Blur is the most disruptive new platform in the Web 3 space. As I dug deeper into the new NFT marketplace, I learned more about Blur’s pseudonymous founder Pacman and the person behind the digital avatar, Tieshun Roquerre.
According to LinkedIn, Roquerre was still in high school when he moved to San Francisco in 2014 to work as a full-time engineer at Teespring. In 2015, he dropped out of high school to start StrongIntro to help tech companies grow their engineering teams through employee referrals.
Roquerre went through Y Combinator for StrongIntro before starting his undergrad at MIT in 2016. He dropped out of MIT to start Namebase in 2018 and went on to receive a grant from the Thiel Fellowship before raising a $5 million round for his startup. In 2021 Roquerre successfully sold Namebase to Namecheap and went on to start a stealth company in 2022 which turned out to be Blur.
Blur is currently the top NFT marketplace and has logged over 1.4 billion in trading volume to date. What is more significant is that the platform only launched in October 2022 and has managed to overtake Opensea in a matter of months.
Roquerre has undoubtedly achieved a monumental feat at a very young age.
He has disrupted the entire NFT ecosystem by creating a platform that strictly appeals to the pro-NFT trader. This is in stark contrast to OpenSea which was designed with the retail buyer in mind.
Although pro-NFT traders are a very niche demographic, they tend to be whales with considerable sway in the wider NFT ecosystem.
According to @proof_eth on Twitter,
✅ 20% of Blur’s volume comes from only 15 wallets.
✅ 50% of Blur’s volume comes from less than 300 wallets.
One possible explanation for Blur’s success is reflexivity in markets which Roquerre has written about in his blog.
“Stock markets don’t reflect the true price of assets, they reflect the prevailing social perception of the value of assets.”
This is understood as the prevailing bias and can be applied to the NFT market.
NFT trading volume has a massive impact on the prevailing bias about NFTs and the biggest drivers of trading volume are whales.
If you can build a platform that appeals to whales and incentivize high trading activity, you can drive reflexivity in the NFT market.
“What most people don’t consider is that the prevailing bias can affect the underlying value of the asset and vice versa.”
The $blur token airdrop which is awarded to users who buy and sell with frequency on Blur is designed with reflexivity in mind.
“When the prevailing bias of a market affects the underlying value, and the change in the underlying value feeds back to affect the prevailing bias the market falls into a positive feedback loop.”
The $blur token as an incentive is the primary driver of high trading volume on Blur. It creates a feedback loop that attracts new users to the platform resulting in exponential growth.
However, the feedback loop means the main value proposition of Blur is its token airdrops which artificially generate trading volume driven by whales.