July 27th, the Algorand Asia Pacific Community All Hands was successfully held, featured with an exciting DeFi / NFT panel session, joined by our Asia Pacific ecosystem partners Algomint, Curvegrid, Meld Gold, Yieldly and Props.
During the All Hands, Jason Lee, the COO of the Algorand Foundation shared with the community the latest updates regarding the governance program. We were also glad to give our recognition to our Asia Pacific Community Champions by the end of this call.
Algorand Asia Pacific: A Global Stance on DeFi / NFT
Summer: Can you give us a brief introduction of your project?
Michael: Algomint is an interoperability project providing a combination of 1:1 asset wrapping as well as basketing like for like assets. Creating an equity bridge in and out of the Algorand ecosystem as well as standardising a range of stable coins via basketing. Initially we will be bridging BTC and ETH with a much larger range of products to follow including USD and GOLD baskets.
AJ: Meld Gold’s platform integrates into the existing gold supply chain enabling a range of entities including traders, refineries, vaults and dealers to seamlessly track, trade and manage gold throughout the network. Our digital assets GOLD$ and SILVER$ represent a 1:1 ratio with underlying physical assets and can be bought and sold 24/7 while also being redeemed for physical bullion at partner locations.
Jeff: Curvegrid is a blockchain technology company based in Tokyo, Japan. Curvegrid's MultiBaas blockchain middleware makes it fast, easy, and cost effective for companies to build on multiple blockchain platforms. Turnkey MultiBaas solutions are available for financial services, decentralized finance, online gaming, document management, logistics, and manufacturing that help companies get to market with blockchain faster than otherwise possible.
Sebastian: Yieldly is the world’s first suite of DeFi products designed and developed on Algorand. Our mission is to empower the next one million crypto users to exchange digital value without friction, gas inefficiency, or security risk. All Yieldly products have been proprietarily developed in-house and we are backed by some of the the top venture capitals, including Borderless Capital, LongHash Ventures, and CMS holdings. We have also been audited and secured by award-winning cybersecurity firm, Halborn (SushiSwap, Polygon, Bancor, Avalanche).
What does Yieldly mean for users? Our mission critical infrastructure on Algorand enables:
1. Staking. Letting users stake, pool, and swap ASA assets.
2. Unlocked interoperability. Tokens flow seamlessly between protocols via our world-first bridge solution.
3. Developer growth. Innovative ASA-based projects can make use of our world-first platform, users and liquidity.
In terms of reach, we have welcomed over 10k users to date (as at mid-July). Over $30m TVL and over 210k transactions in the first 6 weeks since launch. We have also expanded our addressable user network to over 15m crypto and digital users across South East Asia and Korea.
Vincent: Props enables mainstream businesses to share value with their most valuable users, through Fungible community Tokens and NFTs. We convert complex Blockchain techs into simple but strong Saas tools and offer our clients with open box Fungible Token and NFTs solutions. Currently, we have over 10 Million token holders across a half dozen mainstream apps.
Summer: With so many public chains in this industry, why do you choose to build on Algorand? What attracts you most about Algorand?
Michael: Algorand was an easy choice for us, we have always been analytical in the way we build a business and a strong foundation is a necessity for long term success. Algorand doesn’t require a layer 2 solution; it natively possesses everything needed to scale and be the infrastructure for a secure, trustless digital future. Compound this with the incredible team, a team that without a doubt can face any future challenges head on. Who represent the kind of leaders the world needs to see in order to allow for broader adoption.
AJ: Physical assets, particularly those that are fungible are additional considerations in terms of who they come to live on-chian. For example if Meld Gold was on a slow, costly blockchain you could end up with crumbs scattered across wallets globally resulting in metal that would need to be vaulted and insured for life. The other consideration is what is gold's future, for us we see it as a fantastic fiat alternative and with that in mind it needs global adoption and velocity. As Michael said, Algorand is clearly the frontrunner for Blockchains poised to be the bridge to global adoption and in terms of velocity, 4.4 seconds, 0.001 Algo fees, 46,000 TPS. What more do I need to say?
Jeff: We’ve been watching Algorand for quite some time, and it was a logical next step in the expansion of the MultiBaas platform. The clean and structured approach of Alogrand Standard Assets is a natural fit for NFTs, and we have a number of customers and partners who are interested in bridging their assets between Algorand and other blockchain platforms. MultiBaas Bridge is unique in that it allows companies to integrate cross-chain digital asset capabilities directly into their NFT, DeFi, gaming, VR, or financial services applications. Bringing this capability to the Algorand ecosystem makes bringing complex decentralized applications to market that much simpler. Companies building on Algorand can realize its benefits for their customers, across chains, in a secure, fast, and cost effective manner.
