In the newest edition of “Around the Block With Jefferson Nunn,” Jefferson interviews David Fernandez. David Fernandez is a Founder at CW3 and Blockchain Developer at WeSchool. He has worked at Web3 for 2 years. He has worked with clients from all over the world, from London and Italy, to Hong Kong and the US.
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Hey guys, buckle up for a new edition of Around the Block podcast, the one and only podcast meant to educate young entrepreneurs like you how to make your way in the cryptocurrency world. Today we’re talking with guest, David Fernandez. David Fernandez is a Blockchain Developer at WeSchool and has worked at Web3 for 2 years. He has worked with clients from all over the world, from London and Italy, to Hong Kong and the US. Additionally, he will be a speaker at the NFT Summit in July in London, hosted by Tech Circus.
Jefferson Nunn 0:43
Welcome to another edition of Around the Block with Jefferson Nunn, and I’m here today with David Fernandez. Welcome to the show. How you doing, man?
David Fernandez 0:53
Pretty good, man. Awesome. I’m doing great. Thank you so much for having me.
Jefferson Nunn 0:57
Awesome deal. So, tell me a little bit more about what you’re working on right now. What’s new and exciting?
David Fernandez 1:03
Yeah, so I’m currently working with WeSchool. So, WeSchool is the EdTech startup. It’s the main startup that the largest startup in Italy for educational E-learning or just you’re learning in general, not just blockchain. But also, any other courses such as, you know, web development, mobile app, you can there have a lot of different courses and I’m actually building the one for blockchain development for them. And I’m working with a really amazing team. They’re very talented people. They’re profitable, which is not something very common in startups. And that’s just one of the pros I’m currently working on. That’s a full-time job. And since I like to take more, I tend to take more things, more things that I can do, I guess, is I’m working with Xccelerate. So, they are a company in Hong Kong. And they are also I’m also building a blockchain development course for them as well. And part time, I’m also an instructor for BloomTech. So very busy. So, working with other side with other people. I’m currently an advisor for a NFT marketplace startup with some guys from Argentina. And we’re building the first generation NFT marketplace that uses holograms, for people to showcase their NFT. So that’s one of the startups that I’m involved. And I’m also involved with another startup and with some guys in New York City, they are building a decentralized media, and we are currently in the process of raising funds. So yeah, I’m very involved with this industry. You know, to me, doesn’t feel like work. Every hour that I spent in this space is for me, just to learn and just enjoy. This is pretty, pretty much a hobby instead of just work.
Jefferson Nunn 2:47
That’s awesome. Yeah, I’m familiar with the need their big demand for blockchain developers. And really, they it seems like they’re really hard to come by, even though well, developers in general, as well. And also, I see that there’s a lot of different agencies that are put forward, you know, certification programs, and whatnot. And this is all very early days for all of that. So, if you’re, you know, a young 22-year-old, you’re just learning development, you know, you’re getting through, I don’t know, if Python, and you hear about this blockchain, what would you say to that young 22-year-old about getting into blockchain development?
David Fernandez 3:31
Yeah. So if you’re a young 20 or 21, or someone who’s even thinking about going to college, what I can just tell them, and this is from my experience, my living example of that is that you actually don’t need a four year degree to get into this space as a blockchain developer, so that I’m the one doing it the moment and there are two different ways that you can get into blockchain development, and one is coming from web 2.0, which is obviously going to be easier for people to transition. There is no much differences. So, when it comes to the language and the programming, the technology stack in general, there are just obviously a few things that are different for web 3.0, that are important to know. But if you’re a web 2.0 developer, it is very possible to switch to web 3.0 and to work in a career here in this space within six months, if you put in the work, meaning that probably 20 hours a week, in six months, definitely possible. I can see I’ve seen people doing it and actually even less with even hundreds, but you have to be extremely well equipped to in order to do that fast. The other avenue is that you’re coming from a non tech background. You don’t know any programming language, and I would say that roughly takes a year. It just this part time as well. I’m assuming that you’re also working a full-time job. So, you want to do the transition. It’s definitely possible. I have a bunch of different posts that I do on a daily basis on LinkedIn for people that want to get into this space. It doesn’t matter whether they know they know what to or not, or non tech, you can definitely go in and read those posts. So that is going to be a very good guide or the roadmaps, specific things that you need to know how to sell yourself when it comes to having interviews in general. And one thing that I also want to, I guess to share with everyone here is that if your goal is to be in an industry that is consistently growing, and is growing extremely fast, and five to 10 years is going to be huge is probably crypto. There are other industries that you can also go such as AI, Cloud. However, these industries are a lot a lot more mature, and AI is still pretty behind. Because we don’t have still the AI required to build to even build things that have recently. And for that we need actually, I think it’s called general AI. And we don’t have that. And we don’t, we are not even close to how to have that yet. So, there’s still a lot, a lot of years to come before actually that happens. So, I would say that there’s not much growth in AI in general. And also in Cloud, because they’re already it’s already pretty mature. If you want to come into an industry and grow fast, and learn, and you know, obviously make a lot of money, if that’s what you want. Definitely this industry is definitely possible if you’re a Smart Contract Engineer, not just to work for yourself, but you know, are you for a company, but you can even just do flash loans, or you can just work out in bug bounties. So, you can go to Code for Arena, which is a decentralized auditing, auditing company that allows auditors to just build a team together and just you know, audit contracts. And that pays around 80 to 100k per bounty. And there’s like three, four bounties all the time. So, it’s, I mean, there’s just so many so many different options that you have, once you get into this industry all most jobs in blockchain, almost all of them are remote. I know most jobs are also remote now. But there’s a lot of like a blockchain development. So, I would say that that’s why there’s a lot of room open opportunity.
