PODCAST

The DeFi Download

Radix DLT

“The DeFi Download” with Piers Ridyard, CEO of Radix DLT. Join the leaders of the Decentralised Finance industry as they discuss all things DeFi: Its workings, user acquisition and go-to-market strategies while simultaneously re-inventing one of the world’s most important industries.

Potion Finance revisited (NtropikaLabs): decentralising a codebase and launching derivatives.
Piers Ridyard is joined by Jordi and Guillem, the founders and CEO and CTO of Potion.Finance, in this episode of the DeFi Download. They talk about automated risk management, the Kelly criterion, and how an automated strategy can be embedded into the bonding curve. Potion.Finance is democratizing risk management. Potion safeguards the DeFi ecosystem from risk and ensures its sustainability. It is simple to access, open and transparent.In a previous DeFi Download episode, Piers spoke to Jordi and Guillem about Potion’s approach to risk management when it comes to things like options and derivatives and other similar things, and about the really interesting approach they have taken with the Kelly criterion, versus the traditional Black-Scholes model.[0:52] What is Potion Unlock and why should people care? What role and purpose will Potion fulfil after it's deployed, and how long will it last? [8:14] What can the code do, and what can we expect the first users to accomplish with the Potion protocol once it's up and running?[11:39] The Potion team has focused on the user experience by developing visualisation tools that can assist in decoding the complexities of selling option risk management. To illustrate, Piers and Guillem take us on a simple journey, beginning with someone wanting to purchase a put option on Bitcoin and describing both sides of the transaction, first the buyer journey and then the LP route, and how those two things look.[17:35] To represent positions, Uniswap v3 chose NFTs over ERC-20s. Why did Potion decide instead to use fungible tokens rather than non-fungible tokens to indicate a specific bet?[20:08] How do Jordi and Guillem envision the emergence of a secondary market? How will they go about establishing a tradable market for their community? [26:07] What is the obstacle that has prevented the Potion team from progressing so far?[28:05] Piers discusses two types of end states from the perspective of a liquidity provider. How is Potion performing in terms of liquidity, and how has the Kelly criterion aided in this situation?[39:44] What does a liquidity provider require, and how foolproof is the starting point?[44:50] What drives Jordi and Guillem to be Web3 developers and founders, and specifically to build Potion?Further resourcesWebsite: https://www.ntropika.io/ Twitter: @PotionLabs@NtropikaLabsDiscord: discord.ntropika.io Medium: https://potion-protocol.medium.com/
2d ago
52 mins
SupraOracles: the hard problem of getting fast, trustworthy data on ledger
In this episode of the DeFi Download, Piers Ridyard interviews Josh Tobkin, CEO of SupraOracles. SupraOracles is supercharging oracles for a better, decentralised future by building better, faster, more accurate, and more secure on-chain sources of off-chain data.Josh's background in supply chains and start-ups, as well as his blockchain research, prompted him to speculate on how to make it possible to securely get external data on-chain. As a result, Josh and his team devised a novel cross-chain interoperability approach that is both secure (using innovative cryptography) and fast (with a finality time of 3-5 seconds). [0:46] Background on SupraOracles and what Josh believes was the missing market gap that inspired them to build what they are building. [4:08] Josh explains how SupraOracles would solve a couple of exploits that occurred during the early days of DeFi summer.[8:46] Piers’ first example of betting on the future price of Bitcoin and how SupraOracles would solve the issue of a faulty data source[14:19] Is SupraOracles performing all of the integration point calculations and then pushing the aggregated data to the ledger?[16:10] How does data get from an off-ledger state to an on-ledger state if anyone can submit it?[17:22] Do you have to be integrated into all of the data sources or a subset of the data sources to run a SupraOracles node?[20:04] How does the SupraOracles network's consensus-based answer get from SupraOracles to another network?[24:13] Piers' second example of Ethereum cross-chain communication and how the SupraOracles node network is aware of Ethereum events. How is data transferred from the SupraOracles network to Ethereum?[28:58] Who is responsible for paying the transaction fee? [31:47] Oracles frequently appear to suffer from the tragedy of the commons, as once data is on-ledger, anyone can access and use it. But who pays for that data to be on Ledger in the first place? How does Josh see this changing over time, as it shifts from one interested party to many interested parties paying for data?[35:25] How can nodes collectively report incorrect information without malicious intent? In what way does SupraOracles prevent that?[38:18] In the event of a flash loan attack/on-ledger oracle manipulation, how can SupraOracles help?Further resourcesWebsite: supraoracles.com Twitter: @SupraOracles Discord: discord.io/supraoracles
May 13 2022
47 mins
RedFoo - from Party Rock Anthems to falling in love with coding. An epic ongoing journey!
