Asaf Naim, co-founder and CEO Kirobo, tells us how the liquid vault is what the crypto industry needs.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Kirobo?
Asaf Naim: A trained accountant with extensive experience in entrepreneurship, I’ve always been fascinated by technology, so naturally, I got into crypto early. I’ve seen first-hand its potential and how unforgiving it is – people message us all the time asking if we can help them get assets that they’ve lost back. I founded Kirobo with Tal Asa (CTO) and Nati Mark Schlesinger (CRO) because we saw a need in the market – making blockchain technology as safe and convenient as online banking.
How does Kirobo innovate?
Asaf Naim: We are offering something that doesn’t exist yet in the market – a one-stop shop for DeFi services that provide tools previously only seen in traditional finance and unprecedented safety in an industry that is notoriously unforgiving of mistakes. The Liquid Vault is an on-chain wallet that allows users to protect their crypto assets and gives them a range of ways to grow them. For example, they can use the Liquid Vault to access almost all the DeFi and NFT projects in the market while benefiting from the ability to back up and inherit their crypto and NFTs.
The Liquid Vault is based on an innovation that we call ‘conditional transactions.’ This means that users are able to sign for blockchain transactions to happen in the future, based on conditions being met, such as time or token prices (for instance). This technology is powered by the KIRO token and activated by the Kirobo community.
How did the coronavirus pandemic affect your business?
Asaf Naim: On a personal level, the pandemic has been hard on all of us. Business-wise, anything that is good for the crypto ecosystem is good for us. The value of Bitcoin and Ethereum have skyrocketed since the pandemic began, not to mention that entire new sectors have blossomed, such as NFTs and the Metaverse. Worldwide lockdowns gave a boost to remote payment technology, which includes crypto, and major crises tend to shake confidence in the banking system, which is another thing that drives interest in crypto.
Can you touch on current trends in the Blockchain/Crypto industry in relation to the Kirobo platform? How is Kirobo impacting these trends?
Asaf Naim: The current movement in the industry is from centralized to decentralized. I didn’t use the word ‘trend’ on purpose – I think decentralized finance is the future. Billions of dollars are traded on DEXs every day, and the figures are growing, while value locked in dapps is pushing $300 billion. People realize that they don’t need to use centralized, custodial solutions, thanks to DeFi technology which is finally bridging the gap between traditional finance and cryptocurrency.
However, there are still issues holding the space back from growing as quickly as it should be, and our technology is addressing these issues. For example, we’re providing DeFi users with peace of mind by protecting them against human error – something that has been missing from the DeFi industry – as well as giving them a suite of tools to replace those offered by centralized crypto services.
Another important development in the industry is the rise of the NFT. These tokens have endless potential use cases, not least that they give people a new way to make money. We’ve taken this on board and added support for NFTs in our liquid vault. We intend to extend the range of NFT services in the upcoming months.
Who is the target audience of Kirobo? Do you have any interesting partnerships?
Asaf Naim: Our target market is simple – people who use crypto. Our technology gives them a safe platform to interact with the crypto ecosystem, enjoying services that were non-existent in the crypto industry until now. In terms of partnerships, we recently partnered with Evai, a UK-based company that’s developed an amazing service for judging the health of tokens. We’ll be integrating their dashboard into the Liquid Vault. Another partnership that we made recently was with PureFi, a specialist in AML certificates for DeFi users and operators. In addition, we’ve received investments from the Israel Innovation Authority, DigiMax, and the Solana LATAM fund.
Tell us more about your platform/technology.
Asaf Naim: As I mentioned, our platform is called the Liquid Vault. Although it can function as a regular wallet – storing, sending, and receiving crypto – it’s much more than this. I’ll give an example – the Backup feature. It’s like a spare key to their money. People lose access to their assets all the time, leading to millions in losses every year. Backup gives them a decentralized, non-custodial solution to this problem by letting them connect an alternative wallet to the vault. If access to the first is lost, the backup wallet will take control.
This is the kind of feature that’s made possible with our conditional transactions and token economy – our smart contract checks timers, and when one runs out, signals to a community member to activate that user’s Backup and that activator will receive a reward in KIRO for carrying out the task. This is just one example of the kind of safety we offer. The Liquid Vault can also connect to most external dapp with Wallet Connect.
It wasn’t our first product to market though – that was ‘Safe Transfer.’ Millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency is lost every year due to human error, such as pasting the wrong destination address, by mistake, or by fraud. Safe Transfer enables the sender of a transaction to lock it with a password that they communicate to the recipient via a separate channel. They can cancel and retrieve their money until the correct password is given.
How do you see the future of Kirobo? What are the next steps for the company?
Asaf Naim: I think that Kirobo will be a household name. Beyond the Liquid Vault and the Safe Kirobo’s decentralized and community-oriented infrastructure opens new possibilities for the industry. We aim to allow other companies to utilize our infrastructure to develop new and unique services.
Your final thoughts?
Asaf Naim: We’re also developing a range of NFTs with a unique utility that aims to tackle one of the biggest issues in DeFi – gas fees. Ethereum gas prices are through the roof, which is holding blockchain technology back because Ethereum is still the dominant smart contract-capable blockchain (although, of course, there are many promising competitors). We’re working on a solution for this acute problem. We’ll be releasing more information soon, so stay tuned!
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