ICYMI: XLD Finance’s AMA with YGG’s Gabby Dizon

In case you missed our Ask Us Anything with Yield Guild’s co-founder Gabby Dizon, you can watch the full video below, or read the transcript of the entire interview!

VAL: I’ve been taking notes in terms of what the community’s been asking over the past month or so, we kind of just collected them, and we’ll make sure you guys get answers. Actually I thought we should take a few minutes first, because everybody knows Gabby, but Ian I don’t know if you’ve properly introduced yourself to the community either.

IAN: On my side, my career, Gabby’s right: I’m actually a fintech person. For the past 10 years I’ve been with telco, fintech, corporate venture capital, and now crypto. So I was with Globe before — don’t blame me for all the signal stuff — one of my projects was the LTE roll-out, that was like a 40–50 billion peso project back then, and I did some parts of that, among other things. But the thing you guys might know me for is some of my products: I was actually one of the first people in Southeast Asia who launched a project, I’m sure you guys know Cashalo, Doctor Loan, things like that. So, I launched the very first one in Southeast Asia that used non-traditional data — it was with a mobile-based bank before called BPI Go Bangko, and then after that I moved on to head up the consumer lending team in GCash. So if you guys have a GScore and GCredit, that was actually my product, and Myles, who is our head or product now, was my product manager who was leading that. After that, I was actually the founding team member of the entity that ran the company called Cashalo, so I’m sure that’s also super visible right? And then I moved on to the holding company called JG Summit. So if you know Jack ’n’ Jill, Cebu Pacific, Robinson’s Malls, so I managed the investment fund of those entities in the past. But really, my passion for the past half decade, and I really fell in love with inclusive finance, because interestingly there’s so much hustle right, and I’m sure Gabby has seen, there’s so much hustle for people that that the banks won’t touch. I really like sharing this story: I remember lending like 2500 PHP, or $50, to someone seven times over the course of the year, and he was able to set up an internet cafe. He was just looking for parts right — incredible hustle, incredible hustle. So that’s the same spirit that I actually approach XLD, right. So with play-to-earn, and we’re seeing it include people in the formal financial system, setting them free from the five-six, right the five-six model or the loan sharks, that’s really my passion. And I hope to partner with YGG, partner with Gabby, work with all of the subDAOs that he’s building all over the world, and, you know, provide people with a way of life and enable them to live their lives, you know, in the metaverse sustainably and to pay for things in their daily life. So that’s basically me. Thank you for asking, Val.

VAL: Well, no, of course, because I think we’ve done a number of these AMAs, but I don’t think you’ve properly introduced yourself. And now we have Sir Gabby. Sir Gabby, how do you — like, if you’re ever still needed to do introductions: how do you introduce yourself to people?

GABBY: First of all, don’t call me sir — it makes me feel old. Secondly, just call me Gabby. I’ve been in the game industry for almost 19 years now. I was part of a team that created the first game out of the Philippines in 2003. I’ve been making games since then, started a mobile game studio called Altitude Games in 2014. We were making mobile games for iOS and Android devices. And in 2017, we heard about Ethereum and the concept of smart contracts. So we started playing around with smart contracts to see how the concept of programmable money would change the game industry. And it was from there when Crypto Kitties came out in November 2017 that I first heard about NFTs and yeah, basically dove right in. I’ve been kind of very deep in NFTs since I would say early 2018.

VAL: Got it. Got it. That’s actually very different, right? Because, I think a lot of people who are getting into gaming now don’t really understand how difficult it actually is to make a game work or to make the gaming community work. So it’s a unique background that clearly YGG has been built on. We did prepare a number of questions, but there are already questions coming up. I’ll ask our first one first. And maybe Ian if you don’t mind, I’ll try and interchange between the two at some point. But the question I really wanted to know, because I keep getting this from the community, I’m not the best person to answer it: how should new users, like if I’m new to the gaming community, how do I select my first game and NFT, to get my play to earn portfolio active? What do I look for?

