🎙 Braintrust's Adam Jackson: “Nike is in Crypto Now and They May Not be Fully Aware”

In this week’s episode, I interview Adam Jackson, co-founder of Braintrust, a user-owned talent network. Think Fiverr for web3. Braintrust runs on Ethereum, has thousands of users, household names like NASA, TaskRabbit, Nike and Nestlé are clients, it has processed millions of dollars, yet not many people in the crypto community have heard of it.  And it may be by design, as the team has focused on building the platform looking outside of crypto.

Last month, Braintrust launched its token, which was distributed to thousands of freelancers who had never touched crypto before. Token holders can now participate in governance and control how the platform is run. We talk about how adding a token better aligns incentives across the entire ecosystem, creating positive feedback loops and more value for everyone involved. 

 Adam says Brainstrust is an example of how open-source networks and software will disrupt closed corporations and web2. Braintrust is a set of smart contracts with no one company that owns it, but many companies that maintain it and build on it. This allows it to offer services at lower fees than web2 competitors. 

Adam believes the so-called gig economy is broken because platforms are incentivized to extract as much value as they can, leaving workers feeling like they’ve been cheated.  The way to fix it, he says, is through market-driven solutions using web3, DeFi and user-owned marketplaces.   

The podcast was led by Camila Russo, and edited by Alp Gasimov. Transcript was edited by Owen Fernau.

🎙Listen to the interview in this week’s podcast episode here:


🙌 Together with: 

  • Balancer, one of the leading DeFi automated market makers (AMM) for multiple tokens. Dive into their pools at this link.

  • Kraken, consistently rated the best and most secure cryptocurrency exchange, which can get you from fiat to DeFi

  • Aave, an open-source and non-custodial liquidity protocol where users can earn interest on deposits and borrow assets. 


👀 Only paid subscribers have access to the full interview transcript below.

Adam Jackson: Yeah, for sure. So my quick background, I'm a software engineer by training. I studied computer science at Vanderbilt University and then moved out here to San Francisco right out of school. And that was like 16 years ago. So I'm kind of the old man in the space. In my career, I'm pretty much an engineer turned entrepreneur.

So I've been starting and investing in two-sided marketplaces, web 2.0 marketplaces, if you will, pretty much my whole career. So my first one was an e-commerce marketplace acquired by Intuit. Second one was an automotive marketplace acquired by Advance Auto Parts. Third one is called Doctor on Demand, which isn't quite a marketplace because prices are set, but it does connect doctors and patients. And it's now the largest video tele-medicine system in the country. And then Braintrust is my latest project I've been working on since 2018. The whole idea behind Braintrust is we think user-owned and controlled marketplaces will grow faster and be more valuable for their users than investor-owned marketplaces. And so that's what brought me to the space. We're into almost three-plus years of building the Braintrust network.

“The whole idea behind Braintrust is we think user-owned and controlled marketplaces will grow faster and be more valuable for their users than investor-owned marketplaces.”

This post is for paid subscribers