Episode 6: Zapper, An Investor’s Dashboard for Decentralized Finance (DeFi)

Ben Lakoff, CFA
September 7, 2020
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Have you heard of this DeFi mania going on right now? Yields over 1000%, new platforms and tokens – it’s the wild west.

In this interview with Nodar Janashia we go into the Zapper.Fi platform. Zapper allows investors to manage their DeFi assets and liabilities in one simple interface. It’s UI is very user-friendly and makes finding and investing in these rather esoteric investments MUCH easier than it would be otherwise.

We talk about what’s happening in the DeFi space right now, why it’s important and interesting and go in-depth on Zapper and the access it allows investors.

Enjoy this conversation with Nodar of Zapper.FI.

Show Notes

0:01:17   Welcome and context

0:01:33   What is your role at Zapper?

0:02:27   What is Zapper and What can Zapper do?

0:07:22   Growth numbers of Zapper

0:10:17   What is Zapper for dummies?

0:13:08   What new features will be added to Zapper?

0:17:11   What is Zapper’s current revenue model?

0:19:27   Batching transactions to cut down fees

0:22:26   What is it like to be funded by DAO?

0:26:20   What excites you the most about Zapper?

0:29:22   The biggest risks for DeFi

0:31:17   Standard disclaimers for people that are not familiar with crypto or DeFi

0:32:13   Where can people learn more about DeFi?

0:33:52   What excites you the most about DeFi?

0:35:41   What are option platforms?

0:38:03   What investment opportunities seem exciting to you?

0:43:22   The book that you’d recommend to your friends

0:44:58   Where can people find out more about you?

Show Links




Metacartel Ventures


Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business

Zapper on Discord

Episode Transcript

Ben Lakoff: [00:00:00] Welcome to the alt asset allocation podcast, exploring alternative investment opportunities available to the everyday investor. Here’s your host Ben Lakoff. Hello and welcome to the Ault asset allocation podcast. Today’s interview is with Nodar of Have you heard of this defined mania going on right now?

[00:00:25] Maybe not, but it is really wild. There yields over a thousand percent new platforms in tokens every day. It’s literally the wild West Nodar allows investors or speculators, depending on how you look at it to manage their defy assets and liabilities. In one simple interface, it’s UI is very user friendly and makes finding and investing in these rather isoteric investments, much easier than it would be otherwise.

[00:00:54] We talk about what’s happening in the  space right now, why it’s important and perhaps an interesting for investors and an in depth look at zapper and its access that it allows investors. Please don’t forget to like subscribe or follow this podcast. Wherever you digest your podcast. This really helps with the rankings.

[00:01:13] Please enjoy this conversation with Nodar of

[00:01:17] Nodar thanks for coming on on the show. You were the founder of , which has now been merged into zapper fi right?

[00:01:27] So I actually don’t know your role at zapper.

[00:01:32] Nodar Janashia: [00:01:32] Okay. Uh, yeah, sure. I mean, it wasn’t anything like, I guess, or like your typical company merger or something.

[00:01:40] It was definitely just like kind of me and sub, uh, coming together, uh, to kind of. They kind of fill the missing pieces and, um, you know, move faster. Gotcha. So, yeah, I didn’t really have a role before, but I guess like, yeah, like CEP is really a product guy and, uh, I guess like how I would fill in the role of a CEO, which is basically kind of promoting the really great work that uh  and everyone else is doing.

[00:02:12] So,

[00:02:12] Ben Lakoff: [00:02:12] yeah, I mean, Huge fan. I’ve been following you guys for a while, so, thanks.

[00:02:18] Nodar Janashia: [00:02:18] Yeah.

[00:02:19] Ben Lakoff: [00:02:19] So why don’t we just start off by, um, yeah. Given a little background of you,

[00:02:25] Nodar Janashia: [00:02:25] of zapper,

[00:02:26] Ben Lakoff: [00:02:26] of what you guys are working on.

[00:02:27] Nodar Janashia: [00:02:27] Yeah. Sure. So, I mean, a bit of a background about me. I guess the way I originally got started in a helium was just saw like randomly mining, very video with like explaining a hopeless of work concept.

[00:02:42] So I kept hearing about crypto before, but it wasn’t until that video, when I was really like, well, this is the next step, but to a double entry accounting system. Which is what I was like. I was interested in the accounting, like ever since, like before high school, I was like doing internships, set Ernst and young, and really trying to, you know, obviously, uh, uh, like get myself involved.

[00:03:05] So in case I just really started learning a lot about, uh, you know, dollar line kind of infrastructure or how it could, uh, enable, uh, all of these, uh, financial interactions and, um, Yeah, like basically followed the birth of all of these  protocols and then trying to figure out whether how I can contribute to them or start something on my own to contribute to the ecosystem overall.

[00:03:34] It was like a couple of my own, those friends. They were like, Had had their doubts about giving, like defy a try, even something as simple as compound. So I just like, literally. Decided to start making defy tutorials last summer, which was just like a test drives of popular default products that are gaining traction in the space.

[00:04:02] So yes, they’re like all tutorials about maker, a compound and a bunch of other like DUI DX. So really like anything new that came about, uh, that really helped me get a really ground floor view of what people are doing. And that’s essentially how I came up with, you know, defy Sapp, like, uh, decided to participate in the online hackathon, uh, by Kuyper, uh, literally just joined on their discord, asked for help.