Jefferson Nunn 7:11
yeah, I seen for example, one company get lab or sorry, not get lab it was me we get something that’s pretty minute. It did not yet know if you get something Hold on, let me pause this and committed and yes, I’m familiar with one company called Gitcoin. I talked with the leader over there, while back and great, great guy, by the way, you can check out my Podcasts about it. But yeah, they grown massively. There’s the equivalent of on the low end, $40 an hour contract. And it goes way, way, way up from there. There are some bounties that are like 510,000 $. And I’ve seen they put a minimal amount of time, we’re talking maybe 20 hours of coding time, and they get a $5,000 bounty. So, tell me more about what if you wanted to be that kind of a coder? What kind of skills or backgrounds or, you know, just work attitude? Can you tell me more about that lifestyle? Just how did all that work?
David Fernandez 8:27
Yeah, so just going back to what I said previously, where I said that you don’t actually need a four-year degree or even go to university in general. And the reason why is because you get paid based on what you can build, not where you’re coming from what you’re capable of doing. And the reason why is because, well, if you’re a software developer or blockchain developer, it’s pretty easy to kind of distinguish whether you can build something or not, and whether you can solve a problem or not. And at the end of the day, that’s what actually matters. And that’s what pays the bills. So, the beautiful thing about Bitcoin is that it allows developers that have some experience and no some blockchain development to just pick the price that they think they can best solve the problem for the person who is putting the bounty and you can just work for yourself and make a lot of money it’s really just comes down to his skill and how good you are. And the resources are plentiful, there is a lot of free resources, there is no excuse not to spend some time and learn the space. Whether you can go to on YouTube or figment or web 3.0 in university there are just so many different resources for free that you can just learn and leverage your skills to then apply that to something and then obviously make a living off of it. So, it’s definitely possible. I’m a testament of that and I know a lot of people that do that as well.
Jefferson Nunn 9:45
That’s great. I we definitely need more support in that education space. Man, it sounds like you, your website, and just everything you do is just fantastic about that. So, let me ask I mean, how did you David how Did you get started? First of all, in this face and second of all blockchain setting is such an amazing development. How did that happen?
David Fernandez 10:09
Yeah. So, I started working in blockchain, but I started learning in 2020. So, I, I came across to a, I knew a little bit of Bitcoin and crypto in 2018. But I wasn’t really paying too much attention until I found on a medium article, a protocol called Urine Finance who was created by Andre Caronia. So, this protocol in just a matter of few months, he was able to gather hundreds of millions of dollars in just a few months. And it was mostly just built by about just one guy? He obviously didn’t do it himself at the very beginning, but I think it was just one or two at the most. And they just feel $100 million, hundreds of millions of dollar protocol. So, when I saw that, I was like, wow, okay, there’s some power here. You can really do that with web 2.0. I mean, you don’t see that happening. It’s actually happened pretty often, when there’s just one guy, just one single guy builds something that is now worth billions of dollars during the Bull Run was billions of dollars. But that’s not very common in web 2.0. Because you actually need you need company information, you need a bunch of different things in order for you to build something and then obviously, get it out in the market and so forth. It’s possible, obviously, that that happens. But it’s not as often as in web 3.0. And when I saw that I was the well, there’s something here, I should probably dig more into this. So that’s, that’s why I got me to into crypto and specifically blockchain development. And I’ve been I’ve been in this space since then, I started learning by myself working for myself, I was working full time job as in the restaurant, actually. And yeah, but just doing the transition, getting a few clients, very small clients, very small projects, and just start building a portfolio. And, you know, just like anything, right, the very hardest part is the beginning. And once you start having a portfolio, then you can have your clients, then you’re more reliable. There are people that trust you more. And that’s how you scale up. And that’s what I did. And now I work with now bigger companies and, and startups as well. So that’s how I got into it.
