This section aims to give the opportunity to introduce some of the best 🇪🇺 founders. Most people loves their products but don’t know who are the founders behind them. Hello World.
Background: There are many Europeans working at US companies and building the digital assets ecosystem. My friend Matt, French, fmr Trader and now at Coinlist, is the perfect example. Enjoy!
Hi Matt, CoinList launched earlier this year its crypto lending desk and you are the one leading this effort. We know each other quite well having met when you were leading crypto at Barclays back in 2018 but it would be great if you could share a bit about your background.
I joined Lehman Brothers straight out of college in 2008. I worked there for 9 months before the bankruptcy hit. My boss back then landed a head of trading job at Barclays in Singapore, and he offered me a job on his desk. After a couple of years, I was sent to New York to trade options on commodities. I rose through the ranks over seven years, finally becoming head of oil options trading at Barclays. After a few years in that job, I realized the opportunities to grow were becoming slimmer as more and more traders were being replaced by computers.
How did you get into the bitcoin and blockchain industry?
After nearly ten years of trading commodity options, I was looking for my next challenge. A close friend of mine kept on going on and on about Bitcoin. I started taking a closer look and immediately saw the relative value trades opportunities: arbitrage, market-making, funding plays; it was all over the place. I started reading everything I could about Bitcoin and blockchain technology as I did not want to put my money into something I did not understand. I started trading manually at first, then through bots that I would program in my spare time.
Tell us a bit more about the team behind CoinList and its different teams. Are you hiring?
CoinList is where the top digital asset companies manage their token sales. Our infrastructure has supported over $500M in investments for more than fifty token sales since August 2017, when we spun off of AngelList. We provide a place where people can buy and sell the best digital assets.
We are hiring! I’d encourage anybody interested in working with us to check out our jobs page at coinlist.co/jobs.
What is the long-term vision of CoinList as well as CoinList lending?
We believe that decentralization is about to transform society, much like the internet has over the past few decades. Our mission is to help the best crypto projects in the world raise capital, grow their communities and empower their users in ways that have never before been possible. CoinList Lend specifically helps projects get their tokens into the hands of more market-makers, more exchanges and, as a result, more end-users.
Can you shed light on how crypto lending and borrowing work?
In a nutshell:
- Any liquidity provider in the crypto space needs to borrow crypto, whether to settle trades, deploy capital, access leverage, or execute complex trading strategies.
- Lenders can be anyone interested in earning revenue from the mere ownership of crypto: token issuers, venture funds, private investors.
- All lending/borrowing businesses are about connecting these two parties.
What’s your business model?
Our business model is simple and transparent: we borrow from lenders and lend to borrowers. We pass 80% of the proceeds of any loan to the lenders.
Who is your target audience? What are the reasons people want to lend or borrow? (i.e. why people want to borrow Bitcoin or stablecoin?)
Lending part of your cryptoasset inventory not only generates new revenue at low cost, it also increases the tradable supply of the currency, which boosts liquidity, price stability and overall trading volume.
Borrowing is usually done by market professionals such as liquidity providers, who need crypto working capital to capture opportunities in the market. Whether market-making, arbitraging or deploying long/ short trading strategies, the ability to borrow assets seamlessly and efficiently is crucial. In traditional finance, this function is performed by prime brokers. In crypto, the infrastructure is still largely missing.
Can you share a bit more information on what makes CoinList lending unique compared to its competitors?
It is very simple: we are the only lending/borrowing platform that does not operate a trading desk.
We only take a small, transparent fee on each loan.
In practice, this means that our lenders receive 80% of what borrowers pay for their assets. Our competitors typically only pay 50% to their lenders and sometimes less.
Having recently moved to NYC to start the CoinList lending desk, what are your thoughts on the crypto European ecosystem compared to the US ecosystem?
The Europe ecosystem is vibrant, with a healthy developer community. If Europe can lead in terms of regulatory guidance, it could strengthen its relative attractiveness as a crypto hub.
Is there any recent industry news that you would like to highlight?
On July 30, the United States Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing on regulatory frameworks for cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Earlier this month, Congress held a hearing on Libra. We believe this bodes well for both Bitcoin and crypto in general — the space is getting attention from regulators and legislators, and we hope this will lead to more clarity and continued innovation in the industry.
Anything to add?
We are witnessing the end of the most recent crypto winter and a new beginning for crypto. A lot of scams have been weeded out and, as I said, I think the stage is set for much healthier growth, provided we get regulatory clarity. Libra will be a big help in accelerating conversations on that front.