[00:04:32] And like 10 minutes later, I was working with someone that was pretty, uh, lucky. And then they get, we ended up winning that hackathon even. So that really gave us a push to keep building. I saw like a really good response or in the community as that became like a really household name, which was pretty incredible to watch the writer right around then it was like January.

[00:04:55] Yeah. I noticed a sub launch defy snap. And to me, like right away, that was like, Oh, wait, that’s like, this is our front end. Cause, uh, you know, a lot of times we had smart contracts ready, but the front end was lacking. So we always. Try to keep, uh, education at the forefront of our approach. And so we didn’t want to just like launch new things just to, uh, for the sake of launching them.

[00:05:20] But I think we’ve definitely, uh, just stopped a lot of brains for the developers in this space in terms of, uh, composability, uh, I’ve even had a chance to, uh, visit, uh, Hayden. He invited us over to a. An office here, which is actually like 15 minutes away from my house. Pretty crazy in Brooklyn. Uh, yes. It’s been pretty crazy kind of, uh, getting everyone’s feedback and watching this, uh, get involved and, uh, yeah, like I got like, uh, really did some incredible work with defy snap.

[00:05:58] He was like coming home after work. Making a new integration on the front end side every day, and now a mass to over like 18 protocols they’re integrated, um, on the front end side. I mean

[00:06:14] Ben Lakoff: [00:06:14] it it’s looking beautiful. It’s. The crazy thing is like Ethereum’s moving at, you know, 300 miles per hour and defi space is moving at a thousand miles per hour.

[00:06:25] And you guys are, you guys are right in the mix of it. So that’s, that’s, that’s amazing. That’s a short timeline too. I mean, you just started talking to Seb, but. D D defies that snap

[00:06:38] Nodar Janashia: [00:06:38] in January,

[00:06:39] Ben Lakoff: [00:06:39] right? Like that’s just, just wild. Less than six months ago.

[00:06:43] Nodar Janashia: [00:06:43] Yeah, exactly. I know. We decided to come together and, uh, about March or April, April.

[00:06:49] Yeah.

[00:06:50] Ben Lakoff: [00:06:50] I find it really fascinating that you first got into crypto and blockchain for double entry accounting. Uh, I mean, that is like the most unsexy real world use case for crypto. That a lot of people don’t want to talk about because it is so unsexy, but, um, blockchain has a great potential to disrupt and really improve accounting.

[00:07:16] I mean, that’s basically what these blockchains are, right? Like a public spreadsheet ledger.

[00:07:22] Ben Lakoff: [00:07:22] it’s been a, it’s been a huge week with a defi this week with over $2 billion assets under management. Have you guys have seen, uh, an increase in usage of a zapper this week, over the last couple of months? Can you share any kind of growth numbers with us?

[00:07:45] Nodar Janashia: [00:07:45] Oh, yeah, absolutely. So like, just recently, we actually had like over 30 million of liquidity per provisioned through Zappa to underlying, uh, pools. Uh, so yeah, it’s not like exchange volume. It’s. Like we’re more focused on providing end users, these passive investment opportunities, which, you know, more recently became farming opportunities.

[00:08:16] Uh, yeah. So the original farming opportunity that we had, uh, synthetics, uh, actually they recently, uh, basically closes it off, but it was with the assess, uh, ease pool on uni swap. You just to seek it and then get some mess the next. So that was like the OG of, uh, Oh yeah. Yup. Farming. Yeah.

[00:08:39] Ben Lakoff: [00:08:39] I remember my, I mean, I had a friend that was doing this stuff, like in a, you know, early days for this, which was December.

[00:08:49] And he was basically just, you know, arbing and doing the synthetics. And he was even playing. I mean, he sent me screenshots of

[00:08:57] Nodar Janashia: [00:08:57] curve

[00:08:58] Ben Lakoff: [00:08:58] and. You know, look the, the UI difference between you and curve. Like, it’s just like, what is this man? This is crazy. Yeah. But it’s like, they’re,

[00:09:07] Nodar Janashia: [00:09:07] they’re, you know, their own special take on it.

[00:09:10] And they think they’re mostly focused on the underlying kind of protocol.

[00:09:16] Ben Lakoff: [00:09:16] Yeah. And it opens up opportunities for guys like you, right. To like slap a really nice UI on it. That’s super intuitive and friendly, um, to kind of fill that, that hole and get other people involved.

[00:09:31] Nodar Janashia: [00:09:31] Yeah. But for sure that. You know what you said about, you know, slap a nice UI?

[00:09:36] Uh, yeah, I definitely agree for one perspective to have like, uh, does, I was just onboarding my, one of my friends and we were kind of staking something in the maker, Dao, uh, I mean, staking, the we’re opening up a CDP. Uh, getting alone, then the making an exchange in the second place and then pooling and the third place and then staking in the fourth place.

[00:10:01] So obviously I lost them on step one. So like, this is where I kind of, I explained to him the whole like holistic experience that we’re trying to create with kind of these prebuilt gateways into these, uh, predefined, defi actions. Yeah.

[00:10:19] Ben Lakoff: [00:10:19] With somebody like that, uh, I mean, explaining zapper, like I’m five years old, but what’s kind of your, your short explainer for what it is you’re doing as zapper.

[00:10:32] Nodar Janashia: [00:10:32] Yeah. I mean, it’s kind of goes a little bit with, uh, what I just mentioned. We just try to abstract the complexities that go around taking advantage of some of the innovative and popular investment opportunities that are coming about in DeFi.

[00:10:54] Ben Lakoff: [00:10:54] Nice. And then, you know, with somebody like him, uh, obviously as you said, you lost them in step one, but, uh, I mean, does he see the, the, the.

