Dezy has been built for the people, by the people from day one. We are a cai fan brand, and this means we keep the best interests of our customers at heart in each of our decisions.
Here's a bunch of questions, grouped into one for you @Eric seems a lot of our questions are of this flavor this #AMA!
Do you have a plan to add more Defi protocols besides the existing 4? How many do you think are enough to have sufficient diversification purpose? How do you make a profit if the yield from Defi protocols falls below the yield you give us - 5.65%? Will it be sustainable for your business long term? Do you still hold and use XSGD or just do with USDC to generate yield?
Great questions and quite timely! Broadly speaking you can get a lot of insight into these topics by going through a blog we released last week discussing the question of business sustainability. You can find that at https://dezy.sg/blog/is-dezy-sustainable/. In terms of how many sources of yield we feel are appropriate, couple of items to unpack there. We have recently increased that last from 4 to 6 with the introduction of Xfers Earn and Goldfinch. We hope to introduce another source of yield later in September or October at the latest. There is no "maximum" for us in terms of what makes for a good diversification strategy in that we are happy to work with as many quality partners as we can. The more redundancy and optionality we can achieve the happier we are and the safer we think our customers are so the real focus isn't so much on quantity but on quality and sustainability.
Why the decision to allow an increase in the deposit limit from 30k to 100k SGD despite the increasing uncertainty in the market and crypto world?
This is a really good question. So good in fact we covered it a week or two ago in the discord as I thought it was important for everyone to get a heads-up on this one. We never wanted to mislead users or put people in a position whereby they expose themselves to unnecessary or misunderstood risks. Long before the current headlines in the country things like consumer protection, education, and risk disclosure have been rallying calls for Dezy and something we've always thought there was room for improvement in within the industry. So, few things to unpack and confirm here.
1) We received approval from our partners at StraitsX to increase the deposit limit several months ago and prior to the implosions experienced in the crypto industry.
2) Despite that approval, we actually held off on increasing the deposit limits until we implemented our Learn & Earn modules which we thought was a viable way to give users deeper insight into how Dezy works and how some of the underlying tech works which are mandatory modules to go through before these deposit limits can be activated on a customer account.
3) As much as is possible and regardless of #3, we have tried and continue to try to be clear with users as to the risks involved in the industry and with Dezy. As we have always mentioned, "risk mitigated" and not "zero risk".
4) We believe that users should have the right to do what they wish with their funds but that it is important and critical for service providers, apart from general internal risk management practices, to be clear with respect to the service structure, educational flows, risk disclaimers, etc. This has always been the case and will continue to be the case for us even when it stunts our growth potential.
5) Perhaps most importantly, while the industry is absolutely turbulent lately Dezy has never exposed itself or its customers to fluctuating assets like BTC, ETH, etc nor have we ever used anything other than 1:1 backed stablecoins like USDC and XSGD. So while the turbulent nature of BTC, ETH, etc is unfortunate it does not directly impact the assets we are exposed to. That is a bit more insight into why we increased things from 30k to 100k and the process through which we did it. As always we encourage users to be mindful of their overall risk appetite whether with Dezy or any other service provider in crypto or traditional finance.
Another one for you - What is the current status of funds? Is it back in the game or still safely kept in Copper?
We announced a month or two ago that we began redeploying funds into the market. Everyone can check out our current sources of yield by visiting our diversification page. We know this is very important to people and we are aiming to find more ways to communicate with users.
On that note, we are considering releasing something quarterly details moving forward which would outline the percentage of funds deployed into each of these yielders along with reserves kept in our Copper multi-sig wallet and StraitsX corporate account.
Next question - How many investors do we have?
Wasn't sure whether or not this question was in reference to our equity investors. If so then everyone can check out some of our larger investment partners by scrolling down to the bottom of our homepage as well as on our about us page.
We're delighted to have the ongoing support of Leo Capital, Iterative, Hashkey, DeFiance Capital, HH Investments, and a variety of fintech as well as crypto-focused angels. Some of those angel names were also shared when we released a blog on that and also when e27 covered the round.
Yeah, it's amazing to be amongst such great supportive minds! This next question is a timely one - Is Dezy going to be allowing for crypto yields in the future?
Maybe (read: yes, absolutely)! Jokes aside, depends on how you define "crypto" in that we are imminently (tomorrow? I don't know. Maybe. Tomorrow seems like a good day). going to be enabling XSGD-denominated yield and that will likely enable the introduction of other stablecoin options in the future.
Whether we get to more core crypto assets such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and so on remains to be seen but generally speaking the intention with Dezy was always to go deeper down the rabbit hole while keeping the UI and UX as simple as possible.
And to add to that, what other features can we expect from Dezy in the next few months?
Our roadmap currently includes exploratory discussions around things like prepaid cards and cross-border remittance functionality in terms of macro product features that could be introduced to the current Dezy platform. As mentioned above we are imminently rolling out a stablecoin denominated yield option and that may also open the doors for a Fixed Deposit product in the near future. There are a lot of dependencies with respect to tackling these items so they are on our roadmap but we're not yet ready to put public release dates on them. Rest assured we are building though!
We are also hard at work building out some on-chain solutions which we are pretty excited about and which we will certainly share more about over the coming months. This was actually what led to our tongue-in-cheek Twitter post today about the excitement over mock-ups. We have some REALLY big plans and unfortunately, all we can do is tease for now but we got big things coming alongside the smaller releases in our roadmap.
Can't wait to share the news with ya'll - alright on to the next question: What is the best way to maximise my earnings with Dezy?
Apart from enjoying the wonders of compounding daily interest, the easiest way to maximise your earnings is to take place in our rewards programs such as the one detailed here.
"Maximise" is a good word as we are planning to maximise and optimise our rewards program quite soon. We want to simplify it, add more options for users at different points in their savings journey, and also ramp up the benefits of our referral program. You can all expect some news on that over the coming few weeks.
We're back to discussing stablecoins! Here's the next question - I see that Dezy is releasing an XSGD product. Will Dezy enable USDC, USDT, or DAI yields in the future too?
Possibly! Probably! Our main objective with the introduction of XSGD-denominated yield was to open the door towards further crypto-related products and also to continue our efforts to support the growth of XSGD within the Singapore market. We are likely to introduce other building blocks around this foundation in the future.
How did the Dezy Focus groups go? What has the team learned from them, and what will be implemented? Will there be any more in the future?
Amazing! We had such a blast meeting some of our users and we are super thankful to everyone who took time out of their schedule to eat some pizza with us and give us feedback on Dezy. I hear joining us at our office for focus groups or impromptu coffees (DM me anytime ... we'll schedule something with you for sure!) ... is the best way to get your hands on Dezy Tshirts
A lot of great insight with respect to users' savings behavior, what caught their attention about Dezy in the first place, and the undeniable need for continued trust and transparency. A variety of action items came out of the focus groups but one topic which came up that we fully agreed with was the idea of some kind of quarterly insight into how / where funds are deployed on a ratio or generally more detailed level. Mentioned this above to one of the other questions but we are likely to implement that and share it with customers soon as well as other relevant data points moving forward. We are definitely going to schedule more focus groups and customer meet-ups in the future!
Is Dezy going to just use DeFi yield or will start using other sources?
Our core focus is simplifying decentralised finance but there are many perspectives on how that can be accomplished and what that means. Stablecoins are a massive bridge within the DeFi ecosystem and increasingly so between DeFi and traditional ecosystems. While the majority of our yield will likely continue to source from decentralised finance, we are open to working with quality partners in traditional finance as well and have various discussions ongoing along those lines. If we can provide our customers with stable and reliable returns in a risk-mitigated way then we are happy to explore.
Bank rates are increasing, will Dezy increase SGD returns to match?
We are not a bank and so our objective is not necessarily to compete with one. That said though we understand that consumers are increasingly exposed to a variety of products and those products all need to prove their worth to be included in a diversified portfolio. Our primary focus is sustainable/consistent returns, interest that is not dependent on extensive terms & conditions or minimum deposits/customer activity, and of course to provide a simple access point into the world of decentralised finance. Whether through interest or through functionality and features, we will certainly stay up to date on market activities and continue to position Dezy as best as possible.
So many questions this #AMA! And so happy to see so many new faces, welcome. On to our next question - During the crypto crash, is there any significant customers withdrawal on Dezy? And do you mind sharing the percentage of withdrawal against the deposits?
Hi, new faces! Thanks for joining us! As for the question ... it's been such a turbulent period for the industry that it's a bit sad that "during the crypto crash" could be in reference to several different dates since May of this year. Although the industry has generally had a negative trend lately in terms of price action, there were indeed a few specific dates since the Luna / Terra / UST crash in May that saw larger-than-normal flow behavior.
It's hard to put a specific number to it considering there were several such days but we can say the largest single day of activity saw approximately 10% of AUM withdrawn.
Very happy to say that markets have stabilised and that most if not all of the withdrawn AUM has returned. Equally if not more happy to say that during the turbulence of the past few months in general and specifically on the higher activity days, we NEVER had to pause withdrawals as funds were always readily available to ensure customer liquidity. As discussed in our blog, we do not touch leverage or trading with customer funds and simple things like that really put us in a position to successfully navigate the recent market chaos.
This is a juicy one @Eric, I know we discuss this a lot (: - What is your view on DeFi future? As we know until now DeFi is used mostly only for trading speculative assets i.e. cryptos themselves. There is no real use in the real world’s economy. If there is no real use, will this industry be sustainable long term?
This is a fun question indeed and one we could probably do an AMA or chat about on its own! I would say beyond crypto, the tech industry in general has a tendency to talk a very big game. It's kind of part of the job in that how can you try to build "technology of the future" without being extremely bullish and optimistic about the future? There is a popular quote thrown around that I believe gets credited to Bill Gates which is something along the lines of people having a tendency to overestimate the next 2 years but dramatically underestimate the next 5 years. I think that's broadly in line with my view on DeFi. A lot of big promises have been made by the industry in general and not just with DeFi. If we go back to 2017 the ICO craze had all sorts of nonsense ...
Mars on the Blockchain! Drones on the Blockchain! Oxygen on the Blockchain! We all know how that turned out. A couple of years later though we got meaningful improvements to DeFi, the start of "DeFi Summer" and a lot of attention into the space from there. Moving forward we're all probably (hopefully?) going to learn the lessons of the past few years and come back to the market with even more meaningful use cases.
That said, it's not all hot air today. While there is definitely a lot of noise and hype, we have thankfully moved beyond "no real use case". You can take over collateralised loans in DeFi today, institutions are working with protocols such as Maker and Aave for lending/borrowing /collateral opportunities "in the real world", teams working on opportunities to use real-world collateral on-chain, and so on. There is A LOT of noise in the space and some really terrible UIs but there is also a lot to be excited about. In short, the merging of DeFi and "real world" is only going to continue in my view. We as an industry have a lot of work left to do but it's been incremental steps forward and I expect that to continue.
Just to expand further..... I think it's a huge part of the thesis that Dezy has. We see so much noise and nonsense in the industry which is obviously super off-putting to a lot of people ... and rightfully so! What's frustrating as someone who is really passionate about the industry is that the nonsense and noise mask out a lot of the really talented builders and what it is they are building. So UI and UX aside, there is still so much good taking place in the industry and so much left to discover. So for Dezy we really want to help navigate all of that for a growing segment of users. How can filter through the noise and how can we take the good, wrap it in proper UIs, educate along the way and finally make this industry more accessible to people? That is what helped us get this far and it's the same thesis moving forward whether we're talking about the "small" items on our roadmap or the bigger plans we have in the future.
And talking about some of the nonsense in our industry - Is Dezy prepared for a scenario like the luna crash? Any safeguards for our money invested against such a case? And talking about some of the nonsense in our industry - Is Dezy prepared for a scenario like the luna crash? Any safeguards for our money invested against such a case?
It's been part of our thinking since day 1 and the events of the past few months have magnified our appreciation of how important this is. Dezy has only ever used 1:1 backed stablecoins such as USDC and XSGD and we have always insisted on deploying funds across a wide range of protocols as opposed to being overly concentrated into one source of yield. People can read more about our diversification strategy and most about our thoughts on long-term sustainability in general in this blog. Yes, I know I'm spamming that last link throughout this AMA but its an important one haha
Final pre-submitted question and then we'll open it up to the floor! There used to be some cash bonus ($50, $100) when we deposited new funds ($2500 or $5K) each month but has this stopped over the past few months? Will there be any new cash bonus for the upcoming months' deposits (both for those with deposits less than and greater than $30K)?
We fully appreciate how much everyone enjoyed those large promotions! Frankly speaking, we ran some of them to test different experiments and also because we had to be a bit loud in the market to get some attention considering how many giants were operating at the time, an ongoing bull market, etc. We were and still are a young startup with a lot to prove. We have since scaled back on those promotions not because we don't want to reward customers but rather as a reflection of us continuing to adjust how we reward customers.
Over the coming weeks, you can expect more updates to our recurring rewards program, adjustments (improvements!) to the referral program, and some additional ways for customers to earn. Ultimately we want to incentivise consistent and long-term savings behavior as opposed to one-off wins. It's also why we started working Tertiary and SkillsFuture courses into our offering.
Would DeZy be open to generating yield from protocols on other networks such as Solana? How about Staking-as-a-Service like Coinbase and Kraken? Looking for a trusted custodian to stake my ETH for me haha
We're open to yield from anywhere we can get it so long as it falls in line with our risk mitigation/diversification views and security requirements. I would go so far as to say that statement applies both to on-chain and off-chain opportunities.
We're chain agnostic in that respect and multi-chain opportunities are definitely part of our roadmap. The main focus is always risk mitigation, security, stability, etc.
Like some DeFi protocols, they have a runway of sorts e.g on sustainability. Does Dezy plan to introduce something similar or a roadmap/announcement on how sustainable Dezy now is, or with funding, etc?
Like some DeFi protocols, they have a runway of sorts e.g on sustainability. Does Dezy plan to introduce something similar or a roadmap/announcement on how sustainable Dezy now is, or with funding, etc?
Yup! As mentioned a bit above in some of the questions/answers, we're looking at doing a quarterly report detailing where and how funds are deployed. We have released details regarding previous funding rounds (approximately 2.5M USD raised from equity investors to date) and will certainly release more information on that as and when it occurs in the future.
We would also love to articulate our roadmap a bit more clearly. The past few months have been very fluid in terms of our need to react and handle the market so some items like this probably fell through the cracks as frankly, we had bigger issues to deal with to ensure service stability .... but we're happy to see the market stabilising and so we're definitely now fully thinking about things like this.
In terms of ETH staking and things like that ... as mentioned above in the Q&A / AMA, we're imminently releasing XSGD yield opportunities and will extend that out to more stablecoins soon. More core crypto assets may follow in the future but likely at a much larger stage of things.
By service stability, does it mean maintaining the 5.5% payout?
Maintaining the yield and of course, never having to pause customer withdrawals as we have seen elsewhere in the market lately. We want to continue to provide a stable and risk mitigated yield while ensuring customer funds are well protected ... and on top of that keep flowing features out to users.
Do you have a public roadmap?
Not yet! We really want to get one out though! Can a public roadmap be a roadmap item? Hmmmmm ... haha. Jokes aside, we want to share more with you all about what we're planning and so hopefully we can get something like this out in the near future.
As a founder @Eric, what are your worst-case scenarios running Dezy?
That's an interesting question. There are so many different ways to answer that.
I'm grateful that I've been involved with startups for a long time and so I've seen successful ones and unsuccessful ones but of course every team, every business, and every market is new.
We do not want to fall behind our competitors and we do not want to lose and we certainly don't want to find ourselves in a situation where we have to close down. That said though the past few months have been eye-opening to everyone involved in the industry whether as a founder or as a user.
To see these platforms implode, lock users out of their funds, etc ... it's been terrible. While a lot could have been done by the teams and platforms to avoid the situations they've found themselves in, it still must be a brutal situation for them and OBVIOUSLY a much more brutal situation for the users who are impacted by all that.
Every decision we make at Dezy is with all of that in mind. We might fail as a business but we never want users to hurt or suffer because they trusted us or because they used what we built. Failing that is my worst-case scenario.
What is the potential for the stablecoin market to grow actually?
Stablecoins are probably the most successful use case in all of crypto with respect to mainstream adoption. I see A LOT of teams working on things like real-world payments, stablecoin-powered debit / prepaid cards, salary flows, and things like that.
I think we're going to see stablecoins increasingly pop up in the real world as it's such an easy way to bridge the two ecosystems ... there is no need to debate philosophy around core crypto assets, what should or should not back an asset, etc. 1:1 backed stablecoins like XSGD or USDC are issued by respectable teams, are well backed and are well regulated. Their barrier to entry into the real world is quite low and I think a lot of teams see that opportunity.
What have you learned from HODLnaut that you won't be doing / or will be acting on secure funds more?
I don't want to comment too much on any specific platform as those are very sensitive and ongoing situations. We hope they all resolve well for everyone involved. What I will say though is to repeat the content of our blog which we released last week. We do not leverage, we do not trade customer money and we do not mismatch terms. That helps mitigate a lot of risks.
Will Dezy be approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)?
I can't speak for MAS with respect to their market plans or their views on Dezy but we are super eager to be a positive contributor to the ecosystem here and as we have said from day 1 when a path to licensing presents itself then we will be very happy to pursue that path. We are expecting some amendments to take place to the Payment Services Act (PSA) later this year or early next year which will hopefully give us a way to apply for relevant licenses.
In the interim, we have always aimed to self-regulate in terms of being super mindful of what we can and can't do via close coordination with our legal counsel (both internal and external). We've also been very mindful to disclose risk, educate where possible, and generally operate on the right side of things. It's a very complicated regulatory environment in Singapore where certain activities are already regulated, some aren't, and so on.
We appreciate how difficult this might be for regulators in general and considering how fast-paced the industry is but we have overlapping interests ..... consumer protection, risk mitigation, etc. Sorry, long answer
We are indeed not licensed as it stands now and we hope to apply for relevant licenses in the future when that opportunity presents itself. In the interim, we self-regulate and are super mindful of how we build.
Why does Dezy decide to launch in Singapore only?
We had to start somewhere! Singapore is a robust market in terms of the startup ecosystem and its financial ecosystem. A hotbed for crypto activity as well! Also, all the founders are here. As we scale though we'll definitely be expanding geographically as well whether that's for our core / existing services or for some other things we're cooking up.
We are very proud to be a Singapore-based company though and this will always be HQ for us.
Given crypto is (mostly) pseudonymous - how can we be sure that Dezy one day is no more - and the team is nowhere to be found etc (kind of what I see happening with HODLnaut) I fear this.
(more of a comment than a question)
I don't know about crypto or hodlnaut but Dezy is not anonymous or semi-anonymous. Our faces are on the website. We are registered in Singapore. We have one office. We do not have any subsidiaries or holding companies internationally. We are here.
All that said and despite the sustainability blog and despite everything I've seen during this AMA ... risk mitigation is a two-way street. We are doing our best to build Dezy in a sensible manner but we also need customers to be mindful of their own risk appetite. Whether it's with Dezy or any other platform....traditional or crypto....no one should overexpose themselves. Only do what you are comfortable with and in the amounts you are comfortable with.
Do you recommend only investing in Dezy that you know you can completely lose? (Is this the advice you would give friends)?
We have never suggested to anyone to invest all of their money into Dezy. Per the above answer as well, we do not encourage anyone to be overexposed to any platform regardless of whether that platform is in crypto, tradfi, licensed, or not.
Thanks for all your questions everyone, and for making the time to be here. Stay tuned for exciting new announcements we've mentioned above, and see you guys at the next one! In the meantime, you can always find us on discord (:
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