Reflexer chooses to go it alone, in opposition to Paradigm.

23-09-12 15:55
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One of the most representative investment firms in the cryptocurrency industry, Paradigm, has been "mocked" by a project in its own investment portfolio.

Paradigm, as the most recognized top-tier venture capital (VC) fund in the cryptocurrency industry, may also be the top native cryptocurrency fund. Its two founders have backgrounds in Coinbase and Sequoia Capital. These two well-known figures have made different moves, leading investment in projects such as Uniswap and Blur, which have caused collective anxiety among VC investors in the cryptocurrency industry: Investments not only provide capital, but also provide strong assistance for project mechanisms and token economics.

When there is a Paradigm endorsement, everything changes. Source

Paradigm, the top-tier VC, rarely has disputes with its investment portfolio. The last time a crypto project fought against a top institution was probably Binance, which went to court with Sequoia China. During this period, CZ tweeted that all projects applying to list on Binance in the future would need to disclose whether they have direct or indirect connections with Sequoia Capital.

And this time, the other protagonist of the story, Reflexer, chose a simpler and more direct approach, directly repurchasing the FLX token from Paradigm and permanently destroying 50% of the repurchased amount.

This token buyback can be considered as a punctuation mark for Reflexer's first article criticizing Paradigm's tweet in May 2023.

Sarah: What did Paradigm do? Ameen: It will be disclosed, but not now. Source: Discord

In Reflexer's "Condemnation Edict", Reflexer mentioned that Paradigm's investment in FTX has caused a setback in the cryptocurrency industry, and after the update of Paradigm's official website, descriptions about many crypto and web3 were deleted, turning to "cutting-edge" technologies including AI.

Although Paradigm did not reply to Reflexer or apologize to them, it still chose to return to the crypto industry in July and put crypto back on its official website. Matt Huang, one of the partners at Paradigm, even stated that the previous website update was a mistake and they never left the crypto industry.

Perhaps for Uniswap's Hayden, working with the elite and enthusiastic Paradigm is a pleasure. But for Ameen Soleimani, co-founder of Reflexer, who has been immersed in the Ethereum community for many years, privately reducing the FLX token to 0 undoubtedly infuriated this "wild" Ethereum OG.

狂人 Ameen Soleimani

translates to

Madman Ameen Soleimani

in English.

Community members often leave comments under Ameen's tweets, jokingly saying that his tweets are a "relief" from their "boring" crypto lives.

But it would be a big mistake to only consider Ameen as a drug addict. Ameen created SpankChain to protect the rights of adult industry workers. He also went to Washington with a group of representatives from the Washington DC Free Speech Coalition to meet with Democratic and Republican lawmakers to discuss discrimination issues facing the adult industry.


(Note: As per the instructions given, I have not translated the English words and phrases mentioned in the content.)

He also launched the FreeVirgil campaign to support Virgil Griffith, an Ethereum developer who was charged by the US government with "assisting North Korea in evading international economic sanctions".

After the mixer Tornado Cash was heavily sanctioned by the US government, Ameen continued to support Tornado in various occasions, not only by setting his social media profile picture as Tornado's logo, but also by developing Privacy Pools based on the Tornado Cash protocol. The goal is to ensure user privacy in a compliant manner. Ameen and other researchers from Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, Chainalysis, University of Basel and other institutions jointly published a paper titled "Blockchain Privacy and Regulatory Compliance: Towards a Practical Equilibrium".

During the bullish market, the entire industry may have already had a subconscious collective enthusiasm; but it is even rarer to stick to and persistently maintain the cryptocurrency industry during the bear market.

Ameen Soleimani also co-founded Moloch DAO, which provides great reference value for DAO organizations. Its first members also include Vitalik and ConsenSys founder Joseph Lubin. At the same time, Ameen joined MetaCartel DAO as a founding member based on the fork of Moloch DAO. Its members include Scott, founder of Canto and Slingshot, Peter Pan, founder of MetaCartel who joined 1kx, Hugh Karp, founder of Nexus Mutual, Bobby, founder of Coingecko, Calvin Liu, former Compound and current Eigenlayer CSO, and Julien, founder of StakeDAO and rekt, and so on.

Perhaps it is the experience of multiple projects and DAOs that has gradually made Ameen a representative figure of "love and hate" in the encryption community. Ameen's current actions show us what true encryption spirit is.

Reflexer's Backing

Thanks to Ameen's extensive social circle and Reflexer's solid design philosophy, Reflexer still has high-quality community resources even if it falls out with Paradigm.

After MakerDAO founder Rune Christensen proposed using Solana's codebase to create a new chain, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik appeared in Reflexer's Discord community, stating that since MakerDAO has chosen a different path, it is normal for RAI to expand from minimal governance to broader areas, and supporting more liquidity collateral tokens would be a good choice.

And earlier, Vitalik also praised that RAI better embodies the "ideal form" of a solely ETH-backed, over-collateralized stablecoin. Vitalik himself has also pledged ETH to Reflexer and minted RAI.

Reflexer has also received support from many projects in the community. Recently, Lido provided $63,000 in funding to Reflexer's forked project HAIthrough a grantto help the latter complete its audit. Reflexer also maintains good relationships with stablecoin projects such as Liquity and Frax. Parsa from Synapse is also an official member of Reflexer, and Reza, an active member of the community and a business person at Decrypt, a cryptocurrency media outlet.

Reflexer, which insists on minimal governance, not only has a relatively streamlined team, but also is open enough to provide theoretical and technical support for many stablecoin projects in the community. Currently known projects include HAI, TAI, and Volt Protocol, among others. These grassroots projects also provide Reflexer with some vitality.

Community VC has been suffering for a long time

Reflexer's attitude towards Paradigm also reflects the attitude of many community members towards VC. A sentence from active community user Sisyphus can concretize this attitude in summary.

"This year, you can earn significant profits from zero to one in the cryptocurrency industry, all from self-reliant projects without VC funding."

Other users added that this is the only industry where active retail investors have a real chance to stay ahead of "smart money" on good information. Actively participating in Discord and various social platforms can provide access to information that others may not have or may not understand the importance of.

On the other hand, many star projects that were launched in 2023 have not performed as expected. Not only have their prices fallen all the way, but their infrastructure and on-chain activity have also hit rock bottom. Some "Ghost Chains" have only a few hundred daily active addresses. With the slow death of many public chains, the Layer 1 concepts that were crazily pursued by VCs during the bull market seem to have been proven false.

Not only the community, but also VC internal voices of accusation have been heard.

The founder of 1confirmation, Nick Tomaino, who has invested in well-known projects such as Opensea, Coinbase, SuperRare, and dYdX, stated that VC is the most deceitful industry in the world, and VC is also the dumb money in the crypto industry because many people in this industry like to follow the trend.

Richard Chen, GP of 1confirmation, stated that in the bear market, it is becoming increasingly common for VCs to request refunds from their portfolio companies. One well-known crypto VC appeared very founder-friendly on Twitter, but over the past year, they have withdrawn several investments and requested refunds from several portfolio companies.

Even worse, Nima Capital, supported by a single family office, violated governance proposals by selling 9 million SYN and taking away all stablecoins on September 5. Even its official website is no longer accessible and its Twitter account is in protected mode. In August, a New York apartment associated with Nima Capital was sold for around $80 million here.

In the current context of increasingly tight liquidity and continuously hitting new lows in venture capital investment amounts in the encryption industry, when you look back at the top users of these active on-chain meme tokens, TG Bot, and, it is worth noting.

It seems that the community has completed a round of de-VC-ization.

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