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Polygon’s ‘Secret Sauce’: Why Starbucks, Meta, and Reddit Chose the Ethereum Scaler
Ryan Wyatt, CEO of Polygon Studios, discusses the recent wave of major Web2 brands building on the platform.
Amid a brutal crypto downturn that has only gotten worse with FTX’s collapse, one blockchain platform has repeatedly shown that it can still onboard massive brands with a collective reach of billions into the Web3 world: Polygon, the Ethereum scaling network.
Recent highlights include Meta tapping Polygon to let Instagram users mint NFTs, Starbucks building an NFT-driven loyalty rewards program, Reddit minting unique NFT avatars, Nike revealing plans to mint digital apparel NFTs, and an NFT collectibles partnership with Disney after Polygon took part in the entertainment giant’s accelerator program.
The resulting buzz has not only pushed up the price of Polygon’s MATIC token and built up the biz-dev reputation of Polygon Studios and CEO Ryan Wyatt, but the early results of these projects are also telling. Reddit said recently that its users created more than 3 million Polygon wallets to claim a free NFT avatar, generating momentum around them and the broader crypto space.
Wyatt told Decrypt that when he joined Polygon Studios in February—following several years leading YouTube’s Gaming vertical—he saw a need to bring in more people with traditional web and brand experience to pair with the highly technical, Web3-savvy builders already in the space. “I wanted to fill that gap,” he said.
“With Web2 [companies], the impact is bigger and the implications are always bigger for those partners, because they're navigating the space for the first time,” Wyatt explained. “And so they are being very strategic in the way that they're doing it. They want to talk through it. That's a little bit of a different experience.”
Whether it’s a Web2 brand or a crypto upstart, Wyatt said that his team’s goal is largely the same: understand the prospective partner’s Web3 vision, convince them that Polygon is the ideal platform to build it on, and then provide support to bring that vision to life.
Bringing together experienced big tech veterans with Web3 natives who “live and breathe this space” yields a group at Polygon Studios that can help Web2 brands get over the hump and embrace NFTs and decentralized models, Wyatt said. “It’s kind of like the secret sauce of the team,” he added.