The Bright Minds Building Chicago’s Crypto & Web3 Ecosystem

Updated: May 18

By

Paul Hsu, Founder and CEO, Decasonic

Cami Darling, Marketing and Community Manager, Decasonic


More on Chicago's booming Crypto and Web3 ecosystem detailed here in Forbes.


Innovation is diversifying geographically. Silicon Valley is a mindset, and nothing proves this more than the crypto and web3 innovation accelerating in the city of Chicago, the midwest, and broadly areas outside of traditional tech centers.


A quick personal backstory from our founder Paul Hsu:


With a deep conviction in blockchain technology, I relocated my family to Chicago in 2018, after nearly two decades in the SF bay area. Without many personal or professional connections to the region, we jumped into the land of uncertainty and still moved here. I knew that digital assets were going to be big and the best market infrastructure talent was located in this ecosystem.


What I found validated my hypothesis: true midwestern hard work, engineering grit and a substance around "doing". I was welcomed by many well respected industry leaders. We have been able to combine our superpowers and accelerate our work in blockchain. To that, I'm grateful.


Innovation results from the density of ideas and capital - Chicago is an epicenter of where this convergence is bringing out the best and brightest.


Recently Paul had the opportunity to co-author an article in Forbes with lead of HPA Pete Wilkins and Decasonic Community Manager Cameron Darling, which recognizes all the great work our neighbors have been building for their careers. Many, including Rumi Morales, Colleen Sullivan, Joe Hernandez, Alexandra (Lexy) Prodromos and Matthew Roszak were pioneers, as early as 2013, in setting the foundation for the early blockchain ecosystem here in Chicago.


Many many more are the day to day builders, heads down tinkering on the next set of ideas that will transform the world. Some enjoy the spotlight, most just want to build the substance that deserves the market success while finding signals through the noise. We are just lucky enough to have the platform to recognize them.


Some of the many leaders featured in the article include:


Digital Assets Infrastructure:

Brett Harrison at FTX US, Ed Tilly at Cboe, Kanav Kariya & Sach Chitnis at Jump Crypto, Kimberly Trautmann, CFA at DRW VC, Nate George at Cumberland


Capital Providers:

Imran K. at Alliance DAO, my colleagues Alejandro Ballesteros Cruz & Cameron Darling at Decasonic, Andrew Steinwold & Dan Patterson at Sfermion, Colleen Sullivan & Peter Johnson at BH Digital


Innovative Companies:

Matthew Dixon & Nick at CoinFX, Ben Weiss at CoinFlip, the core devs and incubated companies at Solana Labs Chicago Hacker House, Daniel Gunsberg & Rob Levy at HXRO,


Service Providers:

Alex Nadeau & Evan Pollock at Objective Paradigm, Tony Coglianese and Brad Serot at CBRE, Michael Frisch & Paige Bolinger at Croke Fairchild


Public and Non-Profit Entities:

The blockchain club led by Zayyan Faizal at UIUC, Margaret Croke in the IL Assembly, Abin Kuriakose and Michael Fassnacht at the World Business Chicago, Brad Henderson at P33, Gabriella Kusz at GlobalDCA


and of course, the list continues to grow…


With the pleasure of networking and collaborating with many of these individuals, we are proud to attest to the ultra friendly midwest demeanor of these well intentioned, high quality innovators.


Read more on the booming Crypto and Web3 ecosystem in The City that Works here:


https://www.forbes.com/sites/peterandrewwilkins/2022/05/11/20-top-innovators-building-the-chicago-crypto-and-web3-ecosystem/amp/