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ETHLondon Hackathon + Aave Bounty Winners!

ETHLondon Hackathon + Aave Bounty Winners!

Following the aftermath of the latest Ethereum circuit, it’s all the time fascinating to remain in contact with outstanding tasks and listen to about how they’re progressing.

With that in thoughts, we needed to make use of this interview to shine a highlight on Blazar – a hard and fast lending protocol which spawned out of ETHLondon.

With a robust background within the Ethereum neighborhood, it’s evident that the founders – Raphaël Mazet, Jakub Wojciechowski and Areti Kampyli – are extraordinarily effectively suited to execute on the undertaking’s imaginative and prescient.

If you’re serious about serving to them much more, please think about donating to their Gitcoin Grant which might be discovered right here.


Let’s get into it!

Tell us a bit about your background previous to Ethereum!

(Raph) was a monetary communications marketing consultant for lots of multinational firms. I lived via the M&A and personal fairness growth of the mid-2000s, after which helped firms navigate the monetary disaster. Those have been my adolescence.

I additionally labored in-house for the custodian arm of the Royal Bank of Canada. I used to be then a lobbyist in Latin America, which truly led to the creation of my first firm, an advocacy platform, after which Alice – my final undertaking – a social DeFi protocol. Alice was nice because it received us desirous about issues round belief and transparency and the way organisations handle future money move in a decentralized method.

(Kuba) was a software program engineer consulting for banks and tech startups for about eight years. I used to be largely doing conventional java improvement, enterprise stuff earlier than discovering blockchain and dealing on Alice with Raph.

Overall, it’s been a multi-year iterative course of to get to the place we at the moment are. All that monetary and blockchain expertise is turning into hyper-relevant to Blazar at present.

And how did you guys meet each other?

2 out of the three founders of Alice met at a hackathon in 2016. We have been engaged on two firms initially, nevertheless it was Alice which received the primary breakthrough. Alice is targeted extra on real-world shoppers whereas Blazar is all about DeFi.

And what was it about Blazar that was fascinating to you?

Initially, we actually needed to deal with this notion of future money move and escrowing cash.

How can we assist individuals keep away from the chance prices of placing funds in escrow once they could possibly be incomes curiosity on a lending protocol?

People are going to be placing some huge cash into staking and escrow programs and if you happen to do it with the programs we see at present, you’re going to overlook out on plenty of fascinating alternatives.

We then realised that there’s a extra basic drawback round predictable rates of interest in DeFi. With Blazar, we thought – What if we may give individuals their curiosity upfront and put them into these escrow tokens – which we’re calling future tokens. As we see it, there’s at present no fixed-rate lending in DeFi and that’s the hole that we’re seeking to fill.

We’ve additionally been pondering loads about factoring and deferred funds however that’s one other story!

Tell me a bit concerning the ETHLondon hackathon – How’d you guys give you Blazar?

There was roughly per week earlier than the hackathon of us bashing up concepts. There was no code began earlier than the hackathon however we have been iterating on totally different monetary instruments, largely contemplating one thing which we known as “Defactoring” – an account’s receivable device for DeFi.

More usually, we have been desirous about totally different income streams which could possibly be tokenized into the long run. This led to the notion of  “future money” or tokenizing future belongings and everybody on our staff agreed that was a killer thought for the hackathon.

Plenty of the Star Trek meme features got here later throughout the hackathon as a result of it was tremendous late at evening!

Let’s discuss that title course of – Humor me on the iterations!

Plainly talking, we spent method an excessive amount of time speaking about names.

First, it was Daj, which is  “interest” in Klingon. Next, it was Warp, since we have been creating one thing to “travel into the future”. Lastly, we settled on Blazar.

It seems the emblem from the hackathon appears to be like similar to a blazar, and we needed to maintain up with the interstellar idea we shaped with Daj . Blazars are what maintain galaxies collectively, so we see the protocol as  a type of gravity that holds DeFi collectively. Kind of like MakerDAO, however for stable-rates, not stablecoins.

We provide fixed-rate, fixed-term loans. As it stands at present, there’s an excessive amount of volatility with variable loans. Particles popping out at gentle velocity embodied the notion you could get your curiosity upfront and everybody was tremendous excited for us to fill that mounted curiosity hole.

