Dan Held

Dan Held, a notable figure in the Bitcoin community and a marketing consultant for Trust Machines, commands followers exceeding 850,000 across diverse social media...

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Dan Held

Dan Held, a notable figure in the Bitcoin community and a marketing consultant for Trust Machines, commands followers exceeding 850,000 across diverse social media platforms. Trust Machines is a dedicated team fostering the Bitcoin ecosystem, actively engaged in the development of Bitcoin web wallets, loan applications, and other initiatives.

A Decade-Long Fascination with Bitcoin

After retrieving a bachelor's degree in Business and Finance from Texas A&M University, Held embarked on his professional journey as a financial analyst at Chapwood Capital Investment. However, it was a serendipitous encounter that ushered him into the world of Bitcoin. In 2012, he settled a debt for a borrowed beer with a “Casascius coin”, a tangible metal currency embedded with Bitcoin. As a proponent of libertarianism and a follower of Austrian economics, he developed a profound affinity for the principles of Bitcoin—a vehicle for storing value and embracing unbridled freedom and interaction. This infatuation led him away from the financial sector as he teamed up with contemporaneous crypto trailblazers like Jed McCaleb (Mt. Gox), Jesse Powell (Kraken), and Brian Armstrong (Coinbase), co-founding ZeroBlock. This platform aggregates real-time market data and crypto-related news feeds, readily accessible on both iOS and Android platforms.

The eventual amalgamation of ZeroBlock and Blockchain.com turned heads as Dan opted to receive the acquisition proceeds in Bitcoin, rather than conventional currency, a testament to his steadfast faith in the crypto. Post-acquisition, he took the reins of the product team, spearheading the expansion of the crypto data aggregator. Through exclusively organic channels, he achieved an impressive surge in users from 1 million to 2.7 million within a 12-month span.

Continuing as a Growth Marketing Trailblazer

Held amassed a wealth of experience harnessing growth marketing strategies to amplify product outreach. His pivotal role at ChangeTip, a platform facilitating microtransactions across global social media and digital platforms, propelled product growth. His trajectory then led him to Uber, where he contributed as a growth marketer within the rider growth team.

In 2017, he founded The Picks & Shovels, conceiving Interchange—a solution tailored for institutional management of crypto assets. Following Kraken's acquisition of The Picks & Shovels in 2019, Dan assumed the mantle of Chief Growth Officer at Kraken. Bitwise notes that his discerning analysis of user behaviors, spanning brand awareness to registration, significantly dismantled entry barriers, culminating in Kraken's ascendancy as the third-largest global spot exchange by trading volume.

Unlike conventional marketers focused on brand recognition and long-range strategies, growth marketer prioritizes measurable growth, predicated on data analysis and metric enhancement. In the ebullient periods of 2013 and 2017, user influx was largely galvanized by anticipations of crypto price escalations, causing numerous crypto enterprises to underestimate the import of marketing. However, as the crypto market matured, marketing's import surged into focus. In this milieu, he adeptly wielded growth marketing methodologies to secure a multitude of users.

Currently, his advisory role extends to shaping and executing Trust Machines' marketing strategies. Additionally, since 2018, he has embarked on an endeavor to address Bitcoin misconceptions through a series of blog posts, contributing to his personal branding initiative.

Perceptions on Bitcoin

Held envisages a continued hegemony of Bitcoin in the crypto landscape, propelled by network effects, interest, governance, and monetary policies. He also envisions a pronounced upswing in DeFi activities within the Bitcoin domain, accompanied by heightened discourse surrounding Bitcoin-centric DeFi initiatives.


Writer: Chris Park, Research Contributor at DeSpread
Reviewed by Jeehyun Ham, PR Lead at DeSpread

#TrustMachines #DanHeld

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