GABBY: Like, okay, that’s a super good question. And I think we had the emergence of guilds and really strong communities, I think it’s really important for you to get into a game that you can enjoy with other people, I think a lot of these NFT-based game experiences are experiences meant to be shared with other people — they’re not really solo experiences. So whether, you know, it’s Axie or DeFi Kingdoms, or whatever, right? There’s now dozens of games for you to choose from. I would say, try not to spend a lot of money first. See if you can enjoy a game without spending a lot — maybe as a scholar, maybe trying out somebody’s NFTs, maybe if there’s a free aspect of the game, like Thetan Arena, it would be good to try a game first that you would like to play and you’d like to see, you can see yourself playing long term before spending money.

VAL: Usually what does “not a lot” mean, actually? What is a reasonable amount for you to get a game started?

GABBY: There’s no real number, it really depends on the game. So for Axie, maybe $800- $1,000 can get you a decent team, but you can come in as a scholar and not spend any money upfront. Games like Thetan Arena allow you to play without any upfront cost. So it really depends on the game. And you know, some of them have stars and NFTs that get you to spend maybe thousands of dollars for collectability purposes. I would try and learn as much as possible about the game first before really spending money.

VAL: When you started YGG, did you play Axie as well?

GABBY: I was playing Axie around four hours a day around the time I started YGG.

VAL: One team or a number of teams?

GABBY: Well I had maybe around 800 Axies then. I was one of the earliest players in the game. So I got into Axie in October 2018. I had met Jiho (Jeff Zirlin, co-founder of Axie Infinity) in the blockchain game conference circuit, and I put up a small event in Manila in October 2018. Jiho came in, gave a talk and then yeah, in exchange he gave me three Neo Two Axies, and that’s how I got started. So I played the game a lot, I was breeding a lot. I was one of the more active breeders in the game. I was there at the land sale in January 2019, which is like bottom of the bear market. Nobody really had any money. For the people who were saying, “play-to-earn is not about fun”, “people are in Axie just to make money,” I was playing four hours a day before starting YGG and it wasn’t really just to earn SLP, I was having a lot of fun.

IAN: Can I ask a follow up question? Technically we’re not supposed to do this, but I’m super curious. People sometimes think that when you get into Axie, you’re going to get rich, like maybe like a month or two from now. The question is, obviously this is an endeavor, this is actually both a financial and an effort-based endeavor, but it’s fun. What are the right reasons and expectations that people need to set when they invest their time and money in getting into games like Axie and play-to-earn? later

GABBY: What Axie does, and what I hope play-to-earn does actually, is it teaches you how to be fluent financially, how to own your own assets, how to be an investor, in the context of a game with a very open minded and positive community. So that’s what it really does. Of course, there’s a game you have to win to earn SLP. But it teaches you aspects of finance and DeFi, specifically, that actually most people had never learned before they played Axie. Now, apart from playing Axie, people have learned how to sell SLP, to ETH and then ultimately, to Pesos. When we were doing this in mid-2020, it was very new. So actually, Axie and SLP were how I learned how to use UniSwap and learned how to use a liquidity pool. And through this, we actually got rewarded with the UniSwap AirDrop, this was around August of 2020. So the people who are playing then, a lot of the people who are in the Axie community received the Uni AirDrop, because they learned how to use a decentralized exchange, because of SLP. So it’s not just about, “how much money am I earning?” Axie is not meant to give you a wage, hindi yan sweldo, hindi yan sahod, what it’s meant to give you, is give you a way to earn value and use that value to teach you to become an investor, whether it’s selling that SLP for Ether, for AXS, staking that AXS, providing liquidity, farming RON, buying Axies, becoming your own scholarship manager — there’s so many things that you can do. But what it teaches you is how to take control of your lives by playing a game and learning financial concepts.

VAL: That’s a really amazing, high level view of it, which I think most people miss because of really playing it out of necessity. In your experience, what were the problems that managers and scholars were facing when it comes to spending their cryptocurrency?

GABBY: Well, turning the crypto that you earn, SLP, and using it, spending, it has never been straightforward, right? So before, you had to turn the SLP to ether in the ETH, or put the ETH in a wallet, maybe coins.ph, Binance, or Bloom, or OTC, and then turn that into Pesos. So turning the value that you get from these games in the metaverse, and then turning that into value that you can spend has never been really straightforward.

