Ishan Pandey: Hi Milana, welcome to our series “Behind the Startup.” Please tell us about yourself and the story behind KIRA?
Milana Valmont: I have a corporate finance background specializing in biotech and an economics degree from Fordham University. I got into the fintech and blockchain space first as an investor in early 2017 and later the same year, I joined Binance Exchange as a community volunteer.
Shortly after that, I left the corporate finance world and started working remotely as a Project Manager for an ad tech company Adcoin.com and as a Business Development Manager for Whitehat i.t.
In 2018 I joined Knoks platform as Head of Strategy, and by late 2019 I dedicated my full attention to Kira as CEO.
Ishan Pandey: According to you, what steps can be taken to increase the participation of women in the blockchain and DeFi industry?
Milana Valmont: Blockchain and Fintech companies should participate in proper recruitment processes among college students -- women, in particular -- because entry to the industry is still very private and closed off. Thus, it's intimidating to women despite their professional experience.
From what I’ve noticed, females in our industry usually stick to other females, which can limit the potential for opportunities since a lot of things happen behind closed telegram groups.
Ishan Pandey: Facebook intends to launch its own cryptocurrency, Diem, to make digital payments more convenient. Can Facebook be trusted to put the public’s interests ahead of its own in light of the accusations against the company on issues such as user privacy and data mining of users?
Milana Valmont: Of course, it can be as trusted as Wechat in China if you know what I mean :) At the end of the day, its users who decide whether they want to entrust their data to third parties and be part of CeFi or utilize alternative payment systems within the DeFi space.
Trusting Diem with the financial data of users can be a threat to user privacy due to Facebook's past record.
Ishan Pandey: The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) does not regulate utility tokens, however digital tokens that have security features are regulated under the current regulatory framework. What are your views on the regulations around blockchain and DeFi in Singapore?
Milana Valmont: Singapore is very flexible when it comes to regulations of utility assets. The way it is executed is that a company must provide evidence, aka legal opinion on the token’s functionality, for it to be treated as a Digital Payment Token.
This brings me to the conclusion that Singapore jurisdiction is one of the most friendly when it comes to DeFi, but the projects themselves must spend time on designing the most favourable tokenomics.
Ishan Pandey: Please tell us about the MBPoS consensus mechanism and how it works?
Milana Valmont: MBPoS - The Multi Bonded Proof of Stake is a native consensus design and build to secure the underlying KIRA network with many different assets without limiting how much capital can be vouched for the honest operation for the honest operation of the network actors.
When users deposit different assets into Relay-chain via IBC, XCMP, Ethereum bridge or other cross-chain protocols, the protocol’s network governance gains the ability to whitelist which assets can be staked. At the same time, the specific interest rates of different assets when staked will also be determined by the governance. At the technical level, the staking mechanism of MBPoS is not much different from other PoS implementations.
The main difference is that there is no single asset that would be securing the network, and the validators’ voting power does not depend on the amount bonded.
Thanks to this, the protocol can scale not only in terms of throughput, just as other PoS networks, but also in terms of security, analogically to PoW, increasing its security with a growing hash rate, something that is not currently possible with other PoS chains, as value and distribution of single staking tokens will always be limited.
Furthermore, all assets staked on the protocol remain transferable in form of 1:1 staking derivatives. This means that users no longer need to wait for unbonding period during market volatility and can trade one type of staked asset for another while preserving rewards they generate through staking.
Ishan Pandey: What are your views on fintech giants such as Paypal and Skrill entering the cryptocurrency market? According to you, what will be the impact of the integration of the fintech and cryptocurrency industry?
Milana Valmont: Centralized finance, aka CeFi integration with blockchain technology, is the first step towards onboarding masses into DeFi. I believe it is very optimistic that we finally see corporate fintech giants making these first steps and embracing decentralized technologies, as they will be the bridge towards the global adoption of crypto.
Ishan Pandey: After China, Thailand has become the latest Asian jurisdiction to impose trading restrictions on highly speculative cryptocurrencies and NFTs, including meme coins like Dogecoin. What is your opinion on the move of the regulators and the rationale behind it?
Milana Valmont: Any industry that begins to mature will inevitably be met with tighter regulations, which is not necessarily a bad thing. After all, any touring complete smart contract platform should easily meet the regulators’ demands, especially if those demands are imposed to protect the end-users.
Ishan Pandey: According to you, what new trends will we see in the fintech and cryptocurrency industry?
Milana Valmont: I think the next trend is going to be Centralized Finance onboarding non-crypto users on a mass scale. With that in place, we will see a growing demand for matured Decentralized Finance and platforms that can ensure the security of retail investors. We should further see the digitalization of real-world assets and automation of many industries such as insurance, lending, real estate and even fashion directly on-chain.
Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is to remove informational asymmetry existing today in our digital markets by performing due diligence by asking the right questions and equipping readers with better opinions to make informed decisions. The material does not constitute any investment, financial, or legal advice. Please do your research before investing in any digital assets or tokens, etc. The writer does not have any vested interest in the company. Ishan Pandey.