Unido — AMA Summary
“An Enterprise platform for decentralized capital markets”
On Thursday the 11th of February, the DuckDAO community had an AMA with Michael Swan from Unido.
Unido enables enterprises to seamlessly manage their crypto assets through an enterprise platform offering a suite of Crypto Banking and DeFi investment tools. Leveraging its proprietary, multi-sig key signing technology, Unido has successfully developed its first product, the Unido Enterprise Platform, which enables enterprises to invest in DeFi and securely manage their crypto banking operations from one platform.
Key features of the platform:
- Enterprise Crypto Banking Suite — A business banking portal enabling enterprises to seamlessly manage their day to day operations and capital expenditure. This includes payment and transfer of digital assets, multi-user wallet management, user governance tools, analytics and reporting, an intuitive and simple to use UI, and interoperable modular architecture.
- DeFi Vault Access — A multi-signature enterprise wallet that acts as a DeFi vault to store, manage and invest crypto assets securely. Unido’s enterprise-grade custodial wallet provides a secure and integrated bridge into several DeFi investment vaults such as UniSwap, Balancer and Yearn Finance. By accessing this feature, the user is able to access a centralised comparison dashboard of the available investments in the DeFi ecosystem, potential returns and may subsequently decide to deploy idle crypto assets into a DeFi network, benefiting from the extra financial returns this is likely to provide.
- Governance & Security- Allowing enterprises to securely enter DeFi in a way that meets their security, compliance and regulatory needs.
- Website: https://www.unido.us/
- Telegram: https://t.me/unidogroup
- Twitter: https://www.unido.us/_r24/templates/images/twitter.svg
- Medium: https://medium.com/@unidocore
Unido — Michael Swan — Chief Commercial Officer and Co-Founder
DuckDAO — Pep — DuckDAO community representative
Please note that the following summary has been edited for clarity.
Welcome everyone to another DuckDAO AMA.
We are joined today by Michael Swan, Chief Commercial Officer and Founding member of Unido!
On behalf of the DuckDAO community, I’d like to welcome you to our channel :)
Good evening Pep. Good evening DuckDAO team! great to be here and sharing with your community
Great to see you in our Lobby!
Can we start with an introduction for yourself; what is your background/experience both in the traditional space, and crypto space?
Unido was developed by PAC Blockchain in Australia, founded by Chris Weddle, who joins me here today. PAC has been engaged in software development since 2012.
For the last 5 years, Chris and our development team have been engaged in agency blockchain development and consulting to corporates who wish to enter the crypto space.
This experience has been instrumental in identifying the biggest barrier of entry for enterprise and traditional fund managers to crypto — management and corporate governance around the private key.
The provision of access to crypto and holding digital assets, in general, is usually conducted via financial service providers, so Chris identified early on that the product team would be complemented by an in-house experienced finance professional, so I was recruited by Chris, given my decade of experience in investment banking at Goldman Sachs and Macquarie.
Ben Hunter is our head of marketing and rounds out the Unido leadership team, bringing extensive traditional and digital marketing experience to position Unido for widespread and rapid adoption.
We are based in Adelaide & Sydney, Australia.
Oh, nice… so I see there’s experience from Crypto, Software Development, Finance, and Marketing.
Sounds like the killer combination for a successful project.
Yes, we are very focused on getting the balance between tech, commercials and marketing right. And there are seasoned vets on the team with experience in achieving outcomes
I can see that by some of the previous companies that they worked for. Great balance.
So we had a lot of great questions presented by our community on Twitter. If it’s ok with you, we can go ahead and start with the questions.
Thanks, Pep. We are very happy with the team and received similar feedback from all we have met.
Do you think that enterprises are becoming more aware of the real value of crypto and are starting to see it as more than just a sort of strange internet money?
After a decade of BTC being in existence, people are recognising that the cryptocurrency asset class is no longer an enthusiast’s interest and now represents a form of value transfer that has maintained its integrity for a prolonged period making it ready for mainstream adoption not just amongst retail users but also enterprises.
In the news recently, for example, Tesla’s purchase of BTC and its plan to accept BTC for car purchases is a clear sign that big business is adopting crypto.
But this is only because of the prior decade of slow but expanding adoption, where the number of wallets holding BTC has increased, hence consumers are demanding the option through their allocation of liquid assets.
Consequently, we are seeing multiple institutions such as MicroStrategy, Square and Marathon Patent Group adding crypto assets to their corporate treasuries — and this is just the tip of the iceberg!
You’re not kidding.
I wasn’t prepared for this run to start with such awesome gusto.
It’s a very exciting time to be in crypto.
So is Unido primarily for enterprises alone, or is there a possibility to expand to individual users who wanted to invest crypto assets in a much more secure environment?
The core distributed multi-sig functionality will be offered in several variants of the Unido wallet. Our primary marketing focus initially is Enterprise, given the rapid crypto adoption by enterprises at the moment.
“However, there is a retail version of the multi-sig wallet developed for individuals, as well as a custodial version for banks and brokerage providers.”
I see…so it will be a layered approach when it comes to marketing.
Yes, we have multiple marketing strategies to cover all underserved users
Perfect. A good way to break it up too.
In regards to asset management on your platform — will you aim to cover as many different coins as possible, or only on say, the top 10–20 coins?
There are over 10 of the most popular coins integrated into the platform today already, but our dev team will continue to add new coins. Both popular coins that are being traded at the time, and also altcoins where Unido may enter into a partnership to provide enterprise-level security to their users, and in return get access to new captive client-bases.
That’s great that you’re including more than just the basic top 3 coins….crypto really does have so much more to offer than just BTC/ETH.
Yes, there is significant investor demand in altcoins as we have seen recently.
We will try to cover as many as we can be based on user demand.
“Our solution works on any blockchain”
Perfect. And as someone who invests in altcoins….
I’m really glad you’re seeing a demand 😂😂
Will you guys offer the ability to perform multi-sig authorization through text message without the app?
That would be highly beneficial for non-technical users, particularly family members.
The technology requires the DApp on each member’s device. This is critical, as each installation contains a fragment of the private key, so a member approving a transaction is not sending an “ok” message to a central command server where the private key is stored, but rather contributing their key fragments to be reconstituted to a private key if enough fragments are provided (hence enough of the wallet members approve a transaction).
It’s based on push notifications, so when approvals are required, members phones are pinged, they open the app, enter their password and they are done.
Oh, that does sound easy/user friendly. That really is the key to getting mainstream adoption. simplicity/ease.
Ok, I like this next question.
Hypothetical scenario: Let’s say there are 3 or 4 multi-signatories set up for a wallet and 2 people abandoned the group and left/are not responsive for several months.
Now the group is left with a locked wallet and is in need of help accessing it. How do the remaining 2 people of this wallet group resolve this lockout? Are they able to contact support to remove half of the funds that they own rights to or is it forever locked?
The same voting policy used to approve transactions can also vote in and out members of a wallet. If people are leaving a wallet, they can be voted out and a new device voted in to take their place (or if they lost their own device). If too many people leave and the vote threshold cannot be achieved, then the wallet would be inoperable, so the corporate governance function of the voting is dependent on the members maintaining a viable voting base. Unido and PAC have no ability to intervene with the voting procedure, as again, there is no central record of the private key. It is a fully distributed solution.
Ok so if the 2 people that remain voted out the 2 that left, the wallet would still be operable. But if 3 people left and only 1 remained then it would not be correct?
Just want to make sure I’m understanding the voting policy.
Yes, if the voting rules are 2 out of 4, that’s right. Each vote can be assigned to a single smart device, so each person could have two votes over their phone and ipad. Each wallet can have a custom voting scheme, up to 22
I think this is a really nice feature you have. it’s secure but yet not necessarily limiting.
Yes, ease of use and flexibility was key for the user experience.
Experts believe DeFi is still at its infancy stage despite the exponential growth. How will Unido provide smooth and seamless access for enterprises and institutional investors to DeFi?
We agree! And it shows in the user experience when delegating assets to the various DeFi protocols. It’s often quite a technical exercise which is beyond the experience of non-crypto enthusiasts and professionals.
Unido is underpinned by our secure key management technology, which is just as critical when posting to DeFi networks as it is holding and transferring crypto.
