One week after the announcement of the Q1 Tech Roadmap, RioDeFi released its Generic Asset Bridge which unlocked new functionalities to RioWallet users.
To celebrate this new Milestone, we organised last Friday, a livestream AMA on RioDeFi’s YouTube channel. The idea was to give the floor to RioDeFi’s Co-Founders: James Anderson (CEO), Katerina Volkova (VP) and Stephane Laurent Villedieu (CMO) so they could give further details on RioDeFi’s latest tech development and answer the questions from the community.
To add more fun to this AMA, we organised a Giveaway campaign with a total of 3,000 RFUEL to be shared among 15 winners whose questions got shortlisted. Here is the list of the winners:
- @Hita CP
- @TuKang Shot (x2)
- @Dennis Gram
- @Bayrak Kutsal
- @Gna D
- @Janne Kaveri (x2)
- @Thix M
- @S Peduino
- @Sulthan sulthan
- @Sai Krishna:
- @Tb mtep
- @Duong Cao
- @Nwaozuzu Evans
In this article, we come back on the Q&A of the AMA. The entire video including the Q&A with further details on the Roadmap and Generic Asset Bridge can be found on our YouTube channel here.
Q1: Are you planning to add a swap feature in RioWallet?
James Anderson: I think this is a very useful feature for users so absolutely! We are looking to add a swap functionality into RioWallets so that people can switch between different cryptocurrencies very easily. For example, if you have RFUEL and want to switch it to USDT or if you have USDT and you want to buy RFUEL, this will be possible. We’ll be incorporating that in the future. It’s not in the Q1 Roadmap right now but hopefully in the second quarter of the year we can start integrating a swap feature in RioWallet.
Q2:What applications are currently being built on RioDeFi? Are there any planned for the near future?
Jame Anderson: We have our own applications built on RioChain which include RioWallet, RioPay and RioFinance and on top of it, there are a number of decentralized applications (Dapp) building on RioChain:
- MANTRA DAO, a platform for savings and lending activities. They have a lot of innovative features including MANTRA POOL which is a sort of lottery system where by using OM, you can actually burn it to help increase or contribute. The KARMA protocol that they’re building is going to offer a new form of credit scoring for the decentralized financial space. They’re going to move more and more modules into RioChain particularly as we build out our own DeFi ecosystem with more swapping and other things of this nature.
- LABS which is doing the tokenization of Real Estate. This is a great project for people that are interested in investing in the property market because with a hundred dollars, they could actually own a piece of property in various locations around the world. LABS will offer some great opportunities for getting tokenization of beachfront villas in Thailand for example or in Southeast Asia, It’s really cool to see that they’ve chosen RioChain to build their platform on. As well, they’re going to require security tokens so we’re actually developing a security token standard on RioChain to help support the LABS ecosystem. I think security tokens will continue to become very prominent in the coming years now that the space is a lot more mature.
- Lepricon, a gamified platform for prediction markets. It takes some of the best concepts of DeFi such as liquidity provision and yield farming. It’s a kind of “Super Dapp” which will provide 3 games with:
- Bitpool: users could guess whether the price of Bitcoin or Ethereum is going to go up or down and they can win rewards if their predictions are correct;
- KQJ: a card game that allows users to pick a card and according on if they guess correctly, then they can actually purchase bitcoin at a discounted price;
- Fans Predict: a game to guess the outcomes of sports events, elections and various world events in the future.
Those are the apps that are currently building on RioChain. We are very active in talking to different teams that are looking to build on a Substrate-based blockchain and there are other projects that we’re in talks with now so we’ll be excited to share their names as they come to fruition.
Q3: What is the parachain slot about? Why does RioChain need it and what are the chances that’ll happen? I see this question often on Telegram but for us non-techies, it’d be cool to get it explained.
James Anderson: “Parachain slots” basically are parallel blockchains or parachain. It is a concept within the Polkadot network that allows you to process transactions through your native chain and send that data up to the Polkadot network to benefit from the shared security layer of their multi-billion dollar market cap. Instead of just having validators for a chain that only has a few tens of millions or even hundreds of millions of market cap, now you have a chain that’s backed by billions of dollars of economic value.
