Matt Blaine, a Respond Law partner, specializes in business law & litigation. In the past 12-18 months, he has focused on DeFi protocols, tackling legal structures and compliance best practices within the vague legal landscape of DeFi. BeethovenX and ByteMasons are some of the project he has consulted.
In this episode, Matt and I dive into the crypto industry from a different perspective. We discuss the legal infrastructure necessary for setting up a protocol, the risk starting a DeFi protocol vs a traditional business, the SEC’s attack on Coinbase, the intentions of the SEC harassing the crypto industry, the details of CFTC suing Binance, and more.
March 29, 2023
In this episode, I speak with Vasily Nikonov, the Founder & CEO of Velvet Capital, on the potential of passive investing through ETF funds on chain. Capital is a company that’s building the infrastructure that allows individuals and institutions to create and manage ETF style funds in which individual investors can deploy capital into.
With the success of passive investing in traditional financial markets over the last 20 years, there is no reason to believe that passive flows outstripping active flows is not going to happen in DeFi. Vasily, from Velvet Capital, is working to build an infrastructure for individuals and institutions to manage ETF style funds on-chain. If you’re interested in investing in passive flows in DeFi, companies like Velvet Capital are ones that you will want to be aware of.
February 23, 2023
Alluo is a products that allow users to earn on-chain yield on their crypto assets in a streamlined and simple way. There exist a vast majority of users who don’t want to transact on chain and manage their funds to earn yield on their assets. There is a large and continuous growing market for products like these, but the products of the recent past have given a bad reputation with the events that transpired at bankrupt firms like Celsius, BlockFi, among others. However, there is still a major opportunity for this business in the market in the future.
In this episode, I speak with Didier Baclin, co-founder of Alluo, who has experience in cutting edge financial products and was deeply involved in the P2P lending space in the UK and in working through the complex regulatory framework of that business with UK regulators.
February 15, 2023
As we move into 2023 Nick Drakon predicts we are going to operate in a multichain world and that the infrastructure required to facilitate the transfer of value and information between these chains is going to be a huge business.
In this episode, Nick and Atlas, CEO of Cryptolink, discuss the value of interoperability and the impact it has on infrastructure in DeFi. Cryptolink is a project that helps users and assets move from chain to chain, and operates in this lucrative space of interoperability and attempts to capture market share, providing a vertically integrated offering with products for both the B2B and B2C markets, trying to clip the ticket from a revenue standpoint. There is a significant market opportunity in the field of interoperability and the discussion that unfolds is informative and exciting.
January 3, 2023
Join Nick Drakon and Darren Camas, CEO of IPOR Labs, as they discuss interest rates in DeFi and explore the history and importance of LIBOR, the cost of capital, and the role of trust in finance. Learn about the potential for DeFi to disrupt traditional finance and the future of interest rates in a decentralized world.
IPOR Labs has developed and launched the IPOR Indexes, which benchmark the cost of capital that is interest rates in DeFi. Using that foundation they’ve started to build products and services on top of that in the form of interest rate derivatives and swaps. These are very useful in DeFi and interest free, and we’re going to go into that in this video. We delve into the role of trust in centralized finance and the potential for DeFi to offer a decentralized alternative. We also explore the future of interest rates in a DeFi-dominated world and the potential impact on traditional finance.
December 22, 2022
Souvlaki is the Head of Financial Reporting at BeethovenX, a decentralized exchange that runs on both Fantom and Optimism. Before moving to DeFi, Souvlaki spent a decade working at two of the Big Four auditing firms, and another five years at one of the largest TradFi investment banks in the world.
Souvlaki’s experience makes him the perfect individual to provide insights regarding Tether in the context of the ongoing controversy that surrounds them and their stablecoin, USDT, with respect to the recent issues of financial disclosures or lack thereof.
In today’s episode, Souvlaki and I dive in to uncover some the following topics:
LandX is a protocol that allows users to directly invest in the Real Yield generated by real world farmlands and crops. LandX has found a way to bring real world productive assets onto the blockchain that are otherwise difficult to gain access to unless you physically buy farmland.
In my chat with LandWalker, we discuss what opportunities lie in the macro picture for farmland and the approach LandX has taken to bring these assets on chain along with other topics like:
Polysynth Protocol is a DeFi Options Vault (DOV) protocol powered by Ethereum and Polygon, enabling you to express your views on the market and earn in all market conditions. Polysynth’s Options Vaults turns complicated financial instruments and derivatives into simple, easy-to-use front end offerings for users. Polysynth aims to abstract away complexity to offer a wide range of investment strategies that may otherwise be overlooked by users.
In this video, I speak with Shailesh Gupta, the co-founder and CEO of Polysynth, discussing his approach to Structured High Yield Products and how they will develop in the future. In this video we are going to discuss:
DeFi Llama is a FREE platform that most active DeFi users use daily, providing relevant data across DeFi including TVL, statistics, fees, yields, rates, and more. DeFi Llama’s unorthodox approach, in both traditional business and in crypto, make them extremely dangerous competitors in their category. I use DeFi Llama daily, and over time, I’ve generated dozens of very profitable trading strategies using their data.
I’m interested to talk to the Llamas not only because their products are so powerfully useful and 100% free, but because they operate using a unique model that I’m not entirely familiar with.
In this episode, I have Xavier Ekkel on the podcast. Xavier founded prePO, which is a decentralized protocol that aims to offer the unique ability of trading assets that haven’t yet been listed in the equity and/or crypto markets. The platform can allow users to gain exposure to businesses like SpaceX, Stripe, MetaMask, and OpenSea.
We discussed the topics of accessibility, decentralization, and regulation as it relates to democratizing access to pre-public investment opportunities for the masses.
In this episode I have an open and honest discussion with Juan Angel. Juan is the Head of Marketing at The Fantom Foundation and a thought leader in the space on topics like privacy, digital freedom and the need for decentralised systems.
Juan is one of the most well read people I know in crypto and has a depth of knowledge on these topics that make him a pleasure to talk to.We
react to the Tornado Cash sanctions in the US and the news that Mail Chimp is banning the accounts of businesses in the crypto space.
Today I am talking to Eitan Katz who is the founder of Kima Finance, a utility specific blockchain that aims to act as a settlement layer in a chain agnostic world. Put simply, they are working on the DLT Interoperability problem set. Eitan has been working at the cutting edge of technological innovation for over 35 years. He is a pleasure to talk to not just because of his wealth of knowledge but also for his talent in unpacking complex concepts in ways that everyone can understand.
Today’s topic is of course DLT Interoperability. We start with defining this concept and discuss why it is such a difficult problem to solve. We discuss the risks associated with current solutions for moving assets between chains such as bridges. We dive into the idea of universal liquidity across chains and what the implications are of achieving that goal. Finally we ponder a world where off chain liquidity can seamlessly merge with on chain liquidity.
Karim has a unique vantage point of the state of DeFi from his position within the Binance organization. In our discussion, I ask him about changes he has seen post the change in market regime since may of this year, both on the user side and also on the developer side.
The BNB chain (formally Binance Smart Chain) is the biggest chain by TVL outside of Ethereum so from my perspective I want to be up to speed with development in that area. They are well funded obviously and according to Samy, has a strong desire to build an ecosystem that stands the test of time.
Bryan Gross is the founder of the ICHI suite of DeFi products and has worked at both Amazon & IBM in the last decade.
In this episode we aim to give an honest and frank account of where DeFi stands in the content of the 3 main business models deployed. We dive into what has or has not worked as well as some diagnosis around reasons for certain outcomes. We also talk about what Bryan thinks may happen next both in terms of potential consolidation but also further innovation. The business models we discuss are:
Today I am excited to have an in depth conversation with Chad Barraford who is part of the core team, and the technical lead for Thorchain. Thorchain has been in development for almost 4 years and I have been following their progress for over 2 years. It is one of the few projects in crypto which has built something that is unique and that no other project has managed to replicate.
Thorchain is a decentralised cross chain immutable DEX that lets us swap native assets between chains in a permission-less trust-less way without any intermediaries. Basically it lets you swap BTC from the Bitcoin network, directly for ETH on the Ethereum network without the need for a bridge or a wrapped asset. It truly is critical infrastructure in the space and it also happens to work.
Chad has been working on the project from the start and has unique insights into how Thorchain operates, what makes it special, as well as what is in store for the future.
Today I am talking to Rob Montgomery, who is the founder of Revest Finance. Revest builds technology and solutions around using NFTs to unlock value in real assets. They have deployed a range of financial NFT’s that make illiquid positions liquid, and are expanding the product set across chains and protocols. Rob is not only running the business but also technically minded, writing a lot of the code, which makes him interesting to talk to, because he can speak intelligently and realistically about where we are on the development curve. His passion for innovation, and the fact that he has deployed workable solutions, instead of only theorizing what is possible, is appealing to me as an investor and as a curious person in the space.
Today’s conversation will circle around some of the real world use cases that have been touted as ripe for disruption with NFT technology. I ask Rob to give us his thoughts about the status of these use cases, what the obstacles are, and what he thinks might happen next. We discuss real estate, music rights, IP related to fashion & content, the Metaverse and gaming, as well as financial NFTs. I hope you enjoy the conversation as much as I did.
Today I will be talking with “Safe Ratios” who operates the cross chain DeFi protocol called Growth Defi. They are active on Fantom $FTM, Binance Smart Chain $BSC & Avalanche $AVAX.Growth Defi issues an over collateralized stable coin called MOR using the CDP design.
They are also innovating with products and solutions that allow users to earn the benefits from locking tokens, without sacrificing liquidity in the process. I came across his work due to the partnership Growth Defi has developed with Liquid Driver on Fantom and was extremely impressed by his depth of knowledge and the systems he has designed.
Specifically, his knowledge on stable coins intrigued me. In light of recent events on the Terra blockchain with UST collapsing, I thought it would be a good idea to have an in depth discussion on the topic of stable coin mechanics with someone who actually knows what he is talking about. We go back to 1st principles around why stable coins exist and what problems they are trying to solve. We then dive into the different types of stable coins with a focus on the various business models of each system, in an attempt to understand how profitable these businesses are. By understanding the flow of value we can begin to understand how risks develop and why. We diagnose the UST collapse while discussing what they were trying to do and zoom in on the signals to look for when trying to assess such systems for vulnerabilities.
We spend some time discussing the UST collapse, why it happened and what to look for in the future.
In this inaugural episode we talk to Daniel & Mr Kind from the Beethoven X protocol on Fantom. We discuss a wide range of topics which you can see a summary of in the chapters section. Both Daniel & Mr Kind demonstrate a depth of understanding around operational excellence that is rare in the space.
Beethoven X is a leading DEX on the Fantom $FTM. Beethoven X is in partnership with the Balancer protocol on Ethereum, and uses cutting edge technology that allows for multi asset liquidity pools. This technology is a more efficient way of facilitating swaps and results in better price execution for users. They have recently announced, in partnership with Balancer, an expansion onto the Optimism blockchain.