Worried about keeping your crypto and NFTs safe? Upstream can help

We catch up with CEO Alex Taub to get the lowdown on Vault DAO

By Riley Kaminer

It’s every crypto hodler’s nightmare. You click an unsuspecting link in one of your many discord chats. And voila: your wallet is wiped clean.

Alexander Taub, no-code DAO platform Upstream’s co-founder and CEO, is acutely aware of how one misfortunate swipe of the finger can make your wallet go poof. He has been in the crypto game for longer than most. Taub worked with Upstream co-founder Michael Schonfeld at crypto payment network Dwolla in 2012, when a Bitcoin cost around $5.

“I had all these NFTs, and I was nervous that I would click on a bad link and lose them all,” Taub told Refresh Miami. Then he realized DAOs could fix that.

Think of DAOs as a shared wallet where owners vote to make decisions. Typically, multiple people purchase tokens to acquire a percentage stake in the DAO. The key here is that any decision requires multiple parties to sign the (digital) dotted line.

In the case of Vault DAO, Upstream’s solution, users create a multi-signature wallet with multiple parties that are all just you. Taub likened it to Rick and Morty, where the Council of Ricks is composed of versions of the same character from multiple dimensions.

“The idea here is it’s a bunch of us – from obviously the same dimension,” explained Taub. “And you get to vote on all the decisions from multiple different wallets. So if one wallet gets compromised, it just doesn’t compromise the entire vault.”

Upstream founder and CEO Alex Taub

It has just been a week since Upstream launched Vault DAO, but Taub reported that they are already seeing significant interest from the crypto community and are starting to onboard users.

Last November, Upstream began to focus on DAOs, creating the infrastructure necessary to more easily set up these decentralized autonomous organizations. Since then, the company has raised a $12.5 million Series A and expanded the team to 17 full-time employees. 

In a world where we spend an increasingly large amount of our life online, Taub asserts that doubling down on DAOs makes sense. “Why can’t DAOs be the LLC of the internet,” he said, drawing parallels between the common legal structure that facilitates business ownership across multiple parties.

Upstream is working to reduce the barriers to adopt DAOs. Taub likened the pre-Upstream options of creating a DAO to building a website in the 1990s: “You had to either have the technical skills and do it yourself, or pay someone a ton of money to do it for you.” Upstream’s tool enables non-technical crypto enthusiasts to more easily join and manage DAOs through their full-stack ‘DAO in a box’ tools.

This product continues to gain traction, with Taub signaling growth of 20% week over week. “The opportunity here is, can we become the OpenSea or the Coinbase for DAOs.”

Still, uncertainty abounds in the DAO space. They are currently unregulated – although it is possible to be legally and taxibly complaint while using one, and even create a parallel LLC structure to reduce liability.

For his part Taub, who relocated to South Florida from New York two years ago, is still bullish on #MiamiTech. “I still feel early NYC tech vibes, where there was great camaraderie among founders, with people helping each other out,” he said. 

“There are lots of exciting things to look forward to in the Miami tech world,” he continued, highlighting the rise of a few verticals in particular, including crypto, fintech, and healthtech.

Meet Alex Taub and the Upstream team at their end of summer celebration on Aug. 25.

Photo at top of post shows Upstream’s team.


Riley Kaminer