Simplify DeFi – Fantom Community Spotlight

Simplify DeFi – 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 Simplify DeFi!

Read about their YouTube channel that simplifies DeFi for their audience, their method for picking candidates for interviews, and their motivating words for aspiring content creators.

What's your background and how did your crypto journey begin?

I've been working in IT for the past 10 years. When COVID hit, I used my cash savings to bet that the market would go lower. It didn't. Then, I lost more attempting to swing trade with technical analysis. I wasn't successful there either. I got frustrated that trading was restricted to business hours.

Bitcoin was available for trading 24/7 and it was more volatile than stocks. That's what got me into the crypto world.

My IT background has definitely helped me research projects and navigate the crypto space better. At my full-time job, I talk to users and developers. The discussions can quickly become overly complex. Regardless of how complex the solution is, the summary should be simple. I carry that mindset over to crypto.

A crypto project should be able to quickly describe the problem they are solving. The implementation may be complex, but the SUMMARY should be simple. Once I have a basic understanding of what the project is seeking to do, that's when I can truly start to assess if it's worth my time to investigate further.

And because your name is Simplify DeFi, we must ask what fascinates you about DeFi!

DeFi is going to revolutionize traditional finance. Even in its current state, it solves many problems. With more talented and brilliant people entering the space every day, DeFi is being developed rapidly. As Wayne Gretzky said, "I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been". The puck is flying toward DeFi.

Some of the concrete DeFi use cases I think will revolutionize TradFi are:

  • 24/7 and 365-day trading of stocks and the ability to borrow against them.
  • Storing real-world assets on the blockchain and the ability to transact without a third party, such as purchasing or selling real estate without waiting for bank approval.
  • DAOs providing unique opportunities, such as owning a sports team. People could vote on key decisions, such as which player to draft or sign.

Your name used to be Professor Crypto Banana though, right?

Yes! I chose the name "Professor Crypto Banana" to make myself more appealing to new people in the space. I also thought it was funny and different. My reasoning was: "Professor" because I enjoy teaching, "Crypto" so people knew what I was talking about, and "Banana" because it's silly and people might associate me with a common household item.

It backfired when requesting people to appear as guests on my YouTube channel. People don't take me seriously with a name like that, especially if they are unfamiliar with my channel.

Recently I rebranded to the name Simplify DeFi. It is simple, gets the point across, and can be taken more seriously. It also conveys more clearly what my YouTube channel is about.

What can we expect from watching your Simplify DeFi YouTube channel?

On my YouTube channel, I:

1) Break down specific projects and simplify difficult topics. In the beginning, I used to draw diagrams and videos explaining it further. I'll be getting back to those.

2) Interview smart people in crypto and finance. Talking and listening to people you admire leaves a greater impression than simply reading their documentation or threads.

It's okay to feel lost and behind on crypto. Not all of us have been in crypto for years and most of us don't have 40 hours a week to learn and research crypto.

That's why I do crypto project breakdowns and interviews. I'm not afraid to admit that I don't know something, but my questions are ones that everyone can benefit from.

I would absolutely love to be the Tom Bilyeau of crypto. Nothing beats having one-on-one conversations with the people you most admire.

And for your interviews, how do you determine who is a good candidate?

When I come across an interesting person or crypto project, I have questions. I just genuinely want to know more. If I DM them my questions, I benefit. If I record an interview, everyone can benefit.

Sometimes, I come across guests on other creators' channels and despite watching the whole interview, I still have a lot of unanswered questions. That's when I'll reach out to them if they would be willing to come onto my channel for an interview. I make sure to give credit and links to the original interviews and not repeat the same questions.

So have you ever had a guest on your channel that you disagreed with?

Yes, that has happened. My main objective is to acquire knowledge from my guests, even if I don't agree with everything they say. I often play Devil's advocate and ask questions opposite of my guest's opinions to better understand their reasoning.

If a guest can answer challenging questions, I feel their position carries more validity. The interview feels more genuine and valuable for the viewers as well. I always ask guests ahead of time if they are comfortable with me asking difficult questions.

Have you encountered any obstacles while creating content?

My biggest obstacle is the amount of time it takes. The amount of time to research a project, draw diagrams, and structure the video is quite demanding. Not to mention the time it takes to edit and upload it.

To produce an hour interview, there are countless hours spent researching the topic and the guests themselves. That’s all before they even come on the show.

Then, there are many hours put into editing the video so it is more enjoyable for the viewer. In the past, I was unaware of how much pressure and stress I was placing on myself to constantly pump out content. It's one thing if it were my full-time job, but currently, it's a side hustle that I'm having fun with.