[00:11:05] Potential in something like a defy in general.

[00:11:08] Nodar Janashia: [00:11:08] Oh yeah, absolutely. Yeah. He was blown away by kind of, he has he already used crypto before, right? Like he was kind of in the last, I guess, like 2017, uh, boom, boom run. Uh, but. She really wasn’t aware of all of that recent obviously defined developments and to him, uh, he’s like a pretty young guy.

[00:11:31] So he was, he was able to connect the pieces right away. He actually works at Snapchat. So he’s really, uh, Yeah. Like he would be like, definitely for the movement.

[00:11:42] Ben Lakoff: [00:11:42] Yeah. Well, I mean, it’s surprising how many people that are so technologically inclined and you still get them in some web 3.0 situation. And it just it’s very foreign.

[00:11:54] Right? I mean, all right. All of these, like it’s, uh,

[00:11:59] Nodar Janashia: [00:11:59] it’s.

[00:12:00] Ben Lakoff: [00:12:00] Fun to watch people kind of for the first time tinker around. There’s a lot of people recognize the value of it. Um, but you know, there’s, there’s so many hurdles and the steep learning curve to kind of cross that chasm, I guess.

[00:12:15] Nodar Janashia: [00:12:15] Absolutely. That’s why I think there’s like a big opportunity right now for those like hardcore farmers, right.

[00:12:21] To onboard, uh, your kind of, uh, average users who are obviously not going to keep up with all the up the, you know, Up and coming, uh, yield farming opportunities. So that’s why we’re like zapper. We want to open up this platform where we leverage these mitral composability, uh, pieces of open finance, uh, and use some token incentives to provide, uh, like capital introductions and facilitate the relationship between like the SAB builders and the zappers, like those app users.

[00:12:57] Ben Lakoff: [00:12:57] So what talking about like roadmap for zapper, what kind of new features and things are you excited about adding, adding in over the next six months? Say.

[00:13:14] Nodar Janashia: [00:13:14] Yeah, for sure. So it would be definitely like, uh, opening up a platform for anyone to be able to create their own zaps. So like zaps right now, like think of them as, you know, smart contracts with like pre-build, like I said before, defi actions and so far we’ve been building them.

[00:13:33] You can take as like internally and. Thank you. I’ve been using them as an end user. Um, but even right now, if you go on the invest tab and click on the top right corner, I kind of get a first glimpse of it by a feature called multi pooling, where you’re able to kind of slap together multiple actions into one.

[00:13:55] Uh, so. As that by itself contains multiple actions. So like for example, like our most basic unpopular one is providing liquidity with a single asset. That’s the kind of what we started off for them. Uh, so yeah, like after we like make this available to more and more, um, builders, we want to like, I’m sorry, users now builders are really coming to me with their ideas.

[00:14:28] Like, I’m getting this a lot on a DMS where it’s like, Hey, we’re thinking about doing this and that. So like, people are already coming with like prebuilt, zaps, even branding them as apps. I mean, I I’ve seen a bunch of, we’ve had collaborations with a bunch of folks who, uh, who are really kind of launched this, but it’s like, We’ve seen them as that kind of launched it on their own.

[00:14:53] So we want to like really, uh, incentivize everyone to kind of work together. You could say, so making the whole platform better. Interesting.

[00:15:04] Ben Lakoff: [00:15:04] So basically opening up the zap creation process to anybody who’s interested, but how will you ensure. You know, quality and those sorts of things, or, you know, they’ll just be a disclaimer that this is third party.

[00:15:19] Nodar Janashia: [00:15:19] of course, yeah, yeah. Everything would be like voted into, so like, we want to be kinda like ultimate controllers, so just platform. So, uh, but at first I think of it as a kind of like your, your baby needs to kind of make sure it, uh, uh, gets to a point where, like you said, in the beginning, Like there’s no, like all the builders that come through to build zaps, they’re like not just building them for the sake of getting some kind of our instant reward, but because day one to like really keep building up this overall ecosystem, uh, for everyone and like a long term partners.

[00:16:03] Ben Lakoff: [00:16:03] Yeah, it makes sense. It, it sounds like you’re, uh, thinking about releasing a governance token. Is that, is that in the

[00:16:10] Nodar Janashia: [00:16:10] roadmap? Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. Something like, uh, so I think we’ve been like a very grassroots driven effort from the very beginning and, uh, it only makes sense to stay that way with never kind of, uh, Like, I guess like taking VC money, quote unquote has been totally bootstrapped and yet like really, uh, loving the users kind of supporting us.

[00:16:40] So all, all the way through,

[00:16:42] Ben Lakoff: [00:16:42] I love the model of, uh, these governance tokens. I mean, we’ll see how they end up working out. Right. But maker maker’s been around and doing well for quite some time. So I’m very bullish on that as kind of a macro trend within. Crypto space itself.

[00:16:58] Nodar Janashia: [00:16:58] It would be foolish not to play out this experiment, you know, it’s like, yeah, we have kind of all the cards in our hands.

[00:17:05] So I think it’s, um, I think it’s worth it. Yeah.

[00:17:10] Ben Lakoff: [00:17:10] Currently right now, zapper, just like business model talk. I mean, do you guys have any revenue model? Is there a small fee taken out from each center?

[00:17:19] Nodar Janashia: [00:17:19] No, no, not right now. So we tested like this thing and obviously the SOA came with announcements, uh, for, uh, when we launched the zap outs from, um, from March to April.

