Still, when it comes to understanding the current moment in crypto he’s more or less unmatched. Or, at the very least, he’s not afraid to be a little contrarian. At Consensus 2023, for instance, Qureshi argued that CertiK, an auditing firm with a less-than-stellar reputation, was making a mistake by offering to reimburse victims of Merlin, a decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol Certik had recently audited. “This is explicitly insurance,” Qureshi said, arguing that if this move is repeated it would push premiums for audits without necessarily improving their accuracy because firms would expect to have to make payouts. CoinDesk caught up with Qureshi to talk about the state of crypto venture capital, the regulatory environment and why Ponzi schemes will always collapse.