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Joining Variant

Jon Itzler profile picture

Jon Itzler

I’m thrilled to announce I’ve joined Variant, where I’ll be helping entrepreneurs build the future of finance & culture alongside Jesse WaldenSpencer Noon, our advisors Stani KulechovJake ChervinskyCooper Turley and our partners.

Since my time working on request-for-quote orders via 0x in 2017, I’ve been convinced that all of finance will ultimately become permissionless and transparent. 

I grew up with DeFi as it evolved and fell in love with leveraging these core tenants – through avid participation in the protocols themselves, obsessing over cryptoeconomic incentives & mechanism design, and in the ability to query any piece of present or historical on-chain data. 

I’ve always been particularly fascinated by protocol tokens and their role in bootstrapping networks. I like diving into their fundamental makeup as productive assets and analyzing optimality of mechanics. On-chain data allows you to go deeper on things like quantifying the effectiveness of distribution models & subsidies, painting a picture of the full protocol with dashboards (how I met Spencer), or creating tools like a whitelisted set of historical governance participants for a guarded launch. 

I’ve believed for a long time that tokens are strictly better than equity as a form of programmatic ownership. When I met Jesse for the first time last year, I quickly saw the alignment we shared in what he eloquently coined as The Ownership Economy.

The thesis is effectively this – community ownership is a cheat code. Giving users a financial stake in the success of a project can accelerate its growth curve, allowing networks to scale far beyond the scope of traditional companies.

Variant takes an expansive view on the power of community ownership and the impact it can have towards building a more meritocratic and equitable society on-chain. Today, we’re just starting to see the thesis play out beyond pure financial primitives. While we’ll continue to invest in the former, we’re excited to help push the edge of what will come to represent the next defining era of crypto: NFT’s, NFT infrastructure, emerging creator economies, on-chain social graphs, and ideas we haven’t conceived of yet but ingenious founders will. The metaverse will be owned & operated by users. 

I’m grateful for the opportunity to work alongside the founders and builders in the Variant portfolio and broader community to help execute on the vision.

My DM’s are open to all or reach me at [email protected].

Some ideas I’m excited about:

  • NFT raffles
  • Custom-weighted baskets of commodity indexes for hedging your personal CPI
  • Pooled borrowing against NFTs/fractions
  • A standard for launching CreatorDAO’s
  • Great social UX for tracking activity on chain
  • And anything else cool of course!