Jun 15, 2022
Bear Markets Bear Fruit: Some Perspective from CasperLabs Co-Founder & CEO Mrinal Manohar
Casper was born in the last “crypto winter,” the period that lasted from early 2018 to the middle of 2020. It was during that time when we saw a shift from the irrational exuberance that defined much of 2017 and early 2018. This market elevated the voices of skeptics and cynics, who, emboldened by a decidedly bearish market, were quick to tout how crypto’s promise of efficacy had come and passed. By 2019, many pundits declared “the death of crypto.”
History has certainly proven otherwise, then as it will now.
For those who remained in the industry, the last crypto winter brought about a renewed emphasis on building practical blockchain solutions that solve real problems. This is the natural course of any market – and it’s these down cycles that provide the most fertile ground for the truly impactful projects to emerge.
My perspective is bolstered by my experience at both Bain Capital and Sagard Holdings. In each case, I helped to build a multibillion dollar business. And in each case, the driving focus was the same: value creation and driving exponential gains in efficiencies.
Medha and I bring this same motivation and focus to our work at CasperLabs. We were officially incorporated in October 2018, just as crypto winter was setting in. Our focus then was the same as it is now: we are in this for the long haul. CasperLabs is dedicated to delivering tangible value to the growing number of organizations building in the Casper ecosystem.
We remain steadfast in our belief that blockchain technology is ushering in a transformative era for businesses and consumers alike – and that Casper’s future-proof design, underpinned by upgradeable smart contracts, is uniquely capable of shepherding users along on this journey.
Despite what many think about the current market, I have never been more optimistic about Casper’s future. And let me be absolutely clear: nothing about our long-term outlook has changed amid the uncertainty currently gripping both traditional and crypto markets.
While the coming months will likely see further volatility that will impact many projects, the Casper ecosystem is well-positioned to weather this uncertainty and continue its laser focus on providing the most technologically advanced, future-proof blockchain, coupled with a best in class professional solutions team.
Recent events have only strengthened my conviction on this front. For more context, here are a few select highlights from the past month alone:
- CasperLabs and the State of Telangana, India have announced a partnership that will see the Casper Blockchain establish the first open, permissioned network for building Web3 applications in the world’s second-most-populous country.
- Together with our partners at WISeKey, CasperLabs is pioneering new frontiers that have unlocked ubiquitous connectivity for NFT applications that provide truly global connectivity, and at a speed that exceeds even 5G networks.
- Our partnership with IBM has deepened; we recently jointly demonstrated how CasperLabs and IBM Blockchain Services are pioneering unprecedented levels of blockchain interoperability to facilitate enterprise adoption.
- BlockV and SmartMedia Technologies partnered with CasperLabs to bring BlockV-powered smart NFTs to the Casper Blockchain, making Casper the most accessible and environmentally-friendly option for businesses experimenting with NFTs.
- From May 22-25, we convened hundreds of leading policymakers, Fortune 500 executives and academics at the Blockchain Hub in Davos for a series of discussions that examined just how far we’ve come with blockchain adoption since the last crypto winter.
Make no mistake: there will be difficult weeks and months ahead for many in our industry. But I’m equally firm in my conviction that it’s in these environments when the most exciting, impactful and innovative work is done.
Here’s what you can expect to see in the coming months:
- Improved documentation for developers looking to build on Casper. We’ve heard your feedback here and we’re committed to making Casper the most accessible blockchain for developers.
- Dozens of new projects launching on Casper.
- Enhancements to Casper’s open infrastructure that will enable developers and non-technical users alike to use and build unique applications around NFTs, including secure minting and storage environments.
- Additional bridges, DEXs, AMMs and swaps that will provide a more robust foundation for DeFi on Casper.
- Both CasperLabs and the Casper Association maintain a strong and visible presence – both in-person and offline – within the broader blockchain community. We just wrapped up a major presence at Consensus Austin and are already planning for several additional events this summer and autumn.
- Significant progress on the Casper 2.0 upgrade, which will usher in key innovations that will make building on Casper even more accessible to the “other” 25 million developers worldwide (as opposed to limiting it to the <1M developers who know Solidity).
Casper has grown tremendously since the last crypto winter. What started as an ambitious dream of but a few developers and leaders has become a thriving global community. I, along with the nearly 100 full-time employees dedicated to advancing the Casper protocol, the nearly 200 dedicated validators and the thousands of developers, remain steadfast in our commitment to this endeavor. At the end of the day, you, the Casper community, are the bedrock of what this ambitious project has already achieved – and even more so, what it will ultimately become.
I’d love to continue this discussion with you all. I’ll be joining the Casper Telegram channel for an AMA on Monday, June 20 at 1 PM ET– I look forward to connecting with you then.
And in the meantime, let’s all get back to building. We’re just getting started.
Yours in service,
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