In June, Chainlink launched the Block Stories docuseries, which examines the founder’s mindset behind some of the most prominent projects in the Chainlink Ecosystem. Today, Chainlink released Episode 2 featuring Kain Warwick, the founder of Synthetix, a protocol that brings derivatives to the crypto market by giving users exposure to real-world assets through synthetics on the Ethereum blockchain.
Warwick’s belief in blockchain technology is unwavering. To the skeptics, he says, “You can not believe in gravity, but gravity’s still going to bring you to the ground.”
Growing up the son of an Australian Open finalist, Warwick sought excellence from a young age. At 13, he started his first business restringing tennis rackets – a venture that was so successful, it made him six figures by the time he was 15.
“I’ve always wanted to be the best at whatever I’m doing,” he said. “The idea of building things and doing hard things to me is kind of satisfying in its own right.”
Warwick left university to manage IT for a Seattle-based startup and discovered his talent for level-headed problem solving when the market crashed and the business began to flounder. “I think I was the only person that was happy there,” he said of an atmosphere saturated with nonstop obstacles.
“It was like okay, we’ve got this problem, what’s the solution? We’ve got another problem, what’s the solution? Which feels very similar to crypto these days,” he said with a smile.
Warwick went on to launch the Australian iOS-based retail payment platform blueshyft in 2015. When he noticed that a significant portion of blueshyft’s revenue was coming from crypto, he decided to pivot, founding what would ultimately become Synthetix.
“A lot of times, founders get advice that they should do something they’re passionate about,” he explained. “The challenge when you do something that you really care about is that you can get wedded to the idea or wedded to the solution, and that makes it really hard to pivot.”
Synthetix integrated Chainlink Price Feeds in 2019. “In the early days, we were sort of forced to do everything ourselves,” Warwick recounted. “The day when we switched everything over to Chainlink, I think everyone on the Synthetix team slept a lot better from that day forward.”
He described open-source tools like Chainlink’s oracle infrastructure as “one of the superpowers” of crypto.
“The incentive alignment in open-source software is a cultural one – people are contributing, not because they have some financial alignment, but because they genuinely want to contribute,” he said.
And while he recognizes that letting go of control as a founder can be difficult, he believes community-owned protocols have a cutting edge.
“Competition and markets are the way that the world progresses, and when you have efficient, open, transparent markets, you have the ability to innovate as a society. When you lower barriers to entry, you just get a better world.”
In his view, Chainlink’s decentralized oracle networks and services like Keepers and VRF, make it increasingly easier, faster, and cheaper to launch gravitational new DeFi projects.
“This is genuinely going to change the world,” he said. “That’s why it’s so exciting, because you can’t even imagine the things that it will be able to do.”
Watch Episode 2 of Block Stories featuring Synthetix founder Kain Warwick.