Delphi Digital analyst Jonathan Erlich hosts Julien Bouteloup, CEO of StakeDAO and Curve crew member, to discuss all things StakeDAO, Rekt, BlackPool and Curve. The conversation dives into StakeDAO’s vision to become the Disneyland of DeFi, Rekt’s upcoming V2, BlackPool DAO and Curve’s recently launched cross-asset swaps.
The full interview transcript is available below!
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- Julien’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/bneiluj
- Stake Capital Site: https://www.stake.capital/
- StakeDAO Site: https://stakedao.org/dashboard
- Rekt Site: https://www.rekt.news/
- BlackPool Site: https://www.blackpool.finance/
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Hey everyone, this is Jonathan Erlich, and I’m really excited to be hosting Julien Bouteloup today. Julien is the CEO of Stake Capital and he’s also part of the Curve team. Thank you for taking the time, man.
Yeah, thanks for having me.
Yeah, sure, sure. Before getting into all things Curve and Stake Capital, I wanted to know more about your background and how you got into crypto.
Yeah, sure. My background is Stake. I’ve got a huge, pretty deep background in mathematics. So I studied advanced mathematics in France and then I went to the U.S. where I specialized, I did a Computer Science master in Embedded Systems, Electrical Engineering, and specialized in machine learning. Then I worked for security defense company. I was doing some machine learning [inaudible 00:01:14] for defense, and then build my own company in Singapore. Went back to London, where I build a casting company in machine learning.
In late 2011, I was renting some computers, about 48 computers in my attic for cloud hosting. It was back in the old days of mega upload and all those different things. As I used to be a very big fan, and actually national, quite a nice level in CS, in Counter-Strike. One of my friend asked me, challenged me to run this algorithm on those computers just for fun. Actually, I discovered that it was a couple months later, it was Bitcoin. So then a hand up in this huge shitshow Mt. Gox. I mean, Mt. Gox, and then later discovered Ethereum in 2015. A little bit early 2015. Since then, I’ve been building different companies around blockchain and Ethereum.
That’s awesome, man. That’s awesome. So, you’ve been in crypto since 2011?
Yeah, pretty much.
That’s amazing, man. That’s amazing. When did you start Stake Capital? And can you tell us what the company is about and what you’re currently doing and what the vision is with the Stake Capital?
Yeah, sure. The original idea about Stake Capital was actually just, I was trying to find a way for me to stake my assets. I had invested in Tezos, Polkadot and Livepeer, staking on Ethereum. I was just looking for a way for me to stake them. The thing is, then I look into the space, and I thought that the space was pretty early in staking as a service. With my experience of mining Bitcoin, or mining Ethereum back in the days, I said about, okay, instead of me giving my assets to some providers who are starting their infrastructure, with my experience of Amazon and Equinix, BSO, bare-metal servers across the world, I said, okay, maybe I can use my knowledge to just basically put my asset at work, using my own infrastructure.
Then a lot of different people like, friends, they reached out to me and they said, “Okay, listen, can you offer this service for me, and you charge a 20% or 25% fees for that service?” I said, “Okay, cool.” Then later on, I think about like six or seven months later, I opened to retail. We quickly reached quite some big asset under management, over 50 million assets under management. That’s how we became quite known in the industry of six years in service. Then, because my background is mathematics and also algorithmic trading. For example, I can know that, when I used to do trading, so DeFi start booming, it was pretty crazy.
Like a year ago, like a year and a half ago, I wrote this article called, it was actually Light Picker of Stake Capital with liquid staking. So I created this concept of liquid staking that now it’s used everywhere in this space*. That was actually migrating, trying to stake assets into different protocols without being locked into… For example, Tezos is 21 days or Cosmos is also 21 days and all these different things. So, actually moving Stake Capital into something more defined.
Then I got involved in different… Last year in January, February I got involved at an early stage of curve.finance then it appeared to be that I was more fit for DeFi rather than protocols, than devOps level. So I start doing auditing. So I start getting on the auditing side of smart contracts and DeFi, and got more involved in building some of those tools, for example. So now, Stake Capital we do 20% of staking as a service, but our main business is liquidation, market maker, arbitrage, flash loans, and all these different things. So it’s more like a quantitative hedge fund, which I’m 100% applying to DeFi with my experience of the traditional finance.
Recently, I think it was two weeks ago, recently launched StakeDAO. StakeDAO is a purely full retail. It’s a plug and play. You don’t need to understand DeFi, you don’t need a wallet, you need, just like an Instagram account, or whatever, just an email, and just connect. And you can immediately invest or participate in the best strategies and also the best things that DeFi can offer. That was not a portal, it’s not a window to DeFi, that will give you access to the best things that we think is the best for you, without thinking about it. That’s what it does.
So we not… People, they say, it looks like Zillion or it looks like Zapper. No, I love those products, they just have a different business model, different use case, they are used for people that are already in DeFi to access all those banks from different products. While StakeDAO just doesn’t give you access to everything, just give you access to the best. That’s what we do.
