Mariano Di Pietrantonio, Maker Growth: ‘Are we working on something worthwhile with crypto?’

Media Foundation
4 min readNov 2, 2022

Mariano Di Pietrantonio, Maker Growth’s Co-Founder & Head of Strategy, the Growth team for MakerDAO, is a man of many talents. Apart from being deemed as one of the most popular personalities within crypto’s ecosystem, he is also a considerable advisor of Media Foundation, a non-profit organization responsible for driving Media Network — the first decentralized distribution network (dCDN)- as well as of Num Finance, which aims at the creation of stablecoins seeking to track fiat currencies’ value from emerging countries.

In his spare time, he turns away from crypto and lets himself be carried away by the world of Buddhism and sports. As he explained in one conversation with Media Foundation, ‘no peace of mind can be found within crypto as it is a highly volatile industry.’ But for him, such peace of mind does exist in Buddhism, a reassuring activity that ‘is very human and does not make room for punishments.’ According to this religion, if a person does something wrong, he or she will suffer a consequence and must live up to it. For his part, he admits that he is facing the consequences of working in crypto.

– How do you cope with the effects of working within a booming industry?

Nowadays, I feel that hundreds of excellent projects are being launched but, paradoxically, most of them are lousy. Not all that glitters is gold.

The key is not to cling to a single thought and pose yourself questions, such as: ‘Is this project useful enough?; Where are we heading?; Is our project worthwhile?’ All these questions fall into The First Principle of Thinking.

Di Pietrantonio considers that he has already come a long way and has enough experience to publicly say what interests him and what does not. He is particularly interested in the creation of digital value as he considers that ‘these projects are good for society as a whole’. However, there is a serious problem behind the idea of digital value creation: anyone can do it. “In some cases, ‘entrepreneurs’ hide scams or unnecessary solutions. Technology is double-edged, and consequently, so does crypto.”

– What is the overall industry’s outlook?

In my view, the long-term outlook is very positive. As regards the medium and short term, there is contention about macro environment issues, such as regulations and technological development.

The set of interactions of these particularities generates too much fog and noise, but it is all part of the improvement and resilience iteration process. The ecosystem is in the larval stage and we still need to spread its wings.

It’ll be very easy to distinguish regulated and unregulated projects and protocols in the future. It will no longer be possible to have a combination of both worlds in a single application. Centralized entities will have to be in good standing and comply with the existing laws and regulations. But if your project matches the decentralized style, it will be quite difficult for you to reach centralized assets.

‘Is this project useful enough?; Where are we heading?; Is our project worthwhile?’

– What’s your view on the macro situation and how does it influence the industry?

I have a feeling that more changes will come to Ethereum in the next three years. With the Merge, Ethereum became a type of asset that has never existed in history. On the one hand, it is a digital asset that can behave like a bond; on the other hand, it serves as fuel for the network. To top it off, it can behave like a currency. It has to still find its place in the macro world since it is a foreign asset.

By contrast, Bitcoin already found its place within the macro world when countries started buying cryptocurrency with investment funds. Simply put, while Bitcoin takes center stage in the financial scene, Ethereum echoes but does not act in such a way.

I believe that if all financial markets consider Ethereum as a bond, amid the worst year for sovereign bonds, we are going to look again at 2022 as a great buying opportunity that many missed.

“The ecosystem is in a larval stage and we still need to form the chrysalis.”

– What’s the future of Web3 infrastructure protocols?

I see all Web3 infrastructure protocols becoming more and more like centralized services. In the medium term, all these infrastructure protocols will share a large suite of products that can be used by developers and engineers to get a Web3 project up and running in a matter of minutes.

The way forward is to link all Web3 infrastructure protocols in one place for one simple reason: developers are used to writing code in a modular way. With this in mind, protocols need to start riding the wave of “one-click deployments” and keep their products simple.

Many people consider technology development as a product. But this is a mistake. Technology is not a product. Projects have to start bringing products closer to the users and, to make it happen, such products have to be simple.

About Media Network

Media Network is a blockchain agnostic, censorship-resistant, and community-powered dCDN enforced by smart contracts. We’ve created a decentralized bandwidth market that enables anyone to hire or provide resources from the network as the demand for last-mile content delivery shifts.

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