IAN: Yeah, and I guess that’s really where the partnership with XLD Finance comes in. I’m sure some people here have already used xSpend. And the next thing that we’re actually going to be doing, and we’re actually using the infrastructure that we’ve already built to help YGG disburse aid is xMoney. So I think that’s really the problem that we’re also trying to solve right? I think it makes it, one, from a philosophical perspective, or from a perception perspective, I feel like it legitimizes really play-to-earn, especially for people who are just outside trying to look in. Because we will say, “what’s SLP? What’s SLP?” Then you just go to the xSpend website, and shout out to cryptoMahalay, he flexes it, he just says, “look, I paid my water bill today with my SLP. How cool is that?” So, you know, I think that’s definitely something that we, as a team, we’re really committed to. We were so happy that Gabby was super supportive, and really saw and was super happy with what we were building here.

VAL: Yeah, I’d actually encourage the people watching as well, people tuning in with us, let us know what problems you’re facing. I think RRGMS has actually brought something up that I’m also experiencing, my scholars are also experiencing: he’s saying many scholars are surrendering their accounts right now due to SLP price. Actually, Gabby I’m quite curious, from your perspective, like seeing SLP price slump from 8 to 15 to 3 to like 1.8 today, what has been the experience of your guild members? And then how do you guys feel about this?

GABBY: Okay, so here’s my experience being a longtime Axie Infinity player: when I started Axie Infinity, SLP was below one cent. And now, it’s at three cents, maybe. And the problem is, because of the growth of Axie people in exchanges started speculating with the price of Axie. And the price of SLP kind of got ahead of what the game economy itself could support. And now that the price has gone down, and of course Axie is focused on creating new playability, new products that will help give sinks to SLP. There’s a lot of negativity because the price has gone down because in a sense, people are thinking of SLPs, as I guess, wage, sahod. But that’s not really the way to think about it. You should think about SLP as a way of converting the value that has been created in-game into money, into crypto that you can now use to be an investor in different things. So SLP itself is meant to be a continuous reward token so that people who are coming into the game can be rewarded with the value. Now, that value is always market driven. In other words, when people buy SLP, the price goes up, when people sell SLP the price goes down — that’s really how it works. For example, YGG has spent millions of dollars buying SLP from the market, so that we can keep on breeding Axies to provide to our scholars. Even as the price has gone down, we’ve been very aggressive, buying SLP, breeding Axies. We’re now at 10,000 scholars and we want to have a lot more. When it comes to investing, it’s not when the price is going up that is the best time to invest, it’s actually when the price is going down that’s the best price to invest. So don’t think of it as a wage, think of it as an investment opportunity. And don’t invest when the prices are going up — you should be investing more aggressively when the price is going down. And when I say invest, I don’t mean buy SLP and hold it, maybe you earn SLP, turn AXS, buy SLP to breed more Axies. So don’t think of it as wages, what’s your alternative? Your alternative is maybe playing a game and not earning anything. So yes, you are earning less now, that’s pretty unfortunate, but now is the opportunity for you to learn, “how do I become an investor from a player?” It’s not supposed to be a wage, hindi yan sahod, tuturuan ka niyan kung paano maging investor.

IAN: That’s super interesting. I think that’s a super interesting point. I think another thing that’s super interesting that I heard some YouTuber say is that, time in market is more important than money in market. So I think it may be in the scholar’s time, it’s very interesting. Because with the scholarship program, you can earn something without having to cash out. Right? All you need to have is your integrity, willingness to learn, and then your relationship with your manager.

GABBY: For most of my time in crypto, I actually never really had much money, especially during the bear market of 2018 to, like, first half of 2020. It was really brutal. And yeah, a lot of people who are whales in Axie now, they’re just very regular people who didn’t have much money. And the reason that they are doing now was that they believed in it, they stuck with it. And the people who had nothing to show for, were the people who quit, when times got hard. So it’s really the people who stuck in there, learned how it works, built the relationships, and really were able to collect assets, kahit pakaunti kaunti lang — they’re the ones that are rewarded now. So you know, I’m, of course, doing a lot better now. But it’s really from, like the past, like two and a half years of really, really brutal struggle to survive. And, like without that will to survive, without really learning how crypto and NFTs work, you can’t expect to just show up and get rich. It seems like that, if you’re just looking at Twitter and see the people who we’re doing well now, but most of those people have paid their dues.

