On June 16th 2021, our community had a chance to welcome Mr. Brian Mahoney – CSO of Alkemi to join in an AMA to give fruitful information about the key features and roadmap of Alkemi – building an on-chain liquidity network with a suite of tools and products that serve as onramps for everyone to participate in decentralized finance.
This AMA was held by CryptoFamily Group – the top crypto community in Vietnam, where investors and traders can obtain the latest news and signals from bot/ admins, as well as discuss and share investment experiences in the crypto space.
At this AMA, Mr. Brian Mahoney – CSO of Alkemi directly greeted the community and provided detailed information on Alkemi as well as some key products, new advanced features and exciting events that will be held in the near future.
Time: 9:00 PM (UTC + 7) on Wednesday, June 16th, 2021
Airdrop 200 USDT for the best questions in the AMA.
Below are some main points of this AMA session:
PART I: INTRODUCTION OF ALKEMI
1. Firstly, can you give me a brief introduction about your management team and Alkemi Network? What led you to the idea of building this platform?
Brian: Sure thing! Alkemi Network was cofounded by Ryan Breen (CEO), Ben Cooper (CXO) and myself (CSO) a few years ago, in 2018. I come from a CeFi background with 10+ years of experience in capital markets and fintech and I joined up with CEO Ryan, who had started coding smart contracts in Solidity with UX/UI designer and developer, Ben. We actually met at Techstars… we had all fallen down the DeFi rabbit hole and had been evaluating some of the emerging protocols but we observed that adoption thus far had been driven by retail users, leaving a gap for institutional capital. Meanwhile, the institutions who I was telling about this emerging fintech ecosystem (called DeFi), were unable to participate because of compliance and risk/reporting issues. There was a lot of money sitting on the sidelines that couldn’t find its way into DeFi. So, we started building Alkemi Network together, with an initial focus on unlocking the wall of institutional capital to DeFi, to enable this system, that we all believed in, to grow!
2. Please share with us the achievements and milestones of Alkemi Network so far.
Brian: It was a great feeling to see our flagship borrowing and lending platform go live on mainnet at the end of 2020, and it preceded a flurry of activity that ended up with us being 5x over subscribed for our investment round, which closed on March 1st of this year.
In addition to those, the biggest milestone for us has been the community that we’ve been building, which has been one of the most fulfilling things to witness. Our goal has always been to enable people to become their own banks, to access DeFi, and although we initially wanted to unlock institutional capital to flow into this new natively-digital system, it is really about having everyone in it together, so capital can move like water around the world. Frictionless and global.
3.Could you tell us about your strategic partners and their role in the development of Alkemi Network?
Brian: We worked closely with our partners from day 1 to make sure we could tailor our products to their needs. We have been lucky to partner with top-tier institutional firms like LedgerPrime, GSR, Outlier Ventures, who could all offer us their expertise in different ways. Every feature of our network has been battle tested, carefully structured and built to serve our community user base for now and the future.
We have developed what we call ‘professional DeFi’ – a service open to everyone so they can access advanced features like reporting, risk management, and a seamless experience to access DeFi… so it’s not just institutions. Through our partnership with KYC-Chain, we are able to create a trusted-counterparty environment for users (institutional or other) who wish to undergo KYC/AML checks and be part of a Verified digital asset userbase.
CF: The information you provided is really fruitful. To continue today’s AMA session, please provide more information by responding to some best questions submitted by members on Twitter that I have chosen right in this Group.
