Anyone can access and read public blockchains, but creating meaningful insights from this data is not easy. Millions of transactions are logged across a variety of blockchains and Layer 2 protocols, generating petabytes of data per day.
Services like Google transformed the early Internet, performing a major engineering task by structuring and organizing millions of websites to serve users’ simple queries. A handful of blockchain analytics platforms are looking to do the same, as Nansen differentiates itself by processing data on-chain in a growing database of wallet tags.
Cointelegraph visited the development company’s Singapore office during Token 2049 to have a one-on-one conversation with co-founder and CEO Alex Svanevik. The office, which occupied a dedicated space in a collaborative environment, teemed with city-based staff from the company’s hubs in Lisbon, Miami, London and Bangkok.
Svanevic’s background is rooted in artificial intelligence. After graduating from the University of Edinburgh in 2010, Norwegian’s thesis focused on building models based on how children learn mathematics. His first foray into the world of work involved establishing a business-focused AI consultancy before moving into management consulting.
Nansen CEO and co-founder Alex Svanevik talks to Cointelegraph at Nansen’s office in Singapore during Token2049 in September 2022.
His position as a data scientist for a media company preceded his eventual move into the crypto world, introducing Svanevik to Ethereum in 2017. His first job for a cryptocurrency company was funded by a $15 million initial coin offering that lasted about a year, which the company became a of the many companies that flourished and collapsed after 2017.
Then Svanevik, Lars Krogvig and Evgeny Medvedev collaborated to create Nansen AI, looking for a market gap for a chain analysis tool aimed at investors:
On the other hand, you had the free tools that all cryptocurrency investors have access to, like CoinMarketCap and Etherscan. And then, at the other extreme, you had expensive tools that were used exclusively by companies, like Chainalysis.
Nansen was formed in late 2019 to provide high-quality analytical tools to investors that provide real-time blockchain data and insights. Svanevik admitted that the platform initially attracted advanced cryptocurrency traders, but has since evolved to include a 50/50 split for retail and institutional users:
“We started with what you might call “deviations” just before the DeFi summer. Many of them used Nansen to navigate summer DeFi – which DeFi pools to allocate your capital to, which tokens to buy, etc.
The cryptocurrency bear market, which is mirrored by traditional stock markets, leads Svanvik to believe that the Nansen sector will move towards greater institutional use over the next two years. Individual investors may take a break from cryptocurrency and cut back on analytics services, but ongoing institutional investment efforts will require data-driven insights:
“There are many companies, funds, operators, blockchain and crypto projects where the companies raising money are doing well from a financial perspective. They’re not just going out of business because crypto tanks are 70%. They still need analysis and information of really high quality.”