What We Discuss Mo Yang
The ‘Becoming a Web3CFO’ Series, is where I dive into the inspiring stories of accounting & finance professionals who transitioned from TradFi to web3.
In this series, we explore their unique experiences, challenges, motivations, and career advice.
The reason I started this podcast was to inspire and prepare accountants for blockchain. If people with similar roles at similar companies have successfully transitioned to blockchain, why can’t you?
As a Chartered Accountant and CFA charter holder, Mo started his career at traditional accounting firms like Grant Thornton and BDO, worked as a capital markets trader, undertook CFO roles at multiple web2 and web3 startups.
I Mo about the difference about being a CFO in web2 v/s web3, the challenges when starting out, what does the work of a Fractional CFO entail, and the different tooling that helps him in his daily operations & finance tasks.
- Episode intro (00:39)
- Mo’s early career path in web2 (2:44)
- How Mo fell into the blockchain rabbit hole (4:12)
- Pre-requisite for accountants to get crypto jobs (6:09)
- Launching Nexoa, a Fractional CFO services firm (8:42)
- Thank you to our sponsor Cryptoworth (11:34)
- What does a Fractional CFO do (13:31)
- Challenges being a web3 CFO (17:54)
- Treasury Management advice for the new web3 CFO (20:03)
- Thank you to our sponsor Web3CFO Club (23:01)
- Tooling for web3 accounting: Cryptio & Request Finance (25:01)
- Set up for wallet management (26:40)
- Impact of AI on accountants & opportunities to work in web3 (29:09)
- Taking time off (31:07)
- Mo’s maxim in life (32:25)
[00:00:00] Umar: Welcome to The Accountant Quits, brought to you by the Web3CFO Club, a community of Web3 CFOs sharing best practices on web3 operations, and Cryptoworth, a crypto accounting solution to help you automate your crypto bookkeeping. On this podcast, we discuss how blockchain will impact the accounting profession and how accountants should prepare themselves for the future of work.
[00:00:26] Umar: My name is Umar, your host, and even if some might refer to me as the accountant gone rogue, my job is to provide you with the blockchain knowledge you need that will be relevant for the accounting industry as a whole.
[00:00:39] Umar: Welcome to Episode 47. I’m excited to start a new series titled Becoming a Web3 CFO.
[00:00:46] Umar: In this new series, I will be delving into the inspiring stories of accounting and finance professionals who transition from traditional finance to the exhilarating world of web3. Together we’ll explore their unique experiences, challenges, motivations, and career advice for you, the listeners. The reason I started this podcast was to inspire and prepare accountants for blockchain.
[00:01:10] Umar: And with this series, you’ll be hearing the stories of people who have similar roles at similar companies you currently have. If they’ve done it, why can’t you? Remember, we’re still very early in this technological transformation.
[00:01:24] Umar: Today for the first episode on this series, I have the pleasure to be speaking with Mo Yang, the group CFO at Fuel Labs. Initially a layer 2 scalability solution, and today, a modular execution layer. As a Chartered Accountant and CFA charterholder, Mo started his career at traditional accounting firms like Grant Thornton and BDO, worked as a capital markets trader, undertook CFO roles at multiple web2 and web3 startups.
[00:01:53] Umar: Mo is one of the most well-rounded and versatile accounting and finance professionals I’ve had the chance to meet and the perfect guest to start this new series. Today I will ask Mo the difference about being a CFO in web2 versus web3, the challenges when starting out, what does the work of a Fractional CFO entail and the different tooling that helps him in his daily operations and finance tasks.
[00:02:18] Umar: Mo, welcome and thanks for making the time to be here.
[00:02:22] Mo: Yeah, thank you so much, Umar. Pleasure to be here.
[00:02:24] Umar: So before we go into how you discovered blockchain, could you take us back to the journey becoming a CPA and later CFA Charterholder and your early years at BDO, Grant Thornton, when you were working in auditing and advisory, and also at that time, how you then pivoted to becoming a capital markets trader?
[00:02:45] Mo: Yeah, absolutely. I would say I spent probably the first 10 year of my career in web2 or traditional finance organization. I did audit, I did M&A, I did trading. Back then, I was very interested in finance even when I finished my CPA degree and when I transitioned to web3, I think it really require a lot of the skillset and the know-how from the TradFi world, right?
