GRTiQ Podcast: 146 Anthony Zhang

Today I am speaking with Anthony Zhang, a Community Manager at The Graph Foundation with a specific focus on nurturing and expanding The Graph’s community in Asia. Anthony’s journey into this role followed a working at StreamingFast, one of The Graph’s core development teams.

In this interview, Anthony’s enthusiasm for music takes center stage as we explore the intriguing possibilities of how web3 could potentially reshape the traditional music industry. We embark on a journey through Anthony’s initial curiosity about web3, leading to his role at StreamingFast. Our conversation then shifts its focus to the dynamic landscape of Asia, unearthing captivating insights on crypto and web3 within this region.

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We use software and some light editing to transcribe podcast episodes.  Any errors, typos, or other mistakes in the show transcripts are the responsibility of GRTiQ Podcast and not our guest(s). We review and update show notes regularly, and we appreciate suggested edits – email: iQ at GRTiQ dot COM. The GRTiQ Podcast owns the copyright in and to all content, including transcripts and images, of the GRTiQ Podcast, with all rights reserved, as well our right of publicity. You are free to share and/or reference the information contained herein, including show transcripts (500-word maximum) in any media articles, personal websites, in other non-commercial articles or blog posts, or on a on-commercial personal social media account, so long as you include proper attribution (i.e., “The GRTiQ Podcast”) and link back to the appropriate URL (i.e.,[episode]).

The following podcast is for informational purposes only. The contents of this podcast do not constitute tax, legal, or investment advice. Take responsibility for your own decisions, consult with the proper professionals, and do your own research.

Anthony Zhang (00:14):

I’m very excited for what’s going to happen next year because of the Sunrise, because of what Semiotic AI is doing with the natural language query, I think these things are going to make the network more active and lower down the barriers of entry for people to participate in The Graph.

Nick (01:09):

Welcome to the GRTiQ podcast. Today I’m speaking with Anthony Zhang, a community manager for The Graph Foundation. Anthony is helping support and grow The Graph community in Asia. Before moving into the community manager role at The Graph Foundation, Anthony worked at StreamingFast, one of the core dev teams at The Graph. During this interview, Anthony shares his passion for music and talks about how web3 might disrupt the traditional music industry. We also talk about how Anthony got interested in web3 and went to work at StreamingFast. We then shift our discussion to talking about Asia and explore several interesting topics about crypto and web3 in this region of the world. Along the way, you’ll see that Anthony has a lot of different skills, is passionate about The Graph, and the future of web3. As always, we start the discussion talking about Anthony’s educational background.

Anthony Zhang (01:57):

So I studied actually in liberal arts in Montreal, McGill University, which is the place that I got into my first job in crypto, which is StreamingFast, a core dev developer team at The Graph, and I stayed there for five years before I joined The Graph. The foundation works, so my background is not in computer science or anything like that, it’s something more general, but like 2017 it was the boom of crypto and after Ethereum there’s more like other chains, the ICO boom. I kind of stumbled upon an opportunity by that time, so that’s how I joined the space.

Nick (02:45):

Let’s go back to this interest in liberal arts. So what were you studying specifically and what drew your interest in these types of things at that point in your life?

Anthony Zhang (02:53):

Man, I was looking at everywhere. I took a bunch of courses. I studied industrial relations, which is more about management and labor relations, and cultural studies, English. But then I ended up doing a combination of literature, theater and creative production and cultural studies. It’s kind of like a program that they let students to combine courses themselves, but they have a guideline. I kind of fit it into the broad stream of things that I was interested of. I just wanted to learn, I guess, a vehicle to see the world with. So that’s what I took. And in terms of tech, I studied, my minor was in music tech. It was like making music is my thing. And I was also at the time doing a lot of tech related jobs. I was a brand ambassador for Microsoft at On Campus, and that’s how I learned, I guess, sales in tech.

Nick (04:00):

When you were studying liberal arts and interested in music and things, what were your ambitions after university? What was the vision at that time?

Anthony Zhang (04:07):

Oh, my vision was work in the music or cultural industry, I guess. I was applying for jobs at Vice. I started a clothing brand in Montreal, which still exists, with my friends, and I also worked briefly a little bit at Billboard at their radio station in China. But yeah, I was actually interested in the cultural industry at first, but then things are connected, I guess, somehow I’m here.

