What did you do during lockdown? It’s a question you are bound to be asked at some point. If you say you spent the long, lonely days refining your gaming skills, then you are in the majority; but there are some people who got a little more creative.
In late March 2020, Adam Carlton had just started a new position with national digital services firm West Monroe. As a senior manager focused on assisting clients with their data engineering and analytics, he anticipated a busy travel schedule. Before he got through his first week on the job, however, his hometown of Chicago went on lockdown.
“I fully expected when I joined West Monroe that I would be traveling every week to clients,” Adam remembers, “but suddenly, there I was in my apartment with a whole lot of time on my hands in the evening.”
Adam used some of that time to get reacquainted with the world of cryptocurrency, which was a topic that he had explored in its early days and kept tabs on throughout the years. What he found inspired him to dive back in.
“It was really kind of a hobby at the time,” he explains. “I was doing a little day trading, looking at all of the new tokens, and educating myself on what was new in the crypto space. It seemed clear to me that crypto was maturing. Institutions were starting to buy in. When JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley have a crypto trading desk, you know it’s not going anywhere.”
As Adam began connecting with other crypto enthusiasts to talk about assets and trading strategies, he made some connections that led him in a different direction. Rather than just continuing to trade crypto, they decided to launch their own token. Thus, the plan for Pink Panda was born.
Adam says he spent about six weeks conceptualizing what the coin could be before launching in May 2021.
“The digital assets space moves very quickly,” Adam says. “Our approach was to dig into what we know, what we are good at, what we think will do well, and shape it from there. To me, the key is to identify a niche and delight the customers.”
When asked what factors came together to help Pink Panda to truly take off, Adam points to successfully recruiting some key players to the team.
“We had some incredibly strong people come aboard,” he says. “Our senior advisor on the compliance side is the former CCO at PayPal. We also brought on a world-class mobile app developer, and we just added an amazing CMO. The combination of business thinking, compliance expertise, and outstanding tech empowered us to bring a really successful product to market.”
Because Pink Panda was born in lockdown, connecting remotely initially was the only option for Adam and his team. As operations have grown, Adam reports that the remote model has continued to be surprisingly successful.
“I meet early in the morning with my exchange architect who is in Hong Kong, late morning in the UK, and then in the evening I meet with my West Coast collaborators,” Adam explains. “You need to be flexible to handle the remote setup, but honestly, it actually has worked out really well.”
When 2022 rolled around, it became clear to Adam that Pink Panda had evolved beyond a hobby.
“It was tons of nights and weekend work developing the platform and adding to the team,” Adam explains. “Then, at the beginning of 2022, it all started to come together in a very elegant way. I could see that we had something real and I realized I could not keep doing both. So, I decided to exclusively devote my time to Pink Panda and left my position at West Monroe in March.”
Now, Adam serves as the CEO of Pink Panda. His days are spent building the relationships, technology, and reputation that will allow the Pink Panda platform to continue to grow. Often, that means engaging with the community that is growing around the Pink Panda movement.
“Building trust with your community means communicating with them,” Adam says. “I basically have an open inbox. If anyone messages me, I’m going to reply to them. I want to be very engaged with our community, because I’m also a member of that community.”
The Pink Panda application will be coming to the App Store in a few weeks as a fully functioning public beta. Pink Panda also just kicked off a round of pre-seed funding, which Adam believes will contribute to growing the token’s user-base.
Another project underway has Pink Panda working with Lootverse, a decentralized fantasy parallel world built from NFTs. Pink Panda will be leveraging its expertise with crypto to develop a user-friendly payment integration platform to allow users to get crypto — both within and outside of the metaverse.
Visit the Pink Panda website, and the unique aspects of the token are quickly evident — it provides utility, its onramp is easy, and its interface is beautiful. Overall, Pink Panda is committed to helping anyone to access digital assets with ease.
Another thing you will notice on the Pink Panda website is its commitment to give back, with the color pink providing a clue as to one of the key causes it supports.
“I lost my best friend to cancer when he was 30, and I lost my mother to cancer a few years ago,” Adam shares. “Seeing Pink Panda support cancer charities was a driving factor for me, so we have secured a portion of the token’s treasury to donate to charities.”
Adam also believes that the Pink Panda project and other decentralized assets have the potential to be life-changing for unbanked — and underbanked — people in underserved communities.
“Getting access to the DeFi and NFT ecosystem is incredibly difficult for your average person,” Adam says. “But if I can get access to it, and we can automate it and create a mobile interface for it that is very user-friendly and very educational, then anyone can get at it. To me, that’s the biggest game changer and something that we want to see go global. We want to think big on this.”