it the future of France meme a reality?  I hope it will become a reality at some point.  I hope that France and Europe to a larger extent realize all the benefits from the blockchain.  From a capital market perspective there is a lot of things that doesn’t work as well as the U.S.  In Europe, for example, I think that blockchain can be a great way forward for traditional finance for example.  But you know I think we have the chance in France to have lots of very dedicated people from a community perspective.  Lots of great founders. 

Lots of very imaginative people like Julian Butu, like the guys from Axie Infinity.  Like the Maki from Sushi, from Sushi Swap.  Like so many people are also working at the research foundation like Bandabe Munod, one of the guys behind the EIPF-1559.  Like we don’t have enough time to list them all and I'm also forgetting the guys building the ETRM-2 clients, like the people from Cigna Prime, for example, Midi [phonetic]. 

Yeah.  So many good people and I'm obviously biased as a French citizen.  So I met those guys.  I’ve seen their passion.  And we interviewed them at Ethereum France as well.  So how did we do that?  Well we stay passionate about what we do.  We try to be friendly, to maybe break some of the image that people can have that French people are not super friendly and not super easygoing and not fun to go out with.  They don’t speak English like I'm doing my best. 

But, yeah, please come to Paris.  Enjoy your time with the French community and people from all over the world.  And you will see that we are really starting to make a great event.  We are doing our best to make a great event and make France friendly for everyone to come.  And perhaps your next colleague will be French as well.  So you should come.  The future of France awaits.

HOST:  Yeah.  Well I know personally I’ve had so many French people on the podcasts already and so I’ve definitely gotten a sense of how strong the French Ethereum or blockchain community is.  And I think that’s like it’s super awesome to see.

So this last segment of every podcast I do, I call Explain your Tweet.  This is where I dig through your Twitter account and I pull out some interesting or cryptic tweets and give you a chance to explain them.  So I’ve just got --

JEROME DE TYCHEY:  [Interposing] Oh, my.

HOST:  -- I know we’re coming up on the hour so I’ve just got two quick tweets that I want to call out --

JEROME DE TYCHEY:  [Interposing] [Laughing], okay.

HOST:  -- okay?  The first one is from April 12th, 2021.  And this -- it just says get ready Degens.  And then there’s this image of -- do you know what I'm talking about?  There’s the frog and the elephant and the fox?  Do you remember this one?

JEROME DE TYCHEY:  [Laughing].  Yeah.  I think I remember.  So it was -- okay.  So I’ve been using Telegram a lot more than I had recently.  So I discovered the habit of using stickers on Telegram.  And so we are doing more and more things with Stake DAO.  Stake DAO.  Which is a noncustodial platform where you can easily swap -- use your -- deposit your token somewhere, like they are aggregating many different protocols and putting them at their own source.  Which is a really cool project. 

     So we are doing more and more things with them.  And they have these collections of Derpy stickers and I think I posted that right before we announced a deeper partnership with them.

HOST:  Gotcha.  And I was going to ask, how degen are you at heart on a scale of zero to ten?  Ten being the most Degen.

JEROME DE TYCHEY:  Well I almost lost money with the DAO so I guess I'm kind of a Degen.  No.  I -- well.  What would be -- tell me what would be the ten on your scale?

HOST:  I mean just somebody that throws their money everywhere at every new project that come in.  They’re buying and selling, pump and dump.   Yeah, I guess everybody has a different definition of Degen, huh?


JEROME DE TYCHEY:  Well I, you know I’ve lost money in real ICOs.  But I'm not really -- I wasn’t really big into the liquidity mining things, like those kind of pump and dumps.  I missed this wave.  So I’d say I'm a 7, yeah?

HOST:  Okay.  Okay.  Solid.  Solid degen score.  And then that actually -- you mentioned the DAO.  And that actually ties very well into the second Tweet that I have which is from April 8th.  This is actually you retweeted Jeremy Gardner who said -- who Tweeted this photo of Paris Hilton and said Paris Hilton was literally an investor in the DAO in 2016.  She is more OG and crypto than 95% of the trolls tweeting about her and then you retweeted it and you said that’s true, I remember helping Paris Hilton avoid the replaying -- the attack after the FOREX on the DAO --

JEROME DE TYCHEY:  [Interposing] [Laughing].

HOST:  -- slack, back in the days.  Did you actually get to talk to Paris Hilton?

JEROME DE TYCHEY:  Oh, well, I mean Paris will have to confirm this or not.  But there were many people on the DAO slack, like in those days.  And, yeah, anyone that could help on fixing a replay attack was helping anyone asking for help.  So I leave her to confirm.  She didn’t take the time to ask me, but yeah.  She may or may not --

HOST:  [Interposing] Oh, okay.

JEROME DE TYCHEY:  -- come to ECC as well so. 

HOST:  Oh, whoa [Laughing].  Okay.  All right.  Now everybody’s going to jump in, jump on, and buy their tickets.  [Laughing].  All right.  Well thank you so much Jerome for just taking the time to come on this podcast.  I really enjoyed the conversation.  Loved learning about Cometh.  Before you go, just tell people where they can find you if they want to connect with you personally.  And then also remind people again, I know you already dropped all the links, but remind people again where they can go to get -- to start playing Cometh and what are the first steps that they should take.

JEROME DE TYCHEY:  Sure.  So first step if you want to play Cometh is go to Up, I-P-P.  Check it out or just go on MustCometh, the handle MustCometh on Twitter.  You’ll find about the game.  If you want to reach out to me I use the same handle everywhere on all social media called JDetychey, D-E-T-Y-C-H-E-Y.  If you want to meet me in person you can find me at ECC.  ECC.IO.  I hope that you’ll take the trip to Paris as well.  And, yeah, that’s it.

Thanks for having me again.

HOST:  Yeah.  Thank you so much.  I would love to go to Paris in July.  So I will do my best to make that happen.  Thanks again for being here.  Thank you listeners for tuning in and we'll be back again soon with another episode of the Unstoppable Podcast.  

JEROME DE TYCHEY:Awesome.Cheers everybody.