VAL: Can you tell me what was the worst experience you had in the bear market?

GABBY: Oh, it was really, really terrible. In the bear market, I had used my credit card to buy Ethereum at maybe $800 to $1,000 — that was when Ethereum was going down and went down from $800 to around $90. So it was really, really brutal, and I lost a lot of money. I was saddled in credit card debt and it took a very long time to be able to clear that debt.

IAN: Wow. And I also remember Gabby, like a few months ago you posted that your son, right now has more money than you. Like, more money than you at his age, multiples and multiples. It’s very fun. Very interesting.

GABBY: That’s because, yeah, he just played for the sake of playing, and was able to accumulate assets. And there was no, like, special knowledge, no. When Axie came out in November 2020, did their IEO in Binance, he just used the SLP that he earned from playing Axie and use that to buy AXS. And then just held it, never sold it.

VAL: Wow. I hope he’s staking it now. That’s very, very smart. I guess, in preparation, because the markets are looking like they’re slumping; part of it is definitely the game economy of Axie and never being able to sustain the price of SLP, but it’s also like the entire market is down, right? Like we’ve seen Bitcoin crash from like $60 to, I think, right now, it’s like $40, something hovering around mid 40s? How can Axie players prepare for it best? Is it really just to hold? Are there other things they should be doing? Are they supposed to be looking and playing other games at the same time? Like what else can they do?

GABBY: Well, first of all, last year, this time, Bitcoin had just reached $20,000 again, and Ethereum had reached its all time high of 700. So getting to Bitcoin at 47, and ET, 36, 37. Honestly, most people are really lucky. Of course, most people didn’t come in two, three years ago, a lot of people are coming in this year, because they’re new to crypto, and I think there has to be a certain amount of discipline, kailangan ng kaunting disiplina: kung paano mag-invest, mag-laro ng play-to-earn games. You shouldn’t be putting in more money than you can afford to lose. Like the money that I put in the crypto, one should expect that, one day, you might be able to lose it all. Don’t put your life savings, and certainly do not borrow other people’s money and put it into crypto hoping to get rich. I’ve heard stories of people borrowing several million pesos to put it into a game on BSC and then got a rug pull, losing all their money. And now not only are they not rich, they’re in heavy debt. So don’t put yourself in a position where you’re risking other people’s money or you’re risking your family’s well being to get into crypto investing.

VAL: Someone was asking, what happens if YGG establishes a partnership, or supports a project, or game, after so much research, after many talks, and then the project rug pulls and abandons the investors or players? How will you guys deal with it?

GABBY: Well, first of all, we’ll be very angry. But it goes back to how we do our selection of games: we do a lot of talking to the founders, looking at their backgrounds, what they’ve done before, how the tokenomics model is. Of course, not all of these games will succeed — some of them will inevitably fail, because that’s really how any business, especially in the game industry, where a lot of games fail, and few succeed. But we strive to just back the very best games and then have those assets for our players. And I think inevitably, some of these games will fail. And what will just happen is that we will probably rotate our players or guild members into some of the other games that are doing better.

VAL: Yeah, I always say when people pick a game, like, is it Angry Birds or is it DoTA? Am I gonna play it a lot now for a little while? Or is it something that you’re going to play until you have MMR that you can proudly display?

GABBY: Yeah, it’s a little more complicated with crypto because there’s a lot of games where the token pumps at the very beginning, because they are their scarcity in the tokenomics. And then, people rush in because they see that token price pumping, and then all it takes is for one or two whales to sell, and then everything comes crumbling down. So you should be really wary and careful. If you’re looking into these games, especially if you’re going into it because you see the token price going up. All of the long term sustainable game economies or games that should be around for years. As you know, a lot of people like to sh*t on Axie because of what’s happening with the SLP price. But the fact is, they’ve been running the game for over three years now, and I’ve onboarded millions of players into crypto. And the games that are, of course, there are new games that are coming out — most of them have not managed to do that yet. And there’s problems that come with scale, and you need to experience that scale to know what those problems are and how to deal with them. And it’s easy, I would say, to criticize games that are scaling for their failures. But actually, if your game isn’t scaling, then you won’t see any of those problems.

