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The DeFi Download

Author: Radix DLT

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“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.
85 Episodes
In this episode of the DeFi Download, Piers Ridyard interviews Ahmed Wael Ismail, Founder and CEO of FLUID, an AI-based liquidity aggregator for CeFi and DeFi. In the interview, Ahmed discusses FLUID's liquidity aggregation platform and how it works to solve the problem of highly fragmented liquidity in the crypto market.SummaryFLUID is an AI-based liquidity aggregator for CeFi and DeFi. The platform provides a seamless and efficient solution for users to access multiple liquidity pools and execute trades at the best available prices. FLUID offers transparency and security. In addition, the FLUID team is working to expand the range of supported assets and liquidity sources, so that users can benefit from an ever-growing ecosystem of financial opportunities.FLUID is primarily focused on institutional clients and exchanges, but also has a B2C strategy in place. The company plans to launch a token for retail users and expand into futures, options, and tokenized markets.Key takeawaysLiquidity refers to the availability of tokens to purchase on exchanges.Liquidity aggregation solves the problem of highly fragmented liquidity in the crypto market, leading to market inefficiencies and high costs for buying and selling crypto assets.Smart order routing looks at all the order books to get the best possible price and the least slippage.FLUID uses AI to predict market latency and provide optimal execution by analysing complex and unstructured data.Best execution is a concept in financial markets that focuses on getting the best possible price for the investor.The accuracy of FLUID's AI-based strategies can predict BTC and ETH in up to 8 seconds with 99.5% accuracy and up to 30 seconds with 95% accuracy using hybrid models.FLUID's target users include institutions, exchanges, and retail markets.Chapters[01:03] What is a liquidity aggregator and why do we need one?[03:53] How does FLUID's liquidity aggregator work?[08:38] Why does FLUID use AI in its liquidity aggregation?[12:17] Why doesn't the FLUID team trade on it themselves?[13:56] Why FLUID's type of liquidity aggregator is needed in the market[15:21] Liquidity in decentralised vs. centralised exchanges and the role of liquidity aggregation in making execution more efficient[19:09] The potential problem of liquidity aggregation in tier 3 and 4 exchanges: Liquidity mirroring and circular reasoning[25:10] Who takes the execution risk when a price is quoted on FLUID? Is the exchange obligated to fill an order or is it just an offer that they will do their best to fulfil?[27:23] Potential issues with executing transactions on decentralised exchanges: Delays due to Ethereum finality and the possibility of front running[30:07] Status of development and launch timeline for FLUID[31:50] FLUID's vision for the future of liquidity aggregators[34:36] FLUID's customer base and how retail fits into the company’s vision[36:55] Piers' closing remarks and expression of excitement for FLUID's potential value for the industry[37:33] Where to find more information about FLUIDFurther resourcesWebsite: fluid.financeTwitter: @FLUID_liquidityAhmed’s Twitter: @AhmedWIsmailTelegram: 
With Omar Yehia In this episode of the DeFi Download, Piers Ridyard discusses investing with applied mathematician Omar Yehia. They explore issues in academia, the importance of trust in crypto, and how to approach investing by examining personal assumptions and moving away from biases, while considering the trade-offs of decentralisation and the concepts of ease of use, robustness, and elegance in systems.SummaryOmar Yehia has a background in science and applied mathematics. He is an expert on building successful primitives while avoiding common mistakes. Omar has done extensive research in the field of rocket science and photonics. Fascinated by the mathematical principles behind these fields, Omar became drawn to a reductionist approach to life and eventually went on to study applied mathematics. Key takeawaysAcademic institutions and government bureaucracies share parallels. The current academic system is inefficient and misallocates resources. The private market for distributed ledgers and blockchains has contributed to a recent acceleration in cryptography, with more breakthroughs in the past four years. The majority of individuals are uninterested in decentralisation despite its evident advantages. At the heart of almost every financial crisis is misplaced trust.Constantly examining hypotheses is vital, especially for concepts that have never been tested in the wild and that you got from someone else. In order to fulfil their obligation to their investors, capital allocators must abandon their personal biases and be patient as they refresh their information and worldview. Chapters[00:53] Omar’s background[03:50] Omar's response to Piers' thesis on misaligned incentives in academia and their resemblance to communism.[10:32] Philosophical and practical issues pertaining to the crypto industry's balancing of long-term incentives[13:17] Benefits and limitations of the private market[14:48] Examining Omar's foray into crypto[20:56] Omar’s journey from the Ethereum yellow paper to investing[22:03] Omar's key insights from the evolution of cryptocurrencies from 2017 to the present day[23:26] The Faustian pact of Web2, sacrificing privacy for ease, and the Faustian pact of Web3, centralization in exchange for convenience.[26:26] Innumeracy regarding the law of statistics[27:21] Fundamentally misplaced trust as the root cause of the FTX, Three Arrows, and Celsius tragedies[29:22] The most crucial next steps for crypto and Omar's investments[32:34] Decentralisation, usability, and robust elegance [38:55] Omar’s investing philosophy: Investing in what you believe will be most profitable vs the future you wish to see Further resources: Omar’s Twitter: @0xomaryehia
