All posts by Coinweb

Meet Mike, our CTO

What got you passionate about Tech?

I’ve always liked tech of all kinds and used to rebuild car motors even before I could drive. My brother lent me a computer and I started to program for it. It was like building motors except a lot faster – and cleaner! I did a Windows startup with him, and then joined a Mac startup in NYC and later got recruited by Microsoft.

What was your most memorable project?

My first big project was Microsoft Excel where I later lead the whole team and then Office too. My buddy Paul Davis was working on Word. It was amazing to build something that half a billion people would use. I learned so much – like how important it is to make things easy to use. Later I ran the Entertainment group, where I got to go to the Grammys and hang out with the artists, but overall music is such a hard business. 

Why Coinweb?

Two common threads in my career are I like to be in the early adoption phase of a market and I like to work on products that regular people can use. To me, crypto is a lot like the early days of the web. It’s growing but collectively we have a lot of work ahead of us. That’s the upside! 

What area are you focused on?

I oversee the product and development and I collaborate with Knut, our CSO, on the tech, and with Toby on the overall business. If we ship late or make a bad product, that’s my fault! 

What does success look like?

People vote with their feet. You know if you are doing something right when people use it.. Success will be seeing our stuff used by millions of people. It’s early days, but we’ll get there. 

What’s something about you that is surprising?

Hmm, hard to say. I was a philosophy major before I switched to computers. I used to be a DJ and raced cars professionally. I was a data engineer at the Indy 500. Does that count? People are surprised that I used to run the Excel team but I don’t have it installed on my Mac. Or that I love to travel but I hate to pack.

Meet Knut, our Chief Scientist

What got you passionate about tech?

I borrowed a Sinclair ZX Spectrum home computer from a friend which was one of the first home computers. It had 48K of memory and built-in BASIC with the keywords printed on the keyboard. The first day I used it to play games, but then I became curious about what those words on the keyboard were for. The next two weeks I did not go to school but instead stayed at home learning programming. Eventually, I had to go back to school but by then I was already hooked on programming!

What was your most memorable project?

I made the first real-money slot-machine for mobile phones, like the Nokia Series 40. They had no built- in encryption and very limited memory so I had to build the protocol for transmission of credit card data. 

Why Coinweb?

When I started with Coinweb I saw an opportunity to take part in improving on some very important issues that are currently limiting the adoption of blockchain. This is interesting for me, as I think that this technology has the potential to make a large positive impact.

What area are you focused on?

I focus on the core crypto and architecture, along with Alexander. Mike and I also work together on the product strategy. 

What does success look like?

To me, success means to achieve the goals one is trying to reach. If reaching that goal is benefiting others, I believe that success is even more valuable. I would love to see our platform and names in wide use!

What’s something surprising about you?

That is a difficult question to answer! One thing that surprised me was when I took a DNA test and found out that I am 3.2 % neanderthal, which a higher percentage than 99% of the population!

Meet Toby, our CEO

What got you passionate about tech?

Tech has always been part of my businesses, as well as anything that I have ever invested in, which I’ve obviously significantly appreciated. With Coinweb, there was a clear void and pain point that we believe we can solve, and I’m passionate about that. 

What was your most memorable project?

Building the international voice gateway in Chad, in central Africa, where we controlled all the inbound and outbound voice for the entire country. That involved local technical setups, interconnecting to mobile operators all around the world including satellite links out of the UK.

Why Coinweb?

I was introduced to Coinweb by my business partner, Knut Vinger, whom I had worked with for many years in Telecoms. He was one of the early blockchain adopters from the days of E-Gold, which was pre Bitcoin, and I have a huge amount of respect for him. He said it was one of the most exciting projects he had seen. Not only did he get me excited about the project, but also about the space and its future and I became obsessed about it! 

We’re building the namespace for the blockchain to do what the DNS did for the internet. We’re very focused on adoption which is a different approach from what else we see in the market. It’s why we are so excited. 

What does success look like?

Success looks like millions of people using our names and launching/building their own projects off our platform within a few years of our launch. 

What’s something surprising about you?

Maybe you should ask my wife! Some people are surprised that I am 6’4”…