0x Community Spotlight: Nikita, Community Ambassador
If you’re active on our Discord, there’s a good chance that you’ve chatted with or received help from Community Ambassador Nikita. While she prefers to keep her real identity private, her valuable contributions to the 0x community over the years are clearly visible. The most active member of our community by far, Nikita is extremely knowledgeable and always willing to help a community member in need. Beyond regularly assisting others, Nikita has authored various project updates and organized events to benefit the community. Nikita has also been a tremendous champion for 0x governance, helping to establish the framework of the new community DAO and creating the first community proposal for using its treasury to fund a pilot grant program.
Words cannot express how fortunate we feel to have Nikita as a prominent and impactful leader within our community. We sincerely thank her for all that she does and hope you enjoy the interview!
Please share a little bit about yourself and your background.
As a security-conscious anon I’m cautious about sharing too many details of my personal and professional life, but will say that I currently live in the US and have been involved in blockchain and crypto in various capacities for about 5 years. Professionally I’ve had the good fortune to gain experience in a variety of roles and organizations, including both public service and private enterprise. Generally, I would say the majority of my professional work revolves around technology.
What is your blockchain awakening story?
I had an awareness of Bitcoin (which, sadly, I summarily dismissed for years), but my first real foray into blockchain where the light bulb went off was work-related. It came up in the context of a potential technology solution for a customer problem we were trying to solve, and shortly after that I started looking into it more deeply while doing due diligence for strategic innovation business opportunities and venture investments.
I quickly began to realize that blockchain had the potential to disrupt the status quo of modern society in ways that were so dramatic and paradigm-shifting that I was actually shocked that relatively so little attention was being paid to it. Back then it was still pretty fringy but I knew that for the promise of blockchain to manifest, it would necessarily need to evolve from fringe to mainstream and it would need sherpas who could help guide the transition from the old world to the new one being built.
So wanting to be part of that, plus the multidisciplinary nature of blockchain and the opportunity to get in early (relatively speaking) really resonated with me and led me to change my career path to go all-in on blockchain. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!
Now, as the financial and technology primitives get more and more complex, I’ve become super focused on what the technology enables, more so than the technology itself. IMO this is an under-explored space, particularly with regards to the new business models that emanate from first-principles thinking. That’s what really energizes me and something that I am trying to spend more time and effort on.
Finally, because I have a bias towards action (and making things actionable), I love working in crypto, where the flash-to-bang time is shorter and faster than in almost any other industry. It is egalitarian innovation at warp speed, which is extremely compelling to me.
With so many projects out there, what attracted you to 0x and its community?
Coming from a technology background, the idea of 0x being a protocol that enables ubiquitous value exchange felt similar to the functionality associated with core internet technology. So I started with that premise, i.e., that certain foundational elements need to exist and work flawlessly for the Cambrian explosion of applications to flourish on top of and around them. Building on that starting point, I felt that the 0x team had the right attributes and approach to thrive for the long haul. And as I got more directly involved with the team and the community over time, in juxtaposition to many other projects, it just felt like the right place for me to be because of the alignment with my values.
0x Labs’ mission is to create a tokenized world where all value can flow freely. What does a tokenized world mean to you?
Mechanically, it just seems like an obvious step, or even end state, in the evolution of digitalization. But philosophically I see it as the modern manifestation of self-sovereignty that enables everyone to more directly create their own destiny and participate in an ownership economy. It becomes a tool to protect and expand freedom.
Are you working on anything else blockchain related?
My work as a 0x community ambassador has enabled me to engage with other adjacent projects and to explore and develop synergistic opportunities. Some of those are starting to play out now (stay tuned!). One example is that I’ve gotten very involved with the Metric and BUILD projects, and it has been a lot of fun to work collaboratively with other people who are building on 0x. I’m excited about the DAO venture model in general and am hoping to participate more actively in its maturation.
I’m an avid consumer of analytics and recently started the Google Data Analytics professional certificate training so that I can do more of my own research and analysis.
What other projects are you most excited about?
I know the buzz right now is all about DeFi, but I’m most excited about what comes after DeFi. What does mass adoption look like and how quickly will it happen? How do we take the lessons learned from DeFi and use them to both de-risk and amplify the next wave?
Because of the core infrastructure role 0x plays in the system, it has relevance way beyond DeFi and has the potential to accelerate network effects at scale. Unfortunately, I feel that this is not yet well understood, and I hope to be part of articulating and evangelizing that story.
As far as specific projects, I guess this technically isn’t an “other project” but the thing I am most excited about right now is being a bootstrap delegate for the 0x DAO. This will enable me to contribute in a more meaningful and impactful way and to have the time I am commiting be more productive in driving positive results.
As I said during the recent 0x DAO AMA, I think the establishment of the DAO is an opportunity to be the catalyst for a new narrative for 0x that builds on the great work that has already been done and takes it to the next level. Ideally, this will attract new energy and talent to the project and empower them, together with the existing community, to drive the activity that results in reflexivity.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
When I want to escape or clear my head, I gravitate towards outdoor activities like camping, hiking, cycling, sailing, etc. On a more day-to-day basis, I listen to a lot of podcasts about a variety of subjects and also love going to live music events (hoping there are more of these soon!). I’m looking forward to traveling again, especially in Europe. Other than that, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, which, as we all know, became much more difficult over the past year, but on the other hand, much more cherished as well. I’m excited to play a part in the macro societal shifts that will happen when the world opens back up and in using crypto as a tool to help shape and steer that change in a positive direction.
Thanks for sharing Nikita — we sincerely appreciate you and all that you’ve done for the 0x community!