Bulk AMA with Stone DeFi
Hello guys, today we would like to welcome Vincent Khoo — Stone DeFi Marketing Lead.
Hi Vincent! It’s great you have joined us, we are looking forward to the talk.
Could you tell us about yourself and give us your team’s introduction? What is the idea behind Stone Defi?
Hi. My name is Vincent, Marketing Lead for Stone, everyone can call me VK. Before I go into the topic of Stone, pls allow me to do a brief introduction. I used to be in the traditional finance space before crypto. In late 2016 and early 2017, I started my journey of crypto and I was with a crypto fund named Chain Capital from 2017 until 2019. During the period with the crypto fund, I studied and did due diligence in many kinds of projects. We invested in a number of good projects and bad performance projects too. I was also involved in project incubations from beginning until exchange listing and post-investment management.
After a few years in a crypto fund, I stepped down from my position as a Business officer and started my own Fintech Advisory startup in Singapore & Malaysia as well as fund management for the secondary market.
During summer 2020, we found out DeFi is something fresh and revolutionary. We started to fund into DeFi protocols and experienced the first mover rewards. Sooner we found out there’re significant problems in the market like high APY volatility, security issue, gas fee problems, and so on. That’s the point me and my team came out the idea of Stone which want to focus on bringing “Rock Solid Yield” to DeFi user in the market. Stone is also looking to provide more innovative products based on a wide range of yield-bearing assets to users across multiple blockchains.
Your slogan is Rock Solid Yield. Could you explain what it means?
Our logo is a hollow S on a stripped stone pattern. We propose the following SOLID principles for Stone:
S for Stable returns: Manage risks and rewards to achieve stable returns. DeFi is complex and looking at only indicative APY creates more tears than happiness. A paradigm shift in yield philosophy is to consider both risk, return (and the sustainability of such return), a principle widely used in the traditional financial industry.
O for Open collaboration: Work with as many community members as possible to source the best ideas. Ensure the right incentive model is in place to reward contributors starting from day one. Stone is flexible so any projects can be connected with it as well. Stone protocol (including strategies) will be open-sourced for transparency. This also allows communities and partners to contribute to the protocol development easily.
L for Long term development: Establish commitment and an inclusive culture to get more contributors along the way with the right incentive system.
I for Incremental deployment: Make incremental improvements with extensive testing and constantly learning from other projects. DeFi is a nascent industry requiring a large number of trial and error.
D for DAO driven: Provide a clear roadmap towards a DAO governed protocol. We acknowledge that at the beginning a committed small committee is more practical during bootstrap and a fully decentralized organization takes time. Stone shall engage the community to discuss a plan from day 1 and ensure sufficient fundings (tokens) are reserved for the DAO to manage in the future.
You recently completed your integration with Polygon/Matic. What opportunities did it open up for Matic users to farm?
Well, this is the highlight for tonight. We are glad to integrate with Polygon (formerly Matic Network), a Layer-2 scaling solution with payment and lending solutions, atomic swaps, and improved dApp and DEX performance. The link is as following: https://matic.stonedefi.io/#/index.
As Polygon is more open and robust primarily in terms of the types of architecture it can support, our newly launched product on Polygon allows Stone users to benefit from the yield income opportunities. This is because Polygon is built on Ethereum. So, it incorporates any scaling or infrastructure solution from the Ethereum ecosystem. Polygon fully adopts the Ethereum ethos of open innovation and has designed Polygon with the same goals in mind.
From above, we can see that our new integration with Polygon has solved common pain points in the DeFi world which are the high gas fee, scalability, and user experience as a whole. Stone aims to achieve the best yield aggregation platform which allows all the PoS assets to be flowing or transaction in between every chain as we truly believe that there will be a multi-chain existence in the long run. The communication between chains can be low or even zero friction.
Stone also wishes to provide the best user experience to all our users. For example, the experience on CeFi nowadays can be achieved in the DeFi world one day, and this is very significant in creating “Rock Solid Yield” for all the users in the DeFi ecosystem. In order to kickstart this kind of vision, Matic is just another new journey for us and we will continue to expand our public chain coverage and deliver the best product for our users.
DEFI is evolving too fast and the ability to break is very high. What do you think about this and can you be sure that Stone’s products will be in demand in the long term? What is Stone planning to contribute to DeFi’s growth?
We have observed in the DeFi space is that many projects utilize unsustainable yields to attract TVL deposits into their protocols. Unfortunately, this always resulted in wildly fluctuating token prices for holders and eventually depress the value of the protocol tokens. STONE focuses on creating long-term sustainable yield strategies that are reliable and allow our token holders to sleep well at night knowing that the STONE protocol is powering higher investment alpha with properly balanced risk/reward outcomes. Hence — the promise of Rock Solid Yield.
Next, as a key differentiator, STONE will be launching innovative and unique yield strategies, allowing for decentralized fund creations and asset deployments. Currently, yield aggregators available in the market rely primarily on lending and liquidity provision to generate yield. While Stone will have strategies in this space, our strategies will also address two major markets — liquid staking strategies and data yield strategies that are untouched to date. In particular, if we look at the staking market cap, it is well over US$120B and is a massive global market.
Many projects are currently slowed down in development due to the situation in the market, do you have delays in drafting on the roadmap?
