AMA Recap Crypto Library with MELD


On 12th July 2021, MELD conducted an AMA in the Crypto Library Community. Our guest is Ken Olling. Lots of questions as usual from the Community about MELD progress. The MELD team took part in a very interesting AMA session which included introductions, questions from twitter, and a live AMA session with the Crypto Library community. If you missed the AMA in person, read this recap for a deeper insight into MELD.

Let’s take a look at the most interesting points of our conversation.

Crypto Library Team : So, before we start the AMA could you please introduce yourself to our community?

Ken Olling (MELD) : 4 years ago, I found out about Crypto and DeFi, and 2 years ago decided to retire from Mechatronics Engineering to enter into the DeFi realm full-time. I studied at the University of Guelph and earned a Master's degree in Philosophy and a Minor in Psychology. After that I self-taught myself C++, Java, and Python, and then worked as a Mechatronics Engineer programming large CNC machinery, and human-machine interfaces for a few years. I’ve written 2 books, started multiple companies (sold one of them), and am fully self-sufficient through the use of DeFi protocols. I joined MELD 3 months ago to help with all marketing related activities and technical communications!
Crypto Library Team : What does MELD mean and can you provide a general company overview explaining the functionalities MELD offers and how users can benefit from the MELD protocol?

Ken Olling (MELD) : So MELD is basically the banking stack on the Cardano blockchain. We are building lending and borrowing functionality and associated services in a decentralized and trustless manner. We are working toward a money lego's model on Cardano. Essentially being able to work with companies like Yearn and others. Our protocol in decentralized and non-custodial. You interact with the protocol via the MELDapp on iOS, Android or as a Chrome extension and set the terms of your loan then your crypto is locked into a smart contracts and the fiat is wired to your bank account in your chosen country. We started MELD because we saw lots of people had accumulated big crypto portfolios but were cash poor. They didn't want to hand over their keys to someone by BlockFi, Celsius or Nexo. We want to make a truly trustless and decentralized protocol that is easy to use and built for an international investor. Not an American investor.

With MELD you can collateralize your crypto (ADA, BTC, ETH, BNB) and get fiat loans.

Crypto Library Team : There has been a lot of talk about your ISPO, with over $75m in ADA delegated within the first day of launch, can you tell us what it is, how users can participate in it, and the difference between ISPOs, IDOs, and IEOs?

Ken Olling (MELD) : For the best explanation I suggest reading our article on this:
The ISPO is a truly bless for the community and the protocol, all possible thanks to Cardano's staking mechanism. Participants can easily join with just 1 ADA and a wallet like Daedalus and Yoroi. No sign-up required. All data is completely transparent on the Blockchain. You stake with us we airdrop MELD to you, that's all. You can unstake anytime and still get the amount for staked duration, once we launch this December. The current live stake is around 205m ADA. As we've been able to attract the Cardano Foundation, and the many dedicated communities in the whole ecosystem. After the ISPO we'll lower the margin close to 0 for participants to get ADA rewards as usual. Another SWEET part of this ISPO. We also don't need to cash out on the ADA rewards, just keep staking to help maintain the Blockchain, and earn even more ADA. This way we always stay long on ADA, and have a huge net positive on the whole ecosystem.

Crypto Library Team : How easy is it to get a crypto-collateralized fiat loan? Do users have to perform some sort of KYC or link a bank account? What if a user doesn't have a bank?

Ken Olling (MELD) : We want to bridge the gap between crypto and fiat. Doing it in a way that our users can keep their crypto positions. but get fiat (cash) for normal life events like buy a house or a car. If you sell your crypto then:
  1. You don't benefit if it goes up and
  2. You have to pay a capital gains tax.
If you borrow it, you don't pay capital gains and you can deduct the interest from the loan. Its a win/win for eveyone. Also we want to make it SUPER easy to do. if you get a fiat loan you need to do KYC for your country. Not for the US. and you are getting a crypto to crypto loan there is no KYC. we want to invent new and better financial products where we can make money and also provide good solutions. Such as our Genius loan which offers users a negative % interest! It needs to benefit both lenders and borrowers. If a user doesn't have a bank, they are still able to utilize the Line-of-credit aswell as our standard crypto-crypto loan services (Like you are used to seeing with AAVE and CREAM).

Crypto Library Team : Why did you choose Cardano as the blockchain to launch on? Do you have any plans to integrate other blockchains in the future?

Ken Olling (MELD) : We really the approach that Cardano has taken with the white papers, research, and peer review of their approach. Well thought through, and well-executed. And know we are seeing the benefit of their work. There are several products we are working on that could simply not be possible with other blockchains. But to be clear. We love ETH and BTC we are excited to be a part of ALL of DeFi. There are obvious elements too. speed and cost of transactions. We are not maximalists. But we want to be one of the leaders in the Cardano blockchain for bank services. The technical team has been contributing to the Cardano blockchain and Plutus for more than 3 years. So this commitment is not a new thing for us. We actually have some exciting announcements coming in the next couple weeks in regards to some bridge building from ETH to Cardano.