With Mohamed Fouda, Alliance DAO ContributorIn this special edition of the DeFi Download, Piers Ridyard is joined by Mohamed Fouda, the head of research at Alliance DAO and co-founder of Volt Capital, as well as Matthew Hines, Chief Product Officer of RDX Works. The focus of the discussion is parallel execution within the realm of decentralised finance. SummaryIn today's episode, Piers, Matt, and guest Mohamed Fouda talk about parallel execution in blockchain and smart contracts. They discuss methods for identifying independent blockchain transactions and analyse their benefits and drawbacks, offering examples in AMMs and Ethereum. They cover Radix's parallel execution design, system design layers of abstraction in Cerberus and Babylon, and the drawbacks and implementation complexity of parallel execution. They also discuss the state bloat problem, ways to reduce blockchain history and the pros and cons of horizontal scaling in blockchain technology.Alliance DAO is a blockchain-based platform that aims to support and invest in promising projects and entrepreneurs in the space. It runs a cohort program for founders and is always looking for smart and passionate individuals who have a long-term commitment to the space.Key takeawaysEthereum, the most well-known blockchain for smart contracts, operates using a single-threaded processor. The limitations of single-thread execution in Ethereum have opened opportunities for other protocols to offer better solutions.There are two main approaches to identifying independent transactions in the blockchain. The first approach, where the smart contract defines the state and identifies which transactions have access to which part of the state, was implemented in Solana and the Sealevel execution environment and in Sui (object). The second approach is called "optimistic execution" and is adopted by Aptos.It may be necessary to use Optimistic Execution in certain circumstances, but it has its limitations. A benefit of Optimistic Execution is that it pushes the problem to the validator and away from the developer, and hides the complexity from the developer.The Radix approach is a hybrid solution that starts with the idea of assets as important and fundamental to the network, with everything represented as resources.Parallel Execution can remove the bottleneck of serialisation but can lead to centralisation.Chapters[01:53] Mohamed describes parallel execution in the context of blockchain and smart contracts.[05:14] Single pipeline in Ethereum: A dramatic design choice with compatibility Implications[08:07] Identifying independent transactions in Blockchain: An overview of two approaches[13:56] Optimistic model:  Advantages, trade-offs, and examples in AMMs and Ethereum[16:05] Analysis of public ledger usage on Ethereum: Interactions with smart contracts and critique of Optimistic Execution[20:54] Radix’s design philosophy for parallel execution[28:36] Layers of abstraction in the system design of Cerberus and the Babylon network[31:12] Disadvantages of Parallel Execution[35:14] Implementation complexity[37:26] The state bloat problem in Blockchain technology[40:47] Techniques for reducing the size of the Blockchain history[42:52] Advantages and disadvantages of horizontal scaling in the network[46:56] Information on Alliance DAO and Mohamed FoudaFurther resourcesAlliance DAO Website: alliance.xyzMohamed’s Twitter: @MohamedFFouda Mohamed’s Medium: @fouda 
In this episode of the DeFi Download, Piers Ridyard is joined by Matthew Graham, founder, and CEO of Sino Global Capital, to discuss macrotrends, the significance of the Chinese market for cryptocurrencies, the repercussions of GitHub's ban on the Tornado Cash code, and the struggles and opportunities arising from de-globalization. Chapters[01:03] How did the Matty Sino story begin?[02:55] What was it about Ethereum that convinced Matthew that it was a once-in-a-generation opportunity?[05:10] When was Sino Global Capital established?[05:44] How and why did Sino Capital choose to focus on China?[07:52] According to Matthew's experience, how has China changed in terms of foreigners working there and establishing a successful foreign enterprise in the Chinese market?[09:30] What does Matthew recommend to his portfolio companies in terms of entering the China markets, which most people find terrifying?[11:40] What is the company's general thesis?[13:19] What distinguishes Matthew from other crypto fund managers?[14:16] What are the recurring macrotrends from previous historical periods that Matthew believes will be important in the next 5-10 years?[16:33] What Matthew sees as likely bright spots for the next wave of DeFi applications[19:17] Browsers, a piece of software that people had never used before and had to be taught how to use in order to access the internet, were required for the internet’s widespread adoption. Are we going to need something similar for crypto?[20:39] What is Matthew's general outlook on the current events in the market and how they are affecting crypto?[22:11] Many people are concerned about China's shadow banking system and the potential collapse of its property markets, which could have repercussions elsewhere. Is Matthew concerned about a China collapse in the property or financial markets in the next two years?[24:15] Why should the crypto industry care about de-globalization?[25:17] An example of internet balkanization, the Great Firewall of China being primarily a trade rather than an information barrier, the effect such barriers have on the survivability of local businesses and the birth of local innovation, and how a global business would benefit from internet balkanization.[28:13] The information barrier as experienced by the average Chinese person and the middle-class, and the decline in interest in using foreign services as a result of the proliferation of domestic alternatives[31:01] What does Matthew think about Tornado Cash's censorship in terms of government intervention in markets?[32:43] What action should the US government have taken instead, and what should be done in response to people removing Tornado Cash code from GitHub?[33:43] The Napster example of file sharing and copyright infringement facilitation: Are we transferring the same concept to a new platform?[37:27] The crypto industry's failure to engage regulators[39:01] What impact will the Terra Luna collapse have on the regulatory response? [40:54] What, if any, good can come from Terra Luna's collapse? [43:16] Will there be a self-regulator for the cryptocurrency industry, like there is for the pharmaceuticals industry?[44:03] Is there a future and a place for centralised finance (CeFi)?[45:29] Where can you learn more about Matthew and Sino Global Capital?Further resourcesWebsite: Sino Global CapitalTwitter: @SinoGlobalCapMatthew’s Twitter: @mattysino
In this episode of the DeFi Download, Piers Ridyard chats with Aleksander Larsen, co-founder of Sky Mavis, makers of Axie Infinity, the largest blockchain game to date, which at its peak had over 2.7 million daily active users. Discussion topics include the criticality of the social aspect of gaming, the challenges of creating an interoperable world within the same IP, and the revolutionary potential of NFTs.Chapters[02:33] The backstory of Axie Infinity and Smooth Love Potion[05:09] Aleksander's background[06:31] If everything had already been made and discovered in the gaming industry, why would Aleksander want to get involved? Just what was it about making video games that still interested him?[07:18] A consumer's natural tendency is to look for faults rather than the things that make a product great. You can't fully appreciate the effort and ingenuity that goes into building something until you switch roles from consumer to creator. Was Aleksander's experience as a game developer reflective of his prior sentiments toward games as a gamer?[10:48] In what ways did Aleksander find CryptoKitties to be flawed?[16:02] What changes have occurred in Axie Infinity’s vision as time has progressed? How similar is the current artwork to the original?[17:52] How does Axie Infinity's approach differ from something like Flow Blockchain?[21:46] How did Aleksander maintain his optimism and motivation through Axie Infinity's low points, when the company had only a month's runway, the market was in the middle of a bear run, and members of the community were leaving in droves?[25:28] Why, in Aleksander's opinion, will the introduction of NFTs and the ability to own digital property have such a profound effect on society at large?[27:48] Web 3.0, DeFi, the NFT space, and the gaming industry all place a greater emphasis on achieving community product fit before product market fit. How did Axie Infinity achieve it, and what is the formula, according to Aleksander's knowledge?[30:01] Beyond not being present, what are the most common causes of failure when organising a new community?[33:48] How did Axie Infinity find product market fit, and what factors were instrumental in turning it from an interesting concept into a viable product?[37:31] What happened internally when their own blockchain Ronin was launched, and the number of daily users increased by the thousands?[41:45] How did Aleksander and his team decide what to prioritise when they first started scaling?[45:41] Important lessons[48:33] Aleksander's top tips for entrepreneurs considering developing an NFT-based gameFurther resourcesWebsite: Twitter: @AxieInfinity Aleksander’s Twitter: @psycheout86 Discord:
In this week's episode of the DeFi Download, Piers Ridyard talks with Lane Kasselman, the president of They talk about Lane's experiences leading a rapidly expanding multi-services platform, the reasoning behind's focus on user-friendliness, and the differences in cryptocurrency adoption across the world.Chapters00:00 - Intro[01:15] Lane Kasselman as President of and the company's growth under his direction[01:56] How does Lane describe and who its ideal user is?[05:20] What was unique about the DNA of, and what did it do differently to remain in the space when many other wallet companies have vanished? [08:05] Are exchange products and institutional products on custodial? What was the internal narrative behind the company’s current offering of easier-to-use services for consumers and businesses, given the early decentralisation maximalism basis of "not your keys, not your crypto" that drove the company's early success?[10:35] Numerous markets in regions with troubled financial systems have adopted cryptocurrencies as a replacement for their failing monetary structures. What factors contribute to its relative lack of popularity in the Western world?[11:45] As a result of lagging behind in digitalising its banking system, Europe is now at the forefront of fintech, which will likely slow the widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies. China's slow adoption of cryptocurrency is a result of the country's widespread use of QR-code-based payment systems. By contrast, people in parts of Africa and South America are turning to cryptocurrency because of the region's inadequate banking infrastructure.[14:59] Neobanks were instrumental in laying the groundwork for new technology finance.[17:20] Most people would rather play it safe with their money than take any chances with it. However, the crypto community tends to attract those with a high-risk tolerance.[18:28] A challenge to the model: Because decentralised finance is still in its early stages, we have tended to provide a safe-feeling consumer experience, such as's customer support. MetaMask and Uniswap, on the other hand, provide no such help. Will there ever come a time when users are knowledgeable and comfortable enough with decentralised platforms to abandon centralised ones?[24:22] Will's super wallet strategy additionally include providing users with an intuitive interface for accessing services like Aave, SushiSwap, and Uniswap?[26:14] The entire consumer model is all about value-add and an appealing interface, both of which crypto lacks. Another hot topic is regulation. Where does regulation fit into the development of better interfaces for services built on top of public ledgers that provide yield, liquidity opportunities, borrowing and lending, and are packaged into consumer-friendly products?[29:25] Reasons why the American government and regulators cannot make cryptocurrency illegal[33:49] One of the most serious issues in the regulatory sphere right now is the delay in thinking. The majority of regulatory enforcement actions have focused on obvious scams. Demonstrating the value of the cryptocurrency industry has become more urgent and necessary.[39:41] Where to follow Blockchain.comFurther resourcesWebsite: Twitter: @blockchain Lane Kasselman’s Twitter: @kasselman  Peter Smith’s (CEO) Twitter: @OneMorePeter----------------Learn more about Radix:Website: Twitter:
What can we learn from the experience of a Web3 incubator and advisory firm? Find out in this episode of the DeFi Download podcast, in which Piers Ridyard interviews Gaurav Dubey, the CEO of TDeFi, a Web3 metaverse and crypto services incubator and consulting company.TDeFi is a subsidiary of a larger ecosystem, TradeDog. TradeDog is an institutional grade financial services firm in crypto that offers services such as research and advisory, as well as token and treasury management.The TDeFi platform has incubated over 50 firms in the Web3 industry, including Vulcan Forged, an NFT gaming studio. A couple of those projects have reached a market cap of more than a billion dollars.Gaurav’s experience with crypto began in 2015 with mining, building collocations, and investing in the DAO. He now has 15 years of expertise in traditional investing, angel investing, and running a tech start-up incubator for the past 14 years.TDeFi originated as an abandoned TradeDog initiative that Gaurav resolved to rescue.Key takeawaysIf you stumble across an issue that you know will be solved only if you solve it, you have found your business idea.The builder's dilemma is one of the most fatal flaws in any project. Tech entrepreneurs frequently believe solely in the strength of the technology, or the product. Marketing and sales are more prevalent in the equities market, whereas crypto merely adds to the complexity."Token engineering" is a better term for what is now referred to as "tokenomics."Chapters[01:12] When did TDeFi first begin, and how long has it been in existence?[02:52] What is Gaurav's most important takeaway from the DAO saga?[06:25] What was the opportunity that inspired the team to create TDeFi?[11:39] What sets TDeFi apart from other advisors who take a portion of your tokens in exchange for placing their face on your website and guaranteeing you a plethora of introductions?[15:51] What are the most common mistakes made by cryptocurrency start-ups that TDeFi assists their clients in avoiding?[20:13] In the way that Gaurav defines product market fit, has anything in the cryptocurrency industry attained it?[28:03] In the crypto space there are a lot of questions around generational infrastructure, like how the digital mobile network evolution went from GSM to 5G, and the transformational changes that happened in the user experience, as in the case of the evolution of the mobile phone from the early consumer handsets with digital displays to smartphones with touchscreens. Is crypto still like the internet in the early 1990s in this regard?[29:31] Has Ethereum ever been hacked?[32:49] Solidity and the architecture of smart contracts in Ethereum and other ledgers is problematic[34:04] TDeFi's unique perspective on token economics[41:01] A fine example of well-executed token engineering, according to Gaurav[43:51] Examples of apps built on top of public ledgers with solid token modelsFurther resourcesWebsite: Twitter: @Tde_FiGaurav’s Twitter: @GauravDubeyLive
CoinFund is a crypto-native investment firm and registered investment advisor. The team specialises in portfolio management, token design, decentralised networks, as well as research, trading, market structure, engineerings, brand strategy, law, and regulation. CoinFund has made investments in a number of different projects, some of which include Dapper Labs, Upshot, The Graph, Balancer, and Fuel Labs.Chapters[01:23] Why Jake decided to start CoinFund and how he got his start in the investment industry [04:16] The more complicated aspects of being an investor[05:56] Where did CoinFund obtain its first round of funding? [06:57] What was the amount of CoinFund's initial financing round and what was the return on investment? [07:20] Investment and capital allocation mindsets may be shifted via foresight, conviction, and the support of others (including those closest to you in life).[09:32] When looking back on the infancy of the cryptocurrency market, what trends does Jake observe that the CoinFund team looks for in addition to the three things a traditional investor looks for (team, technology, and traction)?[10:03] Blog article by Jake detailing the 9 core value propositions of crypto networks[12:14] What does Jake see as the insight that will make the overlap between crypto and AI succeed in terms of deep value delivery?[19:01] How do we move from open development to guaranteeing that the original investors monetise the output of the final model and receive a return on their investment?[23:10] The desktop of the future will be little more than a text command prompt, and all software will be built from scratch[24:01] Generative and creative artificial intelligence systems and algorithms hold great promise for the creation of valuable assets. What does Jake think of NFTs as an asset class, and how does he anticipate that this category of assets will continue to expand and become increasingly financialised in the future?[26:44] Is there a difference in the liquidity of fungible and non-fungible assets?[28:57] Blog post by Jake: "Appraisal Games and the NFT Liquidity Problem"[30:00] a pricing mechanism using machine learning[31:08] Is Jake of the opinion that private investors, mindful of the idiosyncratic risk associated with individual assets, will increasingly choose basket assets that have been transparently rated using AI?[35:09] For every asset or token, the early stages are the most challenging.[36:20] The NFT financialization process was pioneered by the arts. Jake names the next three things he predicts will become NFTs.[39:50] Jake writes on his blog that “all digital content is going on-chain”[40:43] Is it going to take longer than anticipated to get real-world assets on-ledger?[42:02] What is CoinFund's perspective on the next phase of public ledger scalability?[48:16] The value of keeping an open mind as to the potential outcomes of the future of blockchainsFurther resourcesCoinFund's WebsiteJake Brukhman's WebsiteCoinFund on Twitter: @coinfund_ioJake Brukhman on Twitter: @jbrukh
The CEO and founder of ShareRing, Tim Bos, is the guest on this episode of the DeFi Download with host Piers Ridyard. Some of the subjects covered include how blockchain technology may benefit identity verification, how ShareRing manages the storing of personal information, and what the future holds for digital ID.  ShareRing is a digital identity blockchain system with features that enable its users to utilise their digital ID in the real world.The ShareRing platform does this by providing users with a highly secure Personal Information Vault where they may securely store encrypted personal information. [01:03] The ShareRing experience, viewed from the user's perspective [03:38] How can ShareRing enhance the user experience of possessing a digital identity and utilising it to attend an event? [06:39] How difficult is it for the events industry to ensure that no one under the age of 18 is permitted entrance to an event and to verify an individual's identity? [08:20] How does ShareRing handle user-generated friction, such as the need that tickets be downloaded and shown at the event entrance? [10:17] How might blockchain technology aid in the management of verifiable identities? [12:53] How does eKYC work? [17:21] Does ShareRing intend to handle anti-money laundering from the standpoint of the source of wealth and funds, as well as the regulatory requirements that must be met in order to deposit funds in a financial marketplace?[18:41] How does the process of exchanging data between institutions like banks work?[22:52] How are digital documents stored and managed within the ShareRing Vault? [24:00] Can ShareRing do PEP and sanctions checks? [25:38] From the perspective of having verifiable credentials, a large portion of ShareRing's work is structured in accordance with the W3C's standards for decentralised identifiers (DIDs) [26:38] What hurdles did ShareRing need to overcome in order to design credentials compliant with W3C specifications?[28:28] The process of integrating standards and overcoming the issue of coping with continuously emerging ones [30:10] From a philosophical standpoint, doesn't ShareRing's work contradict the ideals of public ledgers, complete pseudonymity, and the ability to transact without identifying oneself? Why is it important to have an actual identity when you can have things like soulbound tokens (SBTs) and reputation that don't have to relate to a real-world identity? [32:02] Does a soulbound token offer a reference to an on-ledger zero-knowledge proof about a person, or is each soulbound token a unique issuance that depends on what you wish to prove? [33:59] What is ShareRing's primary business growth strategy? [38:41] What is ShareRing's approach to doing business? [39:32] What is the definition of a transaction in the ShareRing ledger? [41:11] How can ShareRing and the institutions with whom it partners ensure that the method of document verification is accurate? [44:12] Hackathons hosted by ShareRingFurther resourcesWebsite: Twitter: @ShareRingGlobal, @TheRealTimBos
