VALK DEFI AMA Session with Beincrypto

VALK AMA Session With Beincrypto


Hi Everyone! Welcome to another Beincrypto AMA!

Today we welcome both Antoine (@antoinelt) and Elie (@elieazzi) who are CEO and CPO of VALK, respectively. 

VALK is a DeFi service provider, building decentralized infrastructure for capital markets. The platform aims to connect DeFi investors with innovative protocols across blockchains to ensure institutional-grade portfolio management, monitoring, and access to liquidity.

(This AMA has been edited for clarity.)

BeInCrypto (BIC): Here is how things will work. I’ll have 9 questions for them and I’ll open the chat for you to drop your own ones after these questions. Please have your questions written on your notepad since the gates will be open for no more than 2 minutes. Good luck to you all!

Let’s get started >

BIC: Let me ask you something general in the beginning. I would like you to tell us a little bit more about your background as well as provide us with some information about the expertise of those behind the VALK team.

VALK: We come from slightly different professional backgrounds – I came from Finance (Private equity and investment banking), and Elie from Technology, being an early Blockchain architect of BNP Paribas.

We both had various issues with the industry that we were working in; I didn’t understand why Finance (particularly private markets) wasn’t digitized, and Elie wanted to apply the knowledge and experience of tech and blockchain to his own products.

We met in 2018 as a mutual friend put us in contact and by 2019 we founded VALK. We both saw a significant need to digitize the financial ecosystem, so we developed a tokenization solution back in 2019 for private capital markets. Since then, it has grown to host 100+ regulated financial institutions as clients and support $5B+ of deals.

BIC: A really nice idea can definitely boost any project and I’m quite sure you envision something great for VALK. So, what’s the reason for its creation?

VALK: We realized the growth and opportunity didn’t lie within traditional financial models and products, but in DeFi, which we saw grow exponentially during 2020. In early 2021, we developed our multi-phase plan to bring DeFi to everyone, from newbies to institutional asset managers, and to bridge TradFi and DeFi.

Initially, we were focusing on building institutional-grade DeFi products for clients similar to those using our tokenization platform, but we realized the entire market needed and deserved high-quality portfolio management solutions in order to fully benefit from DeFi. 

BIC: That’s great. VALK actually has some solutions such as VALK Defi, Merlin, and Metafinance. Can you please shortly describe each one of them?

VALK: We came up with our 3 phase plan with accompanying solutions: 

Merlin: allowing investors to view and understand their DeFi positions across multiple protocols, calculating yield, P&L, NAV and more, all on one interfaceOur DeFi aggregator: an interface from which investors can access and trade on different protocols without leaving it. These trades include both simple (lend, borrow, withdraw) transactions, as well as complex (flash loans, arbitrage, leverage boost) transactions. This will be combined with Merlin’s data indexation tools to allow comparison of strategies, back-testing and yield optimization Metafinance: Our long-term goal is to bridge TradFi products with DeFi liquidity. Before VALK DeFi, our tokenization platform catered to private capital markets. We aim to bring these assets on-chain to interact with DeFi liquidity. However, this will come only once we have the best-in-class portfolio management and tracking solution through Merlin and our aggregator! Then we will be able to build connections with liquidity providers across major DeFi protocols

BIC: Awesome, thanks for this brief explanation. I think this is quite an interesting niche to focus on and I suppose there’s a great market potential around it. What can you tell us about that and how do you currently see the VALK ecosystem in comparison to eventual competitors?

VALK: VALK has come from offering B2B services to regulated financial institutions (asset managers, family offices, funds etc.) to crypto, and originally we wanted to cater to the institutional side of the market since that was what we knew and understood.

However, we realized the need to have a vibrant and loyal community from retail was important and very beneficial, so we are making sure that our products (Merlin and our aggregator especially) will be catered to this customer base as much as possible. 

In short what sets Merlin apart from competitors is that it offers full historical data + current data and consequently calculates accurate profit & loss, total and daily yields, total gas fees, overall portfolio gain or loss, warns of impermanent risk and compares all values to ETH, USD and then other currencies for simplicity of view.

The difference between Merlin and other wallet reporters is that Merlin’s data provision is more dynamic; what this means is that it compares current positions versus past performance. Whether that is through a chart determining the change in the wallet’s net worth in the last 6 months, or total yield generated from Aave, or which LP has been most successful on Uniswap.

We want to provide a product that delivers to investors what fund administrators deliver to their clients in the TradFi space – easy and understanding reporting of key performance metrics such as net asset value, profit vs loss of certain investments, and yield optimization strategies so that users of Merlin, whether they are retail or institutional, have the best chance of making informed decisions about their DeFi trades. 

BIC: Cool. It’s time to take a deep dive into one of your main products. What are some of the key features of the Merlin DeFi Smart Wallet?

