In an exclusive video podcast, we had the chance to speak with one of the brightest crypto analyst in the space, Messari’s Ryan Watkins. We chat about his background and how we went from a career in investment banking to now analyzing the crypto space. We then get his thoughts ranging from different topics such as YFI, the OCC’s recent stablecoin guidance, crypto analytics, to the significance of the historical figure, Mansa Musa, in Ryan’s first NFT creation.

For those who may have already noticed, Ryan Watkins has carved out a name for himself posting insightful analysis of a range of topics within crypto, recently mostly DeFi. Coming from a traditional investment banking background, Ryan has been pedal to the metal in crypto and sees no turning back anytime soon.

“noone really knows where this industry is going to go, people are more interested and open minded to younger voices. So it allows young people to come in and be respected for some of their thoughts and opinions. And the last thing is just that it’s a lot more exciting this industry.”

Messari has been on top of the DeFi coverage over the past few months, not only just in posting recent news or headlines but also digging deeper into myriads of perspectives such as DeFi tokenomics, valuation, and the hype around it.

“…it [DeFi] really addresses a very compelling use case for people getting into cryptocurrency, which is basically just, how can you help people make money…”, Ryan on the recent boom of DeFi, “it’s no longer just about trading tokens with a whitepaper.”

The stablecoin sector is another area Ryan is deeply immersed in as we chat about implications of the OCC’s recent stablecoin guidance. But Ryan believes it probably has more importance than DeFi itself, “one of the most important use cases for crypto today is stablecoins, allow people access to a stable form of currency, it’s very important, it’s very simple, less sexy but it really does provide real world value to people”.

Analytics in crypto is going to become ever so more important as adoption increases. Being able to provide valuable data is what will entice outsiders inside. In the same way DeFiPulse’s TVL was a critical data benchmark for DeFi. But now there are so many blockchain data analytics platforms with many becoming a commodity in this space.

As Ryan sees it playing out, “for the foreseeable future, crypto analytic platforms will probably remain fragmented with specialized data providers, in the longer term, it is definitely a space that is ripe for consolidation”.

Ending it with a trivial question on his personal NFT posted on Rarible, we asked him where he got his inspiration from to design his 10 NFTs selling for $50 each. Ryan explains, “we are still doing the same things now as we were back in the 14th century. Now everyone is fascinated by this asset of bitcoin, just like Matsa Musa was fascinated by gold. So I called it ‘money is a flat circle’ because of this story that we continuously to tell over and over again”.