AscendEX
Published in

AscendEX

Maple Finance AMA Recap

To help celebrate the listing of the Maple Finance Token (MPL), AscendEX’s Gage Bowser sat down for an AMA with Maple’s Sid Powell to gain more insight into the project’s success and strategy for the future.

Project Details

Trade MPL Now

Gage Bowser | AscendEX

For those that are not familiar, could you briefly describe Maple and what problems you are aiming to solve?

Sid Powell | Maple

Sure thing!

Maple is an institutional capital marketplace powered by blockchain technology. We’re on a mission to redefine capital markets through digital assets, through which Maple expands the digital economy by providing undercollateralized loans for institutions and fixed income opportunities for lenders

We really believe that harnessing global capital and applying it to the areas of greatest opportunity is needed

Gage Bowser | AscendEX

That’s very exciting. I’ve been hearing people ask ‘when institutions’ in crypto since 2016! Looks like the answer is finally ‘now’

How does the Maple token function within the platform and why is it needed?

Sid Powell | Maple

Good question — MPL is the Maple Finance ERC-20 native token. It serves three roles: governance, staking, and sharing in network fees accrued to the Maple DAO treasury.

The token is used for staking to lending pools to earn a share of the interest paid by borrowers in exchange for providing a reserve to cover defaults in a given pool

MPL token holders can also actively participate in governance of the DAO and indeed they recently voted on using $1M in DAO fee revenue to buyback MPL for the treasury

Here is a long-read on our Tokenomics if you’re interested: https://maplefinance.ghost.io/mpl-tokenomics/

Gage Bowser | AscendEX

Nice, sounds like MPL is really a utility powerhouse

Could you share the development status and progress of the project thus far? Including any major partnerships and perhaps some operational data?

Sid Powell | Maple

yeah absolutely

In 2021 we focused on building, launching and growing Maple

Back in May the token, MPL, was launched through Balancer and then we launched the protocol on Ethereum

We started small with a first lending pool run by Orthogonal of $17M. Today this lending pool has originated over $239M loans in just over six months!

Our second lending pool launched quickly after, led by Pool Delegate Maven 11 Capital, this pool launched at $22M and through their diligent work now boasts an incredible $181M loans originated.

Then comes two firsts for Maple and DeFi. We launched our first fully permissioned pool with BlockTower and Genesis, this enabled regulated entities to facilitate on-chain uncollateralized lending for the FIRST TIME.

DeFi’s first syndicated loan was taken out by Alameda Research through Maple’s special on-chain vehicle. First KYC’d lenders included Abra and Coinshares. Our goal is to enable Alameda to access $1B within 12 months!

Excitingly we welcomed DAOs to the Maple ecosystem this year. Pickle Finance, Keeper DAO and Merit Circle have invested $25M of their treasuries onto Maple and we hope to continue welcoming more DAOs in the new year.

Yesterday we chucked up an in depth review of the year that was for anyone who’d like a perspective on the highs and lows 😂

https://maplefinance.ghost.io/2021-in-review-sid-powell

Gage Bowser | AscendEX

Wow, those are some big name partnerships. And I admire that you’ve onboarded some DAOS as well. Everyone gets access to capital!

Who will the users/clients be for your project, and what are some examples of use cases for them?

Sid Powell | Maple

We have 3 use cases for Maple today: borrowing, lending and staking.

Each has a wide range of individuals, instos and projects in the user set

BORROWING

Maple gives borrowers the most capital efficient option for borrowing. They get onboarded and approved by Pool Delegates to take out a loan. This involves underwriting their financials beforehand.

Mostly these are market makers, traders and crypto natives.

Including Folkvang, Alameda, Wintermute among others

LENDING:

Maple’s a set and forget solution because Delegates do the due diligence checking borrowers and running the pools. Because of this risk management and the quality of the borrower names above, we’ve had Coinshares, Nascent, Dragonfly and Blockchain.com join as lenders.

We’re also starting to see DAOs choose Maple as a Treasury Management Solution to earn yield on their stables.

docs on that here: https://maplefinance.gitbook.io/maple/how-to-participate/how-to-lend

Finally we have STAKING

stakers provide Pool Cover to mitigate the impact of defaults in the pools. The Pool Cover provides a buffer for lending capital in the pool in the event that Borrowers default. If a Borrower defaults, the Pool Cover will be liquidated to cover the default amount before any loss is incurred by Lenders in the Pool. Stakers earn a percentage of the interest generated by the pool and MPL rewards. Anyone who holds MPL can stake it in a pool, and there is no minimum amount required. Learn more about staking with Maple here: https://maplefinance.gitbook.io/maple/how-to-participate/how-to-stake

Gage Bowser | AscendEX

Such a forward looking strategy. I think providing treasury management tools for DAOS and also giving the community the option to stake the MPL token are both amazing use cases

What is your strategy in regards to attracting more users to the Maple protocol?

Sid Powell | Maple

Maple’s key audiences include crypto native companies, institutional investors and lenders as well as HNWI, family offices and retail customers.

We believe Maple will grow as awareness of opportunity, sentiment, and trust grows in the area of DeFi at-large.

DeFi’s not perfect right now though. Eth gas fees are too high for some customers so we’re considering other L1s, starting with Solana, which boasts a great ecosystem including a number of instos we already work with and a great UX because of the low gas costs enabling us to scale the number of loans.

We are also going to be launching single sided staking around late Q1 early Q2 to resolve the issue of IL for stakers and thereby increase the utility.

Gage Bowser | AscendEX

Let’s talk about the current landscape of other projects doing something similar. What separates you from some of the competitors?

