Entropy.xyz – Google Domains customer – (United States)
.XYZ’s blossoming reputation as the domain of choice for crypto and blockchain projects has inspired many remarkably talented individuals to join the movement and launch their ideas on .xyz domains. Facebook Live creator Randi Zuckerberg and venture capital firm M13 founder Debbie Soon developed their community platform designed to embrace and empower all web3 creators on TheHug.xyz. Venture capitalist Kevin Rose hosts his NFT-focused podcast on Proof.xyz, which led to the development of his record-breaking NFT collection Moonbirds.xyz1. Accomplished finance professional Alex Slobodnik created web3 chat platform NftyChat.xyz to foster community amongst ENS users, and chose .xyz because “.xyz felt new and fresh, just like web3.” In this week’s #WebsiteWednesday, as interviewed by some of our own LGBTQ+ members of the XYZ Team, we’ll introduce you to Tux Pacific, a trailblazing hacker, cryptographer, anarchist, entrepreneur, and member of the transgender community, who raised $25 million to launch an innovative crypto custodian: Entropy.xyz.
Entropy.xyz is the online home of Entropy, a decentralized crypto custodian aiming to revolutionize the way crypto is stored. The Brooklyn, New York-based startup offers services that specialize in creating a decentralized network harnessing advanced threshold cryptography. TechCrunch recently featured founder and CEO Tux Pacific in praise of raising $25 million for Entropy’s seed round led by technology venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz2. Previously, Entropy.xyz completed a $1.95 million pre-seed raise in January 2022. Learning of Entropy.xyz‘s momentum and Tux Pacific’s powerful individuality inspired us to reach out to learn more.
.XYZ regularly celebrates our diverse community, and we wanted to take this incredible opportunity to bring visibility to Tux and their experience as a member of the transgender community. Representation matters in so many ways. It can serve as an opportunity for marginalized people to find community support and validation. If there are other members of the transgender community looking to make their way in tech, perhaps getting to know more about Tux can help encourage them. Additionally, exposure through media representation (including this #WebsiteWednesday) can aid in the reduction of stereotypes of marginalized groups, like the LGBTQ+ community. We applaud when someone who has the opportunity to represent their identity group, especially within the field of tech, makes conscious efforts to use their influence to remind others that their communities not only exist, but are doing great things. We are appreciative of Tux for taking the time to speak with us.
XYZ: You recently expressed to TechCrunch that you’re accustomed to forging your own path, and lacked relatable role models while you were growing up. What advice would you offer to a member of the LGBTQ+ community who may feel alone or isolated, but is looking to forge their way in tech?
Tux: Kill your idols. Be so unique that they can’t look away or forget your name. We stand on the shoulders of giants who all carved their own paths in eccentric loneliness. Your eccentricity is what will force you to carve your own path, but it will also attract similar eccentrics who will make that easier.
XYZ: That is powerful. Many people give up safety in order to live their most authentic and eccentric lives, and it can be a bold move to make. Sometimes it is necessary for survival, and sometimes it is born out of the urge to be the change. Did you set out hoping to become that role model that you never had yourself? Or was it an added bonus?
Tux: I don’t really want to be a role model. I’m almost certain that those who may look up to me will find themselves disappointed by many things. I set out with my own personal aspirations and I am seeking to accomplish them. I suggest others do the same with or without my inspiration
XYZ: The term role model is something that can carry additional weight and expectations. Representation is often just as valuable. Simply being visible and sharing information about your own path can make such a difference. We’re grateful that you chose to share more of your story with us! Are you comfortable sharing if you’ve faced any particular pushback as a founder, related to being trans or having they/them pronouns? Speaking of – have you seen Pronouny.xyz?
Tux: I have seen Pronouny — it’s a very cool project! The only pushback I’ve received, thankfully, are various bits here and there of transmisogyny. When you’re in a position of power (which so few trans people find themselves in), you will find that the other common inhabitants of power begin to warp their perception of reality to your own in a game of mimicry to either impress or otherwise get something from you. Whether or not they truly believe in your liberation and freedom is a different topic. I would suggest to other trans founders that they try and find similar positions of power to inhabit such that it becomes nonoptimal for folks to give them any “pushback.”
XYZ: For those that are not familiar, the term transmisogyny is a form of discriminmation, harassment, contempt, and other negative experiences directed at and experienced by trans women and transfeminine people. We have listed some resources at the bottom of this post that are tech communities centered around supporting LGBTQ+ groups, which can be of help when combating these experiences. Were you motivated by anyone/anything in particular during the ups and downs of the journey to becoming a founder?
Tux: My biggest inspiration is my favorite poet – an Anarchist from Italy by the name of Renzo Novatore. His poetry has delivered me from the most trying of times. Renzo’s poetry has been so influential that I have taken his name as my own – Tux Novatore Pacific. The words of Bell Hooks (RIP) have also been quite impactful.
XYZ: We learned from the Techcrunch article that you previously worked at cryptography network NuCypher, where you acquired advanced cryptographic techniques. You then applied these techniques to your innovative crypto custodian. Can you tell us how you first became interested in crypto?
Tux: I started off in the hacker space. You know the folks at DEFCON, HOPE, etc. Naturally, I became interested in privacy very young. I got intrigued by encryption and cryptography. Shortly after being hired for my first software engineering gig, I met a sysadmin who happened to have a degree in mathematics. He showed off some cryptography-related math (actually Shannon’s Entropy equation, which I now have tattooed on my wrist) and it was all downhill from there. The obsession began.
XYZ: For some reason, the word “Entropy” is giving us Bill Nye vibes. We know that “Entropy” means a lack of order or predictability – How did you land on that name?
Tux: In cryptography, we require that keys be random (or unpredictable), which we would say “a key is of high entropy” should that be the case. In fact, we can measure the amount of randomness via Shannon’s Entropy equation. I settled on the name Entropy because of the relation of Shannon’s Entropy to threshold cryptography and distributed key generation, and also due to my history with it as my sort of rabbit hole moment with cryptography.
XYZ: $25M in funding is quite a feat. Was there anything that you did or were exposed to that you felt prepared you to push through the hurdles to get this funding?
Tux: My preseed raise haha. Fundraising is hard, but only in an annoying way. If you have a solid idea, with a solid team, and a solid vision, then the convincing part isn’t difficult – it’s the social, emotional, and logistical parts that are difficult. Having gone through the preseed, I knew what to expect and how to execute better. It definitely prepared me for it. Additionally having a mentor to help guide you through things makes things so much better.
My advice to any other would-be founders is to find a fundraising buddy – someone who is raising money at the same time as you, perhaps in a similar field or even tech. Your fundraising buddy should be willing to help you with some hurdles, and you should be willing to help them with some hurdles. It’s all about cooperation.
XYZ: What factors, if any, contributed to your decision to build on .xyz?
Tux: For whatever reason, crypto has decided that .xyz domains are ours. For us, the .com wasn’t even interesting. I immediately purchased Entropy.xyz the moment I decided on the name.
Many thanks to Tux for speaking with us, and allowing us this opportunity to learn of their experiences. You can learn more about Tux’s crypto custodian startup by joining the Discord, following the company on Twitter, or by visiting Entropy.xyz.
For additional assistance and support for LGBTQ+ in tech, please consider the following resources:
Lesbians Who Tech & Allies
LGBTQ in Technology
Out in Tech
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