Building Teams + Community - Unqualified Opinions #12

welcome to our public weekly stand up.

Teams & Community - Unqualified Opinions #12

(7 minute read)

Building great teams is incredibly difficult and time consuming. It’s also the most important thing you need to do as a startup. What stands out to me about Adam White’s announced departure from Coinbase isn’t that he’s left, it’s how long he and other early members of the core Coinbase team stayed - with minimal turnover during the formative years. Maybe more impressive still is how CEO Brian Armstrong has reshaped, and in many cases, leveled up the team as it preps for its next growth phase.

While only one of Brian’s first seven hires appears to have remained at the company (trivia question: who’s the sole survivor?), it’s added a CTO (Balaji), CFO (Alesia Haas), BD Lead (Emilie Choi), and President (Asiff Hirji) in the past six months alone.

That’s a master class in team (re)building. Something anyone recruiting teams in crypto (and building community more generally) should study closely.


Speaking of community…

Delegate Work Entities

We’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of token investors contributing to the networks that they invest in. Erik Torenberg wrote a nice summary for Token Daily a few weeks back on the concept which is called “mining 2.0” or “generalized mining.” The basic idea is that investors are going to double down and start actively participating in the networks they invest in through mining, staking, bonding, validating, etc.

It makes sense across the board. Networks have more active participants to govern them and investors get to support their thesis while earning incremental returns.

But the scope of supporters is larger than traditional investors and could include any entity entrusted with holding a user's tokens.

Those entities can be called “delegate work entities.” The concept is covered in depth by one of our community analysts, Ben Sparango. According to Ben, a delegate work entity is any party elected by a user to perform some work on their behalf. For example, a TCR token holder may not want to deal with curating the list, and would rather have someone else deal with the day-to-day grunt work.

Participants that already hold tokens like exchanges (Binance, Polo), custodians (Xapo, Bitgo, Coinbase Custody, etc.), and of course, crypto funds, become natural candidates for providing these services. While the network would benefit from increased participation, and entities could likely collect additional revenue, there are risks. Centralizing too many tokens in one place could lead to cartel-like vote rigging (not naming names, but rhymes with Moby), and indicate that a network’s end “users” are actually passive speculators.

Read more about the concept in Ben’s post and let us know what you think.

🏆 This week’s must follows from the community…

Time to shout out another MVP helping us build a more transparent crypto community. Dan has been with our community since day one, and been instrumental in shaping our token profiles (editing and original publishing). He also happens to be turning into a decentralized storage guru with profiles on Sia and Storj.

Give him a follow on twitter!

We will continue to highlight the top contributors in our community and the projects that they are helping to cover.

(TBI note: And we are starting to rank them Hunger Games style. We’re looking for more Katniss’s. Tune in next week for the rankings!)

🎉 Messari Community Meetup

We’re hosting a rager. If talking about data tools and transparency standards gets you amped up, let us know and we’ll shoot you an invite to our shindig on October 16.

In NYC from 6-8PM. Limited space behind the velvet rope, but if you’d like to come and learn about what we are doing and meet other cool crypto peeps, shoot Katherine an email- introduce yourself and why you’d like to attend! 📩

(Paid UO subscribers are guaranteed admission. We’ll take others by invite only.)

As always, if you are interested in helping us crowdsource token project details, or want to join our community to share your expertise, we would love to have you on board! Take a second to fill out an application with your details and we will get back to you soon.

-Eric & the Messari Team

P.S. Smash those share and subscribe buttons, and spread the love. Tweet at Messari for requests, feedback, comments, or questions.

News & Analyses

Messari Compression Algorithm

Content and thoughts from around the web as summarized by the Messari team.

💰 [Analysis] Use regulated stablecoins, get censorship – Tony Sheng

Gemini and Paxos announced regulated dollar-backed stablecoins that have gained approval from the New York Department of Financial Services. This is unlike most stablecoins that seek to be censorship-resistant.   On one hand, regulated stablecoins are bad in that they inherit unsound monetary policy, censorship of fiat money, and potential censorship of the issuing corporation. On the other hand, if regulatory approval is a hard requirement to participate in the trading of cryptocurrencies, then compliance might be a massive advantage for these regulated stablecoins.   Altogether, more regulated stablecoins are probably a net positive for crypto. They offer regulatory clarity, increased trust for new retail and institutional investors, and bring about discourse that highlights the costs of regulations. (Messari | Source)

❌ [Analysis] Why you can't shortcut trust – Jimmy Song

Trust in a money requires time, and any successful currency needs to optimize for longevity over everything else.   Good money has two things: 1) Qualities that make money convenient or easy to transact in, ie. divisibility, portability, fungibility, and recognizability. 2) Qualities that make money valuable, ie. scarcity, durability and bearer instrumentation.   Long-term, people must have a good reason to believe that the scarcity of a money will last and that the money cannot just be seized at the whim of a third party, in other words, have a central point of failure. (Messari | Source)

