Mrinalini "Ria" Bhutoria is known as a researcher, and she knows it. It's why one of her public handles is riasearch.eth.
The 29-year-old has spent an entire career in the field. Before joining Castle Island Ventures as a partner, where she focuses on finding potential investments in Web3 (from the smallest units, such as wallets, to the infrastructure that makes everything hum), she was an analyst on and off Wall Street.
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Bhutoria cemented her reputation in crypto as director of research at Fidelity Digital Assets, the $4.5 trillion asset manager's crypto arm that was early to bitcoin (BTC). It was a post pioneered by her current colleague at Castle Island, Nic Carter, who was Fidelity's first dedicated bitcoin analyst.
Before Fidelity, Bhutoria was a senior analyst at Circle Research, where she wrote weekly roundups about the state of the industry. She would occasionally also write longer reports zooming into advancements in narrow topics like zero knowledge technology and multi-party computation (well before ZK-anything or MPC were popular topics).
She's still writing; this year Bhutoria wrote an insightful essay entitled "Reviving Trust in Crypto," which explores the fundamental tenets that separate crypto from traditional finance, or TradFi, and what must be done to restore the crypto industry's credibility.
The New York City transplant from Kolkata, India, got her entry into finance as an equity research analyst at Credit Suisse, where she worked after studying finance and economics at New York University's Stern School of Business.
In 2021, Bhutoria co-founded a decentralized autonomous organization, or DAO, called Komorebi, which has invested at least $500,000 with female and nonbinary Web3 founders.
"If we return to the core values that united us in the first place, I believe the original vision of crypto can be realized," Bhutoria wrote in her essay.
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