Indeed, arsenic precocious arsenic November 2019 Agrawal was inactive self-styling himself arsenic “crypto-naive” during a fireside chat held connected Twitter’s field with cryptocurrency entrepreneur Joseph Lubin. Just implicit a week later, Agrawal joined Dorsey connected a travel to Nigeria, wherever Agrawal met with the section Bitcoin community. Chris Maurice, CEO of the speech YellowCard, who attended the meetups, recalls Agrawal—like Dorsey—being “extremely inquisitive” astir the subject. “They had a dense penchant for listening and learning, arsenic opposed to being the halfway of attention,” Maurice recalls.
A fewer months later, Agrawal was instrumental successful spearheading bluesky, a Twitter-funded inaugural to make a protocol—potentially underpinned by a blockchain—to physique decentralized societal networks, with a presumption to replacing proprietary platforms specified arsenic Twitter and Facebook. The task was initially tally retired of a backstage server connected Matrix, a unafraid connection platform, earlier moving to a nationalist Discord channel. Evan Henshaw-Plath, a erstwhile pb developer astatine Odeo, the podcast publishing level from which yet Twitter was spun out, and who was besides connected the bluesky server, says Agrawal was not allowed to actively constitute connected the server but was inactive there, “lurking, much observing, much listening than powerfully pushing done his agenda.”
In Henshaw-Plath’s opinion, the prime of appointing Agrawal arsenic CEO signals that Twitter is going to enactment earnestly connected decentralization and crypto. “I fishy Twitter volition proceed to experimentation with assorted blockchain stuff, adjacent if I person nary thought what that would look like,” helium says. He describes Twitter’s interior authorities arsenic a changeless duel betwixt technologists similar Dorsey pushing for a much open, decentralized operation and businesspeople focused connected monetization. “Parag is decidedly among the radical who deliberation that Twitter is simply a cardinal infrastructure, and who are driven by enabling absorbing technology.”
But immoderate radical successful crypto bash not spot Agrawal’s engagement successful bluesky arsenic a badge of merit. Carter says the task has a estimation for being slow-moving. “It is benignant of stagnant,” helium says. More generally, helium is skeptical astir the chances that a institution similar Twitter—especially aft Dorsey’s departure—could genuinely bring astir the decentralization of societal networks. “I would expect to spot immoderate benignant of crypto-based societal media platforms developed astatine immoderate point, but I deliberation it would hap externally, not from wrong an established Silicon Valley company,” Carter says.
Mati Greenspan, laminitis and CEO of cryptocurrency concern consultancy Quantum Economics, is likewise dismissive. “We tin presume either that bluesky is gathering its protocol very, precise quietly, and it’s a monolithic project—or we tin presume that it’s benignant of connected the backburner and not a priority,” helium says.
Henshaw-Plath counters that the instauration of a blockchain protocol needs to beryllium slow, for its ain good. “It is simply a process; it involves a batch of people. Bluesky could beryllium faster; determination could beryllium much worldly to beryllium done with it. But it’s besides a mistake to unreserved it excessively quickly,” helium says. He believes that Agrawal’s ain temperament, which helium describes arsenic that of a “thoughtful consensus-builder,” means helium volition beryllium capable to marque Twitter a almighty unit successful processing specified technologies.