Ishan Pandey: Hi Lennon, welcome to our series “Behind the Startup.” Please tell us about yourself and the story behind AdaSwap?
Lennon Qualmann: Hi Ishan, thanks for having me. I myself am a crypto enthusiast as well as an early developer for crypto mining solutions.
I started my journey in 2011 when I met Bitcoin for the first time and ever since it has been a part of who I am and what I believe in, I think that decentralization is what is going to impact our society in the next decade and so I develop products that I see needed in the field.
AdaSwap has started as an idea that quickly came into reality once the Cardano Foundation has announced that smart contracts are close to being released, me and my main business partner - Itay Levy, have put all of our connections on the ring to gather the best developers, funding and incubators to be a part of our team.
Ishan Pandey: Please tell us a little bit about AdaSwap and the future of the Cardano blockchain network?
Lennon Qualmann: Cardano is a very exciting blockchain with a really warm community around it since its public release in 2017, I see Cardano being a leading DeFi platform as well as having dApps that weren’t imagined yet due to the UTXO model that I’m sure some creative minds will use to advance its real-world applications.
AdaSwap is a first-mover since early 2021, and due to that, we found ourselves not just as a project by itself but also as an ecosystem builder and contributor. Countless projects have reached out to us for partnerships.
Ishan Pandey: How is Cardano different from other blockchains? Further, what infrastructure is being built around it, for example, DEXs etc.?
Lennon Qualmann: By first sight, the main difference is the UTXO model against the traditional power-hungry EVM models that most other smart contract blockchains are based on.
Currently, the main thing Cardano projects really focus on is bringing on applications that exist already on other blockchains (eg. DEXs, NFTs, marketplaces etc.), but once the basic infrastructure is ready, I believe that there will be a ton of advancements in terms of what can be built with the UTXO model and the scalability it promises to bring.
Ishan Pandey: High Ethereum gas prices have consistently been one of the most flagged issues within the Ethereum ecosystem. What are your views on the rising problems with building on Ethereum?
Lennon Qualmann: Ethereum is a tremendously successful blockchain. I’m a really big fan of Vitalik for what he and his team have achieved.
Up to now, Ethereum has proven that smart contracts are the main thing that was needed for the crypto space to become a viable part of the world’s economy. Ethereum has introduced us to DeFi that come from genius teams like Bancor and NFTs that have just scratched the surface of what’s possible on the blockchain.
With that said, the more we evolve, the more resources are needed that weren’t thought of in the early days.
Ishan Pandey: NFTs have paved the way for the mass adoption of cryptocurrency assets. Although the ecosystem is still in its infancy, what is your take on this relatively new trend?
Lennon Qualmann: NFTs are a love/hate story for me. On the one hand, there are tons of applications and utilities that NFTs could offer, but on the other, there are many projects that just try to do a money-grab and disappear.
I suggest new users be much more diligent with new projects and always double-check what they’re getting into.
Money-grabs exist in every field, but it’s really prominent in the crypto and NFT space as in most cases it’s not very hard to stay fully anonymous and to create copycat tokens aren’t too hard. All you need is to open up YouTube and find a ton of tutorials showing you 3-steps to get you there.
Ishan Pandey: The Securities and Exchange Commission of the United States has filed its first complaint related to the expanding decentralized finance sector, charging that a corporation traded digital tokens that ought to have been registered with the Wall Street regulator. From a regulatory standpoint, what measures should be introduced so as to induce a better system wherein full and honest disclosure is mandated and practiced?
Lennon Qualmann: I am from the firm believers that regulation should get in the space, I stand on a side that most early crypto enthusiasts don’t agree with.
It’s good for a couple of reasons:
1. New users will be more protected with their assets. It’s not hard to come across Reddit posts of users ‘YOLOing’ the savings of their lifetime on some scam-token or even legit tokens that have got hacked/flash-loaned etc.
2. Bad actors will be held accountable for illicit actions and they’ll think twice before running rug pulls/scams; and
3. Mass adoption - most people, whether friends or family, don’t enter crypto due to concerns about safety of their assets.
I think that the main problem with current regulators is that they mostly come from the old financial system and don’t have enough knowledge of what’s going on with crypto or how they work.
Ishan Pandey: The recent rise of “metaverse” refers to a new paradigm that has piqued everyone’s interest within the crypto space. Can you elaborate on this relatively new concept that has emerged within this ecosystem?
Lennon Qualmann: The metaverse isn’t a new concept other than its name. There were ideas like virtual reality that have stayed relatively quiet as mostly ‘gaming freaks’ were associated with this concept.
Now that a world pandemic has been ongoing for the past 2 years, more people have come to realize that staying home is quite comfortable and want to bring many activities they may have done outdoors to the comfort of their home like work meetings, table games, sports as well as many have got more free time from stuff like standing in traffic that can now be utilized to complete more work or play games with friends.
Ishan Pandey: Lastly, we would like to know a little bit about AdaSwap’s future development plans and the roadmap ahead for the community? Further, what trends are we going to see in the blockchain industry?
Lennon Qualmann: AdaSwap is planning to continue to evolve the Cardano ecosystem. It has plans of ambitious products like ADANFT - an exclusive marketplace that is planned to work with a tier and voting system to launch tier 1 artwork.
The blockchain industry isn’t a small community of like-minded folks who think they can change the current financial system. It is changing the current system and the way people think of finance.
The more power you give to individuals, the more humans will be able to evolve as a species and the more opportunities we can open for less-fortunate countries and people that are currently unbanked.
Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is to remove informational asymmetry existing today in our digital markets by performing due diligence, asking the right questions, and equipping readers with better opinions to make informed decisions.