Starting a crypto road trip: my first week at Multis

April 9, 2021
William Calderipe

I'm thrilled to announce I'm joining Multis as a Software Engineer and will work full-remote from Paris. I'll help the team build its product revamp that aims to offer a safe and easy-to-use crypto wallet for business.

For this post, I'd like to share my onboarding challenges and impressions after my first week.

What are Multis' gears made of?

Simple: people. Multis greatest asset is the folks over here. It has a small but very efficient and highly motivated team that wants to change the future of finance.

Multis has also added two more ingredients to the mix: trust and transparency. People here have quickly adapted and pivoted on tough decisions in the past. I believe a crucial factor for that was the trust that people have in each other. Since day one, my teammates have asked me to come up with new ideas and take notes of my onboarding process. Rather than be tied by a decision process with multiple layers of approval and meetings, my team trusts my ability and knowledge to make the right decisions despite not having proved myself. Multis is obsessed with transparency which is an excellent combination for remote-first processes. Everything is documented in Slite (our knowledge-base tool), from meetings to decisions.

For me, a clear example of documentation and structure was the onboarding process. I wasn't expecting such a high-level organization from a small team. From day one, when Greg (Head of Engineering at Multis) did the introductions on how my first month would look, I knew the team had put a decent effort to get the onboarding right. The steps were well-thought to empower you as an individual to do your job without depending on someone else – shows a lot about the culture over here. As an example of the four weeks onboarding program, I did my first deployment to do the production on my second day after getting my computer to work.

What will I be up to?

By the time I'm writing this post, at Multis' core lives two domains responsible for distinct business parts: tracking and payments. A third one is about to come in the following months – spoiler alert, it'll integrate FIAT and crypto worlds. Clojure(Script) assembles them into a single-page application and cloud functions in a serverless fashion. This exciting mingle is affectionately nicknamed Maquineta.

The tracking is responsible for the collection and augmentation of users' data on blockchain networks and exchanges. It has a complex maze of third-parties integrations to get transaction data depending on which network they're, fetching historical FIAT prices, calculate exchange rates, etc...

The Gnosis Safe (GS), a smart-contract-based multi-signature wallet widely used and audited, is powering our payments. Different from its ancestor, the GS is around 2~3x less expensive in gas fees than Gnosis MultiSig. The wallet provides an extra layer of security and corporate use-cases like multiple users, peer confirmations, and daily thresholds per user and transactions. On GS, new transactions are set to pending and require a number of confirmations before submitting on-chain. Multis also acts as a transaction relayer to provide a seamless user experience for non-crypto people by letting the users choose what currency they want to use to pay the network fees. Moreover, we're working on a Layer 2 solution to reduce gas fees drastically for our users (but enough spoilers for today).

Simplicity matters for Multis

By getting myself around the codebase this past week, I was reminded of what computer scientist Edsger W. Dijkstra said: "simplicity is a prerequisite for reliability". We need to understand things to change them; for understanding things better, they must be simple.

Working with finance in crypto is a bit overwhelming sometimes. Both domains are inherently complex. That's one of the reasons why Multis is built with simplicity in mind.

Simplicity also enables flexibility. The blockchain ecosystem moves super fast – what's stable today may not tomorrow. Being able to respond quickly to changes without impacting our core capabilities is a must-have in our architecture.

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Breaking Legacy: A CFO's Guide to DeFi & Digital Assets
Decentralized Finance (or DeFi) and digital assets aren't just a fad or a bubble. They have the potential to provide value to people typically underserved by traditional banking systems, in particular small and medium sized enterprises. Learn how SMEs can leverage decentralized financial services including:
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