ChangeTip Taps Blockchain Product Manager to Accelerate User Growth

Pete Rizzo
Dec 8, 2014 at 18:22 UTC
Updated Dec 9, 2014 at 13:56 UTC

Just one week after raising $3.5m from an impressive cast of VC firms, bitcoin micropayments startup ChangeTip has announced Dan Held will join its team as VP of product management.

The acquisition will potentially provide ChangeTip with an experienced addition to its growing team, as Held most recently served as a product manager at bitcoin wallet startup Blockchain and formerly co-founded real-time news and market data app ZeroBlock, a startup that was purchased by Blockchain in an undisclosed deal in late 2013.

In an interview regarding the move, Held expressed his intent to help grow ChangeTip’s daily active user totals, even amid its recent surge in popularity. The ambitions are notable given the company’s claims to have processed 10,000 transactions in a single day.

Held told CoinDesk:

“I want people to be using ChangeTip on a daily basis for tipping, for paying content creators, for sending money, almost like a Venmo. I really see us being that bitcoin wallet that people use daily.”

Overall, Held lauded the work of his former employer, while acknowledging that the move may have been made on short notice.

“Blockchain is a really cool company, they have a lot of exciting products and they’ve stepped up to the major leagues, developing products for potentially millions of users,” he said.

Held indicated that the transition is indicative of his desire to work for a company that could help bitcoin go mainstream by appealing to a more novice audience. Further, he also cited Blockchain’s aim to consolidate its offices outside San Francisco as another reason for his departure.

Blockchain, which most recently raised an industry-record $30.5m this October, reported that overall product management will continue without interruption as employee Keonne Rodriguez has served as product lead for Blockchain’s core product since June.

“We’d like to thank Dan for his time on the Blockchain team. We wish him the best at ChangeTip as we are excited to see what the team is building there,” Blockchain CEO Nic Cary told CoinDesk.

Held’s last day at Blockchain will be 14th December.

Building momentum

Despite the recent increase in interest surrounding ChangeTip, Held framed the company as a startup that is only just beginning to deliver on its potential.

In particular, he cited the team’s recent addition of former Bitcoin Magazine and CoinDesk contributor Victoria van Eyk as its VP of community development as key to the firm’s recent success and a sign of the company’s momentum.

“I think ChangeTip has a pretty serious team,” he said. “CEO Nick Sullivan and COO John Smith are really, really smart and experienced guys. Victoria and I are more bitcoin-centric, I think we’re in a spot where we can identify features and products that people will love to use.”

Held said he met Sullivan at a recent event held by the company and bitcoin API specialist Chain, and that this meeting quickly blossomed into a mutual desire for collaboration.

“I think a lot of our vision is aligned, and when Nick laid out his vision for ChangeTip, from there on I knew I had to be part of it,” he explained.

New challenges

Held suggested he has been brought on board by ChangeTip to help it accelerate its growth due to his established history working on consumer-facing bitcoin products. At the time of its purchase, for example, ZeroBlock was the most-reviewed and highest-rated bitcoin app on the Apple iOS App Store.

“At the core of it, you have to remember that ZeroBlock is an everyday app for a consumer,” he explained “So from day one, we thought, ‘How do you make an app that’s complex, boil down the parts and make a really fun, intuitive user interface where people can use the app?”

Held went on to suggest that ChangeTip will bring a new set of challenges when compared to his most recent position. “While Blockchain is a wallet, ChangeTip is kind of your hot, hot wallet, it’s money in your pocket wallet,” he said.

While Blockchain strives to educate its users about private key security and other more nuanced facets of bitcoin ownership, Held said, ChangeTip caters to a different audience.

“With ChangeTip, I’m able to focus on the really fun aspects of bitcoin and that’s what’s so exciting about it,” he added.

Ultimately, however, he suggested that he sees long-term potential in the company’s approach, concluding:

“I think that ChangeTip will be one of many companies that make bitcoin go mainstream, and it will be cool to work with them and develop strategies.”

Dan Held image courtesy of ChangeTip

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