The team at Financial Advisor and FintekNews are pleased to offer our readers our “3 Questions” column, where we chat with a thought leader within a unique sector of fintech and ask them to answer three to five questions about their company. We recently spoke with Ethan Fast, co-founder of Nash, a fintech company using blockchain as infrastructure for the digital finance space.


Title: Co-Founder of Nash
Company: Nash

Ethan Fast is a co-founder of Nash. He holds a PhD in computer science from Stanford and has published articles in leading journals, such as Nature, CHI, EMNLP, and AAAI. He is a serial startup founder and Y Combinator alum.

1. What does your firm do/offer within the fintech sector?

Nash provides non-custodial solutions for managing, trading and making payments with digital assets such as cryptocurrencies and tokens. In a cryptographically non-custodial system, users are the only ones who control their assets (can move them, trade them, etc.). Self-custody is important because it dramatically increases user security and reduces the risk to users of a successful attack on our platform.

2. What do you believe the next major innovation in financial technology will be and why?

Over the coming years we will begin to see traditional securities, such as company equity, becoming digital assets based on public ledgers and cryptography. The driver of this shift will be the reduced friction around issuing, transferring and enforcing legal constraints on these assets, and the result will be more liquid and efficient markets.

3. What has been the biggest success in your firm to date?

In early September we launched a non-custodial exchange for digital assets that provides user experience and performance on par with centralized exchanges, but with far greater security.

4. How do you feel consumers (or if more relevant for your firm – businesses) are adapting to the facet of fintech that your company operates within?

One result of the growth of cryptocurrencies is user education. To interact safely with their assets, users are forced to become familiar with public-key cryptography, and these concepts have a harsh learning curve. For example, you'll find countless stories of users losing large sums of money because they forgot their private keys or stored them insecurely. One of our goals at Nash is to make this learning curve much more friendly, providing users with solutions that give them the benefits of digital assets while eliminating such risks.