Here is an Interview Investorsking Had With Paul Mak, CEO of Bonded.Finance
There is hardly any other fintech industry that is growing as fast as the field of decentralized finance (DeFi). While many investors and fintech enthusiasts had never heard of DeFi at the beginning of the year, it now dominates the blockchain sector, with some projects reaching valuations north of $3 billion.
According to DefiPulse, a real-time data platform for DeFi investments, more than $10 billion is currently locked in various DeFi protocols.Some of the most popular DeFi use cases to date include decentralized borrowing and lending, derivatives, and yield farming. Today we spoke with an aspiring DeFi entrepreneur who wants to go one step further. With his project Bonded.Finance, Paul Mak wants to leverage a dormant, unused value of 50 billion dollars.
Here is what Mak has to say about his project and the future of decentralized finance.
What is Bonded.Finance and how does it fit into the Decentralized Finance space?
Bonded finance is a new lending protocol, innovating in the DeFi space by enhancing the versatility of smart contracts and how they manage and utilise digital assets. We construct and deploy experimental new instruments that enable us to harvest non-performing capital out of almost any digital asset and then put that capital to work in a lending environment. Once deployed these products operate autonomously free from central party authority.
Why is there a need for Bonded right now and what kind of people should be interested in it?
The crypto market is a paradox because it’s nascent and highly active with millions of micro-investors in a market that runs 24/7. To some degree this fosters innovation but the combination of immaturity and frenetic activity creates inefficiencies. Two inefficiencies are illiquidity and the breadth of distribution. Capital is spread across 700 exchanges and there are some 7000 projects vying for attention. With capital continually redistributing, start-ups are not garnering the support they need. Remember, in traditional markets early stage investments are not market-traded assets as young companies find their footing. This has been an ongoing problem and we see great projects lose value unfairly and get eviscerated by angry, abandoning communities. Bonded has identified some $50b in dormant capital sitting in altcoins, and by that I mean, the collective market cap of active projects with tokens that have earning potential. Our smart instruments enable us to harvest and repurpose that unused capital to offer benefits to longer-term investors, teams and even to reignite interest in projects that may have fallen off the radar. As for who should be interested in it—we think everyone in crypto frankly. Coin issuers have an easy way to enhance utility and we may have found a way to make HODLing sexy again. It is our hope that altcoin investors the world over will rejoice but we’ll settle for an active, fee generating network that provides stability and value to help offset the growing pains of our industry. For those with boots on the ground, this is great fit for farmers hunting returns as well as less savvy, plug and play investors seeking the highest sustainable yields in the space.
What is the current status of the platform’s development? Can you share a brief timeline of what’s ahead?
Sure thing. Our interface, which is the launchpad, is built and our first lending instruments are almost ready for testing. We anticipate the debut product due for release shortly after our public raise this month. DeFi moves so fast and as innovators, we will be pushing the envelope to rapidly evolve and deploy products that cater to the fast-moving demands of today’s users. Therefore, we plan on an aggressive rollout of products following our sale without sacrificing security. Tech aside, we have some fantastic partnerships to announce in the coming weeks, a large exchange listing and of course our IDO and liquidity event.
Our website is live and gives a rough estimate of anticipated development milestones.
Can you tell us more about your personal background and why you decided to launch Bonded?
I’m a seasoned investor/operator with over 15 years in the game. Precious metals, equities, property, angel investing and start-up capital; I’ve sort of done it all prior to crypto. Personally, I’m a Dad of two boys, still on the right side of 40 with an ailing back that keeps me honest. My work life has me predominantly between south east asia, (primarily Singapore and Indonesia) Australia and NZ.
