Decentralized Lending: A Conversation With Definer’s Jason Wu
The following is an interview we have recently had with Jason Wu, CEO of DeFiner.
What's your background? How did you get involved in crypto/blockchain?
JW: Blockchain never fails to fascinate me. I got my first Bitcoin back in 2013. I was curious about Bitcoin and just wanted to play around with it. Automation and the effectiveness of transferring assets globally mesmerized me. With the automated network, transaction and settlement costs would be significantly lower and the service quality significantly improved. When the concept of blockchain and smart contracts came back in 2015, I couldn’t get my mind off it. Every generation has a wave. Just 20 years ago it was the internet. Now, for millennials it’s blockchain, a global internet for value exchange. In 2016, Ethereum went live and the smart contract functionality was well supported. At the time I was also working on my CFA exams and saw the emerging digital asset market. And when looking at assets, there’s always a need for capital allocation, which in turn creates more momentum as time goes on.
With Ethereum there were many benefits that could ultimately disrupt finance as we understood it. Removing costly middlemen and democratizing access was something I saw as the inflection point. At this time, the technology was close to being ready for the new age. And it was then that the concept of decentralized finance came to me. Since then, I’ve been working on building a startup that focuses on decentralized finance, DeFiner.
What value does DeFiner bring to users?
JW: The pandemic revealed some of the major issues in the traditional financial system. A prime example of this would be weeks it took to distribute stimulus checks when it should have been a few hours. And with shutdown and economy taking a nosedive, 2020 showed banks’ inability to lend to businesses of all sizes. Even without the pandemic, interest rates have always been a problem with the traditional finance system. We’re even seeing negative interest rates nowadays. We at DeFiner solve these exact problems by offering a decentralized crypto asset platform for earning, lending, and borrowing. It’s a platform built on an immutable blockchain, tracking all loans and transactions, providing ultimate security for users, and always accessible--without any intermediaries. We bank the unbanked with significantly lower costs and higher interest paid out than traditional finance. DeFiner allows those embracing the new, digital economy to unlock instant value from their assets.
Where do you see DeFiner five years from now?
JW: Our goal has been and always will be building a decentralized bank. To say where we see our company in five years, we have to start with where the industry will be in five years. The recent bitcoin bull run is just the tip of the iceberg and defi is just the start. More players will be involved such as decentralized exchanges, insurance providers, and derivatives. There are some traditional players now, but more will flood in. As for DeFiner, we see ourselves playing a crucial role for retail investors and institutions alike.
What are the most common misconceptions you hear about decentralized lending?
JW: The most common misconception would be what the word “cryptocurrency” means. The faster we get away from a currency and start thinking of crypto as an asset, the more we people will see the limitless potential. This misconception comes when it comes to lending and putting up collateral. A lot of people ask why they should borrow money when they already have money. When we look at crypto as a “crypto asset” that would mean you’re putting up your asset as collateral and it makes much more sense. But unlike leveraging your house, there are many crypto assets and many ways to leverage those assets in defi.
What's next for decentralized lending in 2021?
JW: A lot of people think that the defi craze has already passed and are already looking for the next big thing. But I think 2020 was just a warm up for what’s to come. I wouldn’t be surprised if big financial institutions start breaking into the decentralized lending space this year. More companies will also kickstart and we’re going to see a more complete ecosystem for users.
About Jason: Jason Wu is the founder and CEO of DeFiner, a non-custodial platform for earning, lending, and borrowing crypto assets. He has profound knowledge in applying blockchain technology to solving real-world problems. Jason Wu is an experienced blockchain architect, project manager, and digital currency entrepreneur. Jason has quickly established himself as a subject matter expert and adviser to numerous organizations in the areas of token economics, smart contact integration, and blockchain architecture. In 2018, Jason established Definer to simplify the process of decentralized digital currency transactions.