I love that vision. I love that vision. I saw that you’re basically offering all that’s under the Stake Capital umbrella for StakeDAO, right? So I was wondering if StakeDAO was a step to the centralized Stake Capital, or will both entities operate-
No, no, they’re completely different now. Stake Capital does its own business, but StakeDAO, we welcome anyone to build on StakeDAO. For example, we have Fubo at the stake end of the service, which is a major staking service in Asia. But for example, [inaudible 00:07:48] or Figment or anyone else who wants to provide services on the protocol level, then fine, we don’t actually… obviously, at the beginning, you need someone to create it. I created it first, but it’s just open to anyone and I prefer… The more you share, the more you get so I prefer sharing the big cake than sharing a small cake by myself. That’s why it’s more fun. You don’t want to find yourself alone at a table you want to share and then have fun.
So, StakeDAO, it’s exactly this. You provide services you will get share, I mean, governance tokens, and the more you provide, the more you get. That’s what we do. So we have protocol, liquid staking, actually, we’re going to release this month about 10 new liquid staking products. So you’d be able to provide a set of different protocols, but also switch between those protocols. So you actually have a bridge between protocols, which is pretty fascinating for me, because then you can build a trading on top of it. You can also build features and options, and this is exactly what we’re doing.
We have the strategies, so strategies are providing for example, we’re building strategies for NFTs so Blackpool. Blackpool is a hedge fund for NFT. I think we are one of the top, within a couple of weeks we had a top actor in the NFT space. We are the biggest one on Surveyor, we’re going to announce something on Topshot. We also pretty big in [inaudible 00:09:19] Golden Chain, Decentraland, Cryptovoxel. So basically, this strategy will be offered on StakeDAO, but if there’s someone else for example, NFTX or Nifty, all those guys, they want to have access to StakeDAO, it’s open source, they just make a pull request on GitHub, and they can provide.
Think about StakeDAO as Disneyland. In Disneyland, you have multiple different attractions, that’s exactly the same. You enter the park, and in the park you do everything around to enjoy your adventure. So, you can have food, you can have access to ATM whatsoever. It’s exactly like this. StakeDAO give you the entire pipeline. You connect to the platform you can buy crypto, you can exchange crypto, you can send crypto, you can participate to strategies.
They’re either built by StakeDAO people, or they’re built by outside people. Then we also building features and options, that’s the thing. But primarily, the idea behind StakeDAO was to build on top, and still that’s the vision, because I truly believe that Curve is one of the most impressive protocol in the space. So StakeDAO is built on top of Curve, and this will remain like this. I will provide the best features possible for the product of Curve, but then we can also build on top of other protocols such as Harvey or SushiSwap or stuff like that. It’s community wise.
Amazing, amazing. I want to get like into the weeds of StakeDAO, but before getting into that, I wanted to give a shout out to, I don’t know who’s the team behind your branding, but I just saw the idea of the different animals in white with the black background. So I wanted you to maybe comment on what’s the idea behind the animals and who’s the team behind it. I love it, man.
I’m not sure if you know Rekt News, the pretty famous news now, the newspaper that we write articles. This came when I was doing auditing, and also I was trying to write some articles and then I found someone that had the skills of writing. So then we build a team. But if you look at it Rekt, we call it a tax and also the frog. So the animals is in every project, for example, like Blackpool, Rekt, StakeDAO, you always have a very strong identity. In StakeDAO it’s the elephants and we, they call it the herd. And you have different way of finding or identifying yourself [inaudible 00:12:03] through those images and stickers. And then you give a real identity to project, but in Blackpool it’s the same. In Blackpool, it’s the gorilla you know, it’s very strong, it’s like the concept of not afraid and go for the fight. I mean in StakeDAO, the team is about 60 contributors. There is no core team, there is no founders, it’s anyone on the page of contributors is part of the project and contributing the same level.
That’s amazing, man, I love it. And I’m going to drop some of the telegram stickers in the description of the podcast so people can see them. So can you talk more about the team, the team behind StakeDAO? I know you’ve been working on StakeDAO, some of the team members have been working on StakeDAO for a long time. Can you comment on like, how the development process was there? And like, who the contributors are, etc. It’s a really big theme, right?
Yeah. I mean, I initiated the project like two years ago with Stake Capital, it was only for B2B, businesses, family offices and all that stuff. And then people were like, but I would like to participate in your services, how can I do that? I’m like, okay, you can, I can give you a script, I can give you a bot on telegram, and then you can see your staking across all the different protocols, there was the really difficult. So then I thought about building this retail platform. But to build a retail platform, it takes time if it’s really well executive. So I work on that for about, we work on that for about six months. I’ve got the best team ever. And it’s always just the, it’s always the most important bit when you’re building something, is finding the right people that can, that have the same vision as you and also they are very good. So you don’t waste your time trying to explain and they are entrepreneur mindset.
So StakeDAO is not I mean, the idea about having one place for everything, not for everything, but like a dashboard where you can manage your strategies and you can also have access to liquid staking, potentially options and futures and also maybe trading because that’s what I’m… This is the [inaudible 00:14:30] that can tell you, but this is where I’m actually moving into, like Fx, Fx trading. This is not new in a space. I mean, it’s not new in DeFi, everything is just tradition… what we’re doing in DeFi everything is already built, it’s traditional finance, but to decentralize finance with new, new tools, but the concepts are always the same. So the idea was to find the right people that are super good and cheap, very fast. So this happen, and I found the right people, and we execute the product in next less than six months. But we have way more to… We just bring like step by step, but we already have a lot of different products in the pipeline that we’re going to release, in a couple of days, a couple weeks.
