The Cardano ecosystem comprises a diverse group of people who are all working towards developing and promoting the technology. JCrypto is a 24-year-old Cardano YouTuber, Twitter Space host, and professional learner who has produced a large amount of content about various Cardano and wider blockchain projects, often diving deep into whitepapers and the ever-evolving aspects at the core of the related blockchains. While doing all that, he's also busy engaging one-on-one with others in the ecosystem at events around the world. All this work combined, he's building a name for himself as a trusted source of news and information in the industry.
In a recent interview, JCrypto (he's asked us to call him "J"), donning his normal preppy-nautical look with half cleancut/half anime-worthy hair to match, discussed his background and motivations in his pursuit of knowledge.
J is a self-proclaimed "knower of nothing" who is passionate about learning and testing his conclusions in the "market of ideas." He uses his YouTube channel, Monday Metaverse Twitter Space, and other platforms to engage with his audience and share what he has learned so far. However, his love of learning means that his conclusions are always a starting point, as he is constantly building on his knowledge and testing old ideas. This cycle of learning is what allows J to produce his prolific amount of content and have a wide reach within his areas of interest.
Raised on both coasts of the United States, J lived in New England in his later childhood, in an area that attracted visitors from around the world. He attributes his aptitude for connecting and interacting with diverse cultures and his ability for empathy to this period of his life. J talked about keeping all that in mind when exploring complicated topics with his viewers, such as the inner workings of complex NFT projects or the Metaverse. He also aims to break down this complex information for a diverse audience that includes newcomers and more experienced individuals.
Sushi Sails and Yu-Gi-Oh
When asked about a story from his past that tells the beginnings of his business acumen, J recalled a little beat-up fishing boat belonging to the father of one of his friends. He and the friend would go out on it from time to time, picking up their prizes from several eel traps. During their eel hustle, they brought friends along for the ride, making it even more enjoyable. Later they'd sell off their catch to a few local sushi shops who used them for their unagi dishes. Through all of it, J learned about finding a need and filling it with what was needed.
He also shared a relevant and insightful story from when he was just five years old. He said, "My mom often tells a story from when I was five. I was in a library, basically negotiating with 12-year-olds on trading Yu-Gi-Oh cards. They were part of a local Yu-Gi-Oh card club, and they were trying to rip me off. But I actually ended up getting a good deal because I knew the cards so well. I knew what the fusions were and things of that nature." This early experience about the value of applied learning certainly took root in J and seems to have impacted most of the memories he shared.
In fact, when later asked about what part listening plays in his work, J shared that he spends a majority of his work days with his ears perked up, absorbing all the knowledge he can. He then takes some time to turn that learning into pure, refined knowledge before sharing it with his audience. In short, J is like a human sponge, constantly soaking up information, filtering it, and turning it into something useful.
From Hockey to the Metaverse
He later recounted one of the most pivotal moments of his life. He was in his later teens and played hockey. Just like anyone in his situation, he had aspirations of going pro. He was also around some pretty influential people in the game who watched his progress over some months. One of them, a skills coach for the Florida Panthers––a legend in the sport, according to J––talked to him one day.
"He sat me down one day and said, 'Hey, so, I've seen you play and train this entire summer. I've seen you go around to these coaches and trainers and all the different faculty members, constantly asking them about what they know so you can continue to learn.' he paused, 'You're not going to be a pro hockey player. I'm sorry you're just not going to be. But you will be massively successful.' He told me the story of this successful guy, the father of some kids in another camp he ran. Then he went on, '…you remind me of that man. He owns a lot of businesses. And there's this kind of intangible quality you have with people skills and learning that will take you very far and make you very happy as you begin to use your talents to the fullest and in the most useful way.' He paused again. 'And that's what I would say, J. Now you can continue to go the route of hockey, and I could be completely wrong, and maybe you do become a pro hockey player….’“
J then recalled his own thoughts at the time "At that point, I had the ability to see what he meant. I was 17 or 18 and on the ice with 15-year-olds that were no doubt going to the sport's highest levels. I had seen the difference in not just their skill but in their ability to navigate and understand the game. Even though they were younger than me, they were more seasoned. And that moment was one of the key moments that I think shifted me into business."
What was J's initial reaction when the coach finished with the seemingly harsh advice? J later revealed, "I knew I really respected his opinion, and I knew he really cared about me. So I was a little bit pissed for a moment, but then I was…really happy. I knew he wasn't coming from a place of agenda. It felt like somebody finally just told me the truth, somebody at the highest level." He finished by saying, "I had initially gone to that meeting to ask, 'What's the next step? How do I get better?' But that's what he hit me with. So after that, I stopped, and it took some time to kind of recalibrate, and then later I found myself in Web3."
Conviction, Courage, and Charisma
One thing anyone who meets him quickly learns is that J intends to move forward, no matter what. As observers, we can see that the key to his success is a sort of freedom from dwelling on anything that might slow him down mixed with his relentless pursuit of the next right way. No wonder that when asked about a hero or role model, without hesitation, he named Luffy from the famous late-90s Manga (now anime), One Piece by Eiichiro Oda. Central to Luffy's character is his unabashed conviction and courage to be the best at what he does––the character is also wildly charismatic, which certainly helps him along his journey. It probably didn’t hurt J’s personal connection with the anime character that Luffy also spends quite a bit of time on boats.
J has a lot more content to make, and Spaces to host. For the years one might assume this journey will take him––he’s just getting started! His energetic delivery motivates and informs his audience. He once offered, "I'm somebody that believes in action, and I'm somebody that believes in evangelizing others to act." It doesn't take a genius to see that this sort of attitude is what viewers seek to inspire them. Couple that with unraveling confounding details of a tech-heavy environment and you have what we at Lido see as a recipe for a win-win relationship with his audience; way to go, J!
If you are wondering about the long-term plans for Metaverse News-Man, JCrypto, he confidently concluded, "No matter what, I'll be in the Metaverse. I'll promise you that."
Twitter User, Gabe Carr-Harris asks J: “Of all the things yhou study, projects you interview, besides the metaverse, what are some of your favorite Web3 topics to research?” JCrypto answered me about this, but it didn’t have a place in the article. J’s answer: “Decentralization and the structure of successful decentralized organizations would be my current answer.”