Naly – Fantom Community Spotlight

Naly – Fantom Community Spotlight

Welcome back to the Fantom Community Spotlight, where we shine a light on the amazing individuals who make up our vibrant community. This time we’re featuring Naly!

Read about their first encounter with crypto, their journey from a potential astronaut to a believer in DeFi as a democratized financial system, and their focus on educating and raising awareness about the potential of crypto.

What’s your background?

Firstly, It’s an absolute pleasure and honor to be here. The Fantom ecosystem is the sole reason I am where I am today. I still find it mind-boggling how quickly circumstances can change if you just take a leap.

I'm Naly; in the Web3 world, I am an astronaut roaming the realm of DeFi; in the real world, I’m an aerospace engineering dropout travelling around the world on my laptop. I suppose you could say there are a few parallels!

In 2021, I started an aerospace engineering degree with the dream of becoming an astronaut, because, quite frankly, who doesn’t want to go to space?

The thought of pioneering our very species into a vast, unexplored realm gives me goosebumps. A journey of discovery. The ultimate adventure. But, as we all know, life isn't all sunshine and rainbows.

Circumstances change at the flick of a switch, and unfortunately, the pipe dream of space discovery turned out to be outside the realm of possibilities. So, I focused my attention on the engineering side; if I couldn't fly spaceships, at least I could build them. But space wasn't the only unexplored frontier that had gained my attention... A new domain was beckoning me over: the alluring realm of crypto.

What pulled you into the world of crypto?

The Silk Road was the first time I heard about Bitcoin, and not because I was using it — I was 11 — but because of the hype the news and media circus brought. A multibillion-dollar underground website was the first time the idea of a currency powered by people entered my brainwaves for the first time. (No wonder there is so much stigma.) Years passed without ever digging deeper.

Once I started earning money from a part-time café job, I began peaking further behind the curtain. 2017 was my first introductory year into crypto; it was the year I started investing (albeit only pocket money.) With pocket change and lofty ambitions, my naivety would lead me to believe that the cheaper version of bitcoin, litecoin, was set to lead me to financial riches. Why buy fractions of a bitcoin when you can hold multiple litecoin? This game was easy; I was onto something.

I didn't get rich, but I caught the bug. Documentaries, films, books, podcasts, I slurped them up. A cyberphunk movement granting the possibility of sovereign individuals? A revolutionary and programmable solution to finance not controlled by banks or governments? Hell yeah. I’m in. Who's with me?! Although powerful and inspiring, it was always a side hobby, a curiosity, revolutionary, yes, but life-changing? I wasn’t so sure. It wasn’t until my brother sent me a message that things started to change.

“Hey man, have you looked into this DeFi thing?”.

So what fascinated you about DeFi?

I am fascinated by Bitcoin.

We have an engineering solution to the shortfalls of our current monetary system. Everywhere you look, there are signs of the monetary system cracking. It's not sustainable. I personally believe Bitcoin is one of the most important and groundbreaking stores of wealth.

But… and this is a big but, I always thought there had to be more to this movement! A store of wealth is pivotal, but what about every other financial interaction? Agreements and contracts dictate the financial world; intermediaries run the system. Intermediaries that, more often than not, act purely out of self-interest. The future of money is about more than storing wealth; it’s about having the ability to attain it, interact with it, and learn about it.

Humans are emotional and judgmental. Code is not. Where there are human intermediaries, there has to be trust, and being a species that is inherently famous for its greed and judgement, more often than not, we aren't the most trustworthy. Go figure. DeFi removes humans from running the system.

Did you know that over 1.7 billion people don't have access to a bank? Billions of people live in countries where oppression, judgment, and political turmoil leave their currencies and lives in ruin, and they have no other option.

A democratized financial system, DeFi is untethered by borders, humans, or central powers.

It is a system that unlocks the true power of finance. Financial freedom for all. No matter a person's country, race, political, or financial status, DeFi offers a fast, fluent, and fair system. Without judgment.

