Many people have asked me why I decided to take a step back from Coinfloor. As I head into new projects, I decided to publish this post to outline my reasoning.
In December 2014 after much thought and after discussing with my co-founders I decided to formally take a step back from day-to-day operations in the company and have since remained as a product advisor while I finished my studies and pursued an MSc in Computer Science.
My co-founders and I started Coinfloor in late 2012. We came up with the idea for Coinfloor when we saw how difficult it was to get into bitcoin in the UK and some of the challenges that players like MtGox were having at the time. We decided to focus on Coinfloor and provide a better service after struggling to gain traction with our one year old startup Rewardr (a retail gamified rewards app). Coinfloor has grown to be the UK’s largest bitcoin exchange since and continues to provide industry-leading innovation in the bitcoin space.
My role at Coinfloor was Chief Operating Officer. I was responsible for setting up our back-office, liaising with banks, market makers and service providers as well as setting up our initial compliance program and overseeing finance. In the early days I was heavily involved with our first products.
Coinfloor for me has been a truly life changing experience and leaving it has been the most difficult thing I have done in my professional career so far.
Reasons why I took a step back from Coinfloor:
I wanted to finish my studies and focus my career on product management, not solely on finance. I came to the UK in 2011 with the highest scholarship in my class to study finance at Hult International Business School. Six months in, I decided to focus my energies on Rewardr and then Coinfloor, putting my education on the backburner. After almost 3 years in startups, I came to the point where my scholarship offer was expiring and it would have cost me 10x as much to graduate and 3x as long. I’m very happy that I got to finish my studies, focus them on Computer Science and broaden my product skills in FinTech.
At the time, I had a slight difference of opinion with my co-founders on the company’s direction and it was clear that the bitcoin space was going to continue in a lull period throughout most of 2015. I won’t go into the details on the specific disagreements but in hindsight, they were relatively minor and I have since come to agree with the new strategy. Coinfloor’s volume has grown by over 10x since then as well so I am happy to say that our strategy has proved to be right!
As mentioned I have remained closely involved with Coinfloor and with the team. I am still extremely bullish on bitcoin. Since leaving I have made another contribution to the space by suggesting and researching the usage of colored coins on SWIFT in order to clear Electronic Funds Transfers. Finally, I retain a very good relationship with my co-founders which I consider some of my best friends.
I think things have a way of working themselves out. I’m extremely excited to be venturing into new projects and keeping up with the developments in the bitcoin space.