The naming course of has helped us be taught loads. We needed it to be a bit spacey and this was the right match.

How did successful the hackathon assist encourage you to maintain engaged on the undertaking?

Money isn’t essential. More than something, it’s the suggestions that we’ve received.

If you win a hackathon, you’ve successfully captured and defined the creativeness behind your imaginative and prescient. Lots of individuals have been curious to listen to if we’d push it ahead which was a fantastic motivator.

As a former choose at ETHDenver, I truly judged PoolTogether which has clearly spawned into an superior undertaking. What that went to indicate is that you simply don’t have to win the hackathon for excellent concepts to take off.

It’s nice to see constructive suggestions in your thought and we’ve completed plenty of hackathons through the years. Sometimes they work, typically they don’t. At the tip of the day, it’s all for the higher!

What is Blazar?

In DeFi, there are many lending choices however nearly every part is a variable price. If you have a look at the custodial lenders like Genesis and BlockFi, that are what we name non-public or custodial crypto lenders they’re mounted price, mounted time period. And custodial crypto lending is about 4x the scale of DeFi lending so there’s a transparent demand.

For depositors, this implies they’ve visibility over their curiosity which permits them to plan forward. For debtors, they know that there’s no threat that their curiosity funds will all of a sudden double, form of like what we’re seeing now.

With Blazar, if you deposit funds, you get your curiosity upfront. We’re exploring other ways to determine the way you get that curiosity – streaming, at maturity, and so on. – however what’s fixed is that you simply’ll get a tokenized future asset. If you set in Dai, you get future Dai – fDAI.

The tradeoff is that with a variable lending protocol, you don’t know what curiosity you will get however you’ll be able to take it out at any time. With Blazar, we’re utilizing tender locks, so you’ll be able to change the maturity however must pay curiosity again consequently. But if you happen to push again the maturity date then you definitely get extra upfront curiosity.

And what’re the subsequent steps for you guys?

Well, we’ve been conducting plenty of market analysis. We’ve been speaking with plenty of skilled individuals to get suggestions, particularly from a few of our hackathon mentors.

Similarly, we’ve been constructing out our algorithms to ensure the mounted charges are stabilized on each side. Basically we’re determining how one can stability provide and demand whereas taking threat under consideration. We’ll most likely want a DAO which backs the system as a final resort redeemer which we’re tremendous excited to discover.

Throughout the method, we’ve additionally been exploring totally different price discovery automation instruments. Talking with the Yield protocol staff has been tremendous useful in that regard.

What we’re doing is issuing zero-coupon bonds within the type of fTokens that are created by the depositors after the preliminary upfront curiosity, that means there’s nothing paid over the lifetime of the mortgage. You redeem for face worth at maturity.

With Yield, it’s the debtors that create zero-coupon bonds. They create yTokens by locking up their collateral. It’s this type of collaboration and perception which makes us excited to see what we are able to give you.

And how ought to individuals become involved?

We’ll have an internet site up and operating quickly!

Right now, most of our work is being pushed to Github. In the approaching weeks, we’ll be rolling out extra documentation which makes it simpler to construct with us.

We’re all the time welcoming feedback, critics, concepts, you title it! Ping us on Twitter or message me on Telegram @raph_alice if you happen to’re hoping to speak.

We’re all the time on the lookout for as a lot suggestions as attainable and our overwhelming wants are researchers and builders.

Specifically, because it pertains to liabilities matching with our threat administration engine, the extra researchers the higher.

What we discovered from conditions like iEarn and bZx is that it’s truly higher to go gradual, so we’re being very intentional about how we roll issues out within the coming months.


For those that have been current at ETHLondon, the staff’s skill to tie collectively a novel thought with superior storytelling is simply one of many many causes we’re enthusiastic about this undertaking.

As we talked about in our intro, one of the simplest ways to assist a brand new undertaking like Blazar is thru Gitcoin Grant donations.

We hope you loved this interview and sit up for watching Blazar explode within the coming months!

Cooper is targeted on constructing compelling blockchain merchandise. He at present works because the managing director at Fitzner Blockchain Consulting and is a contributor to DAOs like MetaCartel and Moloch. He is an energetic member of the Ethereum neighborhood and has a robust curiosity in for-profit companies akin to The Block Crypto and Messari.

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