Published in


AMA Recap: OKEx x James Anderson

Yesterday on March 23rd, James Anderson, CEO of RioDeFi was invited by OKEx (an innovative cryptocurrency exchange) for a Telegram AMA to introduce RioDeFi to the OKEx community.

More than 5,500 crypto lovers attended this online event. At the end of it, people could participate to a poll. The results showed that 85% of the attendees found this AMA very informative, and 84% of them are willing to trade RFUEL moving forward.

We are happy to announce the winners of the giveaway campaign, whose questions were shortlisted:

· @uNoyon

· @Agz18

· @zaferce

· @okgood2405

· @zzzzxxxxookk

· @shajurohoman321

· @MR_samsur_X9

· @chaiuzbui

· @DLJibon

Please DM @SteveOKEx with your OKEx email/ UID to claim your rewards.

*Note that the winner who was picked twice will be rewarded once*

Below is the transcript of the online event if you have missed it or want to review it.

Steve: A warm welcome to James Anderson, @LibertyBuddhist!

Pleasure to have you with us today :D

Steve: For the record, James is a veteran in the blockchain space. He set up RioDeFi in 2019 and has since been developing a solid ecosystem that will benefit both dApp owners and crypto lovers.

So for the first segment, we have prepared some questions for RFUEL.

Without further delay, let us begin.

Steve: Q1.Can you provide a brief introduction about the core team behind RioDeFi?

James: Sure, but first thank you for hosting me on Okex. I am delighted to join this AMA today.

RioDeFi started from conversations between Calvin Ng, Stephane Laurent, Katerina Volkova, Gino Yu, and I. We envisioned a world in which everyone has access to DeFi services, because we think DeFi gives people better access to financial freedom and more abundant lives.

Our President Calvin Ng is a seasoned entrepreneur and VC investor. Following a highly successful career in the gaming industry which saw him bring major franchises such as Dayonta USA and World of Warcraft in Asia, Calvin Ng decided to join the Blockchain landscape in 2016. In addition to his involvement in RioDeFi, Calvin is also managing Director at PlutusVC, a $200 Million fund focused on blockchain and internet companies.

Stephane Laurent is a full-stack marketer whose career spans 12 years and a broad array of corporations, agencies and startups. An expert of China digital landscape, Stephane has helped dozens of Blockchain projects set foot in Asia, assisting them with fundraising, content creation and community building.

An experienced business consultant, Katerina’s former ventures include Priority Token Group where she served as Vice President. Ekaterina Volkova has helped structure a broad range of enterprises. Her expertise includes fundraising, strategic management and event organization.

Dr. Gino Yu established the Multimedia Innovation Centre at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), a leading edge think tank and research centre on digital entertainment. He is currently an Associate Professor and Director of Digital Entertainment and Game Development in the School of Design at PolyU where he oversees M-lab. His main area research interests involve the application of media technologies to cultivate creativity and promote enlightened consciousness.

I got into blockchains through my interest in economics and my research of gold, silver, and alternative currencies after the financial crisis of 2008. It was in 2012 that I really started looking into Bitcoin. One year later I met Vitalik Buterin and Erik Voorhees at a conference called Porcfest in New Hampshire, USA, where I bought my first Bitcoin.

In 2017 I co-founded a business called Blockchain Investor, in which I taught people how to invest in cryptocurrencies, trade them on exchanges, and securely store them via hardware wallets. In 2018, I co-founded another business called Social Evolution, where we sought to create DAOs for mutual aid services (market-based welfare).

I took the lessons from those experiences to start RioDeFi in 2019 with our co-founders with one clear mission: to accelerate the mass adoption of digital assets by bridging the gap between traditional and decentralized finance.

Steve: That is quite an impressive diverse background!

With that being said

Q.2: Many say that traditional finance is a problem, while decentralized is what we all need, really what is your position in it? Do you think it is necessary to work with both to achieve the greatest potential?

James: Traditional finance has a number of issues, such as slow speeds, high costs, low interest, opaque governance, poor accessibility (many people can’t get bank accounts), and ultimately it’s powered by fiat currencies that can be created by those in power to benefit the few at the expense of the many.

In order for DeFi to challenge the traditional financial system, it needs to achieve better usability, scalability, security, and trust. Every product and service of the RioDeFi ecosystem is designed with these factors in mind.

