Blog – Joining Pantera, Tony Sakich | Pantera

Joining Pantera

August 3, 2022 | Tony Sakich


I first met Joey Krug in January 2015, while I was still high off the success of my first year working in Bitcoin. I had met Vitalik Buterin the previous year and was following the Ethereum project closely, as it showed the most promise of any project in the then-nascent crypto ecosystem. 


I met Joey at the infamous crypto castle in San Francisco, alongside Jeremy Gardiner, Jack Peterson, Scott Leonard, and Chris Calderon. In the one week I spent there we began and finished our branding, courted Dr. Robin Hanson as an advisor, and began promoting Augur, the first project ever built on Ethereum.


The more I got to know Joey, the more comfortable I was in my conviction that he had both the clear vision and technical ability to pull off a project as ambitious and novel as the Augur, a decentralized prediction market. Joey has the astounding gift of deep multi-disciplinary understanding on a wide array of subjects. At the time, I often wondered when someone was going to realize just how special Joey is and give him everything he wants to work with them. (The answer, as it turned out, was in 2017, when he joined Dan at Pantera Capital).


We were strategic in putting our limited budget to good use, calling in favors (thanks Shooter Jennings) and prioritizing honesty and authenticity throughout the process. Throughout 2015 and 2016 we traveled around the US presenting about Augur and Ethereum at colleges and meetups, consulting with financial firms and doing anything we could to make sure the right ears knew about both projects.


While the massive amount of attention Augur soon received was fantastic,  the controversial and innovative nature of the project made everything a little more tricky and difficult. Though I stepped away from Augur and the crypto industry in late 2016, the relationship I had built with Joey never soured and he remained a loyal and supportive friend. 


Since discovering Bitcoin in 2011 Crypto became the biggest focus in my world, and while I had several notable campaign under my belt- including making the word “Bitcoin” trend for the first time ever on Twitter- my time with Augur was undoubtedly the highlight of my career. I knew Ethereum would be huge, and to be a part of the team that introduced it to the world was a huge blessing. 


My predictions of Joey’s potential greatness were fulfilled as he joined Pantera Capital, running their funds with industry legend Dan Morehead. In the years that followed we stayed in touch and I kept close tabs on both Joey’s career and Pantera Capital’s growth. I saw what incredible stewards Pantera was to companies in the space, and knew that anything added to their portfolio was something to watch, and the integrity and honesty Pantera embodied truly made me a fan.


In the time since Crypto has evolved so much, and while many of the things I worked on are widely known all over the world, I always said that the only thing that would get me back into the industry was the opportunity to work with Joey Krug again.


When Joey reached out and mentioned Pantera Capital, I dropped everything else I was working on and leapt at the opportunity. I had to go through the same hoops as any other candidate, but the possibility of working for Pantera Capital and with Joey again was so exciting that I would have jumped gladly through many many more.


I have recently accepted the role of Marketing and Communications Director at the first and most prestigious fund in crypto. I’m here to continue Pantera Capital’s strong branding efforts and to assist portfolio companies with their marketing and communications strategies. I cannot remember a time in crypto without Pantera Capital, and know how integral the firm has been to its current global success. My goal is to continue to strengthen the brand’s influence and position in the space while maintaining the powerhouse that Dan, Joey and the team have built.


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