Sergey Nazarov & Steve Ellis

Block Stories

In this episode, discover how an idea discussed by two college students turned into a multi-year journey of building a Web3 services platform that has enabled more than $7 trillion dollars in transaction value for the broader blockchain industry.

“The world is currently built on a system of paper promises."

About the founders

Sergey NazarovSteve Ellis

Sergey Nazarov

Sergey Nazarov is a co-founder of Chainlink and CEO of Chainlink Labs. A serial entrepreneur and Web3 pioneer, Sergey’s past endeavors have primarily focused on decentralized technologies, from smart contract-powered asset exchanges to decentralized email communications.

Steve Ellis

Steve Ellis is a co-founder of Chainlink and CTO of Chainlink Labs. With an extensive background in software engineering and a passion for entrepreneurship, Steve has more than 10 years of experience solving hard technical problems and pushing the limits of what’s possible with code.


Chainlink is the industry-standard Web3 services platform that has enabled trillions of dollars in transaction volume across DeFi, insurance, gaming, NFTs, and other major industries. As the leading decentralized oracle network, Chainlink enables developers to build feature-rich Web3 applications with seamless access to real-world data and off-chain computation across any blockchain and provides global enterprises with a universal gateway to all blockchains.

$12T+ USD
transaction value enabled
number of projects in the Chainlink ecosystem
number of decentralized oracle networks

“The 2008 financial crisis was a good example of the negative effect of paper promises, and society and individuals had to pay for that. That’s something that we wanted to solve.”

Sergey Nazarov, Co-Founder of Chainlink

Act summary

Questioning the Unseen
Having seen the systemic risks of paper-based promises and the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, Sergey and Steve believed that smart contracts and decentralized technologies would reformat societal agreements for the better. To build something that lasts, founders need to get to the root of the problem.
“There are many signs of degrading trust in traditional institutions. You can see it in media, government, financial policy…there are places where people are not keeping their promises.”

Steve Ellis

Proof Over Promises
Sergey and Steve had a clear vision for solving an immediate problem facing the blockchain industry—the lack of access to real-world data. They put their heads down and started building Chainlink with a focus on providing proof of real value. Founders must avoid distractions to laser-focus on their product and vision.
“Once you cryptographically commit to something, you’re not relying on promises. You’re relying on mathematics.”

Sergey Nazarov

Smart People at the Right Time
With adoption of Chainlink growing fast, Sergey and Steve needed to scale the operation on all sides and stay at the forefront of Web3 innovation. So they inspired world-class talent to share their vision of a world powered by cryptographic truth and join them in building the protocol. If you want to succeed, find skilled and passionate people to join you in your mission.
“What I’ve found is that smart people want to work on hard problems.”

Steve Ellis

Enabling the Next Web
Web3 is realizing the vision of a user-owned Internet by offering trust-minimized interactions, immutable code execution, and more individual freedom. This is the way the world will work moving forward.
“The goal of Chainlink is to enable creators. We want to provide people the tools they need to enable their own economic future.”

Steve Ellis

Just the Start
Already the industry-standard Web3 services platform, Chainlink is positioned for continued success as the Web3 ecosystem grows. But for Sergey and Steve, this is only the beginning of a decades-long journey for Web3, which they believe has just begun scratching the surface of its real potential. Founders must have a long-term outlook and continue pushing for increased success.
“We’ve powered $7 trillion in transactions. That’s the beginning. The tip of the iceberg.” 

Sergey Nazarov

About Block Stories

Block Stories is a series of short films that digs beneath the code and uncovers the origin stories of the most successful Web3 protocols. From next-generation insurance alternatives to NFTs and the emerging metaverse, discover the principles, people, and technologies behind the biggest Web3 innovations.

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