Starting over a decade ago with Bitcoin mining, Jerome de Tychey's hobby evolved into a career that would shape his trajectory. His interest took him on a journey through roles at Ernst & Young, ConsenSys, and Ledger, where he honed his skills and expertise.
His love for gaming and blockchain, coupled with his professional experience, laid the foundation for his current venture: Cometh, a gaming studio and platform focused on building better web3 games and providing tools to help other games and retail-focused apps flourish in the blockchain arena.
In our exclusive interview, we explore his journey and insights, unveiling the perspective of a Founder-CEO who's actively moulding the future of Web3 gaming.
Could you share a little about yourself, your personal journey in web3 and how you ended up with Cometh?
Certainly! I am Jerome, 36 years old the last time I checked. I'm a dad, and I've been in the web3 space for about ten years. Initially, I was a hobby miner, mining Bitcoin using different graphics cards, and later transitioned to mining Ethereum. This piqued my interest in the Ethereum community and led me to join the French community around a project known as Ethereum France. Eventually, I transitioned to working professionally in the field, first at Ernst & Young, then at ConsenSys, later at Ledger, and finally landing at Cometh, which is my current endeavour. Aside from this, I am also a gamer. I used to game quite a lot during my younger years, and although having kids has reduced my gaming time, I still manage to play occasionally, sometimes even at the office.
What led to the creation of Cometh? Was it a market gap or a problem that needed solving?
Cometh was born out of an experiment to take blockchain to everyday folks by trying different apps beyond just finance. We kicked things off with a game because we, the founding team, thought games and blockchain go well together since they're both native to the computer and the internet. I mean, it's all digital, right?
This was the underlying idea for Cometh. So, initially, our aim was to develop apps that were not DeFi oriented. The first game was launched in early 2021, and alongside Dark Forest, we were among the pioneers of fully on-chain games. It was clear that there was a market gap since very few projects had ventured into fully applying blockchain to a game. This was our initial trajectory. As we progressed, we saw some technical gaps that needed filling. So we picked the best parts for our game, optimised them, and even made our own tools to make sure our games ran smoothly on-chain. Then we thought, why not share these tools? So now, we're doing two things: building games on the one hand and sharing tools to help other games and retail-focused apps work on the other.
Do you have any advice for aspiring founders entering the industry?
Courage and resilience are key qualities to have. And keep that passion burning. If you start feeling bored, or doubts creep in, or the fun in building starts to fade, take a step back and reconsider. You really need to feel, deep down to your bones, that you are building something transformative for humanity across multiple facets.
The journey in any blockchain venture is laden with ups and downs. For early-stage builders, my advice would be to remain mindful of your runway and always brace for the worst while keeping a keen eye on your burn rate. And don't get too hung up on the equity and shares — that's where many startup and founding teams unravel. It's better to have a smaller slice of a growing venture. Also, aiming for an extremely high evaluation is risky. If the first round doesn't yield a high evaluation, there's a chance to improve in the second round.
Another key piece of advice is to focus on solving an actual problem. That should be your main mission if you want to build something that lasts, especially if you have an engineering mindset. If you find a bunch of problems you can solve, see which one has the largest addressable market and go for it. This mindset puts you on the radar for VCs and other projects hunting for founders or engineers, but it also earns you brownie points in the community for tackling and solving problems. People will notice the problems you've fixed, even if they weren't ready to pay for solutions initially.
To sum it up, the practical advice I’d give to founders and builders is:
- Be mindful of your runway and burn rate. Always prepare for the worst.
- Don't over-consider your share. Forget the whole, "I want to keep 50%, I want 60%." It's better to have a small piece of something that continues to grow.
- Don’t shoot for a super high evaluation. If you don't get a high one in the 1st round, you'll do better in the 2nd.
- Focus on solving a problem. Even if the path gets bumpy or takes an unexpected turn, the respect you'll gain from the community is golden.
Can you tell us about the coolest projects you’re working on now?
First off, it's a pity, but the gaming industry tends to be quite secretive about ongoing projects and their production processes to maintain control over the narrative and release schedules. Most of the projects we're involved with are pre-release, so there's not much I can share.
BUT, what I can share is that we're collaborating with the National Lottery in France, one of the largest and oldest lotteries in the world. They're going full steam on web3 integration to run their operations, and they picked us as their tech partner.
Though I don't have many details or any footage to share just yet, aside from the official announcement, I'm quite confident that this will be huge once launched.
As a seasoned builder in the web3 space, what are your predictions for the future of this industry? What trends are you noticing, and where do you see us heading from here?
In the web3 space, I see the high gas consumption on the mainnet sticking around due to the operation of various applications. Initially, interoperability with existing on-chain elements was a challenge, but now, with more block space, mature technology, and solutions like abstraction, this issue is being addressed. I think these trends will hold strong over the next 12 to 18 months.
The mainnet will, for sure, remain expensive, triggering the rise of more Layer 2 (L2) solutions. There's also a noticeable swing towards Ethereum, even among protocols that didn't start on the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).
I believe the next wave of adoption will be people-driven, with numerous scaling solutions popping up, competing, and collaborating on Ethereum to cater to the growing demand— and with that, I expect to see the account abstraction field booming, making it easier for apps in gaming, loyalty programs, and traceability applications.
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