IAN: That is correct. I do think that, for me, it’s really just because for us on FinTech, we’re on the financial services, right? I think, for us having things breaking down, it’s definitely not ideal, but it’s a sign that we are growing much faster than we anticipated, because we built a certain system. For example, I’m not sure you know, Gabby, but after the first hour of us launching xSpend, your community, the YGG guys just broke our load platform — couldn’t handle the volume. So we had to turn it off for like two hours to fix it, and increase capacity. So I think that’s the case. And I do think that’s from the YGG perspective. And I think it really makes sense at the pace that you’re talking to. I’m sure, everyday, you’re talking, and you really just have all of your ears on the ground, just looking for all of these games. I think it’s very interesting, right? Because over and over time, and you mentioned scale, and you’re you’re deploying serious cash into these games, the you don’t want to have concentrated risk, right, you want to make sure that, you know, you have other places to kind of rotate your players from and you know, to kind of compensate the losses from the good. So it’s actually like a legit Asset Management-slash-investment firm. So, it’s a very interesting thing, YGG, it’s really beyond gaming, for sure.

VAL: Well, well, speaking of competition, Gabby, what’s your approach to other guilds coming up?

GABBY: For me, the existence of guilds, in general, is a positive thing. It’s impossible to have only one guild in a game. In fact, it’s actually healthy to have many guilds in the game. So if you look at, for example, Guild of Guardians is one of them, or Big Time, or with Axie. With Axie itself, there’s thousands of guilds in the game. And I think that’s great. As long as the guilds are treating their players right, and giving fair revenue split, and are treating the community, especially the scholars, in a fair manner. I’m all for competition.

VAL: That’s awesome. I think I’ll give our RRGMS airtime because he invited a lot of people from YGG, to this community too. He is specifically asking: Gabby, what do you think of Itam Games? It’s a Korean NFT.

GABBY: Okay, so Itam Games, I haven’t really come across it personally. I do think that the Korean game developers are really good, especially on the free-to-play side. And actually, a lot of them are already developing NFT-based play-to-earn games now. One of the games that’s very popular in our community, League of Kingdoms, is developed by a Korean developer, and there will be more. Yeah, so I’m not familiar with Itam itself, but we were always looking to collaborate with Korean developers.

VAL: There’s a follow up question, though. It is healthy to have many, many guilds come up, but is it important for YGG that you guys remain on top or part of the leaders in the community?

GABBY: So the stuff we do as a guild, we do it because we know what our vision is, what we want to do. We want to be able to onboard the next billion people into crypto Web 3.0 via play-to-earn games, especially the people who don’t have any crypto to start with, people who cannot afford to buy Ethereum, who don’t have a wallet, we want to onboard them. So that is our North Star. We don’t benchmark ourselves against other guilds. We don’t compare ourselves to what other guilds are doing. What’s really important for us is how are we succeeding in our mission? And maybe some guilds benchmark themselves to how many scholars we have what games are in, but we don’t really care about any of that. If you look at the YGG Pilipinas relief efforts for Odette, several guilds came together and donated to us so that we can help distribute the money to the people who are affected, because the players who are affected in the Visayas-Mindanao area, they are in the play-to-earn community, not just for Axie, actually throughout the whole NFT community, and the guilds banded together to help together to achieve that. So yeah, so we do what we think is right with our mission, and that’s really just what we care about.

VAL: So when you give this advice to say that the majority of people shouldn’t look at SLP as wage, there’s a very interesting question here. BuloSehi is saying, is a gaming career path or ladder existent now? I guess it’s interesting, right? Because if you shouldn’t be looking at it as salary, should people be looking at play-to-earn as a potential career path and like, they should be going up a form of ladder.