Sebastian: Algorand was the obvious choice for four reasons:
Algorand solves the blockchain trilemma (security, scalability, and decentralization). It’s also carbon neutral.
Commercially, we saw a huge market gap and greenfield opportunity with Algorand. A high-performing blockchain with no built DeFi applications.
Algorand boasts great teams and ecosystem investors. Over many years in the industry, we have come to know a number of great investors and teams, such as Borderless Capital. We reached out to them mid 2020, and the result is Yieldly.
With our PhD- level Dev team, we had a competitive edge in building directly in TEAL (Transaction Execution Authorization Language) on Algorand.
Vincent: Like I said, Props aim to service mainstream business. I believe Algorand also has similar goals. Besides, we have ~ hundred thousands of Transactions per day. Which drives us to find a safe, low cost and true permissionless blockchain. And Algorand is a very good choice, it can handle such TPS volume AND do it in a cost effective fashion.
Meanwhile, Algorand has a very good reputation and has the potential to succeed.
Summer: From where you are based, how do you see the development of DeFi / NFT in your respective region?
Michael: Algorand is perfectly positioned to be a major part of the future of both DeFi and NFTs. On the DeFi front, the builder community is extremely collaborative working together to make it as powerful, robust and accessible as possible. I think as this ecosystem grows we really will see a version of DeFi that will open up for the broader community and give access to a range of powerful products and services that won’t be available anywhere else. In terms of NFTs, technically ASAs are the perfect vehicle and development of more sophisticated products where the NFTs are embedded with valuable features and functions is coming. Then we could talk about the DeFi NFT combo and these two markets will work together but that is probably best saved for another conversation.
AJ: Bringing precious metals to DeFi will be a major catalyst for broader adoption, almost every family office and investment company globally holds precious metals. An asset that generally has a cost to hold in storage and insurance, but Meld will not just allow Gold and other precious metals to be fully empowered as ASA’s but will open up yield opportunities to Gold holders both through DeFi and working with one of Australia’s largest and most respected Blockchain investment funds Apollo capital who we are launching a joint Meld Gold fund for investors to earn yield on their gold.
Jeff: Japan was early to embrace blockchain and cryptocurrency, being one of the first major economies to legitimize and regulate cryptoassets. It’s one of the few countries where there’s broad-based support from the government, regulators, large and small businesses, and consumers for blockchain. Some say that Japan was late to embrace digital payments, but in other ways it was very early with widespread technologies such as the Suica contactless transit pass and Furikomi domestic bank transfer system. We’re seeing tremendous growth in QR code and contactless payments, and it’s only natural that integration with DeFi, including stablecoins and CBDCs, is another stop on this roadmap. Japan is also a pioneer and a major market for collectibles, both digital and physical, so we are also expecting major future growth in the area of NFTs.
Sebastian: We, like our users, are globally distributed. That being said, our hearts are never far from Australia. We want to see a borderless and truly interconnected world. As such, we build products that solve critical needs for users, and unleash the true potential of DeFi and NFTs. We are collaborating with some of the world’s largest esports teams (some yet to be announced), with a view to building a new tranche of NFTs for this ever-growing audience. We are also very lucky to have a great number of partners from across the world supporting our project. We deliberately partnered with them because of their reach in Singapore, Korea, China, USA, EU, UK, Middle East and South America. For example, our recent partnership Talon esports, expands our reach to their 6 million+ South-East Asia fan base.
Vincent: Our focus is enabling mainstream business adoption, so we speak with web 2.0 app developers every day. There is a palpable growing demand for NFT solutions amongs web 2.0 communities, marketplaces, creator economy services, media sites. They are all looking to introduce a new revenue stream for themselves and their users, and gain access to secondary market sales.
We also see marketers, CPG, Entertainment and others looking to use NFTs for marketing or as membership tokens.
Summer: How’s your project going to help push the mainstream adoption of DeFi/NFT?
Jeff: MultiBaas Bridge is a platform that can be embedded inside of games, VR Metaverse apps, and any other kind of blockchain application. It helps creators and developers make interacting across blockchains that much more invisible, in the sense that their users don’t need to leave their app or game to move NFTs across blockchains. They are no longer limited to choosing a blockchain to anchor to and really having to stick there, they can take advantage of the best attributes of multiple blockchain platforms, with relatively little overhead in terms of how they integrate it. They can get back to focusing on their user experience, their secret sauce, and their users don’t have the jarring requirement to flip to a different website or wallet to move NFTs between blockchains.
