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Polygon Head of DeFi Joins Berachain, dYdX CEO Steps Down

May 13, 2024

The former Head of DeFi at Polygon Labs, Jack Melnick, has switched boats. He will now be leading the DeFi team at Berachain. The executive took X [formerly Twitter] to reveal that he has been “in the trenches of the Berachain community for almost three years.” Quoting the pseudonymous co-founder, ‘Smokey the Bera,’ Melnick revealed that it was just a matter of  “when, not if" he joined the bear-themed L1 blockchain developer team full time.

In mid-April, the company raised $100 million in its funding round. Framework Ventures and the Abu Dhabi branch of Brevan Howard Digital co-led the Series-B round. Others including Polychain Capital, Hack VC, Samsung Next, Laser Digital from Nomura Group, Hashkey Capital, Nomad Capital, Hypersphere, Arrington Capital, Cypher Capital, Tribe Capital, Rubik, Dragonfly’s Bo Feng, Animoca Brands’ Yat Siu, Temasek’s Antony Lewis, and Polygon’s Sandeep Nailwal contributed to the round. The firm will be diverting the funds to cater to expansion expenses. Specifically, Berachainis eying Hong Kong, Singapore, Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Africa.

The modular L1 blockchain uses the “proof of liquidity” consensus mechanism and has three native tokens - BGT is its governance token, BERA is its gas token, and HONEY is its collateralized stablecoin. Melnick seems pretty stoked about his new role, for he will be “getting to do the job” he “loves.”

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dYdX’s Antonio Juliano Transitions to Chairman & President

In other news, dYdX’s Founder Antonio Juliano steps down as CEO and assumes the role of Chairman and President. Both personal and professional reasons had a say in his decision. In the officially released statement, Juliano noted,

“I realized that I don’t actually have to run my own company. I am, and will always be, the founder of dYdX.”

Instead of hiring an outside “grownup” CEO, he groomed Ivo Crnkovic-Rubsamen to fill his shoes and shepherded others to be able to deliver supporting roles. In his new role as Chairman and President, Juliano will be leading all major decisions and curating strategies. He affirmed,

“dydX is not finished. Not even close. The opportunity is bigger than ever now. It's becoming incredibly obvious that DeFi will be the dominant way crypto is used, and derivatives will play a large part in that. What we build will be determined in decades.”

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