To become part of it, you have to participate in an Auction to rent a slot for one to two years and you have to stake a lot of DOT (which is the Polkadot’s native token of the network). Having community members staking DOT on behalf of a project to support it is also very helpful because it is the projects with the most DOT staked in one of these Auctions that win the parachain slot. If we win, RioChain would directly link and send all of its transaction data to Polkadot through the parachain bridge to the Polkadot main network.
There are other Substrate-based chains that do want to do the same thing. They want to send data up to the Polkadot network and they could do so using RioChain under what we call a “Para-thread model”.
So it’s definitely in our roadmap to become a parachain in 2021. We think we actually have a very good shot of getting it. We raised 20 million dollars during our community crowdsale and we have a very vibrant community with over 20,000 followers across Telegram, Twitter, etc…We’re well positioned to get this slot in 2021 and we hope to be one of the first pairs of chains.
Stephane Laurent Villedieu: I think that the concept of parachain enables to scale blockchain networks in ways that will never be possible with the reliance of one blockchain network. It also enables new types of economic models and ensures that this whole ecosystem can scale up. Under this paradigm of parachain and cross-chain communications, the concept of competition may vary. Those who should compete with your blockchain network can actually become a partner and help you scale up activities on your own network. There are some terms that have emerged such as ‘’collaborator competitor’’ and this is probably the type of relationship we are heading for between different blockchain networks. When we think of other networks such as Cardano or EOS, we don’t really think of them as competitors that we need to take market share from. The blockchain technology’s market is so huge that we don’t really have to worry about who is our competitor. It’s more about how we can benefit from the network effect so that all these different initiatives are generating and bringing to the space. It’s more our approach I think when it comes to competition.
Katerina Volkova: From my side, I’m mostly involved in Business Development. For me it’s a big opportunity to cooperate with fantastic projects. If you are talking about some particular chains, it’s sometimes impossible for them to cooperate or to integrate with external parties due to their attack or restrictions. Within Polkadot there are fantastic opportunities to develop bridges between chains and to cooperate, not by creating something by yourself that already exists but by developing something new with partners. Most of the time we are cooperating and it’s so cool that even when we are meeting similar like not similar projects but the kind of competitors it’s not about competition but we are thinking on how we should improve this or that.
Q4: Can I know what are the security measures taken by your team to avoid the vulnerabilities that may occur with time since you have a super simple way of exposing the users to their assets?
James anderson: The security of RioChain is backed by the valid internodes we currently operate. I know someone else had asked about why operate under a PoA system before moving to nominated PoS and the reason being that it enables you to have trusted nodes that secure the integrity of the network until your economic value gets large enough so that you can have a decentralized network of validators that provide a robust ecosystem for that nominated PoS to be resistant to any types of economic attacks because otherwise, someone could buy enough tokens and try to attack the network. Now there are of course nominated PoS networks with governance mechanisms that help prevent this, but we think because it’s a new technology, we want to proceed cautiously and want to make sure that the network is very secure especially in these early stages. Now when we become a parent chain, we’ll benefit from that shared security layer of the Polkadot network and that will move us right into a very long-term decentralized and secure network under a nominated group of state consensus mechanism. So, these are some of the security measures we take.
In terms of the custodial bridge we utilize a partner called HEX Trust , a leading in Digital Assets custodian. As I mentioned before, they have partnerships with IBM and with banks so they’re very secure and have a licensed trust company with insurance.We think this is a good option for the cross-chain functions in the early stages.
In the long run, we do seek to make decentralized cross-chain bridges. It’s also one of the main things that Parity Technologies the creators of Polkadot are working on as well as the Web3 Foundation through their grants program. So we’re very bullish on that happening for the entire ecosystem but in the short term, you have to have these sorts of bridges that can help to connect these chains so yeah that’s how we secure the network in the short term and moving forward as well.
Q5:Are there any plans to enhance the real web wallet UI experience?
Katerina Volkova: Well definitely yes, it’s planned for February
Q6: What is RioDeFi’s global expansion plan? Which market does RiodeFi focus on at the moment or is it focused on building and growing to acquire customers users and partners?
