ConsenSys Economist Still Has Hope for Crypto After FTX's Fall

Lex Sokolin said the sector can thrive if people develop useful applications based on blockchain technology.

AccessTimeIconNov 15, 2022 at 6:48 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:02 a.m. UTC
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The implosion of crypto exchange FTX has shocked the industry financially and led to a “confidence crisis” in the world of digital assets, Lex Sokolin, head economist of decentralized protocols at software company ConsenSys, said.

And yet Sokolin told CoinDesk TV's “First Mover” on Tuesday that "prices are not the end goal” and crypto’s future shouldn’t depend on the market’s immediate place today.

“They might be a reflection of value … but they’re not the thing that you’re trying to optimize,” Sokolin said. “What you’re trying to actually optimize is people building things that are novel, useful and that anchor in new technology.”

He added that crypto’s long-term trajectory depends on the new technology pushing “the frontier of what’s possible.”

At the same time, Sokolin said he’s worried that people will stop seeing “crypto economics as a legitimate field” and begin to “lose confidence," giving the example of Solana.

On Monday, the Solana Foundation said that it had upward of $135 million worth of SRM tokens and about $3.4 million FTT tokens stuck on the FTX exchange. FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was a vocal supporter of Solana and Serum, a decentralized exchange built on the blockchain. Both were hurt by Bankman-Fried's fall from grace.

“I’m worried that a lack of trust in the Solana ecosystem will spread to a lack of trust in the model,” Sokolin said.

Despite the turmoil caused by FTX, a Bahamas-based exchange that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week and that faces prosecution, Sokolin said it’s important to consider the “organic entrepreneurship” in crypto, pointing out that blockchains such as Ethereum are continuing to “build collaboratively.”


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Fran Velasquez

Fran is CoinDesk's TV writer and reporter.