Meet Zakariyya! Zak joined B2C2 in 2018, and while he currently sits in the London office, he is preparing to make the move over the to US! Learn about what caught his interest in cryptocurrency (and how he lost his first bitcoins!), his role at B2C2, and his advice for those looking to dip their toe into crypto.
What were you doing before you joined B2C2?
I was working as a data engineer in eFX at Citi for a few years, focusing more on market data analytics, big-data, low-latency analysis.
What caught your interest in crypto? What excites you most about the crypto industry?
I first got introduced to crypto a decade ago in World of Warcraft when I sold an in-game item for a handful of bitcoins. Then another time as a poor student filling in surveys that paid in bitcoins. Unfortunately, I lost the wallet keys for both.
Working as a data engineer in finance, the concept of blockchains resonated quickly with time-series to me, and I started digging more into it. One thing I love about the cryptosphere is the rate of innovation and the community that has been built around it. You need to keep up constantly with what is happening!
What do you do at B2C2?
I am currently working as a quantitative trader, focusing mostly on the OTC strategies, but always helping out on other parts of the trading and in tech. I have a hybrid role in that I work closely with most departments: trading, tech, bizdev, exco, compliance, ops, …
What has struck you as unique at B2C2 and what have you learned since you've joined?
The flat-pyramid structure, the closeness of employees, and being able to talk to exco as friends. I’ve been blessed to learn a lot throughout the years, I know how to trade, how to manage inventory, how accounting and auditing are performed, and I even had the chance to understand how to raise funds in the early days of B2C2.
Have you always been in the same role?
No, I actually joined as Head of Data, focusing more on data and analytics across all departments, but after nearly 3 years in that role, I was given the opportunity to join Ed Goh’s team, who is our head of trading.
What is something you didn’t expect from the crypto industry?
- Crypto Twitter
- The ecosystem that developed around cryptocurrencies: Gamefi, NFTs, the push back to decentralisation against institutionalisation
What are you reading/watching/listening to right now?
I’m currently reading Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey, and listening to FKJ. And for work, reading Trades, Quotes and Prices.
What’s something you do in your free time?
I do a lot of cooking, experimenting with ingredients and fusing cuisines. I also enjoy cycling around London. And when I can, preparing my move to the US.
What is at the top of your bucket list?
At work, writing my first strategy on the exchange-trading side, I have a few ideas. Outside work, opening my own restaurant one day.
If you had to have a career completely unrelated to what you are doing now, what would you do?
I’d probably be working in a kitchen if I had chosen a completely different path. I still need the intensity and adrenaline rush that I get in working on a trading floor.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
“Good today, perfect tomorrow”. It’s good to get a quick solution that works as fast as possible and work on optimising it later.
What are you most looking forward to in the next year?
My move to the US office and setting up a team on the OTC side.
What’s something you would say to someone just starting to trade crypto?
Set up an account on an exchange and put a bit of money in there. Buy, sell, look at the orderbooks. And in the words of my manager Ed, open a small futures position and try to get liquidated. There’s no better way to learn.
And get a Twitter account and start lurking, all the meaty info is there.
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