Sid Powell | Maple

The Pool Delegate is pretty unique and sets us apart. They have delegated authority to approve borrowers, this means they’re managing risks. They’re incentivised by receiving a portion of the fees and the protocol aligns their incentives by making them stake into the Pool Cover reserve for their pool

No one else is doing this and it allows us to scale much faster than other voting based mechanisms

Pool Delegates Maven 11, Orthogonal Trading and Block Tower are household names in this space and are sophisticated credit analysts with great reputations

Most lending protocols in DeFi are overcollateralized but this has limitations.

Maple is leading the way in the uncommon space of Undercollateralized lending. Companies and institutions cannot grow their businesses by borrowing over collateralized and this hurts the growth of the space

Gage Bowser | AscendEX

I see. So part of Maple’s advantage lies in your ability to offer undercollateralized lending by leveraging the sophisticated credit analysis of your partners. Very cool

What unique experience does your team bring that puts Maple in a position to be successful?

Sid Powell | Maple

Great question and the answer is that we’re solving many f the problems we encountered in tradfi

In my time in banking and at a fintech, there were enormous delays and costs created by fees and middlemen and this stands in the way today of innovative companies expanding and growing

When my cofounder and I started learning about smart contracts and the blockchain back in 2018 we could see an opportunity to create new infrastructure like Shopify and AWS which would support lending and fintech businesses around the world by giving them a capital market that could be easily accessed and move 100x faster. That’s something that would really accelerate the formation of new innovative global businesses

Gage Bowser | AscendEX

What does success look like for Maple? What are the biggest risks and challenges Maple will need to overcome to consider the project successful

Sid Powell | Maple

Directing growth-capital to where it works best!

We really believe in removing capital and operational inefficiencies seen in traditional finance systems. By doing so capital moves faster and at a greater value than ever before seen powering corporate innovation and supporting growth of economies.

In the future, I’d love to see crypto-native orgs, and innovative real-world orgs using Maple as a capital-marketplace.

Maple can support a diverse set of borrowers which will in future include companies from the real-world economy.

Gage Bowser | AscendEX

Well there’s definitely a market for it! I think Maple will prove to be a crucial financial protocol for unlocking the next wave of capital in crypto =)

I just have a couple more questions for you Sid

Can you please elaborate on the goals you are aiming to achieve in 2022?

Sid Powell | Maple

Growth is our focus in 2022. Growing the number of pools we have, expanding our current pools, and ultimately the TVL.

How will we get there? Simply, it’s with our full-stack corporate-credit product, the people that will build it and the partners we work with.

Our product themes for the new year are to make Maple more usable, increase its interoperability, and deepen its utility.

Redefining MPL utility is a big priority in the product development roadmap. MPL’s current utility is that it can be staked to receive a portion of the interest received in the lending pools. But the crippling flaw in our staking model has been an impermanent loss because it needs to be staked with USDC. We will be resolving this with the introduction of single-sided staking with a late Q1 2022 target. This will enable MPL holders to stake MPL and receive a yield in USDC.

Mentioned our expansion to Solana already, but it’s another source of growth for us in 2022 being part of the cross chain future

PEOPLE — we’re growing our team! Each new member is hired to raise the bar. Check out our jobs board: https://jobs.lever.co/maple-finance

Gage Bowser | AscendEX

Sweet, there’s a lot of exciting stuff in there. Especially about your plans to go multi-chain to SOL

I think we’ve covered a lot of ground, so I just have one more for fun, and then we can see if the community has any questions. As a non-project-related question, which sector of crypto markets excites you the most? ( I think I might know the answer)

Sid Powell | Maple

DEFI MAXI

that being said i’m pretty intrigued by the play to earn space because they’re a new crypto native business model and Guilds and DAOs will be massive users of DeFi and hopefully Maple 🙂

Gage Bowser | AscendEX

lol, my intuition was right. I’m super excited about P2E as well. As a final alpha leak before we open up to some community questions, do you want to mention any specific projects in the defi or P2E space you’re particularly excited about?

Sid Powell | Maple

Yeah in the p2e space we have great relationship with Merit Circle and their DAO is lending through maple as a treasury management solution

We’ve also been interested in other new projects that are pre-launch like Metastreet, Openguild which are looking at capital markets solutions for NFTs and guilds respectively.

Any innovation in this space catches my eye

Gage Bowser | AscendEX

There it is folks! FINAL ALPHA.

Now let’s open this up for some community questions.. Ready Sid?

Community Questions:

Tantri Aruna

Why did you choose AscendEX as one of Maple’s exchange partners? What future advantage did you see from these partnerships to both parties; especially to the supporter/investor?

@sidmaple

Sid Powell | Maple

Ascendex boasts a great reputation and specialisation in altcoins and we got to know the team really well.

Stroopid

Will Maple let dao treasuries lend their native assets (non stablecoins)?

Sid Powell | Maple

If there was a borrowing appetite for the native governance token then yes.

We have seen appetite from market makers and other instos so it’s highly likely we will expand to offer this where we can do a large enough pool.

Stroopid

From a retail user perspective, what kyc is necessary to get an undercollateralized loan on MAPLE?

Sid Powell | Maple

The loans are only available for institutions because they’re intended to be used for business purposes currently. There are a couple of other projects seeking to tackle the retail lending market

Bottomseller.eth

Does Maple have any restrictions on what the companies can do with the loan? From both a risk standpoint and for individual user transparency.

Sid Powell | Maple

Great question. During due diligence interviews with the company borrowers, the use of funds is covered extensively to understand the risks. This is another reason why Maple’s loans are to businesses only.

Trade MPL Now

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store