We currently monetise by taking a fee when users top up in app. We're adding more products to Minke which will monetise further. Our next product is a spend card in collaboration with NFT projects.
MaticNews x Minke AMA Recap and Transcript
MaticNews: Let’s kick start with an introduction of you and your team, which are your past experiences and roles?
Minke: Sure! So as I said i'm head of marketing and partnerships - my background is actually in regulatory risk in traditional finance. I worked in UK banking but got into crypto in 2017 and built my own crypto platform on instagram and decided to go full time in DeFi last year. Chose Minke because the mission aligns very. much with why i'm in the space
Josh is our CEO and co-founder, he was previously head of growth at Smartrmail along with Marcos who is CTO and co-founder of Minke. Past experience in crypto was building a product called Sendy in 2017 that let you earn tokens for opening emails - pretty cool product, he also studied economics at University too - he's one of the only people I know who called the UST situation long before it happened and kept us away from using Anchor.
Aside from us 3 we have an awesome global team of developers, designers, product designers, our brazilian growth lead and our community manager - some have crypto and web3 experience and some don't which we think is important for our product
MaticNews: Out of curiosity, why did you choose this name? Is there any background story?
Minke: Minke is a type of whale and its actually the most common whale in the ocean. Our goal is to bring DeFi to the masses rather than it being reserved for the crypto whales who have historically been the target of lots of products. We’re the app for the common whale.
MaticNews: On which chains can we find Minke? Is there any plan to expand to new ones?
Minke: Yeah so we are natively built on Polygon and have Ethereum integrated too. We're actually gas free on Polygon, I think we're the only app that has that functionality! We will likely support more layer 2 and evm compatible chains in the future.
MaticNews: Please give us a brief introduction about Minke!
Minke: Okay! Minke is a non-custodial DeFi wallet app currently available on iOS. It lets you buy crypto and stablecoins in 3 clicks with apple pay or local top up options and then deposit into sustainable DeFi savings pools to earn interest in a few more. We're gas free on Polygon and have an in app exchange, we're built for ease and for the crypto curious as well as crypto natives.
MaticNews: Furthermore, which is the difference between Minke and a traditional wallet?
Minke: We're designing Minke to look and feel more like a fintech than a traditional crypto wallet. To onboard the next 100m users into crypto, the tools need to feel intuitive and easy to use so we make the experience of using minke feel straightforward and trustworthy.
A lot of people used centralized crypto savings apps like Celsius because they are easy and well designed. We want to provide that experience but with the magic of permissionless, transparent finance and whilst also letting people self-custody their crypto. You'll see what I mean when I say more of a fintech app than a wallet when I tell you about our next product launch 😄
MaticNews: Which are the platforms that you support to earn interests in them?
Minke: We currently have mStable and Aave integrated. We heavily vet the protocols we integrate to make sure they are audited and that the interest is sustainable. We don't chase the highest yields, we want to promote DeFi as a genuine option for mainstream users too that can complement traditional finance. We'll be integrating more as time goes on!
We were asked over and over again if we would add Anchor, Josh joked that a lot of our competitors were "Anchor as a service" - many companies put user money into anchor and offered a fixed rate of something like 8 to 10% whilst keeping the rest. Its very sad that so many people lost money and it really hurts the industry that we love!
MaticNews: Out of curiosity, do you have any plan to have your own native token?
Minke: What i'll say is that we are launching our referral scheme soon which allows the user and the person they refer to earn Minke points to the value of $10. Those points can be redeemed in app for $10 worth of MATIC, AAVE or MTA....or kept as "Minke points" which could be exchanged in time for...well, who knows 👀
Either way, the referral scheme will be a great way to earn some income and stack MATIC in the bear market!
MaticNews: Why someone should choose Minke instead of a traditional crypto exchange such as Coinbase?
Minke: Firstly we are non-custodial. Your keys, your coins ALWAYS! We understand that the reason users are sometimes happy to sacrifice things like self custody and transparency is for ease and a great user interface. Minke is built so that you don't have to sacrifice those things. We have seen recently the dangers of centralized services after Celsius have stopped withdrawals, so many of us want to reduce our exposure to custodial crypto providers.
We also don't take a cut of the interest you earn. As I said earlier, the way a lot of the centralized savings providers work is by putting your funds into higher risk strategies and then taking a cut of the interest you earn
In theory its a great business model, but more for the company than the user. Its not transparent and it incentivises them to chase the highest rates because they earn more and that leads to them taking risks with your money that you might not want them to. Thats why we see a lot of those providers in trouble following the UST collapse.
We don’t take a cut, we’re basically just a user interface that lets you deposit directly into the savings pools. You keep all of the interest and can deposit or withdraw at any time 😄
MaticNews: While speaking about the protocols that you use for staking, would you like to add something more on how are you different in respect to Celsius and which protocols did you use for it?
Minke: So in respect of Celsius - we're non custodial so we never hold your funds and we don't take a cut of the interest, we provide a nice UI to let you use the savings pools easily. No lock up period and the interest paid is whatever the rate is from the provider you choose at that moment
We use mStable and Aave - mStable is the default on Polygon
MaticNews: Is possible to withdraw the crypto assets that we buy in your App?
Minke: Yes! We're a great fiat on ramp so even if you don't want to use the savings pools you can easily onboard fiat via Minke and transfer it elsewhere if you want to - just like you would with any other wallet. We'll have natively built bank off-ramps later this year too!
MaticNews: Simple and clear, you need to be KYC for fiat right?
Minke: Its level 1 KYC so no weird passport photos haha. Our maximum top up amount is $500 USD or the equivalent each week for that reason. It's name, address and I think email address with apple pay!
MaticNews: Indeed. Would you like to tell us more about the collaboration with mStable?
Minke: Yeah mStable are a great team and its a really cool product!
If you're not familiar with it - it basically lets you hold mUSD which represents a bucket of different stablecoins. On Polygon its USDC, USDT and DAI. They deposit into Aave and Compound to generate interest and the 3 different stablecoins generate different interest rates. That means that the interest you earn is generally a bit higher than if you're saving by depositing only USDC into Aave.
We're organising a DeFi games night with mStable so if any of you guys want to come, come join our Discord 😄 bear market cope club haha!
MaticNews: On which mobile stores is currently available?
Minke: Just iOS at the moment but Android is coming soon. We want to make sure the android version is built for android rather than copying the iOS version over. A lot of Android users get frustrated when companies release versions that don't work well on Android cause they havent done that.
MaticNews: Besides this, how are revenue being generated for the project itself that could be used for future developments?
Minke: We currently monetise by taking a fee when users top up in app. We're adding more products to Minke which will monetise further. Our next product is a spend card in collaboration with NFT projects. So think of something like the crypto.com card with benefits like Netflix etc, but the card has your NFT printed on it!
We're very excited about it! the card benefits will be tailored to the community we partner with too so say if one community wants a playstation membership they could have that, another might have Spotify.
We're currently in talks with a few NFT communities for our beta launch, there's very limited spaces but if you want one - speak to the founder of your NFT project and ask them to get in touch!
MaticNews: Talking about the security side, the clichè question that we ask in all AMAs: are there any audits done for the current moment?
Minke: We don't, we have only integrated mStable and Aave so far which are very heavily audited - those audits are linked from our FAQ page on the Minke site. As time goes on and as we have our own smart contracts, Minke itself will be audited.
MaticNews: Talking about the future, do you have a road map or long term plans that you can share with us? Which is the plan to attract more users to your platform?
Minke: Yes so the spend card is our next big launch. In time we will add more investment options like index tokens and the like and we're really focusing on maling this an awesome consumer focused fintech app. There's lots of upgrades coming like avatars and in app tutorials.
Our referral scheme will attract a lot more users - we're currently talking to some influencers to help us launch it and we're planning a really fun viral marketing campaign. We're really big on community and whilst sustainable DeFi might not the sexiest thing and we don't have a token, we're really wanting to build a community where people can come to have fun, learn and earn.
We're all doxxed and public facing hoping to drive sustainable transparent finance with crypto values. We deeply appreciate anon culture but for us we do a lot of video AMAs and make content etc as we want people to understand what we're about and hopefully come and join our community because they vibe with us!
MaticNews: What do you think about the upcoming stablecoins regulation?
Minke: Haha well its my old job and I suppose area of expertise to a point so I'm very interested to see how DeFi regulation as a whole plays out! I think requiring that stablecoins be fully backed is a good move but I really hope that the regulation that comes doesn't hamper innovation too much.
Having worked with the UK regulators and read their crypto consultation papers, I worry about how they're going to recruit people with enough knowledge and experience to make regulations that are appropriate.
MaticNews: And last question, what do you think about current market moment?
Minke: Its tough times and it was really sad seeing so many lose big time in UST. On a personal level i'm enjoying the calm and focusing on building Minke and rejigging my personal platform too. Bull markets can be so chaotic because you're trying to keep up with the latest narrative. I think it'll be a good while before we see another crazy bull run but i'm grateful for the chance to stack more cheap crypto and also to see the results of what the builders are building.
Its a great time to build community too as we can be sure those of us here now are really in it for the long run haha!
MaticNews: Would you like to add something more?
Minke: Yes! I'd just like to share how you can come and get involved with Minke so i'll drop some links 😄
You can download the app on the iOS app store here: https://apps.apple.com/app/minke-defi-wallet/id1585144414
And you can come and join our Discord community here: https://discord.gg/QwVGY8dSYh
We have a weekly crypto quiz on a Friday at 1pm UTC on Discord with cash prizes so come join us there! It's actually really fun
Oh and you can follow us on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/minkeapp
MaticNews: Thanks so much for your time Joanne!
Minke: Thank you too, this was great!
Jun 24, 2022