Fantom Community Spotlight – KeshaV
Whether he’s establishing synergistic links between different dApp protocols or reviewing backstories for characters in the latest FTM GameFi project, KeshaV stays active in the Fantom community.
What drew you to crypto?
When I first got involved, I was living in Moscow and looking for a job. I didn’t know anything about crypto, but was contacted by a centralized exchange to help find projects to list. That’s where I also learned that a lot of exchanges are relying on listing fees for revenue, and a lot of the volume is not in fact real.
I didn’t stay at the company very long, but when you get started in crypto you never really leave it.
My next endeavor was in the payments industry; I wasn’t working directly with crypto or the blockchain industry, but was trying to get the payment industry to start onboarding crypto payment wallets and cards.
I wasn’t sleeping after work, though. Sleep got replaced by learning about crypto.
I followed the common path traveled by many: first, I read about different projects, then I started to trade on Binance, and then toward the end of 2020 I started playing around with DeFi.
I started exploring a few different Ethereum-based dApps, but I was deterred by its slow speed and high transaction fees. I decided to try all of the other L1 & L2 solutions; that’s also when I first started getting familiar with the different online communities that revolved around these blockchains.
What made you decide to settle on Fantom?
From a user experience perspective, Fantom stood out in terms of speed, usability, accessibility, and cost.
The other driving factor was the community; among all the L1 blockchains, the only two communities that caught my eye were the Secret Network community and the Fantom community.
Eventually, I found my home on Fantom.
After working for a centralized exchange, what were your takeaways from using decentralized exchanges on Fantom?
When you first start trading, you view the crypto market as analogous to the stock market, and the different tokens just seem like stocks.
You’re looking at tickers and candles, but then you start to do some fundamental analysis on what these companies are doing, and you realize there is utility to a lot of these tokens beyond just their price action.
I’ve found that for most people it takes getting into DeFi to actually start to explore these deeper concepts and move beyond the pure technical analysis of tickers and charts.
One clear example is payment wallets: these companies are using the blockchain to avoid high processing costs, as well as for the technological advantages around speed and efficiency.
I still remember my thought process when trying to understand what tokens represented: are they just like stocks? Do they have functions? If a token is a native L1 token, does that mean that it’s used for gas?
Then you start to dig into tokenomics, and at a certain point you want to try it on your own. This means getting your hands dirty and using the tokens for their intended purpose rather than just speculating on their price action.
With DEXs all the information is all on-chain, so there is much more clarity and control for the average retail investor and less information asymmetry.
Where do you see opportunities to build on Fantom?
One of Fantom’s competitive differentiators is its speed. With the upcoming FVM (Fantom Virtual Machine), it will become even faster. I’m confident there will always be continuous development to keep speed fast and fees low, even through peak activity.
GameFi is a vertical I expect will gain traction on Fantom, particularly for games that have a lot of on-chain activity. This is where Fantom has an immense advantage compared to other chains.
For example, I just recently discovered Sweet Tango, which is being built on the Unity game engine. It’s a creature you mint and then play with, train, go on adventures, and so on.
I’ve also personally been assisting with the development of Lost Kingdom, a medieval lore-based Play & Earn project built on Fantom.
I expect we’ll see an increase in the number of real-world applications that rely on Fantom to exchange and verify data, starting with the payments industry. Retreeb is one such example.
Private messaging is also going to be a big vertical; there is ample opportunity to develop secure and private messaging on the Fantom blockchain.
Electronic signing and verification is another greenfield opportunity. Products like DocuSign are rife for disruption.
How did you find a way to provide value in this space without coming from a technical background?
It comes down to finding something that will improve the project I’m working on.
Part of it becomes intuitive, through repetition and pattern recognition; you start to look at various DeFi projects as lego pieces that can be connected, and you don’t have to follow a predefined manual.
Since I’ve used a lot of different protocols, even if I don’t have a full understanding of the code on the back end, I’m able to see the bigger picture of how a project can reach its full potential.
A lot of projects also need help spearheading their communications efforts.
It’s idealistic to believe that the core developers can do everything from PR to Marketing to Business Development; the sober truth is that devs are not magicians, and if they’re spread too thin they can end up making mistakes.
It’s important that every project developer finds a way to build a strong web of support around themselves and their protocol.
Finally, just pay it forward whenever and wherever you can. I like to think of myself as a “connector,” bringing together people of diverse skill sets that can compliment each other.
How can new builders coming to Fantom get started?
The first priority is engaging with the community, and the most direct route to doing so is reaching out to FTMAlerts.
Everyone is welcome, and nobody has to ask for permission. It comes down to showing you have genuine intentions, and that you’re there to put in the work to build trust, relationships, and drive adoption.
At the end of the day, you might have the coolest idea ever, but a strong community is hard to build.
Fortunately, with existing platforms like FTMAlerts, you have an opportunity to get up on a stage and share with the community the value you hope to bring into the ecosystem.
What are some Fantom projects you’re excited about?
RoboVault provides single-sided staking where you can grow your Fantom or stablecoin bags. They’re growing their TVL (total value locked) very organically. They pay a lot of attention to security, and they do this publicly.
They’ve been careful to roll out their products gradually, and have always fixed anything that’s come up.
They’re planning to roll out more strategies, including modular strategies that would allow you to select which protocols your assets are being deployed to. There’s so much potential!
I’ve kept an eye on PaintSwap for a long time; seeing them go from a small project to the largest Fantom NFT marketplace has been amazing.
I’m looking forward to seeing them roll out their own custom user interface.
Beethoven is a fork of Balancer. I’d been dreaming about crypto index funds on Fantom for a long time, and they were the ones to finally deploy it.
Anyone can create their own index funds and have instant access to full, custom analytics.
It changes the game for the average retail investor: now, you can expand your playbook and strategy without need for deep technical knowledge and without having to ask anybody for permission.
Frontend developers without deep smart-contract programming expertise can also take advantage of this, as they can easily build and deploy their own dApps using Beethoven on the backend.
Anything else you’d like to share with the Fantom community?
Beyond Fantom’s tech, what has been most incredible is witnessing the amount of tight-knit collaboration within the community. I’ve never seen anything like it: everyone is building together, and no one is hiding.
The community will continue to thrive. Even if challenging situations arise, that’s when the best products will come to life and when the community will show its best qualities.
Be patient, show love, and help each other.