We asked builders in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space what they thought about the industry…and added some random zingers to keep them on their toes!
This week, we asked 6 questions to Daniel Yan, Founding Partner and COO of Matrixport, a digital asset financial services platform where users can invest, trade, and leverage crypto assets.
Hi, my name is Dan – I’m a founding partner of Matrixport. Since 2019, I have served as the company’s chief operating officer, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the company. Late last year, I started spending most of my time building Matrixport Ventures, the company’s venture capital arm. It was a great experience for me personally and professionally. Let’s say there hasn’t been a boring day since I dipped my toes into cryptocurrency! Before I worked in crypto, I was an options trader in investment banking.
1 — From smart contracts and DApps to NFTs and DeFi, we’ve seen a lot of the next crypto “killer apps”, but none have really taken off. What will stick?
I’m going to have to challenge the “haven’t really taken off yet!” statement first. Ethereum for smart contracts, OpenSea for NFTs, MetaMask for DApps, and Uniswap for DeFi — by my standards, they were all successful projects at the decisive moment.
I’m sure they’ll all stick with it and present themselves as a key part of the “Web3 world” we’re about to enter.
Will there be challengers and whole new categories that we can’t even understand right now? Absolutely. That’s the beauty of the crypto world. For most people, DeFi won’t appear until 2020, and NFTs won’t appear until 2021. As we progress as an industry, we will continue to see category-defining innovations emerge.
2 — What is the toughest challenge you have faced in our industry so far?
There are many, but if I had to pick one, it would be managing the extremely cyclical volatility and volatility in the industry.
Because of the nascent nature of the industry (yes, it still is), things tend to be very volatile, both in bull and bear markets. In these turbulences, there will always be customers who don’t feel well — no matter their position, execution, or just their mood. We’re always trying to help our clients better through these times, which sometimes means tough conversations, tough decisions, and other things that aren’t so easy.
3 — Who do you find the most inspiring, interesting and interesting in this field?
This may already be a cliché, but I think Sam Bankman-Fried is my choice. First, he built very successful businesses in Alameda and FTX. He then became a staunch supporter of several key frontiers of the industry and successfully contributed significantly to their development (alternatives to L1, DeFi). At the same time, he has managed to establish his presence in traditional finance and regulation — now a major lobbying force in the crypto industry.
It takes a lot to just hit a third, so I think the fact that he managed to hit all three is impressive.
4 — What is the least likely thing on your bucket list?
Bitcoin went up to $100 and I bought a lot.
5 — What were you like in high school?
Geek, stupid and shy. Assuming I’ve come a long way since then…
6 – What should we teach our children?
Kindness, courage and confidence.
They are self-explanatory, so I guess I don’t need to elaborate.
However, they are easier said than done – sometimes, I have to remind myself of these and try to do better.
A wish for the young, ambitious blockchain community:
Be brave and don’t be afraid to fail. Keep building, WAGMI!