While it is certainly true that in some ways DeFi is competing with traditional finance, we will also be providing a bridge between traditional and decentralized finance that will help normal people gain access to fiat-based savings accounts that generate higher APR yields by using DeFi on the backend. In this way, we see that they can be complementary.

Steve: Thanks for the justification. I believe this will also help stakeholders to get a clearer view!

On top of that

Q.3: Could you share more about your blockchain, RioChain and what makes it different or complementary to other chains in this industry?

James: As you know RioDeFi is a blockchain technology whose mission is to bridge decentralised to traditional finance. We envision to make financial services and crypto accessible to all through DeFi services. To make this possible, we are developing RioChain, a public Blockchain built on Substrate, a framework of Parity Technologies. We chose to build on Substrate because we think their modules answer our needs to develop a next generation blockchain which incorporates speed, scalability, flexibility and interoperability, the most important features to bring DeFi and digital assets to the masses.

RioChain’s top features are as follows:

  • It can execute up to 3,000 transactions per second
  • It offers low gas fee within its network (transaction fee is at 0.1 RFUEL whatever the amount transferred is)
  • Its transaction processing speed is at 2s/block
  • Its Generic Asset Bridge (an in-house developed technology) allows us to connect with other chains and which we started to use for one our product, the RioWallet.

So, RioChain can be connected to other chains such as Ethereum (through our GAB) but we also plan to connect to Polkadot, Kusama, OKExChain, and Binance Smart Chain this year, among others.

We believe that the future is one in which all blockchains can talk to each other via cross-chain messaging to share valuable data, including transaction histories. Interoperability is key to the next massive wave of blockchain innovation.

Steve: Q.4: Are you trying to secure a parachain slot on polkadot? If so, how likely we can get one?

James: Yes! We are working on getting setup on the Rococo v1 Parachains Testnet to be ready for the first batch of parachain auctions. We’re also in talks with various exchanges about their parachain auction programs, because there are some really interesting liquid staking options available. We definitely plan on securing a Parachain slot this year.

Steve: Speaking of that,

Q.5: RioDeFi is using a Proof-of-Authority system. Why did you adopt it for the RioChain network?

Proof of Authority (POA) is a term coined by Gavin Wood, the co-founder of Ethereum and Parity Technologies. With PoA, individuals earn the right to become validators, so there is an incentive to retain the position that they have gained. By attaching a reputation to identity, validators are incentivized to uphold the transaction process, as they do not wish to have their identities attached to a negative reputation. This is considered more robust than PoS (proof-of-stake) — PoS, while a stake between two parties may be even, it does not take into account each party’s total holdings. This means that incentives can be unbalanced. On the other hand, PoA only allows non-consecutive block approval from any one validator, meaning that the risk of serious damage is centralized to the authority node.

Later this year, we will be switching RioChain from POA to Nominated Proof of Stake (NPOS), in a similar manner to how the Polkadot and Kusama networks started off POA and moved to NPOS.

Steve: I see.

Q.6: Let’s come back on the Generic Asset Bridge. What is it all about and how will this help improve cross-chain communications and interoperability between different blockchains more broadly? I

James: The RioChain Generic Asset Bridge supports simultaneous cross-chain transfers of multiple assets, and the end-to-end functionality can be summarized as follows:

  • A user locks an asset (e.g. Bitcoin) on the original chain by depositing the asset in the custodial account.
  • The mapped asset is issued to the user’s address on RioChain.
  • The new Rio Chain asset can then be transferred between users or used in dApps on RioChain; all Rio Chain asset transactions are finalized within 2 seconds of transfer.
  • A user with a non-zero asset balance requests a withdrawal from RioChain to their designated address on the original chain (e.g. Ethereum blockchain).
  • The asset is then unlocked and sent to the user’s designated address on the original chain.

This bridge is currently used by one of our top product, a crypto Wallet called RioWallet. If you do not have one yet, visit our website and get one in 2 minutes at:

Steve: Glad to know RFUEL comprehensive ecosystem.

Q.7: In your Roadmap you have announced a new version of RioWallet for Q1 2021. How this V2 will differ from the previous one?

James: The interface of the RioWallet as you see it now will be totally revamped in a few days!

We have put the user at the center and emphasis on the UX to make it more intuitive, organised and easy to use. The navigation for the users is clearer with the most important information visible, the dashboard is more balanced.

Here are 2 screenshots from our current wallet vs RioWallet V2:

On top of RioFuel (RFUEL), RioDeFi’s native token, RioWallet v2 will accept BTC, ETH and USDT. At the beginning, users will be able to deposit, transfer, and withdraw them via RioWallet. Soon people will also have options to stake them in DeFi Pools, accessible from RioWallet, to generate yields.

Steve: Thanks for the clarification! @LibertyBuddhist. Now we know how it works.

Q.8: Staking is one of the most attractive ways that exist through the DeFi system. With that, can you tell us more about RioDeFi staking programs?

James: Absolutely, staking programs are a huge component of DeFi services. We have partnered with established players to offer our community the ability to stake RioDeFi’s native token, RFUEL.

We currently offer a 50% staking APR on MANTRA DAO (, which is a dApp that’s building on RioChain (currently on Ethereum) that offers non-custodial, smart-contract-based staking programs.

RFUEL can also be staked on Bitmax, Kucoin and KingSwap.

Very soon, you’ll be able to stake RFUEL natively on RioChain via RioWallet.

Steve: Q.9: Last week you announced another partnership with Plasma Finance including a RFUEL/UDT liquidity pool on their new platform. Who are you targeting on PlasmaSwap?

James: Plasma Finance is launching a DEX aggregator with unbeatable prices and a suite of exciting new features which make us think both experienced traders and newbies in the DeFi space will enjoy it. We did not want to miss the opportunity to partner together when they approached us. Only select projects have liquidity pools on the PlasmaSwap platform for now, including MANTRA DAO, Bondly, and Bridge Mutual. USDT holders interested to trade into RFUEL are encouraged to swap at:

Steve: Great one, and finally the last question for the first session

Q.10: You are mentioning Bondly just now and I read today that RioDeFi is joining the world of the PolkaPets. Can you tell us a bit more about ‘’Rio’’ and your entry in the NFT space?

James: PolkaPets is a beautiful initiative led by Bondly. It’s an adaptation of the world of Pokemon for DeFi projects with creatures drawn by their team which takes the attribute of the company they represent.

We wanted to have an aquatic creature because of RioDeFi’s meaning (Rio = river in Spanish). With RioDeFi, we envision a future in which everyone can become a whale, a term commonly associated with some of the largest players in the market, so we decided to give life to a Whale called ‘’Rio’’.

Her supernatural abilities allow her to foresee new opportunities throughout the blue ocean she calls home. Rio’s most special power is the “Liquidity Blast” through which she can unleash unlimited flows of positive energy and revitalise the ecosystem around her. Rio loves to interact with other creatures, especially the friendly spirited animals that populate the world of PolkaPets. We think Rio is a good allegory of how big we see ourselves growing in future.

We are very excited to start our journey in the NFT space.

Actually we launched our first initiative last week: a membership with LABS which gave the opportunity for our community to access discount off on LABS tokenized properties, an exclusive access to our upcoming debit cards as well as RFUEL airdrops for a 12 months period of time.

PolkaPet is a second initiative where our community could purchase one of the 800 NFTs collectibles (prints representing Rio) available on BondSwap from this coming Friday. Each card will cost 0.15 WETH and could also be purchased with $BONDLY tokens. For more information, please read our latest article here:

RioDeFi is working on other NFTs that we will unveil next week so if you are interested by it, don’t forget to follow us on our Twitter ( or Telegram ( to stay up to date with our latest news on this topic!

Steve: Thanks @LibertyBuddhist for the thorough explanation and giving us the big picture!

I too believe that NFT still have big room for growth in the coming future.

Questions from the community:

@uNoyon: Now that technology is changing every second, are you afraid that in the future RioDeFi will lag behind new projects with newer technologies? Do you have a plan for this?

Great question! At RioDeFi we have a global team of blockchain industry experts who have been around through many cryptocurrency market cycles. I was there for the rise and fall of Mt. Gox, the explosion of Bitcoin’s price after European banking crises, the explosion of ICOs and CryptoKitties, the long crypto winter from 2018 — early 2020… we’ve learned and adapted through it all.