[00:17:33] Literally for like two months we had it running, uh, where we tested out as she on zap outs. Uh, yeah, just like that. A small experiment. And, uh, when, uh, when were you born? When we, uh, uh, merged with defy snap and to zapper, we basically decided to like, make everything free for the time being until we get to a.

[00:17:57] A point of launching this governance. So can essentially,

[00:18:02] Ben Lakoff: [00:18:02] do you have any date for that yet? Or it’s on the roadmap at some

[00:18:06] Nodar Janashia: [00:18:06] point it’s yeah, it’s on the roadmap. Definitely. We want to like, uh, uh, jumpstart ASAP. So it’s something that is actively being worked on for sure. Yeah, especially right

[00:18:20] Ben Lakoff: [00:18:20] now with, um, you know, this is being recorded 1st of July.

[00:18:24] Nodar Janashia: [00:18:24] So

[00:18:25] Ben Lakoff: [00:18:25] comp and balancer have just been, uh, released and, uh, M stable Meadows is launching here shortly. So there’s a lot of, um, a lot of wins for sure.

[00:18:38] Nodar Janashia: [00:18:38] Absolutely. I mean, after comp launch was definitely jump-started this frenzy, I feel like. But we’ve been working on a model for, I think like since day one, I wanted to do it, but yeah, it’s like, exactly.

[00:18:53] It’s like these things take time issue, especially with why, if you want to do them. Right. And kind of like, I have a really curated community of builders in the beginning who actually care.

[00:19:06] Ben Lakoff: [00:19:06] Yeah. And it’s worth taking, you know, measuring three times and cutting months, right? Like this is, this is your token and this is governance for the platform for your baby.

[00:19:14] So you want to make sure that a, it all makes sense to ensure the survival and success of zapper going forward. That’s for sure.

[00:19:23] Nodar Janashia: [00:19:23] Um, yeah,

[00:19:25] Ben Lakoff: [00:19:25] so right now, I mean, with gas fees, as crazy as they are. I mean, there’s a lot of value added just doing through zapper as is, right. Cause you’re batching all of these transaction transactions into one and

[00:19:39] Nodar Janashia: [00:19:39] saving gas.

[00:19:40] Absolutely. And also it’s kind of like just a sheer sense of you not having to wait for one transaction to finish, to initiate the next one. Right. Cause for something like. You want to come into a pool and you have to like split up two assets and to appropriate ratios that gets, um, but then yeah, we really want to also like start adding on a lot of like these other actions.

[00:20:08] Uh, like the one that we had was really pod getting popular was the leverage liquidity provisioning, where you combine the pooling with also at the same time, getting. Uh, a leverage position, opening up a leverage position to kind of keep your exposure to one of the assets you are.

[00:20:27] Ben Lakoff: [00:20:27] You’re going to enable that through zapper.

[00:20:30] Nodar Janashia: [00:20:30] Yeah. I mean, we had that on defi zapper area, but unfortunately, if you remember a fulcrum that bluff platform. Yeah, they, uh, they had a, a vulnerability, an issue with their system. So basically we had to obviously put those on pause and take them out essentially. And I just put them on pause, but, uh, yeah, right now.

[00:20:56] Yeah. Well, like finalizing in a couple of different ways for you to get a leverage. So you’d be basically as an end user, like choosing providers where you want to swap, where you want to get leverage from, and then you a package to package it up and create your own zap.

[00:21:13] Ben Lakoff: [00:21:13] Man,

[00:21:14] Nodar Janashia: [00:21:14] uh, all

[00:21:15] Ben Lakoff: [00:21:15] of these conversations always just make me more and more bullish on Ethereum.

[00:21:19] There’ll be a credit credit fueled bubble. The next one, right?

[00:21:24] Nodar Janashia: [00:21:24] Yeah. I mean, yeah. Hopefully, uh, we won’t see too many folks just coming in for the sake of launching their like defy token or something.

[00:21:37] Ben Lakoff: [00:21:37] Yeah. And, and actually, um, Speaking of which like your, your onboarding, you guys have great documentation, videos, all of this stuff, you’re doing it.

[00:21:47] You’re doing a great job of putting a lot of stuff out there. That’s easy to follow. So, um, full disclosure, I just did my first SAPs and on zapper, I did them on defies app long ago, but a

[00:22:00] Nodar Janashia: [00:22:00] nice, yeah,

[00:22:00] Ben Lakoff: [00:22:00] super simple. I mean, It’s it’s I can see the use case, right? Like I go to balancer and I go to curve and I’m like looking at these things and it’s like, it’s literally one click on zapper

[00:22:13] Nodar Janashia: [00:22:13] and

[00:22:13] Ben Lakoff: [00:22:13] it does the whole thing.

[00:22:15] Um, so really, really good value right now.

[00:22:19] Nodar Janashia: [00:22:19] Thanks man. Appreciate it. Yeah.

[00:22:22] Ben Lakoff: [00:22:22] So last, uh, on, on zapper would be, you know, so you just got announced funding from venture debt. Oh, well, Metta cartel, Metta cartel. So Metta cartel is a venture Dow. So I was curious what the process is like to get funding from a, a Dow, right?

[00:22:42] Like how, how does it work? Um, any, any input there? That’s fascinating. Yeah.

[00:22:49] Nodar Janashia: [00:22:49] I mean, honestly like the, like at the end of the day behind all of these thousand smart contracts, it’s like people, right? Like people making them, people kind of bringing these communities together and I’ve been talking like we’ve received a grant as device app, right after winning our Khyber hackathon.

