Tezos Foundation appoints former Bank of America trader as DeFi head

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Tezos Foundation appoints former Bank of America trader as DeFi head

A former Bank of America trader, TriliTech, has been appointed by the Tezos Foundation to lead its DeFi initiatives.

Tezos is 29th by total value locked, a metric that tracks how much crypto is locked up in a DeFi protocol's smart contracts, according to DeFiLlama data.

In September, Quora named Nicolas Streschinsky as the head of DeFi at TriliTech. Streschinsky, who formerly held the position at Maven Securities, was most recently in the same position at Maven Securities.

Streschinsky has worked as a trader at numerous Wall Street firms, including Bank of America, UBS, and Credit Suisse.

The new hire is part of TriliTech's broader effort to attract DeFi applications to Tezos, the firm said in a statement.

TriliTech's goal is to support outside projects on the chain through grants and investments, with funding from the Tezos Foundation Mike Mendes, another recent hire who joined in January to lead the Defi Partnership Team, said in a statement.

In the first half of 2023, the Tezos Foundation received $520 million in grants and has a treasury worth $520 million, including a mix of cash, Bitcoin, XTZ and other assets.

The company's new hires are bucking the trend in crypto markets, where layoffs have become the norm. A total of 30,000 crypto workers have been laid off since April 2022, including pacesetters like Crypto.com and Kraken.

While some traditional finance alumni have chosen to leave crypto, such as Galaxy Digital's Goldman Sachs alum Danielle Johnson, who left her role in May after just a year in crypto.

Streschinsky is protected by the crypto exodus.

He first traded crypto at Brevan Howard's hedge fund, Alan Howard, where he learned about Ethereum and was obsessed with how blockchain applications could revolutionize finance.

Decentralised finance can change this, and it's not only for the regular investor - high-net-worth investors are also interested in it, Streschinsky said.

Streschinsky and Mendes share the desire to attract more decentralized exchanges to Tezos blockchain.

Streschinsky, also chairman of the National Institute for Derivatives Exchange, said that he was also working on a derivatives exchange.

Streschinsky, 40, said he had spoken to DL News in a news conference on the morning of his arrest. More speculative ways of playing the market attract more users, he said, adding that Coinbase offering users less speculative plays may explain Binance's larger market share.

With that in mind, giving users the ability to trade derivatives is also essential, particularly in offering perpetual futures, or perps, as they are more commonly known.

Perps are a type of futures contract that continues to trade in perpetuity with no expiration date, allowing traders to continuously place leveraged bets on price movements.

While perps have prioritised crypto, they have become popular in the past decade owing to crypto trader's affinity with them - particularly due to the leverage opportunities available through perps.

By May 2021, the XBTUSD perpetual exchange was the most traded crypto derivatives product of all time, with more than $3 trillion in total volume on BitMex alone.

Incentivising people to put leverage trades increases trading and volatility and is better for everyone, Streschinsky said.

DL News' London-based Markets Correspondent, Adam Morgan McCarthy, is a renowned writer and journalist.