Q&A with Malcolm CasSelle, CIO of OPSkins and President of WAX

Malcolm CasSelle

About:

Malcolm CasSelle is Chief Information Officer of OPSKins and President of WAX (Worldwide Asset eXchange) . WAX, an OPSkins project, is a decentralized peer-to-peer trading platform that allows for secure and transparent in-game transactions via the blockchain. CasSelle got his start in the digital industry as the leader of startups such as MediaPass, Xfire and Tencent. CasSelle acted as CEO for Timeline Labs until a 2015 acquisition by SeaChange International, where CasSelle went on to serve as Senior Vice President and General Manager of SeaChange International’s Digital Media branch. Before joining OPSkins, CasSelle served as President and Chief Technology Officer of New Ventures at tronc, Inc. (formerly Tribune Publishing).

Questions:

What are the origins of OPSkins?

OPSkins started as a group of gamers first, so the team began by approaching the business with the same mindset as the consumers themselves. The company had been around for two years before I joined as CIO and became president and leader of WAX. Within the first year of adopting Bitcoin as a payment method, OPSkins was the largest adopter of cryptocurrency in the ecommerce realm.

Who are WAX’s biggest competitors?

As rapid change has become the norm in online industries, who we consider to be competition is diversifying. Ultimately we see WAX as a means for empowering consumers to facilitate their own trading by giving players an advantage over platform-centric models, such as Valve’s current item-trading community.

How did your early startup experiences influence your leadership outlook?

After enough time at the helm of a startup, a good leader learns that patience is fundamental to finding success. Patience is something I really grew to appreciate after earning my degree. Just finishing something as seemingly insurmountable as that gave me the confidence to embrace the volatility of startups and apply the kind of conviction necessary to grow a business at that stage.

 What trends do you find exciting in the tech world today?

All the technology coming out of Internet 3.0 is incredibly exciting. From the beginning, WAX’s goal has been to adapt to radical web innovations like peer-to-peer trading, and I think we’re at the point where that kind of decentralization is becoming more and more of a reality. We can already see businesses and consumers alike reaping the benefits of decentralization.

When did it occur to you that the blockchain could be a viable model for trading in the online gaming industry?

I became excited about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology after witnessing its disruptive power across many different industries, and when you look at an industry like online gaming, time is a huge consideration for games. Everything from loading to install times is constantly improving in gaming, so with increasing in-game transactions, I saw an opportunity to eliminate a lot of unnecessary time and, frankly, inefficient payment models that cryptocurrency expedites for gamers.

What has held you back in the past?

Malcolm CasSelle
Malcolm CasSelle attended MIT for an undergraduate degree in Computer Science, later attending Stanford for a Masters in the same.

Just the self-doubt that comes with believing that you will fail keeps me from overcoming. It’s so important when I’m in the midst of problem-solving that I avoid the destructive tendency we all have toward negative futurizing. You have to stay focused and trust that better doors will open for you. 

How do you set yourself up for daily success?

Every day starts with a routine that includes a to-do list of that day’s tasks, but more importantly, an inventory of what was accomplished the day before. That sense of completion is a great motivator, especially with a fast paced schedule like mine. Between meetings and keeping up with emails and correspondence, I make time to read so I’m always up to date on the industry.

Is recognition an important aspect of success for you?

External recognition isn’t necessary for me to feel like I’m succeeding at growing a business. Often it’s easy to conflate your business needs with your spiritual needs, and what has happened to me in the past is that my spiritual needs end up neglected because my focus is on business in a way that ultimate limits your personal joy as well as your ability to lead with efficiency. That’s why taking time for myself to study and meditate is mandatory for me. It keeps me grounded and capable of remaining present in business

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