DeFi’s most recent high-profile hire comes from an unlikely source: the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Euler Finance, a permissionless lending protocol, announced the appointment of Brandon Neal as chief operations officer on Wednesday.
Neal worked at the New York Fed for eleven years in a number of jobs, most recently at the Markets Trading Desk, or what Neal described as “the tip of the spear in implementing monetary policy” in an interview.
Dave White, a protocol design specialist at crypto venture company Paradigm and a friend of Neal’s, introduced him to fresh notions in decentralized finance – such as flash loans and automated market makers – over lunch.
Following that, Neal began doing more in-depth study in the field and eventually met the team at Euler, where he was impressed with the organization’s deliberate and iterative approach to mitigating the dangers involved with permissionless financing.
“Of all the teams I met with, the team at Euler thrilled me the most – having a super, super comprehensive risk management system, properly designed, created, and thoughtfully applied, is crucial,” Neal said.
Euler founder Michael Bentley said in December that the protocol’s expansion would be a process rather than an event. According to DefiLlama, the platform currently accounts for $52 million in total value locked (TVL).
“From our standpoint, we’re really focused on risk management – I don’t want to reach some total value locked number that we can market to people,” Bentley explained.
a ‘bleached’ industry
Neal believes DeFi has the ability to drastically disrupt the finance world.
“When we zoom out and look at what finance is supposed to do, we see that it was always designed to be the oil that greases the wheels of actual business.” It was never intended to become a self-sustaining machine that employs an excessive number of people and becomes rent-seeking, to use an economic term. However, it has become that – the financial industry is bloated, it is not innovative, and there are solid concerns that it is stuck,” he remarked.
He revealed that a “handful” of his former colleagues believe he’s insane for making the career change, but that many of them are coming around to the DeFi sector’s promise, especially as new use cases emerge.
“Everyone is correct to be wary. People who work at the Fed are naturally doubters — it’s evidence-based, and you look at outcomes,” Neal explained, adding:
“In crypto, there are parts of hype that may sometimes drown out the true, profound innovation happening by serious, intelligent people.” Those folks are oftentimes the loudest in the room, while the smart builders who are diligently and carefully innovating are just incredibly quiet.”