Yes, the system is built by humans, but the code is open source and viewable for everyone to see. We as a collective see what we are agreeing to. We as humans no longer need to trust one person's judgment; we decide as a collective.

Powerful and inspiring, we’ve still got a long way to go. Pumps, dumps, and shitcoins. It’s certainly not perfect. But that’s what makes it so damn exciting. DeFi is a new opportunity, a digital exploration. An opportunity to explore the precipice of our current financial walls. Something fairer, more welcoming, more inclusive. And as I said, pioneering our very species' exploration into a vast, unexplored realm is a thought that gives me goosebumps.

You said Fantom is the reason you’re here, and the platform is no stranger to DeFi. What’s your experience with it?

Honestly, Fantom is home. Everything began with Fantom. Upon initially jumping down the DeFi rabbit hole, Fantom was the chain I explored. Why? It's super fast, super cheap, and super sexy. Single block, sub-second finality sexy. It is fast. Ridiculously fast. Smooth, scalable, and seamless. Whipping out all the S's here! (Editor note: Naly said these compliments voluntarily and not because we offered them any compensation for doing so!)

Put very simply: Fantom is built for DeFi. Why would you pay $20 for a transaction when you can pay a fraction of a cent?

Secondly, and perhaps even more importantly, the community is like no other. At the time, Blockbytes was under the hood of Fantom Unchained, and this show single-handedly educated me about DeFi more than anything else. These gents had a monumental impact on my life, and I’m certain I’m not the only one who would say that. If you’re reading this (Austin, Clay, Nick, 24, Bebis, DoubleSharp), honestly, thanks a bunch!

I vividly remember driving back up to university in January 2022, listening to the most recent Unchained episode and cracking up. I can’t remember exactly what it was about, but it probably involved Bebis and a sword. At that very moment, I thought, “damn, this is a space I want to be involved in.” Playing a part to pioneer a new financial system that changes people's lives for the better, and having a bloody good time while doing it. That was the dream. So, I took a leap, and everyone welcomed me with open arms.

Fantom Unchained Episode 18

Education was a must, and I wanted to learn as much as possible. Everyone in the Fantom community was willing to help. I think that’s the most magical part of this space; people truly want to help. Everyone wholeheartedly believes in the movement and is eager to share that passion with new users.

I started writing threads and articles explaining the tech on Fantom. Protocols, phrases, you name it. I soon found that the best way for me to learn was to write about it. I got hooked, and it seemed people liked what I was writing. Slowly but surely, I was beginning to make a name for myself in the Fantom ecosystem. I even remember Juan commenting on a post saying "this guy is going to be the next Fantom superstar." I was inspired. Something so small can have a huge effect on someone's life, and that comment did. Thanks, Juan!

Fast forward one year, and I’m working with the team that I wrote my first Fantom thread about. This space is full of opportunities! If you are reading this and questioning how you could possibly begin a career in this space, don’t question. Just do. Put in the work and reap the rewards. That is a bit of an overarching statement because it's not just about hard work, it's also about others. This whole journey wouldn’t have been possible without all of the legends in the Fantom community offering support along the way.

The tech, the community. This beautiful chain is what taught, shaped, and evolved me. I am beyond grateful and incredibly excited to see the future play out for Fantom. Everyone at the Fantom Foundation has spurred a newfound buzz into the chain, and it’s been amazing to see.

I’m guessing the team you’re referring to is Beethoven X. What's the project and your role there?

Beethoven X is a brand that embodies imagination, community, and creativity. The protocol is a decentralized exchange that runs on some of the most powerful technology in the industry. We’re a DEX essentially, but by harnessing Balancer technology, we implement a host of AMMs designs. On Beethoven X, users aren’t confined to the standard 50/50 liquidity pool as they unlock the ability to utilize weighted, boosted, LBPs, metastables, and more. All on one platform. Balancer technology is essentially a flexible base layer for DeFi. Future-orientated and visionary.

