This interview is the first in the series, featuring Brandon Chez, the little-known founder who started CoinMarketCap in his Queens apartment in May 2013. Since then, CoinMarketCap has grown to be the most referenced price-tracking source for comparing thousands of crypto assets.
In 2011, I was on my lunch break at work. I usually read Hacker News, a news aggregator for tech and startups. I just read this article, the headline was something to the effect of Bitcoin reaches parity with the U.S. dollar. It got my attention because it was just really interesting, people were trading it. Some people had got in really, really early and made a lot of money.
My first reaction was, oh, this must be some kind of scam or Ponzi scheme, all the typical initial reactions people usually get. But I was also fascinated with the technology portion of how it was open source.
From there I did a lot of research, I looked into what other people had said about it, tech people that I trust and follow. And they said, yeah, its open source, I dont see anything obviously wrong with it. That gave me a little more confidence to look more into it, and after a couple of months I said, okay, Im not going to lose all my money immediately (at least immediately!) I think it was Mt. Gox at the time, I opened up an account and did a little trading just for fun.
Ive left some crypto on online services that were hacked or that disappeared without notice. Its always a good reminder that if you dont control the private keys, you dont truly own the crypto.
Whenever I use online services, I try my best not to leave crypto there longer than necessary.
Theres a current debate in crypto about the benefits and drawbacks of new users keeping their crypto on exchanges, as they arent tech savvy ...