As for why I launched Bonded, I like to think of it as the perfect storm. I’ve been operating a small family fund for 7 years, typically allocating capital to early stage companies. In 2017, I was exposed in crypto with a rather diverse portfolio. In 2018, the bear market really took hold and we started taking on water. Illiquidity was a glaring problem and we ended up holding a basket of assets that couldn’t be sold down at a reasonable price. I started considering alternative ways to accomplish this. The losses didn’t deter me but I was frustrated because I felt, even in the bear market, many teams navigated poorly and made avoidable mistakes. Since then, I’ve been eager to run my own ship in this space or at least invest with a stronger grip on the steering wheel. One of the projects we invested in was a DeFi solution, looking to change the way debt and credit is managed and monetised. I was fascinated by some of their ideas, particularly the concept of programmable debt instruments. The blockchain democratizes a number of industries but decentralizing finance is really mind-blowing to me. I’ve always loved the tech and ethos behind bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general. The longer you’re in it and the more you learn, the deeper your convictions become and I didn’t want to sit on the sidelines as a passive investor any longer. I wanted to contribute something to the space that is sustainable and I think Bonded can accomplish that.
Many investors are comparing the current DeFi hype to the altcoin craze of 2017. What is your opinion on that?
There are definitely some shared elements but it is entirely different. Sure there’s irrational hype, scams and disregard for protocol but the similarities end there. DeFi isn’t exactly new. It is basically the original promise of bitcoin/crypto finally coming to fruition in a meaningful economic way. Sure, it’s volatile as true innovation, pre-internet took about twenty years on average. Here we have market cycles in microwaves, community creations and the internet itself promoting it. Things happen fast with incredibly short half-lives but the underlying principles of Defi are lasting and effectuating a change that’s been a couple hundred years in the making. The banks should have never owned us; we always should have owned the banks. ICOs were about the promise of a new world order for everything, a transposition of all things; some of which is fine, some of which is not ready. Defi is needed, has measurable value and current utility. Total value locked hit a billion in June I think and it took nearly two years to get there and despite a lot of hiccups, four months later, we’re at 10 billion. That’s not market caps with zero depth; that’s actual locked value.
Where do you see the DeFi space heading in the next 12 months?
Wall Street. Where else? Crypto is finally speaking the same language. The economics are simple to grasp, all we need now is 12 months of verifiable data and better accessibility. I will warn you that I’m an optimist so maybe it’s longer but that’s how I see it. The feedback loop is lightning fast in this space and the amount of capital and the velocity of that capital means we get huge amounts of data in such short time spans. 12 months of yield-generating investment vehicles, improved security and proven sustainability of the economic models and the yields become far too attractive to ignore. The better question may be: Assuming stability, at what stage would it become negligence for a fund to not have an allocation in this asset class?
Is there anything else you would like to add? Any closing thoughts?
Yes, definitely. First of all, thanks for having me and to everyone reading; Do not sleep on decentralised finance. Use it and learn it. Don’t let the volatility, rapidly cycling narratives or anything talk you out of this because this is, without doubt, the next decade of finance. Those armed with experience and knowledge will be at a significant advantage as investors, entrepreneurs and employees. Once you get under the hood, this stuff is genuinely fascinating and can pay dividends if you’ll pardon the pun. Also, any altcoin project looking to add some financial tools to help your community grow and invest with more conviction and flexibility, give us a call. In this turbulent marketplace, our solutions could really be the difference between success and failure.
Is Bitcoin Set to Have a 2017-style Mini Boom This Year?
Bitcoin to Surge Like in 2017 this Year
Bitcoin’s price is set to “surge before the end of 2020” with investors keen not to “sleepwalk” through a 2017-style mini-boom, says the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organizations.
The prediction from Nigel Green, the deVere Group CEO and founder, which has $12bn under advisement, comes as Bitcoin – already one of the best-performing assets this year – appears to be on the brink of a bullish breakout.
In recent days, Square, which is owned by the billionaire founders of Twitter, has allocated 1% of its cash reserves to the cryptocurrency, whilst a former Goldman Sachs hedge fund chief says the price of Bitcoin will jump to $1m in five years.
Mr Green comments: “There’s been something of an avalanche of interest in Bitcoin in recent weeks from household-name investors.
“Investor activity is picking up considerably with various on-chain metrics and ongoing – and heightening – global political, economic and social turbulence suggesting that there will be a price surge before the end of the year.
“Like gold, Bitcoin can be expected to retain its value or even grow in value when other assets fall, therefore enabling investors to reduce their exposure to losses.
