AstroSwap
AstroSwap AstroSwap

Undoubtedly, DeFi is disruptive going by assets under management and the forced changes in traditional finance. At first, the total value locked struggled to breach the $1 billion mark after the first rudimentary versions of functional DeFi dApps launched in late 2018 and early 2019. There were market forces in play--precipitated by the general apprehension of DeFi users following the biting crypto winter of 2018. However, this quickly fizzled out in early 2020. In February, the total value of assets under management, mainly in Ethereum, took off, marking the true beginning of the current bull run.

DeFi is a movement, and the composability of its dApps is a true gamechanger. The performance of DeFi tokens, exemplary as they are, represents one thing: interest from the masses. Even still, this new technology is proving disruptive, encouragingly extending on what Bitcoin introduced: trustless operations.

While it is still nascent and impressively iced by big numbers, the true value proposition of DeFi lies in the idea of opening up finance to everyone by eliminating the middleman. With decentralized solutions in finance, users—regardless of their geographical location—can, for example, take loans using their digital assets as collateral without having to submit personal information or meet specific criteria before disbursement.

Users always remain in charge of their hard-earned assets and can decide to be their own banks by lending to earn decent APYs, and there are limitless opportunities in DeFi.

Today, Astronaut Yuri joins us for more insights on why DeFi is instrumental, what the future holds, and more about AstroSwap’s recent launch.

Hello Yuri, it is exciting to have you here today.

Thank you for hosting me today. I'm pleased to join you.

Tell me about AstroSwap! What’s going on at the moment, what’s the journey been like?

Well, we have been doubling down our efforts, hunched at work to ensure we surpass user expectations on launch. After our successful IDO on ADAPad back in early October 2021, we are pleased to inform everyone that we are releasing our DEX on January 28, 2022. We expect AstroSwap to be a true force in DeFi, taking on legacy dApps for what's on offer.

Our experience with BlueZilla helped us greatly, and we are building on this solid foundation to release an attractive and modern DEX. Already, there are hints on how the platform will perform considering ASTRA's warm reception and exemplary performance in the days, weeks, and months following the IDO - We saw 33,000% increases and we expect this to be seen again.

Specifically, we plan to change the perception that DEXes are not as fast or visually appealing as centralized options. Our team factored in trader pain points during design and wireframing, and with this we will be launching AstroSwap to resolve these challenges for an unparalleled experience for traders of every level.

The DeFi market is now flooded with hundreds, if not thousands, of equally ambitious projects. It must be tough for entrants to make a name for themselves. What's AstroSwap doing to stand out from the crowd?

Admittedly, the DeFi as a subset is dense with a wide array of high-power protocols meant to resolve challenges in various frontiers. However, we believe in the true blockchain principles of forging a collaborative community. We are firm believers DeFi has a slot for everyone. The most innovative, fusing feedback from the community and presenting fitting solutions, will stand out. AstroSwap is community-facing and launching on the high-performance Velas blockchain.

Our product is designed to deliver superior and practical solutions addressing all challenges facing traders in other networks. There will be 10 billion ASTRA in circulation. Out of this, we are locking 4.5 billion on our staking reserves to sustain our high yields. We shall also provide yield farms—with equally high yields—and an auto-liquidity locking feature.

At the same time, we acknowledge the benefit of tapping into existing infrastructure for the fast onboarding of clients. In DeFi, MetaMask is huge. Therefore, it will be crucial to avail this non-custodial wallet for our clients. It has over 10 million active users, most of whom are active in DeFi. We plan to integrate MetaMask in the coming days.

With MetaMask in the picture, we expect to build a strong following because all a user needs to do is switch networks from Ethereum or the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) to Velas to access AstroSwap.

We shall also remain open and flexible. In the months to come, we plan to deploy on Cardano subject to KVEM activation. Cardano is an exciting layer-1 blockchain. One that we are closely monitoring. In January 2022, Cardano's DeFi TVL shot up from $3 million to over $83 million. The trend could continue as more projects launch, releasing their native tokens. This jump in TVL hints at community interest and the critical role Cardano could play in DeFi in the coming months and years.

