January CRYPTO 101 sat down with the CEO of the most popular blockchain asset portfolio tracker on the planet: Blockfolio to talk all things crypto, the markets, entrepreneurship and surviving in the bear market by building value.
Who is Edward Moncada?
Edward Moncada was born to Bolivian parents in the USA and grew up in Tulsa Oklahoma as a kid fascinated with counter-culture who loved to skate. After graduating from UC Berkeley he helped start up a music internet company in the Bay area. He also played poker professionally from 2001–2010. In 2013/14 he discovered and invested in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Moncada was also one of the founding board members of the DASH Foundation after his initial involvement into DARK coin (the previous name of the project). Before setting up and becoming a sitting member of the foundation, he single-handedly drove the push to have the project listed on Bitfinex.
The Need for a Portfolio Tracker?
Moncada noticed that in 2013/14 that every crypto portfolio tracker on the market only really tracked Bitcoin. With hundreds (soon turning into thousands) of assets available, Moncada and his two co-founders realised there was a need for a comprehensive portfolio tracker.
In January 2017 Blockfolio had about 8000 monthly users. They had spent no more than $300 on marketing — still the only amount they have ever spent on marketing. by January 2018 that number had ballooned to 2.2 million users. Today their have logged over 5 million downloads and list 6700 individual assets.
However, with increased growth comes increased costs. The server costs when Blockfolio got started were less than $200 a month. Today Moncada estimates that server costs are over $100 000 a month.
“Server bills were what made us start to realise, in different stages, we gotta start making money.”
That’s where the official fund-raising efforts started — which were very organic efforts dependant on solid networking and a promising product. In the middle of the bear market they had a successful A-round of official investing.
“We now have an incredible roster of venture capital investors that are super supportive, that will go to bat for us and want to help us succeed. If you look at the list of companies these guys are invested in — if you’re doing anything shady they’re just not going to touch you.”
How Did They Cope with Such Growth?
“We didn’t think about it, honestly, it was always like hey, we gotta do this other thing, this other thing, this other thing.”
Whether they admit to “thinking about” it or not — there is no denying that whatever they did has been working.
“In bear markets people are opening their app 6 times a day. In bull markets people are opening their app 16 times a day. I believe that people get the same dopamine hit from pulling their screen down to refresh that they do from pulling a slot machine.”
The rapid moves in both people in the space and price of assets is just part of the game and Blockfolio has been weathering the storm. The association with dopamine hits analogous to those given during gambling may not be the wisest association to bring to light — however the honesty of such an assessment is admirable.
Why did Blockfolio Succeed?
Cynics might chalk this one up to luck, there is no denying that the timing of the recent bull market helped. But it would be unfair to suggest that luck and timing were the only factors.
“We were active traders. I think that was part of it. We were avid users of our product. We knew what we wanted for ourselves… We had strong product instincts.”
Blockfolio, like any successful start-up has evolved with the changing times (which moves rapidly in crypto) and have been constantly re-assessing how their app can meet the needs of the community. From 2017/19 the app underwent significant changes to accommodate the growing community as well as UI improvements and feature rollouts.
What is ‘Blockfolio Signal’?
One of the most recent innovations the Blockfolio team have rolled out is ‘Blockfolio Signal’. Their own description of the product is “a first-of-its-kind communications platform built exclusively for token teams to connect and engage with their communities.” Digital asset teams can communicate directly to the 5 million people who have downloaded the app (at least the ones tracking their asset).
Competitors are now building their own versions of this service as it looks to be one of the leading innovations helping to streamline communications between investors and digital asset teams.
How To Survive a Bear Market?
Moncada is under no illusions that we are currently in a deep and painful bear market. His suggestion is one that CRYPTO101 has long-agreed with and try to amplify into the space as often as we can. It’s all about creating value in the space — building something that contributes positively to the space, that helps foster awareness and intrinsic value.
A realistic attitude is always healthy and is a nice contrast to all of the vacuous shilling we are all used to/sick of by now.
“The next bull-run is going to have higher standards than the prior ones… I will say, we are waiting for that killer use-case that is super easy to use and that might take a while. Crypto is still honestly very clunky.”
“Get ready to be kicked in the balls… because if you’re here long enough it is going to happen.”
Written by: Glen Veitch
Source: Crypto New Media