Today I met with Paul Timofeev, a crypto-native writing about the emerging world of web3. I wanted to get a better understanding of what working in web3 is like, and what drives people working in the space. Here’s the recap:
Q: Tell me about yourself and your crypto journey (so far)
I’m Paul and working on my Masters’s Degree in Data Analytics while living in NYC. I write about blockchain and emerging decentralized applications. I’ve been in crypto for over 3 years, dating back to the summer of 2020, otherwise known as DeFi Summer. Previously I was a community manager for Hubble Protocol, and I’ve been doing research and writing in the field for 2 years. Although web3 is rapidly expanding its branches, I’m particularly interested in covering defi and infrastructure protocols.
Back in high school, I was intrigued by the idea of a currency that can be transacted without centralized intermediaries, but that was the furthest extent of my knowledge about crypto. I wanted to learn more so I joined BlockchainDriven as a community lead, where I spent a lot of time doing research and writing articles about blockchain as a disruptive technology. I enjoy researching complex topics in-depth and synthesizing them into digestible content for others to understand, so web3 seemed like a natural place for me to be.
Ever since I jumped down the crypto rabbit hole, I haven’t looked back. I’m currently pursuing an MS in Business Analytics at Baruch College, where I’m building a background in data science which I plan to apply towards working in web3, the long term goal.
Q: What interests you about blockchain, and why do you want to work in web3?
I believe blockchain technology can improve a lot of existing infrastructure in today’s world, in finance and far beyond. Without going into too much detail, I believe there is a dire need for greater transparency and decentralization, and blockchain is the innovation that can help instill these values, as it is ultimately a permanent open-source record book, storing every transaction “on-chain” for anyone to see. Furthermore, thanks to Ethereum, there are many opportunities to build innovative applications on top of blockchain technology, and while we have seen some impressive projects so far, I believe we’ve only reached the tip of the iceberg of what can be done.
I believe web3 will be most effective when blockchain technology is framed as a way to improve existing infrastructure. As the saying goes.. “Blockchain fixes this”
Q: What is working in web3 like?
Working in web3 feels a lot more opportunistic than working in other industries. Because it is still fairly new, there is a lot more freedom and opportunity to make a bigger impact in the ecosystem. And let’s be honest – being a part of something new and revolutionary is exciting for almost anyone.
Content is key in web3, whether it’s for onboarding newbies or for in-depth analysis about different protocols and concepts. So it feels like there is plenty of demand for the work you do.
Q: What is some advice you would give to someone looking to work in web3?
First of all, I would advise to stay humble – you will likely never be the smartest person in the room when working in web3. And that’s a great thing- there is always something new to learn and improve upon.
I would also advise to become absorbed/obsessed. It is a daunting field to work in if you are in it half-heartedly, or for the wrong reasons like trying to make a quick buck. The most successful people in the space are the ones who are the ones who love what they do and are driven by that.
And lastly, embrace being an active member of different communities in web3. Meeting like-minded people can be an invaluable learning and networking experience, and there are plenty of opportunities to contribute in different ways for protocols and the ecosystem as a whole. Web3 is inherently community driven, and it can be one of the most useful tools for your career development if leveraged well.