Skiing, CookieTrack, and PoolTogether
PoolTogether Community Interview #25: Ncookie
This week’s PoolTogether community interview features a rock star developer and all around great contributor to PoolTogether. He’s got his own crypto app, loves to shred the gnar on the slopes, and very active in our governance forum and Discord! Meet: Ncookie.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi! I'm Ncookie, a software developer/engineer in my early 20s going about my business, trying to build cool stuff in this exciting new DeFi space. I love to travel, meet new people (especially in crypto-related conventions!), and I’m a huge foodie. I'm also an avid skier, and love to take some awesome drone shots here and there.
2. How did you get involved the crypto/Web3 world?
I've been in crypto for about two years at this point, battling the very steep DeFi learning curve. From crappy exchanges to centralized chains and avoiding rugs, I finally felt comfortable with the technology enough to try and immerse myself deeper into the ecosystems that interested me.
I told myself that building something relevant in the space would be the best way to do just that, and so I built my own little portfolio tracker, CookieTrack, in an effort to stay away from the other awful alternatives available at the time (some could argue still today). Having to integrate so many different chains and dapps taught me so much about their underlying infrastructure, and building something from scratch and being able to attract a couple hundred users really pushed me towards loving this space even more.
3. What lessons have you learned about it so far?
I believe the most important lesson I've learned — regardless of it being a meme, to chase fundamentals rather than yield. There are a lot of projects out there capitalizing on hype, and there always will be. Short-term yields can be profitable, but personally I'd love to live past short-term. Questions like "does it work?" and "is it sustainable?" have been my best friends throughout these last few months. I'd likely add "how decentralized is it?" to that list, as a centralized protocol might as well not be web3 at all.
On another note, I've also learned that the crypto community is absolutely incredible at identifying value and supporting its growth. Anything from community grants, bounties, the incredible PoolTogether delegations or even retroactive goods funding - it just goes to show how awesome these communities are when they come together to make something happen. People have way more to give than they realize, and this space is awesome at showing it.
4. What was your best cryptocurrency/Web3 moment?
As exhilarating as receiving the ENS airdrop was to a newbie in the space such as myself, by far my best crypto moment was traveling to Barcelona for the Avalanche Summit convention not too long ago. Meeting with some of the awesome friends I've been interacting with online for months but never met in person was an incredible experience, and it really helped me to put a face to all the smart people building stuff and trying to make a name for themselves in the community. I've unfortunately missed out on so many other crypto conventions due to the pains of trying to extend a US visa during the pandemic, but this experience encouraged me to take part in as many as possible.
5. What was your biggest failure with it?
I've had my fair share of fails when it comes to investing, or some stressful 'oh crap' moments particularly when using bridges, but I'd say my biggest fail was trying to convince family members of how awesome DeFi can be. For anyone reading this; do not attempt, lest your regret be immeasurable.
It is a fact that most of the world don't know anything about crypto, and the incredible majority of those that do treat it as a shiny new and more volatile stock market. The underlying new technology and innovative decentralized financial tools are not really of interest to those that haven't found themselves in the DeFi rabbit hole yet, and likely won't be until the space matures and UX is greatly streamlined. Having to explain to family that you cannot escape how the money they've lost to fees or their stablecoin being worth $0.995 aren't an issue when they don't appreciate or understand the same mechanisms as you is not the greatest time.
6. How did you find out about PoolTogether?
I first found out about PoolTogether when integrating some of the larger dapps on Ethereum and Polygon into my portfolio tracker, which coincided quite nicely with how disappointed I was at the PancakeSwap lotteries I had tried out on BSC at the time (we all have to start somewhere). I loved the idea of a no loss lottery, particularly in a space that is so consistently chasing unsustainable yields.
7. What made you stick around?
Other than the fact that checking if I won anything was one of the best parts of my day, the simplicity and sustainability of the protocol really kept me in it. When V4 came around, I found that it was easier than ever to use and win more prizes, so I quickly shifted my deposits over to where they still are to date. At that time I also became more aware of the awesome community around the protocol - I saw the community-made apps to track the flip of TVL from V3 to V4, the Discord bots tracking live prize claims, and also received great support and feedback from devs while integrating V4's new contracts in my own app. A couple onboarding calls with Tjark later, I was officially diving into the pool.
8. How are you involved in the community?
I've only recently been more active within the community, so I'm trying my best to contribute in any way I can. As a very OCD person, I've pointed out a few small mistakes on the app or code repositories. As someone that's very enthusiastic about governance and with some experience with other DAOs, I'm giving my thoughts in the governance forums and Discord. As a developer, I've opened a few issues on GitHub, but recently have also trying to build something exciting on top of PoolTogether delegations, which I hope I can tease out a bit more in the coming weeks.
Most importantly, I am having a blast hanging out on Discord, attending community calls alongside the POAP farmers, participating in pool streaks, and I've recently just won the latest Pool Trivia event! With every passing day I feel more welcome into the community, and I hope my contributions follow the same upwards momentum.
9. Would you recommend PoolTogether to others? How would you describe it to them?
Of course - although as my 'biggest fails' are any indication, I might be reluctant to share with people outside of crypto in general. I believe the 'no loss lottery' slogan says it all, although I might describe it as a savings account for those more risk-averse. Protocols with zero downside potential are surprisingly rare in DeFi, so I think that's one of the selling points I'm most likely using to recommend the protocol to others.
To those into DAOs and already in love with the communities that crypto conjures up, I'd describe PoolTogether as one of the most welcoming communities out there, and a great place to contribute anything you can think of.
10. Are you involved in any other projects or communities? If yes, which ones?
I am indeed! Other than in my own projects, I am also an active contributor and team member at Snowball, the first DAO on Avalanche that has since transitioned into a more venture-based development approach to launch a handful of awesome projects on the network. You'll also see me pop up in many other communities around DeFi projects, as I love the community-building efforts that happen all around different blockchains, and I want to take as much in as possible while also contributing as much as I can.
11. Do you have any other thoughts and comments you would like to share?
Thanks for the opportunity to take part in these awesome community spotlights! I'd also like to shout out Tjark for the awesome onboarding calls that encouraged me to jump into the pool, Dylan, Pierrick and Underthesea for always helping me out with my contract or code questions, as well as DaBoom and Bronder for the awesome events they host. Sorry if I missed anyone, but thanks anyhow for the awesome time I've had in the community!
We hope you enjoyed this interview and learned a different perspective on the journeys our community members take to find and get involved with PoolTogether. It always fascinates me to learn about the different paths taken to find this great community. Everyone has a truly unique way of finding our great community.