That’s amazing, and I love the UI, I love how StakeDAO looks and it’s impressive what you’ve built so far. So you’ve already said like you’re currently offering strategies, some are gonna be custom made by you, your first staking alternatives, your first swaps, and you also offer a [inaudible 00:15:39]. So I wanted to sort of understand like, how this value accrues to the StakeDAO token, right?
Yeah, so every single day on StakeDAO, anything you do, for example, you might do a swap, you might buy crypto, you might invest in some strategies, you might do liquid staking. Whatever we take on top of it, for example, if we provide the best strategy, and we give you 15% or 20% APY, on the cost of it [inaudible 00:16:14] strategy, mean only stable coin, so your risk is zero, then we’ll take a 15% performance fee. If the strategy is a little bit more risky, [inaudible 00:16:26] will be obviously more high and will provide also a performance fee of maybe a little bit more because we have more to manage. But all those performance fee, for example, like a swap, we’ll give you the best quote ever, we give you the best routes.
So you swap, we give you the best route. You buy crypto flat on ramp, you buy it from Pound, US dollar, or Euro. We give you like into stable coins, so like crypto, then this is actually the best quote and we charge a little fee, which I think 0.5%. It’s cheaper than going through Coinbase or going through an exchange, because then you will pay high. So for example, like Coinbase Pro, where you need to understand that most of the people that we have… imagine that the first three days, we involve 3600 people that never got any exposure to crypto before, so without actually using a wallet. So what we do, whatever you do is across the platform, if we charge a performance fee to build better products, we redistribute all the [inaudible 00:17:30] the StakeDAO. [inaudible 00:17:33] Then you earn on this platform, through the strategies [inaudible 00:17:43].
Yeah, go ahead.
Sorry, man. You got a bit… right there. But yeah, I was actually going to ask you about this onboarding of more than 3000 people, I think it’s a huge number, for the size of DeFi. So I wanted to ask you, how did that happen? How did you achieve that? And also, what are you seeing people doing on the platform now when you * them?
Yeah, now we actually have one 6000 people from non crypto. We doubled the number in less than [inaudible 00:18:34]. Can you hear me?
Yep. Yep. You want to maybe…
I can turn off my video.
Yeah, if that’s better, because I think my internet is not very stable. Yeah, so and now we actually have 6000 people. And, I mean, it’s just like, I think it’s connections and we present the platform. We didn’t do like any marketing or any posts, or pay advertising and all that stuff, we believe that if we’re providing products that adds some intrinsic value, then people will come naturally. And this is exactly what happened. We just share the platform across our network, like few different friends, and then they saw that was pretty cool, and they did the same. But when you have like contributors of 60 people and they share to five or 10 people and they like it, so those people they will do the same. And then in three days, we got up to three or 4000 people with no exposure to DeFi. We have no previous exposure to DeFi. But then on the wallet side, it’s way more. On the web tree side we have like lot of people, lot of people. But for us, the interesting metric was those people with no, with wallet. With web to wallet.
Yeah, totally man. That’s amazing and it’s sort of interesting that you’re not just building for the current crypto users, but also trying to onboard users into this new paradigm. It’s really cool.
So man, I want to dive deeper into the strategies because I think there’s a lot there and there’s a lot of interesting stuff happening there. So you’re currently live with four strategies that leverage your own technology. So you have a synthetic bakery strategy, a three pole strategy, a Euro strategy and a WiFi strategy. I wanted to understand how those strategies work, if they currently work in the same way as WiFi, like farming curve in the background, they’re sort of buying more of the underlying?
Yeah, correct. So we have been building our own strategies as well. Those ones are being audited. The Euro strategy is our strategy. And then the USD and BTC strategy are built from Yearn, from Yearn code and the reason for that, when I first built Curve, when I… sorry, Michael built Curve. When I first built StakeDAO, the idea was to be able to participate in a governance of Curve. So when I said before, when I build StakeDAO, the original idea was to be building and still on the top of Curve, the reason for that is to provide the community a voice on Curve. So in order to do that, you need to have a lot of Curve tokens.
And the reason why, the only way to do that is by providing a concept of liquid staking. People that provide that Curve token into a vote, and then we use this vote to lobby or to participate in care of governance for the good health of the care of building project in the future. So when you do your deposit, your Curve tokens into a vote, and then they will boost the rewards on those different votes, like USD, BTC, and etc. So yeah, and then we use this to make votes on different protocols. For now, we’re only Curve but we can also do the same for Avi, we can do the same for Sushi Swap. Basically, this platform is for people that don’t want to spend money to participate in governance because it’s expensive, but they also believe that if they provide their… if they delegate their voting power, then StakeDAO will do the best for their interest, and also for the interest of the community.
Oh, that’s really interesting. That’s really interesting, I see where you’re going. People are going to develop trust in StakeDAO and sort of trust that governance power is going to be used in the right ways, right? For the long term, sort of.