“Investors will increase exposure to decentralised, non-sovereign, secure digital currencies, such as Bitcoin, to help shield them from the potential issues in traditional markets”.
He continues: “There’s a growing sense that we’re set to experience a mini-boom similar to that at the end of 2017.
“Prices are yet to catch-up with investor interest – but this is only a matter of time as investors will not want to sleepwalk towards perhaps year-high prices in the run-up to the end of 2020.”
The late 2017 bull run saw the Bitcoin price reach its all-time high of $20,089.
The deVere CEO concludes: “There’s been a notable ramping-up of interest in Bitcoin amongst investors since the end of summer. Indeed, it has been the best performing week for one of the year’s best-performing assets since July.
“I can see no reason why this upward trajectory will not continue between now and the end of the year.”
Global Spending on Blockchain Up by 50%, US Leads with $1.6 Billion
Blockchain Spending Rose by 50 Percent Globally
According to the research data analyzed and published by Stock Apps, global blockchain spending is set to hit $4.1 billion in 2020. From $2.7 billion in 2019, it is estimated to grow by nearly 50%. Over the five-year period between 2020 and 2024, it is expected to maintain a 46.4% CAGR.
The International Data Corporation (IDC) also states that the total spending on blockchain solutions will be nearly $18 billion by 2024.
Finance Sector Accounts for Nearly 30% of All Blockchain Spending
Another report from Markets and Markets indicates that the global blockchain market is estimated to be worth $3.0 billion in 2020. It is projected to grow at a 67.3% CAGR between 2020 and 2025, to reach a $39.7 billion valuation by the end of the period.
The total spending in the blockchain space amounted to $1.5 billion in 2018. At the time, the financial sector was most dominant, accounting for 60% of all spending. Though it still leads in 2020, its market share is now about half of that, at 29.7%.
Between 2020 and 2024, the IDC predicts that the blockchain industry will maintain a healthy pace of investment at 45.3% CAGR. Process and discrete manufacturing will together account for 22.3% of all blockchain spending in 2020. While process manufacturing will grow at a 50.3% CAGR, discrete manufacturing will grow at 46.5%.
With $1.6 billion, the US will top the list globally in terms of spending while Western Europe will be second with $1.0 billion. China will take the third spot with $457 million, but it will be the leading country in terms of growth, with a 51.7% CAGR.
China’s blockchain spending was $87 million in 2017. It could rise as high as $1.420 billion by 2022. Prior to the pandemic, it was growing at a 65.7% CAGR against APAC’s 50.3% and the global’s 60.2%.
Elon Musk Installs Bitcoin ATM at Tesla in Nevada
Bitcoin ATM Found in Elon Musk’s Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada
Will Reeves, the founder of Fold Inc, a company that builds payments stack for a new economy— one that puts privacy and bitcoin within the reach of every shopper, on Sunday said he saw a Bitcoin ATM at the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada.
I “just passed by and saw @elonmusk has a bitcoin ATM at the Gigafactory,” Reeves said via his Twitter account.
Reeves accompanied the tweet with a Google maps image revealing the exact location of the ATM.
However, on Monday Elon Musk, Tesla founder and CEO, downplayed the whole bitcoin ATM, saying he did not believe the claim was accurate.
But a bitcoin ATM operator, LibertyX, in a direct message, confirmed that three bitcoin ATM machines were enabled in the factor to allow employees to access their funds and also transact bitcoin.
LibertyX said: “We have enabled 3 traditional ATMs inside so employees can use their debit cards and buy bitcoin.”
The company claimed it has installed over 5,000 crypto ATMs across the U.S. and has bitcoin buying service in 20,000 stores in the United States.
Why is this Important?
The news validates bitcoin’s growing acceptance by the mainstream and also attests to global firms like Tesla gradually considering it as a means of payment.
While bitcoin ATMs does not tell much about crypto adoption, the fact that the company claimed it has installed over 5,000 in the US alone and has bitcoin buying service in 20,000 stores in the world’s largest economy, showed bitcoin is gradually growing on people.
Also, the more people adopt the digital coin, the higher its value.
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