In this episode of the DeFi Download, Piers Ridyard speaks with John Chen, Senior Advisor of Umbrella Network, and Philippe Engels, Partnerships and BD Manager. What sets Umbrella apart from other oracles, how it functions, and what the future has in store for it are some of the topics of their conversation.  Umbrella Network is a community-owned decentralized data oracle that powers anything from DeFi to decentralized applications more broadly. Umbrella accomplishes this on a massive scale at an incredibly low cost.To alleviate the friction involved in extracting and verifying data, the Umbrella team developed Passport. Passport, an optimized, pre-built, and cost-effective solution, enables dApps to receive Umbrella’s Layer 2 data straight into their smart contracts without the need for proof verification.[01:15] Chainlink is already a market-leading oracle. Why does the market require a new oracle? What are the limitations of Chainlink?[4:04] How does a developer think about integrating data from Layer 2 into their Ethereum, Radix, or other Layer 1 application?[7:03] Unpacking the core operating principles of Umbrella Network's Passport solution[9:36] Adding the data feed in the first place is a common problem in the blockchain industry. How does a smart contract developer go about getting data added to Umbrella? How does that process work?[13:11] How does the Umbrella oracle ensure that the data it gets is accurate? [14:55] What types of projects are using the Umbrella protocol?[19:41] The entire crypto space is, in some ways, boring backend technology, but what it provides in terms of potential is exciting. What are some of the broader possibilities of data on ledger that John finds intriguing?[25:01] Where would John place his bets for the next bull market on what he believes will be the primary uses of Umbrella's technology in apps built on top of public ledgers?[29:30] Philippe's thoughts on sports betting and Web 2.0 platforms in general, possibly increasing their availability on ledgersFurther resourcesWebsite: Umbrella Network Twitter: @umbnetwork Telegram:  Medium: 
In this episode of the DeFi Download podcast, listen to Piers Ridyard and Justin Trollip discuss the development of the first DEX on Avalanche, Pangolin Exchange, the project’s mission, and the challenges the team encountered.  Piers Ridyard interviews Justin Trollip, Chief Herder of Pangolin. Pangolin is a multichain Decentralised Exchange (DEX) in the Avalanche Multiverse and has an intriguing backstory. Pangolin currently has a volume of about $16 billion and a total liquidity of over $37 million. There are several trading opportunities where one may earn more than 116% of their investment per year. [1:31] Justin discusses how he came to hold the position of Chief Herder at Pangolin. [4:12] Pangolin had an unusual development process. What are Justin’s thoughts on this process? What, in his view, were the key takeaways from this experience?[7:02] Pangolin was the first DEX to be launched on Avalanche. Following Pangolin's initial debut, several competitors emerged. How much, if at all, have the difficulties in getting things done affected Pangolin's team's early competitiveness?[9:09] Everyone in the cryptocurrency industry appreciates a good bit of gossip and people's worries that their money might not be secure motivate them to spread bad news, even if it is unverified.[11:30] What are Pangolin's long-term multichain vision and end goal? Is Justin envisioning a broader function for the DEX, or is it based on the idea that we don't need centralised institutions to accomplish these tasks, we can do it all via a smart contract, so let's just develop the best method to do that?[13:58] There is more to the NFT obsession than just the art. [16:43] Pangolin is expanding into the DeFi-As-A-Service area. [18:10] How does the Pangolin team see regulation, especially in light of upcoming initiatives like the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA)?[20:33] The lack of viable exchange venues for securities, especially security tokens, is one of the most intriguing future challenges that has received little attention. [28:37] The hubris of the DeFi industry is that everyone thinks we can simply forget everything from the past and reinvent everything from scratch.[31:22] According to Piers, one of the most difficult aspects of being a founder in the DeFi space is the constant involvement with the community and the community's need to have a voice in nearly everything.[34:07] How has Justin handled the psychological impact of what goes on behind the scenes of Pangolin's development? [35:31] What has Justin done to create space for himself? What words of wisdom would he impart to his younger self and anyone else contemplating joining a project or becoming involved in its formation? [37:43] Justin's tips to DeFi founders and leaders on how to manage the stress that comes with creating a new project [39:17] The value of taking breaks, trusting oneself, and having faith in your decisionsFurther resourcesWebsite: Pangolin Exchange Twitter: @pangolindexJustin’s Twitter: @jtrollip Discord: Telegram: 
In this episode of the DeFi Download, Piers Ridyard interviews Zaki Manian, co-founder of Sommelier and Iqlusion. They talk about his path from Cosmos to Sommelier, DeFi's revolutions and end state, and what sets this new system apart from TradFi.Zaki Manian is co-founder of Sommelier and Iqlusion. Using Cosmos technology, Sommelier makes it possible for decentralised actively managed DeFi strategies to be used throughout the Ethereum DeFi ecosystem.Sommelier is developed on the Cosmos SDK to optimise interoperability with other blockchains. It employs one of the top-performing Ethereum bridges and is currently expanding its access to other chains to ensure that strategies are not only dependent on high-gas ETH markets.[1:50] Dave’s journey into the Ethereum ecosystem, Cosmos, and Sommelier[12:09] What are the properties of Cosmos that made it preferable to build Sommelier there rather than in Solidity on Ethereum?[13:46] Bridging Ethereum and Sommelier while maintaining trust [18:55] Government’s purpose is to slow down rapid change. This is an intriguing notion because two things are colliding in DeFi. On the one hand, people desire the ability to move swiftly, innovate, construct new things, and experiment. On the other hand, we are dealing with significant sums of money, and checks and balances must be in place. Piers predicts that DeFi will go down the growth path of Sommelier. However, what aspects of TradFi are we not emulating? What features of the new system will make it superior to the previous one?[27:29] Decentralised communities as quasi-nations and the governance system of Cosmos and its structure[31:50] Censorship resistance at the heart of a potential future political crisis in Ethereum that might fracture the community[34:33] What is the end state for DeFi according to Zaki? What direction is the industry taking?[37:59] DeFi’s ability to create liquidity for assets with high trading volumes, as well as the enormous amount of innovation it can unleash[41:35] The next wave of DeFi will involve increased complexity and sophistication of financial products, as well as increased complexity in their management. The next revolution will most likely be the abstraction of all of that to something relatively basic and user-friendly. Is Sommelier's eventual goal to turn to a simple user state, or will it always focus on the institutional rather than the retail?Further resourcesWebsite: Twitter: @sommfinanceZaki’s Twitter: @zmanianDiscord: Telegram: 
In this episode of the DeFi Download, Piers Ridyard interviews Brian Pellegrino, co-founder, and CEO of LayerZero Labs, the team behind LayerZero, a generalised cross-chain messaging protocol, as well as Stargate, a cross-chain liquidity transfer layer.LayerZero is an omni-chain interoperability protocol. It is intended for lightweight message transmission across chains. It provides authentic and guaranteed message delivery with trustlessness that may be configured.Stargate launched on top of LayerZero and quickly became the fastest-growing Defi application of all time. Stargate aspires to resolve the Bridging Trilemma and to provide omni-chain routing as well as pooling and staking options across multiple chains.[1:03] What exactly is a generalised cross-chain messaging protocol and why does it matter?[5:56] How do gas fees work on LayerZero?[10:38] What is a Relayer, how does the Relayer network function, and what safeguards honesty among ledgers?[13:03] Dissecting the LayerZero omni-chain interoperability function and its two core mechanisms: the Oracle and the Relayer[20:28] What is Stargate by LayerZero Labs?[25:30] How does liquidity emerge in the protocol, and what incentives are offered to those who provide liquidity?[29:35] How is the Stargate token different from wrapped assets?[31:02] Why is the LayerZero Stargate implementation combination more secure than all of the other bridges currently under attack?[35:41] How Pre-Crime keeps bridges safe from hackers[39:26] Many of the issues observed in these hacks are related to things like permission escalation and other similar issues. How does what LayerZero Labs is doing prevent those types of attacks?Further resourcesLayerZero Website: Stargate: Twitter: @LayerZero_LabsBryan’s Twitter: @PrimordialAADocumentation: LayerZero DocsMedium: 
In this episode of the DeFi Download, Piers Ridyard is joined by Florian and Lukas, co-founders of Ociswap. Ociswap is the first Radix native decentralised exchange going live with Babylon with a focus on concentrated liquidity, capital efficiency and protocol-owned liquidity.For exchanging your preferred cryptocurrencies on RadixDLT, Ociswap will offer a secure, trustless, and self-custodial environment. On the very first day of the Babylon update, it will debut as the first pairwise DEX that is native to Radix. The Ociswap team is looking towards protocol-owned liquidity and ways to lessen the effects of impermanent loss in addition to providing capital-efficient Automated Market Maker capabilities.[01:07] Lukas and Florian discuss their crypto experience and how they discovered Radix.[06:58] The Ociswap team is waiting for Radix to launch Babylon, at which point smart contracts will be available. However, Ociswap is already live on Olympia.[10:37] Lucas discusses what they've learned in the two or three weeks of running an exchange that they didn't know previously.[12:38] What advice would Florian and Lukas offer to anyone thinking about building their own project on top of Radix in terms of community development? [16:25] Florian discusses the three objectives—concentrated liquidity, capital efficiency, and protocol-owned liquidity—that they want to accomplish with Ociswap v1, which will debut on Babylon.[19:05] The definition of capital efficiency[21:14] How does Ociswap manage liquidity on behalf of the user such that the protocol does not bear all of the risk?[29:19] Florian's experiences building using Scrypto thus far, and how they vary from his previous experiences. What kinds of things has he learned while building Ociswap towards Babylon?[32:30] The members of the current Ociswap team[35:10] How far has the team progressed in terms of achieving all of the capabilities mentioned in terms of protocol-owned liquidity and concentrated liquidity?[39:24] What does Florian love most about building with Scrypto, given that he has been tackling genuine challenges as one of the most experienced, production Scrypto developers in the Radix community at the moment?[42:23] Lukas goes over some of the milestones they have reached thus far, as well as what they hope to accomplish in the coming months.Further resourcesWebsite: ociswap.comDocumentation: Ociswap DocsTwitter: @ociswap, Lukas: @lu5st, Florian: @f_pieperDiscord: Ociswap – Radix DEXTelegram: Ociswap - The Radix DEXReddit: r/Ociswap