It's one thing if it were my full-time job, but currently, it's a side hustle that I'm having fun with. I get to network and learn at the same time. I'd rather publish a high-quality, weekly video, rather than sloppy daily ones.

I have considered hiring a video editor, but that may be a costly endeavor.

From what you’ve learned, any tips or motivating words for aspiring creators?

The simple answer is to do it. Doesn't matter if you have to record a cell phone or a bad laptop. Record something, post it, and assume no one will watch it. After 20 videos, you'll make major progress. You'll have a system, notice ways to improve, more people will start watching, you'll network, etc.

If you've always wanted to do it, you might as well remove the "what if" and actually see what happens. It could transform your life in ways you never thought possible. Otherwise, you know for certain it wasn't your true calling and you're one step closer to finding your true passion.

And in regards to Fantom, what’s your experience with the platform?

The speed, cheap gas fees, and user experience are amazing. It's still my favorite chain to use. I researched Fantom a few years ago when the price was going insane. On YouTube, I came across Austin's Fantom Community Alerts (now Blockbytes) and his videos guided me through LPing.

Once I started doing some transactions, it was the best chain I encountered. No insane ETH gas fees, super quick transactions, etc. Plenty of others feel the same way as I do, so that helps build a strong community. Some projects went cross-chain, but many still call Fantom their home for good reason.

Some of my favorite protocols on Fantom are:

  • PaintSwap
    Their NFT Marketplace is ridiculous. So many incredible features that other marketplaces simply don't have.
  • Reaper Farm
    They are an auto-compounder. I like seeing my daily, weekly, and yearly yield. I also like seeing how much value my LPs have. They are doing some cool stuff with depositing NFTs and getting yield. Finally, it's extremely convenient to have them auto-compound instead of me having to whip out my Ledger every day.
  • Liquid Driver
    This was one of the first projects I got into, so I'm extremely biased. It helped me realize what passive income feels like. By owning xLQDR, it provides exposure to so many other projects’ tokens: BOO, SPIRIT, BEETS, and soon veTHE. They seem to be always looking to adapt.

Who would you recommend to follow on Twitter?

Oh man, this is going to be impossible for me to answer. There are so many amazing people out there and I'm going to feel guilty for missing anyone. Nevertheless, I encourage following these people on Twitter if you aren't already:

  • Nick Drakon
    Brings so much knowledge from business and traditional markets. His wisdom is invaluable. Also, what he’s building over at Revelo Intel is astounding.
  • Juan Angel
    Full believer in the space, always looking for creative ways to build crypto and communities.
  • DeFi Edge
    The person I truly strive to be. His well-deserved success is one thing, but his mindset is the ultimate alpha.
  • Stephen TCG
    Extremely knowledgeable in the DeFi space. Nice, humble, and giving.
  • Austin [BlockBytes]
    Insanely charismatic and a networker. His videos got me into DeFi and also the Fantom community.
  • Rektdiomedes
    Consistently grinding and inspiring me to do more. Intelligent person in all areas. Definitely check out his incredible "Daily Degen" Substack as well.
  • Jake Pahor
    Great threadooor. Saw him from the beginning and it's amazing that he is finding his niche. He inspires me.
  • Crypto Linn
    Amazing daily Substack. Great selection of topics that I want to read.
  • Bebis
    Charismatic CEO. Innovative yet extremely focused on reducing risk. Makes me want to learn more about DeFi.
  • DoubleSharp
    Gifted developer. Shows you how a developer's mind thinks versus a retail user's.
  • ELI5
    A SUPER FAN of their visual explanations. I'm a visual learner and their content is top-tier.
  • Blocmates
    An example of what EVERY content creator should do. No clickbait/gimmicks, just grinding and building a loyal audience.
  • Andre Cronje
    Visionary/Builder. Always great to peek into his mind. Also seems like he found his balance, which makes me happy and reminds me to do the same.

Finally, what is one key concept you would like to leave the reader with?

Be deliberate with your time. Do anything consistently and you will improve in that area. Deliberately practice that skill, and you'll excel exponentially faster.

If you want to become educated in crypto, don't scroll mindlessly for hours. That's inefficient. Instead, set aside specific times to research and learn about specific projects or concepts. Be intentional with your time and you'll see progress. (This is also a reminder to myself.)

Thank you to Simplify DeFi for featuring in our Community Spotlight! Make sure to drop @SimplifyDeFi a follow on Twitter.