Katerina Volkova: Well I would say that we plan to expand in 2021. For now, we have already built local communities in some countries like in Philippines, Vietnam, China, South Korea, Bangladesh and Indonesia. We have quite big supporters there. At the same time, we are going to open new markets and new communities in Latin America for Spanish speakers because English can be difficult sometimes for people who are living in countries where English is not the mother tongue. We are really trying our best to go to local markets so people could just discuss everything in the local languages. I have missed communities in Russia and Japan.
Very shortly and for sure we are going to be more present in India because we have many supporters from India but we haven’t united it yet there. We already have a collaboration with Vauld that helped us to exchange crypto to rupees so, yes, we are quite excited about it and about acquiring news customers there.
Regarding partnerships, we stopped during the holidays seasons but new ones are going to be announced very soon.
Q7: Can you tell us about more about the relationship of RioDeFi with MantraDAO as there are many similarities with your project team / advisors with the two projects.
James Anderson: As I mentioned before, Stephane and I are on the governance council of MANTRA DAO so we’re council members. It operates as a DAO (a Decentralized Autonomous Organization). We helped incubate them actually as the first decentralized application on the RioChain network. We had a very strong hand in helping to craft the formulation of MANTRA DAO. We really help them to launch. I spent two years working on DAO technologies, figuring out how to take them to the mass and how to make them more user-friendly so we’ve been very active with them from the beginning and our close relationships really helped. They’re helping us a lot because they’re really raising awareness about RioChain and the whole Polkadot ecosystem which you know we’re a part of. We hope to attract many Dapps such as MANTRA DAO onto our platform to take advantage of the benefits we provide.
Q8: Will there be a RioDeFi credit card in the future and when might it be?
Karterina Volkova: Well definitely it’s in our pipeline and already we are talking to a few partners who could provide us with this solution. I believe it’s going to be closer to March or end of March but it will depends of our product structure and on the company with whom we would like to partner because we would like to have the best solution on the market
James Anderson: One clarification though: we are looking to do a debit card program more in the near future so we’ll probably have sign ups for that around the end of March. We’ll be able to give people the opportunity to start indicating their interests and signing up and we plan on launching the first batch of cards. In the second quarter of this year, probably between April through the end of June. Of course things have been impacted by the COVID-19 situation which has slowed us down.
We would love to offer credit cards as well sometime in the future. We don’t currently have an exact timeline for that part but once we have savings and lending on RioChain that can be combined with a debit card program, it will be very similar to a credit card.
Q9: What is the most ambitious goal of RioDeFi? I would appreciate if you could share with us any upcoming updates? What should the community be looking for?
Stephane Laurent Villedieu: Regarding the goals, we have set for our center that’s really high. I think our value proposition hasn’t changed from the moment we started this initiative and we really want to bridge decentralized finance blockchain-based finance and traditional financial and banking systems. Obviously we are working on these different technologies such as RioWallet and RioChain to help to scale up and become more attractive to the mass.
We are also working on a series of financial services to complement and build this bridge between traditional operating systems and DeFi. We are going to release these services under RioFinance. A number of initiatives will be launching in this regard and also with the aim of bringing people in the space who are not crypto nor tech savvy as well as facilitating institutional money into the space. We’re already exploring these different trends which we believe are quite essential to making blockchain and cryptocurrency fully mainstream.
Q10: Regulation is very important, many projects were closed in many countries due to failure to use the correct regulations and permits in order to go global. How does your team deal with these issues?
James Anderson: We are definitely considering the various regulatory frameworks in different jurisdictions around the world. We’ve actually already gotten a cryptocurrency digital wallet and exchange license in Estonia to be able to operate within the EU regions particularly but also globally. We’ve actually applied for the Payment Services Act License (PSA) in Singapore under the name Rio Technologies Pte Ltd, which you can find on the MAS website. Through this license, we could operate fiat payment channels in most regions in the world. We will be avoiding the United States for the time being because the regulatory framework there is quite restrictive as many crypto people are aware of. We do have to block certain services from Americans at the moment because of the strict nature of the SEC and other regulatory bodies in the U.S. That being said, we’re of course complying with global AML 5 or Anti-Money Laundering Regulations to make sure that we stay on the right side of all the regulators to protect market participants from fraud or from bad actors.
Q11: Will RioDeFi have any kind of membership system in the future? If yes when we will be seeing this system and what do we need to be part of it?
