Check out an exclusive interview with CoinMarketCap’s senior leadership about the philosophy behind the project, its history and the acquisition by Binance.
When talking about the platforms that are tracking cryptocurrencies movement, first that comes at one’s mind is definitely CoinMarketCap. A platform created to track the capitalization of different cryptocurrencies, the amount of trades that use them and the current price converted into fiat currencies updates the information every five minutes.
We spoke with its founder Brandon Chez and its Chief Strategy Officer Carylyne Chan about their work and the opportunities of such a platform in crypto-space.
CoinMarketCap began as a “passion project” back in 2013. However, reading the financial section of a news site that described market capitalization of equities, Chez got to the idea of presenting the relative size of altcoins in a similar way. Since most people are already familiar with this kind of approach, comparing altcoins’ value to the one of Bitcoin, became much easier.
It All Started in the Year of ICO’s – 2017
The whole thing culminated around 2017 (and we all remember the year when Bitcoin reached its record) when ICO’s were the ultimate way for companies and startups to make money, and Chez needed help with his website. His colleagues and friends joined in and Chez says that the first sign that CoinMarketCap “could be revenue-positive happened in 2015, when a site approached us to buy out all ad spots on our page.” During the next few years, the team was constantly growing as well as the site’s influence.
Of course, a lot of offers for the acquisition came by but the one Chez felt would make the most sense for both the team and the users, came from Binance.
“I believe that the alignment we have with Binance about being user-focused and increasing freedom for people in the world convinced me that this would lead to a great outcome for space,” noted Chez adding that, besides that, CoinMarketCap has always been profitable so there was never really a need to attract investments.
However, even though it may seem like a lot of money, Chez says he still didn’t get the Lambo, crypto enthusiast’s wet dream. He still wants to take some time off and “spend it with his family.”
Crypto is All About Giving People Choice
Carylyne Chan joined the CoinMarketCap in 2018 when Chez was looking to expand CMC on the international level. Therefore, Chan took this opportunity and took charge. After a few months, she started working full-time as VP of marketing, then as the Chief Strategy Officer, and now the interim CEO.
Chan postulates herself as a technology and crypto believer. She is definitely not new in the cryptospace. She has worked at many startups before, and also ran and sold her own startup. She says:
“I’m never too concerned about risk and challenging the big guns out there! Crypto, of course, is massive in its scope to provide alternatives to the current institutions. I believe strongly in giving people choice, so I’m constantly refreshed and motivated by the challenges here.”
She reiterates Chez’s affirmation about Binance saying that she feels Binance has the same user-focused philosophy as they do and will do whatever it takes to make it right for our users. “Therefore, with our shared visions of making crypto more accessible to the world, we were more than comfortable with going through with the acquisition. I’m very optimistic for the future,” said Chan.
She goes on explaining how CoinMarketCap wants to help to catalyze the crypto revolution in their own unique way; “as the landing page of crypto, the port of call for anyone who wants to learn about crypto.” Chan is also pretty much determined to continue to build CoinMarketCap in a way that is consistent with their vision. She explains:
“In our presentation delivered during our conference The Capital last year, we summarized our roadmap into three core aspects: Better data, more content and deeper industry partnerships. This will be our focus for the next year.”
She says she had received a ton of feedback from users and partners about how to make the experience on CoinMarketCap. The event though she admits that tracking the traditional finance market is an interesting thought that users have asked about before, she still thinks the focus should continue to be on crypto. “There’s still a lot that we can do within the crypto space, so we’ll keep going at it,” said Chan.
Binance Lets CoinMarketCap to Grow as Independent Business
However, whenever acquisition like this happens, there are always rumors. For example, we had rumors here that Binance acquired CMC in order to manipulate the figures and the overall crypto market.
Chan says that Binance’s CEO CZ I pretty much aware that CoinMarketCap as a standalone company has a great value per se and he hopes to let it grow as an independent business. She stresses:
“Both of the teams have agreed that CoinMarketCap will remain neutral as it always has been. As you can imagine, there is no real long-term benefit to having Binance acquire CoinMarketCap, then destroy its brand and value quickly just to give Binance a temporary boost.
CoinMarketCap’s interest is in serving our millions of users, and that trust and neutrality is essential to our business, for our users to continue coming back and using our data. The key is to think long term and understand how we can keep growing CoinMarketCap’s value to the space and to our users in the long run.”
As for the future plans, Chan says the company will continue to reinvest its revenues into growing its team and features.
“ We believe in growing businesses sustainably (especially looking at the recent spate of tech IPO troubles related to scaling high-growth, non-profitable businesses) and we’ll make sure we can continue to run CoinMarketCap this way. It will ensure that we remain independent and will be able to tackle challenges on our own in the future.”
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