Ryan Wyatt, YouTube’s head of gaming who oversaw some of the company’s major deals to bring Twitch streamers to YouTube, is leaving to lead the crypto company Polygon Technology’s Polygon Studios division.
Polygon is a framework and protocol for Ethereum-compatible blockchain building and connecting networks. To put it another way, it can assist people in developing decentralized apps that aren’t as reliant on the fees, hurdles, or performance of a single blockchain. Polygon is described as the “broadband” to Ethereum’s internet, with faster transaction speeds and “10000x cheaper” fees in one description.
In a Twitter DM to The Verge and in an announcement shared on Twitter, Wyatt said he’ll be focusing on leading Polygon’s non-tech efforts.
Polygon Studios appears to be in its early stages, with only a brief description, a list of partners (including Atari), and an email signup form on its website, so Wyatt appears to be in charge of fleshing it out. Because of the growing popularity of NFTs, blockchain-based media and content has gotten a lot of attention, and Polygon is likely hoping that with Wyatt’s hiring, more people will use its platform.
In 2014, Wyatt became a YouTuber. Many of Twitch’s biggest stars, including CouRage, Valkyrae, DrLupo, TimTheTatMan, and Ludwig Ahgren, have opted to stream exclusively on YouTube during his tenure. Given the numerous tweets he’s received from streamers in response to his announcement, it appears Wyatt may have played a key role in many of those moves. According to The Verge, Wyatt will be at YouTube until the end of February.
Wyatt announced his departure on the same day that YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki hinted at the company’s interest in crypto and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
In a letter outlining YouTube’s priorities for 2022, Wojcicki said. This could indicate that YouTube and Polygon Studios will compete in the future. Google’s payments division is also considering a bigger crypto push.
Wyatt is the most recent well-known tech figure to abandon established names in big tech in favor of crypto startups. While this is most likely due to increased interest in blockchain technologies, there is also the possibility of huge financial gains. Jamie Byrne, YouTube’s senior director of creator partnerships, is joining Bright Moments, so Wyatt isn’t the only YouTuber leaving for crypto. According to Tubefilter, Heather Rivera, a YouTube VP and global head of product partnerships, is also leaving the company.
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