I love it. I love it. I love it. So man, now we want to get into your own custom strategies. You’re going to be launching an arbitrage strategy, a Blackpool strategy, which is related to NFP trading, a liquidation strategy and an APY hunter strategy, right? I wanted to sort of understand how each of those would work and sort of where development is at here.
Yeah, sure. The high frequency arbitrage strategy, obviously, this will be on [Altune 00:24:12]. It’s already, I mean, the staff, the cord on [Altune 00:24:19] is already built. The only thing that is missing right now, it’s kind of like the liquidity, obviously, makes sense. The NFT trading strategy will give you exposure to all the different verticals that are being supported by Blackpool. So Sorare, the frugal fantasy game, which is the one of the top NFT game right now in the space, Top Shot, Golden Chain, Cryptovoxel, Decentraland and all these different strategy, we have the best managers that you can find in the space that are taking care of this strategy. So if it’s Decentraland, they will buy some piece of lands and make sure we can either land them or we can buy them to people the same. So we are like primitives on the top of it like landing, I mean landing market. We have also like options and features where you can actually borrow some liquidity against your portfolio. So in Blackpool is really just something a project that is focused on NFT and you’ll be able to participate through StakeDAO.
Liquidation, it’s about like 60%, 70% done. The smart contract, okay, is just like the DevOps around this strategy. But yeah, the liquidation is something that I’ve been doing for couple months now and I’ve been taking a lot of liquidation in a space. So my goal was to provide this to retail and so they can also participate in the liquidation sector. APY Hunter is already built, we just need to release it. But we also have like three different new tools we built. Avi, which is like, I call it the inception pool, because it’s actually depositing into Avi and then using… I mean, depositing yeah. So Avi, some stable coins in Avi, then depositing this in Curve, and then bringing this into the strategy. And then you can basically have Avi plus fees in the auto market maker of Curve, plus the rewards of all of them.
Nice. Nice. So I had a few questions there about, for example, the NFT strategy and the arbitrage strategy and the liquidation one, are those strategies going to work on chain or off chain? Like, how would the process work there? For example, if I deposit into the Blackpool…
Yeah, so some of them… Yeah, Blackpool would be unchained. Liquidation, a little bit of the liquidation, some verticals inside the liquidation will be off chain. I mean, the thoughts will be all on chain, it’s just like the DevOps, because some of them, you need a little bit of DevOps around the thing. But the more, obviously, if we can do everything like just less will do, that’s the mission. But because in liquidation, we are covering quite a lot of different products, so it’s a little bit difficult to execute correctly. But that’s the plan, yeah.
That’s really cool. That’s really cool. And for the liquidation and the arbitrage strategy, are you looking to sort out the projects that are currently working around MEV DeFi, like such as Archer DAO or KeeperDAO? Or do you have like an in house approach?
To sort of handle front runner?
Definitely. Yeah, definitely. One of the one of the strategy that we have built and will be live in a couple of days, is, we call it the Dark Forest and Dark Forest will give you exposure to liquidity for sending transaction without going to the main pool. So yeah, obviously using Archer DAO, been looking to KeeperDAO but I need to understand the concept a little bit more. But yeah, we can definitely integrate those different products. That’s no problem.
That’s [crosstalk 00:28:36]
I mean, Archer DAO, it’s already built so yeah.
Yeah, totally. That’s awesome and that’s exciting and I’m definitely going to try the Dark Forest when it comes out. So sir, you’ve said on Twitter that v2 is coming soon, right? StakeDAO v2. I imagine some of what will be v2 is these new strategies, but can you comment, sort of what else can we expect with this new upgrade?
I don’t want to say too much but it will be a new concept of gamification that I think no one has ever thought in the space yet. Yeah.
Okay. Okay. Okay. Awesome. Awesome. So now I want to move into Blackpool. You already mentioned some things about Blackpool. It’s another sort of product by you guys, which aims to become like a financial services provider in the NFT space, offering asset evaluation indexes, insurance and actively managed strategies, right? So can you give us an overview of like how Blackpool works and what products you’re currently offering?
Yeah, sure. For now, Blackpool is private. It’s close to us. Meaning that we don’t… the retail cannot access Blackpool. We’ve been working on Blackpool for the past year. More like on the ground in stealth mode. And now we are ready to bring Blackpool to the retail. So Blackpool DAO will emerge this month, we’re just making sure the contracts and the and the architecture is correct. But basically, Blackpool is algorithmic trading for NFT. So what we do, we apply different blots and different strategies of [Shane 00:31:01] right now, and we analyze the market. And the focus is really on passive income. So, we’ll invest and we’ll participate inside those different verticals that are providing passive income, meaning that we can use those NFT to do utility in something. For example, if it’s Sorare, the football fantasy game, we’ll be using the player, those NFT cards to play the game.
