Starting ADALend CEO Kaspars Koskins interview series, one of the most promising companies that is revolutionizing the lending industry by using blockchain technology to disintermediate the traditional middlemen – providing unprecedented access to loans for those ignored by the traditional banking system and providing high yields for investors in a persistently low-interest-rate environment. I hope you are as excited for this conversation as we are so let’s jump in.
Q: Welcome Kaspars, we know you are a busy gentleman these days with the public launch of the ADALend lending platform and token this quarter but thank you for making time to speak to us today. Let’s start at a very high level – can you give us the elevator pitch for ADALend that so that those of us that are new to Decentralized Finance and Crypto (or Web3 as they fashionably call it these days!).
Koskins: It’s a pleasure to be here and I am thrilled to share with your audience a little more about what we are building at ADALend and how they can participate but first let me try to summarize in layman’s terms what our mission is.
We are developing a scalable, trustless, and decentralized lending protocol that harbors users within a self-governed environment. From day one, we committed to building natively on the Cardano blockchain, which will enable the lending platform to aggregate protocols that support business models that give economic support to billions of users.
ADALend will bring back the balance of power between lenders and borrowers. By allowing the use of digital assets as collateral, the use of the platform will be diversified to the benefit of the user.
Q: Thank you for that – can you tell the audience a little more about why you chose the Cardano blockchain when there are already successful DeFi projects built on Ethereum and new blockchains like Solala for example?
Koskins: Certainly, let me begin by explaining that Ethereum is no longer usable by the majority of people on earth due to the high transaction costs. The gas fees on Ethereum have reached hundreds of dollars per transaction over the past year. This would be unacceptable to ordinary people in the western world today but for the millions of unbanked people in the developing countries of Africa and Asia, this renders ETH useless as they need to lend and narrow far smaller amounts. Ethereum has therefore become a layer 2 blockchain for the rich and the newcomers you mention like Solana have problems with centralization and reliability. Cardano is the only truly decentralized blockchain with the required security, speed and low transaction fees required to provide a truly democratic financial solution that can be used by every human on planet earth – and our vision aligns perfectly with the Cardano Charles Hoskins who is passionate about improving financial outcomes for people all over the world, regardless of race, nationality, gender or financial status.
Q: Thank you, those are truly powerful words Kaspars, and we are fortunate to have projects like Cardano and platforms like ADALend that can bring this vision of democratic inclusion into reality.
So as well as the mission to do good in the world, many of our readers are executives, professionals and small business owners that are managing their own portfolios and wondering how they can preserve their capital and earn a good yield in this hyperinflationary environment when interest rates are so low. People are seeing their retirement nest egg or children’s college fund declining in real terms due to the frankly crazy macroeconomic environment we find ourselves in today in the US, Europe and many other parts of the developer world. How can these middle-class, hard-working people benefit from ADALend?
Koskins: Well this is the other side of the coin isn’t it. One of my personal inspirations to found ADAlend is that in my home country of Estonia in northern Europe, I was working in the traditional retail lending space and with credit unions savings. I have seen firsthand how people were unable to get a decent interest rate at the banks and were genuinely worried about their future as prices and the cost of living was rising far faster than salaries. The banks’ hands are tied as the interest rates are set by the Federal Reserve in the US and the European Central Bank in the EU. I began exploring Decentralised Finance (DeFi) as a way to earn a yield on my own family’s savings which led me down the rabbit hole and brings us here today.
Our commitment to ADALend lenders is that we will provide a safe secure lending platform where they can stake their hard-earned savings in Cardano (ADA) or the ADAlend token (ADAL) or the form of stable coins like USDT or USDC and earn a market-beating yield on it in the high single-digit or lower double-digit percentages. The ADALend platform is highly liquid without long-term lockups so our lenders will earn interest for the time their savings are “staked” on the platform and can withdraw anytime.
The other side is for borrowers – many small business owners, entrepreneurs and the self-employed can find it hard to borrow money from traditional banks to buy a car, pay a downpayment on a house, invest in their business or fund a dream holiday. At ADALend we don’t do credit checks and we don’t care about salary history. Traditional banks and lenders do not recognize digital assets as collateral. We will provide an over collateralized lending facility to these borrowers where they can stake their digital assets like Bitcoin, Cardano or any other major cryptocurrency and we will lend them US Dollars or Euros against their holdings. This will provide crucial liquidity to a large number of hard-working professionals and self-employed people that were previously ignored by the banks. By the way, this type of over-collateralized lending against access has been used by the top 1% of wealthy people in the world to fund their lifestyles and investments and to optimize tax for decades. ADALend is now bringing these financial solutions to everyone that were once the privilege of the rich.
Q: That is truly a noble goal – and I love to see that you are helping out the middle classes like us as well as the poorest folks in the world.
Let’s talk about partnerships, investors and technology. I understand that DeFi and CeFi (centralized finance) is a highly competitive space, especially before your Initial DEX Offering (IDO) in March 2022, but what can you share in that area without all our readers signing an NDA?
Koskins: Absolutely – you have hit the nail on the head, the space is getting more and more competitive by the day from other new projects building DeFi on other blockchains and the CeFi incumbents like BlockFi so we need to be selective about what we can reveal. However, I can share some insights with you today,
On the technology side – by leveraging the Cardano blockchain, ADALend will be able to tap into the vast digital cash management market. By creating a technology that allows anyone to delegate their digital cash and make it available for a loan, ADALend is opening up the potential for blockchain-powered liquidity. We are aiming to be Cardano native in everything we do and are building the platform using Haskell and Plutus and working within the present limitations of Smart Contracts on this blockchain.
On the partnership side, Input-Output Hong Kong (IOHK) has listed ADALend on their “Essential Cardano List” of projects that are considered part of the ecosystem supporting and providing Cardano users with products and services. We are also listed on CardanoCube.io and I know our Business Development team is hard at work on several exciting partnerships we will be announcing in February that will really move the needle so watch this space!
In terms of funding, we were delighted to have a highly respected Venture Capital from Moonwhale Ventures as our lead investor and our private sale is almost closed. We are now in a very good position financially and more selective in who we will take funding from, as we don’t want to favor the VCs over retail investors as many projects do. We are reserving a good allocation of ADAL tokens for our community also.
Q: This is excellent news Kasparas – I am hearing all too often that new crypto projects are providing huge allocations to the VCs who then dump on to retail. It looks like you are being far more inclusive at ADALend and giving excellent opportunities for smaller and medium-sized accredited investors to access the private sales that were once the preserve of the VC elite, as an experienced small investor myself I salute you!
I must say, after our discussions today I am super keen to get involved and I am sure our audience is too. Where can they learn more about the private sale, the public IDO launch and how to get involved?
Koskins: Thank you for the kind words and thank you for the conversation today – I genuinely enjoyed it and sometimes I still have to pinch myself when I realize how far we have come in the past year! Sure, we are in the final stages of the private sale now so if you or your readers would like to apply for an allocation of ADAL tokens you can email [email protected] with the subject line “CEO Interview” and I’ll make sure our private sales team responds to them ASAP. You can find more details at our website ADALend.finance
Q: Thank you for your time Kaspars, and I’ll get back to the building.
Koskins: My pleasure, and I’ll take this opportunity to wish you and your readers a prosperous and profitable year ahead!
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