Anton Lysakov: My Journey

Anton Lysakov
5 min readMar 16, 2023


I realised that I’ve never properly introduced myself to my followers, so I decided to write an autobiographical post to share my story.

I was born in the Siberian Russian city of Novokuznetsk but moved to a small village in Kazakhstan named Shahan (now almost non-existent) when I was just 2 months old. My dad, a radio engineer by degree, worked in a nearby mine as an IT engineer. Thankfully, his side hustle in tool automation enabled us to move to the city before I started elementary school.

Growing up, I was always somewhat “special” — I won various school olympiads in both humanitarian and technical disciplines, excelled in city math competitions, and maintained a perfect 5/5 average grade until 9th grade when online poker became my passion. I began reading serious literature at 3 years old and devoured hundreds of books, sometimes reading for 15 hours a day when I didn’t have school.

My dad’s IT background played a significant role in shaping my personality. He brought home my first computer, a Pentium, in 1996 when I was just 3 years old. I still vividly remember my first adventures with Prince of Persia and Doom.

One of my main passions has always been chess. My classmate’s dad, a local chess club coach, invited me to join when I was around 7 years old. I became a candidate master and created a small website about chess, which landed me a personal sponsor at 14 years old. I even traveled from Karaganda to Moscow on my own! More about this travel: You can read more about my chess journey here:

Around the same time, I started playing online poker during the industry’s rise (before the Black Friday/Full Tilt story). I made an account for my mother, played MTTs all night, and went to school in the morning. I won my first $10k when I was just 13 years old. I also made a personal blog on one of the first poker forums and began hustling on the other side of the industry, eventually becoming a marketing manager and then marketing director at a bookmaker.

I finished school in Kazakhstan and moved to Russia to pursue a university degree. While I never had an interest in physics, I decided to study nuclear physics to understand the fundamental workings of life and challenge myself. Despite struggling with my grades during the last couple of years in school, I managed to pass the entrance exams and secure a place in university.

While studying, I continued working at the bookmaker and started moonlighting as a personal chess coach for kids. Poker became more of a hobby, and I began playing offline for fun:

I completed my bachelor’s degree in nuclear physics and science, specializing in accelerator physics. Out of the 29 students in my group, only 6 of us finished the program. I then began a master’s degree in a combined program between Tomsk Medical and Polytechnical University, focusing on medical physics. After completing my first semester, I realized that university was not the right path for me. I decided to leave and began searching for my first IT job. I landed a position as a technical support specialist at a telecom company, earning $200–300 per month. At the time, I had very little knowledge of the field and was just learning to use the terminal for the first time, mainly working with LAMP stack.

Within a few months, I was promoted to head of the department. I began handling technical pre-sales and dedicated countless hours to expanding my knowledge. A couple of years later, I stumbled upon the BitcoinTalk forum, where I discovered information about cryptocurrencies. Prior to this, I had been researching distributed computing and had set up a BOINC network in my dad’s office to utilize their computers’ idle time for the SETI@home project.

Recognizing the potential of cryptocurrencies, I immediately invested in a GPU for mining and put almost all of my savings, around $2,000, into crypto. During this period of constant growth in the crypto market, I scaled up my GPU mining operation from one to around 40 GPUs. I even slept in the same room with the mining rigs in the rental flat I shared with a friend. This marked the beginning of my journey into the blockchain industry.

As my mining operations began generating a decent income, I left my telecom job and started looking for opportunities in the blockchain field. I moved to Moscow and found a position as a community manager for an ICO project, which ultimately failed. Fortunately, a friend suggested I apply to Komodo, and that’s how my five-year journey with the company began.

Initially, I had a limited understanding of blockchain technology, such as the differences between balance-based and UTXO-based systems. I started as a support specialist, then transitioned into a QA role, and eventually began developing simple Python applications to assist with testing. I primarily worked directly with jl777 when he was crafting the concept of cryptoconditions.

At one point, I was appointed head of Komodo’s QA department, tasked with creating a new generation of products that would surpass previous offerings like BarterDEX and Agama. Over the past four years, I have poured all my dedication, creativity, and energy into this mission. Now I can confidently say that I am an expert in the field of cryptocurrencies.

I’m not the best writer, and there are many more details to share about my journey, but I hope this account gives readers a rough idea of who I am and how I became the person I am today. This is my first attempt at writing an autobiography. As I approach my 30th birthday in a few weeks, I find myself becoming more nostalgic.