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As crypto markets continue to crash, a major industry player’s beliefs are also changing as he transitions from a ‘Bitcoin Maximalist’ to what he calls a ‘Bitcoin Rationalist’. The reason for this change seems to be that he sees a future for the coin in decentralized finance (DeFi).

Long-standing bitcoin support Dan Held exclusively tells TechCrunch that he has stepped down from his role as Chief Growth Officer at the crypto exchange kraken. He will take an active role in building DeFi products on top of Bitcoin, starting with a marketing partner role in the Bitcoin-focused ecosystem and platform, Trust Machines. A source familiar with the matter also said Held should take on the role of brand ambassador at Kraken.

“Bitcoin is what matters to me. Nothing has changed there,” said Held, who has been in the space for over a decade. In his view, the stakes are rising for Bitcoin as the crypto industry narrative shifts to decentralized finance (DeFi) from centralized finance (CeFi), and market participants “find more meaning in building on DeFi”.

The crypto industry and Bitcoin are at an inflection point, he said. “I think there is going to be this renaissance in the Bitcoin DeFi world. Currently, DeFi is not synonymous with Bitcoin, and most people think that these two words do not really go together.

I don’t think it will be a one-string world. It will be a multi-channel world. Dan Held, Marketing Partner, Trust Machines

DeFi has long been the playground of Bitcoin alternatives that maximalists have largely dismissed, such as Ethereum. Bringing DeFi concepts to Bitcoin may be seen by some as heresy, though there may be a needle to be threaded in returning the popular field of crypto development to its original string.

If Bitcoin is to succeed in the long term as an ur-chain, it will require as much attention from developers as possible, which makes DeFi and its legions of programmers a means to bolster blockchain’s position in the market.

Popular Bitcoin maximalists (former and current) love Nic Carter, Pete Rizzo and Alex Gladstein also took more moderate stances to open up the discussion for other use cases in the crypto industry, whether it’s building Ethereum infrastructure, finding utility in stablecoins, or something else. (Rizzo objected to us calling him a former bitcoin maximalist on Twitter after the post.)

“It had been brewing for a while,” Held said. “A large group in Bitcoin [maximalist] the space is moderately leaning.”

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