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Rok Kopp

Rok Kopp is the Chief Revenue Officer and co-founder of , a non-custodial and decentralized protocol.

Education

Kopp attended the University of Notre Dame, where he interned at the investment office and worked as a sports director. [1]

Career

Kopp started his sales career at CaptainU, an online recruiting ecosystem connecting high school athletes with college coaches, until February 2010. He then worked at Groupon, an experiences marketplace, holding various positions like account executive and city CEO, until October 2012. [1]

In 2012, as director of sales and later VP of enterprise sales, Kopp worked at Top Hat, a higher education app focused on enhancing traditional education to make it more engaging for students. It was here that he met , founder of Top Hat. [1][2]

“I spent 15 years building various software companies and their go-to-market strategies. I had a great run there. , who’s my co-founder and the CEO of , and I worked together at a company he started out of college called Top Hat. That’s kind of how we met. ”

He became CRO at Buildout, formerly Apto, a commercial real estate software company, working there until October 2019. The following month, he held the same position at Obsidian HR, a full-service professional employer organization (PEO), until January 2022. During this time, he joined the Revenue Collective, a global community for B2B go-to-market leaders, and became a limited partner at GTMfund, an early-stage VC fund focused on B2B SaaS. [1]

ether.fi

In April 2022, Kopp and co-founded , where Kopp serves as the CRO. In an April 2024 interview with Incrypted, he shared his thoughts on the token, integrating into networks, and the future of . At the start of the interview, he shared how he got into : [2]

“Actually, that was when I was first introduced to , around 2012. The developers were all around the computer, I think they were on Hacker News or something, reading about . A couple of them sent a PayPal transaction and got some back. That was the first time I heard about it, so I hung around in that space a little bit, not really doing much with it because my focus was on software. Then I got really involved during the ‘ summer’, which was a big step into it for me. Specifically, I think the opportunity and the potential impact that can have on the world is the biggest thing that I see.”

“What initially got me into was the casino aspect; it is the biggest casino in the world, it never sleeps. But then when I started to see some of these utilities like and then coming on board and really getting involved in the ecosystem, that’s when things really took off for me. That’s how I got into and started moving in space.”

He then discussed why they started building : [2]

“Fast forward to last year, the collapse happened, and the next thing we did was look at the counterparty risk that was in the space. We thought there was a lot of counterparty risk with . That’s how and why we started building . It was really as a solution to , an alternative to . was a crowded space at the time, and the biggest thing we announced was that we were going to build with . That was after we met Sreeram Kannan [founder of EigenLayer] at last year in February, so that came out in March that we were going to build with , and that was before the whole mania started.”

“We had started with the hedge fund, one of which was an fund, and we were staking with , but we realized that we weren’t happy with the counterparty risk. That’s when we started to build and launch .”

When asked about their , , Kopp responded: [2]

will have a role in governance – people will be able to vote with their tokens. We are bringing in delegates now who will be able to help with that process as well. The long-term focus there’s a couple of different things that we’re going to do. We’re also going to have a value accrual mechanism. So protocol revenue will come back to the token and accrue to the token. The value accrual mechanism like uses like this vote escrow model and so we’ll be looking at doing some things like that as well. I think things will evolve. The role of the token and stuff will evolve over time but those are the first things that we have in mind.”

He also discussed how became the lead LRT protocol in terms of : [2]

“We built our own code. We thought through things. We made sure there was decentralization. We made sure it was non-custodial. Keeping those ethos when you’re building is a challenge. Especially when the starts, you’re trying to get to market faster and you’re doing different things. So we are native that is restaked. And what I mean by that is the that comes into . If you go to and you put your in, you get in return. We take that and we put that into the Beacon Chain. Instead of putting a liquid staking token into the restaking, we put that in the Beacon Chain and we point that withdrawal address to the EigenPods instead of taking a wrapper and pointing those at the EigenPods.”

“I also think we’re a trusted brand. Our team is fully doxed. We’ve built and run companies before. And so like people aren’t worried that there’s going to be a rug or something. We’ve been very open and upfront when there are challenges, we have community calls, we address them, and we kind of go through them. I think that has helped build a lot of trust. We see ourselves first and foremost as a steward of capital. Like we want to protect people’s first and foremost. And that’s what we’re in this business for. We want to get rewards on top of that and we want to make sure that your becomes more ETH, but we want to make sure that we’re safe first and foremost. That’s why we do things. That’s why we built it in a non-custodial way. That’s why we’re so focused on decentralization.”

At the end of the interview, he shared his thoughts about the future of : [2]

“I think the biggest thing we need to do is just two things. We need to work on our vocabulary. The words that we use in are so hard for a normal person to understand. And until we get things more mainstream, like I just think we’re going to have challenges like onboarding people.  I think that’s super super important for us to onboard the next amount of people because right now there’s a million people in a million that are changing and they’re all going after the same things.”

“The second thing that I think we need to do is think about real use cases and start building real use cases. Getting away from the casino and building real use cases, like how do you generate real returns, how do you have real economic activity, right, like thinking through those things and really trying to get them through. Part of will always be the gambling town and the casino. That’s part of what makes it fun. I love the meme coins. But really the crux of it is you need utility and you need to get that utility of out in the open. People need to understand where the returns are coming from, where the money is coming from. And thinking through those use cases and kind of taking the next thing.”

Presentation

Managing Risk

Kopp presented at Singapore 2023. He highlighted the significant growth of the market. He outlined current options, including custodial and non-custodial centralized solutions like . Kopp discusses risks facing staking, such as geographical and technological centralization and systemic risks when one provider exceeds 33% stake. aims to address these risks by offering decentralized solutions, emphasizing user custody of keys, and introducing innovative products like ether.fan, tokenized , and a fund for institutional clients, aiming to provide diversified options to the market. [3]

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Rok Kopp

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Edited On

April 26, 2024

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