[00:03:07] Mo: Except now what you’re doing differently is you’re dealing with much more complexities. There’s always a constant changing environment in terms of regulations, and there’s really no set template for best practices or infrastructure. So one big difference between TradFi and web3, I would say, is the presence of Black swan.
[00:03:26] Mo: You have those weird events, for example, USDC depegging earlier this year in March, and in TradFi it rarely happens. You have a banking infrastructure, you have regulations. Everything kind of works, and if something doesn’t, the government intervenes. So other black swan event, FTX collapsing and a lack of accountability.
[00:03:48] Mo: So a lot of those weird events happens in web3. So you gotta use all your technical knowledge to be able to apply to this more complex world, more volatile world.
[00:04:00] Umar: Can you take us back when you discovered blockchain, when was that? How was the journey and experience of falling into the web3 rabbit hole. And at the time, what was it that fascinated you with blockchain?
[00:04:12] Mo: Yeah, absolutely. So back then I was, I started my career as a trader on a trading desk. Institutional trading for currencies and bonds and other product on the sell side of things. And we were actually looking at this product and looking at it from an asset class side of things.
[00:04:30] Mo: For us, we do deal with a lot of currencies and we were looking at Bitcoin as another asset class, right? Somewhere where you could put your money in maybe arbitrage market or even make a yield. Back then I was, I remember on my Bloomberg, it slowly, but slowly but surely appeared as a pricing. So we had a Bitcoin market and it was back then very cheap.
[00:04:51] Mo: So we were looking at it, we were really interested into the technology, but we also were looking at from the perspective of, hey, where’s adoption? And I remember we were on the trading desk and we were laughing about being so speculative that maybe it’s gonna probably go to zero one day right? So that was back in 2012, 2013 when I started my career on the trading desk.
[00:05:10] Mo: Then I left the trading world and I joined as a CFO for a fairly large startup. So they were doing video compression technology, and the founder were very keen on launching their own crypto project. That was back in 2016, the era of ICO boom, where you know, Bitcoin had a really bullish run. And we’re also managing a large amount of crypto on our books. We’re collecting crypto somehow and we’re also investing in crypto as an asset class on a balance sheet of the company. So that was a really good introduction into reconnecting with a lot of the service suppliers, the technology, the case used. So that was back in 2016 and that’s when actually fell back into the rabbit hole of crypto.
[00:05:54] Umar: And then 2018, you joined Polymath, a tokenization platform. I wanted to ask you, I mean, you were already kind of working in Web3 but in general, what was like the prerequisite in terms of knowledge to get those jobs?
[00:06:09] Mo: Yeah, for sure. Polymath was initially an ICO, right? And they originated out of Toronto, raised a bunch of money. I think back then a lot of people were building on new techs and pivoting very quickly. Usually after a year post raise, there is infrastructure. The team is growing. There’s also a structuring into place. So typically when a web3 company raises, when the finance team is, you know, very little and there’s about 30, 40 people on the team, or there’s at least 2 million of capital raise, they started looking for a more senior person to, you know, take over all those finance functions, treasury, accounting, dealing with audits, dealing with making sure everything’s compliant for GAAP and IFRS. So that’s how I got pulled in into that role, right. I had the skillset of the treasury manager and we had to manage multiple jurisdiction across different entities. Typically also in those early startups, and still today, there is a onshore operating company that’s paying salaries.
[00:07:14] Mo: And there is a foundation offshore that’s arbitraging essentially tax situations and also, regulatory scrutiny, right? So you can think about the Caribbeans, for example, or certain jurisdiction in Europe that’s quite interesting. So tax knowledge, transfer pricing and working with lawyers is also a really good weapon to have in your arsenal if you want to kind of work for a web3 company.
[00:07:38] Mo: And you also have to be a strong accountant as well, obviously. There’s reporting, there’s year end work, and each jurisdiction requires its own set of reporting, right? Even for tax returns sometimes and came in above a certain size, you do require an audit. So you do need to critically know your accounting well and how to account for a complex situation like paying people in tokens and burning tokens, for example.
[00:08:03] Mo: And also, I would say, back then in 2016, a lot of project raised a lot of money, but they were also able to reinvest. So every single company, I think back then had some sort of VC or micro VC activities. So it’s important for someone to be able to kind of come in and also look at those project as an investor perspective and do some due diligence, basic due diligence to make sure everything’s in order, that we can close the transaction.
