AMA with Cryptex founder Preston Van Loon

Dec 09, 2021
|4 minutes read

This blog post was produced from a transcript of our live AMA with Preston Van Loon founder of Cryptex. To participate in future AMAs, please join our Discord and follow us on Twitter.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to be involved with Cryptex?

I’m Preston Van Loon. My background is in computer science and software engineering. In recent years, I’ve been focused on high impact projects/work. I left Google in 2018 to work on Ethereum’s core protocol and scaling solutions via eth2 client research & development. Around the same time, I met Joe Sticco who had this idea to launch a decentralized / trustless token where the price represents the entire cryptocurrency market as a whole. This was our flagship product, TCAP.

What are the main differences between working for a place like Google and working in DeFi?

Google was a great place to work. You were surrounded by incredibly smart and talented people solving challenging and unique problems in computer science. Likewise in DeFi, developers are finding new and novel ways to revolutionize how we think about finance, investing, and money. The biggest thing I miss about Google was the food lol

Talking about revolutionizing finance, can you give us a brief intro to Cryptex and TCAP?

TCAP is a crypto-collateralized synthetic asset, which has a price peg based directly on the total market capitalization of the entire cryptocurrency market.

Cryptex is the organization and team that builds TCAP (and future exciting products).

The Cryptex DAO is managed by the community.

The TL;DR for TCAP is:

If the total market cap of all crypto is $2.16B, then TCAP is pegged at $216. If the market goes up, as does the peg for TCAP. Likewise if it goes down, as does the peg for TCAP.

In order to calculate the TCAP price, how do you determine the market cap? What’s the source?

TCAP price peg is based on chainlink oracle feeds. Some sources include coingecko, coinmarketcap, nomics, coinlore, coinpapripka as sources of market cap.

This data is aggregated, then divided by 10B to derive the peg price of TCAP.

What are some interesting use cases for the TCAP token?

TCAP is very interesting for retail investors. We often see retail get very excited at the potential of cryptocurrencies, but they often are unable or unwilling to commit the time to thoroughly vet individual bets. A common pitfall is that users will buy into many cryptocurrencies simply because the name sounds familiar (i.e. Ethereum classic et al.). What they really want is to be able to invest in the whole market rather than pick individual assets.

TCAP also has no management fees like some index funds, so buying and holding TCAP is an appealing use case for retail. TCAP is basically the S&P 500 of crypto; it gives you exposure to the whole market.

How does the mint work and what motivated the decision to have a burn fee rather than a mint fee?

So the TCAP collateralization vault system has a fixed fee as part of the protocol to fund future development efforts. The fee goes directly to the DAO and the DAO dictates how that earned revenue is spent.

The reasoning behind a burn fee is that we want to reduce the friction of producing TCAP into existence. TCAP’s peg is driven by market behavior and making it easier to create TCAP should help stabilize the peg price of TCAP.

We have some plans to upgrade vaults to an entirely different fee payment model. Currently, TCAP vaults have a fixed flat burn fee. However, we envision that the idle collateral could be earning interest and that interest used to pay the fees. Users would be paying lower fees or even no fees at all in some situations.

How can people get involved with Cryptex community and governance?

The DAO is the most important part of the protocol. From the very beginning, we refused to compromise on the trustless and decentralized nature of the project. We launched the DAO with a fair launch and have been community driven since the beginning. 

The best places to get involved are to join the discord and our forums site.

What on the Cryptex roadmap excites you?

I’m really excited to see the TCAP vault model be applied for other types of synthetic assets and for TCAP to become more widely available for retail investors. We have a few ideas in the works for new products to launch, so stay tuned for that!

Do you have anything else you’d like to share before we wrap things up?

Our polygon deployments will certainly make TCAP more fee-friendly for users to experiment with the protocol. We look forward to launching on Polygon soon!

I’d like to leave you all with some links to learn more about TCAP and the Cryptex DAO. 

Please join us in discord, ask questions, give feedback, and participate in community votes!