Welcome back to Chain Reaction, a podcast that unpacks and dives deep into the latest trends, drama and news in crypto with some of the biggest names in the industry to break things down block by block for the crypto curious.
For this week’s episode, Jacquelyn interviewed Jack Lu, co-founder and CEO of NFT marketplace Magic Eden. This is his second time on Chain Reaction, but the market has evolved a lot since the last time he came on in August 2022, so we’re excited to have him back!
Before co-founding Magic Eden in 2021, Lu worked as a product manager at Google and a consultant for Boston Consulting Group.
Magic Eden originally began as a Solana-based NFT trading platform, but has expanded its support to other blockchain networks like Polygon, Ethereum and Bitcoin. Today, it has grown into one of the largest NFT marketplaces with over 8,000 collections, about $3 billion in NFT transactions and 22 million unique monthly visitors. In June 2022, Magic Eden raised $130 million in a Series B round that granted it unicorn status.
Lu dropped a bunch of interesting nuggets about the NFT space and how Magic Eden is planning to tackle the changing environment, especially around NFTs.
He shared that Magic Eden plans to stay competitive through its multichain offerings and by supporting some of the biggest NFT collections in the space, like Mad Lads, which will also onboard its audience to its platform. In the Bitcoin NFT space, the marketplace is looking to tap “a lot of the cross-chain overlap,” Lu said, adding, “There’s a lot of Solana community members and Ethereum community members who have tried to check out BTC.”
When asked if Magic Eden will add more blockchains to its platform, Lu maintained that his stance is to “never say never,” but right now it’s not eyeing any new additions.
“Going from one to four [blockchains] in six months is like having four kids, four babies, and we have to nurture all of them,” he said. “Right now, we definitely feel like we have to consolidate and polish up the experience for all these ecosystems.”
At the same time, there’s a lot of innovation on the way, and Lu wants to be ready for that.
“There’s a lot of chains, whether that’s specific to gaming — there are category-specific ecosystems that are popping up,” he said. “There’s many, many great chains and ecosystems just within that category that would make a lot of sense for us to expand into.”
In March, Magic Eden launched support for web3 gaming with Magic Eden Games, which lets web3 developers nurture player bases and communities. While that market is exciting, it’s still early, Lu noted.
“We see a very, very healthy creator pipeline into gaming. We understand there’s a lot of inbound and existing interest from web3 gaming developers, and for us, that’s always been a leading indicator that the NFT ecosystem is going to take off with the inflow of creator interest.”
Lu also sees long-term potential in layer-2 blockchains building on top of the Ethereum network that are based off Arbitrum or Optimism.
Even though Magic Eden has grown rapidly, it wants to remain true to its philosophy of making the NFT trading experience “simple” while still helping users “feel the value” of the NFT ecosystem, he said.
“Our mission is to focus on the long term.”
We also talked about:
- Support for BRC-20 tokens
- NFT market volatility
- Royalty fees
- Web3 gaming expansion
- Advice for NFT community
Need to catch up before you listen? Read these for a quick overview: