Algem AMA with Astar Degens

Sunday 10th of July, Astar Degens hosted a Discord AMA with Algem’s founder to present the new liquid staking protocol on Astar to the community. 

Presentation of Astar Degens

Astar Degens is a community DAO who aims to incubate promising projects and bringing new ideas to the Astar Ecosystem with the help of a community-governed DAO fund.

The collective efforts will act as a community incubator, allowing abstract ideas to transition toward economically viable projects. Community participation and DAO voting will direct the treasury toward supporting promising creators within the Astar ecosystem. Whether they are an artist, creator, influencer, developer, degen, or ape; all are welcome, and all will be rewarded for their constructive contributions.

The platform will create a thriving ecosystem, by incentivizing individual participation. Astar Degens DAO is a powerful tool needed to bring new ideas forward, and to build a robust future for the interoperable block-chain space.

Official Website:
Follow Astar Degens on Twitter and Discord.

Q&A from Astar Degens

Ramz: Astar Degens and Algem has a good ol history. For some of our followers though we would like to inform them on what Algem is and is up to.
Can you tell us a bit about the team behind Algem?

G’: Sure! My name is G’, co-founder and COO of Algem. The team is composed of Igor,G’,  Greg, Gianluca and Artur followed by a development team of 7 people. 

Igor is also the co-founder and CEO of Algem and a serial entrepreneur with ten years of experience successfully developing businesses of various types in Web2 & 3. 

Greg is our CMO and as a digital marketing veteran, he brings 10+ years of marketing experience, having worked at Microsoft and Edmunds in California. Most recently, Greg worked on important projects in the web3, including Astar Network and AstridDAO. 

Gianluca comes from heavily focused customer service driven industries. His English background and his passion for the crypto industry make Gianluca the perfect fit for our Community Manager 

Artur is our CTO, he is an industrial designer and a developer with a vast experience in algorithms and embedded systems, moving into blockchain tech and tackling a multitude of projects ranging from NFTs to DeFi and beyond. He is specialized in DeFi blockchain development and blockchain architecture. 

Myself, I come with a business management background, and I joined the Polkadot and Astar ecosystem in 2020 and became a committed senior ambassador for both. At Algem, I oversee the business development, community, administration, and ecosystem management functions.

Ramz: What’s the inspiration behind Algem and what need does it fill?

G’: Good question! Everything comes from one single problem. 

As defi users, we have identified a problem that affects us directly: the illiquidity of our assets. In defi, users have two options: staking or lending/farming. Choosing one means giving up the other, and thus creating an opportunity cost. This is a problem for users because they are not sure what’s the best course of action in order to maximize their yields.

Our solution is Algem, a liquid staking and lending protocol fixing this lack of liquidity problem and making it so that your assets are ALWAYS liquid.

Ramz: Can you tell us more about the specifics (tech, functions) of Algem?

G’: Algem protocol is built around two core features: Liquid Staking and Liquid Lending.  Liquid staking leverages the Astar network’s dApp staking by providing the ability to participate in dApp staking on Astar EVM and remain liquid with our nASTR tokens.

Liquid lending is a completely new concept in defi, allowing users to remain liquid while providing liquidity to lending or farming protocols. Using the same mechanism as liquid staking, ASTR holders can provide or lend their tokens to defi protocols through the Astar network via Algem and receive nASTR tokens at the same time.

Algem protocol will also include a whole internal defi ecosystem around the nASTR token including AMM and lending protocol. For now, we are focused on building utilities for nASTR tokens on other protocols and thus developing synergies with other projects. 

In the near future, we will also deploy features around our native token ALGM such as staking or voting mechanisms. 

For more details and technical aspects of our features, I recommend the community to consult our documentation.

Ramz: It may be new to many of our users and relatively new to the space in general. Having a token work for the user in multiple ways is abstract on the surface but Algem is making it a reality!
This brings me to my next question. With other chains available, why choose Astar?

G’: We decided to build on Astar Network because we are early supporters and members of the Astar community. With Igor, we share and believe in the same vision as Sota of building a smart contract hub supporting EVM and WASM for Web3.0 and we want Algem to be part of it. 

Initially, we wanted to develop Algem on WASM but for technical reasons and especially the difficulty to find good ink! developers, we had to change our plans and build on EVM. But it is only a matter of time and the deployment of Algem on WASM is part of our long-term plan. 

Ramz: I believe many Astar supporters can agree with you about where Astar is heading in regard with WASM and web3. Personally, it’s what keeps me fuelled during these times. So Astar Degens and Algem have a unique relationship.
Tell us how and what brought you to our banana filled lair?

G’: We are APEs from the start (edited) in response to: 

As early members of DAO, we know that AD has one of the strongest and most dedicated communities among Astar and Polkadot. In order for Algem to be a community-driven project, it was a no-brainer to partner with Astar Degens. 

We wanted to integrate AD and the community into our project from the beginning, as we have a high regard for AD and feel that it would be beneficial for everyone. Algem will benefit from AD’s experiences and connections and Astar Degens has the opportunity to show that a community venture capital is as strong as any regular venture capital and can be involved in the early stages of a project to support its growth. 

Astar Degens is an important part of our project and has already helped us a lot with feedback and participations in our testnet.

Ramz: Thanks G’, it’s great to see an Astar centric community supporting a home-grown project. It’s not every day that we have a chance to be a part and support from the very beginning a project with the aspirations that Algem has.

Astar has made public their excitement for Algem. Can you summarize Algems short and long term plans for us please?

G’: Following the launch of Algem mainnet on Astar, our near-term plan, within 3 months, is to launch the second version of our liquid staking with multi pools and deploy our liquid lending vaults to become the dominant liquidity hub on Astar network.

We plan also to create as many utilities as possible for our nASTR token across Astar defi ecosystem.

After focusing on Astar and building a solid foundation with new assets in our vaults, nASTR market and our V2 Liquid Lending, we will expand our services and token utilities outside of Astar and reach out to other parachains like Acala or Moonbeam using XC20 tokens for cross-chain utilities. 

For the detailed steps of our roadmap, I suggest consulting our documentation:

Ramz: Huge kudos for thinking about reaching across to the other chains such as Acala and Moonbeam. Strength in numbers and diversity.

G’, how can the community jump in and get involved?

G’: As I explained before, Algem is a community-driven project, community support and contribution is always needed and appreciated, but the easiest way to contribute is to join our community and spread the word about Algem.

In addition, we will soon be launching our ambassador program and AD holders are more than welcome to apply. We also have a suggestion section in our discord where users can express themselves, we value the community’s opinion.

Ramz: We have some questions from the community as well, feel free to answer later on some of the newer ones that popped on in the thread.

What’s the difference between nASTR and ASTR?

G’: nASTR is a liquid representation of the ASTR token deposited on Algem and has the same value and functionalities as ASTR. 

For every ASTR deposited in liquid staking or liquid lending on Algem, one nASTR is minted at a 1:1 ratio. Staking and lending rewards are distributed to nASTR holders based on their balance. To redeem ASTR tokens, users must return nASTR tokens to Algem. 

nASTR can be used in the defi ecosystem of Astar like ASTR tokens, thus as swapping, liquidity providing, farming, or as collateral in lending or stablecoins protocol to borrow against it. Holders of nASTR can also take advantage of arbitrage opportunities on the nASTR/ASTR pair and earn additional income while keeping the pair stable. 

Ramz: I love me some arb opportunities! Haha

Compared to regular ASTR staking on the Astar portal – the risk here is primarily smart contract risk and rugpull risk – what’s the Team’s plan to address those concerns?

G’: As far as the smart contract risk is concerned, we take it very seriously and that’s why we decided to conduct an audit before launching our protocol on Astar with a top-tier firm in the industry. We will also deploy our mainnet only once we, the audit firm, and the Astar core team are satisfied with the audit. Security matters and we would rather delay our launch than risk our users’ funds.

As for the risk of rugpull, I think the best way to avoid it is with our audit and to stay and build.

Joking aside, we’ve been involved in the Astar community for years now and are known in the ecosystem, the team is semi-doxxed publicly but completely doxxed to Astar team and we’ll soon be posting the core team descriptions on our website. As founders, we have dedicated a lot of time and funds to develop Algem since January and we will not stop until we become a dominant liquidity protocol on Astar and Polkadot.

My philosophy: “Set your goals as high as you can and work as hard as you can. Don’t settle for mediocrity”

Ramz: Love this philosophy and really speaks volumes to how long-time supporters see Astar and its immense potential.

The last question involves the model for revenue. What’s the plan for this?

G’: Development funds come from early investors, VCs such as Astar Degens or Next Web Capital, institutional, angel investors and personal funds. We prefer to not raise money from the community with IDO or ICO because we want to prevent the financial risk for our users in this hard time of bear market.

Concerning our revenue model: Algem revenues come from fees and Astar Builders Program. Algem charges 3 small fees in return for its services: – Liquid Staking management fee – Immediate unstaking fee – Liquid Lending management fee. Therefore, Algem is distributing 70% of its protocol revenues to ALGM holders via ALGM staking. 

Ramz G’ to conclude, any closing comments for the ape degens here?

G’: I know that many users are looking forward to our launch and to use Algem liquid staking. I can’t disclose the exact date, but I can say that we finalized the last stage of the audit last week and are now waiting for the final audit report before we deploy on Astar. This will happen sooner than expected.

Thank you very much Ramz for organizing this AMA. 

I was really happy to be able to give more information about Algem to the Astar Degens community and we appreciate your trust in our project. We invite all Degens to join our community and social platforms and let’s keep building and be STRONK together. 

About Algem

Algem is a dApp built on Astar Network and offers two main features: liquid staking and liquid earning. As the name implies, these two solutions enable ASTR holders to remain liquid with their assets while putting them to work.

The liquid staking and liquid earning solutions allow users to accumulate staking rewards and increase their earnings using Algem’s liquid nASTR tokens across Astar’s DeFi ecosystem. In doing so, Algem supports other DeFi protocols by providing liquidity, creating a sustainable and cooperative ecosystem on Astar Network.

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