Today’s guest is one of the true trailblazers in the world of Decentralised Finance, providing a platform that ensures the innovation to which we are now so accustomed continues, while the longevity of that work is secured.
Stani Kulechov is the Founder and CEO of Aave a decentralised, open-source, and non-custodial liquidity protocol, that has taken the DeFi world by storm in the last 18 months.
He is also an investor, speaker, entrepreneur, business mentor and technology influencer who is at the heart of the financial revolution we now see in our midst.
As a student at the University of Helsinki, where he was studying Law, Stani became aware of Ethereum and immediately saw the potential in this open system, that provided a whole world of opportunity and for a burgeoning creative crypto programmer, with a degree in Law, even more so.
Stani’s first foray was ETHLend, a decentralised peer-to-peer lending application running on the Ethereum blockchain network. It was a success and essentially solved the liquidity challenge of being cash-poor, but crypto-asset rich, while allowing Stani and his team to experiment with the infrastructure and potential.
However, stablecoins weren’t a big thing and the use case volumes were low, but Stani already had eyes on a bigger picture. Aave was born, a rebranded and rebooted version of ETHLend. A decentralised money market protocol where users can earn interest on deposits and borrow assets. Aave is also open-source, so its code is freely available and anyone can build on it.
As Stani himself explains, “In essence Aave allows the users to deposit cryptographic assets and see them grow, that’s how simple it is.” It’s been a monumental success and while benefiting from the huge growth in DeFi over the last year, moreover Aave has been at the heart of that explosion.
Aave became only the second DeFi protocol to reach $1 billion in total value locked. Today Aave has received $19 billion in deposits, with borrowers taking out $8.5 billion in total, making it the leading decentralised finance asset in the world.
This level of adoption, interest and growth is why my team and I are going “all in” on this technology and infrastructure and plan on spending that period teaching, understanding, broadcasting, educating, investing in, profiting from and transforming this exciting new marketplace.
There are no limits to what we can achieve, and by working together as a team, creating a community of like-minded people, we can blaze a trail in this exciting and transformative decentralised finance space.
That’s why I created the DeFi Academy and committed time and resources to provide a platform for success that YOU can be a part of.
The right kind of education is critical and that’s why I’m really excited to sit down with Stani and talk DeFi with one of the biggest players in the space. Stani is a smart guy, and he’s in it for the long haul. He’s big on regulation and security and how we can propel this incredible opportunity forward and change the world.
This episode will connect the dots and shine a light on the incredible infrastructure that exists while providing some clues as to what we can expect moving forward. As Stani himself says,
“DeFi hasn’t seen its climax yet. Everything you have seen or interacted with is just the beginning.”
A number of clips from this exclusive interview are now available to download, share and repost. Spread the word: grab these clips today!
02:41 Brian’s introduction.
08:55 How Aave became the biggest lending protocol in the world in the summer of 2020.
12:10 Aave open source aspect alien to Steve Jobs and Bill Gates’ attitude to innovation.
14:14 Stani Kulechov explains Web 3.0 and the benefits of decentralised finance.
24:05 Transparency cannot be overstated.
28:43 Decentralised finance has two aspects, a building element and a governmental element.
32:11 Composability is an important thing.
34:22 Stani Kulechove explains why he thinks Aava won.
36:46 Finance is a basic human right.
40:40 For people who have just bought their first Crypto why it is important to lend and borrow.
44:42 Stable coins, when sometimes boring is really good.
49:19 How Aave is working between decentralised finance and centralised banking.
52:14 The future of the blockchain Solana, Cardano, Polygon, Avalanche and l2.
59:57 Stani Kulechov explains Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs), their future, the real world and the metaverse.
1:11:36 It’s just a png of a black and white rock and it’s a million dollars, why?
1:18:04 NFTs: how to create a market around something that is unique.
1:22:47 Is the metaverse just like Oculus, of limited interest?
1:27:46 In founding Aave, Stani Kulechov had no VC capital, was this a positive or negative thing?
1:35:06 How would anyone starting out wanting to emulate Stani Kulechov raise capital?
1:38:13 Regulation on DeFi protocols and the US versus Global and how it affects Stani every day.
1:46:09 What Stani looks for when deciding to partner with a DeFi protocol like Avalanche.
1:49:56 What he thinks of Solana and other protocols.
1:51:14 Stani Kulechov’s current biggest challenge.
1:52:27 His worst day at Aave.
1:56:53 What it is like to suddenly be rich? Has it changed Stani?
2:00:27 Finnish characteristics that are part of Aave and what attracted him to London to set up an office.
2:04:00 London is punching below its weight in technology, attracting no start-ups, and it lacks leadership.
2:06:58 Phone call to the 20 year old Stani Kulechov.
2:07:54 The best advice he ever received.
2:08:50 Advice to the 20 year old about life in general.
2:10:53 Brian’s summing up.
2:11:58 Final thoughts from Stani.
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