A Talk between Staking Rewards and Juntao Zhu (Co-Founder & CEO)
Hodlnaut is a custodial crypto interest provider that allows you to earn up to 10.5% APY on Stablecoins, BTC, and ETH.
Juntao Zhu worked in the derivatives and fixed income industry at Credit Suisse. This gave him an overview of the products and services that exist within the traditional finance industry. With Hodlnaut he mirrors those best practices and brings them to the realm of crypto-assets.
Q: Why did you start Hodlnaut? And how has Hodlnaut evolved over the last 2 years?
A: Many are convinced that digital currency such as Bitcoin is the future and I believe that premise. The currency facilitates a payment system where financial transactions have lower fees, faster processing rate, and are transparent to all through a decentralized public ledger in the blockchain. I am incredibly excited to be able to build my company using Bitcoin and to help increase its adoption. On the other hand, as a fellow crypto investor, I’d like to help others to get the most out of their crypto holdings. Thus doing my part in sustaining the crypto ecosystem.
Q: What is the mission & vision of Hodlnaut? And what drives you personally and professionally?
A: To help crypto users and enthusiasts to grow their digital assets. The mission is to provide financial services to individual investors where we utilize the power of cryptocurrency to help users manage their crypto assets. The vision is to see cryptocurrency assets being adopted in the everyday world in a seamless and effective way. I get excited when I see laymen started to learn more about crypto and do their part in enriching the ecosystem.
Q: How do you attract customers? What has been the most effective way for you to grow the business?
A: By listening to our customers’ needs and providing them with top-notch services. We’re constantly engaging with our users to understand their pain points and solve their problems through our platform. As we focus on creating great products, communicating to our users in regard to our features and how their problems can be solved is a priority for us. Educating our users and the general public about what crypto is and especially what we can do to help them in growing their crypto assets has been an effective way to grow our business and at the same time, the crypto ecosystem.
Q: What is unique about Hodlnaut? Why should users go with your service instead of others?
A: We are a small startup that’s relatively new. Because of that, users can expect a more personal and direct customer experience. Besides, we provide some of the highest interest rates out there for Bitcoin and Ethereum. We’re also incorporated in Singapore, a country which is globally known for its AAA ratings. AAA ratings are issued to investment-grade debt that has a high level of creditworthiness with the strongest capacity to repay investors.
Q: How do you make sure that the user funds at Hodlnaut remain safe and secure?
A: We use Fireblocks’ multi-party computation wallet infrastructure to secure funds. When users sign up for an account with Hodlnaut, they will be assigned a unique address generated by Fireblocks. When the deposit funds into Hodlnaut, funds are secured with Fireblocks’ wallet infrastructure until it is lent out to one of our partners.
Furthermore, the platform runs on a secure cloud infrastructure on AWS, and all traffic is encrypted with SSL encryption.
Q: How do you ensure up to 10.5% APY, where does the return come from?
A: Interest rates are evaluated based on market demand and our earnings from the previous month. While Hodlnaut aims to keep interest rates stable, it is subject to change. Our interest rates will be updated monthly based on the prevailing market conditions. How do we manage to pay the interest rates? We lend out the assets we receive to established and vetted financial institutions that pay an interest rate. As for the attractive interest rates, we analyze supply and demand on our available crypto assets to set a fluctuating interest rate that adjusts as market conditions change. Also, we take earnings from our previous months into consideration.
Q: What role does the mobile app play for you?
A: It plays an important role where it’ll help our users to have a better experience when using our product. A mobile app will allow our users to deposit, withdraw and swap tokens seamlessly.
Q: What is your main target customer group? Retail or Institutional? Jurisdiction? Age?
A: Retail, US, UK, Singapore, and European markets. Average age is 30-39.
Q: Which product line of Hodlnaut are you most proud of?
A: Hodlnaut Interest Account and Token Swap
Q: The crypto market is moving extremely fast. Can you make any projection where you would like to see Hodlnaut in the next 5 years?
A: Although we can’t make any definite projection in the crypto world due to its uncertainty and volatility, we’d love to overtake Blockfi in terms of AUM and users! 😉
Q: Are you planning to add any stablecoins or other assets to your portfolio of crypto interest accounts soon?
A: We currently have 3 stablecoins already: USDC, USDT, and DAI. And we recently just added Wraped Bitcoin (WBTC) to our portfolio. We’re constantly evaluating the needs of our users in term of supported coins and will plan to launch more coins in the future.
Q: How do you decide which asset to add and which one not? What are the main criteria for your decision?
A: Users’ demand and market capitalization.
Q: Are you planning to support any staking tokens in the future?
A: Nothing in the pipeline at the moment, if anything changes we’ll announce it to our users and to the public.
Q: In your opinion, how do we get a billion people to use crypto every day? What do you think is the main driver for adoption? Abstraction of Technology, UX, Mobile Access?
A: It’s a combination of multiple factors; willingness to try new things from the users, cooperation and support from the governments, and proven convenience of the digital assets’ use cases. People need to give crypto a chance to “prove” itself to be innovative and efficient while jurisdictions around the world need to embrace the adoption instead of blocking. The tech needs to be working as well so that the overall process is seamless and affordable as intended.
Q: What are you most excited about in the world of DeFi?
A: DeFi is the continuity of the Bitcoin revolution that started over 11 years ago. It promises convenience and decentralization without the archaic regulations that traditional finance has. It has transparency that the banks can’t provide and the value will be explosive in the coming years. I’m excited to see its real-life applications disrupting the financial services industry in a good way.
Learn more about Hodlnaut and Juntao Zhu: