Employee Spotlight: Marcos Miranda, Product Lead at Atlendis Labs

Can you tell us about yourself? 

Hi, I’m Marcos and I joined the Atlendis Labs team last year. I’d say I’m a big nerd with a splash of foodie. Since young I was interested in tech, although I decided to study international relations because I wanted to travel all around the world. I thought that by being a diplomat, I was going to be able to achieve this goal.

Obviously that didn’t happen. I pivoted my career towards marketing, and then I transitioned into product management. It’s been more than 5 years since then. Zero regrets. 😀

Can you tell us about your role at Atlendis Labs? What opportunities and challenges are you working on?

I’m the Product Lead at Atlendis Labs. It’s difficult to come up with a precise job description because it’s really hard to define what product management is (it varies from company to company and the stage of the company), even more so in Web3. Nevertheless, I’d say that my responsibility is to make sure that the product adds value to our users, while achieving sustainability of the protocol.

Right now, our biggest challenges are the regulatory landscape and removing liquidity barriers. Successfully addressing both items is crucial for the long term success of the protocol and offering a great user experience.

How and when did blockchain and Ethereum appear on your radar?

I’m from Argentina (go Messi!!) and ever since I was a teenager, I’ve always been worried about inflation and economic instability in our country. It’s pretty common for people in Argentina to change their savings into US Dollars. But as the government started making it harder to buy USD, crypto became a really good option for many people, especially stablecoins.

I first got into the crypto space in 2018, when I realized that traditional investment options in Argentina weren’t going to protect my salary from inflation. So I started trading and using DeFi. I quickly realized that trading wasn’t for me, but I fell in love with the technology. So I’m one of those who stayed for the tech. 😂

What are you excited about in the blockchain/fintech/DeFi field?

It may sound a bit familiar, but I’m really excited about real-world assets (RWA) and how we can use DeFi to make the current financial system better. We’re not trying to outdo the current system, but instead building something that uses the best parts of it, and slowly introducing DeFi elements to bring new people into the Web3 space. It’s all about making blockchain less complicated and confusing, while still ensuring that people own their own data and are in control of it.

What tips and advice do you have for people in the Product field who are interested in getting into blockchain?

If you’re looking to dive into the world of blockchain, the first step is to get a handle on the basics of distributed ledger technology (DLT) and its potential uses. Think of it like building a house – you need a solid foundation to build upon.

Next, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the different types of blockchain networks out there – Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Hyperledger, to name a few. Especially when it comes to consensus mechanisms. The next step would be exploring the different industries currently using blockchain, like finance, supply chain, and healthcare; in order to get a sense of the possibilities and challenges out there.

Since this field is constantly evolving, joining online communities and forums is the best way to stay on top of the latest developments and trends in blockchain.

When it comes to product development in a smart contract-based ecosystem, it’s like learning a whole new language. Product Managers and Product Owners need to rethink their approach to the relationship between the product and its users. In Web3, users are also owners, so it’s important to always keep that in mind. But just because you’re using blockchain, it doesn’t mean your product is automatically Web3, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but something to consider.

And lastly, it’s important to keep in mind that the development pace and cadence are different in blockchain. Mistakes can be costly and almost impossible to rollback, so smart contract security should always be top of mind for Product Managers and Product Owners. This also affects how you iterate and manage your releases.

Which projects are you excited about at Atlendis Labs?

I am excited about the upcoming iteration of the Atlendis protocol. By emphasizing flexibility and user experience, I am optimistic that we will be able to address a significant number of the issues identified by our community, increasing the overall value of the ecosystem. Additionally, I am thrilled about the potential opportunities that version 2 of the Atlendis protocol unlocks to further improve over the inefficiencies of traditional financial systems. We aim to serve markets that are currently not attractive for traditional financial actors, yet possess an abundance of potential for positive human impact. At the end of the day, finance is a tool, and it is our duty to use it for good.

What do you wish more people knew about Ethereum and the ecosystem?

I wish more people understood that Ethereum and the broader blockchain ecosystem is not just about gambling or speculation. There is a vast community of developers, engineers, and entrepreneurs working tirelessly to build the tools and platforms that will form the foundation of our future economy and society. Despite the negative press that blockchain and cryptocurrency may sometimes receive, Ethereum and other distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) are here to stay and will have a tremendous impact on our future. This is just the beginning, and there is so much more to come in terms of innovation and progress. It’s important to look beyond the hype and see the potential of this technology to bring positive changes in many areas of our lives.

Who are your heroes and inspirations? 

I don’t know if I have heroes, but I definitely have moments that inspired me.

I had the opportunity to work at a ski resort as a lift operator. I woke up very early in the morning to get to the top of the mountain and get the lift up and going. For someone who had never seen much snow, it was quite an experience. I had to learn how to move around on the mountain (I chose snowboarding) and so many other things. It made me realize that most of my “I can’t do that” thoughts were just in my head.

Another moment that stuck with me, as funny as it might sound, was when I realized that I wanted to work in tech. It was because of the movie “The Internship,” with Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn. Something clicked inside me when I saw how two salespeople joined Google and learned the technical skills to belong there. I thought to myself, “If they can do it, so can I.” Even though I had always been passionate about technology, I never actually took the first step until then.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your career?

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my career is that nobody is born knowing how to do something, and that we don’t know anything until you test it in the market. We must put ourselves in new and challenging situations in order to learn and grow, and that true knowledge and understanding can only come from testing and experimenting in the real world.

Additionally, I’ve learned that Pareto’s 80-20 rule can apply to pretty much anything. A small amount of effort or input can have a significant impact on the outcome. Therefore, focusing on the most important and impactful inputs can lead to the greatest results. In an era of information overload and dynamic environments, it is important to learn to work smarter.

Where do you see yourself in the blockchain ecosystem in a few years? Or what’s next for Atlendis? 

I see blockchain becoming more mainstream as products abstract the complexities of dealing with keys, wallets, chains, bridges and so forth. Not only in finance, but also in other aspects of life. It will definitely take some time, but we’ve already seen this happen with the internet, so I’m optimistic.

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