Crypto Library Team : You have a very experienced team of developers, can you tell us a bit about your backgrounds, what you have all worked on over the years, and how you started working on MELD?

Ken Olling (MELD) : Right now we've been able to establish a solid team that is still growing very strong. We have a leading operational and legal team that makes sure every single step we take is solid. We have dedicated investor relations and marketing team to secure valuable partnerships. and working day and night to expand and support the community as we speak. Also a very passionate development team who has been contributing to Cardano, and the wider Haskell ecosystem for many years. Have to also mention the many world-class advisors that have led us in all fronts. Ken and Hai are actually the 2 main co-founders of MELD and I recently did an interview on them for a feature article coming out in CityAM soon. Funnily enough, they met in a discord chat talking about blockchain secuirty and APIs. MELD emerged as an idea from necessity.. People are crypto-rich but cash poor. MELD looks to solve this.

Crypto Library Team : Security is of upmost importance for DeFi applications, especially lending/borrowing protocols. What sort of security measures does MELD have in place in regards to ensuring proper protocol functionality and fiat/crypto depositors collateral?

Ken Olling (MELD) : First of all, I can say, security is our #1 priority. With user experience a close second. Security on Cardano is a big focus we have because smart contracts have not yet been rolled out so no one knows what issues there might be. We will be cautious. We have a process in place to audit before, during, and after smart contracts are deployed. We do our own attacks against our own protocol and we have very talented security engineers and white hats. Hacking is something we are very concerned about. Seeing the number of hacks that happen almost weekly tells you how much energy is being put into trying to break things. We are currently working on bringing freelance white hats to attack our system in an ad hoc manner. This means we will make ourselves a target to test the system without a script. These efforts will help to harden our protocol and instill trust. In the event of a hack, our risk oracle will be able to mitigate some parts of hack and we have insurance to support any possible losses that might occur. Regarding outside interference. having a protocol helps us avoid these kinds of problems. Because it's decentralized, non-custodial, and trustless it's also very democratic and free. We want the protocol to be free of influence from politics and regulatory changes.

Crypto Library Team : How does the MELD roadmap looks like, what should we be expecting from MELD in the coming months, and when can we start borrowing fiat against our crypto deposits!?

Ken Olling (MELD) : We are very ambitious, with high-level roadmap till 2025 already. Hence also more smaller milestones along the way. You can see a more detailed breakdown of our roadmap here
Until now everything has gone according to plan. With a rather successful ISPO. Today is only the 12th day of a 5-month long campaign, but we've been delegated over 200m ADA from the community. Fund-raising is going well, with many world-class, industry leaders joining the advisory board. We're going to have press releases about them soon! The development team and the community team are also scaling organically. There are still bumps along the way, but we've been able to thrive in an open field with no dead end insight! That said, we do expect certain difficulties in the future. First is that it's non-trivial to support fiat operations, especially at large scale, in many jurisdictions, with a crypto-related protocol as a cherry on top. So we anticipate certain delays that arise when working with new jurisdictions and banks. In preparation, our investor relations have been working hard to secure many world-class advisors and partners in the field. To speed these procedures up with their reputation, expertise and connections. Another difficulty comes from the fact that Smart Contracts haven't gone live to the Cardano Blockchain yet. So our roadmap might get pushed if there are further delays there. But that also means more time to refine our design and products. In summary, things have gone well so far and we are still speeding up. Nothing to worry about, we're ready to sprint for years!
Crypto Library Team : As I'm not familiar with these two wallets "Yoroi and Daedalus", can you first describe each wallets and also explain with us how can we delegate our ADA to the public MELD stake pool using these wallets? Lastly, I want to know what benefits me of staking ADA to MELD node?

Ken Olling (MELD) : MELD is taking a new approach towards token launches by offering the Community an Initial Stake Pool Offering (ISPO). An ISPO differs from other means for token launches by how it generates revenue. The user experience is as followed:
  1. Purchase ADA
  2. Delegate ADA to one of MELDs Cardano nodes
  3. Earn MELD tokens every epoch (5 days) — locked until the token release
  4. Undelegate ADA
  5. Get MELD tokens airdropped on Dec 8 to your delegation wallet
You can purchase ADA from a variety of places, like Binance etc. and the transfer the ADA from there into a Yoroi or Daedalus wallet. The benefits would be:
  1. Supporting the cardano ecosystem
  2. Contributing to the MELD protoco
  3. Earn MELD tokens every 5 days
  4. Keep your entire delegation
  5. No risk of loss of funds
  6. Participate in a new token launch
Crypto Library Team : Could you tell us about how MELD has grown in the market, i.e. How it started and everything you have achieved so far and of course tell us about the plans you have for the future with this project, what makes it a good long term investment for users?

Ken Olling (MELD) : Hmm. A lot of thing in the tokenomics answers this question! Which can be found here:
When you use the MELD protocol you get MELD tokens as a reward. The earlier to use the protocol the bigger the rewards (then reduce over several years). MELD is used to mint mUSD, mEUR, and other MELDed tokens. But you can also Stake MELD in our protocol staking pool and if you that then you get 40% of all of the fees collected. These fees are paid out every day! The protocol is deflationary.
We don't burn any tokens, but we don't mint any either. We do have a buyback plan which you read about on our Whitepaper which can be found in our docs and website. The MELD token is also used as a governance token. Where you can vote on changes to the protocol MELD improvement proposals (MIP). 