When it comes to new technologies, we’re on the cutting edge of the cryptocurrency market. RioChain is built on Parity’s Substrate framework to be interoperable with the Polkadot ecosystem, through which we plan to offer scalable, cross-chain DeFi services that will revolutionize finance. We’re in the midst of incubating a number of projects, including 2 NFT-powered dApps and a decentralized loyalty points trading platform that will allow people to turn air miles into Bitcoin.

No matter how the industry evolves, we’ll be there to create sustainable value.

@Agz18: RioDeFi supporters are very happy with your support for Non Fungible Token and expect new developments in this area. Will RioDeFi have NFT initiatives in the coming weeks? What are the project details you will publish on NFT pets?

James: RioDeFi is joining the world of PolkaPets!

RioDeFi is excited to join the world of PolkaPets with our own unique PolkaPet NFT.

Yes, absolutely! We’re in the midst of incubating 2 NFT-powered projects that will incorporate cross-chain technologies to innovate on existing platform models… they’re quite exciting! Additionally, we’re thrilled for the launch of our PolkaPet this Friday! You can learn more about it here —

@zaferce: How did the market cooperation between RioDeFi and PolkaPet NFT come about? How RipDeFi will use Polkadot projects in the game and how will we have PolkaPet NFT Collection Cards?

James: We were really thrilled to see MANTRA DAO’s PolkaPet and got in touch with the Bondly team to see how we could partner with them to create our own and explore other synergies between our projects. The PolkaPets game mechanics are still being developed, but in the meantime, our PolkaPet Rio comes equipped with a lot of tangible, economic utility:

Our NFTs secure you the following benefits and utility:

- Lottery Entry for select future RioDeFi NFTs to be airdropped to holders;

- Lottery entry for 10 extra RioDeFi PolkaPets Cards to be Airdropped to 10 Holders (1 each);

- Lottery Entry for 100,000 RFUEL to be airdropped to 10 holders (10,000 RFUEL each);

- Access to VIP benefits, Telegram group, and behind-the-scenes sneak peeks of upcoming milestones;

- Access to PolkaPets world, the world’s first blockchain-based, collectible monsters game!

@Agz18: Will RioDeFi’s NFT membership card auction be held again?Will there be a new auction to buy one of the NFT card with the LABS campaign?

James: We don’t plan on offering anymore LABS x RioDeFi NFT cards at this time; however, we will be releasing some additional RioCard (debit card) related NFTs in the coming weeks.

@okgood2405: Does your project have features or benefits that make it competitive with peers? Why did you choose AMA on Telegram to advertise your project instead of advertising on other social networks like Facebook, YouTube, Google?

James: From Day 1 of RFUEL’s launch out into the market, we’ve received a tremendous level of support from OKEx. As a top tier exchange and one of the leading players globally, it only made sense for me to join in an AMA to answer the questions from their fantastic community of crypto traders. With over 50,000 Telegram community members and millions of active traders, I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to share more details of RioDeFi with the OKEx community.

@zzzzxxxxookk: What is your top 3 things for priorities in 2021? Could you share some plans for the upcoming year?

James: Absolutely. 2021 will be the breakout year for RioDeFi. One of our top priorities in 2021 is to become a Polkadot Parachain in order to further decentralize and scale our ecosystem of cross-chain DeFi services. Since early 2019 we’ve been building on Substrate because we think the Polkadot ecosystem will enable next generation financial services.

Another key focus for us in 2021 is in line with our mission to better bridge traditional and decentralized finance by building much better fiat gateways (on-and-off ramps) so that people can seamlessly move between many fiat and cryptocurrencies in a safe, efficient, and low-cost manner. Alongside the bridges between fiat and crypto, we’re also building many cross-chain bridges to other blockchain ecosystems. We believe in a world of interconnected blockchains that leverages the strengths of each.

Finally, we’re incredibly optimistic about the future of DeFi + NFTs. We think the current boom is only scratching the surface of what’s possible. The true utility of NFTs is just beginning to blossom, and we will have a huge role to play in that evolution throughout 2021. We’ve been incubating many fantastic projects recently that we believe will be able to merge NFTs with DeFi and CeFi in really new and exciting ways.

@shajurohoman321: Looking back at 2017, what are some things that you would have done differently?