VALK: Merlin is called our DeFi smart wallet as it is able to read and understand all information related to an investor’s wallet address (whether that is Metamask or Coinbase wallet).

It can distinguish between assets held inside the wallet vs assets being lent/borrowed on major protocols such as Aave/Compound/Trader Joe, and provide institutional-grade reporting and accounting in one single place. Other major features include:

Overview of all transactions, recent and historicalProfitability of yield earned vs NAV. Merlin is able to track the date at which the investor deposited the staked tokens, the price at that point, the yield earned during that time period and the current price of the token in question. This way, it can calculate whether there has been a profit or loss related to that staking action.Aggregate transaction fees (particularly important when gas fees are volatile)Impermanent loss on liquidity pools such as Uniswap, as well as the range and the ratio of the tokens within the liquidity pool to see if the investment has gained or lost money. Additionally, Merlin will very soon allow the investor to claim any fees that they have earned from liquidity provisionMerlin provides analysis of all transactions and investments, allowing an investor to view the historical value of APYs and pool behavior + comparison between them. 

Merlin’s data provision means that strategies can be back-tested to allow future optimization of investment returns in terms of other strategies. Different strategies over time can be compared with others, allowing full coverage and the ability to plan and optimize for future investment strategies.

BIC: What kind of audience do you expect to reach with such a product? Is Merlin focused on all types of users?

VALK: We knew that DeFi couldn’t spread or get into the hands of (1) everyday investors or (2) traditional asset managers unless portfolio management was simple and understandable.

Yet, there are few products out there that allow an investor to view their portfolio on a dashboard and be able to compare their positions and understand the relative success related to yield, PNL, and more. We came from delivering high-quality TradFi solutions to asset managers and fund managers, all with high expectations of how portfolio management should be handled.

BIC: Partnerships are essential when it comes to basically every crypto project. What partnerships have you made so far?

VALK: Yes, partnerships are indeed essential. This is why earlier this year we partnered with one of Avalanche’s leading protocol Trader Joe. We are working on many projects at the moment and they will be announced in due time. All I can say without revealing any secrets is that you will be hearing about a lot of new announcements in the days to come with major protocols. 

We will also soon be going beyond pure data and focusing on allowing you guys to trade better, without any execution headaches and high fees. This will be revolutionary and you will hopefully soon be able to benefit from it, the best yield and strategies with no effort and time spent.

And finally, there are plenty of opportunities to explore new yield opportunities, such as the ones coming from TradFi who knows. But this is for another AMA

BIC: Amazing. I suppose you still have much more to deploy/integrate in terms of both development and marketing push. What can investors/enthusiasts expect from a mid-term strategy?

VALK: Mid-term, we want to get Merlin in the hands of as many people as possible, through our B2C and B2B offerings, live in the coming weeks. For retail, it will be free to use to connect one wallet, but additional wallets will have a monthly charge.

Since the beginning of the year, through trial and error and fantastic feedback from early users, as well as 100s or even 1000s of iterations from our fantastic product team, we have improved Merlin to ensure the UI/UX is as good as possible.

More recently, in the last few weeks, we have opened beta mode to more users, although this isn’t 100% public yet. These include over 600 users who had previously registered on a website and 40+ institutions (DeFi funds, asset managers etc.). We aim to be live by mid-May.

BIC: That’s it, I’m quite sure we’ve covered the main topics today. Could you please share all the links to your Social Media channels so that our community can get to know VALK a little better?

VALK: Sure!

​​Website | Twitter | Medium | Telegram | Telegram announcement channel | Discord | LinkedIn

Also, If you would like to register and apply to be in Beta testing for Merlin, or be prioritized on the list as an early user, fill out the form below, and include your wallet address for the chance to win 150 USDT!

Google Form to Fill Out

BIC: Too many projects promise magic but never release any working product or prove any revenue within a short/long time of release. Is your project also like this? 

VALK: The project is live and is being beta-tested by several users of the community. We will release the beta version to the public at the end of this month.

BIC: While you build your project, do you take into account community feedback and demands?

VALK: Definitely! This is why we have been running beta testing for the past 2 months. Also, we have regular calls with the closest community members to enhance the product with their ideas and needs

BIC: Are you a global project or a local project? At present, which market are you focusing on, or is it focused on building and growing to gain customers, users, and partners?

VALK: We are global – Merlin will be open to DeFi traders from all over the world!

BIC: What was the biggest milestone your project has? What are your plans for the future?

VALK: To be connected to as many DeFi protocols and chains. We are putting in place new development methods to be able to do that with the current human resources.

BIC: Where can I get the latest updates or more information about the project?

VALK: Here: Website | Twitter | Medium | Telegram | Telegram announcement channel | Discord | LinkedIn

Also, If you would like to register and apply to be in Beta testing for Merlin, or be prioritized on the list as an early user, fill out the form below, and include your wallet address for the chance to win 150 USDT!

Google Form to Fill Out


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