Leaving Google after 6 years to build a crypto start-up only shouts seeking discomfort to me, but that is where companies of the future are made – it always starts with that leap of faith. All it took was seeing the “promise of technology or solving some of the shortfalls of traditional finance” to start something new, and by no easy means, Sherry took that leap of faith.
The Spark; Buying crypto in 2015 was something foreign and probably left a negative connotation for some, but even back then, it was already solving issues of the world and solved cross-border commerce.
That’s how it began for Sherry, who got into the space because it was easier and cheaper to pay with crypto than credit cards. While the majority of users today get into crypto for the monetary incentives, her story instead began with crypto solving real-world issues.
The Rest Is History; Some may say going into crypto full-time might be bonkers, but others who see the real value use it to drive their continual pursuit of building in the space.
“I was really excited about the financial inclusion impact that digital payments had but was really frustrated by the gaps that still persisted because Google Pay was basically just an application layer on top of a legacy financial system.”
The idea of local stablecoins as a base monetary layer for crypto-native financial applications and services (e.g., cross-border payments) was something Sherry and her co-founder and blockchain engineer, Raymond, got fascinated by.
They got started working on Bluejay and the rest is history.
Bluejay Protocol is a system for creating and managing stablecoins to track different currencies around the world. Bluejay aims to bring access to world-class financial services to the masses by mirroring monies on the blockchain.
By leveraging on the existing decentralized finance (DeFi) infrastructure, the ecosystem can offer the under-banked population services like
(1) Access to safe-haven assets like USD for short-term saving through Decentralized Exchanges (DEXs)
(2) Instant & low-cost remittances to other currencies through DEX
(3) Mid to long-term savings plans through different asset management & lending/borrowing protocols.
What a day in the life of being Bluejay’s founder feels like
If some of these fields sound enticing, starting up a crypto project might just be for you. Customer discovery, building products, fundraising, to business development are just a few of her day-to-day taskings.
Sherry spends her mornings catching up on the markets, reading through Twitter, and fielding messages from the team and partners.
The rest of her day includes a series of meetings, including ones with a market maker, a real-world asset lending player, an agency for our rebrand strategy, and two of their existing investors.
Do you think Sherry is a Coffee or Tea person?
The Ethereum Merge
“It’s great that the Eth merge finally has a date.”
As the entire crypto market awaits in anticipation, the move towards Proof-of Stake naturally brings few benefits, notably the positive environmental impacts.
Although layer2s still pose a significant “boost” on top of the main Ethereum network, it will always end up accruing value back to Ethereum. So how then does Ethereum play a part in Bluejay Finance?
In the short term, one of their plans includes launching on Ethereum. In addition, with the merge and the emergence of L2 scaling solutions, it will be a better way to onboard new users participating in their protocol with lower fees.
Narratives and whether we are early
“Keeping a close eye on the real world asset lending narrative.”
This was something Sherry herself is excited about before it even became talked about in the last few months during the bear.
It is incredibly important for DeFi to generate productive yields and one of them includes connecting DeFi lending to real-world credit markets. An example is SME (Small and Medium Enterprises) lending.
Crypto can easily find a place in the world as an avenue for financial inclusion and access, especially with the underbanked societies and industries.
“We are definitely still early in crypto, still in the early adopter phase of the first 300M or so people.”
The space is still dominated by techies, innovators, speculators, and enthusiasts, and has not spread to the rest of the population just yet.
While the other few barriers include the need to build on web3’s infrastructure, user experience, and real-world utility.
“I think the next cycle is where we’re going to get there and get to the “early majority” of 1B users in crypto.”
So is the bottom in?
“I don’t think things are behind us just yet…a lot of the capitulation in the market has already happened with UST and 3AC and the contagion effects afterwards.”
The next adoption catalyst
“I definitely think there will be an additional hype cycle that will drive retail adoption, just like NFTs and GameFi did in the last one.”
A few candidates mentioned by her could be in the music and social space. The next catalyst has to be something an everyday person can use, stretching the user base and adoption beyond just the crypto natives.
As for the institutional side of things, “real world assets and payment systems” might be one to look out for.
We are still building the foundation blocks of crypto, and for all this to work, things like security, regulatory frameworks and user experience has to be improved and set in place first before pivoting towards adoption success.
Some of the projects Sherry is excited about are ones that either try to bridge the web2 to web3 or TradFi to DeFi. But one thing is for sure, there will be “a lot of real-world applications”.
CeFi to DeFi projects that brings CeFi on-chain but have the transparency of DeFi may also be one to watch. Especially after the CeFi storm in the previous cycle, “I don’t think CeFi is or should be going away, but it can be done with a lot more responsibility and transparency to the user.”
New primitives like options on-chain may also be one to keep your eyes peeled for.
“Not going to lie, I definitely aped into Olympus Dao, Wonderland, and Snowbank back in the day during DeFi 2.0.”
DeFi 2.0 did not survive, the lights of the projects above are down bad since their all-time highs.
We all have our degen stories, but my conversation with Sherry clearly showed the conviction she has in the space and how BlueJay is here to solve real-world issues.
As the web3 spaces continue to develop, we need leaders like Sherry and her team to make a significant impact on industries, especially the underbanked.
Building the foundation blocks of web3 now is more essential than we know, especially when web3 will be part and parcel of industries for the coming years ahead and beyond.
[Editor’s Note: This article does not represent financial advice. Please do your own research before investing.]
Featured Image Credit: ChainDebrief