Decentralized Finance (DeFi) is undoubtedly one of the leading offerings in the cryptocurrency market. DeFi provided users with alternatives to traditional investments that they would not otherwise be able to access, and this was one of the main factors that led to the growth of the space.
There are currently a number of blockchains on which DeFi protocols are programmed, namely; Ethereum, Solana, Cardano, and Algorand, on which Yieldly is built, among others. These blocks appear to be in an arms race to secure the largest market share and lead the space. However, Yieldly CEO Sebastian Cowen doesn’t think this is the way to win. Instead, Cowen says, the focus should be more on interoperability between blockchains.
Quinn sat down with NewsBTC for an interview, where the CEO shared his thoughts on the space, a programmable blockchain, and some exclusives about future listings for Yieldly’s original YLDY token.
NewsBTC: Can you tell us about your background and what has benefited you?
Sebastian QuinnMy professional training in corporate law. I worked in corporate law for about five years on a range of things primarily in corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions. Through that, we’ve seen a lot of interesting tech deals, and I’ve moved full time into tech to do a number of things — advising and helping startups. She has advised some of the first ICOs that have ever taken place.
Then over the course of 2017, we’ve helped a number of hugely successful ICOs and a number of companies that, to this day, continue to do exceptionally well. I also, during that time, set up one of the first AI and blockchain accelerators, with the group JD.comIt is a large company listed on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange. We are beginning to see the early interest that major companies showed in understanding distributed ledger technology and their desire to act.
For the past three or four years, we’ve continued our work in the space, keeping a very clear eye on trends, and continuing to invest in projects. About two years ago, we started seeing a shift in the projects in our portfolio, and the ones we’d recommended, that were building more toward DeFi products in the space.
We thought it was time to take advantage of all that we’ve learned and create a truly DeFi product that combines our understanding of both cryptography and corporate finance, and then a very real and lived experience of what big companies like JD.com were looking for when they were thinking about how to use crypto or DeFi in their Use cases of conventional finance. I came out of that experience with a return.
NewsBTC: Why did you choose to build on Algorand instead of other blockchains?
Sebastian Quinn: The commercial opportunity, as we knew we could get a commercial advantage if we were one of the first in the market to offer DeFi on a large layer 1. Algorand, as a protocol, has some technical advantages over Ethereum. Algorand is noticeably faster and you have 40,000 TPS. It is very low cost and reliable. Gas and transaction fees do not fluctuate. It’s also carbon negative which is important to us.
It has technical advantages, too. It has been around for over 2 years and has never been online. Crypto must be built to attract the next 100 million users and it must be built in a very user friendly manner. Algorand ticks all of these boxes. The technology is fundamentally more user-friendly than its peers at the moment.
NewsBTC: The Original Yieldly Token (YLDY) Just Listed on the MEXC Exchange, Are There Any Other Exchange Listings We Should Expect?
Sebastian QuinnWe fought hard with Yiedly being the first DeFi product on Algorand, and also being recognized by exchanges for the listing of our token. Our token is built on Algorand and Algorand Standard Asset (ASA), meaning that most exchanges have not integrated their technology to allow this ASA.
We were very fortunate to be the first ASA listed in MEXC. In addition, we have been proactively dealing with the Korean exchange Probet. We will be listed there in the near future, making YLDY the first ASA token to be listed in Korea.
Regarding future exchange listings, there are a number of discussions that are currently taking place with brand name exchanges. Without giving up on the game, you can basically select the very general exchanges wanting to list Algorand assets. We work closely with our partners to manage and release our tokens on these exchanges.
NewsBTC: Right now, when people think of NFTs, they think of Ethereum. How does Yieldly plan to drive further NFT adoption on the Algorand blockchain?
Sebastian QuinnOne of the coolest things that happened in cryptocurrencies this year is the emergence of all the interest in NFTs as an asset. It is a product that widely attracts a large number of people. It touches on a large number of interest groups.
You are right in saying that the majority of that happens in Ethereum, but there is no real reason why this field should be exclusive. The NFTs on Algorand make a lot of sense. Easy to use, cheap to trade and cheap to mint, it’s a straightforward process for creating NFTs in Algorand.
We are in the process of creating tools that will enable a thriving and healthy ecosystem in Algorand. We got something in the range of 400 creators and sent out NFTs to distribute to the community. We’ve had the NFT creators on Ethereum reach out and ask us to help mint Algorand because they want to bring in their NFT blockchains.
We think it’s just a matter of time. There will be an NFT ecosystem that could have a chance to rival some of the big NFT ecosystems in cryptography right now.
NewsBTC: How is Yieldly different from other DeFi protocols on the Algorand blockchain, and of course on other programmable blockchains like Solana?
Sebastian Quinn: We always wanted to be the first to prove that DeFi applications can exist in Algorand. The numbers speak for themselves in terms of validation. At our peak, we had about $160 million in our accumulated pools. We are constantly sitting at the $100 million mark.
There is no competitor, as it is, in Algorand. We continue to build critical products to demonstrate our extended use cases for DeFi. We have staking pools not only for Yieldly, we have staking pools for multiple projects in Algorand. We have the widest variety of assets for anyone who owns ALGO or ASA tokens to allocate those assets into our products.
How we compete with protocols on other blockchains is through the great use cases that we are proactively trying to address in Algorand. We compete by having technology built on a technically better protocol.
NewsBTC: What are the innovations you are most excited about in the DeFi space?
Sebastian Quinn: One of the areas that grabs our attention right now is the intersection of what’s happening with NFT and what’s happening with DeFi, as they converge. We’re seeing really interesting things happen where people with smart NFTs can do more than just keep them. You are getting profits from those NFTs.
From a technical point of view, this opens up a whole range of use cases for creating more exciting financial products or pseudo financial products. I think there are a lot of innovations that haven’t been implemented yet.
And then anything that touches the way the regulatory environment thinks about how to deal with DeFi and accept DeFi as a product in technology, that will be able to be used and accessed by more people.
NewsBTC: What do you think is your biggest achievement in the one year Yieldly has been running?
Sebastian Quinn: It has been a wild year. Everyone in the industry knows that speed is unmatched in almost any other industry. Things happen very quickly. I would say launching the product and getting users validated that the things we built matter to them.
We are very excited to be on the verge of creating products that will last a long time and to be in an industry that is just starting out and having some interesting upheavals along the way.
NewsBTC: Do you see a blockchain like Algorand outperforming Ethereum in the future?
Sebastian Quinn: We are somewhat unaware of the technology. Our view of the world is informed by where we can create the most user-friendly products. At the moment, Algorand has a very compelling case and that’s why she was chosen to build our product.
We know that there is still a long way to go for the adoption of cryptocurrency worldwide. We also realize that we can’t necessarily categorize ourselves into a single protocol. The idea of interoperability is extremely important, and this is evident in the technology we have built. We built the first Ethereum-to-Algorand bridge to allow DeFi tokens to be exchanged over it.
We have to be very realistic about the fact that none of us have a crystal ball on which the protocol will be located. But what we all know is that the industry will continue to grow and evolve, and so we want to make sure that our product and technology are built on the best protocols to suit our users and use cases. At the moment, there is no comparison with Algorand.
NewsBTC: In conclusion, what price range will you put in Bitcoin and Ethereum by the end of the year?
Sebastian Quinn: We are crypto extremists and Bitcoin is the canary in the crypto-coal mine. We don’t see cryptocurrency going anywhere but to a world where it is becoming more and more ubiquitous as a necessary piece of technology for essential use cases around the world. We wouldn’t be surprised if Bitcoin is really above $100,000 in the very near term.
Featured image from ProBit Global Support