Coinbase in the Midst of a Bitcoin STORM: James' Journey into the Crypto World - Near House Supermoon

Supermoon met with James Cheng from Circle who joined NEAR House Austin along with other Near builders.

Introduction to James and His Journey into Web3 and Crypto

James works at Circle, a financial services company focused on creating new kinds of digital money. They are the issuers for USDC (US Dollar Coin), and he works with the consumer payments team. This team builds consumer-facing features, enabling merchants to accept crypto as a form of payment. They are also responsible for developing the Know Your Customer (KYC) protocol to enable consumers to directly engage with Circle.

Prior to Circle, James was part of the Coinbase team, working with wallets and community. Here, he helped build the social features for Coinbase, adding a Twitter-like follow feature to the Coinbase wallet. Users could follow other individuals and see the portfolio dynamics of others.

Being involved in startups and product management before stepping into the crypto space, James was attracted to Web3 due to the passion of the people and the opportunities to build useful things with this transformative technology.

Building with Near Protocol

James' involvement with the Near token came about through a non-profit initiative he started during his college days. This initiative hosted an annual conference, featuring top-tier founders from the DeFi space as speakers. As he began hosting meetups in the city, James was introduced to the Near ecosystem. The community's energy and the solid technology behind Near convinced him that this was a solid platform.

Currently, James is part of an immersive co-building experience with Near at Supermoon House during the Consensus conference. It's a place where builders and founders in the ecosystem live in the same house and engage in stimulating discussions about the future of the crypto space.

The Craziest Crypto Experience

Towards the end of our conversation, James shared his most intense crypto experience. He joined Coinbase at a time when the crypto market was experiencing a downturn, just after the Lunar Crash of 2022. He hoped that after the crash, the market would have been rid of bad players and that the ecosystem would stabilize.

However, soon after joining Coinbase, another crash occurred, triggered by Celsius. Bitcoin prices dropped right before his eyes, from its peak to around 28,000. Then came the unexpected crash - the FTX one.

James recounted a somewhat eerie experience the night before the crash. He was the last one in the vast San Francisco office, working on wrapping up a project. Suddenly, one of the office lights started flickering, creating a haunted ambiance. The next day, the FTX token dropped, leading to a massive layoff at Coinbase.

Looking Ahead

Despite the tumultuous experiences, James remains a dedicated member of the crypto community, contributing his expertise to build a better future in the crypto space. Join us as we continue to explore the journeys of influential individuals in the world of blockchain and beyond. Stay tuned to Near House by Supermoon for more fascinating discussions.