DappRadar’s co-founder shares exclusive insights into the company’s bright future. Here’s how we’re doing it.
In an industry where there is more talk about the future, DappRadar has reaffirmed itself with increasing strength in the present. Co-created by Dragos Dunica and Skirmantas Januskas, it is the best place to navigate hundreds of decentralized apps in a lawless land. But how do we manage to lead a growing community into the future of Web3?
Like any empire, the answer lies in leadership. Meet Dragos, DappRadar’s co-founder and CDO (chief data officer). He’s taken his time to share his journey throughout Web3 in this interview and hint at what the DappRadar community can expect to see in the following years.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your professional journey that led you to where you are today?
I was born in Bucharest, Romania and after graduating I moved to northern Italy. For the past four years, I’ve been living in Kaunas, Lithuania, where the DappRadar HQ is located.
I was lucky enough to have supportive parents that got me a PC at a very young age, even if back in the day it wasn’t really a common thing. That gave me a head start and allowed me to learn how to code basic HTML websites and made me love computer games. Since then, technology has greatly impacted my personal and professional development.
I have worked in the gaming industry and as a software developer for various companies. I always had a passion for side projects, but working alone was often boring, and meeting Skirmantas, the other DappRadar co-founder, played an important role in turning this passion into something serious.
We met online while we were still in school (me in Romania, he in Lithuania) and we kept building various side projects for a very long time, until all the knowledge and experience we gathered along the way helped us to build DappRadar.
How did you get into the decentralized applications world?
In ~2013, a friend of mine was telling me about how he was using his graphic card to mine Bitcoin, but I wasn’t sure what Bitcoin is and how a blockchain works, so it took me a while until it caught my interest.
Fast forward to 2018, I was already holding some BTC and had a good understanding of what a blockchain is, CryptoKitties became a huge success and it started to be everywhere in the media. That made me look into smart contracts and decentralized applications, at the technical part and the problems that were trying to solve.
Being a gamer and a technical person, NFTs and smart contracts made sense instantly, because I could see how the in-game skins from CS:GO that were controlled by Steam could become NFTs on an open market.
At the same time, the interoperability and the immutability of the smart contracts were intriguing, so that’s how the hunt for dapps started, and that’s how DappRadar was born.
What excites you the most about Web3, blockchain, and decentralization?
I strongly believe in what Web3 can bring to this world in all industries, from technology to medicine or entertainment, but we’re still just building the tools and the base right now. The open and interoperable future will build a foundation that will allow many industries to become much faster to innovate and bring new ideas to life.
I have always felt that being at DappRadar allowed me to work in the future.
I am super excited to contribute to this industry that will change billions of lives, level the playing field for normal people, and eventually touch all our daily lives.
Living in a world where “dataverse” becomes a reality is probably the most exciting thing I can see. I would love to explain the “dataverse” vision, but I feel that I couldn’t do it better than the team at Ceramic already did, so I recommend everybody to read the Into the Dataverse article.
What is your favorite project in the Web3 space right now?
There are many great projects out there, but one dapp that I’m always bringing up in conversation with my non-Web3 friends is PoolTogether. Each time I’m telling someone that they can have a chance to win the lottery without losing their “tickets”, they tell me there’s a catch, or it is a scam.
But now, my family and my friends are all using PoolTogether. Besides gaming, it is probably one of the easiest ways to onboard new people to the world of dapps and shows them the capabilities of interoperability and DeFi.
What is it that you bring to DappRadar?
This is a nice yet difficult question. I would love to hear this from my team. But I’ll try to say a few words about how I perceive the value that I add to DappRadar. Being very close to the product that we’re building and to our users, I believe I bring a different perspective about what we’re building, trying to lower the entry barriers, improve the UX and build the right features that would make our users happy.
I also like to stay up to date with all the industry news and development, so I’m trying to share internally the knowledge that I manage to gather by being an active user of Web3 apps and protocols.
What is a typical day at work usually like?
I am working very closely with the management, product, design and the DAO teams. I am constantly in touch with our users on different channels, trying to understand their needs or the issues they face. I scout crypto Twitter for the latest trends or discussions in the industry to keep myself up to date with new projects and technologies.
My main focus is to build a great product that is helping people fulfill their needs in the dapps space, helps them take the right decisions and guides them in this complex environment.
At the same time, I’m super excited about what the RADAR tokens can bring to DappRadar, and I work closely with the DAO team to build and execute the progressive decentralization roadmap of DappRadar.
As a professional in the dapps industry, what are the main challenges you face?
Some of the main challenges are the super fast environment and lack of standards. The blockchain is still a wild west where you see innovation and progress on a daily basis, which is great, but because of what DappRadar is trying to do (indexing all the data on all the blockchains and making sense of it), that poses a huge challenge.
I would say that also, sometimes, some participants in this industry are toxic, because their only main goal is to make more money, regardless of the way they achieve their goals.
This is often resulting in scams, rug pulls, angriness and other bad behaviors, driven mainly by greed.
What tip would you give someone looking to follow your steps?
Two things that were always part of my life were: curiosity and continuous building. Keep being curious, don’t stop learning and keep building. Find something that you like and build something around that topic.
You recently participated in DevCon. How do you see the Web3 industry developing in the next few years?
That’s a very good question and I believe I have enough thoughts and ideas to write an entire article. The main topics of discussion that caught my eye at Devcon were Zero Knowledge (ZK), Decentralized Identities (DID) and Decentralized Reputation.
I was also pleasantly surprised by the importance that was given to UX in Web3, Onboarding people to DAOs and the regulatory environment.
I believe we’ll see a lot of progress on how wallets and dapps are onboarding new users and the complex language that the Web3 industry is currently using is going to get simpler, lowering the entry barrier of new users.
Gaming and decentralized social media will become huge topics in the upcoming years and decentralized identities will enable new applications, bringing the Web3 industry to the next level.
What do you expect from DappRadar in 10 years?
DappRadar is going to change a lot in the next 10 years. Web3 needs a proper discovery platform that is built and led by the participants of the ecosystem. It is pretty clear right now that dapps require a different environment for discovery and analysis and DappRadar vision is to be the World’s Dapp Store.
DappRadar is currently undergoing a progressive decentralization process that will slowly relinquish control to its core participants.
The RADAR token will play an important role in this process as it will drive the Contribute2Earn mechanic, generating revenues and rewarding contributors of the platform. At the same time, it will give the token holders governance rights to steer the platform future and offer the possibility to all the participants to have a say in the decision making process.
Dapp developers, contributors and users will be at the core of this new platform, turning it into the natural evolution of the current app stores. In the future, the interoperable ecosystems will outcompete closed and siloed platforms.
In 10 years, I assume no one will really want to build their own applications in a closed environment, not even the big companies. The speed of development, creativity, pace of innovation and open data will be too strong to compete with.
DappRadar will be there as an open platform, being part of the interoperable world we’ll live in, turning complex and large networks of data (the blockchains) into user friendly journeys and interfaces and easy to access data streams for businesses and dapp developers.
The world will be decentralized and open, private and transparent, and DappRadar will help everyone navigate this new world.