It is an honor to work with this team; they aren't your usual DeFi start-up crew, and that was evident before joining. They all have highly respected previous careers in a wide variety of sectors. From app development, finance, marketing, and social science, the knowledge and wisdom they share are inspiring. The team's level of expertise doesn't go unnoticed and was what led to the protocol moving from just friendly fork status to actually becoming a Balancer partner. I hold none of the accolades or experience, but I do share one important trait: I believe that Balancer technology is the most overlooked in the industry.

A multi-AMM resilient base for DeFi is extremely well-positioned going forward. AMMs, metastables, LBPs?! To any new user, the terms and technicals sound super confusing, and that’s why we focus on educating the user every step of the way. Check out our Medium or Notion to learn more about Beethoven X!

Education is key, and creativity is king. Traditional finance is inherently monotonous and boring — bland, colourless, and mundane. We take a different approach and offer users a fun and ridiculously seamless route to DeFi. This is where I slot in.

I mainly work on marketing, explaining how the technology works, writing articles, and documentation, and fostering community engagement. I also help with the business development side. Not only is it important to foster connections between business and user, but it’s also super important to foster connections from business to business. We’re all here building together, and working out how brands can grow alongside one another is pivotal. Connections and synergies are a must if we want to exceed.

So at Beethoven X, what are you working on at the moment?

Quite a few things. Something that has taken up a fair bit of my time has been rewriting the Beethoven X documentation. Most protocols’ documentation is either extremely confusing, far too technical, or bland and dry. There’s never a middle ground. With the new docs, we hope to change that. A lot of effort has gone into curating documentation that is understandable, easy to share, and enjoyable to read.

Besides documentation, we are in the final stages of releasing the fBEETS X Reliquary integration. Built by the renowned Byte Masons, the Reliquary is an innovative new yield primitive that rewards users as a function of the time they have participated in the protocol.

It adds a simple yet innovative twist to the currently flawed liquidity mining system that dominates the industry.

As with any new system, education is a must, so I've been focused on writing up articles and technical overviews of this new technology.

One of the most important elements of any brand is community development.

Brands are but empty shells without a thriving and interactive community. Users are so much more than customers; they are also writers, editors, developers, and content creators. The user base we appeal to experiences the same challenges and problems we do. With any business, it’s not just about personal growth, it’s collective growth. A rising tide raises all ships, and we're currently building some initiatives to develop this bond in fun and creative ways.

Other than educating others, what are your goals for your future in crypto?

My main goal is to help Beethoven X become a DeFi superpower. I strongly believe Balancer technology intertwined with creativity and education is a recipe for success. We have a lot of ideas in the works, and we're all super excited to see how it all plays out. Invent. Innovate. Improve. It’s a beautiful place to be.

What’s so cool about this space is that there is no rule book. Sure, you can read marketing books, watch business 101 videos, and learn to code, but you have to do something unique to truly stand out. That’s a cool place to be. Knowledge is a commodity, and everyone here today has the tools to access it. If you put in the work you can quickly pull ahead from the crowd. We’re all exploring what works. We’re all pioneers in a new realm.

Another personal goal is to up my data analytics skills. Data is the new oil, and users who harness the powers to read, manipulate, and learn from data have a superpower. I have been studying SQL, but I intend to become more proficient in other languages this year. In a longer time frame, I would like to create a business of my own. I have already met some of the most intelligent and wise people in this industry; I hope to continue soaking up the knowledge before embarking on another adventurous journey one day.

Finally, who would you recommend to follow on Twitter?

I could give you a whole list, but one cool thing has been watching the people I initially interacted with begin to make a name for themselves. There are countless more, but here are a few you should definitely be following.

Thank you to Naly for featuring in our Community Spotlight! Make sure to drop @defi_naly a follow on Twitter.