But also what is important is like in Sorare, the data that the NFT is getting as XP, like if you were playing an MMO RPG, or like a game is correlated to the performance of the player in real life. So if Messi or Mbappe, they perform well on the field and it’s cool, then your NFT will get XP, and those XP are pulled from the oracle of Opta, which is one of the biggest data analytics platform for betting online and gaming. So what you can do, you can apply like quants, like analysis, data analysis, and research on the traditional finance, so the view of finance, but then bring this and match this into the NFTs. So what we do for example, in Sorare, we watch all the games, we analyze the performance of each player, we predict that one team might win against another one because of either not playing at all or playing outside or because some players in the team used to play in the other team, like stuff like that. We apply this and then we buy those players and we make them play.
We were planning to do exactly the same in Top Shots. And all the other markets such as Decentraland, Cryptovoxel, where we know if we buy those NFT, we can either land that piece of land or we can make a manager that will basically use this land to Brixham for example, build the office of Blackpool inside Decentraland. And then inside Blackpool office in Decentraland, we can only list Mbappe NFT. So if in the near future, you want to buy NFT, or you want to buy one of the best player or one of the best NFT from Blackpool, you will need a ticket or you will need a key to enter the building inside of your [inaudible 00:33:22]. Like all those different concepts.
So where we are we have different verticals, we only get involved those verticals if we find the manager, the manager that knows the game pretty well, knows the NFT vertical very well and can actually provide his knowledge and expertise. And then we open. So for example we have, I mean the only investment, speculative investment that we’ve made so far is [Hashmask 00:33:49], we got involved in that. So we got something like 40 or 50 mask. Yeah.
That’s really cool. I love the Hashmasks. So basically, you have different verticals, right? And in each vertical, you have the managers, right? And they’re like the ones who sort of know the game and work trading etc. So I had this, I was curious about like, do you have like a standard sort of framework for all the managers? Or do you let them do their own strategies as they see fit? I wanted to sort of understand how that works.
No, no. Their goal is to increase the APY, so they are free to operate the strategy in their own way. We’ve provided tools. So for example, if we need a bot that will participate in auction market. So for example, if you need a bot, that will make sure that… will make sure that we guarantee that we’ll buy them on the market using different way of participating in auction, for example, based on timing, based on being super aggressive. It’s like poker, playing poker is exactly the same. So we have different strategy and if you need a bot to make sure we can buy this NFT, we’ll provide the bot. If you need to understand the market and search vertical, for example, valuation of the lands in Decentraland in certain area, whose part of the Decentraland is being the most used. Which of those NFT commits on the spaceship game, we need to acquire if you want to play and be the best of the game, boom, we provide those analytics and then we’ll let the manager managing those NFT because it’s very time consuming to participate in those different verticals.
Yeah, that’s really interesting. I was actually reading about one of your team members in Sorare who bought Mbappe for 116 [inaudible 00:36:20] and I was impressed by that number. I was wondering, like, what the size of this market is, and I don’t know if you can tell but what kind of returns you’re seeing here.
Yeah, so actually, the manager didn’t buy the NFT, we bought it. So Blackpool bought Mbappe. Then we we gave Mbappe to the best manager who could operate Mbappe. And this manager is actually a French guy because so [Max 00:36:52] but Kimmich, we gave it to the best manager that could operate Kimmich. So, I mean it’s actually owned by AGM saying I’m saying actually bullshit. But yeah, so that’s what we do. Then we buy those NFT and then we give them to the best manager in this portfolio that can operate the player.
But yeah, I mean, returns are crazy. Right now, returns are around 100%, 105%. So if you go to Blackpool/matrix and you look at our portfolio, I see we have 2.6 million USD was of NFTs. And currently the APY is about like 100% and 105%, meaning that we generate per month something like around 150, 200K. So I like to calculate the day but yeah, it’s pretty insane. So then the goal of this, of Blackpool is then to DAOsify, the [inaudible 00:38:01], and then basically let getting exposure to the DAO and the DAO will be, the token will be tracking the asset and the management and then you’ll be, as you go in you’ll be able to decide which vertical we need or we want to jump in, when to support more, when to allocate more resources, when to get more managers, that’s basically what we we’re currently going to release.
Oh, that’s really interesting. That’s really interesting. So the DAO token holders are basically going to own a piece of all the NFTs right? And but you’re also going to have the LPs that are gonna provide the liquidity and they’ll get a yield from the DAO activity right?
Yeah, yeah, exactly, I mean, if yoU invest and provide liquidity inside the pools, then you will get the performance fees of the DAO and anyone buying the governance token will be able to stake it and all the profits that we’re making across the entire project will be distributed to the people that stake the token. So, you’ll be able to capture the evolution of the asset and the management plus the performance that we, that the DAO is making across all the different verticals.
The interesting bit behind, if your time is precious and you can [inaudible 00:39:40] they getting involved in all these different verticals? Well basically if you expose yourself and you [inaudible 00:39:48], it will basically mean that you are exposed to all the different verticals that the DAO is actually playing. Adding an index token, which the index token will basically get all those tokens across the industry, because here, of course, we invest in those different projects, but we also actively participate in those projects. So we actually generate passive income, which is a very big difference between investing in index token. Index token can be cool, you have yourself across different assets, but here you invest in the DAO that basically, its main goal today is to be the best at what he does on each of those verticals.
Yeah, totally, makes sense. And you also know that the NFTs are going to be managed by the experts in each of these platforms, right?
Sorry, say it again.
