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Beginning the interview series from ADALend CEO Kaspars Koskins, one of the most promising companies revolutionizing the lending industry by using blockchain technology to disintermediate the traditional middlemen – and giving those ignored by the traditional banking system unprecedented access to credit offers investors high yields and a sustained low interest rate environment. I hope you’re as excited about this conversation as we are, so let’s jump right in.
Welcome Kaspars, we know you are a busy gentleman these days with the public launch of the ADAEnd Lending platform and tokens this quarter, but thank you for taking the time to speak to us today. Let’s start from a very high level – can you give us the elevator pitch for ADALend for those of us who are new to Decentralized Finance and Crypto (or Web3 as they are fashionable to call it these days!).
It’s a pleasure to be here and very excited to tell your audience a little bit more about what we are building at ADALend and how they can participate, but first let me try to summarize in simple terms what our mission is.
We are developing a scalable, trusted and decentralized lending protocol that hosts users in a self-governing environment. From day one, we’ve committed to natively building on top of the Cardano blockchain, which will enable the lending platform to aggregate protocols supporting business models that economically support billions of users.
ADALend will restore the balance of power between lenders and borrowers. By allowing the use of digital assets as collateral, usage of the platform is diversified to the benefit of the user.
Thanks for that – can you tell the audience a bit more about why you chose the Cardano blockchain when there are already successful DeFi projects built on Ethereum and new blockchains such as Solala?
Sure, let me first explain that Ethereum has become unusable for the majority of people on Earth due to the high transaction costs. 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 have to lend and restrict much smaller amounts. Ethereum has therefore become a layer 2 blockchain for the wealthy and the newcomers you mentioned like Solana have centralization and reliability issues. Carsano is the only truly decentralized blockchain with the necessary security, speed, and low transaction fees needed to provide a truly democratic financial solution that can be used by everyone on earth – and our vision fits perfectly with the Cardano Charles Hsokins, who is passionate about improving financial outcomes for people around the world, regardless of race, nationality, gender or financial status.
Thank you, those are really strong words Kaspars, and we are fortunate to have projects like Cardano and platforms like ADALend that can turn this vision of democratic inclusion into reality.
In addition to the mission to do good in the world, many of our readers are executives, professionals and small business owners who manage their own portfolios and are wondering how to preserve their capital and get a good return in this hyperinflationary environment when interest rates are like this low. People are seeing their retirement nest egg or kids’ college fund shrink in real terms because of the frankly insane macroeconomic environment we find ourselves in today in the US, Europe and many other parts of the developer world. How can these hard working middle class people benefit from ADALend?
Well, that’s the other side of the coin, isn’t it? One of my personal inspirations for founding ADAlend is having worked in traditional retail lending and credit union savings in my home country of Estonia in Northern Europe. I have seen first hand how people could not get a decent interest rate from the banks and were seriously worried about their future as prices and the cost of living were rising much faster than salaries. Banks’ hands are tied as interest rates are set by the Federal Reserve in the US and the European Central Bank in the EU. I started exploring Decentralized Finance (DeFi) to earn a return on my own family’s savings, which led me down the rabbit hole and brought us here today.
Our commitment to ADALend lenders is that we provide a secure lending platform where they can invest their hard-earned savings in Cardano (ADA) or ADAlend tokens (ADAL) or in the form of stablecoins like USDT or USDC and take a market hit can earn returns on it in the high single-digit or low double-digit percentage range. The ADALend platform is highly liquid with no long-term locks, allowing our lenders to earn interest for the time their savings are “spent” on the platform and can withdraw at any time.
The other side is for borrowers — many small business owners, entrepreneurs, and the self-employed find it difficult to borrow money from traditional banks to buy a car, pay a down payment on a home, invest in their business, or fund a dream vacation. At ADALend, we do no credit checks and don’t care about salary history. Traditional banks and lenders do not recognize digital assets as collateral. We will provide these borrowers with an overcollateralized lending facility where they can use their digital assets such as Bitcoin, Cardano or any other major cryptocurrency and we will lend them US dollars or euros against their holdings. This will bring vital liquidity to a large number of hard-working professionals and the self-employed who have previously been ignored by banks. Incidentally, this type of over-collateralised lending against access has been used for decades by the top 1% of the world’s wealthy people to finance their lifestyles, investments and tax optimisation. ADALend is now bringing these financial solutions to everyone who was once the privilege of the wealthy.
It is truly a noble goal – and I am pleased to see that you are helping the middle class like us and the world’s poorest.
Let’s talk about partnerships, investors and technology. I understand that DeFi and CeFi (centralized finance) is a highly competitive space, especially ahead of your Initial Dex Offering (IDO) in March 2022, but what can you share in this space without all of our readers signing an NDA?
Absolutely – you nailed it, the space is getting more competitive by the day with other new projects building DeFi on top of other blockchains and the established CeFi companies like BlockFi, so we have to be selective about what to reveal . However, today I can share some insights with you,
On the technology side – by leveraging the Cardano blockchain, ADALend will be able to tap into the massive digital cash management market. ADALend unlocks the potential for blockchain-powered liquidity by creating technology that allows anyone to delegate their digital cash and make it available for credit. Aiming to be Cardano native in everything we do, we build the platform with Haskell and Plutus and operate within the current constraints of smart contracts on this blockchain.
On the partnership side, Input-Output Hong Kong (IOHK) has included ADALend on its “Essential Cardano List” of projects that are considered part of the ecosystem that supports and supplies Cardano users with products and services. We’re also listed on CardanoCube.io and I know our Business Development team is hard at work on several exciting partnerships that we’ll be announcing in February that will really get the needle moving, so keep an eye on this space!
In terms of funding, we are pleased to have attracted highly regarded venture capital, Moonwhale Ventures, as our lead investor and our private sale is almost complete. We are now in a very good position financially and are more selective about who we accept funding from as we do not want to favor VCs over retail investors as is the case with many projects. We also reserve a good allocation of ADAL tokens for our community.
This is excellent news Kasparas – I hear all too often that new crypto projects are making huge allocations available to VCs, which then turn to retail. It looks like you are far more inclusive at ADALend, offering excellent opportunities for smaller and mid-sized accredited investors to access the private sales once reserved for the VC elite. As an experienced small investor myself, I welcome you!
I have to say, after our discussions today, I’m very keen to get involved and I’m sure our audience is too. Where can you learn more about the private sale, public launch of IDO and getting involved?
Thank you for the kind words and thank you for the interview today – I really enjoyed it and sometimes I still have to pinch myself when I realize how far we’ve come in the past year! Sure, we are now in the final stages of the private sale. So if you want to request ADAL token allocation for your readers, you can send an email [email protected] with the subject line “CEO Interview” and I’ll make sure our private sales team responds to it as soon as possible. Visit our ADALend.finance website for more details
Thank you for your time Kaspars and I’ll get back to building.
It pleases me and I take this opportunity to wish you and your readers a successful and profitable year ahead!