In this part, we ask Adam Greenberg, one of the co-founders of Nova about his experience in cryptocurrency, his daily activities and his vision for Nova in the future.
How did you get into the crypto space?
In 2013, I began to hear a lot about Bitcoin. It had recently gone on a pretty rapid rise and I was very curious about the concept behind it. At the time, I was 16 and only had a laptop and pretty limited money but I was keen to get involved. Towards the end of 2013, currencies like Dogecoin were released and lots of other altcoins too. I started mining Dogecoin on my laptop and participating in faucets and used it to get a very small amount of BTC, something like 0.0025btc
I spent 2014 trying to trade my way up to an entire bitcoin and towards the end of the year I was successful. I also started to get more involved in the community during this time. In 2015, I also started a full time job and now that I was relatively confident in the space (I definitely still had a lot more to learn though) I started using my salary to buy more BTC.
Since then, cryptocurrency has been a huge part of my life. It allowed me to do so many things that I never thought I would have ever been able to do. I’m very grateful that I had the opportunities that I did and also very glad that my younger self put in so much grind in to understand the technology and the markets forming around it.
How did Nova start?
Myself and Tom ran a blockchain solutions company since 2017 and had built up a great team and client base. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, unfortunately a few of our clients were put under financial strain and were unable to continue working with us. It meant that we had a lot more time to ourselves and we took that time to do more research and experimentation. Before the pandemic, I had started researching more in depth how protocols like Compound and Maker worked and began to see how some of these protocols could be really useful for financial management. When the Maker liquidation crisis happened in March, it really opened my eyes up to risks that came with these pioneering protocols.
When Yearn released their governance token, that’s when I officially took the plunge into DeFi and began liquidity mining YFI tokens. I then basically just got further and further down the rabbit hole after that. One thing that really interested me about the DeFi space was the opportunity for yield generation. Tom and I had regularly discussed ideas around circular economies and the idea that investment could generate returns that allowed someone to live sustainably without having to work and fulfill their basic needs. With DeFi picking up steam it looked like some of these concepts could actually be achievable.
Of course, over time, Yield has fluctuated within the space across different protocols and this is when we first started to begin conceptualising the basics of Nova. Originally we were looking at quite a simple yield aggregator concept but as the space evolved and aggregators became more commonplace, we started to dive deeper into our concepts and carry out interviews and tests to build something more comprehensive with a longer term focus. When we were invited to build on Solana and were one of the winners of the hackathon in June, we shifted our focus entirely to Solana and began our journey to launch.
What do you do within Nova?
In Nova, I’m mainly focused on the design & architecture of the product. Particularly in the concept stage, I spent a lot of time trying to piece together the platform concept and carrying out discovery calls and interviews. These days with launch fast approaching, I’m heavily involved with the launch preparations too and lending a hand to the marketing side.
What motivates you to work on Nova every day?
I love solving problems and due to being one of the core contributors at Nova, people from all parts of the operation come to me with questions and challenges. Everyone including myself who works at Nova believes in the wider vision and opportunity that we have to make a meaningful dent into the world. It feels great to be part of a unit like this and working with everyone to collectively achieve our objectives, especially when we are successful together, is something I really enjoy.
I also really care about my own personal improvement and I’m always looking for opportunities to be better and do things in a more effective way. In an early stage company, you have to keep running forward no matter what and I enjoy that challenge. To keep improving at things and reach the highest levels, it takes sacrifice and its particularly motivating to keep making these efforts knowing that its all going towards something that I care a lot about.
What’s your ultimate vision for Nova?
A lot of what DeFi is bringing to the mainstream is access to tools and financial opportunities that have typically been reserved for banks and other financial institutions. Most people are under the impression that their money is only good for buying goods and services, especially when the bank gives such low (and in some cases, negative) interest rates. This is definitely not the case and the processes and returns within strong DeFi protocols are proving that your money can deliver much more for you.
There’s also the fact that digital assets are making investment more accessible. Venture capital has profited massively and had such a huge impact on innovation since its inception and now with the funding structures being used within the space, anyone has the potential to take part and succeed also.
If Nova enables people to be successful in making gains and supporting innovation, it’s a net gain for humanity. Innovation will allow us to improve and automate virtually everything and build a more sustainable world. When that happens, the role of the individual massively changes. No longer will we work to make sure our basic needs are met, we will work because we want to achieve and pioneer humanity even further. Increasing our lifespan and exploring the universe are a few of the many possible valuable things that we could all collectively come together and progress. People like Elon Musk are already thinking on this level and we need to create systems which allow more people to reach that level also.
After a hard day’s work, what do you do to relax?
I like cooking and enjoying good food with my girlfriend. I’m really competitive so I like games like F1, Fortnite & Fifa where there’s an element of skill and always the opportunity to improve. In a way, they’re like shorter versions of what I do during the day so that’s probably why I like them so much. I also love stories and histories of certain events, people and organisations and just general things so I read books and watch long form documentary type things on YouTube a lot too. There’s always a lot you can learn from what’s already happened and apply it to your own situations and scenarios.
About Nova Finance
Nova is a programmable asset framework that allows people to access DeFi without having to learn complex financial management skills. Within the product, users can create a portfolio of assets which auto-generate returns through yield strategies while auto-executing on investment strategies such as dollar cost averaging, take profit calls and much more.