Web3: 10 personalities to watch in 2023
Despite the market downturn and repeated scandals, the Web3 ecosystem has probably never had so many promising personalities. Here are a few to watch.
👉 Jeremy Allaire (Circle)
Wonderful year for Jeremy Allaire. While the resounding UST crash in the spring cast doubt on stablecoins, his company Circle, which issues the USDC (dollar-indexed) stablecoin, has never done better. The approach of the American, a supporter of regulation, has a lot to do with it (read his interview).
The USDC is registered in the United States and its reserves, based on the dollar (there is also a euro model), are transparent, which has greatly reassured regulators and... users. The USDC is currently the second largest stablecoin on the planet ($44 billion) behind the USDT ($66 billion). In 2023, Jeremy Allaire hopes to be on top of the podium 🏆
👉 Mykhailo Fedorov (Ukrainian Digital Minister)
Nothing predisposed Mykhailo Fedorov to get so involved in crypto. The young Ukrainian Digital Minister (31) was certainly very tech-minded, but it was the Russian invasion in the spring that prompted him to launch a huge fundraising campaign in... cryptos.
In just a few weeks, the politician managed to raise no less than $180 million 💰 on state-controlled digital wallets. It's a success that has taken the world by storm, and one that should give him quite a few ideas for the future reconstruction and development, particularly financial, of his country.
👉 Pascal Gauthier (Ledger)
Few people have been so vindicated by events this year. With a string of bankruptcies and the FTX scandal, Ledger boss equipped with a screen, Ledger is aiming to break new ground and put a wallet in the hands of tens of millions of people.
👉 Mairead McGuinness (European Commission)
Legislating on crypto topics is far from straightforward, and the debates around European MiCA regulation showed that perfectly. But the final text, largely driven by the European Commissioner for Financial Services, Mairead McGuinness, is a fairly good balance.
Most importantly, it allows Europe to be the first major geographical area on the planet where cryptos have a framework, obviously still imperfect, but legal. MiCA, which is due to come into force in 2024, could help attract many projects to Europe, at a time when the United States seems to be dithering more than ever.
👉 Nicolas Julia (Sorare)
Nicolas Julia is not one to brag. But while the crypto markets have fallen sharply, his company, Sorare, is holding up rather well. Even very well. And why is that? Probably because the NFTs game, which first launched in football before opening up to American baseball and basketball (find the interview with Nicolas Julia), has not
Who would have imagined that the decentralised finance would have as much visibility at the end of 2022? Perhaps Stani Kulechov, whom we have interviewed a few months ago. Since the creation of the Aave protocol, the Finn has been explaining that DeFi has the advantage of being totally transparent and auditable, two virtues that we haven't stopped talking about since the cascade of scandals in the sector (Celsius, FTX, etc.).
DeFi hasn't become mainstream, however. Its use is still very complicated and reserved for connoisseurs, but a growing number of players, particularly banks, are interested in it (JP Morgan is actually working on Aave). Will 2023 be the year of adoption? We'll be talking about it very soon in the Premium edition
👉 Jack Mallers (Strike)
For those who are still wondering what Bitcoin is all about, you should (absolutely) follow Jack Mallers. The American is the founder of Strike, a start-up that uses the Bitcoin network and its Lightning Network overlay to carry out international transactions. After working for a time with El Salvador (where bitcoin became legal tender in 2021), it launched its services in three African countries (Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria) to bypass players like Western Union 😏
Strike allows US dollars to be sent at very low cost, via conversion into bitcoins, and then exchanged into local currency. By 2023, Jack Mallers hopes to have Strike's services available in many more countries. In a sign of the trend, he is not the only one betting on Bitcoin as a payment system. Twitter founder Jack Dorsey is also heavily involved in the subject with his company Block and its payment app CashApp.
👉 Ambre Soubiran (Kaiko)
She's a bit like the queen of crypto data. In just a few years, the boss of Kaiko has turned the start-up founded in 2014 into the world leader in data analysis on the blockchain 👩🏽 💻
Kaiko has become essential for hundreds of financial institutions such as banks, funds and even universities (Harvard is a client). In 2022, and in the midst of a "bear market", the company that some already consider to be the "Bloomberg of crypto" has raised $53 million to continue hiring and expanding in 2023.
👉 Marguerite de Tavernost (Cathay Ledger)
Few people know Marguerite de Tavernost, but she runs the Cathay Ledger fund, which is none other than one of the biggest Web3 funds in Europe ⚡ ️
The Frenchwoman took the helm in the spring with the mission of investing in start-ups just about everywhere on the planet. The fund has a comfortable cushion of €100 million, part of which has already been deployed. The recent fall in the markets, which has lowered valuations quite a bit, should offer it, between two trips, quite a few opportunities in 2023.
He's a bit of a terror among crypto scammers. This Twitter user, whose real identity we don't know, scrutinises the slightest illegal activity on the blockchain by tracking wallets and transactions 🔎
ZachXBT (340,000 followers) shares his analyses on the social network by pointing out bad actors and even helps solve police investigations. In fact, French investigators thanked him for his meticulous work after the arrest a few weeks ago of five people who had stolen $2.5 million worth of NFT.