Crypto Leader of the Week: Sergey Nazarov

5 min readJun 24, 2021

This week, the Shrimpy Academy presents its loyal readers with short biographies of three influential industry leaders who include:

With the new format exclusively found at our Medium account, we at Shrimpy wish to highlight the achievements, ambitions, and actions of one beloved crypto leader each week. Although we respect every leader, we deem only one to have the merit required to be featured in our weekly post.

During this cycle, we are met with a truly diverse list of individuals — which adds extra difficulty to choosing our final winner.

Everyone has contributed to the blockchain industry in their own distinct way. Some have done so through Bitcoin evangelism, some through significant investments, and some through sheer work and innovation alone.

After hours of objective analysis, we have concluded that Sergey Nazarov — the co-founder of SmartContract and Chainlink — is the clear winner this week.

About Sergey Nazarov

Sergey memes, billions of Sergey memes

Cult-like behavior is not outlandish in the world of cryptocurrencies. Thanks to his feats in developing decentralized oracles capable of transferring real-world data between on-chain and off-chain systems, Sergey Nazarov has rightfully earned himself a top spot in the community’s leaderboard of the most beloved industry leaders.

We know him as the harbinger of interoperability, the leader of the so-called ‘Linkmarines,’ and ‘the man in plaid’ — a moniker given by Coindesk.

He always wears the same plaided shirt. Is it a fashion statement or a good luck charm?

With a genius mind and charismatic personality Nazarov managed to solve a problem that no one else could: The Oracle Problem.

The timeline is beyond any description. A year after Ethereum’s arrival to the scene in 2013, Sergey Nazarov has already founded SmartContract to improve the state of — well, smart contracts.

In 2016, he proposed the idea of Chainlink — an oracle ecosystem whose nodes are incentivized to transfer data between blockchain and legacy systems in a trustless manner. The idea was brought into reality within the span of two years, right after Chainlink’s mainnet launch.

Payments, insurance, debt, personal data — the possibilities are endless.

But besides the aforementioned achievements, we must ask the question: Who is the bright mind behind Chainlink? What is his passion, and what drives him to work in the blockchain industry for the last seven years?

Sergey Nazarov is the son of two Russian immigrants who moved to the United States in the early 90s. With engineers as parents, it is no wonder that Nazarov had an interest in everything tech-related from an early age.

He sat behind a computer screen for the first time at five years of age. By middle school, Nazarov was reading programming manuals while simultaneously taking apart old cathode-ray televisions to figure out how they work.

During his teenage years, Nazarov was like any other geek, archetypically playing strategy games and building Legos.

Later on, Sergey Nazarov entered the New York University as a student in which he graduated with a degree in Philosophy & Management, fueling his interest and skills in becoming an entrepreneur.

“He was the most curious kid I ever taught…Relentlessly questioning. If he didn’t understand anything he would corner you and pummel you until it was clear. And usually the reason it wasn’t clear to him was because there was a fault in the original explanation.” — NYU Professor Lawrence Lenihan

After NYU, Nazarov went on to work with numerous startups, even those based in Russia. Once he returned to the U.S. Nazarov got to the question of what he wishes to do with his life.

“I was at this stage that people are sometimes where they are figuring out what they want to do…What is my career going to be about? What am I am going to devote decades of my life to? And obviously blockchains won out.”

The answer was obvious: blockchain technology.

Dabbling with mining gear and messing around with Bitcoin didn’t come without any rewards. Experimeintg at an early phase with cryptocurrencies, making him an early adopter, led to Sergey Nazarov choosing the blockchain industry as the place where he wishes to dedicate the rest of his life.

Nazarov didn’t care for payment systems, scalability solutions, or decentralized exchange. He focused on the important, long-term solutions that will truly make a difference in the world: oracles.

His work was initially discarded, but today Nazarov is recognized as an individual the caliber of Satoshi Nakamoto and Vitalik Buterin

The entrepreneur is more than bullish on Chainlink’s position in the market and the useability of decentralized oracles. Nazarov believes that his platform can provide so much value to the world that it has the potential to turn into a public good.

“I think the pinnacle, the absolute fucking pinnacle of success for somebody building this type of infrastructure is that they build something that becomes a public good that is important to how society functions properly.

Will his solution be as impactful to the economy and average life of an individual as Germany’s Autobahn? (if we wish to compare blockchain services to public goods.)

Sergey Nazarov may seem overly ambitious, but anyone who has followed him long enough knows that he is a man with a plan — not to mention, his overflowing motivation is enough to move mountains at this point.

There is more to be said about Nazarov. But honestly, we can spend days and nights reminiscing on this Satoshi-esque leader. For starters, it’s enough to check out Shrimpy’s full biography of Sergey Nazarov at the following link.

What about last week?

Last week, the Shrimpy Academy published insightful biographies of three important crypto leaders:

They are exchange owners and developers, the finest ones in the entire blockchain industry. But does anyone stand out and tower above the others? Some might vote for Jesse Powell for his early entrance to the crypto market, but we can all agree that Hayden Adams is a clear favorite due to his immense contributions to the DeFi market.

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