GABBY: It’s not a career path in the sense that you’re an employee, you should view it as you’re working for yourself. So whether you’re playing Axie, you’re a content creator, you’re an eSports player, you’re a breeder, a trader, whatever, you have to find your own path. If you look at the example of Kookoo, he was actually very new to Axie in 2020. And then he rose up in the community because he was making very helpful content. And that’s how he became one of the Axie angels: he was able to be one of the first community managers of YGG, because he already had a scholarship and then we helped scale that. So don’t think of yourself as playing for a wage because parang ipinapagpalit mo lang yung isang boss sa ibang boss. You’re working for yourself. Nagtatrabaho ka para sa sarili mo, at dapat ikaw yung maghahanap ng paraan, and you have to find your own way on how you can become your own boss, your own investor, and don’t see it as you’re working for your own manager, you’re working for someone else, because that will never really get you anywhere. Whether you’re a scholar or you’re an employee.

VAL: Does YGG consider taking up minors as scholars to any games, especially those who look at funds for their studies, like they’re in senior high.

GABBY: So we are working with Acad Arena, who is working specifically with students for scholarships. It’s a little bit tricky with minors, especially for scholarships, there needs to be really good guidance, because it’s a situation that can easily be exploited. So we normally don’t take minors as scholars, but then again, that’s exactly why we’re partnered with Acad Arena: their specialty is schools and eSports. They have the ability to do these partnership programs wherein students can become scholars to help them graduate from schools.

VAL: We’ll be having Acad Arena back soon. So MaouSama, if you’re interested in learning a bit more about YGG’s partnership with students and their programs, definitely come back and ask a lot more details about that, too. So thanks for that Gabby. I think at this point as well, I want to just let people know that some of the people who have asked questions, and the best questions that’s selected by the community, we will be doing a giveaway after this AMA. So we’ll be sending you guys like $20 via the xSpend platform. And I kinda have to go to that a little bit, I don’t want to be pluggy, and I don’t want to sound shameless about this: but Gabby, why are you in XLD actually, what did you see in the company that helped you advise us early on and actually invest your time in mentoring the company to where it is now?

GABBY: Yeah, a lot of people don’t know this, but I’ve been a long term advisor and investor to XLD, and the reason for this is very complementary with the goals of YGG itself, where with YGG, we want to be the kind of portal to the metaverse for ordinary people. If you don’t have any money, you can go into YGG play some of these platy-to-earn games, earn some money, earn some crypto rewards, but you need to have a way to bridge that back to your physical world, to your real life and that’s where XLD comes in, which is really why I really believed in XLD from the start, because it provides a way for people to bring the value back, and then turn that into money in real life.

IAN: I think that’s true. And for the people who are new here, and maybe just listening to it for the first time, I mean, our vision is really to build a bank in the metaverse, and YGG has the biggest community. Because, I think the reality is, that there’s a lot of problems for people in the metaverse. I’ve met with a lot of founders, I’ve met with people who are trying to create a lot of these projects, but where they struggle is dealing with the formal, regulated system — how to actually connect to a broken financial infrastructure in Indonesia, in the Philippines, in Thailand, in Latin America. That’s what we’re actually trying to fix. Our protocol is actually going to be Web 3.0 based, so it’s really the space of the metaverse. But the way we’re building it is, it will make you feel like it’s your cash, your SLP, your stablecoin feels like it’s in your wallet. It’s just like a GCash account. So my vision really is — and don’t tell the regulators — to make fiat obsolete. In five years, where people are already living full-time in the Metaverse, you don’t need cash anymore. You’re just gonna ask for SLP, you’re gonna ask for YGG tokens, you are going to ask for stablecoin. That’s all that you actually need, because everything is already running in the financial infrastructure that XLD is actually building. For me, people also don’t understand that the reason why it’s super hard to open a bank account is there’s a regulator called BSP who calls the rules. They’re not evil, per se, they’re not evil — they’re actually quite smart. We have relationships with members of the BSP. The problem is the banks are sometimes too worried, and they have their own interpretations, and people also don’t know how to treat people like, the tellers who are not trained for crypto. They’re gonna say no to anything that goes to them. So I think that’s why we believe in an alternative that actually works primarily for play-to-earn users. Right? And I’ve also served people who don’t know what an ID is, don’t know what a driver’s license is, send us pictures of their identification documents to the support channel and say, “Is this a birth certificate?” But if you have a Metamask or a Ronin wallet, you literally don’t need to do that; you just have to open your crypto account, and then you can start participating. The technology combined with play-to-earn, and then combined also with the skills of the team that we have here, we feel really confident to really be able to advance the aspirations of YGG from a Metaverse perspective, but the entire crypto community: not only play-to-earn, but also beyond.

