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Shaping the Future of Blockchain and Crypto Education: A Conversation With Cryptonauts' Nathan Leungby@danstein
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Shaping the Future of Blockchain and Crypto Education: A Conversation With Cryptonauts' Nathan Leung

by Dan SteinJuly 27th, 2023
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I recently spoke with Nathan Leung, Co-Founder and Host of Cryptonauts, an educational YouTube channel providing quick and easily digestible crypto information. Prior to Cryptonauts, Nathan focused on the production side of Hollywood, working in film, TV, and on commercials for companies like Sprite, Pizza Hut, Foot Locker, and more.
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I recently spoke with Nathan Leung, Co-Founder and Host of Cryptonauts, an educational YouTube channel providing quick and easily digestible crypto information.


Prior to Cryptonauts, Nathan focused on the production side of Hollywood, working in film, TV, and on commercials for companies like Sprite, Pizza Hut, Foot Locker, and more.


After being introduced to crypto in 2016, Nathan and his co-founders noticed that there was a lack of quality crypto educational videos on YouTube - from there, Cryptonauts was born.


With over 3 million channel views and nearly 100k subscribers, Cryptonauts’ goal is to educate the world about the developments of Bitcoin, Ethereum, DeFi, and all things crypto and Web3 with quick and easily understood content.


In our discussion, we explore Nathan's transition from filmmaker to crypto educator, the importance of blockchain education for widespread adoption, and his insights into the future prospects of the crypto industry.

Can you please tell us a bit about yourself and your journey at Cryptonauts?

So I started off as a filmmaker, working on the production side in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles. I was blessed to have some of the best mentors in the world. One was a casting director for Superbowl commercials.


The other is a director working with James Wan on many movies - with the next one being The Nun 2. They taught us everything about film and production, and we are grateful to have had a support system around us. People who believed in us.


Around 2016, my friend introduced me to crypto by sending out a mass email. I was the only one who replied to it. We noticed that nobody was making good crypto content on YouTube. It was all TRASH, not even mids.


So we decided to team up and use his skills as a director, and mine as an actor, to try and make an educational video. The first video hit 6,000 views out of nowhere… so we’re like “Alright… let’s make another one.” We then made the Proof of Work vs Proof of Stake video.


Which blew up with 60,000 views. So we did one more. This time, it was even more epic. We spent 3 months researching, writing, and animating a 20-minute video on IOTA, and that one reached over 100k views. We were shocked and in disbelief.


Clearly, there was an audience out there for educational, yet easily digestible crypto content. After the Iota video, we kept going and never really looked back.

What’s the current state of awareness and education regarding blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies, and overall, Web3?

In the last couple of years, I think the overall public sentiment towards crypto has been negative… naturally, due to the bear market. But a lot of this is attributed to a lack of education. There are so many shillers or pump and dumpers out there that are giving crypto a bad reputation.


On the other side, you get retail investors who are only looking to make a quick buck without any regard for the technology. We try to avoid being associated with both of those groups because we are in it for the tech- I mean we strive to make better content for the tech.

Okay, so why video? What’s the medium’s biggest strength when it comes to educating people?

We chose video naturally because we already worked in Hollywood. From casting to commercials and post-production, we’ve done it all. The biggest strength in video is our ability to tell a story and use animations or analogies to explain technical concepts.

You’ve only made a hundred videos in six years. What goes into making a Cryptonauts video?

The topic and the research take the most time, as well as accurately depicting an analogy or metaphor. If we get anything wrong, out goes our credibility. After research, it goes to script writing, production, and post-production.


During post, this is also where we draw the animation assets in Illustrator and put them into after effects to animate the drawn assets. After this is all done, we picture lock it and work on the audio, mastering the background music, color correction, and all that good stuff ;)

The reason we put so much effort into each one is because we want these videos to live on our channel forever. Many of the best artists in the world will never be forgotten because of their albums. The Beatles, for instance, made classics.


We want to tell web3 stories, attend events, and do explainer videos the best we can – so that we can say we are proud of our work. They can live on the channel as “classics”, and they will always have long-tail viewership.

Why is blockchain education important for the widespread adoption of the technology?

There are sooo many facets of web3 these days. Trading, NFTs, GameFi, writing smart contracts, mining. Each person finds their own avenue in the industry, and education needs to be there to invite people in.


Without education, you can’t onboard the next billion users, nor have new people enter the space. Who knows, the next Vitalik might just be interning for us right now!

Not necessarily crypto-related, but Financial Literacy. It’s not part of any education curriculum but is a critical skill to have if you want to be successful in life. The current system encourages debt and credit cards and a consumerist lifestyle.


You see professional athletes from the NBA or NFL who make tens of millions of dollars… Plenty of money for a lifetime, but yet they still go broke. Why is this? Because people are not taught how to manage their finances.


This includes budgeting, saving, and investing. For more information on my Financial literacy class, check out this link. Lol, just kidding. We don’t have any courses to sell. Education should be free.

Where do you see this industry in the next five years? Particularly, in terms of general awareness and adoption.

I see this industry continuing to grow. We’ve been in this industry for 7 years now, and everything has already grown way bigger than I would have ever imagined. It feels like yesterday when my dad told me “Bitcoin is not real money,” – this was back when the Bitcoin price was USD 800.


Cut to today, you now see Bitcoin billboards in cities all around the world. Interest from the public continues to grow across the globe, especially in the younger generation.


Crypto makes sense for young people because they’ve never experienced a world without the internet, so internet money is a no-brainer. On the other hand, we see the big institutions coming for their piece of the pie, so it will be interesting to see how that plays out.

Why do you feel blockchain technology and a strong crypto market are needed?

As governments continue to print money and inflation rises, the average working person will always get poorer and poorer. Their 2% yearly salary increase can never catch up to the 7% inflation rate. This means that sooner or later, the wealth gap will continue to widen.


For the first time in history, there is a decentralized, digital currency that lives on a public ledger. There is a deflationary supply and a maximum cap of 21 million bitcoin ever to exist. For the first time, people have a way out of the broken, oversaturated financial system.


As long as inflation has no ceiling, the price of Bitcoin also has no ceiling. It’s not only because its value is becoming more valuable… It's also because the value of the dollar itself is devaluing. As you print more, more supply is in circulation. The more supply, the lower the value.


If we could share this with more people around the globe, they can change their lives drastically and have the hope of a way out. Lastly, I’ll leave you with this: Remember that sci-fi digital money that they have in the movies? Well, it’s here. I wasn’t born during the time of the stock market.


But imagine if you were around when a new digital asset class and the stock market were built… wouldn’t it be a no-brainer to learn about it and try it out?