In a recent interview at the Supermoon camp in Austin, Texas, during the Consensus event, Alex Barry, a passionate computer scientist and cryptocurrency enthusiast, shared his transformational journey that led him into the world of Web3 and the Near Protocol.
Alex's entry into cryptocurrency happened during his college years. In one of his classes, he was introduced to the Bitcoin white paper, which provided a deep-dive into blockchain and its cryptographic foundation. The relevance and potential of Bitcoin intrigued him, leading him to buy his first Bitcoin at a price less than $500. He further expanded his investments into Ethereum, although it did not resonate with him initially.
Alex's early experiences with Ethereum were mixed. He invested in the DAO, which ended up in a loss for him, and the subsequent hard fork to retrieve the stolen funds disappointed him. This event led to the creation of Ethereum Classic, which he found more appealing. His main criticisms stemmed from Ethereum's centralization and the compromise on its advertised attributes like trust, decentralization, and immutability.
The unique architecture of the Near Protocol drew Alex towards it. He praised its decoupling of transaction ordering from state transition, a feature he believes is key to scalability in blockchain technology. This feature reduces the network's vulnerabilities to sandwich attack opportunities and makes it more scalable.
Alex is currently developing EVM.Finance, a mega aggregator that allows tracking of balances and transactions across multiple EVM chains. It also enables swapping and interactions with various DeFi protocols from a single interface. The project is currently in the pipeline to be compatible with Near Protocol's EVM shard.
The journey into cryptocurrency has been filled with various learning experiences for Alex. His craziest crypto story involves his investment in the DAO and his opposition to the hard fork. Feeling like the "black sheep" of the ecosystem, he has learned to challenge the popular consensus narrative in the world of blockchain.