2021 Year-End Review by MetaMask Institutional
An end of year message from Johann Bornman, Product Lead of MetaMask Institutional
Hello Friends of the Blue Fox,
As Holmes duly noted, in moments of quiet reflection our minds embrace the sea that we have crossed. Given that late December often leads to both traditions and reflections, I thought I would take advantage of the trend (a habit from an old portfolio manager).
Today, I’ll establish a tradition of reflection by providing a periodic update to you on the technology we have built, the milestones we have reached, and a glimpse of the progress yet to come.
For those of you who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, you will know I am a massive proponent of the 1,000 true fan philosophy. Along with building for what we call “tier-1 user needs”, the MetaMask Institutional (MMI) team follows product and design principles focused on identifying painkillers (over vitamins) to build the absolute best product for and with you.
Starting from First Principles
MMI’s vision is to bridge all organizations on planet earth into Web3—from crypto funds to traditional financial organisations to NGOs in Africa. We believe Web3 will eat the world as it makes the creation, storage, and distribution of financial assets essentially free.
This new world creates fundamentally more distributed, efficient, transparent, and cost-effective capital markets to improve the financial opportunities for everyone, everywhere.
MMI was built to provide unrivalled access to Web3, offering the most trusted wallet within the ecosystem alongside the ability to connect to Qualified Custodians and Custody technology providers.
Today, we work with crypto funds, market makers, prime brokers, hedge funds and custodians across the globe. Given the sophisticated needs of our users, we think deeply about the entire transaction-flow process for crypto institutions—from onramps, custody, research and pre-trade compliance, to execution, yield, analytics, monitoring and reporting—a capital allocation stack mental model if you will.
Within this capital allocation stack, we focus on two core principles: First, partnering with world-class businesses to address our users’ needs; and second, where we at ConsenSys, can provide unique value to our users and partners.
Below is a review of the steps we’ve taken in each quarter across this capital allocation stack.
Q1 saw the birth of the blue fox and its first usage by funds across the globe. On the 31ts of January, we built and launched limited Beta access to MetaMask Institutional with our first custodian partner. Implementing a wider V1 release on the 31st of March, we launched with some of the most renowned crypto funds, exchanges, and primer brokers as our clients. Within the quarter we also implemented a range of additional features spanning from additional EVM chain support by our custodian partner to EIP-712 signing. We also established one of our core product principles to speak with our users daily. This principle means the MMI team’s day usually starts with a call with a fund in Asia and ends with a call with a fund on the west coast.
During the second quarter, we built and launched MMI research, a service focused on identifying valuable information and Alpha opportunities within a DYOR world. An example of this Alpha can be found by simply looking at our last two newsletters, where we identified the probable market movement based on the YFI governance proposals.
MMI research originally consisted of our weekly governance newsletter. This has now expanded to include a Layer 2 analysis and a monthly Tokenomics report. We are also rolling out a range of Macro content in 2022. Today, the MMI Research distribution list consists of the foremost Crypto funds globally and the statistics around its consumption display that the research is among the most valuable content ConsenSys offers.
On the product side, we built KYT Compliance into MMI, providing pre and post-trade compliance on all DeFi activity. Our unique selling proposition remains the depth and breadth of analysis we provide along with our focus on DeFi pools. Our aim is to not only be a bridge into Web3, but specifically an institution-compliant bridge. Today, 43% of all MMI users are using our compliance feature. We are also engaging with large traditional financial institutions, providing a tool and risk framework for them to access DeFi yield opportunities.
Lastly, product can only exist with growth. Thus, we built a $4bn AUM Early Adopter Programme with crypto funds and prime brokers across the globe, consequently providing early access to our latest features.
Last quarter, we built Jupiter Custody. A demo custodian that many of you would have seen during our demos of the product. Jupiter was built strategically, as it allows us to compress the integration time with our custodian partners by 200%.
In addition, we announced our next 3 custodian partners and integrated and launched with a second custodian partner: Qredo offers decentralised crypto custody secured by Multi-Party Computation (MPC).
We also laid the groundwork for a large initiative outside of the MMI extension, implementing our vision of what the Institutional DeFi experience should be. Lastly, we expanded our Early Adopter Programme by 25%.
This quarter, we launched our third and fourth custodian integrations—going live with our partnership with Cactus Custody, the largest qualified custodian in Asia at the start of November, and launching with Bitgo, one of the largest global custodians with $65bn in Assets Under Custody a month later. Q4 was also one of the busiest periods in writing new code as we built the innovations we are implementing outside of the extension.
“The numbers go to 11”
There is quite a lot to share about MMI over the next 90 days, and you’ll hear far more thoughtful and detailed roadmap updates in coming posts. However, given that we have a series of public announcements throughout Q1, the MMI marketing and PR teams have implemented a smart contract gag order.
The good news is that the wait won’t be long and you will be hearing from us in January. In the meantime, if you want to reach out to us, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To the Moon, GMI, and Up only 2022
The last thing to say is that I wish you and yours Seasons’ Greetings from the entire MetaMask Institutional team. We wish you and your team all the best for the new year.
Johann Bornmann Product Lead
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