Crypto Library Team : How do crypto market variations affect loans? Could a borrower cancel a loan in advance using crypto currency in a bullish episode?

Ken Olling (MELD) : The affect them by affecting the Loan to value ratio of your position. Borrowers have complete control of their position. Borrowers can repay their loan anytime they wish, or borrow more against their collateral if their LTV ratio decreases (crypto price increases). Users are able to repay loan to receive back their collateralized crypto whenever they want!

Crypto Library Team : In what ways do you think MELD LABS contributes so that financial institutions can benefit from the advantages that DeFi offers?

Ken Olling (MELD) : Sure, we have certain advantages in this front since we also work with fiat. Lenders can lend fiat without having any crypto and earn interest on it. Before gradually getting deeper into this crypto world. We're going to also have a very intuitive App to help people get familiar with all these stuff. Ken Co-founder and chairman at MELD, before becoming an awesome serial entrepreneurs was a designer for over 20 years. He was the only designer in the team that invented Web Responsive at Audi in 2001. Have won so many App of the Year I can't even remember, might as well hit another one with our MELDApp. The point is that we're having all the expertise to deliver the most user-friendly and beautiful DeFi App ever. And we care a lot to do it. For example, we've also been working on off-chain Oracles and Bank APIs to make more seamless integration. Everything to embody all these complex processes under a few button clicks. Let the experts build and audit the product, and let the users enjoy their financial instruments of choice in joy! Do expect many more people walking into crypto through our bridge from the fiat world!

Crypto Library Team : MELD is taking a new approach to token launches by offering the community an initial stake pool offering (ISPO). What are the main advantages that this launch method offers compared to traditional token launches?

Ken Olling (MELD) : There has been much debate on how to best achieve a decentralized network and the most optimal way to provide a fair token launch to our users and the ISPO was the result. There are 2 main factors that separate the MELD ISPO from the other types of offerings:
  • How funds are generated
  • ISPO’s keep ZERO of the funds delegated
The revenue from MELD performing the ISPO is generated by keeping the ADA rewards that are allocated to delegators of the MELD ISPO. MELD will keep the ADA rewards (distributed every EPOCH — 5 days) and in return distribute the MELD token as a reward. This functionality is a total game-changer when it comes to token launches and how funds are raised. Users no longer have to deposit funds directly to these new crypto companies, risking their deposited assets from being rugged, in order to participate in their token launch. Users keep full control of their assets and, what’s even better, they also keep their entire delegation! No longer will users be forced to deposit their hard-earned value into some non-audited smart contract just to partake in a token launch from a new crypto-startup!
Crypto Library Team : Are you interested in incorporating NFT into the MELD ecosystem in the future?

Ken Olling (MELD) : Yes! we are!! We have some NFT borrowing/lending ideas in the works. We are also talking to a couple of celebrities and artists that we hope to announce in the coming few weeks! This will be something implemented near the beginning of our launch too! It will not be the core feature of course, but will provide TONS of utility to artists and NFT collectors.

Crypto Library Team : MELD wants to become highly scalable in the lending sector, so what steps have you taken to gain the trust of the community which is very serious and important? How transparent and profitable is your project for users?

Ken Olling (MELD) : I would say the biggest thing pushing us to legitimacy is our partnerships and advisors we have on our team. They have been able to open the door and lead us into discussions with people such as the Cardano Foundation and the Silicon Valley Blockchain Society. We have some VERY exciting announcements in regards to partnerships in the next week, that I am NOT ALLOWED to say, which makes me sad. This one alone will help TONS.

Crypto Library Team : STAKING is the best STRATEGIES to ATTRACT USERS and ACHIEVE MASS ADOPTION. Does your GREAT PROJECT have any plan for Staking or farming?

Ken Olling (MELD) : Yes! Users will be able to stake the MELD token on the protocol to earn 40% of platform fees, provide insurance to lenders, and we are even in talks with implementing:
  1. Borrowing against deposited MELD
  2. Gaining a lower borrowing interest with deposited MELD
Crypto Library Team : What are you focusing on at the moment? What is your plan about building the community for now?

Ken Olling (MELD) : Hmm...personally? I have much different pursuits than Ken and Hai. Ken actually was supposed to do this AMA but had to perform a youtube interview! Hai was busy in meetings all this morning. My next things on my todo list are to edit some press releases, onboard a new writer, and start the MEET MELD series where I interview people from the team!

Crypto Library Team : Researching the project I did not get much information about what are the assets that can be placed as collateral, therefore, I would like to know if I can put crypto assets such as BTC, ETH, ADA or BNB as collateral?

Ken Olling (MELD) : Ahh yes! You are looking for our MELDed assets. These are similar to wrapped assets. but are wrapped on the Cardano blockchain. You can look through here for more info!