Katerina Volkova: For sure we are going to have our Ambassador Program implemented quite shortly, I mean in February so for now we are just thinking of the right incentives and the right KPIs and criteria of selections for our ambassadors. This is important and it shouldn’t be just a referral program. it should be something more complex because we do appreciate people who support RioDeFi and who have been with us since the beginning. We are going to announce it probably in mid-February, so please stay tuned!
James Anderson: I also like the idea of a membership system for other people besides just ambassadors. MANTRA DAO does something like this with their KARMA Protocol. There is a sort of DeFi’s credit scoring system where people could stake tokens and access VIP benefits. It’s definitely something we thought about and something we’re looking into.
Q12: If not Polkadot, would you be interested in launching RioChain on Cardano?
James Anderson: RioChain is built on the Substrate framework so this is a framework for blockchains that is made to be interoperable with other substrate-based blockchains including Polkadot, Kusama and many others. It’s independent as well so we can operate as our own blockchain. However, we are also targeting to become a Parachain so that we can benefit from that shared security layer of the Polkadot network and from the interoperability of those cross-chain bridges of the broader Polkadot ecosystem. By plugging our blockchain into those 2 networks, this will allow us much more opportunities to have cross-chain communications messaging transmission of assets etc… so we’re definitely committed to doing that.
What we can do with Cardano is to create a cross-chain bridge between RioChain and Cardano. We don’t have plans to do this in the near term but maybe later this year we could create a bridge or at least, allow Cardano ada tokens to come on to RioChain so that people can use it in the various Dapps that are building within our ecosystem as well as savings and lending platforms. It would be a further step, a sort of smart contracts between the two chains.
Q13: What do you think about NFTs who become trends in 2021 or will the rio chain in the future adopt that?
James Anderson: Lepricon, one Dapp building on RioChain, is going to develop NFTs and bring it into RioChain. MANTRA DAO has also done NFTs on Ethereum for their community and that was quite successful. I think in the future once we have an NTF standard on RioChain, eventually we would love to have an NFT marketplace to interact with various savings and lending protocols because we love this idea of NFTs having DeFi components so that you can stake pieces of Art for example to generate yields based on how many people view it or how it interacts with a game for instance.
Q14: Can you please share with us what RioDeFi has achieved so far?
Katerina Volkova: We went public in 2020 after having done a lot of work in 2019. On September 28th, 2020 we were listed in 14 exchanges.
In regards to tech development, we created RioWallet, launched RioChain mainnet and last week, released the Generic Asset Bridge.
Our team has considerably grown to become global with staff from all over the globe but mostly concentrated in Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Q15: Is there any connection with the buddhist story with Rio’s origin?
James Anderson: Lord Buddha as we know attained enlightenment at Gaia in India, during his first bath in the river Niranjana. It’s known as the most striking event in this process of becoming a buddha. ‘’Rio’’ in spanish means river and it’s also part of our project’s name, “RioDeFi”. So yes, there is indeed a correlation between both through this idea of bringing peace of mind into your finances.
It’s so important because when your finances are taken care of, you can focus on the things that you love to do and you can focus on how to best contribute value to the world. You can find what it is that really lights you up, what really helps you to feel alive. We want more people in this world to have that experience with crypto, enjoy and benefit from decentralized finance and access free flows of money from people to people. I think these things are all interconnected to me with an aspect of spirituality mixed with finance. I have the idea that we can make this world to a better place, whether that goes through ‘’ohm’’ that gives a sense of peace and harmony (and is also MANTRA DAO’s token name “Om”), the ‘’dao’’ which is taoist concept… These philosophies through time hold sway and still resonate to today’s society because there are truth in them.
I think one thing bitcoin brings to the world is a form of money that is unable to be printed. It has a mathematically derived scarcity and you know this is very different from central banks which can print money. It’s hard to say in the long run where this might lead but I think what it is doing is waking people up to true values.
RioDeFi accelerates the mass adoption of digital assets by bridging traditional and decentralized finance. Our vision is a world in which everyone has access to decentralized financial (DeFi) services.
We develop solutions that connect banking institutions with blockchain systems. Our applications enable lower transaction fees, faster confirmations, more efficiency, better returns for savings account holders, and global reach.
To learn more about the latest developments regarding RioChain, visit: Riodefi.com