Due to the market condition, we can see basically the majority of the projects have slowed down a lot and we can clearly see that the trading volume in the exchanges has dropped at least 50% and people are losing interest or confidence in the crypto market.
Although the market condition with low interest, our team are still working as usual and we continue to the PR event like AMA or activities. Internal-wise, we are focusing more on the product and tech part the most. During this time is the best period for us to prepare and improve on the product. Everything on the roadmap is still on track and be completed.
How do you keep your customers’ assets safe from hackers? How do you manage if there is a cyber attack on your platform that will infringe on user privacy? Is StoneDefi protected and ready to deal with this issue?
For Stone, the audit is one part, and we are also very careful about the strategies. We are glad that we have passed the audit by Peckshield and in addition, we were using our own funds to test before the public. We totally agree with the idea of using smart contracts to control fund flow and set authority clear.
Besides, we understand there are many exploits after the audit, so we opt to take a more careful approach for the product release, we have been releasing a more stable version like the alpha test and also continuously engage with the third-party security service party and other developers to enhance the product safety. Again to emphasize, we are pushing all functions at once, but making sure we are right at each release
We do not blindly trust code audits. Our approach is to launch features one by one, and have checkpoints to test out things in a real environment. that’s what the alpha version is for. for future features, we will do additional audits for security.
As TVL grows, with more feedback from the community, our team is also gaining experience in improving the process. We have hired more external experts to stress test our platform. All this is to ensure security and we wish the community and user could participate as part of us and go far with us.
As you are going to launch products on substrate, are you also planning to apply for a parachain slot somewhere in the future? Or integrate with solutions like Bifrost?
First of all, we all know that the para chain seats on Polkadot are limited, so we need to bid. But we all know clearly that the slot is not for who locked the most DOT on-chain. That’s why we need to talk about strategy. For the project, the significance of the card slot auction is to obtain the use rights of limited resources. Stone does not need to participate in the slot auction at this stage. If you really need to use it, we can also use para chain in a leased way.
But in the future, we will help more high-quality projects in the Dot ecosystem to participate in the slot auction, because we have a lot of ksm (5 nodes) and dots (about 4.5 million votes) in our hands.
Therefore, our strategy is to first support other projects that are more in need. When Stone needs an auction slot at a certain moment, we hope to get the support of other project parties and ticket holders too.
What is StoneDefi revenue model? In which ways do you generate revenue/profit? So many projects just like to speak about the “long term vision and mission” but what are your short term objectives? What are you focusing on right now?
Our ultimate focus is to ensure user funds are safe and yield as rock-solid as possible. We are looking at layer 2 and also building on substrate to leverage the cross-chain capabilities and low fees in the future.
We knew that is more important in the defi space than new technical advancement can lower gas fee
meanwhile, Stone aggregate capital deployment by tranches, stone will monitor the gas fees, actually, we also plan to compensate the partial gas costs from the business income of stone in the future. Therefore, if TVL getting bigger on stone, gas fee will be lowered for every user.
And we are a platform for liquid-staked assets. We will work together with more chains in the future and creating more use cases or provide more yield for their staked assets. That’s also part of our income to sustain the project.
What is the competitive advantage of StoneDefi? What do you have over other competitors? About features such as security, scalability, community development,… do you think you’ve finished or need to continue to develop?
Well, STONE won’t encourage users to go into new protocols because the APY is high, but we will assess its credibility and how sustainable that APY would be.
In STONE, we introduce an index to hedge the risks of single assets, and STONE will be able to deploy the underlying assets to generate additional yield for the index holder.
In simple terms, the Sharpe ratio is the tool for risk-adjusted allocations. It doesn’t simply focus on APY but overall risk and rewards assessment. This is the way we provide the “Rock Solid Yield”.
In our Litepaper, there are mathematical explanations of Sharpe Ratio and Portfolio Rebalancing. This enables investors to examine the overall risk-adjusted return of a portfolio or an asset. In fact, it has been widely used in the traditional financial markets. https://www.stonedefi.io/file/stone_litepaper.pdf
Therefore, we strongly believe that investors will tend to have stable and solid returns compared to high volatility APY. of course, there are people who would like to take risks, but we all know that’s not a long-term and relaxing game.
Another key differentiator is our cross-chain yield strategies. Typically, yield aggregators only reside on a single chain. STONE’s yield strategies allow for cross-chain asset deployment that can help users maximize their returns on a global, multi-chain portfolio level.
Lastly, Stone aims to build the most open and collaborative community culture in the space. The reason we are launching the community development before the product launch and token issuance is that we want community members to make an impact since day 1, and to be part of Stone’s growth journey together. We will launch a committee first to make collective decisions, providing options for our community to choose from. We will subsequently decentralize into a DAO model and pass on full control to the community. We will soon provide an explanation of Stone tokenomics, the general idea is that besides tokens for yield farming, the largest reserve is for the DAO and contributors to the product. Stone, at its core, will be a project for the community.
Currently, most projects and platforms are in English. How will you reach non-English local communities? Do you have any plan for them to better understand your project?
The current expansion for Stone will be more on markets like Korea and China as they are a kind of big quantity of players coverage in crypto space. However, due to the regulation in these two countries, we need to work smart and planned better in order to penetrate. And we also looking for ambassadors for non-English speaking communities to expand.
Thank you, Vincent, I’m out of questions now. It’s been great talking to you!