Post-mortem resignation at BTC Direct & BLOX

| July 22, 2022 | 0 Comments

The 8th of July was my last working day in BTC Direct & BLOX. It has been 2 years working with some of the most talented people I have known in my career, covering multiple domains: software engineering, product development, management, hr, customer support, marketing, compliance,…

thank you notes

Thank you notes – Farewell

One of the key things embedded in the culture and the values in BTC Direct and BLOX is constantly seeking improvement: doing better today than yesterday. Post-mortem, retrospectives, and generally speaking reflections of how to do better are embedded in the way of working and interacting with your colleagues. So here is my post-mortem resignation as Head Of Engineering in BTC Direct and BLOX (an emotional one, it is not the time for facts and data):

Time reported 

July 2020 – July 2022

How/who was reported

In July 2020, I was at a crucial point in my career. The work I had been doing with my previous employer was no longer bringing me the joy and the enthusiasm it used to, which was also affecting my contribution to the team I was leading there. At that time, I was considering which direction to take with my professional career: focus on product development or a management path. 


Impact/ Observed behavior

In July 2021, I joined BTC Direct as Product Owner for the Fiat<>Crypto Gateway product. A few months later, I took over the rest of the products developed by the Engineering teams at BTC Direct. Then everything started to evolve fast. With the close of a considerable series A funding in October and the growth of the BLOX mobile app (and the Bull run by the end of 2021 – “Bulls over Bears”), the founders trust me enough to promote me to Head Of Engineering. Suddenly I was managing the engineering teams behind the creation of the BTC Direct and BLOX products (and the IT landscape of the company as a bonus ;)). 


Actions taken

I can’t describe in a single post what the people in BTC Direct and BLOX have achieved in these two years without being unfair by not mentioning specific individual achievements.


Looking at the BTC Direct products, we have developed a sustainable and market-competitive product that is growing month after month at a steady pace. When I joined the company, the core of the engineering team was already there. While this is usually not a desirable state when you join a team in a leadership position, in this case, it was the best thing that could happen to me. The team excels not only in technical qualities but also in maturity, which is not so common in development teams at tech companies. They do not just push code. They talk with stakeholders, take all feedback in a learning stance, and own the successes and mistakes (“Take ownership”). 


What to say about BLOX? What a rollercoaster. My first few months as Manager of the BLOX team were a bit hectic. We were immersed in a bull run. Potentiated by the great work of our Marcom team, we got a massive increase in volume (userbase and trading) which challenged our product from a technical point of view. It was three months of nights debugging production issues, which created a strong bonding between the people involved. After that, the work of creating a solid and committed engineering team started. The goal was to bring BLOX to the place the three company founders envisioned. From the in-house team of 2 developers, we have grown to 12 people (counting developers, testers, and UX/UI designers) in 1 year. And the application is stronger than ever (looking at performance, reliability, and technical design quality metrics). Ready for the next bull run! (“Bulls over Bears”). It has been a sustainable and healthy growth that is paying off in these times in which many crypto companies are doing massive lay-offs. BLOX is doing great even in a bear market.

Values BTC Direct & BLOX

List of the values of BTC DIrect and BLOX

Image from


Resolution date/time

July 2022


Resolution description

It has been a privilege to support actively (and guide when necessary) people in the engineering teams in growing at a professional level. Seeing people stepping up to new challenges but especially seeing how they just naturally performed at a significant level when the responsibilities increased is something I will remember for the rest of my career. 


Of course, people have also left the team in these two years. Despite my intentions of being fair when aligning expectations with performance, I can understand how difficult it is to hear that someone is not performing as expected from the person who should support more in the team, your manager. These experiences helped me grow stronger as a manager because they tested the quality that every manager should have and my number 1 leadership value: empathy.


I am so grateful to have worked in a team where feedback is encouraged and appreciated, a place where you can express your disagreements free and openly, and an environment where conflicts are seen as opportunities to do better and learn from others. All of this is possible because there is absolute and total trust. And that trust is the foundation to having high-performing and successful teams.

grayscale photo of to hands

Photo by Jannis Lucas on Unsplash


Technical management in a product company is generally not easy, especially in startup companies. You need to do a bit of everything: technical, people, support, business, hr,… You are in the middle of everything. Balancing all the stakeholder’s needs in a fast-paced environment sometimes feels like an impossible task to achieve. Nevertheless, as a Software Engineer Manager in BTC Direct and BLOX, it has been an easier task than expected. The reason for it: the highly committed team working together and making our products the best they can be (“Love what you build”). When that commitment is combined with technical excellence and a high sense of teamwork, my task as a manager is as simple as let people do what they do best. I could not be able to manage a large team like this if it was not because of the let’s do it mentality of every single of my coworkers.

Root cause

Maybe because of the high professional seniority of the teams (independently of the age of the people on them), I was starting to doubt my contribution to the company. While the feedback the board and the rest of my colleagues gave to me did not align with this thinking (just the contrary), I could not eliminate the feeling that I was somehow stuck. It sounded like the Peter Principle but substituting incompetence with personal and professional growth.

Another reason to leave BTC Direct and BLOX was the language barrier. I can understand Dutch and speak it at a social level. Using it in executive management meetings proficiently is another thing. I do not feel comfortable yet, but I will be 🙂

Action points/Conclusions
Mike, Davy, and Mark, founders of BTC Direct and BLOX, did not only offer me a job. They gave me one of the most rewarding professional experiences in my life. I am incredibly thankful for it and all the support I have received. That small actions, like the gift I got to celebrate one of the COVID Christmas separate from my family, go beyond the professional level. It touches the emotions and the feelings. I hope I will be able to follow their example in the next steps in my career.  


Apart from the people and the projects I have worked on these two years, I took with me knowledge of Bitcoin. The potential to challenge a non-optimal financial status quo from which we all suffer. Bitcoin will be where it should be at a certain point. In the meantime:

Buy BTC sign

Sign with Buy BTC written on it multiple times

Category: Others

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