This is part of a series of interviews with founders and builders in the Web3 space called the Web3 Growth Handbook. The official handbook will be released in the coming months, but you can read all of the other available interviews here.


Kyle Kistner, co-founder of bZx
What we found was that our user workflows and our UX needs  required customization to such a degree that we  had to build it ourselves. We leveraged tools available, but most of it was built from the ground up to support our needs.

With the decentralized finance (DeFi) movement growing at a steady clip, protocols and applications that power this corner of the web3 community grow in importance. One of the better-known protocols in the space is bZx. They have built an open finance protocol to power tokenized margin trading and lending. Kyle Kistner, co-founder at bZx, believes that growth in DeFi is important, but it needs to be measured properly.

Founded in 2017, bZx got to work building their protocol right away. They stayed heads down on that for a while before releasing more of their user-facing products. Fulcrum, a tokenized margin trading interface powered by bZx’s protocol, was launched in April of 2019. Torque, a simplified borrowing interface that provides indefinite term loans, was launched in August of 2019. To date. bZx has raised $2 million.

We had the chance to sit down with Kyle and talk about, among other things, bZx’s focus on building, on growth, and how to balance the two.

How do you define growth?

There are a few things we look at closely. We look at the amount of daily and monthly active users. We look at trading and borrowing volume. We feel like we’re growing when value locked is growing and the amount traded is growing. But we want to see that driven by organic growth and not just one or two people.

What has been the most difficult part of growing your company so far?

It took us a while to fully acclimate to hiring and build a good process around it, so building out a lot of the front end took a lot longer than we wanted. This meant we were definitely slow to productize compared to other players like Compound, DyDx, and Dharma.

We made the mistake of going heads down and building the protocol exclusively early on rather than focusing on productizing everything like others had.

What needs to happen to convince builders in the Web3 space to productize quicker?

Honestly, I think everyone is serious in the space now. I think a year ago, the majority of people in Web3 realized that you had to productize quicker.

What tools do you wish existed to help you with growth?

What we found was that our user workflows and our UX needs required customization to such a degree that we  had to build it ourselves. We leveraged tools available, but most of it was built from the ground up to support our needs.

What are your predictions for Web3/Blockchain growth in 2020?

I think under-collateralized loans by the end of the year could be a thing that helps growth. Right now, over-collateralization probably prevents some mainstream users from moving to DeFi.

If you’re looking to build a DeFi application, bZx is one of the first places you should look. Their protocol combined with their user-facing products lay the roadmap to building successful applications. Check them out today.