Jefferson Nunn 12:12
Awesome. That’s an amazing journey. So, congratulations, by the way.
David Fernandez 12:17
Jefferson Nunn 12:17
A lot of work, definitely. But that’s what shows. I hear a lot of people they’re like, in the same between space between, you know, the old nine to five jobs, and they’re wondering, you know, what do they do now? That could be an excellent, excellent opportunity, I think for them. So, along with that, where do you see all of this going? I mean, we hear this web 3.0 metaverse. I know AI that might come later. There’s quantum computing. There’s all this magic that’s going on in the future. Can you tell me a little bit more about what it takes to make all that a reality?
David Fernandez 12:54
Yeah, so Well, there’s, I mean, you can see that the wants to know the space well, they actually investigating heavier right now in the bear market. So, for instance, Andreessen Horowitz, they just recently allocated about $400 million, I might be wrong with the numbers, but I think it’s 400 something million dollars just on a crypto fund specifically to fund crypto projects and protocols. And they actually did that recently, during a bear market. Binance also just allocated about half a billion dollars in the same thing as well. And that’s happening everything in a bear market. So, what that show is that people that are coming to this space, understand that this is a space that goes in cycles. And we are in a cycle where you’re actually supposed to be buying, not supposed to be selling and the ones that actually make it in a lot of ways. And if you’re in a space for a little bit, and you listen to some podcasts and some whales, you’re gonna realize that most of them tend to say the same thing, which is just survive, just stay in the space don’t go when things are boring when things go down, a stain his face build learn, and you’re gonna see the fruits of your labor in a bull market. So, from the managers perspective, I think it’s extremely new. There are still no use cases for it besides just pure hype. There’s a lot of applications that I can see that are that could be very, very changing in the especially right now, I would say probably gaming and also fashion, and just branding in general. So, what’s happening is that Adidas, Nike and all these different big companies are investing in the metaverse for only one thing, which is branding at the moment. They see that as the utility which is obviously very important. Other than that, I would see more, more applications and things that can be built on the metaverse probably in 2024 2025, especially with what’s coming into the space later this year, which is called SPT are so about Soul Bound Token, which is an NFT that cannot be transfer and what that allows users to have is that the opportunity to have a record on the blockchain on things that they have work or they have previous experience, I mean, you can use that as either resume, you can actually use that as a credit score for lending. Because that doesn’t exist right now you have to call, you have to put some collateral to get your loans. But now with that, you can actually build something that you don’t need to users to put collateral into your protocol, you can even give them loans, just like a bank would do. And you would, the criteria would be defined in the SPT. So that’s just a new use cases are going to come to fruition in 2024. Very likely probably even before. And I think it’s pretty, pretty important to getting early. So, understanding those use cases and understand how they can implement it. And yeah, that’s, that’s my thoughts on the NFTs and the market in general, I think that the things haven’t really slowed down for me at all. And for development in general, not even one date. A lot of protocols are still hiring heavily. I don’t know, other industries. But I know that this pays, even though some in some companies such as Coinbase, and 50x, they are slowing down, they’re hiring. They’re doing it just to protect themselves against something that could happen in Bitcoin, which is another crash, which is very likely to happen, we’re in a bear market. And that’s reasonable, they have to protect their bottom line. And the protocols, and all these different startups are not slowing down. They have funds from VCs, and they understand that this is a cycle thing, meaning that right now is the moment to build. It’s not in 2024 2025, with the start of Bitcoin, having specifically made 2024. The earlier you get here, the better. So, for instance, I’m just going to give you two examples of how important it is to get in early in getting in a bear market. So OpenSea was created in 2018. Uniswap was grading in 2018. Just goes to show that if you build something that is valuable, just so that you have some users that that can stick to your application, that means that you have something that’s valuable, because it’s standing the bear market. So, it’s right now as a place to get in, it’s not the place to get up. It’s not the time to get up. I meant sorry.
Jefferson Nunn 17:11
Yeah, I seen a lot of, for example, in 2012 2013, when I really got heavily into it, you can see a spike five years later, 2017, all those projects that took five years to develop, they released by 2017. And there was another boom. So, I really think it’s gonna be cyclical like that. And again, I’ve never heavily focused on the price of Bitcoin. Because I’m more focused, like, I think you are on the utility that’s behind all of it. And I think that’s what the game changer is, is, as, as I like to call it programmatic money, right? And we’ve never had that before in the history of man, where you can program energy, if you will, to do what you want. And I always like to posit one thing, you know, nano machines as effectively programmable matter. We’re not quite there yet, but it’s coming. We see it. So just imagine you have programmer will matter in program or burning energy? But you could do with that? Why you could take over a solar system? I think. So. That’s where it’s all headed. And I think you’re right, the people that are going to be in the driver’s seat of that change are going to be the developers, which is why I think it’s a very exciting time to have more developers. So yeah, what you’re doing I think it’s very commendable. We could use Bobby Denmark, people like you to really encourage the growth of that industry. So, to that last thought, what are your final thoughts on just anything Bitcoin? The market anything?