Nick (04:41):

Let’s talk about creating music. You said music’s my thing and anybody that follows you or knows about you on Twitter and stuff knows that you put out a lot of jams, you do some videos, you’re doing some DJing and stuff. So let’s talk about music. What are you working on and why are you so interested in music? Why are you passionate about it?

Anthony Zhang (04:57):

I’ve been passionate about it since I was young, I guess. I grew up in China and I kind of learned English through learning how to rap and I mean hip hop was a easy gateway for a lot of music makers these days. Like beats making is easy as computer music, but you can be very expressive and have your own personality to it. I guess that’s why it grew from a block to the world so much. And I guess that’s the same thing with web3, right? And yeah, I mean it’s the culture that drew me to it, I think.

Nick (05:35):

So you learned English by learning rap lyrics and kind of adopting American rap music, is that right?

Anthony Zhang (05:42):

Yeah, pretty much. Yeah. When I was in high school during lunch breaks and in China we have two hours of lunch break with one to two hours with some time to take a nap in between because we have long school hours and I would not sleep and just read through rap lyrics and try to rap with it. Yeah, that’s how I got good.

Nick (06:04):

It’s an interesting way to pick up American vocabulary. What were some of the ones you recall learning?

Anthony Zhang (06:10):

I went to high school around 2011 to 2003. That’s when hip hop was really getting into pop music and there was this guy called B.O.B from Georgia, from Decada, I think, he has a famous song called Airplane. It was very poppy raps. That’s how I started.

Nick (06:31):

Talk to me about the music you make now. What are you doing or you’re doing DJing, as I said earlier, at least that’s what I’ve seen on the videos, but give us a little bit more of a flavor of what you’re working on and what type of music, how would you describe it?

Anthony Zhang (06:43):

I describe it as a fusion of different genres that I like. I use, I mean the production is based in hip hop and dance music. What I mean by that is sample drums and stuff, and then I add my own singing lyrics on it. I guess I’m not really bounded by genres, but the themes that I explore are usually like I sing in English and Chinese. I try to make it flow and I just let whatever’s on my mind flow out. My creative process most of the time, very much improvisation. And yeah, I still describe it as pop music and my recent release, I actually put it out on, Music NFT platforms, pretty popping these days, which is kind of like an alternative R&B track with a very electronic sound to it. It’s called Touch Me. And the theme is about relationships or in Chinese we call 缘分, which means providence or destiny with people. It’s kind of like this invisible bound between people and relationships and how that happens in the digital world. And I express that through music and lyrics.

Nick (08:07):

Why do you think you’re so drawn to music? I mean, is it the creative process? Is it the sound? Is it the vision or dream of making it big? What drives this interest and passion?

Anthony Zhang (08:17):

What drives it? I guess it’s an innate need to create. Every human being is creative. We are creating right now through this podcast, we’re creating a conversation and we’re sharing that creation with people, with an audience. We do so because we feel the need to express ourselves and we have satisfied factions from getting feedback and response and resonate with other people, and that helps us to understand ourselves and our relationship to the world. I guess that’s what drives me in terms of big dreams and aspirations. I do have them, but it’s an exploration for me rather than a specific thing I’m trying to achieve.

Nick (10:44):

So you mentioned it just a moment ago, but let’s double click on this idea of how music and the life of creators, musicians like yourself changes in a web3 landscape. Longtime listeners of the podcast know that I featured an interview with Roneil Rumburg at one point, and he is the founder at Audius, which is Spotify type of platform for musicians. You mentioned there that you’re using What is, and how do you think these types of things change the life of creators like yourself?

Anthony Zhang (11:16):

That’s a very good question, because I do have stories for it. I’ve used it. They have a very vibrant producer community. They do a lot of remakes context, so there’s a lot of exchanges between music makers and Sound is more of a platform that connects creators and their supporters, so to say. It’s kind of like a Patreon that has web3 element to it. I use sound a little bit more because I guess because the community or people that supports me are mostly active on there. What I do or what Sound allow people to do is publish your music as NFTs and people can collect them and then they can trade them on a secondary market. But what’s interesting and what’s changing and what’s game changing for things like that is I first tried out to sell an NFT through this platform called, which was it video platform.