[00:23:11] So I’ve been talking with Peter for quite a while, you know, like kind of, I joined myself yet, like Metro cartel and, uh, yeah, it was like, A community of builders who are actually like putting like words to action, I guess you could say, right. I’ve seen a whole bunch of, um, people, uh, VC raise money, uh, or kind of get contributions and a get quiet, but never really put anything out there.

[00:23:42] That’s really kind of either useful or bringing more usefulness to the ecosystem. So yeah, I’m definitely proud of to community that, you know, Metro cartel has gathered around itself. And right now we’ll venture down, basically like to tell you a bit about the process. Uh, it’s still, it’s not like, Oh, cause I knew.

[00:24:07] You know, Peter knew me and now he just kind of hooked me up or something like that. It was, uh, really, uh, still voted in. So, uh, Peter likes submitted a proposal to, uh, like fall Fonda’s and basically all the community members. And I think this is where it’s like most crucial, like, uh, we didn’t get this, like, It was like fair $50,000 a thing.

[00:24:31] It was definitely not about the money. It’s about the, uh, it’s like the network effects here and the feedback. And can we want to build with these partners? Right. We don’t want an investor who just kind of throws money and. Well it’s takes a vacation and, uh, in the ops or something like we want someone who is using the five products everyday themselves, so that they could tell us like, yo, you’re doing this wrong.

[00:24:56] Like the one thing hated hearing asked her, like winning a hackathon, congrats. This is sick. This is amazing. It’s amazing. Like, I was really like, it’s always best to look for, like the most, uh, like. The worst script. So as the only way you’re going to actually build something that’s sticky with users. Yeah.

[00:25:19] Ben Lakoff: [00:25:19] Yeah, they’re definitely eating their own dog food, right. I mean, there’ll be using Zappa every day and, uh, hopefully giving you a lot of good feedback on how you can improve it and keep it advancing for it. That’s for sure. I’m curious. Um, and maybe this is.

[00:25:35] Uh,

[00:25:37] Ben Lakoff: [00:25:37] I mean, as zapper, do you have a legal entity?

[00:25:40] This is like more of a dowel structure. So the investment itself was for future tokens that don’t exist yet. I mean, how can you, can you share any information about that sort of thing?

[00:25:52] Nodar Janashia: [00:25:52] Uh, yeah, I mean, uh, yeah, actually it was about as, for like future future tokens. Okay. So I guess there’s this new thing called the safety.

[00:26:03] Now you want to, like I said, start right away where most of the incentives are aligned with the ecosystem. So like the platform or nurse who are users and the builders. Yeah. Gotcha.

[00:26:21] Ben Lakoff: [00:26:21] Cool. Um,

[00:26:22] Nodar Janashia: [00:26:22] with zapper,

[00:26:25] Ben Lakoff: [00:26:25] what excites you most about zapper?

[00:26:28] Nodar Janashia: [00:26:28] Uh, what excites me most, uh, is definitely like, um, I’m seeing kind of this thirst from like this new wave of financial entrepreneurs, you could say, right.

[00:26:41] They’re seeing these, uh, You know, new ways of kind of optimizing our system and making it more robust. And the first glance like yield farmers, optimizing for profitability might look like kind of bankers using some kind of creative, uh, you know, accounting strategies to manipulate the numbers. Uh, but it’s actually like the opposite.

[00:27:04] Like, like I like to see like fun or hacking and bankers are cooking. Uh, so like, you know, it’s just like we started with discover. They feel like you can just go in and change an Excel spreadsheet like you could do. And now you’re on traditional finance. So while like internet was able to like improve, uh, you know, Uh, trading speeds and, um, like execution speeds.

[00:27:29] It was not able to like transform finance as crucial, most crucial point in my view, which is like create creation of these, uh, you know, financial engines. Um, yeah.

[00:27:43] Ben Lakoff: [00:27:43] Yeah, my, my only, I mean, yield farm farming is what it is. It’s just arbitraging the different rates and different.

[00:27:53] Nodar Janashia: [00:27:53] Yeah.

[00:27:54] Ben Lakoff: [00:27:54] But it’s like, I worry that it’s distracting us from like the longterm goals of, of what  is and what it stands for, but it certainly is a nothing else.

[00:28:05] The memes that come out of it or are great. So I’m enjoying, watching.

[00:28:11] Nodar Janashia: [00:28:11] Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I think, you know, these incentives are kind of like, uh, these customer acquisition costs that you would experience in traditional kind of, uh, finance and whatnot. So it’s like, you want to get it to a certain point where it’s kind of gets to critical mass where.

[00:28:32] Then users are using it, not to get incentives, but just because it’s a better underlying solution, like platform. Right. Fundamentally. So yeah, that’s what kind of, we, you know, hopefully people will come for the yield and stay for defy.

[00:28:49] Ben Lakoff: [00:28:49] Yeah. And that’s the hope, right? I mean, unfortunately, For all the people that rushed in, in 2017, there’s like, you know, the massive shakeout, but there’s certainly a lot of people

[00:28:58] Nodar Janashia: [00:28:58] that stuck around.

[00:28:59] And

[00:29:00] Ben Lakoff: [00:29:00] certainly the same thing will happen with a

[00:29:03] Nodar Janashia: [00:29:03] defy.

