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Streamlining Web3 Deployment: A Conversation with Matt Voska

Neal Kemp May 22, 2024

About Matt Voska

After living nomadically and visiting 35 countries, Matt Voska settled in the tropical city of Rio de Janeiro. He found solace in the warm weather, active lifestyle, vibrant culture, and work-life balance that the city offers. Now, he is proud to call it his home for the past three years. 

Matt is the founder and COO of Chaindrop - a decentralized rollup-as-a-service company that aims to streamline deployment processes for Web3 companies. Chaindrop offers Web3 developers complete portability, rapid redeployment, and custom EIPs to confidently accelerate growth and profitability.

His entrepreneurial journey spans a decade. Before immersing himself in the crypto space, he worked as a software engineer, then founded Flytenow, a YC-backed ride-sharing app for small planes.

He then stepped into the COO role at another Y Combinator startup, Bannerman, the world’s first ever security marketplace. While at Bannerman, he founded Origami, a tool that supports DAOs in Web3. 

Matt's consistent vision as a founder and operator echoes his ethos of simplicity and accessibility. He envisions a future where deploying contracts to the blockchain is as seamless as pushing to platforms like Heroku. 

Read our conversation below to learn how Matt’s latest tech companies are filling in the gaps in the Web3 space and how his time living abroad has shaped his perspective on business leadership.

You’ve worked in crypto for many years. Can you walk us through your crypto journey and how it brought you to building Origami and Chaindrop? 

My crypto journey started with simple curiosity. There were a lot of crypto companies in our Y Combinator batch in 2014, so I started following the industry through the news and WhatsApp groups. 

One of those groups was "Y Combinator Founders in Crypto'' which grew so big that we reached the Whatsapp group limit. So we built a Discord, then a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO).

The DAO started investing in companies, and sure enough, six months later, we started Orange DAO, which included 1,300 YC alumni and raised more than $50 million in capital to deploy to different companies.

We realized that all these other groups wanted to be like Orange DAO, so we spun out Origami and ended up launching the largest DAO for Collab.Land with over 70,000 members.

Going through that process, I had so many difficulties working with today's public test nets. It’s like a shared staging server everyone uses and you need to get credits for. But those credits have been gamed, so they're hard to get. So, to deploy on your staging server, you have to pay real money just to be able to put it out there. 

At the time, we thought: ‘We should build dev nets with these private versions that we can deploy. And that would fix all these problems.’ That’s how we started building our continuous integration and delivery solution, Chaindrop

What is the core problem Chaindrop is trying to solve in the Web3 space? 

If you think back to the early days of web companies, before AWS, you needed someone to set up a physical server for you literally. You set up that server and had to do all the sysadmin stuff on it. It was a mess.

You’d have to be an expert in something other than the company you're trying to build just to get your software out there. 

And that's kind of how it is in Web3 today. If you want to deploy the smart contract that you coded onto a blockchain, you have to know how to configure this stuff on a very low level. 

You have to learn three different pieces of software just to get your code deployed for a simple “hello world.” 

We're trying to simplify that process for Web3 developers. We help at all stages, not just the test stage, but also help our companies roll out their own blockchains that reach the Ethereum mainnet. 

We want to help developers spend less time on DevOps and more time writing code.

Chaindrop is making it easier for Web3 developers to do their jobs. Can you shed some light on the different deployment challenges these developers face? 

Deployment in Web3 is slower and riskier than deployment on a web app. On a web app, if you push the wrong code, you'll just send your site down. In Web3, if you ship your code onto the wrong public blockchain, you might give the wrong people access and move real money. 

For that reason, updates are not very common in Web3 because they have to undergo a lot of rigorous testing. 

A normal shipping cycle can vary from a month to a year. So some teams are investing in building their own tools to deploy faster. But it’s not efficient to have each individual company build its own CI tool.

We want to build the tool in this nascent industry so other teams can focus on their specific niche or problems to solve.

You live and work out of Rio, Brazil. Can you tell us a little bit about your experience there?

The short answer is that growing up in Chicago, I had enough winter for a lifetime. So I liked the warmer weather, where winters are 70 Fahrenheit, like 20 Celsius.

But also, for people who like active lifestyles and being in the city, I don't think there's any place better than Rio to live.

And, at least in my experience, the people have been very welcoming to foreigners. There are all these events for language and learning for people who want to speak with people from other cultures.

Do you have any tips for developers in Latin America who want to improve their English and become more comfortable speaking it at work?

First, don't be so apologetic. Your English is probably much better than you think it is, and we are all constantly trying to get better. So, ask for feedback. 

As I learn Portuguese, I want someone to correct me and call me out when I say something incorrect or funny. 

There are more non-native English speakers than native ones. Understanding people with different accents should be a required skill for employers and managers, especially when hiring top-tier talent.

The ear trains fast, and you’re putting yourself at a serious competitive disadvantage by not opening up your talent pipeline to get the best people in the world. 


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