Inside Trezor’s open-source mission for transparency: CEO Zak talks tech and team dynamics Inside Trezor’s open-source mission for transparency: CEO Zak talks tech and team dynamics

Inside Trezor’s open-source mission for transparency: CEO Zak talks tech and team dynamics

Emphasizing open-source innovation, Matej Zak elaborates on Trezor's commitment to transparency and user-centric design.

Inside Trezor’s open-source mission for transparency: CEO Zak talks tech and team dynamics

Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate. Image includes combined content which may include AI-generated content.

At the recent Bitcoin Prague conference, CryptoSlate had the opportunity to sit down with Matej Zak, CEO of Trezor, to discuss the company’s approach to product development, corporate culture, and the challenges of making complex crypto security features user-friendly.

Zak, who took over as CEO after shadowing co-founder Marek “Slush” Palatinus, emphasized the importance of maintaining Trezor’s startup culture and fostering an environment of proactivity and passion for crypto.

“We want to see this proactivity. We want to see people that are like super passionate about Bitcoin and crypto,” Zak stated, highlighting the company’s commitment to hiring individuals who align with these core values.

The CEO also touched on Trezor’s philosophy of radical transparency in terms of technology and business practices. Zak explained:

“Technology wise, we build everything we can in an open source way, which is a good, also, security sort of measure, because then you have more eyes kind of checking on whatever you are doing.

I think it’s good for building the trust with the community as well, because it’s basically building up, building out, like out in the open is I think great for, yeah, basically gaining the trust of, you know, whatever we are doing is, is the right thing for the community.”

When asked about the challenges of making complex crypto security features user-friendly, Zak acknowledged the technical nature of crypto and Bitcoin but emphasized the industry’s progress in improving user experience. He detailed Trezor’s approach to overcoming these challenges:

“We have in house research teams, a really strong one, that talk to our users all the time. And we really collect a lot of feedback and a lot of sort of proactive feedback where we really ask these users almost like an experiment.

It’s like almost like a science that we really want to get out of the core problem of where they face some challenges of, you know, why they are not maybe as comfortable using certain products or certain features.”

Zak also discussed the company’s latest product, the Trezor Safe 5, describing it as their most user-friendly hardware wallet to date. He highlighted its features, including a touch display, color support, and haptic feedback, all designed to provide a seamless user experience comparable to mainstream tech devices.

Addressing the internal dynamics at Trezor, Zak acknowledged the existence of two camps within the company: Bitcoin maximalists and those supporting multi-coin functionality. He explained his approach to managing these differing perspectives:

“I believe in sort of free market maximalism, in the sense that Trezor, as a device that protects your private keys, obviously we focus on Bitcoin, and Bitcoin is where we started, and Bitcoin is, will be always, you know, close to our hearts and what we want to focus on it as a priority but TREZOR protects your private keys from other cryptocurrencies as well, right?”

Zak’s background in music, having studied at the Berklee College of Music, has also influenced his leadership style. He drew parallels between playing in a jazz band and managing teams:

“I play in a jazz band, I think it’s a great example of how teams should work, because, I mean, jazz is obviously full of improvisation, you have certain rules that you want to respect, but it’s kind of nice that you can take kind of the action and shine with your solo or whatever. But at the end, it’s all how it works together.”

As Trezor continues to innovate and adapt to the evolving crypto landscape, Zak’s leadership approach, rooted in transparency, user-centric design, and a balance between Bitcoin focus and multi-coin support, appears poised to guide the company through the challenges and opportunities ahead in the hardware wallet sector.

Trezor’s presence at BTC Prague and its open approach to product launches, with its Trezor Day, where crypto and security industry representatives could get hands-on with the new device and ask some extremely probing questions, showcased its dedication to transparency and Bitcoin’s core thesis.

Trezor launched its new flagship, Trezor Safe 5, at BTC Prague, a hardware wallet with touchscreen, gestures, and haptic feedback. The full interview will be published to the CryptoSlate X account in the coming weeks.

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