[00:08:28] Mo: But also just making sure that the financials are fairly good. So that was also one of the fun part of the job, was to look at companies and invest in them, you know, maybe with SAFT and tokens. It was a fun time and a fun activity that that was part of my job.
[00:08:42] Umar: Alright, so now we’re in 2019, time goes by and you co-founded Nexoa, a finance back office for web3 startups offering monthly accounting, tax structuring and fractional CFO services.
[00:08:54] Umar: What realization did you have at that time that you no longer wanted to work for one single employer as a CFO and rather have the freedom to work with multiple clients?
[00:09:03] Mo: Yeah. Well, for example, I was looking across the ecosystem and I was looking at multiple projects, you know, a project that raised, just raised 2 million on a pre-seed, for example.
[00:09:15] Mo: You probably only need a bookkeeper to kinda service your organization at that point, right? And as the company scaled, that bookkeeper becomes pretty much useless. You know, if you start raising millions, 10 million dollars from multiple VCs, you really need to up your game from that stage, right. So what I realized was, was that I wanted to come in being able to kind of service them early on the base level service and scale with those guys as their needs scales.
[00:09:42] Mo: And at one point also I was looking at project I wanted to work with. Projects that had a lot of potential where I can make an impact and help the founders kind of grow right as they scale. So rather than doing, you know, much later stage work where you’re coming in and a lot of infrastructure is already set.
[00:09:59] Mo: I really like coming in, setting up the base infrastructure and growing with them. So there’s not a lot of catch up work two, three years later. And typically the way I approach this is we also always have. I would say about 2, 3 large CFO mandate and I covered them myself with a team. You know, if someone tells you they have 10 fractional CFO clients, there’s probably something that’s a bit off here, cuz it is still pretty involved and you do need to make sure they get the right attention, right?
[00:10:32] Mo: So think about this as the shape of a pyramid where there’s a lot of work that’s done at the base layer. A lot of monthly reconciliation, recurring time consuming tasks that’s been done there. And you wanna be able to kinda service them on the top layer as well and execute on very strategic decision.
[00:10:50] Mo: So having the ability and the information and a single team that’s well trained to do the base work across multiple organization just made sense to me right. It’s kinda like scaling and leveraging a knowledge we’ve gathered across multiple crypto operations. And also I would say I, you know, joining a team in a time of excessive growth where everything is messy.
[00:11:17] Mo: It’s good to kind of have a plugin team where you can just, you know, come over and you don’t have to hire associates. You have your team already and you can simply just take over the system, supercharge it, and help them grow to the next stage. So that diversity was really appealing for me for sure.
[00:11:34] Umar: Before we continue, we’ll take a quick commercial break from our sponsor. Whenever you use cryptocurrencies in your business, the framework for your bookkeeping is a combination of traditional and crypto native accounting softwares. Like any traditional business, you will need a traditional accounting solution like QuickBooks, Xero, Oracle NetSuite, SAP being used as your main ledger.
[00:11:58] Umar: And a specialized crypto accounting software to be used as a sub-ledger, which would extract, process and feed in transactions from the blockchain into your main ledger. Cryptoworth is an accounting software built for crypto and integrates with a hundred plus blockchains, 50 plus exchanges, and over 700 Defi protocols.
[00:12:20] Umar: It allows you to convert the blockchain transactions from wallets, exchanges, and custodians into your accounting software to facilitate your reporting, audits and tax filings. Moreover, it provides you with a dedicated DeFi and NFT tracking dashboard. Cryptoworth works with web3 industry leaders such as Aave, Axie Infinity, Celo, Moonbeam, Request Finance amongst others. If you’re looking to scale your business using Crypto, you need to start automating your crypto bookkeeping and stop using spreadsheets. Right now, Cryptoworth is offering you access to their platform for free for 30 days. Visit theaccountantquits.com/sponsorships to claim this special offer today.
[00:13:08] Umar: All right, so we are now in 2020, you onboarded a new client, Fuel Labs, and today you’re the group CFO. I understand you oversee the accounting and finance department at Fuel and they would employ full-time employees, contractors there. To be, fully honest with you, I’m not really aware how a Fractional CFO works and what they do like on a day-to-day basis.
[00:13:31] Umar: Could you tell us a little bit more what’s the role of a Fractional CFO and maybe how that differs to a full-time CFO?
