Walk the walk, don’t just talk the talk. Be proactive in creating the change that you want to see.
Work hard — most success is due to hard work and persistence.
Learn to trust your inside voice, but create a solid team that you can rely on.
I had the pleasure to interview Tammy Camp. Tammy is CEO and co-founder of Stronghold, a financial services company. She earned a spot on Fortune’s 40 Under 40 (The Ledger) list this year and was the first Head of Growth at Stellar, helping the network grow to 4 million users in its first two months. Tammy was previously a partner at accelerator 500 Startups, where she invested in startups and ran a growth and marketing curriculum for Silicon Valley participants.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you share with us the story of how you decided to pursue this career path? What lessons can others learn from your story?
The first time I was exposed to cryptocurrencies was in a course taught by famous cryptographer Ralph Merkle at Singularity University’s GSP11 in Exponential Technologies at NASA Ames.
Then, in 2016, I began to personally invest in cryptocurrencies. I found that there wasn’t really an effective way to consolidate and manage multiple currencies in one place. This was crazy to me, since 200 crypto hedge funds had popped up within the previous year.
We decided to build a place where institutional managers could buy and sell assets, because as more and more asset managers come online, they need a reliable, transparent platform where they can seamlessly manage all stores of value in one place.
One important lesson I’ve learned is that it is essential to be mindful of regulations when working in the technology space. It’s all been a big lesson working with regulatory bodies within financial institutions and educating them on the nuances of the crypto space. Although it takes a lot of time and can be daunting, it’s more than worth the effort. If crypto is going to go mainstream, compliance is a necessity.
Can you tell me about the most interesting projects you are working on now?
One exciting project we’re working on is Stronghold USD, a one-to-one asset-backed U.S. dollar token that we launched in August. Via our Stronghold payments and trading platform, we’re using Stellar’s blockchain protocol to issue and transact Stronghold USD while providing access to liquidity through our institutional exchange services and custodial relationship with Prime Trust. We’re taking methodical steps to create a truly liquid financial ecosystem that bridges gaps between banking systems and ensures seamless access to all currencies — no matter where you are.
Another project is our platform APIs, a set of endpoints for managing integrations with our global payment and trade ecosystem. These APIs offer retail-level access to an open network where customers can transact with multiple cryptocurrencies, and easily make deposits and withdrawals to convert funds back into fiat currencies. People who access Stronghold’s API can set prices in dollars and accept any crypto token on the Stellar platform. Because the APIs accept any Stellar token that has liquidity to Stronghold USD, transactions are truly asset-agnostic.
We have more exciting projects in the works that we can’t discuss now, but I’m happy to share in the future!
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I’m lucky, since I’ve worked with many people over the years who’ve been incredibly supportive. Stephanie Palmieri at Uncork Capital is a great friend who’s reached out to me several times about opportunities that I ran with; she’s how I learned about the partner role at 500 Startups. Dave Samuel at Freestyle Capital is a great resource, as is Frank Mastrangelo, who really understands fintech.
When I was getting back to work after having a baby, I made a short list of people I really wanted to work with. Of course, my husband, Dan Rosen, has always been a supportive partner.
What are the 5 things that most excite you about blockchain and crypto? Why?
What are the 5 things that worry you about blockchain and crypto? Why?
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share a story?
If we reach our goal, Stronghold will lower barriers to financial services and level the economic playing field for consumers globally.
As you know there are not that many women in your industry. Can you share 3 things that you would you advise to other women in the blockchain space to thrive?
1) Walk the walk, don’t just talk the talk. Be proactive in creating the change that you want to see.
2) Work hard — most success is due to hard work and persistence.
3) Learn to trust your inside voice, but create a solid team that you can rely on.
Can you advise what is needed to engage more women into the blockchain industry?
We need to talk about the amazing work women are already doing in the blockchain ecosystem. The more we recognize women’s achievements, the easier it’ll be to empower more women to get involved in the industry.
What is your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that had relevance to your own life?
I’ve learned that if you have a laser focus, it’s hard to make everyone happy, and if you try to make everyone happy, it’s unlikely that you truly have laser focus.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Diversity is a hot buzzword, but I’m convinced that it’s the key to building great products. Exponential technologies like robotics and blockchain are transforming our world, but we need better ways to distribute these tools so we can make sure we’re creating products that are truly changing lives for the better.
We need to rethink STEM education; everyone doesn’t need to learn how to code, but technical skills shouldn’t be held by a privileged few, either.
How can our readers follow you on social media?