Meet Altcoin Fantasy
July 10, 2019
July 10, 2019
Part of the second batch of the LongHash Hatch program, Altcoin Fantasy was founded by Cynthia Huang (CEO) and Tommy Chan (CTO). Former schoolmates, the unstoppable pair is running a cryptocurrency trading simulation platform. We got to know them a little better over a quick chat.
Q: Describe your project in one sentence (to a 10 year old).
Altcoin Fantasy teaches people how to trade cryptocurrencies by letting them join free fantasy cryptocurrency trading competitions where they can win real prizes.
Q: Please tell us more about your background. What did you do in your ‘previous life’?
I come from quite a varied and non-traditional background. I worked in finance in risk management and insurance for the beginning of my career. In 2014, I worked for a tech startup in San Francisco for a few months as a Kickstarter Campaign Manager and completely fell in love with the tech industry. I began consuming everything I could about tech – newsletters, blogs and news sites. I also started attending hackathons and co-founded an Airbnb host community that has become the largest Airbnb host community globally. Professionally, I switched over to product management to learn even more about building great products and all the considerations that go into product design, including UI/UX. I then moved into the strategic innovation, where I was responsible for launching a completely new venture for the company. It was a great training ground for running a startup as it was essentially a startup within a corporation.
I’ve been a nerd for as long as I remember, though initially I had my eyes set on being a psychologist before I realized that I was better at talking to computers than I am talking to real humans. My passion is building cool stuff, whether that’s software or frankenstein looking Ether mining rigs. In a previous life, I worked on various enterprise software with companies such as Dell and Electronic Arts before getting bit by the entrepreneurial bug. My last company was backed and funded by 500 Startups in San Francisco. Since then, I had my own consulting company helping various companies build cool apps and growth prototypes.
Q: How did you get into blockchain and what inspired you to start your own project and go into blockchain full time (When you first heard about it,- were you interested right from the get go or did it take more time/convincing)?
I first heard about blockchain in 2014 at the Money2020 hackathon but didn’t quite understand it. It seemed more like a gimmick than something revolutionary. Over time, I started doing more research into it and came to understand it a bit more in depth. In 2017, we saw firsthand how crazy friends were in their approach to investing in crypto and we wanted to create a better way for people to learn about crypto and crypto investing without the need to lose money. It started as something we built for fun and then when we did user interviews where people were playing for 12+ hours a day, we knew we had something special on our hands.
I started building mining rigs back in early 2016 when Ethereum was at $6. I didn’t do it to make money but rather as a pet project to learn more about the protocol. At one point the whole street’s power went out because of me since I had 10 mining rigs running in my house. I was really more interested in the technology aspect of it and when the crypto craze happened in 2018, I wanted to make sure people had a safe sandbox to investigate and learn about crypto without using their life savings -- that’s when Altcoin Fantasy was born.
Q: Tell us more about your project – how you started and why what problem you are trying to achieve solve (why does the world need your project)?
In 2017, at the height of the crypto craze, many of our friends were investing heavily into Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies because they wanted to get rich quick. We saw that there was a lack of trustworthy resources for people to learn about crypto safely. We wanted to provide a place where people could learn and practice trading risk-free and even win real crypto to start trading with. It’s important that people all around the world have equal access to a place to learn without losing their hard-earned savings and we are providing that place, no matter where you are and no matter your financial status.
Q: What is your vision for your project and upon meeting which/what milestone will you consider this vision to be fulfilled?
Our vision for Altcoin Fantasy is to be the #1 place where people come to learn about crypto and crypto trading. Our first goal is to help 1 million users learn about crypto safely. However, there is no end to the vision. Much like how stock simulators today are still needed to help people learn about stocks before investing, even 100 years after the stock market launched, we believe that our app will still be relevant for people to learn about crypto investing.
Q: Did you have to make sacrifices to start this project? If so, could you share a little more about this?
As an entrepreneur, you have to sacrifice a lot of friendships and relationships because your friends and family don’t understand why you can’t make it to certain events because you have to work or make an important meeting. They see you as being callous or uncaring but you have to always put your startup first and do what’s best for the company. You also sacrifice your health and well being because you run yourself to the ground, burn out and overwork yourself. You sacrifice lifestyle because you work for free on your startup and have no work/life balance.
Definitely some hair loss due to the up and down nature of startups. Oh well there’s always wigs you can buy on Amazon...
You can find out more about Altcoin Fantasy here