No, I was saying that it makes total sense. And you also know like, the NFTs you buy are going to be used like by the experts in each of those platforms, which are the managers.
Yeah, exactly. Yeah, correct.
Okay. Really cool man. Really cool and excited for Blackpool DAO. I now wanted to move on to Rekt. Rekt was launched like, I don’t know, a few months ago and it’s been covering…
Like two months, about two months ago, yeah.
Two months ago. And it’s been covering major DeFi events in a characteristic and in an interesting way. Can you comment on sort of like what the vision is here and why you launched it?
Yeah, sure. I mean, during the Ico craziness in 2017, I wrote some major post and about some Ico. They were doing, I mean, some scams, and I was basically doing investigation on my own to investigate this project and where, why they were scams and all the stuff. So I wrote those articles and then got sued by multiple different projects that were saying that my articles were defamatory and they were not correct. Well, two years later, three or four years later, they all disappeared. But this to me, for quite a lot of money 3.5 or 3.5 million US dollars, and all different things. So basically, in this space, you cannot say whatever you want. And oh, if you want to say them, you need to say them in such a way that you are legally backed up.
And so I always thought about starting again, and building something that basically give a voice to the community, but not a voice in the sense of you will have access to your platform for free chilling of free will. If you pay us then we’ll talk about your project. Or if you give us that or if you buy or if you give us something we will talk about it in a good way. Well, this was not, this is a self funded project doesn’t accept any money to advertise or to chill, basically project. So Rekt is really a platform for community, it’s really a platform for the people that are using those products. And they don’t necessarily understand what’s going on, but they want to understand they want to actually get access to the information. But mission is whatever is on chain will be used as a proof of whatever we say, but will not accept information just because you’re saying that the information is true, we’ll actually always verify.
So think about Rekt as a bench of detectives, a bench of personal investigators that will investigate a case and we’ll quickly jump into an event in DeFi that is happening. So if you look at all the different hacks, all the different exploits, all the different things that happen in DeFi, and now also like before in the traditional financing, in DeFi and decentralized finance, we covered information in lesson three or four hours. We tried to be super fast, and we analyzed, but we don’t analyze in, “oh, something happened and then someone get hacked and that’s the link…” is a scam. No, no, we go to the deep understanding of what happened and we provide information and we try to teach the community how those different information are connected between each other. So that’s what we do.
So think about Rekt as the weak links of DeFi but there’s also something really, really unique about Rekt, is Rekt is written by the top quality English that you will find in the space. I dare anyone in this space to actually find another platform that will, in turn, will formulate and will also write better articles than us, than Rekt community. So it’s a high standard quality. That’s why we write a little, we don’t write about all the things, we just like focus on a niche, but we make it like, we execute very well. That’s the mission of Rekt. And now we also turning Rekt into version two and version two will be, I think, can be the game changer in the space. So obviously, fully decentralized and some concept of confidentiality and stuff like that. So it will become… don’t think Rekt as a major platform, think Rekt as a tech platform. That’s the mission of Rekt.
That’s awesome. That’s awesome. I wanted to ask you sort of about v2, but I can sort of imagine what’s coming right? Sort of decentralization and that will be really cool to see.
I think what we… the vision of Rekt is something like pretty crazy. What we’ll be releasing in the coming weeks, we’re also… maybe also like this month, maybe next week or in two weeks, we also release something very cool that I’m not sure if you’ve seen these windows concepts of what we call Hopium Diaries. So Hopium Diaries, the original idea was one of the article that I read every year, either at the early beginning of the end of the year is this article on Reddit, which is called, ‘I’m Here For The Future.’ I mean, ‘I’m a Time Traveler, I’m Here From The Future To Tell You What You’re Doing Is Bad.’ And this is about Bitcoin and crypto and the citadels and basically explained in the article that it predict very well the price of Bitcoin, and for those reasons, is actually from the future, and is here to say that what we building is bad because we’re building a kind of like, VIP or privileged people that will live in the citadels. And if you don’t have access to crypto Bitcoin, you will be outside and starving for life, starving to death.
So, here in Hopium Diaries, you can look into them and some of them are very cool way, for example, a tax is also like a little bit the same. But what we give, we basically give the users, the readers some intellectual or psychological thoughts about what actually we’re building. Are we building something that is actually much better than traditional finance? Or are we just placing those people in governance by ourselves, privileged people, because we just less than 0.001% of the entire population being involved in this? So we actually ask questions to ourselves and basically, try to imagine the future, try to imagine what we building and what we actually, what kind of impact we are in the society. So in a couple of days, a couple of weeks, we’re going to release something cool about it as well.
Oh, that’s awesome, man. That’s awesome. I’m definitely going to read them, definitely going to read them. And yeah, I agree. And I’ve also asked us that myself, like, are we recreating what we want to sort of get rid of? Or are we really creating something different that’s going to make the world better, you know? And I love these philosophical questions as well.
So sir, I want to move on to Curve. You’re part of the Curve team and I really love the product and Curve has already become a key piece of infrastructure in DeFi. You keep adding new assets, volume keeps increasing, and you recently even added capabilities for cross asset swaps. So I wanted to sort of get your take, like, in your opinion, what’s the vision for Curve going forward?