Piers Ridyard interviews Redfoo, a multi-award-winning artist best known for being a member of the musical duo LMFAO, in this episode of the DeFi Download. In this interview, Redfoo dissects his journey into coding, his passion for programming, the crypto, blockchain, and DeFi space, and building with Radix and Scrypto. In the middle of June 2022, Redfoo will host a three-day hackathon at his home in Malibu, California. Four lucky members of the Radix Developer community will team up to create something remarkable using Scrypto, the Radix engine, Redfoo's chess engine, and expand it to create something truly unique. [2:22] How did Redfoo transition from musician to coder? [7:55] The thrilling early days of computing[12:39] The origin of the artist's name “Redfoo”[15:13] Redfoo describes his dream about binary numbers [16:47] Redfoo’s Twitter application[19:58] How did Redfoo learn about crypto?[24:37] Redfoo talks about his love of chess[28:15] How many people does Redfoo expect to inspire through the hackathon? What does he anticipate the consequence of people seeing his interest in coding will be? [33:57] What does Redfoo have to say to people who feel intimidated by coding?[38:39] A condition of childish curiosity, a state of play that helps you to discover your calling, is the starting point for success.[41:26] How Redfoo got a writing credit on a Kendrick Lamar album[42:28] What makes Redfoo believe that unless you learn to code, you will be left behind in the future?[47:32] What will the DeFi revolution's impact be?Further resources:Twitter: @redfoo Legendary Musician RedFoo Teams Up with Radix to Host “FooHack”Red-Foo & Dre' Kroon - Life Is a Game of Chess (Original Version) (Jungle 1996)
May 9 2022
52 mins
Celsius - $23Bn and more Bitcoin than Michael Saylor
In this episode of the DeFi Download, Piers Ridyard interviews Alex Mashinsky, co-founder and CEO of Celsius. Alex shares his vision for Celsius, as well as his passion for value creation and giving back to the people who couldn’t make it.Celsius is a yield and loan platform that allows users to earn interest on their crypto assets as well as receive a loan in one click. Celsius has had an incredible five-year run, with $23 billion in assets under management, including 2 million ETH and over 250,000 Bitcoin, more than Michael Saylor and a number of the Bitcoin community's champions, and they've just raised an incredible $700 million. Celsius currently employs over 850 people and has paid out over a billion dollars in yield to its community. Alex's backstory is fascinating. He was born in Ukraine and immigrated to the United States in his early twenties, where he built four tech unicorns worth over a billion dollars and invented Voice over IP at the dawn of the internet. [1:10] Alex talks about the four unicorn companies he founded.[5:26] From Voice over IP to internet access to giving people yield, why does Alex Mashinsky care so much about disintermediation?[9:27] Is the crypto world adopting Wall Street's worst habits? Insiders are said to make the most money in crypto, illustrated by the phrase "If you don't know where the yield is coming from, you're the yield." According to Alex, what are these bad habits?[12:10] What drives Alex to do the things he does?[14:51] What accounts for the high yield Celsius generates?[19:52] In the early days of the Internet, AOL was a walled garden focused on user experience. Then came the Netscape Navigator moment, when the internet suddenly became usable, and we quickly transitioned from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0. Instead of a curated garden, people desired an open platform where they could go and use whatever the internet had to offer anywhere in the world. How is Celsius not like AOL, based on this fact?[24:01] Is Alex considering Celsius to be an entire crypto universe? Or does he see it as a starting point for people to learn what it means to own and use cryptocurrency?[26:41] How does the Celsius team think about strategy, customer acquisition, and growth in the industry of yield-based products, given the growing competition from companies like Nexo and Coinbase Institutional? [28:50] Equality of opportunity, one of the key aspects of crypto and DeFi[30:57] CelsiusX: access the rest of DeFi via the Celsius platform[33:55] Celsius's strategy for preventing hacks and mitigating financial risk[39:14] From the perspective of regulatory risk, a single institution is a single point of failure, and the industry is currently unsure how the regulator will view crypto assets and the kinds of things that Celsius is doing. What is Alex's and his team's take on regulatory risk and how they can mitigate it as a company while still providing service to their customers?Further resourcesWebsite: celsius.network Twitter: @CelsiusNetworkAlex Mashinsky Twitter: @Mashinsky Celsius Community TelegramCelsius AMA Archive on YouTube
Apr 29 2022
43 mins
Patrick Hansen - why the EU should embrace crypto, and what is getting in the way.
Piers Ridyard interviews Patrick Hansen, Head of Strategy & Business Development at Unstoppable Finance, the wallet that aims to bring DeFi to the masses, in this episode of the DeFi Download. Patrick analyses why the EU should fully embrace crypto and Web3, as well as the current regulatory environment, which is stifling progress. The Unstoppable Finance team is developing a DeFi investing app, attempting to natively integrate DeFi applications into a mobile app that is extremely simple to use, allowing people to experiment with various protocols and applications. They're currently working on their first product, which they hope to launch in two months. Patrick has previously been heavily involved in crypto policy, particularly EU crypto policy, and has been a vocal advocate for reversing, or at the very least providing strong advice on, Europe's current course, and what he refers to as Europe’s "third way." [1:01] Where did the concept of Europe's “third way” originate, and where does Patrick see Europe's problems arising?[3:14] The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) empowers users to control their data, regardless of where it is stored. Users have the right to ask a company what information they have on them and to request that they delete that information if they no longer want them to have it. As a result, businesses' perspectives on data are shifting. They face significant liability if they do not exercise extreme caution when handling user data. What role does crypto play in this principle? To put it another way, how does crypto fit into the larger concept of user sovereignty?[7:10] There may be a separation between object ownership and metadata. As a result, there is a great deal of personal information on ledger. How does Patrick perceive the relationship between GDPR and publicly accessible on-ledger, on-chain data that cannot be deleted?[10:12] In light of anti-money laundering regulations, VASP rules, and travel rules, the crypto world convinced regulators that chain analytics is beneficial. However, chain analytics provides more user data than the banking system requires. What are Patrick’s thoughts on privacy, privacy coins, and privacy regulation? Is he convinced that they have a place in the EU?[17:09] Patrick discusses how he thinks European anti-money laundering regulations should be applied to cryptocurrency.[18:05] What necessitates the exchange of information between two financial institutions? What harm are they trying to avoid, and where is the evidence that information sharing truly prevents it?[25:01] Is the European Union anti-crypto? What arguments could persuade the European Union to reconsider its stance on cryptocurrency regulation?[28:05] Patrick delves deeper into why the EU should go all-in on cryptocurrency from an economic and financial standpoint.[31:25] Is the decline in European companies' equity share over the last 20 years due to a regulatory environment that has rendered Europe uncompetitive?[33:04] Patrick responds to Piers' argument that if Europe is serious about crypto, it needs to go beyond parity and become more aggressive, as well as to return to the question of what we are attempting to prevent and how we can actually prevent it.[38:02] Regulatory guidelines are frequently unclear. The 5th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AML5D) serves as an example.[40:05] A brief overview of the work of Unstoppable FinanceFurther resourcesWebsite: unstoppable.fiPatrick’s Twitter: @paddi_hansenUnstoppable Finance Twitter: @UnstoppableDeFi
Apr 22 2022
41 mins
Digivault - institutionals are getting serious about crypto
Digivault - institutionals are getting serious about cryptoWith Robert Cooper, CEO of DigivaultIn this episode of the DeFi Download, Piers Ridyard interviews Robert Cooper, CEO of Digivault. Their conversation covers institutional digital asset custody, private key multi-layer security, and the current interest institutions have in crypto.Digivault is a back-end service that the average cryptocurrency user is unlikely to be aware of. Most crypto users are familiar with the Ledger Nano, a hardware security device that can be plugged into a computer and provides a higher level of security than simply using a software wallet on a phone or computer by theoretically making it impossible to extract the key from the device. Digivault is a custodian of digital assets for institutions. It provides a fully customizable digital asset custody service, a white-glove service that focuses on ensuring security through multiple layers of protection and satisfies the most stringent institutional and regulatory requirements.[00:43] What does institutional custody entail? How does it create the secure environment that people have come to expect from a Ledger Nano device?[03:26] What is the Digivault private key generation process like, and why is it secure? [05:06] Information on hardware security modules (HSMs), which are the basis for the Ledger Nano.[08:49] The main challenge in making HSMs work with crypto is that each cryptocurrency and public ledger has its own key derivation process, and each ledger has its own way of passing a transaction into the device, having the device sign it, returning the signed package, and then submitting it to the network. So, how did Digivault evolve from basic hardware security modules to something that could interact with a public ledger either directly or indirectly?[12:32] What factors influenced Digivault's decision to use HSM, and how did they weigh the benefits and drawbacks of HSM versus MPC (multi-party computation)?[16:12] Care, control, and custody of the private key are the three most important factors for insurance brokers.[21:31] User experience advances are vital, and in the early days of crypto, people lost billions of dollars worth of Bitcoin due to poor secret management. What does the Digivault team see as the shift in the crypto user base and what does that mean for the institutional custody business in terms of institutional custody and the concept of a corporation owning a private key?[24:58] Robert discusses the Bitfinex recovery in detail. [27:02] Conflicts with the GDPR and the FATF travel rule, as well as privacy and non-privacy coins[36:13] What is Robert's assessment of the increase in institutional interest in crypto?[38:26] The regulatory challenge that arises as a result of the crypto industry recruiting and removing talent from the regulator spaceFurther resourcesWebsite: digivault.comTwitter: @DigivaultGlobalRobert’s email: robert.c@digivault.com
Apr 15 2022
45 mins
DeFi Plaza - The cost of gas is too damn high! Engineering better DEXs.
In this episode of the DeFi Download, Piers Ridyard interviews Jazzer, the founder of DeFi Plaza. Jazzer discusses his path to developing DeFi Plaza, his engagement with Radix, and his efforts to create a highly optimised DEX with the lowest gas costs per trade.DeFi Plaza is an Ethereum-based decentralised exchange that is 50 to 65 per cent cheaper to trade on than Uniswap and other similar DEXs. DeFi Plaza will also be deploying their DEX on Radix. [0:58] Jazzer's history and involvement with Radix, beginning as a forum moderator and Dan's assistant, and progressing to become one of the top validators on the Radix Network and an important member of the Radix community.[3:52] How to become a Top Validator and Jazzer's validator success secret sauce [5:42] Jazzer’s journey to realising he wanted to create DeFi Plaza and how DeFi Plaza accomplishes what it does[7:09] The three factors that influence the cost of Ethereum transactions [10:16] What aspects contribute to the cost of a transaction? [13:03] Two examples of how much gas each operation costs[21:59] Building a DeFi application is more than just an engineering problem; it also requires marketing and community building, as well as integration with the rest of the DeFi ecosystem. What has Jazzer learned so far on his journey? And where exactly is he on this journey?[24:11] The significance of genuine community building and marketing based on participation, involvement, and ownership[27:11] The importance of a good UX/UI[30:40] Jazzer discusses his experience of building with Solidity.[39:11] Jazzer talks about his building experience using Scrypto.Further resourcesWebsite: https://defiplaza.net/ Telegram: https://t.me/defiplazaTwitter: @DefiPlazaJazzer’s Twitter: @Jazzer9F
Apr 2 2022
44 mins
Fetch.ai: train AI to avoid rugpulls! Democratising AI's predictive power in complex systems.
In this episode of the DeFi Download, Piers Ridyard interviews Humayun Sheikh, co-founder, and CEO of Fetch.ai. They discuss the role of Fetch.ai in democratizing AI, as well as machine learning and automation tools in blockchain and DeFi platforms.Fetch.ai is an artificial intelligence and machine learning based blockchain platform populated with intelligent digital twins, who learn and deliver solutions that aid decision-making. Originally based on Ethereum, Fetch.ai quickly shifted to Cosmos while retaining its interoperability as an interchain protocol. Fetch.ai, as a decentralized and open platform, intends to foster innovative ideas from the mobility, infrastructure, and energy sectors to develop inclusive and immersive multimodal systems powered by Autonomous Agents. With a background as a founding investor in DeepMind, Humayun Sheikh is enthusiastic about the future of the distributed economy. [0:49] How was Humayun’s experience with the launch of Fetch.ai in 2017-2018?[1:54] What was the platform's original vision? How has it evolved over time to become what it is today?[6:03] What exactly does the term "democratizing AI" mean?[7:38] What are some instances of questions that a machine learning algorithm might be asked in the open data environment of a public ledger? What is the difference between an individual attempting to design a model that produces strong predictive outcomes and using something like Fetch.ai, which simplifies these challenging tasks and allows individuals to have democratized access to these systems in the first place?[14:39] What role might blockchain play in AI automation?[19:56] Data storage on IPFS, data verification processes, and model upgrading rules[22:20] An example of a user who utilizes Fetch.ai to withdraw liquidity from a liquidity pool when a model predicts a rug pull.[26:26] The Fetch.ai token (FET) and the kind of projects Fetch.ai seeks to join their ecosystem[28:58] How does Fetch.ai plan to bootstrap the marketplace? What are their thoughts on matching consumers willing to pay for outcome predictions with experts who know how to build predictive models? How does the Fetch team extrapolate what the market currently requires and then decide which models to bootstrap first?[33:34] The current state of the Fetch.ai framework, as well as the agents that can be deployed at this time[34:58] Upcoming Fetch.io projects: ecosystem funding for projects, hackathons, and Cosmos IBC integration Further resourcesWebsite: fetch.ai/ Discord: discord.com/invite/yypdAsRPYm Telegram: t.me/fetch_ai YouTube: youtube.com/fetchai
Mar 18 2022
38 mins
Boto: Making Web3.0 and crypto bots that anyone can use, not just the pros.
In this episode of the DeFi Download, Piers Ridyard interviews Breno, founder of Boto, a platform for building bot-based automations for both developers and non-developers in DeFi and Web3.Boto's goal is to democratise bots by establishing a community in which both developers and non-developers can create and share automation. To accomplish this, the platform is a simple drag-and-drop block-based one, with no code required to build the automation logic. [0:37] The field of bot-based automations interests many people in the crypto space. Bots, on the other hand, are a persistent source of dissatisfaction. So, how does Boto make bots more accessible?[2:59] Boto's current usage on platforms such as Discord and Orange DAO, as well as the primary use case for which people are currently using Boto[4:28] An example of Boto's automation capabilities[8:42] What are the areas in which the Boto team has seen the most growth? How do they categorise their customer base with NFT monitoring and DeFi arbitration having such dissimilar customer groups?[10:02] How far does Breno believe bots will pervade everyday life? Automation, as well as the concepts of automation software and bots, have been around for quite some time. Is this something that more people are going to incorporate into their daily lives? Or will this remain a relatively niche market, appealing to a specific type of person or person with a specific problem set?[12:18] What sets Boto apart from products like Zapier and IFTTT?[14:08] In his wildest dreams or visions of what the Boto platform can do, what is the nature of problems and the most difficult automation problems that Breno would like to be able to solve with Boto?[16:59] What are some of the tasks that Breno is currently automating with Boto? What are some of the things he can't use it for that frustrate him and make him eager to work on next?[19:52] Boto’s $3.7 million raise during seed funding[21:04] Breno expresses his enthusiasm for building with the team, developing the community site, empowering its users by providing them with the necessary tools, and witnessing the many interesting things people create with the platform and share with one another.[26:09] The example of Typeform and the importance of automation — Boto’s core philosophy of making automation accessible to everyone, and the challenges that entails[28:38] Breno and Piers discuss Ray Dalio’s book Principles and how the system of rules he shares in it can be applied to automation logic.Further resourcesWebsite: boto.io Twitter: @useboto Discord: discord.gg/CDdCPburm5
Mar 11 2022
38 mins
Lisk: a multi-year journey through the early layer 1 wars and the lessons learnt.
Lisk: a multi-year journey through the early layer 1 wars and the lessons learnt.With Max Kordek, CEO & Co-Founder of LiskIn this episode of the DeFi Download, Piers Ridyard interviews Max Kordek, co-founder of Lisk. Lisk, a blockchain application platform founded in 2016, is a decentralised public Layer-1 that aims to make blockchain technology more accessible by creating a world in which everyone benefits from it.Max Kordek noticed the immense potential of blockchain technology when he first learned about it in 2012. After building his first miner, Max became involved with a variety of communities, ranging from decentralised to more centrally organised. During that time, he discovered that even a cryptocurrency, in its early stages, requires an entity to simply push the project forward to marketing and centrally organise it so that it can lead to something. In 2016, Max alongside Oliver Beddow co-founded Lisk, a platform for JavaScript-based blockchain applications headquartered in Zug, Switzerland. Later that year, after Lisk's ICO raised over 14,000 BTC, Max founded Lightcurve, a prominent blockchain development studio based in Berlin. Max was previously the community manager of Crypti, from which Lisk was forked. He also formerly served as CEO of the Nxt Organisation.[0:49] What was Max doing before founding Lisk, how did he become interested in cryptocurrency, and what prompted him to found Lisk? What was it like in the early months of Lisk's existence?[4:21] What was it about spending time in decentralised communities in the pre-Ethereum era that made Max realise that some sort of organising entity would be a good idea? When did he first realise that a platform like Lisk could exist?[9:08] What was Crypti’s purpose?[10:04] What was the founding ethos and vision of Lisk?[13:42] What was the process of going from "We're going to raise money" to "We've raised money," and how much money did Lisk raise after launching, putting up their first website, and deciding to do an ICO? What is Max's most vivid recollection of this period?[20:52] Lisk uses JavaScript, just like Crypti, from which it was forked. What was the impetus for using JavaScript in the first place? What did they have to do to make it work?[24:32] Between 2016 and 2017, the Lisk team worked to rewrite the codebase to make it compatible with their vision. What was going on in the community at the time? How did the Lisk community come to be? Who were the founding members, and how did they expand the community?[27:20] What were the hard lessons Max felt he learned at that point as someone who had dealt with the challenges of community management?[34:04] What has Lisk changed about the way they run their team to help create a buffer while maintaining visibility in the community and to help their team be mentally tough when faced with challenges?[38:16] What is the current size of Lisk, and what was it previously? [39:23] What mistakes did they make when forming and scaling the team, and what are they doing now to avoid them?[43:16] What are they doing differently this time around to scale the organisation than they did before?Further resourcesWebsite: Lisk Blockchain Application PlatformDiscord: lisk.chatLightcurve.io website: Blockchain development studio | LightcurveTwitter: @LiskHQ and @maxkordek
Feb 25 2022
48 mins
Metaversal - NFTs are much cooler than you think.
In this episode of the DeFi Download, Piers Ridyard and Yossi Hasson of Metaversal talk about NFTs representing the ownership layer of the metaverse, why not all NFTs are created equally, and Keanu Reeves and Mickey Mouse NFTs!In this episode of the DeFi Download, Piers Ridyard is joined by the founder of Metaversal, Yossi Hasson. Metaversal is an NFT curation company that raised $50 million in funding earlier this month (January 2022). They are a holding company that invests in and creates new NFTs through their venture studio. Influenced by Jake Brockman, founder of the crypto VC fund CoinFund, and the explosion of the NFT market with CryptoPunks, Yossi and his team launched a metaverse-focused fund. Today Metaversal has both an investment arm as well as a production studio arm.Metaversal has its own DAO, called MetaLetters, which is based on the model of Nouns DAO and aims to empower and support new emerging creators. Metaversal releases a new letter every day under a Creative Commons license. The winner of that auction becomes a member of the DAO, and the proceeds of that auction go to the letter's creator. In addition, the creator also joins the DAO and has a say in how that treasury is spent.[00:45] When and how did Metaversal get started? What sparked the idea, and how did it blossom into a $50 million Series A round of funding?[03:41] What does an NFT investor currently own, according to Yossi? What needs to change or mature, in his opinion, for NFTs to be considered serious asset classes?[10:22] Which among the three NFT examples, Bored Ape Yacht Club, CryptoPunks, or the Nouns DAO, does Yossi believe has the most effective approach? Is he of the opinion that a different path could be taken?[14:03] It is common for a brand to become a ferocious defender of itself as it grows in size. Anything that detracts from that, as in the case of Pepe the Frog, can harm the brand's value. How does one go about curating a brand's image? Is commercial licensing ultimately more valuable than an entirely open-source brand?[24:22] How can companies like Disney be persuaded to consider their intellectual property in a Metaversal way? What should they think about when it comes to entering the metaverse, correctly positioning themselves, forming a community, and so on?[29:05] What is the Metaversal DAO, MetaLetters, and how does it relate to the Metaversal venture studio?[31:35] In the crypto world, there is a lot of naivete when it comes to money. There's a widespread belief that the more money we throw at something, the better it will turn out. Whereas, in many cases, the initial issue is the dissemination of the fact that the event is occurring in the first place. With this in mind, how does Metaversal approach the creative community outreach aspect of things and how do they build a creative economy?[33:05] What exactly is a POAP? [36:58] How is Metaversal putting the funds they have raised to good use?[38:36] Based on their NFT investments, what does Metaversal see as the main monetization path for the current batch of NFTs that can be purchased?Further resourcesWebsite: metaversal.gg Twitter: @HelloMetaversal Discord: discord.gg/t2aX56nx email: hello@metaversal.gg
Feb 11 2022
41 mins
Vega Protocol - getting serious about DeFi derivatives.
In this episode of the DeFi Download, Piers Ridyard interviews Barney Mannerings, co-founder of the Vega protocol. Vega is a protocol for creating and trading margin finance products on a fully decentralised network. Originally listed on CoinList last year, the Vega Protocol has raised over $45 million and currently has over 21,000 token holders. Barney worked in traditional finance before getting involved in cryptocurrency by mining Bitcoin and investing in the Ethereum presale. He quickly realised that Ethereum does not support derivatives or other types of trading seen in traditional finance. After co-founding Vega with Ramsey Khoury, the team spent a few weeks prototyping together, with Tendermint serving as the back end. They began to realise that it was possible to develop a trading system that could be used on a blockchain.[00:51] What exactly is the Vega Protocol, and what does it hope to achieve? [04:46] Barney’s wish list and what was on it[06:01] What exactly is parity, and what does it mean that the current suite of products lacks it?[08:01] The significance of capital efficiency[10:41] What does a decentralised finance application's capital adequacy look like, and what is its capacity?[14:17] What does the term "atomic closeout" mean? [20:13] Barney explains how they came to the decision to build their own blockchain, and what design decisions they made to address the speed problem, the front running problem, and the product parity and capital efficiency problems.[25:48] What is the difference between deploying a DEX on Vega and deploying one on Ethereum?[26:59] What is Wasm or WebAssembly, which has grown in popularity for layer-1 protocols?[28:59] What is the profile of the people Barney hopes will be building on Vega?[31:19] The challenges that new blockchains and layer-1s face, as well as the blurring of the terms “protocol” and “application”[35:20] Vega Protocol’s trustless bridge into the Ethereum ecosystem[36:16] The security profile of the Vega network and its underlying consensus, Tendermint, which employs an optimised practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (pBFT) algorithm[37:05] The number of validators used by Vega and how they plan to increase it[39:42] Wendy, a group of low overhead protocols that can implement different concepts of fairnessFurther resourcesWebsite: vega.xyz Twitter: @vegaprotocolDiscord: vega.xyz/discord
Jan 29 2022
45 mins
Harmony - creating massive social change through scaling and DAOs
Piers Ridyard interviews Samuel Harrison, Harmony ONE’s Head of Ecosystem Growth, in this episode of the DeFi Download. Solving the Blockchain Trilemma, radical social change through DAOs, and Harmony’s role in facilitating that through their ecosystem development fund are some of the topics of Piers’ and Sam’s discussion.Harmony is an EVM-compatible Layer 1 protocol with 2-second finality and transaction fees that are fractions of a penny.Harmony is the first blockchain to successfully implement shards on a functioning proof-of-stake network. It is also decentralized, secure, and scalable. Their ecosystem fund was unlocked in 2021, and they were able to deploy it, resulting in phenomenal growth and engagement.In 2022, Harmony will also be focusing on radical social change through Web3 ownership.[01:31] Harmony's inception and the problem the protocol was originally designed to solve[03:56] Is it possible to find a solution to the blockchain trilemma? If that's the case, how would Harmony go about accomplishing it?[10:26] What is Harmony doing to facilitate radical social change via Web3 ownership? In their view, where will the main source of radical social change come from?[12:39] Sam responds to Piers' counter-arguments about DAOs' ability to effect meaningful social change due to the capital-labour split – The qualitative difference between working in the gig economy and working for a DAO[22:55] What Harmony is doing in 2022 to support a radical social change movement that empowers people to take social responsibility for how they deploy their labour, capital, and are compensated[30:57] Harmony's favourite successful projects resulting from the ecosystem development fund[35:08] What defines Harmony’s position in the multi-chain universe: EVM compatibility, 2-second finality, half-penny transaction fees, and bridges to other protocols such as Binance, SmartChain, Ethereum and Bitcoin[40:16] Group identity vs tribalism and open-mindedness vs dogmatism in the crypto universeFurther resourcesWebsite: HarmonyForum: Harmony Community Forum  Twitter: @harmonyprotocol
Jan 21 2022
47 mins
DeFi savings with deposit insurance included. Plus a little something for the DeFi degens.
In this episode of the DeFi Download, Piers Ridyard interviews Hannes Graah, founder of the Gro Protocol. Their conversation focuses on the inner workings of Gro and its products, PWRD, Vault and Labs, and how they offer both leveraged yield as well as deposit security.Gro is a DeFi protocol that facilitates generating yield on stablecoins. Gro’s main product options are PWRD, a stablecoin with a substantial amount of collateral backing for protection, or Vault, which provides leveraged yield within the DeFi ecosystem. Vault is a token representation (Gro Vault Token or GVT) of stablecoin yield farming activities on the Gro Protocol. It is not a stablecoin itself. It is designed to be a long-term, high-yielding, high-risk investment that requires no upkeep from its holders.PWRD, on the other hand, is a low-risk savings product. It offers more secure access to DeFi yields, and it is tokenised as a stablecoin with built-in yield and protection via Risk Balancer. Risk Balancer gives Gro protocol a systemic view of protocol and stablecoin exposure and allows for decentralised and user-driven portfolio rebalancing.00:00 Intro0:49 What exactly is the Gro Protocol, and how does it work? Introduction to Gro Protocol’s products: Vault and PWRD2:38 The reasons behind the creation of the PWRD stablecoin5:06 Why would the leveraged product essentially pay for the lower risk products' coverage? More details about the mechanism of the leveraged product, the Vault7:40 The 3 main sources of yield for the Gro Protocol: Lending income (from lending protocols like Aave) Market making income (from AMMs such as Curve)Governance Token incentives10:52 Gro Protocol’s strategies of asset distribution and stablecoin yield11:45 How Gro Protocol employs tranches and the Risk Balancer module to protect against failure 18:38 What was the launch experience like for the Gro Protocol team? What is the APY, TVL, and utilisation of Gro?22:37 Labs: The recently launched Gro Protocol product on Avalanche with Alpha Homora v2, which provides advanced experimental leveraged yield farming strategies that are free of complexity33:24 The Gro governance, the Gro DAO, and the Gro DAO Token (GRO)37:49 The Gro DAO's recent decisions and what they've learned about governance as a result of this processFurther resources:Website: gro.xyz Discord: discord.gg/gro Twitter: @groprotocol Medium: groprotocol.medium.com ----------------Learn more about Radix:Website: https://www.radixdlt.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/RadixDLTTelegram: https://t.me/radix_dlt
Dec 17 2021
45 mins
Let's Debate: Is the future of DeFi single chain? Chad (THORChain) vs Piers (Radix DLT)
Today’s episode of the DeFi Download podcast is a little different. Instead of our customary interview, we are holding an informal debate. Joining Piers is Chad Barraford, core developer on the THORChain project. Chad's statements are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of the THORChain project or the THORChain community. Piers and Chad will take extreme stances on both sides of the argument throughout the debate. Piers will largely maintain that a single blockchain or public ledger is the only long-term potential for DeFi. Chad will make the case that multi-chain is the way of the future of DeFi. These will not always be the opinions of both speakers, but rather an opportunity for both sides of the topic to be heard and debated.[00:04] Introduction to the debate[02:17] Arguments in support of Piers' proposition that the future of DeFi is single chain[05:46] Arguments in support of Chad's thesis that the future of DeFi is multi-chain[09:55] Piers responds to Chad's arguments by refuting them and presenting more arguments in favour of DeFi's single chain future.[13:31] Chad's rebuttal to Piers' counter-arguments, as well as additional arguments in support of DeFi's multi-chain future[18:33] Piers uses the internet as an example to support his case for a single chain future.[20:26] Chad refutes Piers’ previous claim.[22:55] Piers temporarily switches sides and uses the analogy of countries to evaluate Chad's claims from the multi-chain perspective.[25:42] As a follow-up, Chad briefly adopts the opposing viewpoint and advocates for a single chain future.[27:51] Further discussion of the key roles that THORChain and Radix will play in the future of DeFi[34:05] Piers argues that the global financial system's purpose is to allocate capital efficiently, and DeFi delivers much-needed conveniences and efficiencies — eventually, multiple chains will be replaced by a single chain.[39:02] Chad is confident that the extinction of numerous blockchains is improbable.[44:37] Final thoughts on trustlessness and the futureFurther resources:Website: thorchain.org Twitter: @THORChain
