One of Blur’s founders has “doxxed” himself, publicly revealing his identity, after users on Crypto Twitter began piecing it together earlier this week.
Tieshun Roquerre—who prefers to go by “Pacman” online—is the cofounder of Blur, the NFT marketplace backed by crypto VC heavyweight Paradigm designed for “pro traders” that’s quickly taken OpenSea’s spot as the top NFT exchange by volume.
Roquerre is a 24-year-old who worked as a software engineer at the ecommerce site Teespring and subsequently dropped out of high school. He then cofounded StrongIntro and took it through the Y Combinator startup accelerator. Roquerre then did a two-year stint at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) before dropping out to found crypto domain startup Namebase, which he raised $5 million for and then sold to Namecheap within three years.
“As we built Blur I enjoyed the privacy of being pseudo[anonymous],” Roquerre explained in a Twitter thread. “I would often doxx in private calls to establish trust, or if the vibes were good.”
Web2 me vs Web3 me
A thread 🧵 pic.twitter.com/9BKyNdan3x
— Pacman | Blur.io (@PacmanBlur) February 22, 2023
“At this point, Pacman is synonymous with my own identity, and the name is much easier to pronounce than my IRL name. I’ll continue to refer to myself as Pacman and using my VTuber for calls,” he said, referring to his 2D anime-style digital avatar.
Blur burst onto the NFT scene in October, promising NFT traders BLUR tokens via an airdrop in early 2023. Following its multi million-dollar airdrop to its early adopters, trading on the exchange has skyrocketed. According to public blockchain data available on Dune Analytics, Blur now commands an 80.6% market share among NFT exchanges while OpenSea takes about 14.5%, based on trading volume.
As Blur’s popularity swelled among traders over recent weeks, interest in learning who, exactly, was behind the company had likewise increased. Roquerre’s doxxing begins to answer some, but not all, of the questions that users have about the NFT exchange that’s now dominating the space.
Roquerre is connected to Anthony Liu, who also left MIT in 2018. Liu’s Twitter lists him as the CTO of Namebase, but Liu’s Linkedin lists him as the cofounder and CTO of a “stealth” startup.
Roquerre’s “face reveal” comes just days after some Twitter users noticed that Paradigm also backed Namebase, where Roquerre is openly listed as its founder. Users then found his Twitter account and observed that Roquerre was liking and retweeting Blur’s posts.
“We always said internally that we’d back whatever he did next… and are proud to see what he and the team have built,” Paradigm Cofounder Matt Huang wrote on Twitter in response to the news.
According to Crunchbase data, Namebase was also backed by INBlockchain, a Chinese crypto investment firm that claims to own 130,000 BTC.
Another Twitter user had revealed Roquerre’s connection to Blur through a tweet on Sunday, with a meme that implied that they were sad Roquerre left Namebase to work on Blur.
tfw when @TieshunR left us then went on to create @blur_io pic.twitter.com/KMNUGedc0X
— peepo/ (@PeepoHNS) February 19, 2023