Euler Finance, a permission less lending protocol, announced the hiring of Brandon Neal as chief operations officer on Wednesday.
Neal spent 10 years at the New York Fed in a number of jobs, most recently at the Markets Trading Desk, or what Neal referred to in an interview with CoinDesk as “the tip of the spear in executing monetary policy.”
Dave White, a protocol design expert at crypto venture capital firm Paradigm and a friend of Neal’s, assisted the job shift in part by introducing him to fresh ideas in decentralised finance – such as flash loans and automated market makers – over lunch.
Following that, Neal conducted further study into the area and finally met the Euler team, where he was struck by the company’s careful and iterative approach to mitigating the dangers involved with permission less financing.
“Of all the teams I met with, I was most enthused about the team at Euler – having a very solid risk management system that is properly developed, created, and deployed is critical,” Neal said.
Michael Bentley, creator of Euler, told CoinDesk in December that the protocol’s expansion will be a process, not an event. According to DefiLlama, the platform presently has $52 million in total value locked (TVL).
“From our standpoint, we’re very focused on risk management – I’m not interested in pursuing some arbitrary total value locked figure that we can promote to the public,” Bentley said.
According to Neal, DeFi has the potential to severely disrupt the banking industry. “When we take a step back and consider what finance is supposed to accomplish, we see that it was always intended to be the lubricant that greases the wheels of actual business. It was never intended to become a self-sustaining machine that employs an excessive number of people and devolves into rent-seeking behaviour, to use an economics word. However, it has devolved into that – the financial sector is bloated, lacks innovation, and there are legitimate claims that it is stuck,” he added.
He revealed that although a “handful” of his former colleagues believe he’s insane for making the career change, many are beginning to see the value of the DeFi sector, especially as new use cases emerge.
“Everyone is justified in their scepticism. Individuals who work at the Fed are by nature sceptical — it is evidence-based, and you look at results,” Neal said, adding:
“There are parts of hype in cryptocurrency that often overshadow the genuine, profound innovation being undertaken by earnest, intelligent people. Those individuals are often the loudest in the room, whereas the deliberate builders who innovate precisely and thoughtfully are just very quiet.”
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