we will succumb as well. Let’s unite! Let’s work together! That’s the best way forward.
Before Oasis, what parts of Web3 occupied your time?
Degenhardt: I’ve had the opportunity to work with many amazing colleagues in Web3 since 2018, and even before that when I first started reading about blockchain and discussing the philosophy of this movement.
As a parenthesis, I think we are a movement, much more than a simple industry. People who are in Web3 feel part of a cultural movement. That’s much more engaging than just working for a simple company selling a product. I did that, I’m not complaining, but Web3 gives you so much more inspiration and a sense of real urgency to change things for the better.
But back to the question, I have worked in several ecosystems, from Ethereum to Polkadot, BNB Chain to Hyperledger, B2C projects, B2B projects. I’ve worked in fashion and metaverse, regulated funds, battery recycling and tooling for real builders to create multichain dApps, and so on. So, really a little bit of everything. And I always learn a lot from every project that I had the chance to contribute to. Most of these takeaways are applicable to new challenges from new projects. So, in the end, I think it’s super beneficial to have this wide experience to help the teams I’m working with.
Also, before Web3, I worked for many years in more traditional industries, which gave me the structure to help Web3 projects move from 0 to 1 and beyond without having to reinvent the wheel every time. But I love how Web3 is fundamentally different from Web2. I also think Web3 has a lot to learn from the structure and efficiency of some Web2 practices, especially in marketing and community.
What role do you see Oasis playing in the future of Web3?
Degenhardt: Well, Oasis can be one of the key unifying factors in Web3.
All protocols need to protect the confidentiality of their users. All projects can create interesting dApps using aspects of privacy that can help differentiate them for specific audiences and use cases. And all of that can be built with Oasis technology.
Whether a project decides to build directly on Sapphire to, for example, enable MEV protection in a DEX, or if an existing project on Ethereum wants to customize aspects of their dApps to offer privacy features using Smart Privacy tools like the Oasis Privacy Layer, Oasis can serve their needs too.
One key component of this positioning for Oasis is the concept of Smart Privacy that we introduced at EthCC in Paris. Just like in smart contract development, Smart Privacy can also be programmed with customized outcomes for data confidentiality. Builders can select exactly what aspects of their dApp or protocol will be transparent and what aspects will be protected.
So, I see Oasis as being a partner to any protocol, DAO or dApp in Web3. It’s a big statement, but Oasis provides privacy solutions that are simultaneously technically simple to implement and extremely powerful for end users.
Why do you see privacy as being so important to a successful Web3?
Degenhardt: Privacy is a fundamental human right. We know that there are plenty of flawed aspects of Web3 today, like MEV, for example, or how voting can be biased by whales. Other examples are dApps that resort to storing data off-chain just to enable certain features for users. All of these things could be improved by using some of the technologies that Oasis has built and launched specifically for these communities.
So, by working together with these protocols, DAOs, dApp developers, and other creators in Web3, Oasis can improve the overall user experience and work together to bring the power of Web3 to millions more users.
This is exactly what we need as an industry and as a movement.
Beyond Web3, can you tell us something about yourself that most people wouldn’t know?
Degenhardt: Something personal? What about my privacy? < laughs >
Well, as I hinted in an earlier question, I’m a big history nerd. When I’m not working on Web3, I spend a good chunk of my time learning about ancient societies and cultures. I love to learn about how ordinary people lived their lives in ancient times, their customs and language, and how that still influences us today. I really dig all eras of history, from the Romans, Bronze Age, prehistory, Middle Ages, and also our contemporary times. Really, everything!
We can understand our world much better when we know the historical background. And knowing history is a great way to avoid making the same mistakes as well! This also takes us back to Web3 and our intentions to avoid the pitfalls from Web2 companies…everything is connected.
What can we expect to see in the upcoming months for Oasis?
Degenhardt: A lot, and on all fronts! The excitement and announcements from Oasis at EthCC was a great initial win for us at the Oasis Foundation since I joined. We showcased to a record audience the latest developments for two of our most important solutions: Sapphire and the Oasis Privacy Layer (OPL). Our community can expect a lot more of this as we continue to speak to a technical audience of dedicated builders, and as we incentivize them to build privacy-enabled applications.
Related to ecosystem support, we also kicked off our Privacy4Web3 hackathon at EthCC. Since the announcement, there are more than 200 registrations — another record for the protocol. The hackathon is on, and anyone with a good idea in the areas of integrating privacy into Web3 dApps should register.
We will also be more active with Oasis ecosystem projects and partnerships. These are fundamental points for the growth of the protocol. For example, besides the hackathon, I foresee that our grants programme will be much more active in strategically selecting projects that add lots of value for not only the Oasis Network, but to Web3 in general. We’re working actively with teams through the grant programme, and you’ll hear about these very soon. Well, one of them was just announced this week, Crust.
We’ve seen some fantastic partners joining us at EthCC, and I encourage everyone to check out the recording of the event here as the quality of the speakers and content presented were really second to none. Expect more on this front as well.
Also, regarding our global community, the Foundation team has doubled down on our support on Discord and Telegram for technical questions from developers creating dApps that use Oasis technology and other less technical users. For example, we launched the Oasis Odyssey programme for the wider community to contribute to Oasis, and we have also some exciting news coming up for ambassadors. So, stay tuned!
All in all, I see a few strategic areas where we can do better, especially in the sense of helping the ecosystem to build more using Oasis. I mean both natively and with a SDK-like solution such as OPL. The marketing and community team at the Foundation will support this, and we are seeking to continuously decentralize and incorporate the community in every aspect of our approach to building the Oasis ecosystem.
I can definitely see a bright and exciting future for Oasis and Web3 privacy!