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Tommy & Taylor Johnson - Co-Founders, PsyOptions Ep #51

Tommy & Taylor Johnson - Co-Founders, PsyOptions Ep #51

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Tommy and Taylor are the founders of PsyOptions, a DAO developing the leading options primitives on Solana.

00:09 - Introduction and Origin Story

04:04 - What are the challenges / improvements in Solana?

11:49 - Integration of Serum v3

14:32 - ​​Adoption of PsyOptions

17:19 - Architecting the system

22:11 - Liquidity mining vs. options trading

26:27 - Background in trading options

28:05 - DeFi vs. Traditional finance products

30:56 - Gaming as a market

32:56 - Exciting things out of the hackathon

34:09 - Announcements for PsyOptions

37:53 - If Solana could change one thing?


The information on this podcast is provided for educational, informational, and entertainment purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness, or fitness for any particular purpose.

The information contained in or provided from or through this podcast is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, investment advice, trading advice, or any other advice.

The information on this podcast is general in nature and is not specific to you, the user or anyone else. You should not make any decision, financial, investment, trading or otherwise, based on any of the information presented on this podcast without undertaking independent due diligence and consultation with a professional broker or financial advisor.

Anatoly (00:09):

Hey folks, this is Anatoly and you're listening to The Solana Podcast. And today I have with me Tommy and Taylor, co-founders of the PsyOptions protocol. Awesome to have you guys.

Tommy (00:18):

Thanks for having us.

Taylor (00:19):

Thanks for having us.

Anatoly (00:21):

Cool. So what's the origin story? How did you guys get into crypto and what made you build PsyOptions?

Tommy (00:27):

Crypto, it goes back to... I remember watching the Ethereum ICO, just being a broke college student, but felt we were too broke to actually throw anything into and that's a big regret, but that shaped up how we got into Solana later on. Really dove deep into everything back in 2017, right before the summer hype. And then in the summer hype, tried developing a little bit on Ethereum, doing some solidity development in the spare time, but I never jumped full time into it until PsyOptions. Taylor has a little bit of a different history with crypto.

Taylor (01:03):

Yeah. I've actually been full-time in crypto since late 2017, after Tommy and I shut down a previous business we started in school. We were looking for different things to do and I knew crypto had a lot of hype in 2017. I was like, "All right, this is definitely an industry I could see myself being a part of." I eventually took a job at Blockfolio and then as well as doing some freelance solidity development and then been full-time ever since.

Anatoly (01:27):

How did you guys meet? What was the genesis for you guys to go build PsyOptions?

Tommy (01:32):

Well, Taylor and I are twins, so we met a long, long time ago. We've always been hacking on ideas and stuff. And I guess, Taylor had his eye on Solana from 2018, right Taylor?

Taylor (01:47):

Yeah, pretty early on. I remember Multicoin writing about it. I was like, "Oh, this is actually a really sweet architecture, solves a lot of problems that we saw in Ethereum." And kept following before Mainnet beta was launched.

Tommy (01:59):

Yeah. And so we had been tinkering around, created a GitHub organization last summer, like the same one we're using now and just started reading the documentation. And then had a few projects we tried in the fall that never really took off. And then in October we were surfing with Tristan from FTX and he was just talking about Serum and everything that they were working on. So we knew what was in the pipeline and had that in the back of our mind. We did the first hackathon, did in place, built a trusted third party Oracle. And then after that had an issue with TradFi, trying to get API access to automate a options trading strategy, and that was what kicked it off. We were for fresh off that first hackathon, wanted a fresh idea, had our feet wet in Solana. And it was like, "Taylor, what if we just built options into the blockchain? We can get this API access built in. We have the order book already there, there's some basic infrastructure." And that was the genesis.

Anatoly (02:59):

That's awesome. Limited access to data was one of the reasons I started building this thing. Because I used to try to build stupid deep learning models on interactive brokers and you never have access to data. It's always even the quality is really suspects. It's like, "Do I really know that this is where things got executed? Or did they just copy and paste stuff from a database with a bunch of errors?"<...

11/02/21 • 41 min

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