James: Really thoughtful question! I would have been much more prudent and done more due diligence in the ICOs I participated in, and I would have more quickly taken profits into ETH, BTC, and stablecoins (at least taking back my initial investment amount after making profits, for example). Additionally I would have paid closer attention to news updates for the projects I held tokens in, because I ended up missing key token migration events and other things like that. I learned a lot from 2017, which is one of the reasons why I built RioDeFi along with my co-founders, in order to resolve a lot of the issues that I saw from other projects and build a sustainable ecosystem that can shine even during a bear market.

@MR_samsur_X9: How do plan to spread awareness about your project in different countries where English is not spoken well? Do you have local communities for them to let them better understand about your project?

James: From 2020 onward, there has been a shift in people’s perceptions on the usage of cryptocurrencies. It is more and more accepted as an alternative asset class which can help individuals achieve investment objectives and fight against economic instabilities. Companies and people are adopting them, from small e-commerces to big giants including Paypal and Tesla.

We make an effort to reach global communities across many different languages, which is why we have RioDeFi Telegram groups dedicated to:

RioDeFi Russia 🇷🇺

RioDeFi Japan 🇯🇵

RioDeFi Vietnam 🇻🇳

RioDeFi Philippines 🇵🇭

RioDeFi India 🇮🇳

RioDeFi Bangladesh 🇧🇩

RioDeFi Turkey 🇹🇷

RioDeFi Indonesia 🇮🇩

RioDeFi South Korea 🇰🇷

RioDeFi Portugal & Brazil 🇵🇹🇧🇷

RioDeFi LATAM 🇻🇪

RioDeFi Netherlands 🇱🇺

RioDeFi Sri Lanka 🇱🇰

We recently announced our expansion to Latin American markets here:

@chaiuzbui: Vast majority of Crypto projects are built just for the sole purpose of amassing wealth for themselves. So, I want to know the value you aim to add to crypto industry that will bring greater abundance to the industry?

James: Yes, that has been an unfortunate thing to witness in this fast-growing industry. While there are many amazing, life-changing opportunities in the cryptocurrency space, there are also scams and greed. At RioDeFi, we’re working every day to build a sustainable ecosystem that creates real value in the world and abundance for all.

We aim at making RioChain the preferred infrastructure for decentralised financial applications. dApps that build on RioChain benefit from faster speeds, greater scalability, low transaction costs, low energy consumption, strong security, and access to fiat currency on- and off-ramps. For Rio Chain, this translates into 2 second block times and up to 3,000 transactions per second. Additionally, 20% of transaction fees generated by the network are paid back to dApps.

RioChain is built on Parity Substrate framework, the same technology used by Polkadot. We chose to build on Substrate because it allows for cross-chain communications and true interoperability. We believe that cross-chain DeFi (CrossFi) is the next big evolution of blockchains. The Substrate framework also allows for forkless upgrades, lower fees, better efficiency, faster speeds, and customizable consensus modules. Their on-chain governance features are also quite robust.

We aim to make using RioChain much easier than existing blockchain infrastructure. This happens by massively simplifying the user experience and having integrated services so that the blockchain components happen in the background. With our OAuth wallet creation solution using a Gmail or Facebook account, and free RFUEL pre-loaded into every mobile RioWallet, we think our users will find RioWallet to be a refreshing experience compared to what’s come before.

@DLJibon: What is the role of the RioFuel (RFUEL) token in RioDeFi’s ecosystem? What are the beneficial use-cases of RFUEL?

James: In order to encourage the participants of the Rio ecosystem to cooperate and to reward the nodes for maintaining the network’s integrity, RioChain uses various incentive mechanisms. Central to this economic model is RioFuel (RFUEL), which is a unit that compensates for the computational resources used to execute operations on RioChain. RFUEL is RioChain’s native platform (gas) token — It is required to conduct a transaction or execute a smart contract.

Our economic model also encourages rapid adoption. We will distribute 10 free RFUEL to new users of RioWallet, which is enough for 100 transactions since the current transaction fee is 0.1 RFUEL. These promotional RFUEL can only be used for transaction fees; they cannot be transferred or traded. We will also have a referral program in RioWallet to encourage people to share it with their friends.

James: Thank you so much for hosting me! I was very impressed with the quality of the questions. It’s apparent that the OKEx community knows their stuff and are staying on top of emerging trends in the cryptocurrency markets.



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