[00:13:38] Mo: Yeah, for sure. I would say in terms of working as a CFO, the way I look at the work itself is structured in three areas, right. One is historical reporting, making sure everything is accounting for properly using knowledge of IFRS, you know, deep accounting issues with cost basis accounting, all that stuff.
[00:13:58] Mo: There’s always also the forward looking stuff. So being able to be strategic enough to help founders and team look at future, which is use a fund, how to manage treasury, how to make sure we have an expanded runway, for example. And the third aspect of it is, and that’s very specific to web3, the ability to kind of manage treasury.
[00:14:19] Mo: So that’s more of a finance function. So having a great finance background really helps here. So being able to manage, having multiple tokens, managing wallets, being able to stake, being able to move money around quickly, pay people as well. So that’s how I kind of break down the role for web3 CFO.
[00:14:38] Mo: When it comes down to full-time versus part-time, typically my span of resource is more on the strategic stuff, right? So making sure we establish a good governance system, reporting to the board of directors, having meetings, preparing, you know, audited financials that’s not to be left to a junior, for example. And just maybe putting all the information that’s gathered in our accounting system succinctly and briefing the team, having one-on-ones with the CEO, with, you know, the other C-Suites as well.
[00:15:09] Mo: And the difference, I guess, between this and a full-time CFO is I get to work on multiple different project at the same time, so I can actually bring in best practices across multiple organizations. And I think it’s important to have a team as well right? So I do have a team, you know, our bookkeeper works mostly on crypto project and they know what to do to replicate the same formula, and they can also take best practices according to each scenario. Don’t get me wrong, every single company is different, so we have to tailor it to their own jurisdiction, their own tax realities, their own tokenomics, everything is adaptable.
[00:15:47] Mo: But the benefit of being fractional is, you know, you get to have a very diverse exposure to different project. Being a full-time CFO sometime is needed, but the challenge is you also need to probably bring a team, right? You don’t want a CFO to be doing bookkeeping. So typically a full-time CFO either comes in into a structure with two, three staffs under him as well, or that person decides to hire.
[00:16:16] Mo: So I think that’s the main difference. I personally like just the variety and the fact that I get to operate in different contexts versus being able to work for one organization. But what I would also say is at the end of the day, we’re solving problems and we’re solving complex problem. You know, banking is a very frequent one.
[00:16:37] Mo: So at the end of the day, we’re all just solving problem and we have to rely on resources and our experiences.
[00:16:44] Umar: In the intro I said that I regard you as a very extremely versatile and well-rounded CFO. I mean, you’re both a CPA and CFA, and I consider you like, I mean, you are a very rare breed of CFO.
[00:16:58] Umar: You’ve worked in M&A’s, audits, worked as an institutional trader, fundraising. You’re now an entrepreneur. You’re always pushing the limits, upskilling yourself, setting yourself apart from the other finance professionals. What motivates you when you wake up every day?
[00:17:13] Mo: The pursuit of excellence. I think we all spend probably 40, 50 years of our life, you know, working right.
[00:17:20] Mo: And right now with new technology, maybe even more. I want to be able to kind of spend that time working on really edgy project, like bleeding edge project in my industry, which is gonna be web3. Just operate in that industry, right and build on that knowledge.
[00:17:35] Umar: If we go back again a little bit in the beginning, what were the challenges starting out being a Fractional CFO, what would you say is what’s different with web3 that makes the new web3 CFO role challenging? You did mention the added responsibility for treasury management, for example.
[00:17:54] Mo: For sure, I think back in the day, it was definitely a different context. Back in the day, 2015, 16, 17, if you started in the industry as a finance professional, accounting professional, you were pretty native, right? And back in the day, there weren’t any kind of budding support for CFOs.
[00:18:11] Mo: You just needed to have experience to come in and execute and use the best practices and the parallel from the TradFi world into the DeFi world. Today, it’s a very different context. With five, seven years of infrastructure that’s built, there’s a lot of good leaders in place. That’s done it their own way maybe, but they always work with, you know, professional, the same lawyers, the same accountants, audit firms, and there’s a bit more consensus on what’s best practices.
[00:18:39] Mo: And for example, you know, you are building a community as well, and I’ve used it in the past as well. These days, if you wanna bounce ideas, connect with Founders, or connect with CFOs, it’s a lot easier, right. You know, we have a Slack channel, we can bounce ideas, we can connect. That’s the change I think, from before.