I made a video talking about starting a business in the virtual space and being a noun and all that. The sound is called business and I sold it to 25 people. And out of that, those 25 people, one of them was an NFT well, music NFT well, specifically. He collected thousands of music NFTs because in real life he’s a vinyl record collector. He would just go buy a lot of vinyl records and sometimes CDs. And he said that he actually made quite a bit of money doing that since that he was in college. So when music NFT came about during the bull market, it interested him. He saw the potential in it, and he’s just a music lover. He likes to collect stuff. So he collected a bunch of mine because I was the first Chinese person that he saw in the space, and he’s from Dongbei, like Northeast China as well.


He had, it interested him in that way. And then because he’s a big collector, he’s well known in those NFT platforms, he helped me to get all sound or guided me through the process. And he supported me when I released my stuff. And he was actually, got into this collector group or a small community of music collectors.


He does his own podcasts and stuff, and he introduced me to people while I was at Ever last year he introduced me to some other collectors that was attending and got me into shows which sound and the bigger music NFT artists hosted. So I was able to get more deeper into the space and form meaningful connections through him. So that type of relationship is not as deep or doesn’t form in these type dimensions in the web2 music and supporter world and these type of very personal connections. I am building my music and my audience, but I get to talk to the early supporters and because they are also investors, they are invested in me so they can bring me the resources and opportunities that they have, they’re in touch with. And that’s a very interesting relationship that I’m exploring and let grow.

Nick (15:04):

So there’s no question in your mind that something like web3 NFTs totally disrupts the conventional music industry and the way artists connect with audience and produce content?

Anthony Zhang (15:15):

I say we’re at very early stage. Today, I will still put more emphasis in marketing my music in the web2 world because that’s what most people listen to music through. But like I said, the ones that supports me through web3, we have a different and closer relationship. So to put it simply, I think it’s kind of like a Patreon on steroids in this space. Consider it like web3 and music, whether it will completely disrupt the web2 industry. I’m trying to see what happens there as well. But I do see it’s adding a very different and meaningful dimension to the space for sure.

Nick (16:06):

If listeners want to check out some of your music and follow some things you’re working on, what’s the best way for them to go check it out?

Anthony Zhang (16:12):

I mean, since we’re talking to The Graph community and people who are interested in Web 3, Twitter is the space that we are mostly active in. I’m active on Twitter.

Nick (16:21):

I’ll put a link to your Twitter profile in the show notes. So for anybody that wants to listen to some of that music and see the things you’re creating, check out the show notes for links. I want to go back then to your journey into Web 3, into crypto. So let’s go way back in time. Do you recall when you first became aware of crypto and some of the early impressions you had of what it was?

Anthony Zhang (16:41):

The year that I got into crypto, I didn’t know nothing about it. I was a university graduate. I was looking for a job and I did a simple translation job, which is translating technical articles into Chinese and share it in crypto communities in China. But through the translation works, because I guess I’m just generally interested in tech and I take my time to translate things in the way that people who are non-technical can still understand that’s who I am. Because through that I learned the mechanism of different type of consensus. How does Trustless network and decentralized network works, and what’s the leverage that makes sure that it runs forever, and that’s how I learned when I got into it. It wasn’t like a lot of people, they bought tokens or they learn about it, they got excited. Actually for me, it was a opportunity that came to me.

Nick (17:49):

And was this in working with StreamingFast or is that a different story?

Anthony Zhang (17:53):

Correct. StreamingFast was back then called Dfuse, but they were building a blockchain API solutions as well, and they had a very good Chinese customer base and I was serving as the business developer and community manager there.