VAL: The community is going wild with your answers on this guys. And Genkina is already like, “Can we use the YGG badge in xSpend soon? Are there perks or benefits?”

IAN: My team has been telling me I shouldn’t be leaking stuff but, let’s just say that we plan to support the things that Gabby has already done, like the founders badge, the things like those, don’t worry. We want to add value to the guild as part of our partnership.

VAL: Lex is asking again, “would YGG integrate more with the Polygon network to your website soon? Because minting assets or future assets backed by Ethereum mainnet costs a lot of gas.”

GABBY: Okay, one answer there. Yes.

VAL: Okay, you heard it here. You heard it here Lex, he said yes!

GABBY: I think it’s important for the original guild badge to be on Ethereum. Because Ethereum is still, I would say, the most censorship-resistant chain, and the guild badge will become very important to the future of the guild. But having said that, moving forward, and especially with our feedback from the community: a lot of people who got the airdrop, for example, the sword and shield, couldn’t actually afford to claim the airdrop because of the gas. So even though the guild badge is on Ethereum, I think a lot of the badges and NFTs that people will be earning will be on other chains, such as Polygon, in the near future. And also we are partnered with Polygon, people don’t know, they’re actually an early investor in YGG. And we’re partnered with them for the India subDAO, the IndiGG. So we’re actually very close with the Polygon team.

VAL: Did you guys end up helping out the people who couldn’t download their NFTs because it’s on Ethereum?

GABBY: I don’t think we’ve done something yet, but there are ways to do so. So our team is looking into that.

VAL: Okay, I’ll note this down. That’s an interesting problem for us to solve as well.

GABBY: But I think for you guys, it would be good to mint straight to Polygon.

VAL: Thanks for the advice, I know Myles is listening in. So actually what I was going to ask earlier, because all of these integrations and partnerships really do seem key in getting things off the ground, especially in Web 3.0 now that it’s quite nascent, and players are coming up: will you be asking Jiho to help us connect the Ronin wallet directly?

GABBY: Well, first of all, YGG has also wanted to build on top of Ronin for a very long time, but if you look at it from the point of view of the Sky Mavis team, with Axie alone, Ronin is having difficulty just keeping up with the amount of volume. And when they open it up to third party devs, you have to make sure that you know the chain performs, right. That means making sure that the chain is scalable, and can have a lot of third parties deploying contracts on it, because without one game alone on it, and one DEX, it’s already actually doing so many transactions and they need to really make sure that’s scalable. And I’m sure that the Sky Mavis team will open it up, when they’re sure that it’s ready to scale, when it can take on more users with different applications. But they’re taking it slow, because they want to make sure that the performance and the user experience is number one.

IAN: And also update the community. I promised the community, I asked you guys for help to get through to Jiho. I can’t disclose anything yet. But I will say that I have talked to Jiho, Val and I have talked to Jiho. And we’re still talking. So take from that what you will. But yes, we have talked and we are still talking.

VAL: That’s right. In fact, I think there’s a very good question on top of this as well, which BuloSehi is saying, “what made you say that Web 3.0 was ready for full utilization when you started building on it, and what will give users confidence that it is stable, robust, and foolproof enough to be trusted?”

GABBY: You know, you can never say it’s really ready, you just have to keep building along the way. And if you build if you only start building when everything is ready, then you’ll be late. You cannot wait for the perfect conditions when everything is ready. Because when you do that, someone will have come in and built your idea and gotten the users. So you have to be there building with everyone else, failing, scaling, getting your outage, having your app go down. That’s all part of the experience. And that’s how you learn how to build. And that’s really how I’ve been building in the last three years, just really being there trying new things, with the community, with our developers, and kind of helping evolve the Web 3.0 landscape.