[00:18:57] Mo: So in the beginning, you know, you had to have some experience. I think nowadays, uh, you have a lot more support. So the challenging part when I started was everything was new. The regulatory landscape was changing excessively quickly. People were concerned. There were a lot of uncertainty into Securities Law issues, into tax issues and really have to kind of tap in into the best practice from, you know, a solid career in TradFi to try to kind of manage those risks.
[00:19:28] Mo: And sometimes it requires you to be creative, you need to have a lot of workarounds. And I would say one advice I have is I think what worked for me at least is you have to kind of be very quick at trying little things, right. Trying things very quickly. Without too much commitment, but trying different tools, trying different partnership, trying different ways of doing things, and very quickly determining what kind of works for you, right.
[00:19:55] Mo: That agility initially when I started was very important. It really helped me kind of pick up, you know, in the web three world.
[00:20:03] Umar: Alright, I wanna spend some more time on treasury management, which I think is a key role for the web3 CFO. Would you have any suggestions for the web3 treasury management team, how to turn their treasury management process, maybe from good to great, some of the different strategies they may have on diversification. I’m not saying the CFO has to be a DeFi degen, but what would be an advice for the new CFO out there?
[00:20:31] Mo: Yeah, I’m a big fan of simplicity, right. Every single project is different. It’s got its own risk appetite. I noticed that once you get into a big market cap project, the risk appetite is a lot lower, right.
[00:20:46] Mo: There is governance, there’s usually a board. Your role is probably not to take too much risk. You know, doing Defi yield farming, or having too many shit coins on your balance sheet. Your role is probably to kind of manage and yield a certain amount. We’re all reducing, you know, the price risk or the counterparty risk.
[00:21:05] Mo: What I like about my treasury management style is I really want to kind of reduce those risk and specifically counterparty risk, right. I’m a big fan of self custodial wallets where there is still, you know, multisig approval models, but whenever we have to kind of retain control over those wallet and if we can stake and within the DeFi ecosystem and still have those, those funds in custody, I’m a big fan of, right.
[00:21:30] Mo: Usually when you work with custodial services, there is a bit of a counterparty risk for default. And when you work on a lot of, you know, yielding strategy, there’s price risk and there’s also counterparty risk or the platform simply failing. So my advice is, and that’s my priority, is like, how do I reduce counterparty risk.
[00:21:51] Mo: The other thing is I’m a big fan of, you know, hedging, hedging through pretty creative solutions. I’ve worked a long time on institutional level trading desks, doing, you know, spot trading, forward trading, future trading swaps. I think there’s a real benefit for treasurers to look into options and the options market in crypto to maybe hedge themselves, right?
[00:22:15] Mo: The reason being is one, you have access to leverage and you don’t really require a big use of funds, right? If you want, if you have a large amount of Ethereum and you want to hedge it back to stable points, you could do so a lot quicker, then just simply moving everything, selling everything spot on the spot market with a Defi tool, and then trading it to USDC.
[00:22:36] Mo: So an example would be, you know, looking at the calls and puts option markets, combining some of those strategies sometimes and hedging yourself to be market neutral or beta neutral while yielding a good return. I’m a big fan of, you know, looking into those, I think there’s a bit of inefficiency in those market right now to the advantage of the CFO, right.
[00:23:01] Umar: Before we continue, we’ll take a quick commercial break from our sponsor. Working in web3 can transform your career, be financially rewarding and surround you with a vibrant community. But as you’re very much aware, this space requires rethinking a lot of the old models of how we work. For example, as the leader in a web3 organization, it’s up to you to figure out the most cost effective way to off-ramp the company’s crypto, or what’s the most efficient setup to mass-pay your contractors in crypto.
[00:23:31] Umar: Getting your organization to run on crypto is daunting if you’re alone. That’s why Request Finance, the industrial leader in crypto invoicing, payroll and expenses has curated a community of web3 CFOs to share best practices around web3 financial operations. With CFOs from leading projects like Aave, the Sandbox, Binance, Consensys, and many more, joining this community will allow you to network and fast track getting your organization compliant in crypto.
[00:24:03] Umar: And you know what. I’m also responsible for accepting new members and growing the Web3CFO club. So if you’re a web3, business founder, CEO, CFO, or in charge of financial operations, you can join this exclusive community today by filling up an application form at theaccountantquits.com/web3CFO.
[00:24:24] Umar: Subject to a screening check, you will then start interacting with high profile web3 CFOs, get access to members only benefits like webinars, resources, and invitations to physical meetups. Join the club today and let’s win Web3 financial operations together.
[00:24:43] Umar: The next topic is tooling for web3. I always say you can use web2 tools for crypto, but they do involve a bit of a workaround. They’ve not been built like with crypto in mind. So for the new web3 CFO starting, what would you say is the foundational tech stack to have for crypto accounting?
[00:25:01] Mo: Okay, so let’s talk about tooling. I think there’s a different type of tools in my mind, right? And there’s three main ones. One for payments. The second one is for accounting. The third one is for custody of your wallets or your treasury. One other thing in tools that we look for is compatibility with tools in the TradFi world, right.
[00:25:21] Mo: We always have to use an accounting system. It could be QuickBooks online, it could be Xero, it could be NetSuite. Those are the big ones that’s used in the space, and the reason being is financial reporting and audits always rely on traditional tools still to this day. Maybe one day the regulations will change, but we always have to use, you know, traditional tools and traditional method of auditing.
[00:25:44] Mo: So for accounting purposes, for example, we preferred Cryptio because there’s some clarity in the audit trail, right? Every single transaction is API’d into Xero, for example, and there’s a link to an audit and there’s a few tools to allow us to kind of determine, you know, balances and do a very good smell test at the end of the month.
[00:26:04] Mo: So that’s just one example of tool and I would say in terms of payments right now we use a tool called Request for our payments. It really gives us the ability to implement a good approval models efficiently and we can on a platform, track our transaction and our payments while having a self custody wallet.
[00:26:29] Mo: So there’s a good API that allows us to kind of send those payments directly out of our self-owned wallet with approval. That’s kinda simplified. So those tools are preferred by, by our team here.
[00:26:40] Umar: For wallets. Is there a specific setup that you’ve used that you find to be very efficient?
[00:26:45] Mo: A lot of our wallets are multisig. A lot of our wallet are required to be multisig just because, you know, if something happened to one person who’s got the keys, that’s not something that’s acceptable in 2023. So, usually in treasury management, it’s a mix of custodial wallets. If the board desire to have a bit more control over visibility, all that stuff.
[00:27:07] Mo: It’s a mix of sometimes hot wallet and it’s a mix of, you know, using multisig wallets that’s at the core, okay controlled by a few multi signers, either through a Ledger or through Gnosis Safe, say for example. I think that’s usually the mix of wallets, but typically I think for best practices, it’s to kind of reduce the amount of wallet that’s owned and also have buckets of wallets for each entity and for use.
[00:27:38] Mo: So for payroll, for example, we have one dedicated wallet and funds gets there and it’s just used for that purposes. So using those as a segregation tool is something that’s also a good practice. Remember, like I’m, we’re really trying to kind of simplify it, right? So we, I see a lot of issues sometime with too many wallets, and unfortunately when you have too many wallets, those wallets stays on your balance sheet forever and you have to account for those.
[00:28:05] Mo: So I think, you know, ideally less wallet is better, and obviously having multisig on each wallet with a simple approved model is ideal.
[00:28:14] Umar: Perfect. I want to move on to a different topic. Speak a bit about the emerging opportunities for accountants in web3. I think the CEO of the future will be cut from a different cloth. Covid has changed the way we work.
[00:28:26] Umar: In recent months, there’s been remarkable progress in the field of generative AI and large language models. Such emerging technologies will have a considerable impact on accounting jobs. I was reading a paper the other day from the University of Pennsylvania titled GPTs or GPTs, An Early Look at The Labor Market Impact Potential Of Large Language Models.
[00:28:50] Umar: I’m gonna share this paper in the show notes where they shared that accountants and auditors are one of those occupations with a 100% exposure to large language models. I wanna ask you, how do you see the future of work, the new opportunities for people with finance backgrounds to work in Web3?
[00:29:09] Mo: Yeah, I think overall, you know, AI is progressing really well, but it’s probably not going to steal your job. Who’s gonna steal your job is probably someone, a human who’s gonna leverage that technology in AI, right. So basic things like bookkeeping or standardized reporting or areas that are easily replicable, AI is gonna be very good at in the future, of course.
[00:29:32] Mo: But in contrast, I think like web3 is so innovative and so customized that a human is actually required, right? There’s a lot of scenarios where it’s a black swan and for example, we can talk about Luna and their stable coin debasing. I don’t think a model could have predicted that, right. A model can probably help in faster execution, but a human is always required to kind of steer or control that risk or that opportunity.
