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The Legend of LayerZero

The Story of Our Partnership

By Shaun Maguire and Michelle Bailhe

Published March 30, 2022

Art by Brandon Gully

We had been following Bryan Pellegrino, or Primo, for a while on Crypto Twitter. There were a few hints that he was building something interesting.

Then he mentioned assembling purportedly the greatest team in crypto.

This piqued our interest, so we reached out to him on Twitter. 

Bryan responded in his typical lightning-fast fashion and we met later that week. 

We had been watching the developer momentum on multiple chains for months. In July, Shaun formed an internal thesis on “A Multichain Future.” But we hadn’t yet found a compelling solution to enable it.

That is until we met Bryan. He and his team were solving an important problem in crypto—its fragmentation across chains—in an elegant way.

For context the current state of crypto can be analogized to DoorDash or Uber only working among other iOS or Android users. Imagine if you could only request rides from drivers who had the same phone as you, even if there was a driver with a different phone one minute away. Or as an additional analogy, imagine if Gmail users could only email Gmail users, Yahoo could only email Yahoo, etc., in a world before SMTP. Crypto’s current fragmentation across Layer 1 blockchains creates barriers for users and protocols. Networks are most efficient with unified users, data and liquidity. 

While interoperability was and is an important problem, existing approaches were mostly bridges that asked awkward compromises of users, like using wrapped assets or going through multiple steps to complete a transaction. 

LayerZero had a unique and user-first approach to unify data at the application level. If LayerZero worked, it could improve crypto. But, it would also be hard.

We had a follow-up meeting to learn more about the team they had recruited, and dug deeper into their approach. Alfred Lin and Mike Vernal joined us and dug into their white papers.

Shaun flew to Vancouver to spend time with them in person. Our diligence increased our conviction that LayerZero had immense potential.

Once the round closed, we went to work. Our chat is a constant 24/7 loop, from partnerships to memes to hiring. Here’s a photo from Stargate launch week. The walls are lined with posters of core values: “Better is Better” and “Helps Everybody, Hurts Nobody.”

LayerZero during launch week.

LayerZero, we are grateful to be your partners and see more of what you have in store.

If you want to work at LayerZero, which you should, please reach out to jobs@layerzerolabs.org.

If you want to build on LayerZero, please see the docs here: layerzero.gitbook.io/docs.

“Bryan and his team were solving an important problem in crypto—its fragmentation across chains—in an elegant way.”

SHAUN MAGUIRE