Leader introduction: 'Avsa'
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February 21st, 2022

Leader introductions is a story segment. In each segment I (organizer Hester) tell you more about one of our amazing leaders and why I’m so grateful they decided to join us in Comporta.

Alex Van de Sande (a.k.a. Avsa) was the first designer to work for the Ethereum Foundation and give a UI to the vision that we now often refer to as Web3. Needless to say it is an absolute pleasure to have Alex as a leader at Offscript. Where he’ll give a closing talk, taking us back to the early vision of Web3.

While working on Mist for Ethereum Foundation, Alex became co-founder of ENS; Those .eth names now used on Twitter. A project he returned to more recently both as a protocol governance delegate and contributor. In between his work for ENS, Alex co-founded another forward thinking project, Unilogin. An in-browser on the fly (multisig) account creator to use dapps without the need of downloading and installing a wallet and joined Balancer labs as a User researcher.

Around the time Alex was working on Unilogin, we met at a MetaCartel DemoDay in Berlin. Where next to be so kind as to let me borrow his laptop to present, he also opened my eyes on the impact true decentralization can and should have on a user interface. Where my usability background always taught me to limit choice and create more hierarchy, Alex argued how it might be better to have more options than as an ecosystem ending up with a single popular wallet provider. Better ‘UX’ yes, but also less freedom of choice and ultimately a vulnerable ecosystem.

As a leader in the Web3 space, Alex:

  • Exemplifies decentralizing control. In his role as a delegate he called on people multiple times to vote for others lower on the list.
  • Is an advocate against tribalism
  • Consistently evaluates and focuses his effort on projects that solve critical problems, be it identity, meta transactions or onboarding
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