David Fernandez 18:59
Yeah, well say for anyone who’s listening, who is a beginner, just learning about the space, I would say just to focus on things that are actually working and just to focus on the networks that are that are that are relevant, and to spend time on those things. So, for instance, I know that there’s different blockchains that you can build applications such as a Polka Dots and Cosmos and, and so on and so forth, just to focus on the main ones which is Ethereum and work. So that way, you are able to deploy applications on the any Vechain, and most blockchains are trying to become EVM meaning that they want to be composable. And in being able to, to transfer those protocols are accessing the EVM into the blockchain as well. So, for instance, Moonbeam is doing that with The Puck Network near is doing that with Aurora. So, what’s that in Solana is trying to do that the same, the same thing too. So, what’s happening is that if you want to be so you want to be a developer and a blockchain engineer in general, you want to be where we’re, you know, what the what the moves are. And that’s happening. It’s always been happening in Ethereum. I also have a very controversial viewpoint, but I think that that flipping is going to happen. And I actually do believe that it’s going to happen in 2020. For the for the 2020 for this bull market or anything for 2025. The fundamentals are there. Bitcoin is deflationary. It gets cutting half. However, Ethereum is actually even more deflationary. And with it with the mechanism for burning, it’s gonna be actually even negative deflation. And that’s just one thing. I mean, I can just keep going. But like, just don’t switch just so that you have an idea of how big a theorem is going to be. The Metaverse is very likely to be in Ethereum, and it’s not going to be in Bitcoin. And if these are going to be in Ethereum, it’s not going to be in Bitcoin defy is going to be in Ethereum. It’s not going to be in Bitcoin, Bitcoin, what allows people to have been just as a store of value that is not controlled by any single entity. But that is the use case. And it’s valuable. But that’s it Ethereum just keeps growing, and there’s going to be more applications, there are going to be new types of tokens, things are going to be leaving mostly on the Ethereum blockchain, because of the network effects that we already have. It takes a lot of time for blockchain to be decentralized. And I know this from a very technical standpoint, as well, the tools are there, the tutorials are there, the documentation is better as well. It’s just everything when it comes to building, it’s just better in theory, than any other chains. Because the other things I knew were and, and that’s then that’s my viewpoint, I like to put that out there. And see, I like to have also discussions with people that disagree with me to see their viewpoints as well. But so far, no one has really changed my mind is called, there’s going to be multiple changes. But you know, it’s just like the Pareto distribution, you know, most of the output or the 80% of the output will come from basically theory, and this is actually happening. And if you actually want to see if that’s true, go to DefiLlama.com. And you can go and see that total value log of Ethereum, for NFTs, and DeFi. And you can see also for the other EVM chains, such as Binance, Smart chain, Polygon, Phantom, and you’re going to realize that all the money’s really coin to EVM, regardless of the high gas fees, and all these things that people say was too expensive to pay for gas. Well, yeah, but the market doesn’t really care. So, what happens once the mesh happens, what happens what sharding happens, which is going to scale Ethereum, who’s going to compete against the Ethereum? So, you know, those are things that are important to know, when you’re actually going to invest and dedicate your time into an industry, specifically to how you’re going to be building things. So yeah, that’s not my view. That’s just to finish up things.
Jefferson Nunn 22:45
Cool. I have a lot of great information here. Thank you very much, David, for your valuable insights, if they want to get in touch with you or get onto your website. How to have somebody do that?
David Fernandez 22:56
Yeah. So, thank you so much, Jefferson. Yeah, if someone wants to get in touch with me, I’m on Twitter. And I’m also on LinkedIn. So, LinkedIn is just David Fernandez. And on LinkedIn is Metahawq. So that’s the just a name that I just put there. And yeah, so that’s where you can follow me and then, you know, keep up with the what I think about the market.
Jefferson Nunn 23:20
Cool. Cool, thank you so much, David, for being on the show.
David Fernandez 23:23
Thank you so much, Jefferson.
If you are hearing this message, you’ve listened to our new episode all the way to the end. And for that, I, thank you from the bottom of my heart. And I hope you enjoyed this episode. If you did, please review the episode on podcast.co or tell a friend about it and feel free to suggest future episode topics. This is Jefferson Nunn signing off until the next episode of Around the Block.