Lift Report Interview: Redemption @ Harvest.Finance
The connection between Lift Kitchen and Harvest Finance was initiated about six months ago when Chris Spears first discovered Harvest’s website as he was doing research on Crypto. Chris ended up meeting the team and spent quite a bit of time researching the DeFi space through their platform. Fast forward to 4/24/21 and Spears’ Lift Kitchen DAO is collaborating with Harvest Finance allowing $iFARM holders to stake into a single-staking LP post-genesis on 5/1.
One of the things that Lift Kitchen seeks to accomplish to further crypto adoption is to host interviews and conversations with thought leaders & influencers in DeFi, Blockchain & Web3. Allowing these experts to share their experiences and thoughts on what the future holds for blockchain. In this interview, Chris and Harvest’s Redmption, a.k.a “Red”, dive into how they ended up in the crypto space, some of the interesting projects they are involved in, and major trends they are seeing in the marketplace.
Redmption and Spears both had corporate business experience prior to entering the crypto world. Red had always known about Bitcoin before but always thought of it as magical internet money. It wasn’t until he found out about smart contracts and cryptocurrency that he really became passionate about blockchain. He started by moderating discord communities of projects he was interested in. Originally starting with Monolith, which created a smart contract crypto wallet linked to a Visa debit card. Over the next four years of working and learning about the growing industry Red found himself drawn to Harvest Finance because he was interested in using their DeFi yield farming platform. At the time, there were farms everywhere and there wasn’t a way to tell which were legit from which were scams. Harvest caught his eye because they are an aggregator who does most of the preliminary research for you. Red started engaging in their community because he saw the value that they could bring to the consumer. In 8 months he evolved from volunteering as a chat moderator to the project manager of all mods & community management.
Chris Spears has been running his own consultancy firm for the last 17 years and just recently got into crypto when he had some free time during the first lockdown in 2020. First coming across Harvest Finance about 6 months ago, Chris was interested in their work and wanted to get involved. Utilizing the information that Harvest aggregates, Chris was introduced to some of the projects that solidified the ideas Lift.Kitchen is based on.
Both Chris and Red see the value of bringing a traditional business structure to these crypto deals. Many crypto projects are not managed well enough from a business standpoint to have an efficient deal flow from start to finish. Too often you see a group of talented devs that complete a project about 60–70% then throw it over the wall and run to the next one. Leaving a grave yard of projects behind them. This is where Lift Kitchen looks to be a differentiator in the way it will approach projects. When you see a new multi-million dollar project every day being run off a discord or telegram channel, you know it’s still the wild west when it comes to how these projects are being executed. Lift Kitchen is taking more of a business approach to how the DAO is managed. Being sure that all projects are seen all the way through and are provided with the necessary resources to succeed.
A current project that is on Red’s radar is Compli.Fi. Compli.Fi offers collateralized tokenized derivative such as BTC or ETH with a 5x multiplier. The derivative is a tokenized version of BTC or ETH that tracks the price without having to hold BTC or ETH. Essentially you can make a Long or Short 5x bet on a crypto asset using USDC, without even needed to hold the asset. It is interesting because every derivative that is minted is backed by USDC, making it fully collateralized, eliminating the penalties of a margin call normally associated with leverage trading. There are no KYC or liquidity requirements; Its DeFi. The kicker? There are NO forced liquidations.
Chris adds “It’s almost like working with a sports bookie”. Which Red thought was a perfect analogy of how the process works.
Now, a few questions and answers from the interview.
Chris: What is the gamification you see happening in the DeFi space?
Red: A huge thing being talked about right now, which has only had it’s surface scratched, are NFT’s in the online gaming community. There is so much money tied to online gaming including in-game purchases of skins, lootboxes, and exclusive content. Why aren’t these transactions done on blockchain as an NFT? Blockchain would allow these users to easily store, trade, and sell these virtual goods.
Chris: Some of the things that we’ve kicked around as a team, which could or could not be part of what Lift is trying to do, is a traders leaderboard. Not a leaderboard of different projects, but a leaderboard of different wallets. Showing the wallets profitability over the last six months compared to 20 other contending wallets. The leaderboard could show the risk exposure and return percentage. The public could then submit their wallets to run through an algorithm to determine what they’ve gained and how risky they were to achieve those gains. Turning this process into a type of game that allows people to compete with each other. Another interesting idea is one by Avalon Meta and Peerplays, who are gamifying education. By completing specific school courses, participating in school functions, and obtaining certain grade thresholds, users can be rewarded for obtaining the best education possible. A win-win scenario.
Chris: Where do you see philanthropy and charities intersecting with the crypto world? One of the things that we’ve been approached with is adding a charity fund alongside our idea fund. While we pay out our liquidity providers, why don’t we set aside 5% into a charity fund for a monthly donation that the DAO votes on? Are you seeing that kind of conversation?
Red: I think blockchain would be great for charities. People always wonder “If I give this money to charity, are they actually using it for good?”. Since blockchain is a public ledger you would be able to see exactly where your money is being used by the charity. I really like crypto because of the transparency of ledgers. You can see how your money is being used on the back end providing more tractability.
Chris: When does the blockchain transfer from the wild and crazy crypto folks over to consumers in a more mass way? Outside of DeFi, what projects and products do you think will bring blockchain to the masses through Web3 for example? For example, online banking was brought to the masses without requiring much experience or knowledge of how it operates on the internet. And the internet itself, not many people understand the mechanics of how it works, but most people can navigate it efficiently.
Red: Its simplification. Crypto as a whole is not for someone who is not tech savvy. Your “aunt Matilda” who doesn’t use the internet much would never be able to figure out how to efficiently trade crypto. So it’s not for you average “aunt Matilda” who might miss key something and her money is gone forever, not to mention the complexity of the smart contracts and knowing what could be a scam vs something that has real potential.
Stablecoins are big in the fact that someone doesn’t want to put $5k in ETH for example and wake up the next day and that investment will be worth only $4,200 before that person has even figured out what to do with their ETH. For blockchain to become mainstream, it will take a perfect mix of CeFi and DeFi. This will allow professionals to help people manage their crypto portfolios similar to a traditional financial advisor.
Chris: As you think about different blockchain tech, do you have a preference for one vs another?
Red: I think that ETH is the one that is currently the most viable because that is where all the momentum is. I think blockchain technology as a whole has potential with charities, gambling, and voting (getting rid of corruption in voting) as examples but most people think of it now as a way to make a bunch of money fast.
Blockchain tech is good but we are still getting through the “teething” phase where we are slowly seeing the rise of viable stablecoins and getting past the scam coins and ICO’s that are pump and dumps. Getting past ICO’s and moving toward fair launches. Opposed to where it was 3 years ago where it was mainly shilling of s#@tcoins.
Chris: Any final thoughts?
Red: Harvest Finance is trying to be the one stop shop for a basic user holding some stable coins or an advanced person who knows how to LP. You can make anywhere from 20–4000% APY on your deposits depending on which of their 85+ strategies you want to act on. Then take those interest bearing tokens like iFARM and deposit them at APWine Finance. This allows you to tokenize the tokens future yield and spend it today, instead of waiting for a month to realize the yield. Then you can go chase another farm now without having to leave one farm for another.