[00:29:04] Ben Lakoff: [00:29:04] I mean, the world is thirsting for yield and good investments anywhere like, so it’s, it’s nice to have these

[00:29:11] Nodar Janashia: [00:29:11] little pockets

[00:29:12] Ben Lakoff: [00:29:12] of, uh, of potential alpha popping up here and there that’s for sure. So you talked a bit about the fulcrum vulnerability, um, and kind of zooming out and looking at defy as a whole.

[00:29:28] I mean, what do you see as the biggest risks to defy going forward?

[00:29:33] Nodar Janashia: [00:29:33] Yeah, I think the biggest risks are going forward. I mean, yeah, there’s definitely like, obviously like smart contract risks, but like, besides I think the biggest risk is like more kind of like these, uh, economic, uh, risks or kind of like these, uh, token economics breaking down.

[00:29:52] So like, uh,

[00:29:55] Ben Lakoff: [00:29:55] Like

[00:29:56] Nodar Janashia: [00:29:56] basically like a math formula gone wrong. Right. Uh, so to say, um, but I think at the same time we should go through these experiments there rather than later. I’d rather do it when not, not when like trillions of dollars are at stake and at the same time right now, if you think about it, like in order for you to launch a new money market and traditional finance, you probably need like years of time and millions of dollars, whereas, and here you can do it and obviously five minutes deploying a contract.

[00:30:28] So.

[00:30:31] Ben Lakoff: [00:30:31] The rate

[00:30:32] Nodar Janashia: [00:30:32] of experimentation and failure were just obviously like, is it going through, like, I can’t bring an explosion. So I think it’s let’s uh, should we shoot, let it kind of pan

[00:30:45] Ben Lakoff: [00:30:45] out? Yeah, I think there’s, um, Like reputation risk for Ethereum as a whole, if we have like a bunch of huge hiccups, but yeah, like you said, it’s better now than in five years when there’s trillions of dollars on top of it,

[00:31:00] Nodar Janashia: [00:31:00] right?

[00:31:01] Yeah, exactly. That’s why like with every hack it’s like the system becomes more robust, uh, in my view. And, uh, you know, even if it’s a couple of million dollars, it’s a small price to pay.

[00:31:15] Ben Lakoff: [00:31:15] What is your, what is your standard like disclaimer, when you’re talking to somebody about crypto and defy, that’s not involved with the space,

[00:31:26] Nodar Janashia: [00:31:26] man.

[00:31:26] I should say, I should say more, uh, your risks. No, no, yeah. I definitely don’t say things like that. No, no, no. Uh it’s like something you had to kind of more definitely like actively manage if you want to. Kind of like get involved, right? Like don’t get in law cause you’re seeing high yields yet. Like, and it just, the way I got involved, I got my first gray mining.

[00:31:51] Like I kind of first learned the underlying kind of in the working. So everything before putting like a dollar in. So definitely what I would recommend is start with education first.

[00:32:06] Ben Lakoff: [00:32:06] Where do you, where do you point people for education on, in general?

[00:32:10] Nodar Janashia: [00:32:10] Well, I don’t mean to show my own thing by the tutorials.

[00:32:14] Obviously I’ve been, uh, you know, keeping up with that and then, uh, there’s plenty of other good resources. Like youth hub bank was by Ryan, Shawn Adams, um, defy rate by Cooper and Lucas.

[00:32:30] Ben Lakoff: [00:32:30] Um,

[00:32:32] Nodar Janashia: [00:32:32] And, uh, CA Cammy Russo. She has, uh, the defiant. Yeah. Yes. Pretty incredible. Just like actually getting to know all these people.

[00:32:44] Cause like, yeah, I went to Denver. I remember it was like the last trip before a Corona gone mad. Yeah. And, uh, it was pretty incredible kind of putting all the basis to Twitter profiles.

[00:33:00] Ben Lakoff: [00:33:00] Yeah. They’re real people, right? I mean, it’s, it’s kind of nice. Yeah. People are like coming up to

[00:33:05] Nodar Janashia: [00:33:05] me like, Oh, you’re from as if like, I couldn’t believe I was like, come on, like sick, uh, stop treating me as a family, some kind of a celebrity or something.

[00:33:15] I definitely don’t consider myself. Like a smart person in the space at all. And I don’t think anyone does because things changes so much every day that you can’t be fooling yourself.

[00:33:31] Ben Lakoff: [00:33:31] It’s, it’s moving really, really fast as well. So I mean, whatever is like the hot new thing it’s like, will it be around in one year?

[00:33:39] Is this even a thing? So, uh, yeah, you can, we keep, keep building and finding sounds like you guys are, um, So speaking of a lot of things, moving around quickly in defy for you, what is the most exciting thing about

[00:33:55] Nodar Janashia: [00:33:55] besides zapper, which

[00:33:57] Ben Lakoff: [00:33:57] would get you super

[00:33:59] Nodar Janashia: [00:33:59] excited? Oh, it gets me super excited would be like the development of like these more like, I guess like, uh, complex, uh, financial derivatives.

[00:34:12] That are coming about and kind of gaining traction, especially with options. I’ve been myself interested. Actually, I was, before I had a, I wrote, was writing like a whole white paper on like, ah, an options protocol. I was really interested in options. Yeah. Like I, yeah, true to my first option when I was like 17, I just brought like $5,000 to my friend.

[00:34:35] It was that they, uh, The day before a Freddy, uh, Mac announced a bankruptcy and they bought, and I bought a bunch of calls. I was like, they’re going to come back. No, yeah, I got wiped out next day at 99% down. Uh, yeah. Yeah. That’s

[00:34:58] Ben Lakoff: [00:34:58] like my, um, I was selling covered calls, calls in college and it was like, or no, uh, naked.