IAN: I would also like to add to that, so Gabby, I’m not a developer. But for me, I think Web 3.0, people have been ragging on it, right? So like Elon Musk, and some prominent figure talking heads are all saying Web 3.0 doesn’t exist — they’re probably trolling but — for me, I think Web 3.0 is really, I mean, looking beyond the technology, it’s really building on certain principles: decentralization, interoperability, and things like that. What will give us confidence that it is stable, robust, and foolproof enough to be trusted? I think it’s a trade off right, because if you’re working with something that’s interoperable, that’s connecting to so many things, and you build on top of each other to become more than the sum of your parts, right, things are going to break. But I think the important thing here is that there’s transparency. And every single person who wants to participate in Web 3.0, should be believing in the concept of antifragility: small breaks make the entire thing smaller, similar to, you know, having your kids exposed to some kind of bacteria and things like that helps them build immunity. That’s the same thing that we need to do. So actually making those small mistakes, as long as it’s managed and there’s a plan. For example, on our side, we know that the transactions have failed, but we have been very transparent with everyone that we’re going to be refunding them, we’re building an automatic refund button for people to get refunds immediately. I think that’s the spirit that people need to kind of keep in mind. Right. So I mean, use products at your own risk, right, but you also use products that you know that the team has a proven experience of really caring for their users and being, you know, very responsive across all levels to keep that platform up.

VAL: Because Ian has hinted a lot about what’s in store for XLD in 2022? Gabby, what’s in store for YGG in 2022? Can you give the community a preview of what to expect?

GABBY: A lot. So, first of all, on the Axie side, of course, we are expanding our scholar base; we just hit 10,000, before the end of the year, and we’re still very aggressively expanding. That means we’re adding more managers not only in the Philippines, but around the world. we are creating subDAO partnerships. So you might have heard of YGGSEA, our Southeast Asia cousins, who are expanding across Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. IndiGG has just been announced with our partners, Polygon, who will be taking on the massive country of India and bringing play-to-earn across the country there. And within our guild, not only will we be delivering more games, more assets from people to play with, there’s also more services now. And I think these services are very important. Which is why, for example, we partner with XLD, we want the financial services to link to the real world. What if we can offer our user base loans, insurance? What if you can get a cash advance on SLP if you’re a scholar? These are all things that we are exploring, and we want to be able to just have the guild as a way for you to interact with different financial products through our partners, such as XLD, and build your life as an investor, working with these NFT assets, with play-to-earn and ‘yon, para gumanda ang buhay nating lahat. (So all of our lives become better).

VAL: That’s awesome. I’m conscious of time because I know we have like about two minutes left. So I want to thank everyone for tuning in first and asking questions. As always hear from your favorite person, Josh, my man, he’s going to be announcing the winners of the $20 later. But since we have Gabby here, Gabby, I’ll pass the mic to you. What are the final things you want to either advise people or I guess just leave the community with before we end the AMA?

GABBY: Sure. So with the people here, I just want to remind people to be patient and treat things step-by-step. We are here with YGG to turn gamers into investors — it’s not going to happen overnight. And you shouldn’t be looking at the price of SLP to do that for you. The price SLP is turning the gameplay into something of value that you can turn into other assets that you can invest in, whether that’s AXS, Ethereum, land, other NFTs, whatever. So it really pays to have an investor mindset, a positive attitude, and to learn along the way. And I think that’s what separates the best investors from everyone else.

VAL: So I think that’s my takeaway for today, too. I’m probably going to go offline after this and convert my SLP to AXS. But thank you Gabby, we really, really appreciate it. I’m sure everybody had fun too. Hey, guys, feel free to do your final shout out to Gabby and the community before we drop off. So thank you!

GABBY: Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat. (Thank you very much) Happy New Year!

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XLD Finance

Stablecoin-based ecosystem driving financial inclusion through real-world financial services.