Nonetheless, Cardano is prone to congestion, negatively impacting user experience. It all drills down to Cardano's unique UTxO architecture. Once AstroSwap goes live on Cardano, we shall resolve this problem by allowing fast and cheap execution of swaps through our Swapz Bridge and leveraging Cardano's Nami Wallet. Furthermore, we shall add a lottery system a few weeks after launch. The objective is to create this cyclic system offering clients an end-to-end solution which handles their every need.

That's interesting to hear. Where does Velas fit in? And why now?

At AstroSwap, we genuinely believe in the community and decentralization in promoting financial inclusion. This will help change the narrative that only a few cliques of privileged users should access worthy financial tools or services. However, to actualize this objective, on-chain transactions ought to be satisfying and cheap.

We found that Velas is the best fit. By launching on Velas, we can guarantee our users that simple transfers or deployment of smart contracts will draw negligible fees - and actually, what fees ARE charged for transactions, we’re going to refund in VLX. Velas snugly fits in our grand scheme because it is secure and has a high throughput of 75k—the fastest in the blockchain space—all this without sacrificing decentralization.

Velas is a timely solution now that traders are fee-sensitive and don't want to pay steep transaction fees without sacrificing the primary layer's security. Ethereum is adopting layer-2 scaling options because of unacceptably high Gas fees on the mainnet. The problem is that layer-2 solutions introduce an element of centralization and are not as battle-tested. A flaw could be catastrophic, leading to the loss of hundreds of millions.

Velas is by default scalable, and AstroSwap will derive its security on-chain. What also caught our attention is its interoperability. Being a fork of Solana, we shall be free and easily launch on other chains through our Swapz Bridge, conveniently. A few months from now, we will plug in Cardano and Solana.

Talking of Cardano; the recent network congestion has been an inconvenience. Will you be introducing new possibilities and capabilities to benefit DeFi users?

The congestion in Cardano was, unfortunately, unexpected. Currently, Cardano is overwhelmed with a deluge of transactions from only a few active dApps. The clog coincided with the launch of the first non-custodial DEX, SundaeSwap. Other network users have been inconvenienced by this congestion and are looking elsewhere.

However, we still believe Cardano is a superbly designed blockchain guided by science. Therefore, it shall bounce back and will be one of the go-to platforms in the months ahead. Once we deploy on Cardano, AstroSwap will allow users to pay transaction fees in Velas (VLX) and ADA—using the Nami Wallet--being base tokens.

Trading on AstroSwap will also be instantaneous and cheaper. Besides, users would also switch to other chains directly on AstroSwap to trade different assets or access exciting yield farming opportunities. We aim to wash out the stain that swapping in Cardano is a waste of time considering the delays of the past few days.

Velas recently partnered with SpaceChain and Ferrari. That's huge for Velas and the entire crypto ecosystem and even far more exciting for AstroSwap. How do you plan to ride this wave?

Velas has been making waves in the past few months. The quality of their partners is an indicator of its creators' ambitions. They recognize the importance of collaboration. Their partnership with SpaceChain represented a great leap to new use cases and markets. Through SpaceChain's decentralized satellite infrastructure, Velas is more secure and retains high-quality standards.

SpaceChain will also build on the scalable and decentralized Velas blockchain. On the other hand, Ferrari needs no introduction. Velas will be the primary sponsor of the Ferrari Esports Series, which is massive for Velas. This association alone will potentially draw more curious users and corporates to launch applications on Velas—whose network won't disappoint. The exposure of Velas directly benefits AstroSwap as more users would be interested in exploring even swap tokens on our platforms. Once onboard, they will soon discover our features and objectives and dig in some more as they line up their pockets.

It seems like this year promises to be a defining one for AstroSwap; we'll definitely keep tabs on ASTRA. Thanks for coming Yuri.

Absolutely! There is so much more going on, I’m sure we’ll chat again soon. Thank you for having me on!