Yeah, sure. I mean, Curve is… people has to understand that Curve is kind of like quite unique in the space and also unique in the vision, but also unique in technological implementation. I mean, focus is really mathematics. And the demand behind Curve is Michael and really focused on mathematics and that’s why Curve is being such a successful project. And think about Curve as a protocol level. So ideally it’s like all the projects in the space will be using Curve as the underlying, I mean, the auto market makers, swapping assets, and also finding a way to swap asset for the best for almost zero slippage or zero, and also providing liquidity of zero permanent loss and all different things.
Curve is actually focused on silver coin. And if you think about it, apparently, statistics and people are saying that 50% or 60% of the entire market of crypto will be absorbed by stable coins, because of nations. Nation will need to print their national currencies in crypto, and they will provide all this massive volumes of Fiat into the crypto world. So if Curve provide the best infrastructure for stable coins, or like the stable coins, not in the sense of just stable coin, like your US dollars, or Euro or Yen and all that stuff, it’s actually also for pool. So for example, a pool of statistic eath or eath, in the same pool will also be the best pool that you can actually swap your liquidity across and you can provide liquidity inside.
Yeah, so Curve could be taking into the market of the Forex market, if the Forex market those about five or six trillions volumes per day, then if Curve can take 1%, or even less than that, or even more than that, then it will be pretty huge. And Curve is currently doing five and a half a million profit back to the governance holders. So people that participate in governance people at stake their asset, they are receiving about half a million US dollars per week. But Curve is doing something like between 300,000,000 and 305,000,000 volume per day, so almost like half a billion volume per day, and has a TVL of little bit more than three billion. So it’s a massive project. It’s massive. It’s a huge, huge protocol in the space. And no one can ignore this protocol because if you want to build a fantastic project DAPS or fantastic protocol you need to go through Curve now. That’s not possible otherwise.
That’s huge, that’s definitely huge. And you know, I hadn’t, like heard about 50% or 60% of the market being stable coins but it makes total sense. When CBDCs sort of start happening and start getting used, the importance of sort of like a piece of infrastructure like Curve, it’s only going to increase. So that’s huge, and I hadn’t thought about that. So I wanted to touch on cross asset swaps, which is something you released fairly soon. And you’ve already seen more than 100 million in cross asset swaps, and they basically allow you to go from any asset to any other asset through Curve using synthetics in the background, right? So can you walk us through like how this works and sort of how the development happened here?
Yeah, sure. I think this is… was actually well framed by Mark from Avi. He said, I was talking to him and he said, let’s see, when I met him a couple of weeks ago, well I was like on a panel. But he said yeah, there was DeFi, I mean, there was Curve, it was before Curve cross swap, and after Curve cross swap in the DeFi industry. The reason for that is because this functionality is actually a new paradigm in DeFi, it’s a new way of thinking and why? So, cross asset swap, I mean, like swapping asset through pools is like using native kind of like native token, so you will swap USDC, USDT and [DI 00:54:55] in the same pool, but those are on chain, I mean, they native assets. So native assets in the sense of DeFi, obviously.
But curve cross swap, what it does the basically use the synthetix protocol. So basically using the DAPS. And what it does is if you want to swap huge amount, so Curve algorithm and formulas and because they actually, the formula of Curve is being built for near peg assets, so very close asset needs to each other. That’s why I actually guarantee you zero slippage and whatsoever. So you cannot really do right now with the current algorithm of Curve, we cannot do East to BTC, for example. So, what we built is, you go through synthetix, and then you use the depth of synthetix so on the synthetix pool, so the SNX pool, and you basically go through the route of synthetix and you do like SBTC. So you have like SBTC inside synthetix and then you exit synthetix in BTC.
So basically, literally you could swap, like the amount that you can swap at zero slippage, I mean nearly zero slippage is basically determined by the situation of the depth incentives, how big is the pool in synthetix? So what it does, because when you do this swap, the settlement, you got a few minutes of settlements. So what we do, we print an NFT that represents you claiming you’ll swap, and then when the settlement is over after a couple of minutes, you can burn this NFT to claim the… you can basically claim the swap, the amount. And we, I think it was a couple of days ago, we quickly did more than one million US dollars off of cross swaps.
So going from ease to another assets or different assets, which is like pretty big, because the thing is like for huge volume, like for example, imagine you want to trade 45 million, or 20 million or 50 million or one million, when you go to Uniswap or you go to Balancer or whatever, you will get a massive slippage. You will get like 1% or 1.5% or 2%. But if you swap 10 million US dollars and you get 1% or 2% slippage, it’s not possible. But if you use our technology, then we guarantee you no slippage, I mean, nearly zero slippage, which is like a game changer. Because you can actually talk to I say like big institutions, or in traditional finance, they understand it’s multi collateral party where you basically normally go, you go for weeks of signing documents and say okay, I would transfer 20 million to that company. And then you need to agree and you need to find somewhere in the middle that they find that those accounts exist and then transfer the money, like properly transfer the money somewhere. So then it’s actually between two banks and whatsoever.
