Blockchain technology is reimagining the global financial system with smart contracts and oracles. But capturing the world’s attention starts with community-building at the grassroots level and passion is paramount to any DeFi project’s success.
Cryptex, creator of total cryptocurrency market cap token TCAP, exemplifies this phenomenon.
“Cryptex was born out of grassroots marketing,” said Thomas Matzner, Cryptex’s co-founder and CBO. In order to bring TCAP from concept to reality, the team initially sourced test users one-by-one through Reddit.
Cryptex enthusiasts quickly multiplied. “As we got people interested, they started to get involved in the community and hyped about what we’re building, and we were able to build a loyal user base early on.”
But the team didn’t stop at Reddit. “Where you don’t have a presence, you won’t have a voice,” Matzner explained. They applied the same strategy to other social platforms (Twitter, Discord) with the strongest crypto and DeFi communities. Once the seed of a promising DeFi project takes root on social media, it becomes its own flourishing ecosystem.
“After a bit of nurturing, these communities tend to become large enough; they need less team interaction as they get more interaction from their peers and fellow users,” Matzner said.
The team’s thoughtful, attentive approach to marketing mirrors their product development philosophy. “From the beginning, we took an approach to have the most trust-minimized platform we could,” said Preston Van Loon, Cryptex’s co-founder and Blockchain Lead. “Cryptex is unique because we didn’t take any shortcuts.”
According to Van Loon, it would be relatively easy to develop a centralized product representing the total cryptocurrency market cap. TCAP, on the other hand, required more than a year’s worth of iteration.
The idea for Cryptex (a portmanteau of “crypto” and “index”) came to co-founder and CEO Joe Sticco in late 2017/early 2018. “I wanted to build something for the space that I felt would make an impact and provide people opportunities in a decentralized way,” he said.
“I saw everybody quoting Bitcoin, Ethereum, and total crypto market cap data. They would say, ‘Oh, the total crypto market capitalization of today is X number’ or ‘Today it’s down to Y number.’ I would say to myself, ‘You know, how does this not have a vehicle where you can trade the entire crypto market cap?’”
This query was a defining moment for Sticco. “I said to myself, ‘This is what I want to create.’ We started building from there.”
Cryptex integrated Chainlink oracles to accurately price and collateralize TCAP. “From a technical perspective, Chainlink saved us a vast amount of time by allowing us to leverage their existing solutions for collecting oracle data for the total market cap,” said Van Loon. “This was critical to the success of the launch of TCAP. I really couldn’t imagine this product without their support.”
“The core mission of Cryptex is to get TCAP and every subsequent solution that we create into the hands of the world,” Sticco said. Matzner explained how TCAP caters to both DeFi natives, who are comfortable lending and borrowing, and crypto newbies who want exposure to the entire crypto market in one place. “It’s simple and easy for them to understand,” he said.
Sticco is enthusiastic about Cryptex’s role in the future of decentralized finance.
“I think the entire DeFi space is working tirelessly to take traditional financial solutions and bring them into a fully trustless, fully autonomous smart contract world – a world that is powered by Chainlink oracles.”
And, in his view, DeFi’s rapid expansion over the past year is just a glimmer of what’s to come.
“You know, we’re only getting started. Five, ten years from now, the default landscape is going to price out the old way of doing things. We’re really happy to be here so early and be a part of making a positive change in this space.”