Best known for his contributions in the cryptocurrency space, Sergey Nazarov is the co-founder of SmartContract and Chainlink, the most popular oracle network today. The serial entrepreneur was also involved in the founding of CryptaMail and Secure Asset Exchange. As of 2023, Sergey Nazarov has an estimated net worth of $500 million.
Sergey is the child of Russian immigrants who arrived in New York in the early 1990s. His parents were engineers, and when he was five years old, they got him a computer.
As a child, he loved Legos and real-time strategy games. He also studied programming manuals in middle school and this became the building block for him joining the crypto revolution.
But before being a blockchain expert, he studied Philosophy and Management at New York University. At this point in his life, he was planning to become an entrepreneur.
Nazarov was employed as an Intern-in-Residence and Associate at FirstMark Capital from April 2009 through November 2010. He was also a Teaching Fellow at NYU Stern School of Business in 2010.
After leaving FirstMark, Nazarov went to Russia to work with a small investment fund focused on highly specialized R&D teams. He also started mining Bitcoin by renting GPUs. Back then it was relatively inexpensive to mine Bitcoin and he was able to make some hefty profits.
Although crypto started as an side hustle, it quickly gained philosophic meaning for Nazarov, who found parallels between his own values and the ideology of Bitcoin. In 2014, he started three crypto-related companies, CryptaMail, Secure Asset Exchange, and SmartContract.
Sergey is optimistic that crypto has the potential to transform the way the world implements contracts, transmits information, and perceives wealth. So, in 2017, he created Chainlink with Steve Ellis.
Chainlink is an Ethereum-based decentralized blockchain oracle network and serves as a bridge for blockchain and off-chain systems. It is an open-source platform that lets any blockchain link to off-chain information and compute resources seamlessly.
In 2019, the network was officially released, and Sergey was chosen to be the CEO. The crypto token was one of the top-performing altcoins in recent years but the price has pulled back heavily.
Nazarov’s network is planning to expand to Chainlink 2.0 which will introduce the idea of explicit staking and provide a second layer of oracles to oversee the network.
This will enable the creation of hybrid smart contracts with connectivity to off-chain services. Moreover, the approach will make it easier for oracles to resolve disputes that occur off-chain.
He does a great job of keeping his personal life to himself. This secretive trait is perhaps the reason why some people suspect him of being Satoshi Nakamoto. People also have some proof that he is.
First, smartcontract.com was established six days before the publication of the Bitcoin White Paper. In a discussion with Ben Chan in 2020, Nazarov claims to have been in the blockchain sector for ten years before correcting himself.
Also, the creator of Bitcoin is said to have utilized a Russian proxy to conceal his whereabouts and identity. Other hints claim Sergey Nazarov is Satoshi Nakamoto, such as the similarities of their initials, but they remain speculations until verified.