PART 2: PRE-COLLECTED QUESTIONS FROM TWITTER
1. What’s the benefit of Alkemi’s ‘permissioned’ liquidity pool over liquidity pools as we known in the market? How many of this pools are plan to launch in the ecosystem and does all will serve the same function? @Lidiamga
Brian: Thank you for your question @Lidiamga! The permissioned liquidity pool’s goal is to unlock institutional capital to flow on chain by providing a ‘trusted-counterparty’ liquidity environment for users who require a compliant way to access DeFi. Let me explain that in a little more detail:
While individuals are able to make decisions themselves about how they trade their own money, institutions that take custody of other people’s funds have to fulfill criteria to remain ‘compliant’ – there are all sorts of rules they have to follow. We have created our product to enable them to compliantly access DeFi. So, whether they are using our borrowing and lending protocol now, or any of our other products in the future, they will always be able to access them with our permissioned liquidity pool. We are the only firm currently in the market to offer this service, live, right now on mainnet, AND we have a liquidity mining program to reward our network participants.
2. On Alkemi network, is the collaterization rate for borrowing fixed? If not, is there any way for users to improve collaterization rates for borrowing? If yes, please tell us how. @DngGiaPhong2
Brian: The Alkemi Earn platform currently offers variable interest rates across 4 markets (USDC, wBTC, Dai, ETH). These interest rates are derived algorithmically based on the supply/demand from lenders and borrowers using Earn. On the lender side of the market, users deposit their capital in a contract of their choosing and earn interest on their principal deposit. On the borrower side, Earn users must overcollateralize with a deposit at 125% before engaging in a borrow. This collateralization threshold is a set ratio (fixed) for every borrow transaction. The health of the protocol’s balance sheet is very important, which is why overcollateralization is required for each borrower driven transaction.
Reducing the ‘cost of capital’ (i.e. collateralization requirements) is a feature that our team is thinking about quite deeply and have plans to address in the future. We are uniquely positioned across DeFi to reduce the cost of capital on Earn in the future given we the high quality user base we have been building our initial roll out around (institution-grade users).
3. The security of smart contracts is always a big concern of investors. Has the Alkemi Earn smart contract been audited before release? @Jzciz
Brian: Great question @jzciz ! As we have positioned ourselves as a professional DeFi solution, we take protocol security seriously. We have partnered with Quantstamp (also an investor in Alkemi Network) who will be doing a complete audit of all of our smart contracts before TGE this summer. In addition to the upcoming Quantstamp audit, we are exploring the possibility of a bounty driven community audit to add a further layer of security to the network.
Further to the above, we have diligent internal functional testing and user acceptance testing with finance partners prior to every release. There is also real-time monitoring, alerting and troubleshooting for smart contracts (Tenderly) and we always make use of security-trialed, community-reviewed code libraries where available, continuously improved and tested by developers worldwide.
4. Is Alkemi planning to release testnet for trial? If yes, what utility and functionality do you focus on? If not, what plan do you have to make users and investors fully trust and use Alkemi? @Rockabye1985
Brian: Thank you for your question @Rockabye1985! Akemi Earn is currently live on the Ethereum mainnet and we have already received $20m+ in deposits from select partners and users. Initially, we launched our KYC Verified pools which allow users to deposit or borrow ETH, USDC, DAI and WBTC, earn interest on their principal as well as benefit from earning ALK tokens via our Liquidity Mining program – now live. Prior to TGE, we will launch a second pool Alkemi Earn ‘Open’ (permissionless), which will provide an opportunity to users who don’t wish to undergo KYC verification to participate in the protocol.
5.As an investor, I care specifically about the utility of the token. Please tell us can we farm, swap, or stalk $ALK. What are the risks involved in investing in Alkemi? And how is Alkemi working to protect us from those risks? @Aberzika
Brian: This is a question we discuss a lot @Aberzike – one of our main considerations is to ensure the utility of our network. At the moment, the main way users can earn ALK tokens is to participate in our network as a depositor and/or borrower. We have a Liquidity Mining Program currently live for all Alkemi Earn participants interacting in our permissioned pool. This program will also extend to our soon to be launched Open pool in the coming weeks. We have plans for future staking mechanisms for ALK holders, to extend utility beyond governance, which is the primary use at present.