Nov 26 2021
48 mins
Bancor: the original DeFi project on Ethereum
Bancor: the original DeFi project on EthereumWith Mark Richardson, Head of Research Piers Ridyard talks with Mark Richardson, the Bancor Protocol's Head of Research, in this episode of the DeFi Download. They dip into Bancor's history and innovations, its past controversies, and the source of its high yields. Bancor is the world's first decentralized trading protocol, allowing traders, liquidity providers, and developers to participate in an open market with no entry barriers. The use of the open-source Bancor protocol is not restricted.The Bancor protocol was created as a response to the low-interest rates offered by traditional bank products. Bancor users can invest their cryptocurrencies in this product and earn interest from market-making fees generated. Bancor is essentially a savings product that allows you to earn passive income from your capital. Due to the current state of DeFi, users can currently earn approximately 60% per year with the Bancor Network Token.[0:44] ELI5: What exactly is Bancor, and why should I care about it?[2:43] What kinds of assets can I invest in, and how much can I earn as a user on Bancor? [4:08] What is the source of the Bancor Network Token's (BNT) 60% interest rate?[15:14] What sets Bancor apart from Uniswap and SushiSwap as an automated market maker, and what gives Bancor its unique ability to provide only one side of the market?[19:39] How does Bancor protect against impermanent loss?[26:28] Bancor's history as one of the first DeFi projects, long before the term "DeFi" was coined[29:48] The definition of a ‘community currency’[33:00] Bancor’s innovations and role as a pioneer in the crypto space[42:01] The elegance of Uniswap V3[44:57] The weak points of Uniswap V3 and how Bancor approaches them in a different way[48:48] The upcoming release of Bancor V3Further resourcesApp: Bancor Network Twitter: @Bancor Telegram: Bancor Protocol  and Bancor Liquidity Providers Discord: discord.gg/CAm3Ncyrxk
Nov 12 2021
52 mins
DAOHaus: the borderless social movement of DAO governance
Join Piers Ridyard and Spencer Graham, Project Lead of DAOhaus, in this episode of the DeFi Download, to find out what a DAO is and how to summon one.Spencer Graham is the Project Lead of DAOhaus. DAOhaus is a community-owned and operated no-code platform for launching and operating Decentralized Autonomous Organizations. Its framework is based on the open-source code of Moloch.[0:42] What exactly is a DAO, and why is it important?[3:22] What distinguishes DAOs from previous entities such as collectives, partnerships, and unincorporated corporations that provide a sense of belonging and purpose to groups of people? What is the relationship between blockchain, distributed and public ledger technology, and this new type of organization and management?[7:06] Is the path to the formation of DAOs distinct from the path of human society from small villages to institutionalized power and the invention of representative and direct democracy? If so, how does it differ, and what role does the control of capital play in that difference?[10:59] What are the benefits of DAOs, and what are the drawbacks?[14:19] The ability of decentralized ledger technology to incentivize people to act in their own best interests.[16:02] DAOhaus: What does it mean to be a no-code platform for creating and administering DAOs, and why should it matter to you? The story behind The DAO and its hack.[19:01] Summoning Moloch DAO and the beginnings of the DeFi Summer[23:28] What function have Moloch DAOs served? Why would someone want to summon a Moloch DAO or a DAOhaus DAO? What are the benefits of a no-code way of creation for developers?[29:09] What exactly is a Safe Minion?[34:13] What is the Boosts Marketplace, and how does it work?[37:38] DAOhaus' perspective and strategy on NFTsFurther resourcesWebsite: daohaus.club Discord: discord.gg/daohausTwitter: @nowdaoit
Oct 29 2021
42 mins
BiFi: bridging all DeFi together, regardless where it lives
In this episode of the DeFi Download, Piers Ridyard and Dohyun Pak, delve into the details of Bifrost and BiFi, the multichain future of the blockchain space, and the role that DeFi can play in ensuring equal financial access for all.Bifrost is the world's first blockchain middleware that enables multichain technology. Bifrost’s motto is “Never settle for just one protocol. Always get the best of every protocol.”BiFi is a multichain lending protocol like Compound and Aave, but across multiple blockchains. It has over $111 million in assets under management.[0:57] How did Dohyun become interested in DeFi? What drew him into DeFi, and how did he progress from technical implementation to developing a DeFi product?[2:56] What was the turning point for Dohyun in realizing that the blockchain was something revolutionary, something that would change the world?[5:23] In the blockchain space, there is a philosophical divide between two schools of thought. Some believe that everything will be done on a single ledger, whereas others envision a multichain future in which different ledgers are being used for different purposes. Which schools of thought does Bifrost belong to, and why did they feel it would be such a valuable piece of technology to develop?[7:37] What is the purpose of BiFi? What exactly does it mean to be “multichain”? What is the total number of blockchains that have been integrated, and where is the central logic? Is there a primary blockchain and a few additional blockchains to which assets are moved, or is the entire application dispersed across multiple chains?