The Crypto industry has grown exponentially in the last several years, with new protocols, platforms, and even ecosystems appearing almost daily. Even though some may argue that blockchain is in its “Wild West” phase of growth, we’ve seen enough examples to know that some projects will flourish and others will fall. What separates the two? What have we learned in these past few years to indicate a solid foundation for a blockchain project? How do we know where to invest, and where to avoid?
One key—perhaps most important—component to a rock solid crypto project is the core team and advisors behind it. Long gone are the days when a “lone genius” model was effective in building an entire platform. In the world of blockchain, and especially that of DeFi, the experience needed to guide such a major development is extremely broad. Compliance, exchanges, security, process, UX, marketing, and tokenomics are just some of the areas where top notch expertise is absolutely required.
When searching for investment opportunities, it’s important to understand the value proposition, the customer base, and the competition. However, just as important is understanding the team behind the platform. Do they have the breadth of experience necessary to build a quality product? Are they missing any skill sets that may cause them trouble down the road? Answering these questions provides significant insight into the true value of a platform.
One platform that has made their core and advisory team rosters top priority is Unizen. As they are doubling down on ensuring a full complement of experienced professionals in their fields, they are working to ensure they have expertise in each facet of a quality DeFi exchange. Their platform and the team behind it is worth investigating as an example for emerging blockchain projects.
Unizen is the first CeDeFi exchange to combine the functionality of first-party and third-party CEX’s and DEX’s in order to meet the needs of both retail and institutional traders. The Unizen Exchange is able to find the most cost efficient trades across a multitude of exchange modules, including Binance, to provide the best offers, reliable performance, and a secure environment for high-volume trading. They are focused on developing an all-in-one seamless user experience on an exchange with high regulatory compliance.
The Advisory Board
The advisory team behind Unizen has a wealth of experience across industries, services, and regulatory bodies. The core team (CEO, CTO, COO, CMO) has significant experience in VC, software development, crypto, distributed networks, and finance tech. However, the advisory team plays a critical role in expanding the necessary insight, strategy, and development priorities for the platform. Key members and their backgrounds include:
Gilbert Verdian, CEO of Quant Network and the Overledger Network, specializes in spearheading interoperability in the global financial and DLT sectors. He is widely recognized as the authority on decentralized compliant protocol development and implementation, with over twenty years of industry experience in working for four governments with C-Level accountability.
Dr. Ian Sobieski, Chairman & Founder, Band of Angels, holds a PhD and MS in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University. His Band of Angels is the first and most prestigious angel investing group in the US, with membership limited to former officers or founders of high tech companies. He has personally made more than 120 early-stage investments and has served on more than 20 boards of directors.
Greg Horowitt, Partner, Jun Capital Management, is a serial entrepreneur, technology investor, author, and a globally recognized pioneer in the field of innovation-based economic development. Greg is the co-author of the bestselling book The Rainforest: The Secret to Building the Next Silicon Valley, and advises organizations such as the US State Department, the Aspen Institute, the University of California, the World Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank.
Eric Su, CEO of Exnetwork Capital, founded and operates one of Asia’s largest and most successful cryptocurrency OTC trading desks. He has developed a strong reputation and network across the global blockchain community. He is a serial entrepreneur in the digital technology space and enjoys engaging in high uncertainty projects and bold initiatives.
Nicolas Racz, Advisor at Outlier Ventures and Cheqd, is an expert on managing data within decentralized development, and focusing on the core fundamentals of Self-Sovereign Identity, compliance, and KYC. His research has provided key insights for the DeFi community and will in particular help to shape the way Unizen utilizes the ZCX token. His experience with Outlier Ventures and Cheqd provide an in-depth look at methods that help accelerate innovation, decentralized incubation, and provide guidance on the compliance challenges faced by blockchain projects.
New blockchain projects will continue to appear, attempting to gain a foothold on the market and attract investors. However, only those with strong, diverse advisory teams will have the best chance at not only surviving, but thriving through the inevitable evolutions ahead for the DeFi industry.