Sebastian: We built the building-block smart contracts for DeFi on Algorand. Our bespoke native smart contracts let you stake, swap, bridge, and transact in a gamified way. We are opening up Algorand to what’s possible with DeFi, and soon NFTs. Since going live in June, we have delivered a number of meaningful world-firsts:
First DeFi products to debut on Algorand (25m ALGO staked as at mid-July).
First audited DeFi smart contracts on Algorand (done by leading cybersecurity firm, Halborn).
First IDO on Algorand (oversubscribed in under 60 mins).
First DeFi company to set a target of carbon neutrality.
We are not just pioneering a DeFi model; we aim to fundamentally push both user and developer adoption of DeFi on Algorand. With Yieldly’s cross-chain bridges and imminent partner liquidity pools, we are positioning Yieldly as the focal point for emerging ASA-based token projects, to expedite development and mainstream adoption.
Vincent: First, we are targeting the mainstream business, instead of expensive collectibles. We believe most of the NFTs are of strong community relevance, so we are aiming to help the web2.0 companies who have millions of community members to achieve their goals on NFT selling.
Second, we have a SaaS business that supports our protocol, which can not only help influencers/ communities to mint and transfer their NFTs, but also can allow them to manage their admin dashboard and enhance their ability to increase engagement with their followers or community members. The more easily a client can achieve his goals by using your product, the more recommendations and adoptions there will be.
For DeFi protocols, they develop and evolve fast. They are great financial tools that can be integrated and used widely in the future, not just exist independently. We are entering into a world that everything related to finance. To me, DeFi will combine with NFTs, Games and everything that in the crypto world.
Michael: For Algomint, helping demonstrate such a powerful message of what Algorand can do when you compare native BTC with Algorand wrapped will be really interesting. Dispelling the myths that all blockchain (crypto) is slow, costly and environmentally taxing will help remove some of the barriers to entry that seem to only be strengthening. BTC and ETH had been evicted from the payment space, but by wrapping them on Algorand we open up the ability for onchain payments that could range from a coffee to a new car. Getting ASA’s into more peoples hands and bringing mainstream exposure to Algorand.
AJ: As Michael said above, for us it is creating opportunity / incentive for traditional investors to adopt. If you are a gold holder and paying 0.7% per year in holding costs and you have the opportunity to digitise your holding, remove holding costs and start generating Yield on the world's most powerful and trusted Blockchain technology why wouldn’t you?
Summer: Before we move to the next session, are there any exciting news/updates you'd like to share with our community?
Michael: Algomint is only a matter of a couple of months away and we are working with a lot of other projects in the space to create value for Algorand users. With several DEXes, lending platforms, news projects, launchpads and a myriad of other great products on their way we are excited to help the Algorand ecosystem blossom. We have a huge 12 months ahead!
AJ: You may have noticed that I mentioned earlier the tokens names as GOLD$ and SILVER$, we are transitioning from the old tokens names to the new. We feel they are much better suited and make it very clear for investors in terms of what they are investing in. PLATINUM and PALLADIUM tokens are now like on mainnet but yet to be officially launched. Often painful metals to invest in and provide fantastic opportunities. There are some more interesting elements coming but nothing I can speak to just yet.
Jeff: I’m happy to share that MultiBaas Bridge is live now for fungible tokens on Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain, with Algorand development well under way. We recently completed a test transfer of several thousand NFTs at once between two blockchain platforms in a fraction of the transactions it would take with traditional bridging technologies.
Sebastian: What’s next for Yieldly? Well, the holy grail is a vertically integrated decentralised exchange across all ecosystems. And we are well on our way there.
We have already successfully launched the ERC-20 bridge, the first phase of true ASA interoperability. Over the next few months, we will also give our users access to Algorand’s first cross-chain bridges to the Binance and Polygon ecosystems, and provide access to an ASA native staking pool for new ASA projects.
On top of that, we have a number of meaningful industry-first partnerships to help us deliver on our wider mission. Expect to see a lot more coming from us in Esports, cross-chain and ASA staking, swaps, and NFTs! Users are loving the v1 products, and we will continue to action user feedback and make the current products more interesting and intuitive as well. With the recent rollout of TEAL 4, we will develop much more sophisticated and complex programs without needing to compromise on functionality. Current iterations in the staking pool contracts already show a much more promising user experience.
Vincent: Very excited to share that we plan to unveil our new NFT partners by the end of the Quarter, and launch a self service NFT Product to communities, companies and individuals. We are first launching a service that allows users to easily mint and transfer NFTs, as well as a Saas tool that can help users or companies by offering them an admin dashboard and data analysis. In the second phase, we will launch our NFT exchange protocol.
Follow our ecosystem partners on social channels and stay tuned for more updates!