Posted on May 25, 2022Read on Mirror.xyz

Tapioca DAO: Hello World Prelude (The Journey)


The very first Tapioca graphic (not too bad huh?)

First off, I’m Nicole, one of the founders of TapiocaDAO. I wanted to put letters on-chain so to speak of my beginnings in crypto and DeFi, and how Tapioca started. I know I’m an unknown in DeFi-(along with the other 4 core team members of Tapioca) we all start somewhere. I’d like to use this article to talk about how the Tapioca team and myself got here. If you don’t want to read what amounts to a crypto biography I understand, but I felt it would be good to unconventionally start off our article series by introducing myself and the Tapioca team. To do so, I have to quickly take you all the way back…

Yes, this was real (in 2009)

The year was 2009, and we (myself and Matt, my brother) were on Summer vacation from school. Matt, who is also a part of Tapioca, used to play that exact game above for “BTM,” and quickly earned about 2000 BTM in his first few days playing. That’s worthless, right? Not really, 1 BTM equaled 0.001 BTC, or about 6 cents then…now $60,000 USD or 2 BTC. Matt would constantly have me play these games for him as he would go out with friends and even showed me how to withdraw BTC to a software wallet and be his “bitcoin miner”. I didn’t understand what any of it was at the time, but Matt was a die-hard. He followed #OccupyWallstreet, and thought digital currencies were “the key to freedom and the end of inequality”. (Our parents thought more along the lines of a complete scam). Being my older brother, and wanting to be “cool” like him, I started researching Bitcoin myself.

Summer had ended, back to school. I’d go home I’d want to learn more and more. I quickly learned about Mt.Gox, the primary Bitcoin exchange. I read the Bitcoin whitepaper. Wikileaks accepted BTC. The famous Slashdot article came out. I joined forums, I really immersed myself in digital currencies. The price of BTC hit $1, I still remember my excitement when my parents finally let me buy $1000 worth of BTC on Mt.Gox. Matt and I would share everything we learned with one another at the dinner table to our parent’s chagrin. Then $10, then $20, then...wait what? My first bear market tumble came, but it just made me dig my feet in even more on crypto. Then something different happened, the infamous Mt.Gox debacle of 2014.

Matt in 2014 already knew he wanted to be a lawyer, and our family’s 100 BTC was gone. So what does Matt do? Write a letter to Mt.Gox threatening them with every legal jargon he could find, and somehow that 100 BTC was “ungoxxed” (a rare outcome). While I was a “BTC Maxi,” Matt would dabble in altcoins, like the juggernaut Mastercoin (joke) that Matt talked about for weeks, and this little thing called Ethereum’s ICO.


2017 was the only time I truly thought crypto may be a fad akin to acid-washed jeans. The ICO craze was in full swing, if you had an internet connection, you probably had an ICO, and probably your dog did too. Most failed (Dragoncoin and The DAO are on fire, huh?). Bitcoin Cash was going to flip Bitcoin (nope). Matt got his law degree and began advising some pre-market projects. I really got interested in alts.

2018 was much more fruitful, I started my first (and only till Tapioca) job in crypto- writing reports on potential investments for VC’s.

True Beginnings

2020 was the real start of my love of DeFi. Due to the pandemic, I had a ton of time to really immerse myself. I was enamored with Uniswap, along with many other protocols at the time, how through a webpage I could earn a yield on my lowly grocery store cashier’s paycheck. Matt was always busy, but I always kept him in the loop of crypto. But one day, when I read “Sushi is for everyone,” in a Chef Nomi tweet, I was so enthralled and doubly also anxiously staked in Sushiswap prepping for the launch with way too much of my money. The Discord community was so nice and welcoming (although I mostly lurked), I really did feel a part of something bigger than me, like that day in 2009 I learned about Dragon’s Tale (and more importantly, Bitcoin). Then the LP migration happened…sort of.

Sam Bankman of FTX took admin control. I was crushed by the rampant rumors of what actually was going on. When Maki and co (ctrl, Omakase, etc) took control, I really loved their vision of taking what was a fork and building that code into something more. I looked at 0xMaki and the Sushi team like Matt did Satoshi. I was hooked.

SimplyCryptoXO is Born

It took a lot of convincing by Matt to start my YouTube channel, but I always talked about how I’d tell my friends about crypto, and how there was no way for people new like them to get into DeFi, while avoiding all the scams. The user interfaces were like 1999 Linux distro’s (and still are), there was no way an average person would understand half of it. My friends would commonly ask me to make a video showing them for example how to do a swap. I took Matt up on making a YouTube & Telegram channel to educate newbies on DeFi. The pitch Matt gave to start my channel was I do videos and help people, but find the connections to “be like Elliot” of EllioTrades to segue into building a project (like he did with Superfarm).


SimplyCryptoXO quickly became moderately successful. I amassed a small following (1000) of eager individuals who wanted to learn. One person really stuck out, Josh, (another founder of Tapioca). Josh was one of the most passionate in the group, he didn’t just want calls, he wanted to learn. However, he actually knew a great deal himself. Plus he had a lot of connections to DuckDAO, Ferrum, and many others. One day he came to me with a project he wanted me to review that he invested $500,000 into. Not just his money, his moms, his friends, etc. Many respected people vouched for this project.

I took one look and I instantly felt horrible. The project stated they could do multichain swaps with no wrappers, sidechains, even including native Bitcoin (yeah). All gas would be reimbursed. Transactions were all anonymous. No LP, just “OTC desk liquidity”. It had a laundry list of backers of huge names. The Github contained nothing more than a fork of UniV2. It was so utterly absurd, but also dire as Josh’s $500k was about to be lost to a scam.

I ripped the band-aid off and told Josh it was a scam. Surprisingly, he wasn’t upset, he said he had recently started thinking the same and asked for my help to get his money back. To make a long story short, Josh, me, and Matt collectively got the money back, and others money back as well (a few million in total).

What’s Next?

After, Josh and I started discussing what was next and decided on a project. We loved the Fantom community and looked at making a simple Fantom swap based on UniV2. Something was lacking, and that was innovation. It was soulless, there were already too many forks with nothing to show for in benefits over the original protocol. Neither of us could develop either.

One constant was my new favorite protocol as of early 2021, Abracadabra. I thought Magic Internet Money was genius. What really sold me however was Abracadabra’s use of Bentobox & Kashi. When I read Boring Crypto’s 2020 Medium article on Bentobox to introduce Sushi lending, I really thought it was the next level.

What’s a Code License?

After Matt became involved with Josh and our unnamed project, things heated up fast with that much passion bouncing off one another. Just forking something was out of the question- this needed to be something that offers something new & meaningful to DeFi. Matt and me kept spitballing ideas, until Matt said “Abracadabra is the pinnacle of lending, right? What would you do if you had the ability to use Bentobox & Kashi?” Instantly I said back, “I don’t have the ability so nothing”. Matt quickly responded, “Why not, did you ask?”. I knew what he meant, but me, a nobody (a nobody who can’t code mind you), asking Boring Crypto if I can use the code he’s licensed one time…

I asked Boring and he agreed (with some terms I was more than happy to accept)

What now?

We looked high and low for developers, finding a few who we hired on a temporary basis that ended up being too inexperienced for the role. Then, 0xRektora applied, Matt out of frustration took a chance and interviewed him. He said he was a very nice guy, personable, passionate, and knowledgeable. He didn’t have a huge CV of top-tier projects under his belt, but like us, what he didn’t have on his resume he more than made up for in Solidity development skills and passion.

We found an excellent graphic designer, front end developer, and finalized our plan:

  1. Level the playing field: Create a protocol anyone of any knowledge or financial status can use.
  2. Govern ourselves as Sushi does, letting those who are financially invested govern the platform is key to success.
  3. Offer features we wish other lending protocols had: ve, liquidation auction queue to profit off liquidations without bots, flash loans that can be done in a graphical interface, loans against NFTs, bridging as a service w/ LayerZero, etc.


To end, one thing you must know is Tapioca DAO even pre-launch is not about us. Tapioca is truly a collective effort. Between the members in Telegram constantly offering feedback, our literal family who beta test the UI, BoringCrypto who graciously took a chance on us, Sushiswap & Abracadabra + their communities who lit the fire in me to be a DeFi founder and inspired everything about Tapioca, my SimplyCrypto family who got this off the ground, Ferrum for all of the help along the way, and all of you I’m regretfully forgetting.