Web3 is being built from the ground up by visionaries who’ve often left behind successful careers to forge new frontiers. Today, Chainlink – web3’s leading decentralized oracle network – premiered its new Block Stories docuseries, which goes backstage with the founders and CEOs of some of the most influential protocols in the Chainlink Ecosystem to explore their inspiration.
Episode 1 delves into the insight behind Nexus Mutual, a peer-to-peer, risk-sharing, smart contract-based mutual that protects its members against software bugs and hacks. In order to ensure its multi-currency capital pool reflects the most accurate, up-to-date market prices, Nexus integrated Chainlink Price Feeds back in March of 2020.
Founder Hugh Karp traced his career trajectory back to his upbringing in “community-driven” Canberra, Australia, followed by a decade spent working as an actuary for traditional “shareholder-driven” life insurance companies and a subsequent sabbatical year spent traveling the world.
After witnessing the devastation frequent earthquakes cause for the mostly uninsured people of Peru, Karp said, “I started thinking about taking insurance all the way back to its roots of that cooperative or community-driven approach.”
The “lightbulb moment” for Nexus came after Karp discovered Bitcoin, then Ethereum and blockchain-based decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). During The DAO hack in 2016, he understood the industry’s need for an insurance product to protect against this type of digital risk.
“I didn’t necessarily go out wanting to be a solo founder but decided that I might as well give it a shot,” he said.
During an impromptu presentation at the 2017 DevCon event in Cancun, Karp appealed to the early Ethereum community, raised a successful seed round, and launched Nexus Mutual.
He recalled what it was like to endure the “extremely sickening feeling” brought on by the bear market of 2018 and 2019.
“But, as an actuary, you project out what’s going to happen in the future on a financial basis, and the projections we’re talking about are 40, 50, 60, 70 years long,” he explained.
While the short-term volatility of the crypto space can be “distracting,” Karp said, “being able to have a long-term focus is critical if you’re going to make a success of something in the longer term.”
Having surmounted these early hurdles, Nexus’ next step is building products that alleviate real-world problems, like the impact of earthquakes in places like Peru. Beyond expanding the web3 universe, Karp is focused on blockchain’s potential to solve humanity’s oldest and most enduring obstacles.
“Fundamentally, this technology can really change things,” he said.
Watch Episode 1 of Block Stories featuring Nexus Mutual founder Hugh Karp.