Launch of the interview series with the CEO of ADALend, Kaspars Koskins, one of the most promising companies that is revolutionizing the lending industry by using blockchain technology to disintermediate traditional intermediaries – providing unprecedented access to loans for those that are ignored by the traditional banking system and offering high returns for investors in a persistently low interest rate environment. I hope you’re as excited as we are for this conversation, so let’s get to it.
Q: Welcome Kaspars, we know you are a busy man these days with the public launch of the ADALend lending platform and token this quarter, but thank you for taking the time to talk to us today. Let’s start at a very high level – can you give us the elevator pitch for ADALend this so those of us who are new to decentralized finance and crypto (or Web3 as they fashionably call it these days !).
Koskin: It’s a pleasure to be here and I’m excited to share a bit more with your audience about what we’re building at ADALend and how they can participate, but first let me try to summarize in layman’s terms what is our mission.
We are developing a scalable, trustless, decentralized lending protocol that hosts users in an autonomous environment. From day one, we are committed to building natively on the Cardano blockchain, which will enable the lending platform to aggregate protocols that support business models that provide economic support to billions of users.
ADALend will restore the balance of power between lenders and borrowers. By allowing the use of digital assets as collateral, the use of the platform will be diversified to the benefit of the user.
Q: Thanks for that – can you explain a bit more to the public why you chose the Cardano blockchain when there are already successful DeFi projects built on Ethereum and new blockchains like Solala for example?
Koskin: Granted, let me start by explaining that Ethereum is no longer usable by the majority of people on earth due to 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 developing countries in Africa and Asia, it renders ETH useless as they have to lend and reduce much smaller. So Ethereum has become a layer 2 blockchain for the wealthy and newcomers you talk about like Solana have issues with centralization and reliability. Cardano is the only truly decentralized blockchain with the security, speed and low transaction fees required to provide a truly democratic financial solution that can be used by all humans on planet Earth – and our vision aligns perfectly with Cardano. Charles Hoskins who is passionate about improving the financial results of people around the world, regardless of race, nationality, gender or financial status.
Q: Thank you, those are really powerful words Kaspars, and we are blessed to have projects like Cardano and platforms like ADALend that can make this vision of democratic inclusion a reality.
So, in addition to the mission of doing good in the world, many of our readers are executives, professionals, and small business owners who manage their own portfolios and wonder how they can preserve their capital and get a good performance in this hyperinflationary environment when interest rates are so low. People are seeing their retirement nest egg or children’s education fund dwindle in real terms due to the frankly crazy macroeconomic environment we find ourselves in today in the United States, Europe and many other parts of the world developers. How can these middle-class workers benefit from ADALend?
Koskin: Well, that’s the other side of the coin isn’t it. One of my personal inspirations for founding ADAlend is that in my home country of Estonia, in northern Europe, I was working in the traditional retail lending industry and with cooperative savings from credit. I saw first hand how people were unable to get a decent interest rate from banks and were really worried about their future as prices and the cost of living were rising much faster than wages. 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) as a way to generate a return on my own family’s savings, which led me down the rabbit hole and brings us here today.
Our commitment to ADALend lenders is that we will provide a safe and secure lending platform where they can stake their hard-earned savings in Cardano (ADA) or ADAlend token (ADAL) or in the form of stablecoins like USDT or USDC and winning a market – beating the yield on it in the high single digit or lower double digit percentages. The ADALend platform is highly liquid with no long-term lock-ups, so our lenders will earn interest for the duration their savings are “staked” on the platform and can withdraw at any time.
The other side is for borrowers – many small business owners, entrepreneurs and freelancers may find it difficult to borrow money from traditional banks to buy a car, pay a down payment on a house, invest in their business or fund a dream vacation. At ADALend, we don’t do credit checks and we don’t care about salary history. Banks and traditional lenders do not recognize digital assets as collateral. We will provide an over-collateralized loan facility to these borrowers where they can stake their digital assets like Bitcoin, Cardano or any other major cryptocurrency and we will lend them US dollars or Euros against their holdings. This will provide crucial liquidity to a large number of hard-working professionals and freelancers who were previously ignored by banks. Incidentally, this type of oversecured loans against access have been used by the world’s richest 1% to finance their lifestyle and investments and to optimize taxes for decades. ADALend now brings to everyone those financial solutions that were once the privilege of the rich.
Q: It really is a noble goal – and I love to see that you are helping the middle classes like us as well as the poorest people in the world.
Let’s talk about partnerships, investors and technology. I understand that DeFi and CeFi (centralized finance) are a highly competitive space, especially ahead of your initial DEX (IDO) offering in March 2022, but what can you share in this area without all of our readers signing an NDA?
Koskin: Absolutely – you hit the nail on the head, the space is getting more competitive day by day due to other new projects building DeFi on other blockchains and CeFi incumbents like BlockFi so we have to be selective on what we can reveal. However, I can share some ideas with you today,
On the technology side – by leveraging the Cardano blockchain, ADALend will be able to tap into the vast digital cash management market. By creating technology that allows anyone to delegate their digital money and make it available for lending, ADALend unlocks the potential of blockchain-powered liquidity. We aim to be native to Cardano in everything we do and build the platform using Haskell and Plutus and work within the current boundaries of smart contracts on this blockchain.
On the partnership side, Input-Output Hong Kong (IOHK) has listed ADALend on its “Cardano Essentials List” of projects considered part of the ecosystem supporting and providing Cardano users with products and services. We are also listed on CardanoCube.io and I know our business development team is hard at work on several exciting partnerships that we will be announcing in February that will really shake things up, so watch this space!
In terms of funding, we were thrilled to have a well-respected venture capitalist from Moonwhale Ventures as lead investor and our private sale is almost complete. We are now in a very good financial position and more selective about who we will take funding from, as we do not want to favor VCs over retail investors as many projects do. We also reserve a good allocation of ADAL tokens for our community.
Q: This is great news Kasparas – I hear all too often that new crypto projects provide huge allocations to VCs which then trickle down to retail. It looks like you’re much more inclusive at ADALend and providing excellent opportunities for small and medium sized accredited investors to access the private sales that were once the preserve of the venture capital elite, as a small experienced investor myself, I salute you!
I have to say that after our discussions today, I’m very keen to get involved and I’m sure our audience is too. Where can they learn more about private sale, public launch of IoT and how to get involved?
Koskin: Thanks for the kind words and thanks for the conversation today – really enjoyed it and sometimes I still have to pinch myself when I realize how far we’ve come in the last year! Of course, we are now in the final stages of the private sale, so if you or your readers would like to request an ADAL token allocation, you can email [email protected] with the subject “CEO Interview” and I will make sure our private sales team responds to it as soon as possible. You can find more details on our website ADALend.finance
Q: Thanks for your time Kaspars, and back to the building.
Koskin: With pleasure, and I take this opportunity to wish you and your readers a prosperous and profitable year!