Details can be found here on our liquidity mining program:
CF: That’s the end of Part 2, I believe all of the members here have gathered enough useful information, also they have many questions to exchange with you today.
PART 3: FREE-ASKING QUESTIONS
1. Which one of these aspects is important for you?
1-Increasing Token Price & Value
2-Empowering Platform Development
3-Building Community Trust
4-Expanding Partnership Globally
In what order?
Brian: Great question @luckyboy0305 Our community and platform development are the most important for us. We are extremely focused scaling our existing ‘product market fit’ with Alkemi Earn (and future product rollouts) while making sure our growing community of supporters continue to support and drive our vision forward. We include partnerships as apart of our community given our many supporter are also Alkemi Network stakeholders. If we execute on these things as intend to, the rest will take care of itself 🙂
2. What is your top 3 things for priorities in 2021? Could you share some plans for the upcoming year?
Brian: Hey @oplus6 thank you for your question! We are looking forward to our TGE mid-July (this summer), at which point our permissionless ‘Open’ pool will be live (product #2) for people to borrow and lend within Alkemi Earn.
As we move through TGE, we will continue to pursue CeFi partnerships (some big news coming on a big one very soon!), adding product enhancements and expanding token utility and distribution outlets. Community is a key focus for Alkemi Network and we are welcoming new members and participants every day! We began running some competitions that you can find out about in our Telegram channel (https://t.me/AlkemiNetwork) and we are also keen to launch a bug bounty after we complete our audit with Quantstamp.
As we grow our Assets Under Protocol (AUP) we will also intend to evaluate different staking mechanisms we can deploy to further boost our token utility.
3. What is your strongest advantage that you think will make your team leading the market? In contrast, what is your weakness? How do you plan to overcome it?
Brian: Our strongest advantage is being first to market with KYC-enabled liquidity pools that unlock institutional capital to flow into DeFi, which will benefit everyone! We have built an institutional community of users around our product suite, which has allowed us to accelerate adoption.
Our weakness is similar to what continues to stifle DeFi as an emerging market category, which is driving user conversion based on adoption & organic protocol support as opposed to users just searching for the most lucrative rewards and those who are not committed to a specific protocol over the long term. That said, we have product market fit and are hyper focused on scaling our community to more long term supporters!
4. Good day @blockchainbri.How do you think the Alkemi Network case team can overcome all the regulations that countries have? Do you plan to cover the whole market or focus only on a certain group of countries?
Brian: Our strategy is global, with a baseline of meeting the highest standards. It is a bit early to talk about consistent global regulation for DeFi. In the US, where arguably the regulatory bar is at its highest, DeFi currently does not fit into a specific regulatory framework. That said, our institutional focus requires us to make sure we meet bank grade compliance requirements of finance institutions. For that reason, we are putting in place processes (such as KYC/AML screening for our permissioned pool) and tackling the trusted-counterparty challenge. We believe such processes will have broad applicability across jurisdictions worldwide
5. community is an important asset to any project. How are you going to educate us that the project you are offering is long term? and do you have the funds and a strong team to be able to develop this project in the future?
Brian: Thanks @milo754 We recognize that community is the strongest aspect of any project and that is why we have introduced various community initiatives where our members could participate and earn different rewards. For example, we’ve recently closed the Meme Competition and we’ve also been running an Alkemi Network Advocate program
(feel free to apply! https://bit.ly/alkemi_advocate)
In terms of backing and the team, we have strong names behind us such us Outlier Ventures, Titans Ventures, GSR, GBV Capital, Techstars, LedgerPrime, Exnetwork, GAINs Network and others. The team comes from various backgrounds and experiences from crypto, finance, and other tech industries.
CF: Thank you so much for taking your time to join our AMA today, as well as thanks for hundreds of good questions from our community.
Seems like there’re many things to exchange, but I’m afraid the time is up now. For all of the questions that have not been answered yet, guys feel free to search for more information on the links provided below: