Yieldly’s CEO Says Interoperability In DeFi Is More Important Than A Market-Leading Blockchain
Decentralized finance (DeFi) is no doubt one of the leading offerings of the crypto market. DeFi has provided users alternatives to traditional investments that they would otherwise not be able to access and this has been one of the major factors driving the growth of the space.
Currently, there are a number of blockchains on which DeFi protocols are programmed, namely; Ethereum, Solana, Cardano, Algorand, which Yieldly is built on, among others. These blockchains seem to be in an arms race to secure the most market share and lead the space. However, Yieldly’s CEO Sebastian Quinn does not believe this is the way to win. Instead, Quinn says, the focus should be more on interoperability between blockchains.
Quinn sat down with us for an interview, where the CEO shared thoughts about the space, programmable blockchains, and some exclusive insight on future listings of Yieldly’s native token YLDY.
Can you tell us about your background and what led to Yieldy?
Sebastian Quinn: My professional training is in corporate law. I worked in corporate law for about five years doing a range of things primarily in corporate finance and M&A. Through that, we saw a lot of interesting tech deals, and I moved full-time into tech doing a number of things – advising and assisting startups. I advised some of the very first ICOs that ever happened.
Then over the course of 2017, we assisted a number of hugely successful ICOs and a number of companies that, to this day, are still performing exceptionally well. I also, during that time, set up one of the first AI and blockchain accelerators, with the group JD.com, which is a large listed Nasdaq company. We started to see the early interest that big corporations had in understanding and wanting to work with distributed ledger technology.
Over the last three or four years, we’ve been continuing our work in the space, keeping a very clear eye on what the trends are, and continuing to invest in projects. It was about two years ago now that we started to see a shift in the projects in our portfolio, and those that we advised, which were building much more towards DeFi products in the space.
We thought it was time to utilize all our learnings and really build out a DeFi product that brought together our understandings both of crypto, corporate finance, and then a very real and lived experience of what big corporates like JD.com were looking for when they were contemplating how crypto or DeFi can be used for traditional finance use cases. Yieldly came out of that experience.
Why did you choose to build on Algorand instead of other blockchains?
Sebastian Quinn: The commercial opportunity, in terms of we knew that we could have a commercial advantage if we were one of the first in the market to deliver DeFi on a big Layer 1. Algorand, as a protocol, has some technical advantages over Ethereum. Algorand is significantly faster and you have 40,000 TPS. It’s extremely and reliably low cost. The gas and transaction fees don’t fluctuate. It’s also carbon negative which is important for us.
It has technical advantages too. It’s been around for 2+ years and it has never been offline. Crypto needs to be built to attract the next 100 million users and it has to be built in a way that is extremely user-friendly. Algorand ticks all of those boxes. The tech is fundamentally more user-friendly than peers at the moment.
Yieldly’s native token (YLDY) just listed on the MEXC exchange, are there any other exchange listings we should expect?
Sebastian Quinn: We have fought hard with Yiedly being the first DeFi product on Algorand, and also be recognized by exchanges to list our token. Our token is built on Algorand and Algorand Standard Asset (ASA), that means that most exchanges typically haven’t integrated their technology to allow for that ASA.
We’ve been very fortunate to be the first ASA listed on MEXC. Additionally, we’ve been proactively engaging with Korean exchange Probit. We’ll be listed there in the near term, making YLDY the first ASA token listed in Korea.
In terms of future exchange listings, there’s a number of discussions currently happening with brand-name exchanges. Without giving the game away, you can basically identify which exchanges are being very public in wanting to list Algorand assets. We’re working closely with our partners to manage and launch our token on those exchanges.
Presently, when people think of NFTs, they think Ethereum. How does Yieldly plan to push more NFT adoption on the Algorand blockchain?
Sebastian Quinn: One of the coolest things that have happened in crypto this year has been the advent of all the interest in NFTs as an asset. It’s a product that appeals very widely to a vast number of people. It touches a great number of interest groups.