[00:35:05] I was selling puts and it was like, it’s great. It’s just income. And then like, as soon as the price goes through it, you know, you have

[00:35:13] Nodar Janashia: [00:35:13] to buy that

[00:35:13] Ben Lakoff: [00:35:13] security at that price. And I just, you know, in college had to buy like $20,000 worth of Freeport. It’s just like, This is not good. You learn, you learn real quick, really quickly.

[00:35:27] The, uh, the analogy of picking up pennies in front of a steamroller, right? Making up these little pennies that the steamroller coming right at you.

[00:35:37] Nodar Janashia: [00:35:37] Yeah, exactly. For sure. For sure. So

[00:35:41] Ben Lakoff: [00:35:41] option platforms. I mean, something like synthetics

[00:35:45] Nodar Janashia: [00:35:45] or, uh, yes, it just came out with those binary options. Uh, there’s also open, uh, parts finance, uh, is like a really new one.

[00:35:55] Um, I met the team and the Denver also met the open team. Yeah. Uh, team from openness pretty, pretty legit for sure. I, uh, been experimenting with them and kind of providing liquidity here and there. And. Basically what we would love to combine the option like contracts with is basically you would buy, uh, both, uh, put in a call.

[00:36:21] So you put a straddle and, uh, that would eliminate impairment loss at the same time, as you’re getting into a pool.

[00:36:31] Ben Lakoff: [00:36:31] Gotcha. So you could almost just add that as an add on to the pool. Same way that we

[00:36:36] Nodar Janashia: [00:36:36] leverage liquidity pulling. Yeah, exactly. Gotcha. That’s what I’m saying about these kind of pieces that you could kind of bring together that, you know, could come up with a, like, And then, and then use case for like a specific user, which is like, Hey, I want to keep my exposure in X or I want to have X amount of risk.

[00:36:59] So it’s like, yeah. Bringing them together to really, uh,

[00:37:06] Mike more powerful in my view.

[00:37:09] Ben Lakoff: [00:37:09] Yeah, I like it. I mean, the more innovative and crazy that defy space gets, like the more innovative you can be with clumping these things together and creating truly innovative, unique products. Right.

[00:37:24] Nodar Janashia: [00:37:24] Yeah, for sure. I’m definitely excited. It’s been hard kind of going to sleep, but, uh, yeah, it’s definitely exciting.

[00:37:33] And especially all the, like, again, the community, that’s definitely what keeps you up at night. That’s like number one thing that sets this apart from like anything else I’ve, I’ve done in my life in general and I just like encrypt, so yeah.

[00:37:49] Ben Lakoff: [00:37:49] Awesome. Um, great. Well, I know your time is pretty stretched right now, so,

[00:37:57] Nodar Janashia: [00:37:57] uh, Oh, no worries.

[00:37:59] Yeah, a

[00:38:00] Ben Lakoff: [00:38:00] few, a few last questions. So from an investment perspective of what, what area, or what individual tokens or whatever excites you the most right now? And don’t worry. I’ll, I’ll put a disclaimer. It’s not investment advice. It’s just an opinion.

[00:38:21] Nodar Janashia: [00:38:21] Well, yeah, like I’m, I’m definitely a bullish on, uh, defy, uh, tokens.

[00:38:27] Uh, I guess one that stands out that’s more recently though. The one we actually partner up with for like extra incentives for our end users, which would be balancer. So. Balancer, as you know, they give you bell tokens for providing liquidity there. And I’ve been, uh, I’ve been talking with Fernando for, for like, um, even before device app.

[00:38:52] I was actually supposed to like work at. The balancer.

[00:38:58] Yeah. Like literally, like, it was literally at that time, uh, this whole thing where like defies up and like, yeah, obviously they don’t have full time, but we are, but we still help each other, like as two projects, uh, obviously like whether they’re launch and. Like I consider them as like these massive geniuses, you know, a balancer Fernando has a really strong background in mathematics.

[00:39:25] So yeah, definitely, uh, someone. So, when do you, you want to build out the space with, and he’s just a genuine, generally nice person. He actually came to Brooklyn like a couple of months ago and we, uh, spend some time kind of jamming on some defects, but essentially in our case, what we’re doing is forever free, like X amount of liquidity that users provides for zapper a or.

[00:39:55] Provides us provisions like X amount of tokens to Sapper Dow. So what we want to do is redistribute these kind of incentives back to end-users. So kind of like, you know, why, why wouldn’t you provide liquidity ether, zapper since, uh, you know, you may be getting or usual bowels, but now you also get these bonus bowels that we accrue as doubt.

[00:40:23] Ben Lakoff: [00:40:23] So I just did to balance, or I think I did a balance

[00:40:27] Nodar Janashia: [00:40:27] and you’re really looking for rewards.

[00:40:29] Ben Lakoff: [00:40:29] No, I did two balancer pools, but I don’t think it’s mentioned anywhere that you’re getting like anything about this right

[00:40:36] Nodar Janashia: [00:40:36] now. Yeah. Cause this is not like, again, it’s not something that’s, uh, launched yet, but it is being counted.

[00:40:43] So you could say like, like, yeah, like. Uh, once we launched the whole token structure, that’s when they’ll start getting distributed. And even to us as zapper Dow, they get distributed over like a specific period of time over a, like over a year or two, actually.