[00:30:01] Mo: And I think there’s keys here to how you want to supercharge how you deal with AI. I don’t think AI is a bad thing, right. If my team is gonna save two, three hours on not doing credit card reconciliation. I think that’s a big win for the industry, and that’s a big win for everybody.
[00:30:21] Mo: In terms of web3 CFO, I think in the future, and compared to web2 CFOs, a person always needs to be adaptable and creative, right?
[00:30:30] Mo: The industry changes, everything pivots at times, and there’s just a lack of best practices. And those best practices are constantly changing, right? So in order to be creative, I think a Web3CFO should have a very good understanding of the technology itself. I think that’s important right?
[00:30:48] Mo: So just a few key ideas. Proof of stake inflation, tokenomics, for example, like how share sequencer work, how validator nodes works, all that is gonna help him do his job efficiently and it’s gonna really help him be better than a web2 CFO.
[00:31:07] Umar: Mo, we’re slowly coming to the end of the podcast, I have a question on a completely different topic.
[00:31:12] Umar: I wanna ask you, how do you take time off? Because the web3 industry is fast paced. You’re plugged in 24/7. A lot of folks I spoke to they share the same feeling that oftentimes their work days feel never ending. There’s always something new to learn, and all of these people, at times, they do feel burnt out.
[00:31:32] Umar: It’s not sustainable to work like this. So are you disciplined about taking time off? What do you enjoy doing on your off days, which is completely not related to web3?
[00:31:42] Mo: Yeah, that’s a great question. So I trained for Jiu-Jitsu. You know, similar to Mark Zuckerberg who’s also training to get his blue belt.
[00:31:49] Mo: I’ve been trained for a long time. I like the sport. It’s a sport that teaches you humility and also it’s a masculine and competitive sport. And what I like about the sport is you have to persevere. You know, when you start and you join a dojo, you always get beat up, right? And only with time you get to become better and choke out new you know, new team members that are joining the team. So I think it’s good for the mind and also it’s a very physical sport that I enjoy.
[00:32:19] Umar: There’s a last question which I like to ask to my guests, which is, do you have a favorite quote or a maxim that you live by?
[00:32:25] Mo: I would say, you know, sometime you win and a lot of time you learn.
[00:32:30] Mo: In my career, I took a lot of different path and that gave me a lot of context and taught me a lot about myself right. And also, you know, all those experiences are, I think at this stage, my career helpful. So all this to say that I experienced a lot of failures in my career and failure can turn into success.
[00:32:48] Mo: So don’t be afraid to put yourself out there cuz you can always, you know, learn and grow from those experiences.
[00:32:55] Umar: Thanks a lot, Mo, for coming today. We didn’t discuss so much about your Fuel Labs because I wanted the focus of this podcast to be more on the transition from TradFi to web3, and you gave a great glimpse of what your work constitute of, and I hope that many listeners will find your story inspiring.
[00:33:14] Mo: I hope so too. Yeah. Thank you so much for having me.
[00:33:16] Umar: Before we go, if people want to reach out to you and connect on social media, what would be the best platform to do so?
[00:33:24] Mo: That’s a good question. We’re usually very busy working, but I’m pretty active on LinkedIn if you guys wanted to reach out. And there’s also, I’m part of the Slack community for the Web3CFO, so you can reach out to Umar if you want to be part of it. There’s a lot of good information on treasury management tools. There’s also a really interesting job board, but if you wanna reach out, certainly join that and we can speak on Slack. So that’s also a very good way to reach out to me.
[00:33:49] Umar: Perfect. Well thanks a lot for your time today Mo, and we’ll be in touch.
[00:33:54] Mo: Okay, great. Thank you.
[00:33:56] Umar: I would like to thank everyone for listening to this episode. You’ll find all the links of the episodes, show notes and transcripts on the website of The Accountant Quits at theaccountantquits.com. Please note that this content is for general information purposes only and is not a substitute for consultation with professional advisors.
If you do know anyone who could benefit from the episode and you care about them, please do share the episode with them. All the episodes are available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts, and by leaving us a review and rating, you will support the channel and all your fellow accountants. In order to be notified each time we release a new episode, do follow us on Instagram and LinkedIn. We hope to have you with us next time. Bye for now.