In this episode of the DeFi Download, Piers Ridyard interviews Professor Campbell Harvey, Professor of Finance at Duke University, and co-author of DeFi and the future of finance. Campbell R. Harvey graduated from the University of Chicago with a PhD in finance. He held the position of Editor of The Journal of Finance, one of the most prestigious journals in the field of economics, from 2006 to 2012. He presided over the American Finance Association in 2016.More than 150 scholarly articles by Professor Campbell Harvey have been published on subjects as diverse as investment finance, emerging markets, corporate finance, behavioural finance, financial econometrics, and computer science. Professor Harvey has been teaching "Innovation and Cryptoventures" at Duke University for the past few years. This course focuses on the workings and uses of blockchain technology as well as decentralised finance. You can find his DeFi-related online courses on Coursera. [1:00] How Campbell Harvey came to be a finance professor and write about DeFi and the future of finance[12:46] What is the purpose of the financial system?[19:48] What makes DeFi special? Why does this technological application differ from other digital service approaches?[24:00] The Internet's peer-to-peer nature as a network of services, providers, and users, its current degree of centralisation, the differences between Web 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0, and the significance of DeFi[27:47] Web 3.0's powerful advancements[31:28] Regulatory issues in the United States and globallyFurther resourcesWebsite: Book on Amazon: DeFi and the Future of FinanceCoursera CoursesTwitter: @camharvey LinkedIn:
Piers Ridyard is joined by Chris Zhu of Mirror World, in this episode of the DeFi Download. Piers and Chris examine interoperable gaming through the use of blockchain technology.Chris Zhu is the founder and CEO of Mirror World. Mirror World is a game matrix powered by a mobile SDK layer that accelerates Web3 game development. Mirror World essentially functions as a Web3 overlay to game engines, making it easier for developers to bring interesting Web3 games to market.[1:06] Mirror World is a game matrix. What does that mean?[2:17] Creating game assets as NFTs represented on ledger[3:20] Why does Mirror World make use of a mobile SDK? What is the significance of this?[6:37] Examining the next level of the problem, the user onboarding issue[9:11] What has the Mirror World team discovered along the way? What have they identified as a better way to do things? What have they recognized is difficult? And how do they feel about things like fiat on-ramps or the ability to accept payments?[12:36] Custodial and non-custodial options that are available on Mirror World’s in-app wallet[13:36] The fundamental idea and issues around cross-game assets [19:14] Would Mario Kart have been as successful if Nintendo had released it with the same game dynamics but none of the characters?[20:17] Is it true that user ownership of a gaming asset reduces a game studio's ability to commercialise its intellectual property?[24:40] Is it feasible to design balanced gameplay in cross-game worlds? How much data should interoperability support?[29:42] Rarity is built into games to encourage players to spend time playing them. Interoperability, on the other hand, reduces the incentive to devote a significant amount of time to another game. So, why would a game developer want to go through the trouble of creating cross-game interoperable assets?[33:07] Sources of monetization for Mirror WorldFurther resourcesWebsite: Twitter: @joinmirrorworld and @ChrizhuuDiscord:
With Julien Bouteloup, Founder of Stake Capital Group, Stake DAO, BlackPool Finance,, and Curve core team memberIn this episode of the DeFi Download, Piers Ridyard of RDX Works and Julien Bouteloup of Stake Capital and Rekt News discuss his background and experience in the crypto space and analyse the current threats to DeFi governance, such as bribery and lobbying.Julien Bouteloup is the creator of the first ever flash loan. He is also the founder and CEO of Stake Capital Group, a member of the Curve Finance core team, and the creator and founder of Rekt News.Julien has a background in physics and mathematics. He has a Master's degree in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering and has worked in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. [1:04] Julien’s experience during the early crypto years[2:55] Into the mind of Julien: His approach to meeting teams and getting involved in projects, as well as his path to where he is now[6:27] Looking back on his time in the crypto space, what were Julien's opinions or beliefs that he still holds as strongly as he did when he first got into it, and what has he changed his mind about?[10:18] The Hopium Diaries, from Julien’s Twitter feed[11:23] Bribes and Governance: What's happening in the governance token space today?[19:01] Examples of emerging phenomena that are opposed to how we want the DeFi system to function[24:47] The solution to the above problem, according to Julien[30:09] What led to the formation of Rekt? Why did Julien create it? What was lacking in the market at the time?[34:09] What criteria are used to choose the content for Rekt?[37:03] Are NFTs dead?Further resourcesStake Capital:  Julien’s Twitter: @bneilujRekt News:
Josh is one of Radix’s most senior and longest-standing developers. Piers sits down with him for a chat, just like they did at South by Southwest in Texas, only this time in the studio.[0:47] Where did Josh go to university and what did he study there? [3:47] What courses or subjects stand out the most in terms of teaching Josh principles that he has applied throughout his career?[6:19] The cost of rushing the manufacturing process[13:00] Josh's experience at his first job after graduating from university, which was at Nvidia[15:58] What were the key areas of personal growth that Josh experienced while at Nvidia?[17:39] What did Josh discover that aided in the tractability of systems? How did he begin to learn to think about systems in such a way that developing systems became tractable?[23:42] Josh's formative experience at the repubHub start-up following his departure from Nvidia – What he learned from building at a higher level[27:30] Did Josh have any preconceived notions regarding the difficulty or ease of developing web applications versus low-level systems? Was there anything he learned on his journey that made him think he wasn't completely right about those things?[29:15] What else did Josh learn at repubHub that influenced his approach to building?[30:38] What was the first design conversation around building the language that is now Scrypto when Josh and the team picked up Scrypto and identified what was crucial about the language?[33:44] The early decision to begin with the syntax rather than attempting to build the underlying implementation[35:16] Design philosophy, functionality, and fundamental design constraints[40:21] What did Josh learn from Scrypto's initial ideas and the testing process of first getting the team to build with Scrypto, and subsequently the developer community? And what are the most significant modifications that have resulted from those discoveries in the Radix Engine v2?[44:26] There is a significant difference between the Radix Engine v1 and the Radix Engine v2. How much of the Scrypto development process influenced the Radix Engine v2 design?
