AMA Recap: Beam & Mantra Dao — Impact of DeFi in Africa
On July 23, 2021, we were highly excited to have an Ask-Me-Anything session with the African Community Lead of Mantra Dao: Olapade Samuel (Engr. Samest), to discuss his take on Defi and its impact on the African continent.
Mantra Dao is a community-governed DeFi platform focusing on Staking, Lending, and Governance. Built on Parity Substrate for the Polkadot ecosystem, MANTRA DAO gives financial control back to the people to store and grow wealth together.
This AMA was divided into two parts, where Engr. Samest was asked to share his opinion on DeFi in Africa, followed by a heated live Q&A from our community.
Q1: I say a big welcome to you @Engr_Samest . Before we get down to the questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to the community?
A1: Thank you for the warm welcome.
I’m Olapade Samuel (Engrsamest). Started crypto engagement in 2016 and I’ve been involved in so many crypto-based projects globally. To make it short, crypto education has been my passion and I’m happy to be here to spread the good about the crypto space to the family.
Q2: DeFi is one of the hottest topics in the blockchain space right now. Can you share your opinions on DeFi with us?
A2: Indeed it is and it’s just the beginning because DeFi is still a baby. So to me in a simpler form, DeFi is a financial application with built-in blockchain technologies which we generally call Smart Contracts. And my opinion is that we are in a new world that is digitalized in all forms of engagement including our financial life. So, if you are still in this society of ours and still don’t get involved in DeFi you are missing a lot of goodies around the digitized world.
Q3: Speaking of our financial lives, do you think DeFi will disrupt the existing financial system or run parallel with it?
A3: To be sincere with you, it’s a parallel line that while we in the space already experiencing serious misconceptions about our beliefs from our present government because they believe the system is against them. Furthermore, with a decrease in trust when talking about traditional banking institutions, the young and tech-savvy population are in need of digital solutions to problems of accessing banking and controlling their own finances and this is what DeFi brought to us. Africa’s economy can be tagged “intransparency” the market is controlled by a few groups of people that want to maintain a monopoly of engagement.
You can also relate it to many fraudulent activities within the centralized system(traditional banking). Talk about money laundering and diverting funds even under-the-table transactions. All this is what a decentralized system will expose if they embrace it, so they have to fight it
Q4: Most people think DeFi will overturn the existing global financial system.
A4: DeFi purpose is to defeat those illicit transactions I mentioned in our traditional banking system and I strongly believe if we keep on with our awareness it will definitely become what everyone embraces.
Imagine what happened in Zimbabwe, that trillion of their currency can not buy milk (😅) they have to be forced to embrace the dollar and Chinese Yuan just because the citizen refused to use the currency ..this is a story for another day.
Q5: Do you think DeFi is truly the future of finance seeing that it is a trustless and also a decentralized system that isn’t hackproof?
A5: Well, I will still stand on the point of government because they are the ones that govern our financial system (traditionally).
I remembered I read about how increased the number of people using smartphones increase daily and you will agree with me that mobile banking has also increased. The transaction with traditional banks is controlled through government approval when you look at their operation and this can easily be influenced by the government.
But DeFi like I say is a financial system with built-in blockchain technologies and can only be controlled by the smart contract which means no tampering of transactions by anyone. Decentralized Finance: transparency and trust.
Centralized finance (traditional banking): intransparency and distrust… We know what we are facing when considering our banking sector so this is not a new thing to us.
Q6: But we’ve had cases of hacks in the DeFi space in recent times due to dev errors, is this not a point of concern?
A6: It is absolutely!
That’s why there is a need for Audit & governance. When you look at a DeFi project that has not passed through an audit that’s a red flag.. we have bad eggs within the ecosystem and that’s why there is a need for regulations. Remember we have SEC in Nigeria that also checks out what’s happening with our exchanges.
Q7: What are your thoughts on DeFi going confidential with respect to what Beam is building?
A7: I’ve known Beam since 2017–8 if I’m not mistaken and I ask this same question. First question, does anyone know Satoshi Nakamoto? 😂😂
Anonymous is what the custodian of the decentralized system brought to us. Even despite the fact that the white paper talks more about peer-to-peer, we still don’t know about the masquerade.
For privacy in beam, there are big guys in the space that want their transactions anonymous and this still talks more about control, security which is what a decentralized system is.
I think it is for the safety of the user. Love the principle behind Mimblewimble and unique features indeed!
Q8: Over the years, Beam has transcended from just a privacy coin to a confidential DeFi ecosystem. Trust me to give you the full gist later. Now to Beam and MantraDao, how can we contribute to the development of DeFi in Africa?
A8: First is to know the basics of each project and see through the importance this can bring to Africa.
