Anderson Mccutcheon: “We can’t expect normal users to be technologists.”

In this Q&A, Anderson Mccutcheon, CEO of multi-product crypto platform Chains.com, tells us how the platform can benefit non-crypto natives and what he thinks about gaming.

For Web3 and crypto newbies, getting on board the train can be a daunting task. In the crypto space, DYOR (do your own research) has become a catchphrase. However, there’s so much to research and learn about that some may not even know where to start.

That’s where multi-product crypto platform Chains comes in to simplify the learning and trading process. Launched this month, Chains is on a mission to provide solutions designed to help users earn, trade, invest and spend cryptocurrency – all on a single platform – without necessarily the need to understand the underlying technologies.

The platform also is designed to help users to also engage blockchain-enabled products such as NFTs, DeFi and more. Chains is developing a stack of interconnected cryptocurrency-enabled products such as analytics, an exchange, a marketplace, and its first product, the Launchpad, which gives users early access to cryptocurrency issued by promising projects.

Ahead of the launch of the Launchpad in the first half of this year, we speak to Chains CEO and founder Andersson Mccutcheon to find out more about what else the platform offers and how non-crypto natives can benefit from it.

Please tell us about yourself and the story behind Chains.

I’ve been in the crypto space since 2011 and was fortunate enough to work with pioneers in the space due to my gaming background. 

I am ex-8200 and spent my 20s as a hardware developer. I played poker for a living and used to play StarCraft reasonably well. I transformed my passion for gaming into a career, working for 888 Holdings, PokerStars and Riot Games. In 2014 I co-founded Synereo, one of the earliest cryptocurrency companies to tackle the attention economy challenge and give people control and compensation for their data. 

I had the idea for Chains since the very beginning, 11 years ago, and to this day I haven’t seen it materialised. The goal is to provide users with a full stack of solutions that make their experience asset and chain agnostic. We can’t expect normal users to be technologists. Chains aims to provide users with a single account, that is connected to a stack of products, connected to multiple blockchains.

How will Chains be scaling its different offerings?

Right now, we have over 370,000 users registered on the platform, and we intend to launch multiple products in rapid succession. Our first product is the Launchpad, which was built from the ground up, just like the product you see on our website today, to give users the best experience possible. 

Users choose products, not technologies. Our focus is building world-class, simple to understand, secure products and putting them into the hands of users that need them. What we are building is not technologically different from top CeFi companies in the space, but we are very distinct when it comes to the product look and feel.

What were the challenges of building Chains and how did you overcome them?

So many. Good developers are hard to find. Regulation is changing all the time. Finding investors that see the multi-year vision behind the platform and look beyond the immediate cycle. None of these are problems that just go away. We are always interviewing, always adjusting to the regulatory environment, always looking to deploy capital in the best way possible. These are not solutions, but ongoing processes.

We see that Chains has a marketplace for freelancers and businesses to sell their products and services. Would that include NFTs? 

It will definitely include NFTs. NFTs have very broad implications on markets – whether gaming, tangible assets, intellectual property and more. We are looking into integrating NFTs into the marketplace at the earliest possible.

What are the criteria for tokens that will be offered for sale on the Launchpad?

Projects that will be offered on the Launchpad will be heavily vetted. End of the day, we want to give our users access to the best projects possible, which means the tokens offered must be offered at a price that doesn’t represent the project’s full potential. 

How to assess projects’ potential is both an art and a science. Obviously, there is never certainty around that, but top signals include:

  1. A team that has the right interests and incentives. One of the primary reasons most 2017 ICOs ended up being garbage is that the team simply took the money and lost interest in the startup life, which can be very intense. The team must consist of individuals that are capable of holding each other accountable, and most importantly, capable of shipping. 
  2. Product market fit. A good idea is not enough. There must be clear signals that the market needs or will need what the project is working on. 
  3. Pricing. That’s quite obvious. Some projects make sense at $300 million but not $12 billion.

What kind of impact could Chains have on the cryptocurrency market? 

We hope to make cryptocurrency and NFT products accessible to a new generation of users, that do not necessarily see themselves as speculators or sophisticated traders. We are going to see a lot of users exposed to blockchain-enabled products in the coming years, people who are not excited about the way FTX and Crypto.com position themselves. They are intimidated by it. Chains is different, and we intend to onboard users who are looking for a safe, simple experience. 

What are the milestones that Chains hopes to hit for each product?

Our immediate goal is to have a successful introduction of the Launchpad, which is our first product. Success would mean conducting the CHA token sale in a way that allows Chains to deploy capital into growth and other products, but also showcasing just how good of a product and traction we’ve built so far. 

Prism, our CMC/CG competitor, will hopefully become the go-to tool for our users when it comes to crypto prices and token analytics data. Obviously, the exchange is measured in volume. Hitting 2% of CeFi volume within 12 months of launching it would be great.

What does the roadmap look like for your company? What should the average user expect to see from you? 

Launchpad – Prism –  Exchange – Marketplace. Plus the regulatory roadmap, aiming at allowing us to operate in more jurisdictions.

What are 3 things about Chains that someone who’s new to it should know? 

  1. What you see on the website today is a product we designed for early adopters. Register today and you get a grandfathered perk which is the equivalent of staking $5000 worth of cryptocurrency. 
  1. You want to have a Chains.com account. You may not want the products we have now, but we will keep shipping products, keep supporting the leading blockchains, and just like a google account, some of these products you will use, and some you won’t.
  1. If you are a freelancer or a business looking to accept cryptocurrency, we suggest applying for our Sunrise Program (see link at the footer of Chains.com), which will grant you exclusive early adopter benefits once the Marketplace launches. 

Where do you think we could see cryptocurrency in the near future? 

I think we will see more CBDCs, which will force more strictly defined regulatory infrastructures for cryptocurrency. I think NFTs can completely change the music and art industries. DeFi will go through a maturation phase, with a clear separation between KYC and non-KYC money.

Any other crypto-related industry issue you would like to talk about?

As a long time gamer, I have strong opinions on NFT, cryptocurrency and gaming. Gaming, at scale, must not involve real-world currency, as it disrupts the state of flow that the mind enters when playing games. Our mind changes the moment monetary rewards are introduced. 

Some things we are only willing to do if we are not paying for them, and we are not paid for them. A player will not chase a prize for 500 hours unless it’s free. If the value of the prize is $50, nobody will spend 500 hours getting it. But if it’s free, they will.

In our spotlight series, we interview interesting players from the industry.

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