You’re right in saying the majority of that happens in Ethereum, but there’s no real reason why that would be the exclusive domain. NFTs on Algorand make a lot of sense. It’s user-friendly, cheap to transact, cheap to mint, it’s a straightforward process to create NFTs on Algorand.
We’re going down a process to create tools that allow for a thriving and healthy ecosystem on Algorand. We’ve had something in the order of about 400 creators pitch and send NFTs to be distributed to the community. We’ve had NFT creators on Ethereum reaching out and asking us for help to mint on Algorand because they want to bring their NFT collections over.
We think it’s just a matter of time. There will be an NFT ecosystem that can have a chance to rival some of the big NFT ecosystems in crypto at the moment.
How does Yieldly differ from other DeFi protocols on the Algorand blockchain, and of course, on other programmable blockchains like Solana?
Sebastian Quinn: We always wanted to be the first to prove that applications for DeFi can exist on Algorand. The numbers speak for themselves in terms of validation. At our peak, we had about $160M staked in our staking pools. We sit consistently in that $100M mark.
There is no competitor, as it stands, in Algorand. We continue to build products that matter to prove our expanded use cases for DeFi. We have staking pools not just for Yieldly, we have staking pools for multiple projects on Algorand. We have the largest diversity of assets for anyone that holds ALGO or ASA tokens to allocate those assets into our products.
How we compete with protocols on other blockchains is through great use cases that we are proactively trying to tackle on Algorand. We compete by having tech that is built on a technically better protocol.
What innovations are you most excited about in the DeFi space?
Sebastian Quinn: One area that is capturing our attention at the moment is the intersection of what’s happening with NFTs and what’s happening with DeFi, where they’re converging. We’re seeing really interesting things happen where with smart NFTs, people can do more than just hold them. You’re getting dividends from those NFTs.
From a tech point of view, that opens up a whole raft of use cases to create more exciting financial products or pseudo-financial products. I think there’s quite a lot of innovation that is yet to play out.
Then anything that is touching the way with which the regulatory environment is contemplating how to deal with DeFi and the acceptance of DeFi as a product in tech, that will be able to be utilized and accessed by a wider number of people.
What would you say has been your biggest achievement in the one year Yieldly has been in operation?
Sebastian Quinn: It’s been a wild year. Everyone in this industry knows the pace is unparalleled to almost any other industry. Things happen extremely fast. I would say launching the product and getting validation from users that the things we’ve built matter to them.
We’re very excited to be on the edge of creating products that will last a long time and be in an industry that is just starting and making some very interesting disruptions along the way.
Do you see a blockchain like Algorand overtaking Ethereum in the future?
Sebastian Quinn: We’re somewhat tech-agnostic. Our worldview is informed by where we can create products that are the most user-friendly. At the moment, Algorand has a very compelling argument which is why it was chosen for building our product.
We know that there is still a long way to run in the adoption of crypto across the world. We also recognize that we can’t necessarily pigeonhole ourselves into one protocol. The idea of interoperability is extremely important, and that’s evidenced in the tech we’ve built. We built the first Ethereum-to-Algorand bridge to allow for DeFi tokens to be exchanged across it.
We have to be very realistic in the fact that none of us have a crystal ball on which protocol will be around. But what we all know is that the industry will continue to grow and evolve, and so we want to make sure that our product and our tech is built on the best protocols to suit our users and the use cases. At the moment, there is really no comparison to Algorand.
To wrap up, what price range would you put Bitcoin and Ethereum by year-end?
Sebastian Quinn: We’re crypto maximalists and Bitcoin is the canary in the crypto coal mine. We don’t see crypto going anywhere but to a world where it’s further adopted and becomes ubiquitous as a piece of technology that is critical to core use cases across the world. It would not surprise us if Bitcoin is well and truly above $100,000 in the very near term.