Welcome, Fernando. I’m excited to have this opportunity to interview you about your impressive career in the tech, crypto and business world.
Thank you for having me.
Let’s start with your experience at OKX and Okcoin. Can you tell us about the unique “Lottery” referral system you designed for OKX?
Absolutely. The “Lottery” referral system was designed to incentivize users to refer new customers to OKX. What makes this system unique is its exponential payoff structure, which means that users have the potential to earn even more rewards as their referrals generate additional referrals. This creates a powerful network effect that drives user growth and engagement for the platform.
Moving on to your time at Luxury Presence, you built a bot that scraped competing luxury real estate sites for leads, resulting in over 30,000 new paying customers for the company. Can you explain the process behind creating this bot and how it impacted the company’s growth?
The idea behind the bot was to automate the process of collecting leads from competing websites in the luxury real estate market. By identifying potential customers who were already interested in luxury properties, we were able to target our marketing efforts more effectively and efficiently. The bot worked by scraping relevant data from these websites, such as contact information and property preferences. As a result, Luxury Presence was able to acquire a significant number of high-quality leads, which contributed to the company’s rapid growth.
You also led the design, product, and compliance for a tool that allowed realtors to pool their Facebook Ads budget to advertise luxury homes. How did this idea come about, and what impact did it have on the real estate industry?
The concept of pooling resources for advertising is not new, but in the luxury real estate market, it’s particularly relevant due to the high cost of customer acquisition. We recognized that many realtors were struggling to reach potential clients on their own, so we developed a tool that allowed them to collaborate and share advertising costs. This approach enabled realtors to expand their reach and access a wider audience, ultimately driving more sales and generating more revenue for all parties involved.
As the Co-Founder & COO of Luxury Fintech, you built a new payments software for creators and merchants to accept unstoppable transactions in eGifts. Can you elaborate on how this system worked and how it differed from traditional payment processors?
Luxury Fintech’s payment software was designed to empower creators and merchants by providing them with greater control over their funds. Unlike traditional payment processors like Stripe or PayPal, our system allowed merchants to hold their own funds in their Gmail account, similar to cash. This eliminated the need for a bank account or an LLC and ensured that no payment processor or bank had the power to freeze a merchant’s funds.
The software was also 100% No-Code, making it incredibly easy for merchants to sign up and start accepting payments. They simply shared their unique payment link on their website, social media, or other platforms, and customers could use that link to make payments using eGifts. This streamlined process not only simplified transactions for merchants but also provided them with additional security and control over their funds.
That’s an innovative approach to payments. Now, let’s talk about your experience at Verishop, founded by the ex Chief Strategy Officer at Snapchat, where you worked on various product development projects. How did your work on the referral system for users and tastemakers contribute to the company’s growth?
At Verishop, our goal was to create an eCommerce platform that offered a unique and engaging experience for both users and tastemakers. The referral system we developed incentivized users to invite their friends to join the platform, and tastemakers to promote Verishop products to their followers. By providing rewards for successful referrals, we encouraged users and tastemakers to actively participate in the platform’s growth. This strategy helped expand Verishop’s user base and increased sales, contributing to the company’s overall success.
You were also involved in Atlas Predict LLC, the first decentralized prediction market platform built outside of Ethereum. Can you tell us about your experience pitching to Kevin Hartz, the Founders Fund Partner and Eventbrite founder, and working with regulators like the SEC and CFTC?
Pitching to Kevin Hartz was an incredible experience. It provided us with valuable insights into the venture capital process and the mindset of successful investors. Kevin’s feedback helped us refine our approach and better understand the unique value proposition of Atlas Predict.
Working with regulators like the SEC and CFTC was a critical aspect of our efforts to launch Atlas Predict in compliance with existing financial regulations. We collaborated closely with Senior Special Counsel Andrew Bernstein and CFTC Chairman Chris Giancarlo to ensure that our platform met the requirements of Dodd Frank’s Title VII. This experience taught me the importance of understanding and navigating complex regulatory environments, especially when working with disruptive technologies like decentralized prediction markets.
As a Software Engineer at SVK Crypto, you built software tools for the hedge fund and developed models to predict the success of upcoming offerings. Can you share more about the tools you built and how they benefited the hedge fund?
At SVK Crypto, we sought to leverage advanced technology to gain a competitive edge in the market. One of the tools I developed was a scraper that monitored the activity of analysts from competing funds on Twitter. This allowed us to identify potential investment opportunities that our competitors were interested in and make more informed decisions about whether to invest in those offerings.
Additionally, I built a model that analyzed past offerings based on various metrics and their performance in public sales. This model helped us predict the likelihood of success for upcoming offerings, enabling us to make more accurate and data-driven investment decisions.
You have an extensive educational background, including a degree from the Wharton School, the world’s most prestigious business school. How did your education in Finance and Computer Science influence your career trajectory and the skills you’ve developed?
My education at the Wharton School was instrumental in shaping my career. The interdisciplinary approach of the Finance and Computer Science (OIDD) program allowed me to develop a strong foundation in both fields. This diverse skill set has enabled me to effectively navigate the intersection of technology and finance, which has been central to my work in various roles throughout my career.
Moreover, the experience of studying at the world’s most prestigious business school provided me with valuable networking opportunities and exposure to cutting-edge research and ideas. These experiences have been instrumental in shaping my professional development and have contributed to my ability to think critically and creatively when addressing complex business challenges. The skills I acquired in finance, computer science, and OIDD have been invaluable in my various roles, helping me to develop innovative solutions and drive growth in the companies I’ve worked with.
You have an impressive range of language and computer skills. How have these skills played a role in your professional success, particularly in an increasingly globalized business environment?
Being proficient in multiple languages, including Spanish, English, Chinese, and Russian, has allowed me to effectively communicate and collaborate with diverse teams and partners around the world. This has been especially valuable in the technology sector, where innovation and ideas often transcend geographical boundaries.
In addition, my computer skills have been essential in helping me navigate the rapidly evolving technological landscape. These skills have enabled me to contribute to the development of cutting-edge products and solutions, ultimately driving growth and success for the organizations I’ve worked with.
As we wrap up this interview, what advice do you have for young professionals looking to pursue a career in the tech and business world, particularly in the areas of FinTech and PropTech?
My advice for young professionals is to continuously invest in themselves by learning new skills and staying up to date with the latest trends and innovations in their field. It’s important to be adaptable and willing to embrace change, as the tech and business worlds are constantly evolving.
Networking is also key to success in this industry. Building a strong professional network can provide valuable opportunities for mentorship, collaboration, and career advancement. Finally, don’t be afraid to take risks and pursue unconventional ideas or paths. Some of the most successful and innovative companies were built on bold ideas that challenged the status quo.
Thank you, Fernando, for sharing your insights and experiences. Your extraordinary career in technology and business is truly inspiring, and I’m sure our readers will appreciate your valuable advice. We wish you continued success in your future endeavors.
Thank you for having me. It’s been a pleasure discussing my career journey with you, and I hope my experiences can help inspire and guide others in their professional pursuits.