1. Mantradao is a fully integrated ecosystem of Decentralized financial services built on interoperable technologies and controlled by its users collectively. Beam is a confidential DeFi ecosystem like you say, so combining this together, we can bring about financial freedom in a transparent and secure manner and with scalability problem that beam also solved speed of transaction can never be an issue which also solves long waiting in transaction…
Looking through Beam, I’m certain the number of those that understand the Beam ecosystem are minimal and this is where education comes in… Mantradao (Africa) do have discussion moments weekly where we talk about DeFi features and collectively we can analyse our product together and how it solves problems within the traditional banking system, this will increase the awareness of DeFi within the Africa continent.
Q9: Mass adoption is a problem for blockchain projects. So how will DeFi solve this problem in order to achieve adoption in reality especially for Africans who are not very technologically inclined?
A9: What I do share with some of my followers is, understanding.
“It is your understanding that determines your stand.” SAMEST
Promotion to bring awareness is not the problem but do we that promote this DeFi and Blockchain, in general, understand what we are dishing out.
Bringing mass adoption starts with knowing what we dish out and this can only be solved by educating one another. Let the one that knows how to educate. The more we share, the more we expand the space. Sincerely yours, it does not need your tech understanding to swim in the goodies of DeFi… That’s why I always encourage projects with a user-friendly environment always. When you check out the Mantradao App, it is very easy to understand and has no techy stuff that will chase you away.
Many Thanks, @Engr_Samest for sharing your wealth of Knowledge on DeFi with us. We’ll now go into the second leg of this AMA session, where we’ll take 3 questions from the community members. @Engr_Samest will pick the 3 questions to answer.
Q1: What are the impacts you think DeFi would have, especially in Africa’s economy in the next 10years?
A1: 10years is too long for the DeFi effect in Africa. The effect has started already.
1. Saving your funds with amazing APY… Mantradao just launched Binance based OM staking that gives over 1000 APY you know this can change (adjusted staking reward) still saving with amazing interest is one of the benefits.
2. Lending and borrowing made easy. A non-custodial model which DeFi brought to us and Africans has been leveraging on this.
In 10 years from now, you can imagine what DeFi ecosystem will become
Q2: Africa has indeed moved towards accepting cryptocurrency but considering the poor economy of most African countries and bad leadership, do you think that regulation can affect the Africa crypto lovers in their quest towards utilizing the full benefits of cryptocurrency especially DeFi. Can there be a way that regulation of cryptocurrency can benefit the African Community?
A2: CeFi or DeFi what matters is the people that use the system. Whether the system is regulated, if the people using it are corrupt it will still affect the system. The system will give them the opportunity to continue their corrupt behaviours. So, our legal structure may not be able to govern fraudulent activities on the DeFi network yet.
Q3: There’s much fuzz about onboarding the large unbanked population of Africa into DeFi but these platforms are a bit complex, how do you think this can be mitigated?
A3: It is complex because is a new technology. People just start to understand what this technology is during the COVID and the spike of Bitcoin early this year.
We see how our government go against the system when they discovered they are losing their grip on their fiat and their understanding is limited because they don’t want to lose their power and control.
The complexity of DeFi will be solved the moment we keep spreading what we know and educate ourselves more. There are so many trainings that encourages Africans to learn the technicality of DeFi all we need is positioning.
Q4: Samest, what would be your response to this newbie question, “How can I Earn Passive Income with $DeFi?”
A4: This is the simplest aspect of DeFi… Every aspect of DeFi is money.
Generating passive income based on what brought me here is staking (savings), liquidity providing (yield farming), lending and borrowing
All the above are terms in DeFi. On app.mantradao.com you have the opportunity to save your token and start generating income daily. You can delegate your token to earn dual rewards simultaneously and you can lend the system to generate interest daily or to get a loan on the platform.
There is also the aspect of IDO where you have the opportunity to invest in a new project and get a huge return… We call the platform ZENDIT
Q5: 1.What was the turning point that made Beam decide to venture into Defi?
A5: Most common DeFi protocols severely lack privacy. Beam aims to offer full privacy, without losing the ability to remain regulatory compliant. Beam is building a confidential DeFi ecosystem to enable decentralized apps (DAPPs) for a range of use-cases from governance and voting to financial instruments such as trading, lending and stablecoins and more with privacy by default.
Beam has its blockchain network with privacy at its core.
Q6: Which network is Beam currently on and do they have plans to be accessible on new and upcoming chains like Polygon, Polkadot etc?
A6: Yes, there is ongoing work to create a bridge between Beam and other blockchains. With this, you would be able to transact across several blockchains while maintaining confidentiality.
Be a Part of our Community.
We are a growing community of investors, students, founders, and professionals, who are learning about Privacy, Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies every day.
And we want you to be a part of our community if you aren’t already. We are inviting you to join us on our social media platforms, and on Telegram too. Check out some of our official links below.
You can also download our mobile apps to start sending and receiving cryptocurrency in a more secure and private way.
Subscribe to our newsletter. We do not spam. Stay tuned, and see you all next month!