February 21, 2022

The Humble Visionary: Meet Matt Dixon

By: Victoria Martin

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Matt Dixon, co-founder and Head of Research and Development for CoinFX. Named the 2022 buy-side quant of the year by Risk Magazine, Matt discussed his journey in fintech and why he is certain the future of Web3 is bright.

Breaking the bonds of the “Good ‘ol Boys Club”

Perhaps it’s Matt’s humility that strikes you first when he begins to outline the future of fintech. Matt is an expert in his field: a Math PhD from Imperial College London with over 20 years of industry experience, a published book author, assistant professor; his list of accomplishments and accolades goes on.

It was Matt’s first experience as a consumer interfacing with the American retail banking sector that set the stage for his path to financial innovation. “In 2008 I came to the states [as a PhD] for the first time and I couldn’t even get a credit card. I had two suitcases and less than $100 to my name. When you have nothing and you realize how much the little guy gets picked on with [things like] fines and overdraft fees, it makes you want to do things differently.”Later in his career, after witnessing first hand the “boys club” of Wall Street, Matt was determined to move in another direction. Insistent that “we all need a sense of purpose” in what we do, Matt’s moral compass capitalizes on transparency for the average man. Creating a system that is “fair and equitable” would serve as the catalyst for his journey with CoinFX.

Meeting you in your world

The “crypto club” can appear exclusive or even unattainable to an outsider. Matt’s background as an assistant professor of Applied Math at the Illinois Institute of Technology provides him a unique, empathetic edge in reaching those who may feel on the outskirts of Web3. Matt’s tenure in education has provided him the space to hone in on what it takes to be an effective technical communicator, proving him to be “measured and adaptive” amidst his creative prowess.  

Likening his position in CoinFX to being akin to “building the first Tesla Roadster”, Dixon demystifies the seemingly unattainable austere that sometimes clouds the elusive crypto-verse.

The same creative problem-solving skills which saw him recognized as a leader in quant is what motivates him to push boundaries in the forthcoming convergence of fintech and crypto. To that note, Matt reflects that “when you do things rigorously from the start as a methodology, you really give yourself the best opportunity for success. Rigor is in our DNA and that’s why we want to be able to deliver under the scrutiny of institutional finance.”

The likes of which we’ve never seen

As CoinFX positions itself to “pave the way for Web3 payment networks”, Matt insists the company’s vision is clear: “[CoinFX] is going to be known as the technology that rivals Visa, and creates mutually beneficial outcomes for merchants, consumers and institutions that weren’t possible when Paypal pivoted away from Palm Pilots to online payments 24 years ago.”

And what makes Matt, a self-described reborn “hacker”, most excited about CoinFX?  Drawing on his financial markets background, Matt points to the company’s unique ability to transparently alter the very fabric of finance.

To get there, Matt often comes back to “purpose”. Recalling the experience of when he first arrived in the States, Matt is determined to provide a “faster and more rewarding experience for the consumer: from Filipino Web3 gamers earning crypto for groceries, to Mexican-American workers sending money to their family back home, anyone who is sending money around the world stands to benefit.”

Blockchain has a unique ability to make this possible and, as Matt attests, to “move the world forward reducing costs, benefitting economic growth, enhancing global commerce, and reducing inequality.”