How did you first get into crypto?
I currently work in the healthcare sector, and that’s what I was studying when I first got into crypto around early 2017. On the surface, the connection between healthcare and crypto might seem like a tenuous link, but it’s one that has enabled me to contribute value to the space: I often break down complicated subjects into simple terms for patients, and that’s a skillset that is more necessary than ever before in the cryptocurrency space as well.
My first interaction with crypto was when I used Bitcoin to make a purchase for what was worth ~$300 (0.4 BTC) at the time. I thought it was ridiculous—after all, why couldn’t I get a full bitcoin for $300? In retrospect, I was pretty naive.
I went on to sit on the sidelines and witness Bitcoin reach crazy all-time-highs over the next year; the whole time, I was trying to understand the value of this deflationary asset. Following the “COVID market crash” in 2020, I began swing trading tech growth stocks, and I knew the tech sector was rife with opportunity; however, I was a retail “trader” losing money, as a lot of retail tends to do. When I asked myself if trading was right for me, the answer was a clear “no.”
I realized I needed to focus and educate myself as a fundamental investor, not as a trader. I began asking myself questions like, "where are the biggest breakthroughs in technology?"
For me, the answer to this question was cryptocurrency, which I view as a revolutionary force in how we transact with each other and attribute value to the world around us; the traditional financial system is clearly outdated and needs transformational change.
When did you get involved in the Fantom Ecosystem?
I first got involved in May/June of 2021. It may sound like a cliche, but when a user interacts with the Fantom blockchain they will often stick around for the long haul. The user experience is phenomenal: it’s fast, simple, affordable, and the community is always willing to help educate newcomers.
There’s a lot of “communities” in crypto twitter that exist just to shill tokens and use retail as exit liquidity, but here in Fantom I see a community that wants to learn and increase their knowledge across a range of topics. That is certainly what has most attracted me to Fantom.
As I dove into the ecosystem and started learning from the community, I was able to start dipping my toes into different projects that were deployed or were in the process of launching, one of which was LiquidDriver. I thank Austin from FTMAlerts for introducing me to the protocol.
When did you become a LiquidDriver pirate?
After I found out about LD, I began researching further. I quickly realized that an investment in LiquidDriver is a proxy investment into the entire Fantom ecosystem. The team’s openness and transparency are traits that are rarely found elsewhere.
The “pirate” has a sort of meme quality to it, which I’ve come to appreciate; however, being a “pirate” has now evolved into what I see as a collective identity, and it’s developed an incredible community in its own right.
What makes the pirate community special?
The core pillars that Dr Liquid has cemented into the LD community are what make it so unique. These pillars of openness and transparency have always resonated with me, and I decided to embrace this mentality and take it to Twitter through the content I produce.
There is always something new to learn in DeFi, and I’ve always needed to break down the information so that I can understand what exactly I’m investing my money into. This sort of analytical thinking is priceless, and it’s something everyone involved in cryptocurrency seeks out.
To me, being a pirate involves doing exactly this: being able to break down complex topics in DeFi into simple, digestible, and educational bits of content. This is crucial if we want people to understand the technologies we’re so excited about, and we all want global crypto adoption.
I want to continue to expand the pirate community and mindset as rapidly as I can through this platform—not only is it important for LiquidDriver and Fantom, but it’s also important for the progress of cryptocurrency as a whole. We don’t want people making ill-informed investment decisions and losing interest in participating in DeFi again in the future.
What’s your approach toward building a social media following?
You need to put yourself out there. I had no prior experience building a social media following, and I’m learning as I go. If you can provide value, then you will build a community. I think people choose to follow me because I distill complex topics into digestible chunks of information.
Good communication skills are critical to accomplishing this. By taking subjects that I find complicated and finding a way to explain them to myself, I’m then able to transfer this knowledge into accessible content for others.
I feel a large responsibility toward ensuring the content I provide is valuable to others.
What do you envision as the future of governance within DeFi protocols?
I’ll use LiquidDriver as the example for the future of governance within DeFi protocols: LiquidDriver’s value proposition is being able to exert control over the emissions of the top projects within the Fantom ecosystem. This is done through its unique implementation of wrapped governance tokens.
My prediction is we’ll see LD most likely win the race across the board for control over governance tokens, and this in turn incentivizes other protocols to hold LQDR as a proxy for influencing governance across the top projects on Fantom.
What criteria do you take into consideration when trying to get a feel for a team?
I don’t think you should trust a project based on whether they’re doxxed or anonymous. Remember that Gerald Cotten was a public face and was running a “central exchange” as a Ponzi scheme, which impacted many investors.
Trust is earned through openness, transparency, and by delivering on promises.
Trust must be earned, and you don’t earn it just by being doxed or anonymous alone. Our psyche tells us to trust authority figures, but you must step back and reevaluate the above.
How can we work together to foster continued growth on Fantom?
We should all be working together to generate quality content to educate the general population. When you come across a complex topic, ask yourself how you might explain it to someone who doesn’t even know what cryptocurrency is.
As far as protocols go, any project that is open and willing to engage with the community will start off with a strong foundation from day one. Building a community is difficult, but even more so if you do not possess the necessary communication skills.
What other Fantom projects are on your radar right now?
There’s a lot of development happening across all the “bluechip” tokens, and I’m excited to see what happens when all of the works-in-progress get deployed. The friendly competition and development in the Fantom ecosystem is incredible.
Take five minutes on Twitter or Discord to dig up the alpha from projects such as @beethoven_x, @spookyswap, @spiritswap, @revestfinance, @growthdefi, @screamdotsh, @tarotfinance, @deusdao, @robo_vault, @bytemasons, @LiquidDriver and others.
We are absolutely spoiled on Fantom to have these projects building and delivering at such an impressive pace and scale.
What have you been working on?
I would be remiss not to mention “Pixel Pirates.” This is an idea for a project that I've gradually been able to execute thanks to the support and help from the @hedgeyfinance protocol.
I’ve always wanted to leave my thumbprint on the ecosystem by building on the community that I hold dearest: the pirates. Non-fungible tokens and community go hand in hand, in my opinion. You get to both own and represent that community through the NFT that you—and only you—own.
I didn’t want to stop there, though. I know NFTs are worth the value people ascribe to them, but imagine if you could have a floor value that forever rises over time due to intrinsic factors. By incorporating the cLQDR token directly into this project, that's exactly what I aimed to achieve.
Each minted NFT will be backed by 1 cLQDR token, meaning it will have a token inside it that auto-compounds xLQDR rewards, raising its value over time. You now have art, community, and utility all rolled into the Pixel Pirate NFT. As Hedgey puts it, “visual culture for digital community”.
Who are some other people that are providing value to the Fantom community?
There are so many individuals in the community that are producing valuable content across the board: @ChadMchief, @NickDrakon, @Prof_Crypto_B, @Crypto_Klay, @MilesDeutscher, @westonnelson @deficryptofarm, @oscarroriz, @rootdubs—and we all know how much work @johnnyfantom puts in for this community.
Honestly, there are so many people producing valuable content in this space that I feel bad knowing I can’t include each and every one of them here.
Anything else you’d like to share with the FTM community?
This space is constantly evolving and changing, which can make it sometimes challenging to know what is going on and how it might impact your investment decisions.
I’ll continue to simplify what’s going on by delivering content that even your grandparents can understand. You can continue to count on me to provide you with the education and knowledge you need to stay well informed.
Now that you understand the value in becoming a “pirate,” why don’t you join the pirate ship and have a community you can count on as you continue your journey across the universe of cryptocurrency?