[00:41:06] Ben Lakoff: [00:41:06] Okay. Awesome. A balancer is one of those ones that I’ve listened to podcasts and videos and.

[00:41:15] I’ve come from a background in finance and it’s just kind of flipping things. Yeah. It’s head. So it’s, I’m still. Rummaging through it and trying to figure out what the heck exactly it is. What are the risks for me? And then like how, how can I mitigate those and pull it out? You know, all of these things before.

[00:41:34] Nodar Janashia: [00:41:34] Yeah. I can send you like a quick exposure, Excel spreadsheet, which kind of compares, uh, what happens to your, uh, Liquidity that you are providing depending on different like price actions and comparing like uni swab with the balancer and a couple of different balance of pools. And the whole, the whole like kind of quick differences is like whenever a balancer has a pool, that’s more oriented towards a certain tokens, sort of like a 75, 25 pool.

[00:42:07] Mostly on maker. That just means that on the way up, if maker starts rising against ease, you’re going to experience less impairment loss being in the balancer pool. It just means that you’re more bullish towards maker. If you were in the 50, 50 uni swap pool, it’s kind of like saying, Hey, I think Easton maker will continue rising in terms of use terms at the same rate.

[00:42:32] Cause you try to come in and come out same time. So you’re kind of like. A neutral market, neutral position, whereas gotcha. You know what, there’s more bullish on

[00:42:44] Ben Lakoff: [00:42:44] the higher weighted one. Yes. You’re getting a portion of all the fees and everything. So it’s interesting. Yeah. It’s um, I gotta dig in.

[00:42:55] Nodar Janashia: [00:42:55] Yeah.

[00:42:55] There’s never a, there’s never something that’s not right. There’s always something.

[00:43:05] Ben Lakoff: [00:43:05] And there’s so many shiny objects. And like I wanted to dig into M stable. This Colonel thing has just started. So we have a lot of, a

[00:43:13] Nodar Janashia: [00:43:13] lot of like

[00:43:14] Ben Lakoff: [00:43:14] catch up to do there as well. It’s

[00:43:16] Nodar Janashia: [00:43:16] a, a

[00:43:16] Ben Lakoff: [00:43:16] lot of really, really fun, interesting things.

[00:43:22] Um, okay. Next question would be, what is the book you most recommend to friends and why?

[00:43:31] Nodar Janashia: [00:43:31] My book, I must recommend to friends would be, uh, actually looking at my books right now, but I definitely, like, I always actually have it up. It’s a attraction. Okay. Yeah. I didn’t get sick. One of the things that kind of forced me to.

[00:43:51] Like really like start with that. And this is like, I guess like teams spending a lot of times getting towards, trying to get towards like this certain goal, but they use is just best to just launch an MVP as soon as you can and try to get traction. Cause that’s all that matters at the end of the day, I would say.

[00:44:15] That’s the book I recommend the most.

[00:44:17] Ben Lakoff: [00:44:17] Nice. It’s good to see a technical people reading these things about, you know, getting their product out there. Um, everybody right. We were conditioned in school to get everything to the perfect. A position before releasing it into the wild. So you want to be proud of it.

[00:44:34] You want it to work perfectly and like, yeah, that’s a Mirage. It’s a false summit.

[00:44:40] Nodar Janashia: [00:44:40] Exactly. Exactly. Because the market is always going to just slap you in the face. Right.

[00:44:45] Ben Lakoff: [00:44:45] Always which is dangerous when you’re dealing with money, right? Yeah. I need to need to err, on the side of getting it out there

[00:44:53] Nodar Janashia: [00:44:53] in front of people

[00:44:54] Ben Lakoff: [00:44:54] so you can get some feedback.

[00:44:56] Yeah. Awesome. Uh, well, no doubt. Thank you so much for coming online. Where, um, where can our listeners find out more about you or where would you like to

[00:45:06] Nodar Janashia: [00:45:06] send them? Yeah, I’m like always underscored. Almost always, uh, sometimes I just put it on mute, but basically you could get to it from our website, right.

[00:45:18] That F I, um, we have, uh, lots of tutorials and documentation, but as you’ll see, like this court is where kind of the community part, part of it happens where people are requesting for new features, reporting bugs. Talking about new investment ideas. So if you’re looking to like, learn more about defy specifically, specifically about like yield farming opportunities, definitely join up and let me know if you have any questions.

[00:45:48] Ben Lakoff: [00:45:48] Awesome. Well, we appreciate it all that you’re doing for the device space and I’ll, uh, I’ll link all of those things in the show notes.

[00:45:56] Nodar Janashia: [00:45:56] Thanks a lot, man. You have a good one.

[00:45:58] Ben Lakoff: [00:45:58] Awesome. Thanks, man. There you have it. Thank you for listening. I really appreciate your support. Show notes, transcript links, and more can be found on our website at all.

[00:46:08] Asset If you’d be so kind, please share this with anyone you think might be interested or get some value from this conversation. If you have any questions or comments, please reach out. I’m always happy to hear them. Lastly, if you’re on YouTube, please like the video or subscribe to the channel.

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[00:46:28] Nodar Janashia: [00:46:28] to the podcast

[00:46:30] Ben Lakoff: [00:46:30] and, or leave a review. This really helps more people find the podcast. And I really appreciate it. Thanks again, and hope you have a fantastic day. Happy investing.

Ben Lakoff is an entrepreneur and finance professional. He has developed strong global finance experience through 10 years of international assignments in the US, Brazil, Afghanistan, Southeast Asia, Czech Republic and through the award of his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification.