Transparency is a core value for us at Atomic Loans. It was large driving force behind why we started the company in the first place – with the existing centralized finance solutions on the market today, users simply have no transparency around how their funds are used, or where they're even stored. We thought, there had to be a better way to build financial tools for Bitcoin that are a hell of a lot more transparent than the status quo.
But recently, what we've come to realize is that, transparency is a value that should not only guide how we build our product, but also how we build our company. It's a value that should govern not just how we communicate with our investors and across our team, but also with our community and users.
After all, members of our community and users are just as much a stakeholder within our company than anyone else. That's especially true in decentralized finance projects, where users are literally entrusting your product and the code we write with their own funds.
And that transparency has never been more vital as Atomic Loans grows and moves ever closer to our public mainnet launch. So we thought, what better way to improve that transparency with our community than to share the highlights of the monthly updates we send to our investors? And that's what we'll do beginning this month!
While we will strive to make the content of our public updates replicate the updates our investors can access as much as possible, we have elected to keep out the following:
- Sensitive company financial information (eg. burn, cash on hand).
- Sensitive personnel/team related information
- Secret exciting news that we don't want to spoil for our community just yet 😎
To start off, we have some big news to share. After launching our closed beta earlier in March,
🔥🔥🔥We just crossed $100,000 in total value locked!!!!🔥🔥🔥
KPI’s (as of March 24th, 2020):
- Total value locked: $109,842 USD
- Stablecoin borrowed: $37,071 USD
- Stablecoin supplied: $48,091 USD
- Bitcoins collateralized: 9.35664 BTC / $61,751 USD
- Number of loans originated (includes ones used for testing): 42
- Number of users: 4 lenders, 5 borrowers
- Average loan size: $882.64 USD
- Headcount: 3 Full-Time, 1 Contractor
Our ask: Any other KPI's you'd like us to track?
- Audits: We completed our most recent audit with Quantstamp in February 2020! No medium/high risk items, and just 2 lower risk ones. (See all of our audits here: https://github.com/AtomicLoans/atomicloans-rfc/wiki/Security)
- Launch of Closed Mainnet Beta!
- Improve liquidation robustness: A couple weeks ago, Bitcoin’s “pre-mature halving” took place in the form or a massive price dump on Black Thursday. This has exposed potential vulnerabilities and deficiencies with how we handle liquidations. We've taken a few steps to ensure that liquidation mechanism remains robust despite massive price swings as was the case on Black Thursday. This include the following: increasing gas limit bumping to account for Ethereum network congestion, created liquidator bot that liquidators can use to auto-liquidate under-collateralized positions
- On the lending side, the lenders we’re working with are primarily retail lenders / smaller funds who have excess stablecoin reserves and are looking to put them to work via lending. With savings / lending yields depressed across the board in traditional finance, this has proven to be a relatively lucrative lending opportunity in comparison.
- On the borrowing side, it has been a bit of a mixed bag so far. The use cases we've seen include: Retail borrowers who have been borrowing for leverage; Miners looking for mining expenses; A business owner borrowing for working capital for their business
- We intend to continue experimenting and talking with different segments to move towards a killer use case.
- Currently most loans have been shorter term, smaller sized loans. Given we're just out of the gates, this wasn't too surprising for us.
- In January, we fully onboarded our first hire - Steven Zhao as our VP Engineering. Steven has been an invaluable addition to the team since he joined part-time in September to help us out with front-end development to get our alpha out the door. We love his enthusiasm, willingness to challenge Matt and I on our assumptions, and of course, his talent around front-end / back-end development. (Matt: “Steven has been a godsend for us ever since he’s joined! 😉)
- We also hired Vivian Lam as our part-time designer! She is currently an intern at Shopify and has been primarily helping us with the re-design of our landing page.
- Moving forward, I think our plan is to keep the team where it is for the next little while, especially as we work on achieving product-market fit and look for COVID to run its course.
- Currently in Toronto, cases are on the rise and we’re hearing rumblings about a “shelter in place” ordinance coming. In the meantime, for our team, we’ve recommended everyone work from home if they’re able and stock up on food + supplies.
- We’re well equipped to move to a full WFH policy as many of our meetings with customers / partners were already on Zoom before this, and Slack + Zoom is familiar to us.
- How does this affect customers? Some folks have moved into a “wait and see” attitude in terms of what they’d like to do with their assets / Bitcoins and have since decided to hold off on borrowing or lending.
- However the bull case for Bitcoin has never been stronger. With the Fed printing trillions of dollars, with pretty much unlimited QE and a Bitcoin halvening just over a month away, people are realizing this financial collapse is exactly what Bitcoin was built for.
- Are you or someone you know a user of centralized lending platforms? If so, please let us know - we’d love to chat and learn about that experience to further fine-tune our value proposition.
- Are you connected with someone who has stablecoin (USDC / DAI) they’d be interested in lending out? We'd love to have them join us as a beta tester.
- Are you connected who has Bitcoin and is looking for liquidity without having to sell? Bonus points if they’ve shown interest / desire in having decentralized solutions to do this in the past! If so, please let us know - we're always looking for more beta testers :)
What does Atomic Loans do again?
Atomic Loans is building the first Bitcoin-native solution for decentralized finance. It works by allowing users to lock their Bitcoin in a non-custodial escrow, and borrow an Ethereum stablecoin such as DAI or USDC. We help users to leverage their Bitcoin to trade or pay for expenses without creating a taxable event or losing exposure to Bitcoin price upside.
Our vision is to build the decentralized financial infrastructure that uses Bitcoin the way it was intended and vastly improve the transparency and security of Bitcoin-backed lending markets.