Here, where you can do is actually insane. You just need to wait like six or like a few minutes and then and then you can redeem and then make almost like atomic swap between two different assets. [crosstalk 00:58:46] I mean, atomic swap in the same sort of zeros of not paying fees. So the fees that you will pay just for the gas because it is quite expensive transaction so you can pay roughly like 200 to 500 US dollars, but it’s nothing because if you pay zero slippage on it one million or five million, basically five million cross asset families swap from east to BTC will cost you 500 US dollars for whatever amount of money you’re trying to transfer.
Yeah, yeah, that’s crazy and I think it’s a brilliant solution as well. I read about sort of the solution, I don’t know, it was sort of three, four months ago when he was sort of in the planning phases. I don’t know, if someone proposed it, like in a forum or something. And I don’t know, I thought he was sort of delegated, it had sort of stayed like as an idea. So I was really excited. Like, when you… [crosstalk 00:59:45] about it.
I see well, honestly it was pretty well executed by [Ben 00:59:53] who’s also someone from the Curve team. So yeah, I think it’s, I seen the vision of such a product… because even people they’re like, okay cool, that’s cool, you can make a huge trade. I mean it’s actually a game changer because you’re talking directly to massive institution in the world. But what you can do as well, you could do for the time of the settlement, you can also, this is actually the starting to be very interesting, is you can actually build options on top of it. So you could actually print, attached to your NFT, you can print some… I mean you can get like into calls and pools. And then basically short or long, depending on what happened on the market. Because if the market for example, there’s a 10% or 20% collapse on the asset on the cross asset that you’re doing, then you need to hedge yourself so people could actually blow those kind of options attached to the swap and you could hedge yourself, which is like pretty crazy.
That’s amazing. Like a three minute option.
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Yeah. How do you do in the near future when Synthetix they… I mean, for now, we are limited by the… I mean, this is like a brilliant idea, but don’t forget that it’s still like risky one because we rely on Oracle and the basics of Curve is zero Oracle and I don’t understand how why DeFi is actually not using the virtual price of Curve because the best thing they can do.
But synthetix are using the channeling. And channeling they have this… That’s what we actually fall past with charge and Curve which has 0.04% on fee on the swap. But synthetix the charge, I think is 0.35% which is quite a lot of money. And they are actually limited by the channeling, they call it the deprivation. I don’t remember in English how is it called, but the provision price is actually the Oracle is attached, the Oracle. So my point is this swap is still like…. I mean, I like channeling and I think channeling is a brilliant idea, but still like relies on Oracle and relies on the depth of synthetix to make some… It’s not like not driving on tally, but mathematics. That’s my point. Like Curve.
Yeah, yeah, that’s really interesting. So how do you see these processes evolving? I understand like, right now they’re obviously sort of more usable, or sort of designed for big trades because you spend a lot in fees because of all the steps involved. But do you see like a future where smaller transactions can also be performed using this technology?
Yeah, obviously. Yeah, I think the future is really working on advanced mathematics and working on those auto market maker formulas and trying to find out and trying to always push the boundaries of those limitation across cross asset swaps, obviously. Yeah.
That’s really cool. That’s really cool. So in terms of [L-tools 01:03:42] and scaling, I understand Curve is building out a variation on [inaudible 01:03:49] right? Can you comment like where development is here and sort of why you chose [inaudible 01:03:56]?
I mean, I’m not sure if I can really comment on the [L2 01:04:06] but I would say that we working on a few different solution and [inaudible 01:04:11], it was the one, the first one to reach our [inaudible 01:04:18] and that’s what we integrate and we test it but we are testing a few different solutions. So we’re not limited to… I think we just, for now we really investigating in the space and trying to find the best for Curve.
Okay, okay, okay, that’s really cool. So man, thanks a lot for your time. We’ve already done more than one hour, so thank you very much. I want to give you some time to give basically some closing thoughts, so how can people reach out to you? Get involved with StakeDAO, maybe Blackpool DAO and Curve?
Yeah, sure. You can follow me on Twitter. I think I’m pretty fast at answering messages on Twitter, I think it’s the best place if they want to reach out. And then all the different projects, so Curve, Blackpool, StakeDAO, Rekt, the Twitter is also the best place to have access to the links and in the different telegram groups. Of course, if you like, if you’re a really big fan of mathematics, I will be recommend Curve website and you can go and click on top right hand side and you can have access to the resources and inside you will find the documentation and also like everything about the protocol.
Awesome. Awesome. Thanks a lot, man. Really enjoyed the conversation.
Yeah, thanks for having me and keep going. That was great.
(1:21) – (First Question) Julien’s Background and what brought him to Crypto.
(3:20) – Stake Capital’s elevator pitch.
(7:54) – StakeDAO Overview.
(11:11) – StakeDAO’s Team / Branding /Development.
(15:38) – Thoughts on value accrual to the StakeDAO Token.
(19:21) – StakeDAO Strategies.
(27:47) – BlackPool DAO Overview.
(32:25) – BlackPool Investment Strategy.
(38:19) – Rekt Overview.
(45:34) – Julien’s vision for Curve.
(49:36) – Cross Asset Swaps Walkthrough.
(1:00:17) – Where to find Julien Bouteloup and StakeDAO, Blackpool, Rekt and Curve.