'Wading' Water with Ease in the Web3 Space
Rohit Wad worked on early Microsoft projects like Excel and Sharepoint, which are still used today. Having previously worked with Google and Facebook, Wad, now serving as the CTO at Binance, firmly believes that the blockchain and crypto industry would bring tremendous innovation across industries
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Rohit worked on early Microsoft projects like Excel and Sharepoint, which are still used today. He helped grow Facebook's Seattle office from around 100 engineers to over 1000 in four years. At Google, he spearheaded a startup team of ten engineers to build a product that enabled people to compare and find the right home mortgages. As Corporate Vice President at Microsoft, his most recent role, he oversaw product and engineering for consumer communications: Skype, Groupme, and Microsoft Teams. He firmly believes that the blockchain and crypto industry would bring tremendous innovation across industries.
How did Binance come into being? What was the journey like to the top of the mountain since Binance is the world's largest crypto exchange in the world?
Binance began in 2017 when CZ and his team launched the platform. 2017 seems like a long, long time in the past but back then all kinds of crypto assets, crypto trading, et cetera, was getting started. Everyone was just starting on this and back in the day, CZ and Binance really focused on one thing, which is focused on the users, making sure that they have the best possible experience and that whether their funds are safe, etc which led to remarkable growth for the company. We are in fact the biggest exchange in the world, whether it's in terms of the number of assets we have or the number of users who use the platform or be it in terms of the amount of positive feedback.
The recent bear market as well as the Federal Reserve's decision to liquify assets caused the crash in the market. How do you think the bear market has prepared you as an entrepreneur for the next bull market cycle?
In general, the companies that have good governance policies companies that follow the local regulations that are compliant and the ones that put their user base first, all of those things lead to a company being absolutely ready for the bear market. In our case, we have always put users first. We have good risk management. And in terms of our teams, we run very neat things. Binance is a remote first company so while we have presence in all around the world, for our employees can work from anywhere and work at our convenience for them which leads us to run teams that are extremely neat and that has positioned us very well to work through the bear market. During the bear market, it causes people to crystallize and focus on what assets or what projects are important to them and what can't. With, with our founder and CEO CZ, we've always been very focused on where we invest our money, where we invest our resources, where we invest our time. All of these things I think have positioned us very, very well for the market.
Crypto sector was the talk of the town when the pandemic hit. What was the reason for the market boom and what has the impact been on the crypto space due to inflation?
If you look at what happened over the last six months, People talk about there has been a crypto crash or the price of Bitcoin and all, but I give you an interesting thought exercise, if you compare the price of Bitcoin over the last six months, over the last year and on the same graph, you put in per cent the price of Tesla, the price of Facebook/Meta or Amazon you'd find that they are roughly in alignment. Of course, Tesla is probably more, but some of the big tech companies whether it's Meta or Amazon, they're almost the same as crypto so the things that are affecting crypto, the things that have caused some of the crypto things to go down are the same macroeconomic causes that have caused the entire tech sector to come down, I think Facebook is off 60 per centoff its peak. Amazon is off roughly 55 per cent of its peak. In the last six months or a year, Microsoft is down maybe 25 to 30 per cent. Bitcoin is also suffering from the same things that are going on in the industry.
The minting of crypto has had some serious backlash from the environmentalists amid the recent cases of climate shift. How do you think the future will fare for cryptocurrencies?
When people talk about power consumption and so on, they're typically talking about Bitcoin because it's essentially proof of work, which is why computational power but there are two things to look at. For things like Bitcoin, which need proof of work, if you compare it to other just regular currencies, there are studies that show that the amount of energy whether it's direct or indirect supply to bring the fiat currency, it's above the same, or in fact, in couple of orders of magnitude more than what you need to do to mint Bitcoin. Having said that, there are other things, you know, of course the big news from last year has been Ethereumm going to proof of stake and that reduces the power or the energy dramatically. Comparing some of the cryptocurrencies to the fiat currencies and the power of the energy to that I think you find is lower on crypto so I think environmentalist would be happy especially as you see the move towards proof of stake.
Alma Mater- Indian institute of Technology, Bombay and University of Virginia
Previous Companies: Microsoft, Google, Facebook
Current Position: CTO, Binance