Nick (18:13):

So for listeners that aren’t aware, StreamingFast before they became StreamingFast, as you said, there was Dfuse, StreamingFast went on, however, to become a core dev team at The Graph and a lot of that technology that they created and as Dfuse, now manifests itself in the form of things like Substreams, Substreams power, subgraph firehouse, these types of things. So the story kind of comes full circle. So while you were at StreamingFast, you started translating documents, you moved into a business development role. How long were you there and what type of biz dev activities were you working on or pursuing

Anthony Zhang (18:49):

Before StreamingFast joined The Graph as a core dev. It was basically a SaaS company and just selling API solutions, very fast API. So I was there pretty much just to talk to people, building the community and the pipeline for the app developers who needed the API. Most of them are based in Asia or some of them based in America. And other than that, I kind of grew with the company. So I feel like StreamingFast is a very interesting startup experience for me. They started with running nodes about running validators and then the team of founders, Alex, pretty, pretty well-known in The Graph community and Matthew and Mark Antoine, they were very experienced entrepreneurs. They had experience building startup and selling them to Intel. They were in the cryptography space and they were building data solutions. And as a young, when I just started working in the startup world, I just saw how they managed teams and projects and I wanted to learn things through them.


And I saw every time how they make little pivot with the market, they were started off with running a validator, but they saw that that’s not a long-term thing for the team, but they saw that the common need that everybody, because they run validators people, they’re receiving demands for data because validators can provide that data API’s, but the API’s wasn’t working well enough for building good UX dapps. They’re not fast enough, they’re not responding fast enough, they’re not processing data in a flexible way. So then they built Dfuse, API and Firehose what we know as today, and then that solution really helped Subgraph indexing later. So that’s the point where The Graph and StreamingFast came together.


And through that I went from selling SaaS companies to serving The Graph community and helping people to understand this technology and growing that. But through the API Tech work and joining The Graph, the StreamingFast team then had a experience in exploring different verticals in the web3 space. So they started to invest in building companies. So I was there to also help source deals and doing research of the ecosystem and building ventures. My work is mostly based in people, meaning that I talk to people, I get their needs and I translate them to the developers, and then I help build the product and service through those type of communications. And then the same thing with building investment and sourcing deals. I get information, I learn through talking to people, and that’s basically my work at StreamingFast.

Nick (22:08):

You were there when StreamingFast made that pivot from a SaaS company, a centralized provider of API and data services to a core dev team contributing to a decentralized provider of data services, which is of course The Graph. What was that like at that time for you as somebody that was kind of sitting back and observing this, did that represent a huge risk, a huge change in what you thought was in the future of this company you joined?

Anthony Zhang (22:35):

I was excited. I was very much excited because I knew that StreamingFast built a very fast data solution, because I talked to customers and they come to me and they tell me about their experience using different API and platforms. And StreamingFast after two years actually had a pretty dominant position in EOS, which was the fast scaling chain back then. It had a bunch of issues. The network was congested, but the StreamingFast Firehose solution was flexible enough to adopt to big surges in the network. So I know we had good tech. Every time I go to conferences and try to do business development there, they always ask, oh, so is it what you guys do similar to The Graph? And I say, yeah, but we’re providing a centralized API. The Graph is doing that in a decentralized way.


So when the founders broke news to the team that were planning or joining The Graph, I was super excited to see what’s going to happen, because that’s like a proven data API startup, a centralized data solution, deciding to step into a decentralized data solution and working with other teams that are joining the same initiative. It just feels like I was a part of a paradigm shift, which is true nowadays because StreamingFast was still today was helping The Graph with scaling the data solution with Substreams. I’m very happy to see that happen.

Nick (24:21):

Going back in your mind to those conversations you had with customers, and again setting the context here, you were working at Dfuse, which later became StreamingFast, but you were speaking with developers that were using Dfuse StreamingFast as a centralized solution, and then there was this play of like, well, how is it different from The Graph? Is it just like The Graph was centralized? So you had the voice of the customer or the consumer so to speak, and you were probably able to judge how important decentralization was to them. What do you remember or what was your sense at the time? Was decentralization a critical component of what they were looking for or not that early on?

Anthony Zhang (25:03):

It depends on what type of customer they were or what type of apps they were building. A lot of wallets I talk to doesn’t really care about decentralization. They care more about having the easiest to handle backend, so to say, so that the user experience is the devs. It comes from the Web 2 world. They’re more familiar with centralized APIs in the standards that they used to use. So then back then, not a lot of them care about decentralization. And then as I move into more of the adapt space with DeFi’s and stuff, they really care about decentralization. A lot of the DEXs, they want their backend to run on decentralized infrastructures so that their community and their app are guaranteed to run with no single point of failure, that the data is transparent in how they got it. And yeah, I say it depends on the use case. Still today it’s like that, but because we’ve run through two cycles by now and the ones that are left are here for true decentralization, so it’s becoming more and more important for devs.

