Falling Down the DeFi Rabbit Hole

in LeoFinancelast year

As @khaleelkazi moves the bigger and bigger ship LEO into deeper and deeper (literally) DeFi waters, I thought it might be interesting to look back at my own little story to see just how I ended up doing DeFi stuff. I now work for three different DeFi projects - Wanchain, FinNexus and MANTRA DAO. That's kinda crazy if you think about it, because it literally seems like yesterday when I was walking around my neighborhood with my family in stunned shock, wearing a mask and wondering, "How the hell did BTC fall from $9000 to almost $3000 in the space of a day?"

Back in March, I was lucky enough to have sold the family bitcoin at 7500 USDT, which then allowed us to scale back in on the way back up. Luckily, when we did that, we mostly entered the market via DeFi gems like Thorchain. That turned out to be prescient. I don't know if I wanna call that lucky, but you can if you want. "Fortune favors the well prepared" is probably how I'd describe it. In our MANTRA DAO biz dev sessions, we find ourselves saying "We're an overnight success 4 years in the making" a lot. I don't know.

I guess that's just how this stuff happens. You work and you work. You write and you research and you work some more. Then you do some more work. And then, all of a sudden, you kinda "get it" if only for a fleeting moment, and you look up and "Holy shit, the stuff I've been working on all this time actually is worth something!" Hallelujah, my effort was not in vain!

With the LEO token here on LeoFinance poised to enter double digit territory (hopefully for good), I get the sense that our Head Lion over here is going through a similar awakening.

And that's a beautiful thing to see. Once you realize that there are no "No's" and you start to visibly discern a direct correlation between effort and tangible reward (number go up!), the sky's the fucking limit!

So how did I get to this spot? I'll just quickly provide a sketch in the hopes that it may inspire someone, specifically Khaleel but really whoever is out there grinding, to tune out the noise, put your head down, and just go create value for a community. The rest basically takes care of itself.

Community first. Always.

I got started in blockchain due to my PhD research on monetary policy. I live in Shanghai and have long admired the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and how they’ve handled international monetary policy especially since kaifang (the “opening up”) in 1978. After all, the Fed does some pretty wacky shit and it's gotta be tough to always have to react to it without having your enormous country fall into hyperinflationary turmoil (as often happens in non-American economies throughout history). So some time in 2016, I was reading about how the PBOC was looking into digital currency. I thought, “Wait a minute. Isn’t that Bitcoin a scam?” But then I thought well, wait a minute, if the PBOC is spending resources on this topic, I’d better take a look!

That was kind of my “leap down the rabbit hole” moment after which my life became completely shaped by blockchain.

My goal in the blockchain world has always been to make a difference through introducing new people to the powerful change and financial independence offered by understanding Bitcoin and blockchain technology when it comes to the realm of financial services. That’s my role as a professor at universities around Shanghai and I love watching kids’ eyes light up when they finally “get it” and basically fall down the “crypto rabbit hole.”

That’s what I live for. I worked for a project throughout the 2018–19 bear market, where basically I was paid to research DeFi and 3rd-generation blockchains like Wanchain, Polkadot, Cosmos, Algorand, Avalanche, etc. That project unfortunately didn’t make it through Covid, but fortunately I was already working with FNX and helping my friends plan their MANTRA DAO project. So since Covid cleared up in China around May, it’s been all DeFi all the time for me. All day everyday. I’ve learned a lot.

So whatever I can do to help this community make the leap into LeoFi, I will. That's the true spirit of DeFi.

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Looks like you have a lot on your plate :)
I'm just getting started with defi ... especially dexs ... the concept of LP is great one in my view.

Tell me about it!

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I love your story, mate.

Keep grinding and providing value. Everything else will come from that.

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I've seen a part of your journey, and I'm grateful and happy I was one of the students who got hooked by blockchain! Congratulation bro and live long and prosper (and HOLD héhéhé)

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Awesome story. Anyone who's followed your blog here has seen glimpses into your journey as you went down the DeFi rabbit hole months/years back.

I've been getting into it over the past few months and more heavily in recent weeks. It's truly an incredible industry - although painted with some bad light at times just like the ICO craze. There's fundamental value to be seen if you know where to look. Community is everything, which is why I know the launch from LEO to wLEO on ETH will be a huge success. I've been happily working away at LEO for the last 15 or so months and will continue doing so for the next 15 and beyond 🦁

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I've been right there with you, man, time permitting! It's been a great journey so far and I have every confidence you'll do well with this next phase.

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Join the convo on Twitter #posh

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