Our aim is to make DeFi activity as simple as regular holding and transferring via our smart and easy DApp GUI and web interfaces for the Unido Enterprise Platform and custodial versions.
Even some of us seasoned crypto enthusiasts get confused so this will be welcomed by All 😊😊
Yes, same with me TBH. Imagine you had a handful of Defi options on a page, their current yield is compared, and you just select which one you want to go with, all in the same app. Point and shoot!
Heaven!! I can’t even imagine what that’s going to be like. No joke my head has started to hurt when I’ve tried to decipher how some things in defi work. 😔😔. Simplicity will be welcomed.
So why did Unido decide on Polkadot instead of, say, Casper or Cosmos? What does Polkadot offer for the project that the others do not?
The Polkadot substrate blockchain has been selected for its ability to run a very high throughput of transactions with customisation of the economic model.
In particular, the transaction fees for recording API activity can be set as the working tokens themselves. Thus, working tokens are spent for their own usage and the cost of each transaction is the number of working tokens used in that transaction.
This structure gives the benefit of having all transactions be at no cost to the companies that publish the transactions or the users spending their working tokens for API requests. Using tokens in this way on more conventional blockchains — even highly efficient gen 3 blockchains — would be cost-prohibitive.
The Polkadot substrate with validator nodes provides flexibility and efficiency, but also allows ongoing evolution with the end goal to merge or aggregate critical data onto a parachain and open up the working token to have a trade value all of its own.
I see…so I can see why it would be attractive to the users. Keywords being “Flexibility and Efficiency”.
Yes, and must be scalable. We assessed many options. We felt DOT was the best fit.
Your roadmap calls for the rollout of the retail product in Q2 of 2022, but your website also asserts that you have an “Established Product with Existing Client Base”.
Is the Unido project migrating an existing centralized off-chain product with existing clients onto the Polkadot blockchain? Can you please elaborate on this point in more detail?
The retail wallet is in the Apple Store and on Google Play today but will be re-released to integrate fully with the UDO token. This will involve moving from fees paid as a percentage of crypto sent and captured, to fees collected and used to acquire UDO, as detailed in our whitepaper.
PAC has developed DApps for agency clients which use the Unido signing engine. These products will be showcased in our announcement pipeline in the coming weeks.
Ok, Great…..we’ll be looking forward to those announcements.
Can you talk about your vision for how best to guarantee successful adoption of the Unido Enterprise Platform by enterprises?
Given your professional services background, what is your vision for helping enterprise customers succeed with the Unido Enterprise Platform in particular, and DeFi transformation in general?
Yes please stay tuned to our announcement channel.
Lots in the pipeline at https://t.me/unidocore
Thanks for sharing that. 😊
We are going to use the networks we have built up over decades of corporate experience to partner with service providers who have a captive client-base of corporates who look to them for advice on crypto.
This includes accounting firms, industry bodies and FinTechs as well as our direct partnering discussions with blockchains who have existing commercial uptake but wish to upgrade their wallet offering with enterprise-grade corporate governance capabilities.
You’ll be leveraging what you already have and building upon it.
With the Unido Crypto Banking feature, business banking portal enables enterprises to seamlessly manage their day to day operations and capital expenditure.
This is a great feature but have you already secured agreements or partnership with banks/credit card companies, and filed for licenses with regulators? How does UNIDO manage the wallet and customize governance?
We have our first client under MOU to deliver the custodial version of the wallet, allowing them to secure client funds, trade OTC for their clients and provide crypto-secured credit card services. This is a US-based NEO-bank, whom we will name in an announcement in due course.
The custodial version of Unido places fragments of the private key with the custodial provider, meaning they can control signing instructions per a dynamic policy/ database, allowing the custodial provider to oversee the operation of theory client’s accounts, or prevent transfers out once a minimum balance is reached, allowing for customisable margin lending/ secured lending products to be offered.
Great….We will be eagerly awaiting to hear who this bank is 😁
Hope you’re not getting too tired…..just a few more questions and we’ll open it up to the community.
I’m charged. full of coffee!!
Can you talk more about your expansion plans and target markets/industries? Are you focusing on any particular industry or sector or just enterprise?
The immediately actionable segment is enterprise and asset managers, given the influx of fiat to crypto driven by merchants taking up crypto payment options and legacy FUM being deployed by asset managers into crypto.
We are entering partnerships with upstream service providers to disseminate the Unido product down to the underlying user base. An example of this is a current discussion with an asset manager in the UK who facilitates insurers and hedge funds into BTC exposure.
The aim would be to cross-sell the Unido wallet to parties approaching this asset manager for physical BTC exposure, instead of the alternative used today where BTC is wrapped in an SPV and investors hold the equity in the SPV. This is an expensive administrative structure, which still does not address the security risks around the private key. Unido can replace this construct at a fraction of the price, with key corporate governance.
The retail Unido wallet will be marketed via a digital/ social media campaign aimed at individuals who hold significant crypto that want the key managed over more than one device, eg, phone plus iPad, or scenarios where domestic partners want joint control over their assets, similar to joint bank accounts, which have “both to sign” instructions elected.
Ok. Sounds very clear that you’re focussed on enterprise first and taking it step-by-step. Ok, last question.
In relation to the company’s roadmap for Q2 2022 where “Unido wallet app for retail rolled out across target markets across Asia”. I am curious to hear your thoughts on the opportunities in Asia vs (i) other regions and (ii) globally.
Over the last 18 months, we have visited Singapore and Vietnam on research and industry tours. Our observation is that in markets such as Vietnam, small business owners are actually ahead of the western world in accepting crypto payments for goods and services, instead of fiat. I paid for dinner one night at a restaurant in BTC, which was quite a novelty for me, as we have nothing like this in Australia.
We see a segment for small business in under-banked countries that do not require the complexity of the Enterprise platform but are still businesses with potentially several owners that want some sort of corporate governance over their shared assets.
We have had several discussions with parties in Kenya who see the same use case and want to pursue a promotion strategy.
Wow, that’s really cool. I’m in the West and it’s not really mainstream yet. So paying for dinner with crypto…..I would order another dessert!!!!
It was their preferred payment method
I can’t even imagine. Very cool
Ok, I’m all done with my questions. Now we’re going to open it up to the TG community
Take a deep breath.
I’ll mute it again after a few questions have been posted and you can pick any you like to respond.
Duck (User @feranno)
I read in your Medium article that Unido is developed by the team behind AllianceBlock, Spider DAO and Bridge Mutual. Is this just a team support, collaboration or partnership? Can you tell us a little more about the creation process of Unido?
Faculty Labs, who brought ALBT, BMI and Spider, is our partners in developing the ecosystem and driving adoption. They are heavily invested in Unido and our success long term. Faculty Labs are bringing their extensive reach to projects and crypto investors to spread the Unido platform
Duck (User @Calebkure)
There are 3 core issues prevalent in crypto and blockchain: Security, Interoperability, and Scalability. How does your Project plan to overcome these issues?
Our patented approach of fragmenting the private key, means the full private key is never stored on any one device, meaning there isn’t a single target to hack. Our fragmentation process is abstract from the underlying blockchain, which means we can apply it to any blockchain, it’s just a matter of dev time. For scalability, the working parts of the fragmentation largely live on each member’s device, so our central services cost base remains linear as adoption grows exponentially.
Duck (User @Calebkure)
What are your marketing strategies and how do you plan on implementing global adoption? How do you intend on getting more users, community and investments from all parts of the world including non-English speakers and communities? Do you have any ambassador or referral programs?
We have a multi-prong go-to-market strategy, starting by targeting enterprises who are already holding crypto-assets on their balance sheets / those who are looking to acquire more in the near future. Doing this both directly and channel partnerships, building on our initial successful PoCs with Neo-banks.
Secondly, we will also be looking to serve crypto-native enterprises who are using Stablecoins to transact on day to day operations via the Unido Enterprise Platform.
Thank you so much Michael for taking the time to answer our community’s questions. Our Ducks are special and only the best projects get our attention.
It’s an exciting time in crypto. Unido is a critical piece of infrastructure for the new generation in finance. You are all welcome to join us, get in on the ground floor!!!
Thank you once again and with that I will say the AMA has concluded.
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