Dec. 9, 2022

201: Sean Lee, Odsy Network and Making Web3 Universally Accessible

Sean Lee, co-founder of Odsy Network, joins the show this week recorded recently as part of the Techstars Web3 Community Series events organized by the Techstars Web3 Accelerator. Sean is the former CEO of the Algorand Foundation, he is an accomplished executive in web3 innovation and fintech, and is a senior advisor for the Crypto Council for Innovation.


This episode of MoneyNeverSleeps is sponsored by SecuriCentrix. SecuriCentrix is a trusted cyber security company with offices in Dublin, Cape Town and London. SecuriCentrix provides expert advisory services, primarily in the finance and fintech industries, with tailored security solutions to fit your specific needs and regulatory challenges.

In this episode, Sean Lee and Pete Townsend riff on Sean's vision for universal access in web3 and some of the web3 scenarios where universal access will make a big difference, how early-stage founders should be thinking about accessibility when they're designing their platforms and roadmaps, how advocacy and collaboration will drive global adoption of crypto and web3, and what Sean looks for in web3 founders.

KEY TAKEAWAY:

Sean Lee shared his vision for how to make web3 more accessible and enable us to get to the first one billion users of web3.  Sean took the big word of ‘accessibility’ and broke it down for us into three components.

  • Interface - the control panel for accessing our assets on mobile or web devices.
  • Infrastructure - the management and security layers protecting our assets and providing connectivity to the web3 ecosystem. 
  • Ecosystem - the universe of applications, services and platforms that enable you to use your assets.  

The first two components, the interface and the infrastructure, have always been combined together, as we see in the most popular non-custodial wallets like Metamask and Coinbase Wallet.  We use the same app to access our assets, that we use to protect our assets, that we use to enable connectivity with the web3 ecosystem.  

Even though we’re 13 years on with blockchain-based assets, we’re still early, as the overall value of these assets at their peak was a bit more than 1% of the world’s financial wealth.  So, the tools we use to access, protect and use these assets are still underdeveloped.

As with any technology, tradeoffs are made in the design phase to prioritize what’s most important, and with digital assets, the most important feature to date has been security, not usability.  With only 30 million monthly active users of Metamask, for example, we’re not talking about an earth-shattering number of people engaging with digital assets compared to the 8 trillion people on the planet. The number one priority, by far, has been to ensure the security of digital assets, rather than make it the most enjoyable experience for us as individuals,  So, what we think is a user interface is actually just infrastructure - very important infrastructure at that, but nothing that has been specifically designed to enable mass adoption.  

Think about the engineer responsible for designing the Tesla electric motor - what if that engineer also had the responsibility for designing the instrumentation panel, seats, and steering wheel? You’d likely have a great electric motor, but it would be packaged into a very basic driver experience.  That’s what’s happened with web3 wallets - user experience has been sacrificed for the most important features of the wallet, which in this case, are security and connectivity.

It’s been a critically important compromise for us to get to this point with blockchain-based assets, but we’ve got a long way to go to get to the Tesla.  Primitives like Odsy will enable that separation of the interface from the infrastructure while connecting us to the ecosystem to put our digital assets to use.

LINKS:

Follow Sean Lee on Twitter and learn more about Odsy

Follow Odsy on Twitter

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Sean LeeProfile Photo

Sean Lee

Co-founder, Odsy Network