Decoding Binance's Product Prioritization Strategy with Mayur Kamat (Head of Product)by@ishanpandey
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Decoding Binance's Product Prioritization Strategy with Mayur Kamat (Head of Product)

by Ishan PandeyMay 23rd, 2023
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Mayur Kamat is a leading figure in product management at Binance. Having started his career at Microsoft, he is now a major driving force behind Binance's impressive portfolio of products. Mayur shares his unique perspectives on a range of topics, from prioritizing product features to harnessing AI technologies.
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Mayur Kamat Unveils Binance's Big Bets in Innovation and DeFi

In the dynamic world of cryptocurrencies and blockchain, product managers play a pivotal role in shaping the future. Their decisions steer the development of a company's products and determine its market position. Today, we are delighted to present our conversation with Mayur Kamat, a leading figure in product management at Binance. Having started his career at Microsoft, he is now a major driving force behind Binance's impressive portfolio of products. In this interview, Mayur shares his unique perspectives on a range of topics, from prioritizing product features to harnessing AI technologies, and from promoting DeFi to the exciting future of the cryptocurrency industry.

Building the Future of Crypto: A Conversation with Binance Product Manager Mayur Kamat

Ishan Pandey: Hi Mayur Kamat , great to have you here for our "Behind the Startup" series. Please tell us about yourself and what inspired you to pursue a career in product management?

Mayur Kamat: I started my career as a product manager, before it was even a thing. I joined Microsoft as an intern and that eventually became the product manager role. And I loved it - I got to work with some of the OGs of the industry and they built stuff that I came up with! It was love at first sight.

Ishan Pandey: How do you prioritize features and improvements for Binance's products, and what factors do you take into account when making these decisions?

Mayur Kamat : Binance has a massive portfolio of products. People know us for our exchange but we have 40-50 other products. Given the breadth of the portfolio, the same approach for prioritization doesn’t work across the board. I think of them in 3 big categories:

Commitments to the community and the industry - this would include products that we develop as part of our commitment to improve the industry - for example Proof of Reserves. Or it could also be something we need to build for legal and regulatory needs. These products are extremely important and usually have an urgent timeline and high cost if we anything goes wrong. We make very deliberate product decisions here and execute them rapidly.

Looking at how we grow and optimize ‘mature’ products - Binance is less than 6 years old so it is funny to think of our products as mature but they are.

The core Binance app, exchange, trading, etc - these are massively used products. Here we focus on innovation and experimentation. Try lots of ideas, ship daily, fail fast, learn and iterate.

Innovation big bets - these are our creative, maybe some might say ‘crazy’ bets. Here we take big bets, we aim to get to market soon with an MVP and then see what our community thinks about it. The Binance Tax tool is a great example of this - we built it and initially launched it in France earlier this year. Seeing the positive reaction to the initial version from the community, we’ll now look at bringing this to more markets around the world soon.

Ishan Pandey: Can you discuss the development of Binance's Defi Wallet and how do you see the wallet differentiating itself from other wallet solutions in the market, and what unique features or capabilities it offers?

Mayur Kamat: The Binance DeFi wallet started with a very simple premise - blockchains are still hard to use for everyday users. We cannot bring a billion users to crypto without wallets that work like modern technology - simple and safe. Creating a wallet, connecting to dApps, understanding the multi-chain world, transferring funds to addresses - all of it is complicated and stressful. Even the OGs mess up. How can we make wallets working like a basic web2 app where you login and things just work? That’s what we are working towards.

On differentiation, there are some obvious advantages when you use the Binance DeFi wallet and are an existing Binance user.

You don't need to login again, you don’t need back-up keys or to remember addresses - it is all very seamless. We will add a lot more features soon for users who use both CEX + DEX, and we believe everyone will soon will. We also believe that innovation like this pushes other wallets to get easier to use too - the whole industry wins when things get simpler.

Ishan Pandey: Can you talk about how Binance's Defi Wallet SDK enables developers to build dApps that integrate with Binance's platform, and how it has been received by the developer community?

Mayur Kamat: It is early days. Our first version of the SDK is for dApps and we are seeing big interest, especially from the BNB chain developer community. The SDK will soon allow for new use cases like portfolio mgmt, wallet as a service, etc. We believe we can abstract a lot of the boring (but critical) layers from Web3 developers, so they can focus on building the magic.

Ishan Pandey: What role do you see Binance's Defi Wallet and SDK playing in advancing the development of the decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem, and how do you plan to position Binance in this space?

Mayur Kamat: It’s an important foundational piece that we need for the ecosystem to grow. If 1 billion users had a crypto wallet, the DeFi world would be several orders of magnitude bigger. It’s that simple. Internet mass adoption did not happen till Web1 made IP addresses, ports, DNS, etc abstracted. We want to do the same for Web3.

Ishan Pandey: How do you ensure the security and reliability of Binance's Defi Wallet and SDK, and what measures does the company have in place to protect user funds and data?

Mayur Kamat: The Web3 wallet is different from Binance Exchange. The funds are held by the user on their own addresses. Binance just helps with the key management, which are stored securely using our core infrastructure that protects Binance CEX assets. The Binance DeFi wallet uses MPC which means that MPC key shares are stored on different infrastructures to avoid a single point of failure, making it safe and secure. And use our biometrics based FIDO authentication to both improve security and ease of use.

Ishan Pandey: What impact do you believe AI-powered technologies will have on Binance's products and users, and how do you plan to integrate these technologies into your product development strategies?

Mayur Kamat: What we are seeing with the recent pace of developments with generative AI, every company in the world will need to include it in their roadmap, or else run the risk of being outclassed by their existing and upcoming competitors. Binance is no exception and we are looking at it across the board in product. We have been a big user of ML and AI in Binance for years - in fraud detection, compliance, security monitoring, personalization, etc. This year, we took this a step further a launched 2 new generative AI products - Bicasso NFT generator and Binance Sensei chatbot for crypto education with Binance Academy. The industry is moving quickly - we will keep trying out things in this space and will see what resonates with our users.

Ishan Pandey: Can you comment on the current state of the cryptocurrency industry and the direction you expect it to take over the next few years?

Mayur Kamat: I think of the crypto industry based on user and business adoption, not on coin prices. And based on that metric, we are seeing a strong foundation. As long as we solve real user problems, we will grow the industry. Remittances, cross-border settlement, inflation-hedge, financial access to under-privileged, 24/7 global trading, automated settlement, automating contracts, simplified and low cost payments - all of these are trillion dollar problems and blockchain is solving them today. But in small %, single digit. As long as we keep increasing that number, the industry will grow.

Ishan Pandey: In your opinion, what are some of the most promising trends in the cryptocurrency industry, and how is Binance positioning itself to capitalize on these trends?

Mayur Kamat: The industry and the trends within it change so rapidly, so we don’t “forward plan” as such. We listen to our community everyday and build products they want. We get thousands of pieces of feedback every month about what the community wants. As long as we do right by the users, Binance will grow because the industry will continue to grow. Trends come and go - we try to focus on the core of our tenets - user focused, community-driven, transparent and agile.

We also ask our community to tell us direct if they have ideas for product features, so if your readers are reading this and have a great idea they want to share, please let us know here: