Blog Article

Founder Journeys: Thomaz Texeira, Co-founder & CEO of nTokens


Caroline Young

Publishing date

Founder journeys


Many of the innovations taking place on blockchain are built by people looking to address problems that have long persisted in communities they care about. Our Founder Journeys explore these brilliant minds building real-world solutions on blockchain, specifically Stellar.

The third subject of the Founder Stories is Thomaz Texeira. Hailing from an extensive background working in financial markets, Thomaz serves as co-Founder and CEO of nTokens, a fintech company and anchor on the Stellar network. nTokens issues stablecoins such as the Brazilian Real and runs a secondary market for tokenized securities in Brazil, helping innovative businesses access financial markets via crypto and blockchain.

Dive into Thomaz’ founder journey and why he believes bridging fiat economies to digital economies will lead to global empowerment. Read on!

Caroline: Where do you think the future of finance and technology is headed?

Thomaz: It's getting more global, no doubt about it, with more power to the people. Users should have more say in how their data, assets, and personal information are dealt with from a privacy standpoint. A big role of that will be played by not only blockchain, but lots of other developing technologies.

In that sense, crypto is more a social phenomenon than just a technology.

Could you describe in more detail what you mean by crypto as a social phenomenon?

Yes. The technology that allows people to interact directly in the same global protocol of finance, payments, and transfer of assets is very empowering because, in a way, it’s similar to what happened with social media, YouTube, and the internet.

Many people are able to directly develop and deploy financial solutions that help those across diverse geographies, not just locally. Local solutions can evolve into global proportions. This is something that is clearly not possible without or before crypto. Therefore, this role is going to be very important.

When did you decide that you wanted to work with blockchain and crypto?

Satoshi (Nakamoto's) white paper did a very nice job, but honestly it was more Vitalik’s whitepaper on Ethereum that got me thinking. Although smart contracts actually predates his whitepaper, reading it was when it really clicked. We can do very powerful things with this, and it’s right to do so.

When smart contracts are fully live on Stellar, what do you hope to build with that capability?

People will be able to build programmable types of money. That is very important because you can scale solutions as it is cheaper, more efficient and democratic by ways of access to finance. And these three things are so important because they’re what’s lacking in today's model.

What are three things you care about? And this can either be professionally or personally?

I care about my children and their future, that's for sure. I care about people acting with more integrity and being able to learn more from others.

And trees. Forests, plant phases, everything, all things related to trees.

Do you think blockchain and crypto will play a role in furthering the things that you care about?

Well, by first democratizing access to finance, they’ll help bring about a fair, more respectful, and more empowered population. And some of these blockchain-based applications can democratize or remove intermediaries concentrated in certain industries.

Maybe globalization's coming back a bit, and coming for good. More international protocols and a common platform for people to exchange value and give each other their fair share will be good.

What's your approach to building your team? What are the qualities that you look for in people who are looking to hire?

I'm very hard on values. So let's say a no scumbag policy, so you know this is something that is very serious.

We have to be with people with similar values and morals, but I'm very flexible on how to do that. People learn from different experiences, people do things differently, and this is something that's actually desired.

That being said, I try to work with, whether they’re reporting to me or not, people who can do at least some things much better than I can do. Maybe they're just more experienced, smarter, learn faster. or have other perspectives – but this is good. Not only for work, but someone who I can learn from is something that I value a lot. And it's always good to be with people you can learn from. This is important to forming a team.

Can you specify what these values are?

Transparency, integrity. It should be really the same, in terms of attitude and behavior at all times.

Integrity is not only about being true and upholding the same kind of values and ideals, but also about the small things - you know, if you want to help people, you should really help. No matter if you're in the middle of a football game or a work interview. It's really something about relying on people to do what they think is right.

People think different things are right, but each should do what they think they're right.

What's one topic besides blockchain that you wish that you could get deeper into?

<laugh> I try to get deeper into too many other interests, but botany – I'm trying to study more on how plants work.

So you have a garden?

I do garden a lot, but it’s not even gardening itself. I also go to the forest, parks, swamps, pastures, meadows, all that.

I can’t live without nature. Being around nature is good.

What is your biggest adrenaline boost? What gets you excited?

Outdoor sports. I like sports such as hiking, playing football, cycling. I love skiing and horseback riding.

That's awesome! I've never ridden a horse before.

Really? Yeah, you should. It can be a bit scary if you do it not as a child… <laugh> But you should. It's fun. Horses…

Are beautiful. They're much bigger than I imagined. Up close in person, I'm like, “Oh!”

No, it's nice. And one thing is that, even though you're controlling them, you're not really controlling them in the sense that you control a motorbike. You work together.

Who or what are the strongest influences in your life?

My parents, my partner, my children, I learn every day with them. It's really amazing. And the people I work with. Because when we're working with someone, you put effort towards the same goal. That's very enriching, a powerful learning experience. So they are important influences on me.


We’ve got some more Founder Journeys lined up for the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned! But while you’re waiting, you can check out Stellar’s vibrant ecosystem of projects and partners here.

And if you’re itching for more video content, you can catch Thomaz’s interview and other entrepreneur and developer-related content here.