Nick (26:31):

So eventually your time at StreamingFast ends and you decide to kind of move on, do some different things. What are you working on now? You’re still a contributor within The Graph. Tell us what you’re doing .

Anthony Zhang (26:41):

Right now. I’m at The Graph under the foundation to grow the ecosystem and the community in Asia, which is what I have been doing throughout this time pretty much.

Nick (26:53):

Let’s talk about that Asian market. So I’ve had other guests of the podcast on before who have talked a little bit about it. I had Mabel on recently who’s a new member of The Graph council was talking about her time at Multicoin in a similar role where she was trying to build out and develop the Asia market. But my sense is a lot of people don’t particularly understand the Asia market, how to grow, how to build relationships, how to develop that part of the globe when it comes to crypto. So help us dispel some of these myths or some of these misunderstandings. How should we understand what’s going on in the Asia market as it relates to web3 and crypto?

Anthony Zhang (27:36):

I guess you look at overall the Asia crypto landscape through, I can only talk about my experience, when I first started, Chinese crypto community was huge. It was very dominating, a lot of capital, a lot of startups, a lot of Layer 1s. So the Chinese crypto community was very influential in the space, but then the regulation changed from being crypto-friendly and encouraging, to nowadays very, very tight constraint. So a lot of these VCs and builders have moved overseas from mainland China, but they’ve pretty much seen different verticals develop in crypto, so they know all these different narratives and products. Then Korea is also a very active crypto community. A lot of them are traders and a lot of them are GameFi communities. We all know Terra from a couple of years back the Luna stories, but so the Korean community have also experienced DeFi and they know the in and out of it.


Then you have Japan. Japan was kind of slow in crypto adoption. I guess in my perspective, after the nineties, tech dominance of Japan, the tech sectors has been growing relatively slower than before. They are very much always interested in things that comes from, I want to say come from the outside world, but we don’t know if Satoshi is really Japanese, but a lot of crypto projects or a lot of web3 projects that were able to find very engaging active users in Japan. I guess the Japanese community compared to others are very much participants, very much, much more active and like to engage in trying out things and participate in communities even though the adoption was slower than other countries. You mentioned Mabel from, now they Stepin, like Stepin was able to find their biggest breakthrough in Japan or in Japanese community when they launched, somehow they got a bunch of users that were using their app and all around Japan.


And that model was then understood by the community and there were similar products like Hibiki Run was a small project that I knew the founder of. They were able to somehow got 5,000 registered users over two weeks in Japan. So that’s the situation there. And then in Vietnam, Vietnam was also very active. They have quite a bit of crypto participant and builders there. I talked to two Indexers here in Vietnam and they move pretty fast. One of them is Sun Tzu, which is ranking pretty high in the Indexer. I can see him and he’s pretty active in the community and in Vietnam in general, we see a lot of builders in the space. They’re very connected to what’s new in the space. And recently, because I do music NFTs, I saw there was two music NFT community suddenly came out from Vietnam and taking over, and yeah, they’d like to organize these people and get into something and try it out as well. That’s my observation with these countries.

Nick (32:26):

If you are suddenly put in charge of business growth and marketing for the entire web3 industry, right? In Asia, and this is a pie in the sky type of question, but it’s interesting to know how you would approach it, but given the diversity of the crypto markets in these different countries, how would you tailor a strategy that would kind of meet the needs and appeal to the different cultures and people and interest levels?

Anthony Zhang (32:53):

I say I rather give power to people who are from those communities and support them to grow the community the way that they see is fit. What I would do differently would be I would try to seek the connections between these countries because these countries are very connected. There are people that goes in between pretty often and they do have connections with each other. So I would try to group these people together and learn what they see as a difference connection to what type of collaboration can happen. Because sometimes, say for example, in Japan, they’re very active users in engaging people, but in the Chinese communities and the Korean community, there are more traders, in Vietnam, there are more builders. Maybe there’s something that we can leverage with these type of characteristics to build something that covers different areas in this space. But yeah, that’s kind of what I think on the spot.

