6 Questions to Daniel Yan of Matrixport – Cointelegraph Magazine


We ask builders in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space for their thoughts on the industry…and throw in a few random zingers to keep them on their toes!

This week our 6 Questions go to Daniel Yan, Founding Partner and COO at Matrixport – a digital asset financial services platform where users can invest, trade and mine crypto assets.

Hey guys, it’s Dan – I’m a founding partner of Matrixport. I have been the COO of the company since 2019, overseeing the daily running of the business. Late last year, I started spending most of my time building Matrixport Ventures, the venture capital investment arm of the company. It was a great experience for me both personally and professionally. There hasn’t been a dull day since I dipped my toes into let’s say crypto! Prior to my time in crypto, I was an options trader in the investment banking industry.

1 – From smart contracts and DApps to NFTs and DeFi, we’ve seen so many upcoming “killer apps” for crypto, but none have really taken off yet. What will stick?

First I’ll have to dispute the claim that “none have really taken off yet!” Ethereum for the smart contract, OpenSea for NFTs, MetaMask for DApp, and Uniswap for DeFi — by my standards, these are all moment-defining successful projects.

I think all of them will stay loyal and present themselves as key parts of the “Web3 world” we are entering.

Will there be totally new challengers and categories that we can’t even understand right now? Absolutely. That’s the beauty of the crypto world. For most people, DeFi wasn’t a thing until 2020, NFT wasn’t a thing until 2021. We will continue to see category-defining innovations as we move forward as an industry.

2 — What has been the most difficult challenge you have faced in our industry so far?

There are many, but if I have to choose one, it would be to manage the extremely cyclical volatility and turbulence of the industry.

Due to the nascent nature of the industry (yes, again), things tend to be very volatile both ways – no matter in a bull or bear market. During this turmoil, there will always be clients who don’t feel up to their advantage, no matter what their positions, their executions, or just their mood. We’re always trying to help customers get through these times better, and sometimes that means tough conversations, tough decisions, and other things that aren’t so easy.

3 — Who do you find most inspiring, interesting and fun in this space?

This might already be a cliche answer, but I think Sam Bankman Fried is my choice. First, he built an extremely successful business at Alameda and FTX. Then, he became a very active supporter on several key industry frontiers and managed to contribute substantially to their growth (Alternative L1, DeFi). At the same time, he managed to build his influence in the mainstream financial and regulatory space – now a key lobbyist for the crypto industry.

It takes a lot to hit just one of the three, so I think the fact that he managed to hit all three is beyond impressive.

4 — What is the most unlikely thing to happen on your to-do list?

Bitcoin goes to $100, and I buy loads of it.

5 — How were you in high school?

Geek, clumsy and shy. Let’s just say I’ve come a long way since…

6 — What should we teach our children?

Kindness, courage and confidence.

They’re pretty self-explanatory, so I guess I don’t need to elaborate any further.

However, they are easier said than done – from time to time I will have to remind myself of them and try to do better.

A wish for the young and ambitious blockchain community:

Be brave and don’t be afraid to fail. Keep building, and WAGMI!

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