Tristan D’Agosta was a music composer and became the owner of a cryptoasset exchange Poloniex which was one of the first exchanges to list Ethereum in 2016.

Let’s talk about 15 things you did not know about Tristan and his exchange Poloniex and how they overcame the obstacles faced.


Tristan grew up in a small fishing village Jonesport, Maine. His interests vary from astronomy to piano to computer science. He completed his BA in Music from Rutgers University in 2009.

2.Camera shy

Tristan is camera shy and shirks the limelight. You will hardly find any interview of him with any media agency. He has a minimal social media presence. His LinkedIn page has more about his musical career than his role leading the cryptocurrency exchange.

3.Career prior to starting his own company

Tristan was a musician and a freelance composer. He has written poems and stories which have appeared in hoi polloi, Poesia, Barnwood Magazine, Cause & Effect, Pocket Change, and others. He has also been an editor of Fur Elise- easy Piano Flute Duet, Canon in D- Pachelbel. He also released an album Nessun Dorma.

4.Inspiration for Polonius Sheet Music

Tristan founded Polonius Sheet Music in June, 2010. This company came into existence because of the frustration Tristan felt when the classical scored printed in books would not stay open on the piano. He thought of a solution and came up with the idea of spiral bound versions of sheet music for convenience. Gradually he started with new engravings and arrangements of works as he felt there was lack of decent editions of full scored on the market for musicians.


Poloniex is a Boston based cryptocurrency exchange which is run by Tristan and was founded by him in January 2014. It was the first exchange to reach $1 billion in daily trading volume. Poloniex has a strong basket of more than seventy high-volume currencies. It offers a secure trading environment by providing charts and data analysis tools to their users. They have 98 trading pairs.

6.Executive officer of Ophelix

Tristan is an Executive Officer of Ophelix, Inc. it is a site which lets users promote their music and engage their fans by emailing and social messaging. Artists can distribute their tracks to major digital platforms or can sell directly to fans.


Cointelegragh lists the hack of Poloniex as one of the biggest crypto exchange hacks in the history.

In May 2017, Poloniex was hacked; Tristan revealed that it reduced the company funds by 12.3 percent. A hacker found vulnerability in the code and took undue advantage. If at the same time several withdrawals took place they were processed at the same time, which caused the balance to go negative. But, the transactions in the database were considered valid.

After encountering unusual activity the security system froze the BTC.

Tristan understood the crucial point which led to the hack.

8.Poloneix hack management

Tristan and his company got to know that if the withdrawals were processed in the line rather than concurrently, they could have avoided the hack. After the hack the company worked on making the system process withdrawals sequentially.

So that the activity on the website was not stopped the balances of all existing users were reduced by 12.3%. Tristan made a promise of recovering the customers fund and to do this he increased transaction fees by 1.5% with the help of this increased fee the lost funds were paid back soon and Poloniex continued to stay on track thus saving its reputation.

 9.An open letter

Tristan wrote an open letter to exchange users. He stated that from May 2015, some terms for withdrawal would be applied such as that the user would be required to provide his name and country for withdrawals. Different amount of withdrawal had different condition. He said these were just measures to protect their company and the users from potential criminal activity that could result in shutdown of their services.

The change in their withdrawal policies had a negative impact on some users and he felt bad that the work done by the team to bring Margin Trading to the altcoin community was overshadowed. He ended the letter on a positive note saying that he felt encouraged seeing the growth of Margin Trading activity in a short span of time and was excited to be a part of the new era of alt trading.



Tristan sold Poloniex to Circle Financial Internet Ltd in a deal worth more than $400 million in February26, 2018. Circle Financial Internet Ltd is a mobile payments company backed by Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs. Their aim was to let Poloniex customers conduct fiat currency transactions and grow the Poloniex platform into more than a crypto-only exchange.

11.Poloneix KYC

In May 2018, customers were left confused when they got a mail asking them to verify their accounts within 14 days else the unverified accounts would be frozen.

Some users verified their account by confirming their identity and they received notifications from Poloniex assuring them that they could continue trading. But even after this their account remained blocked.

Poloniex received a lot of complaints in this regard but there was no response from their side.

12.Ignoring consumer complaints landed Poloniex in trouble.

Cointelegraph received an email on 25th July 2018 which stated that the Investor Protection Unit (IPU) of the Delaware Department of Justice’s (DOJ) had shown interest in Poloniex. The Chief Special Investigator, Craig Weldon of the IPU had written to more than 100 users to contact him in case they faced any difficulties with their Poloniex account.

The Public Information Officer of DOJ confirmed they had contacted Delaware based investors and they had got to know about them from their research. A number of cryptocurrency investors had contacted their agency which made the agency to start an open investigation.


13.Poloneix Trollbox

Trollbox is a live user chat. Poloniex had stopped its trollbox in 2017. Poloniex’s Trollbox was the original forum for traders where they could talk about crypto.

But in June 2019, Poloniex started its Trollbox again, as it is an essential tool through which the traders can communicate.

14. Fortune magazine

Tristan was ranked no 28 by fortune magazine in their 40 under 40 lists. It was Fortune magazine that gave the news of Poloniex being bought by fintech startup Circle in a deal valued at $400 million.

15. Poloniex allows fiat to crypto trading

On July 9, 2019 Poloniex announced that it had started offering fiat-to-crypto trading and that the customers could now deposit and withdraw funds using bank  accounts , and could make purchases of crypto assets trading on Polonie using debit as well as credit cards. Before this the platform only operated in crypto.