Quick Bits (Don't read that, I read it for you)

Choke Points (Exchange News)

  • 💢 Bitfinex responds to insolvency rumors in its latest blog post: “As one of only a very few exchanges operating since 2013, with a small team and low operating costs, we do not entirely understand the arguments that purport to show us to be insolvent without providing any explanation about why”. It also distanced itself from any involvement with Puerto Rico-based bank Noble Bank. (Messari | Source)

  • 😟 Adam White, the head of Coinbase’s institutional platform group and its fifth employee, is leaving the company. White’s exit comes at a pivotal time for the San Francisco-based crypto company as it seeks to lock in large clients like hedge funds and other institutional customers after becoming a leading exchange for retail investors. (Messari | Source)

Startup Signals (ICOs, Cryptos, and Startups)

  • 💰 Yale University invests in crypto fund Paradigm. The endorsement of crypto assets by David Swensen (who heads up the university’s fund) is significant as he is generally considered a pioneer in institutional investing. (Messari | Source)

  • ⬇️ Bitcoin's volatility at 17-month low: Bitcoin is lingering at the lowest level since before the momentous surge and collapse last December. Neither a strong positive or negative divergence has formed over the past month, analysis measures show. (Messari | Source)

  • 😮 Last Friday, Blockstream co-founder and Bitcoin Core developer Mark Friedenbach announced a proposal, Forward Blocks, to make a consensus change to bitcoin through backwards compatibility. Instead of requiring a hard fork, Bitcoin can implement massive changes through forward blocks; potential applications include increasing block size or changing the proof-of-work mechanism. (Messari | Source)

The Powers That Be (Legal/Reg/Policy)

  • 🚫 US senators seek stronger sanctions on Venezuela's 'Petro' cryptocurrency, backing a humanitarian aid bill for Venezuela that- among other things- seeks to sanction the state-backed cryptocurrency, the Petro. The bill also bars U.S. residents from providing financing or software assistance in launching the petro. (Messari | Source)

  • 🔑 Australia proposes technology surveillance bill that grants authorities greater access to encrypted messages. The bill will require a company to give assistance if they are able to and require a company to build tools that would help the police as long as encryption is not broken. Blockchain developers are wary of of how decentralized apps would fare under this legislation. (Messari | Source)

  • The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) will examine which tokens and initial coin offerings would come under securities regulations on a case-by-case basis. The subsequent question: what to do with those ICOs that are outside the regulatory world. (Messari | Source)

Did I miss something?

Send me the link, your twitter handle and your best imitation compression algorithm write up. If I like it, I’ll include your bit next issue (with attribution).

Community Updates

Genius level reader:

Q- “ Binance has 144% of it’s Y2050 supply outstanding. Not a glitch. Any guesses why? Hit us up with the correct answer and we’ll shout you out tomorrow for being a genius.” We got hit with a number of email responses— as promised, shouting to the genius subscriber that gave us the most comprehensive answer (backed by whitepaper quote!) 🧠:

A- “Re: BNB market cap, current supply is greater than it will be in 2050 because they’ve been burning tokens quarterly in line with their white paper:

“Every quarter, we will use 20% of our profits to buy back BNB and destroy them, until we buy 50% of all the BNB (100MM) back. All buy-back transactions will be announced on the blockchain. We eventually will destroy 100MM BNB, leaving 100MM BNB remaining.”

Thanks, Joshua Henderson!

Podcast Recap

🎧 ICYMI, we also host & produce our own podcasts on Spotify, iTunes, Soundcloud, and Google Play.

In our latest episode, Katherine was on the ground at Crypto Springs and interviewers a number of speakers and attendees about their experience at the much-talked about conference. 

Listen on Apple Podcasts here, Spotify here, Soundcloud here, and Google play here. Happy listening!

Shameless Plugs

💼 We're Hiring:

  • We need data engineers who want to bring transparency to crypto!

    Join a fast growing team in NYC; work with crypto OGs, and former Bloomberg/Palantir engineers; & access a network that sets you up for the rest of your career. Apply here!

✈️ Upcoming Travel:

  • Hit us up in these locations:

    • SFBW, San Francisco, October 8-12th

    • Money 20/20, Las Vegas, October 21-24th

    • DevCon, Prague, Czech Republic October 30–November 2, 2018

🗣 Join Our Community!

  • If you are interested in helping us crowdsource token project details, or want to join our community to share your expertise, wed love to have you on board! Take a second to fill out an application and we will get back to you soon.

  • Going forward, we’ll be capping new members at 15 each week to keep things running smoothly. If you haven’t heard back, you are probably in the queue.

    Like what you read? Share it! Hate what you read? Let me know @MessariCrypto.

    Subscribe now