[10:17] WBTC, renBTC, RSK (RBTC), Sovryn (SOV), layer-2 protocols like Polygon and Optimism, and ledgers like Radix, Aave, and Solana, all of which are developing their own DeFi ecosystems, are among the numerous solutions for expanding DeFi beyond the Ethereum network. What do Bifrost and BiFi do to enable all of the above to come together in such a unique way?[12:58] In practice, what does "connecting native Bitcoin" technically imply? Is it similar to Ren's approach of establishing a separate ledger in charge of the custodianship of the Bitcoin represented on a different ledger? [14:27] Bifrost presently manages assets worth $111 million. What do BiFi users do with their money? What kinds of tokens can people contribute, and what benefits can they receive in exchange? If they wish to use BiFi, which ledger should they use?[17:26] What are the advantages of lending Bitcoin on BiFi? [20:03] Is Bitcoin the most commonly deposited asset? Is it the most popular, and thus the most liquid pool on BiFi?[20:26] DeFi may at times appear immature to Dohyun, as a finance professor and someone who has spent a lot of time in the finance industry. What is Dohyun's prediction for DeFi in the coming years? What are some of the exciting developments he sees on the horizon?[23:45] The expressions "banking the unbanked" and "underbanked" have been used to describe persons who lack access to standard banking services. What role does DeFi play in ensuring that everyone has equal financial access?[25:57] What about the social aspect of DeFi? Does Dohyun believe that cryptocurrencies and the way crypto communities work will have an impact on finance?[30:07] How does Dohyun envisage assets like property, equities, or deliverable commodities like copper and gold being bridged from the real world to the decentralized world? [33:20] The Korean government has had an interesting relationship with cryptocurrency. What's the status of that relationship now? Further resourcesWebsites: Bifrost BiFi
Oct 17 2021
37 mins
Telos: the best bits of EOS and Ethereum, without the compromise
In this episode of the DeFi Download podcast. Piers Ridyard interviews Douglas Horn, the Chief Architect of Telos.Douglas is the founder of GoodBlock and the Chief Architect at Telos. He began developing for EOSIO and Ethereum-based chains after many years of producing film and video projects as well as interactive games for large corporations and brands such as Disney, Microsoft, Amazon, and Pokémon. Douglas joined a group that began building a new network using EOSIO and incorporating several of their own innovations. The result was Telos, a public ledger that rebuilt the EVM for high performance and is dedicated to bringing the best of Ethereum to the mainstream.In this episode, Douglas and Piers discuss the critical issue of governance and how Telos intends to make it easier and more inclusive, as well as the Miner-Extractable Value problem, which the Telos EVM solves at a lower cost and with greater capacity and speed than other platforms. [00:36] Douglas Horn's background prior to Telos, his introduction to cryptocurrency, and his involvement with the EOS Mainnet Launch Group [03:05] What EOS did right[08:20] EOS's core technology[09:25] What are the reasons for the lack of widespread adoption of the EOSIO development environment?[17:59] What issues is Telos attempting to address?[20:37] Can a completely decentralized organization rally people around it in the absence of a visionary, charismatic leader at its core, or do “people follow people, not ideas”?[25:40] What does the Telos protocol's intrinsic governance entail? [28:41] The advantages of building on the Telos Network[29:53] How does voting work in GoodBlock's Decide Voter App?[38:05] What exactly is the Miner-Extractable Value, and why is it a concern? What steps does Telos take to put a stop to an MEV attack?Further resourcesWebsite: Telos.net, Telos Wallet, Telos AppTwitter: The Telos Foundation: @HelloTelos‍Douglas Horn: @Douglas_Horn‍Telegram: t.me/HelloTelos‍Decide Voter app‍
Oct 1 2021
48 mins
Immunefi: hack DeFi the ethical way
In this episode of the DeFi Download, Piers Ridyard interviews Travin Keith, co-founder of Immunefi. Immunefi is the leading bug bounty platform in crypto, currently protecting over $25 billion in user funds.Travin and Piers discuss DeFi project vulnerabilities and how bug bounties are just as important as audits. Travis describes the characteristics of a good hacker and how Immunefi brings together hackers and projects to create more secure DeFi apps and platforms. [00:42] What exactly is a bug bounty, and why is it important?[04:10] The philosophy of the open-source movement[00:42] The "Homo economicus" fallacy, and why would any hacker capable of discovering an exploit in a project choose to accept a pay-out that is less than what they could get for exploiting that vulnerability?[12:11] The old way of thinking of companies that used to sue hackers for discovering vulnerabilities.[14:39] Amount of funds protected and of bounties paid out by Immunefi, as well as the case of Alexander Schlindwein[20:16] Immunefi's approach to recruiting hackers [24:55] What qualities make a good hacker, according to Travin's experience, that Immunefi looks for when looking for hackers for the White Hat Scholarship? [26:42] What events does Immunefi attend in order to recruit hackers?[28:29] Travin's business background and what it was like to live in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, in the Arctic. His path to co-founding Immunefi.[37:45] Immunefi's collaboration with the Maker ecosystem, including work and incubation with the Sustainable Ecosystem Scaling Core Unit[40:19] What would Travin change or improve about the current ecosystem if he had a magic wand? What are his thoughts, particularly on bug bounties and hacking, and what behaviour change he believes is critical for more founders and projects to understand?[44:53] The difference between a white hat and a black hat hackerFurther resourcesWebsite: immunefi.com/ Twitter: @immunefi Medium: medium.com/immunefiDiscord: discord.gg/rpkPDR7pVV
Aug 20 2021
46 mins