Decentralized Masters and Their DeFi Journey

Building Bridges: Decentralized Masters and Their DeFi Journey

Decentralized finance (DeFi) scene is growing quickly. Tan Gera and Salim Elhila and have entered this dynamic field, starting Decentralized Masters, a platform to guide and teach people about the crypto world.

The entrepreneur duo’s journey shows their ability to adapt, overcome, and evolve, as they create a space for themselves in DeFi’s changing environment.

Decentralized Masters is a platform designed to educate and guide individuals in the DeFi space. It offers comprehensive resources and strategies for navigating the crypto industry, covering everything from portfolio management to market analysis. The platform fosters a mastermind community, bringing together high-value individuals to share insights and strategies. Decentralized Masters aims to bridge the gap between traditional finance and the emerging DeFi world, equipping members with the knowledge and tools to succeed.

From Wall Street to Web3

Salim, an AI and big data engineer by trade, found his calling beyond the corporate world. With a background in engineering, mathematics, and statistical modeling, he expanded his expertise to include marketing and sales strategies for online ventures, becoming the marketing mastermind behind a combined $100M in sales in these industries.Yet, his real breakthrough came in 2022 when a tweet by Elon Musk sparked his interest in Bitcoin (BTC), propelling him down the cryptocurrency rabbit hole.


“I participated in many Web3 projects, the most famous being MetaLegends, where I was managing the marketing side of things. This project sold out for $20 million. That’s when I realized things are happening way faster in the Web3 world”, Salim says. “And by that time, I met Tan. At the peak of the last bull market we chose to launch something together. And that’s how Decentralized Masters came to be.”

Tan, on the other hand, began his journey in the world of finance, climbing the investment banking ladder. From the suburbs of Paris, he navigated a traditional path, securing a role on Wall Street, where he witnessed the inner workings of the banking industry. But Tan’s experience with crypto conferences and witnessing the potential of blockchain technology led him to shift gears. He recognized the power of DeFi, particularly in comparison to traditional banking systems, and made the transition to the crypto space.

“At 21 I passed my CFP1 and got access to Wall Street. I did an internship there as an investment banker, and it really opened my eyes,” Tan adds. “I saw behind the curtains of the big investment banks how the game was rigged. And I saw true use cases of crypto, how it could make everything better.”

Turning Adversity into Opportunity

The inception of Decentralized Masters came at a crucial moment. The company launched just before a brutal market crash: one of the biggest centralized exchanges in the US, FTX, collapsed, triggering a domino effect throughout the industry. The downfall of Sam Bankman-Fried’s empire led to widespread fear, eroded trust in CEXes and intensified the challenges for a freshly launched company.

Despite early success, their journey took a steep turn when their payment processor unexpectedly blocked transactions and banking partners temporarily froze funds. Plus, social platforms restricted their content and it was as if everyone was against them. However, Salim and Tan saw an opportunity in the adversity.

“We were starting to sell really well. It was a massive success. But after one or two weeks of sales, the FTX crash happened,” – Salim reflects. “And from there, everything went downhill. We almost gave up, it felt like the whole Universe was conspiring to make sure we wouldn’t win. But by the end of the year we were like – you know what, if we manage to do this during a bear market, imagine how amazing it will be during a bull market? And from there, it has been a crazy ascension.”

The duo’s resilience paid off, as they secured new banking partners and payment processors, and Decentralized Masters grew from zero employees by the end of 2022 to over 80 team members in just a year. 

Both entrepreneurs now look back to late November 2022 as a turning point for the whole DeFi space. People recognized that centralized exchanges were not safe and reaffirmed the value proposition of DeFi platforms.

Tan notes centralized exchanges function like traditional banks, using clients’ assets to make money and offering crypto products without leveraging blockchain technology. According to him, this leads to issues such as limited transparency and lack of security, as seen in the FTX case.

“What centralized exchanges do? They pay clients 3-4% and use their crypto to make 20-30-40% in DeFi protocols. That’s exactly what the bank does when you leave your money in savings,” he recalls. “What we want to teach people is to self-custody their funds to hedge against the monetary system, so they can control it and make the profit instead of giving it to the third party.”

The Decentralized Approach

Decentralized Masters provides comprehensive education on DeFi and crypto markets. The platform’s value lies in its multifaceted approach, from portfolio management and asset selection to technical analysis and strategy development.

As for now, the company boasts a team of 10 full-time analysts who conduct in-depth research into various projects, comparing them across a range of variables. They provide a full overview of each asset, incorporating fundamental, technical, on-chain, and team analyses. The projects are then graded based on these variables, resulting in a ranking system to assess their success potential.

“We’re lucky to be surrounded by a team of people who are all experts in their different narratives. They conduct due diligence on a daily basis,” Tan explains. “That allows us to basically rate different protocols, different projects, and make sure that we only invest in projects that have a high potential of staying alive.”

But the team’s vision extends beyond analysis, encompassing community building and mentoring. Decentralized Masters offers a mastermind community and a platform for members to connect and share knowledge. This extensive ecosystem has fostered a thriving community, where members proudly display their credentials.

“We gather high-value individuals with the same sophistication and values,” Salim notes. “Сommunity in crypto is everything: it can make or break one’s success. At the end of the day, when you’re surrounded by the right people, things tend to work pretty well.”

Bridging TradFi and DeFi

Decentralized Masters’ narrative was designed to act as a bridge between traditional finance (TradFi) and DeFi. Their strategies leverage portfolio management principles from Tan’s CFA background, while also incorporating decentralized finance tools. This convergence of two worlds is pivotal to their mission.

“We teach people to stay away from risk while optimizing potential rewards. It’s all about the portfolio allocation principles that we have and the rules that we follow to make sure we avoid the downside,” Salim comments. “Once you have decided which 10 to 12 assets you want to hold, you can use DeFi tools to juice up the returns with a long term mindset. When the market is going red, you can add some delta-neutral strategies and more elaborate strategies on top.”

The founders draw a parallel from the TradFi world to the current DeFi space, where concepts such as restaking and liquid restaking echo the derivatives ideology from traditional finance. They highlight that this transition represents a broader shift, with all the innovation from TradFi moving to DeFi, where everything can be tokenized.

“While TradFi currently holds more capabilities due to decades of development, DeFi is quickly catching up, particularly with finance experts joining the pace. This space needs real finance people to jump ship and help the devs,» Tan asserts, highlighting the need for collaboration between financial and technical expertise.

This union is embodied in the Decentralized Masters team, with Salim’s engineering prowess and Tan’s finance acumen driving the platform’s growth. The project is poised to expand further, led by its dedication to education, innovation, and community building. Decentralized Masters’ vision reflects the evolving crypto space, as they merge the old and new financial worlds, offering nuanced insights and strategies.


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