Armani Ferrante, CEO of Backpack, on Solana and Web3 Super Apps | Ep. 332

In an exclusive interview with Cryptonews, Armani Ferrante, the founder and CEO of cryptocurrency exchange and multi-chain wallet Backpack, talked about taking a long, winding path to entering Solana and establishing Anchor.

He discussed creating a super app – a one-stop app for all users’ needs – and why it’s relevant to have one.

Ferrante also touched on the future of the crypto economy and why it will be ten times better.

Creating Anchor: A Winding Road Up a Hill

Ferrante left his job at Apple in 2017. He was drawn to Ethereum, seeing it as “the coolest thing in the world.”

He had no plans and no job – just a desire to work in the blockchain field.

When Ferrante thinks about his process of establishing the popular developer tool on Solana, called Anchor, he describes it as “hill climbing.”

“It is a reference to a way of algorithmically finding the optimum of a specific kind of curve you’re trying to optimize,” he said.

He never had a grand vision that he followed and executed. Rather, it was years of thinking about specific problems that needed solving.

Iterating ways to solve some of those problems opened up new paths, both good and bad.

But with a bit of luck, after taking “a bunch of winding roads,” “eventually you end up in a reasonable spot,” he said.

Over the next few years, Ferrante worked at various companies and projects, contributing to open source.

“But the first thing that really got momentum was the couple of contributions to the Solana network,” he noted.

He found Solana at a time when he and many others in the industry were searching for new architectures, blockchains, and ecosystems to meet the demands of a new generation of crypto applications.

That was the time, in 2020, when Ferrante started finding his way through those up-hill winding roads.

“I felt I had the ability to solve things. […] And it was really from there that a bunch of doors started opening. I was able to create a company, hire incredible people, get funding, and get the resources required to create a business.”

Backpack is the all-in-one crypto app pic.twitter.com/UUJ0XQuzoD

— Backpack (@Backpack) April 29, 2024

From Mad Lads to Supper App

But Anchor was not the end of the road.

Ferrante moved to solve the next set of issues by building a crypto financial super app, Backpack.

“Anything that you want to do in crypto, quite literally, can be done inside of Backpack, or that’s the goal,” Ferrante said.

Among multiple other things, it enables a simple way to use any blockchain and decentralized app (dapp), and utilize the growing parallel financial system that’s being built on crypto rails.

7) Custom RPC. Though this is going to be SIGNIFICANTLY improved with the upcoming multi-chain UX enhancements. https://t.co/TL9ZVHLUAD

— Armani Ferrante (hiring) (@armaniferrante) May 5, 2024

And it started with the Mad Lad non-fungible token (NFT) collection.

This, said Ferrante, has “been an incredible test bed for us.”

While it may have seemed simple from the user’s perspective, there was “a ton” that went into every step of the way.

The team was making every experience unique, moving to differentiate itself from other projects.

They built a variety of games and puzzles for users to play through the wallet and get on the NFT whitelist.

Ferrante often uses the term ‘combination’ when speaking about the project’s success.

“It was this really awesome combination of building new products and telling interesting stories with beautiful art that made the Mad Lads experience special.”

At the end of the day, every NFT holder would have two products: a wallet and an exchange account. This was a way to build a company with “a passionate group of users.”

Therefore, on the inside, the team combined different components into one super-app. “It’s been kind of our flavor [and] one of the main reasons behind a lot of the success.”

And they’ve combined outside elements as well: “a bunch of incredible pieces, a bunch of incredible people, an incredible community coming together,” said Ferrante.

Runes. pic.twitter.com/SDpBGiQJqt

— Backpack (@Backpack) May 4, 2024

Crypto Future: Creating 10x Better Economy

In crypto, historically, we’ve seen that every bull cycle brings new liquidity hubs, which then create capital efficiency, Ferrante said.

Also in crypto, he argued, people search for everything to be 10 times better, faster, and safer.

“Whether you want to do 10X, with 10X less error, that makes sure that any ledger entry is provably correct with cryptography,” he said.

Ultimately, crypto is providing all of these benefits to financial transactions.

“When you have these things come together, you are creating this 10-times-better economy that can power all different parts of the world,” Ferrante concluded.


That’s not all!

In this interview, Ferrante also discussed:

studying at UC Berkeley and working at Apple;
creating Anchor, a groundbreaking developer tool that transformed programming on Solana;
growing the Backpack ecosystem and combining key elements into one super app;
the Solana ecosystem and what’s to come;
Solana vs Ethereum: comparing apples to oranges;
multi-threaded, parallel blockchains, and the future of Web3.

Watch the full episode here.


About Armani Ferrante

Armani Ferrante is the founder and CEO of cryptocurrency exchange and multi-chain wallet Backpack.

Co-founders Armani Ferrante and Tristan Yver launched the Backpack ecosystem of companies, including the Backpack wallet, the Mad Lads NFT collection, the xNFT standard, and Backpack Exchange.

Before founding Backpack in April 2022, Ferrante created Anchor, a developer tool that revolutionized programming on Solana.

He has become integral to numerous Solana projects and protocols, bonding its components to simplify the developer experience.

Ferrante graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Computer Science. Before dedicating all his effort to crypto and Web3, he worked as a software engineer for Apple.

The post Armani Ferrante, CEO of Backpack, on Solana and Web3 Super Apps | Ep. 332 appeared first on Cryptonews.