Nick (34:10):

You mentioned that when you first got involved in business development and business growth in Asia, that there was a ton of interest and there was less regulation. Of course, there’s more now. How would you describe the state of crypto in Asia right now? And as you look forward into the future, what are some important milestones or things that you’re paying attention to that might sort of unlock the next level of interest or anticipation?

Anthony Zhang (34:37):

The state of the market, right now today, a lot of people anticipating a bull market. So it became recently in the past couple months, very active, especially in the trader community. Somehow the Chinese community are very into the BRC 20 solution, so they’re looking at that a lot. There are a lot of active gamers in Korea and China and Japan and the Philippines, so GameFi is ,a lot of people are very getting into that, trying out Alphas, releases at communities, like organizing different events for people to participate in that area. So yeah, I guess that’s the movement that I’m seeing. In terms of regional development, Hong Kong has became like a crypto regulation sandbox for the Chinese crypto community and a lot of crypto money is flowing into the region. A lot of people are anticipating it that next year a lot of events and projects going to come out of there, but we’re still observing.

Nick (35:57):

So Anthony, when you look at all the different countries, all the different regions within that Asian market umbrella, what’s the one country or region you think people are sleeping on? Meaning this is really going to be the one that levels up in the next market run or in the next kind of unlock of tech? Which one are people neglecting most?

Anthony Zhang (36:20):

Like I just said before, I think a lot of people are looking at what’s going to happen in Hong Kong, but Hong Kong is a rather small region, but it does attract people from Korea, Japan, and South East Asia. We want to see what’s happening there. From my observation, I think a lot of Vietnamese community are doing very interesting things. Like I said, they will film these communities to go and build stuff and participate in different verticals in the web3 industry. I think in the next cycle I’m really, I personally want to go to Vietnam and see what’s happening there because I haven’t been so, and especially it’s important for The Graph community to be more engaging there. So I want to do my research over there as well. I’m really have a good feels about Vietnam.

Nick (37:19):

And I think the last question I want to ask you before I ask you the Dfuse 10 is this question about The Graph in Asia. So have you been able to surmise how important the markets in Asia, think about The Graph builders in Asia. Think about The Graph. What’s your insight there?

Anthony Zhang (37:39):

Every time that I mentioned I’m from The Graph, I have good vibes and good excitement coming out of people who in these conferences that I go to, because The Graph is a rather complicated protocol compared to others to understand. So people who are interested in it are mostly advanced crypto users or web3 users, and they come to me and wanted to know what’s going on in The Graph nowadays, what’s new, and I’m very excited for what’s going to happen next year because of the Sunrise, because of what Semiotic AI is doing with the natural language query. I think going to, these things are going to make the network more active and lower down the barriers of entry for people to participate in The Graph and especially for countries in Asia where English not dominant language and information doesn’t go straight into the communities, and needs translation and stuff, the advancements we’re making on the protocol level to make it more friendly for people to get into it and that’s what’s going to make my job easier and what’s going to make the community more engaging with our protocol. So I’m very excited about that.

Nick (39:07):

So Anthony, now we’ve reached a point in the podcast I’m going to ask you the Dfuse 10. These are 10 questions I ask each guest of the podcast every week. I do it to help shine a light on the personal side of each guest, but of course, as I’ve said from the beginning, the hope is that listeners can learn something new, try something different, or achieve more in their own life by virtue of hearing how the guests answer these 10 questions. So Anthony, are you ready for the Dfuse 10?

Anthony Zhang (39:31):


Nick (39:42):

What book or article has had the biggest impact on your life?

Anthony Zhang (39:46):

The Creative Act, A Way of Being, a book by Rick Rubin.

Nick (39:50):

Is there a movie or a TV show that you recommend everybody should watch?

Anthony Zhang (39:56):

I haven’t watched it, but Three Body Problem produced by Netflix, written by a Chinese sci-fi writer about alien civilization, about to invade earth and what’s happened in our civilization. It’s kind of reflection on humanity. It’s very good for sci-fi fans. I’ve read that the novel, it’s pretty awesome.

