Twitter Data Scientist Leaves for Aave as DeFi Social Media Plans Simmer

The lead data scientist for Twitter Spaces is joining Aave as the DeFi protocol ponders a social media play.

AccessTimeIconJan 7, 2022 at 5:22 p.m. UTC
Updated Jan 7, 2022 at 8:16 p.m. UTC

Andrew Thurman was a tech reporter at CoinDesk with a focus on DeFi.

After months of teasing a possible Web 3 social media platform, DeFi giant Aave has bagged a major hire from one of the world’s most popular social networks.

On Friday, former Twitter Spaces lead data scientist Julien Gaillard announced on Twitter that he was stepping away from the social media giant to become the data science lead for lending behemoth Aave.

Aave is one of DeFi’s pre-eminent protocols, commanding $12.89 billion in total value locked as the fourth-largest project per DeFiLlama. In recent months, Aave founder Stani Kulechov has been teasing a possible social media offering, at one point going so far as to say that the protocol was pondering “Twitter on Ethereum.”

“It goes without saying that Web3 has the ability to empower users more than the social media created by big tech and this empowerment is attractive for many people working in Big Tech to join Web3,” said Kulechov in a statement to CoinDesk. Other recent hires include Jessica Sit, a former Apple team lead, to head Aave’s marketing and content efforts, as well as Christina Beltramini, a former Tik Tok business development specialist as head of partnerships.

Kulechov also wrote on Twitter that he was “Excited to work with @juliengaillard on decentralized social media.” However, sources familiar with the matter told CoinDesk that Gaillard’s responsibilities might focus more on the existing DeFi offerings.

Despite his clear experience in the sector, Gaillard won’t be working entirely on the possible social media push, and will instead head an expanded data science division to help the protocol “be more analytical on our risk analyses and data-driven decision making on the product side,” the source said.

Aave’s core DeFi business notched a recent win with the launch of an Aave Arc permission lending pool featuring 30 regulatory-compliant institutional users.

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Andrew Thurman was a tech reporter at CoinDesk with a focus on DeFi.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Andrew Thurman was a tech reporter at CoinDesk with a focus on DeFi.