DYOR Crypto Wiki


"I got into crypto back in 2015 when I had my first job out of college, which was at Coinbase as a software engineer. And I kind of got to Coinbase pretty differently than the way most people got there. The way most people got to Coinbase, especially back in 2015, is that they were really into Bitcoin, and especially back then in 2015, Bitcoin was really all there was in terms of the interesting stuff going on in crypto. But I didn't really know that much about it.

And through the interview process met a lot of really awesome people, was really fortunate while I was there to be able to work with just a lot of the top people in blockchain at the time were at Coinbase, or if they weren't they were probably coming to Coinbase and giving talks. Like Vitalik came really early on in the life cycle of Ethereum to talk to us, and Olaf Carlson-Wee, was there giving presentations on smart contracts and gas usage on Ethereum, and all this kind of stuff. So that just got me really excited about what was possible to build based on that new technology.

So anyways, that was back in kind of 2016, eventually left Coinbase in 2016, and after a few months, I started my own thing. And the first thing I started actually wasn't dYdX, it was something else, it was a search engine for decentralized apps and this was back in 2017. So I built this whole thing out. I was working on it for a couple of months and literally nobody used it. I think I had like 10 users literally ever. And the main learning that I took away from that was in addition to building something that's useful, the timing of when you build it is really important. Like probably someday, there will be a search engine for decentralized apps.

So after I spent a few months on that, I took a step back and was thinking about well, okay, if this isn't working out, what's something else on top of Ethereum that I could build that’s interesting. Because I really think of finance as a stack, especially decentralized finance as a stack where first you have decentralized money like Bitcoin and Ethereum and stuff, then you have decentralized spot exchanges like at the time, it was Kyber and 0x, and then the next logical thing to build on top of that is derivatives. But you can't build anything higher in the stack without things lower in the stack, and that's kind of what I was getting at back with the timing point. So been working on dYdX since then, we’re founded in 2017, so I've been around for a while now."