Nick (40:19):

And this is going to be a fun question to ask someone like yourself, but if you could only listen to one music album for the rest of your life, I imagine that’s impossible, but which one would you choose?

Anthony Zhang (40:28):

Man, yeah, it is a hard question for music lovers. One album for the rest of my life I need to cover everything, just because recently in listening to a lot of Khruangbin, it’s this band from Texas, they kind of fuse different genres together. So I would listen to one of their albums and any of their albums.

Nick (40:52):

What’s the best advice someone’s ever given to you?

Anthony Zhang (40:56):

I have this one that I keep going back on. It’s from my high school math teacher. He had a blacklist of students that he doesn’t like and I was on one of them and when I graduated we had a talk and before he said goodbye, he confessed to me. He asked me, Yo Anthony, did you know I had a blacklist? And I looked at him and I was like, Yeah. Do you know why you’re on it? I said, Nah, is that something I did? And he said that it doesn’t matter. Sometimes people just would not like you for the way you talk, for the way you walk, or the way you look. What you need to know is not giving a fuck and just be yourself. I guess that’s something that I think about, sometimes at different points of my life and means different meaning and I think it is a cool thing.

Nick (42:06):

What’s one thing you’ve learned in your life that you don’t think most other people have learned or know yet?

Anthony Zhang (42:12):

You have to execute what you think is right. Through these works in crypto and working as startups or making creative projects, a lot of the decisions, even though we put a lot of reasoning behind it, I find it most of the time instinctual, even with a lot of big investors with billions of dollars, the decision that they make, yes, it’s based on a lot of research, like music when you’re making music is based on a lot of technicalities and orchestration. But as you are learning, putting time into learning the things that you’re interested in, you kind of develop this consciousness of what you think or what you feel is right. And sometimes when you don’t know what to do, it’s best to trust your instincts. And if it goes wrong, you will improve your instinct and do better or make better decisions next time. I feel that’s what’s most useful to me.

Nick (43:24):

What’s the best life hack you’ve discovered for yourself?

Anthony Zhang (43:28):

I saw this TikTok video today where you can put soap, you can get a mask and you can put, shave some soap and put some toothpaste into it and then tie it up, make it a little bag and put it in your toilet. So every time you flush it will just wash everything and make it smell good instead of going to buy the blue looking things, which you don’t know if it’s, sometimes it just looks clean, but it doesn’t really work.

Nick (43:57):

Based on your own life experiences and observations, what’s the one habit or characteristic that you think best explains why people find success in life?

Anthony Zhang (44:09):

There’s a few things that I would like to break down when you ask me that question. Like success to me means people around you and yourself are joyful. That means success to me because you’re able to be happy with your life and the people who are surrounding you are happy as well. And together that’s prosperity and that’s how I define a success. And people who I see that have that happen to them, they put a lot of time and energy in understanding themselves. It’s when you, understanding you and know how you should move around the world and who you want to be surrounded with, then it’s easier to create your own success.

Nick (45:14):

And then the final three questions are complete the sentence type questions. So the first one is, the thing that most excites me about web3 is…

Anthony Zhang (45:22):

The community.

Nick (45:24):

And how about this one, if you’re on X, formerly Twitter, then you should be following…

Anthony Zhang (45:29):

Nader Dabit.

Nick (45:31):

And the last question, complete the sentence, I’m happiest when…

Anthony Zhang (45:36):

When I’m making music.

Nick (45:45):

Anthony Zhang, thank you so much for joining me for the Dfuse Podcast. And I appreciate you taking time not only to talk a little bit about your journey, your passion for music, how you got started in web3, but also to share your perspective on Asia, the different regions and countries, and a lot of cool insights there that I think a lot of listeners will find interesting and valuable. If listeners want to stay in touch with you, follow things you’re working on, what’s the best way for them to stay connected?

Anthony Zhang (46:12):

Yeah, like I said, Twitter. On Twitter, I’m Tiehan dash underscore Anthony, it’s T-I-E-H-A-N, underscore A-N-T-H-O-N-Y. I’m pretty active there.


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