In this episode of the DeFi Download, Piers Ridyard and Reggie Middleton debate the concept of patents and how they fit into the ethos of open source in the world of DeFi. Reggie Middleton is Disruptor in Chief, 2013 founder of DeFi, holding active patents in bothJapan and the USA. He is also a predictor of booms and busts and an inventor of P2P capital markets and self-sovereign finance. [00:43] Reggie talks about his background in investment and projects he has been involved with, such as UltraCoin[10:20] Reggie’s reasons and the process for filing his first patent in 2014 [13:26] Open-source software is designed around the concept of giving away ideas as the fastest way to build human innovation and is one of the greatest pieces of human cooperation that ever has existed. Are patents antithetical to the ethos of open source?[16:24] What exactly is intellectual property?[20:19] Is the concept of ownership of something tangible and separable the same as the concept of ownership of an idea?[21:07] Intellectual property as legal fiction and patent law jurisdictional discrepancies[31:47] Reasons why people dislike patents[38:30] The moral divide: charging rent to those who have independently developed an idea and established it into a business.[41:45] Multiple people can own an idea or come up with an idea independently.[45:44] The patent test: demonstrating that the idea is innovative enough to support the patent's validity.[47:29] The monetary incentive of owning a patent versus open-source and free exchange of ideas, which results in faster innovation[56:33] Someone using someone else's idea; could they have done it without knowing about that person's idea?Further resourcesTwitter: @ReggieMiddleton
In this episode of the DeFi Download, Piers Ridyard is joined by Tascha Che, macroeconomist and founder of Soundwise. They discuss the enormous potential of Web3 from a macroeconomic standpoint.Tascha holds a PhD in macroeconomics and has extensive experience in macroeconomic consultancy. She advises countries on their economic policies as part of her job. She is also a technology investor and a founder of a start-up. She is the creator of Soundwise, which can be accessed at is a deep thinker when it comes to DeFi and cryptocurrency. The Web3 space brings together two of her greatest loves: economics and technology. [0:41] Tascha's journey from a PhD in macroeconomics to cryptocurrency and spending a significant amount of time studying Web3 is remarkable. What is it about crypto, Web3, and public ledgers that Tascha finds so exciting for the world, the global economy, and humanity in general at this time?[3:55] The labour-capital divide, according to Tascha, is one of the most important markers of inequality or social unrest. What exactly does that imply?[7:20] Can transaction fees be considered a form of tax, if the money does not go into a budget for social good?[10:42] Piers adds to Tascha's comparison of public ledgers to nation-states by pointing out that one of the major determining factors in the success of societies throughout history is whether or not they were dogmatic or flexible societies. Tascha responds.[16:30] When there are many stakeholders, how can you develop a system that works well? Does Tascha have any ideas on what that would entail?[20:50] Tascha believes that public ledgers and Web3 will improve people's access to capital. The cynical counter-argument is that Web3 is merely a more convenient way to make programmatic finance and that capital owners will come in and dominate the Web3 market in the same manner that they have dominated the existing financial industry. What does Tascha say to those who aren't a part of the crypto bubble and believe it will simply create a new group of insiders or that the old insiders will simply come in and dominate here as well?[25:06] There are two current trends, according to Piers. The first is a long-term trend that indicates an impending societal crisis. The other is the industrial revolution's short-term trends. Web3 will accelerate the capital-labour divide, increasing inequality. What can these new systems accomplish in terms of welfare, universal basic income, or even considering redistribution?[32:37] Piers inquires about Tascha's thoughts on the following: The larger macro issue that concerns him is the trend toward automation or the increase in the number of ways in which a small group of people may essentially create large amounts of value. Piers cannot envision a scenario in which, without some form of a collective sense of what we want the end state to look like, we don't wind up with a small number of individuals holding a large amount of capital and everyone else not owning nearly as much. There has to be a point where we consider the concept of redistribution itself.[39:20] Tascha proposes that modern ledgers and blockchain governance serve as a counterbalance to nation-states. She goes into greater detail about what she means by that.[40:04] Is Tascha not of the opinion that the entire economy will eventually be subsumed by public decentralised ledgers, in which every single economic activity that we undertake will effectively be done via a public ledger? [43:24] Once blockchain becomes a Metaverse economy it becomes a significant element of the entire economy. How does Tascha think it will be organised? Will it have the appearance of a government? Is, eventually, a government the least bad approach to construct a stakeholder management system to manage a public good?[45:59] Tascha’s closing remarks to the Radix community
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