Pacman From Blur Reveals His Identity and Plans to Become the Binance of NFTs

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Last Updated on February 23, 2023 by Bitfinsider

The Founder of the quickly expanding NFT marketplace Blur, Pacman, who formerly operated under a pseudonym, beat the engagement farmers to it.

He wrote on Twitter late last night, “Web2 me vs. web3 me,” revealing his true name in a thread.

The decision was made in a time when revealing someone’s real identity can still be contentious in a world where online personas serve as the storefront for valuable brands and billion-dollar tokens. Previous name disclosures, like that of the founders of the Bored Ape Yacht Club, have angered the crypto community. Other creators’ identities, including that of Chef Nomi of Sushiswap and, most notably, Bitcoin’s Satoshi Nakamoto, are still unknown.

The 24-year-old businessman, whose real name is Tieshun Roquerre, had been using the vintage video game-inspired alias for 401 days as he and a team worked to create an NFT marketplace for professional traders that would be able to compete with OpenSea.

He had earlier requested permission to be interviewed under an alias. However, he is now moving toward the light.

In an interview just hours before his name was revealed, Pacman said, “It’s not like I’m hard core anonymous or anything like that. Since we started Blur, I’ve just liked having that choice.” 

From a branding standpoint, he continued, “I like how having Pacman as a character can only represent the brand, so it doesn’t really exist outside of Blur.” He also acknowledged that it was only a “matter of time” before someone revealed his identity to a captive Twitter audience.

The NFT community has been captivated by Blur since its release in October 2022. People continued coming back thanks to a schedule of airdropped tokens to devoted users and frequent traders. Last week, it finally released its long-awaited token, with a completely diluted market cap of about $3 billion, according to data from CoinMarketCap. Following its $11 million seed round, the business recently closed a second round of fundraising, giving it a billion-dollar value.

Tieshun Roquerre left secondary school in 2016 at the age of 17 in order to enroll in the accelerator program at Y Combinator. This set him on the road to MIT, where he studied computer science and mathematics. He received the Thiel Fellowship, a prize established by entrepreneur Peter Thiel that provides gifted students with $100,000 to drop out of school and explore endeavors like research or company development. Namebase, a decentralized domain name tracker that Roguerre founded in 2018, was subsequently sold to Namecheap in 2021.

He began trading NFTs around this period. “As we sold the business, I minted a Blitmap and held it up to its all-time high, which was around 30 ETH, and sold it. I was completely hooked afterwards,” he claimed. Launched in 2021, Blitmaps is an NFT collection of 8-bit images depicting a “sci-fi fantasy universe.”

In October 2022, the first iteration of Blur was introduced by him and his co-founder.

The “Binance” plan

Since then, Blur has seized trading volume market share from larger players, passing OpenSea in December 2022 and growing its advantage each subsequent month. This is partly because it is targeting professional trading, the market segment that is expanding the quickest.

Using the Binance playbook will lead to further development, claims Pacman.

In a manner comparable to how Binance expanded downmarket and broadened the offering, he said, “We focus on the NFT natives first and from there we can expand.”

Along with this, Pacman anticipates development to come from community-produced goods as more contributors advance the protocol. The ultimate goal is to replicate what MakerDAO did with focused sub-communities, which developed particular elements of the bigger initiative.

“I think a model like that would be very beautiful, because the goal is to build infrastructure that can be controlled by the community,” he continued.

The token’s viability and the success of Blur’s attempt to win over the NFT community through fragmentation remain to be seen. Pacman believes that having a stake in and influence over the company’s future will be a significant differentiator to take on incumbent, and critically tokenless, heavyweight OpenSea in the long run.

He is currently most concerned about not advancing quickly enough.

“You know that if you don’t build something you want to ship, someone else will,” he said. “We have a lot of ideas and a high level of confidence that those will be well-received.”

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