ChangeX AMA Recap — Debit Card, Leveraged Staking, Multi-Chain Functionality
The first ChangeX AMA is now in the blockchain history books.
To all who were there, we would like to thank you for your curiosity and devotion to the project! Know that we will always respond with the same.
And for those who unfortunately couldn’t join us, we wrote this recap. You can check out the best bits below.
Onto the AMA then.
The preliminary round featured ChangeX CEO Nick Iliev (NI), CTO Martin Kuvandzhiev (MK), and COO Petya Nankova (PN).
And here is how it all went down.
Q1: Do you have any marketing plans to get people unfamiliar with crypto involved through this project, and what is your strategy for achieving this?
NI: Yes, one of our target groups is precisely digital banking users who are not familiar with crypto and DeFi in any shape or form. We will be approaching them with the idea that they will have access to the exact same services and tools that traditional/digital banking provides, but with a few cherries on top, i.e. multi-chain crypto and various DeFi tools and services.
By offering a friendly and familiar setting to users who may be a bit reluctant to put in all the effort it takes to buy, trade, stake crypto on multiple different platforms (especially when it comes to DeFi), we believe ChangeX has the potential to be the gateway between worlds, so to speak, where bank users feel at home, but with a lot of added value.
Additionally, we aim to create and provide a set of educational materials that basically show that crypto and DeFi are not a get rich quick scheme, i.e. speculation, but a powerful tool to generate passive income and diversify one’s portfolio, through e.g. lending and staking.
Q2: What will be the yearly card fee? Will we receive an IBAN? What about transaction fees?
NI: The fees are yet to be determined but we expect them to be either extremely low, or completely non-existent, especially for early-bird ICO investors and CHANGE holders so as to be as competitive as possible.
As for the IBANs, yes, this is one of our core offerings — offering IBANs to all our users so that they can use their wallet as a bank account, where they can receive their salary, send funds to relatives, pay for services, and so on (what you would expect from any normal bank). The debit card is a perfect fit to this picture and this way our banking service comes full-circle. Except you can also use it with crypto as well.
Q3: Having SEPA, debit card and the ability to buy non-stable coins directly with card is genius! How can you ensure this will generate a high interest and buying pressure in the Change token while keeping it deflationary?
NI: This is a very good question. Inside the ChangeX app, CHANGE is king, so to speak, and holding it provides various incentives and access to special benefits such as, for example, better staking and lending rates, higher cash back percentage on debit card spending. Additionally, CHANGE holders will have access to free services which would otherwise be subject to fees. This alone should create high demand and interest towards the native token.
What’s more, CHANGE is at its core a pure deflationary token, and this deflation will be powered by the buy and burn mechanism we have set up (30% of all trading fees inside the ChangeX app burn CHANGE).
To build on this, the commissions applied to the staking pools in ChangeX (~5%) will not be collected by ChangeX, but will instead be used to buy more tokens (which increases demand and this price) and distribute them to CHANGE stakers, resulting in high APR (but without the downside of inflation). So in this way CHANGE constantly decreases in supply, but remains highly rewarding to its holders.
Q4: Will paying with the crypto card work in every country that allows paying in crypto at restaurants? And what are your competitors in this matter?
NI: Yes, the card will be a fully-functional debit card which can be used anywhere where cards are accepted, but with the added value of spending both crypto and traditional currency. Please note that at least in the beginning it will be available only to EU residents. Main competitors are of course the giants in the industry — Binance and crypto.com but with the difference that we will make everything decentralized that can be decentralized.
Q5: Will this project accept other ecosystems and will grow price gradually?
NI: Yes, this is actually our go-to-market strategy. We are planning to onboard multiple high-APR tokens, such as BNT (Bancor) and CAKE (PancakeSwap), which will greatly benefit from the magnifying effect of leveraged staking. ChangeX will become a true multi-chain system by implementing bridges, cross-chain swaps, staking on multiple chains etc.
Q6: How does the project prepare for EU MiCA regulations? Could this even block or postpone the launch?
NI: Hey @zwen_crypto. We are building a licensed and regulated company in terms of legal presence, regulatory compliance and client protection. While MiCA will undoubtedly make it more difficult for us to do business, it would also bring more trust, a clear regulatory structure and a unified standard regime across the EU. MiCA is expected to enter into force in 2025 which provides us with enough time to prepare. That being said, we do not expect that the MiCA regulations are going to block or postpone the project’s development or expansion.
Q7: I like the fact that VC allocation is only 13%. VCs are infamous for not caring about retailers and just sell without mercy or care for a project. How can we be sure your VCs are legit, care for the project and will try to support a sustainable growth?
NI: Another solid question, thanks. Well, first of all we took on an invite-only approach to VCs exactly because we want to carefully consider who to onboard. This is also the reason why it is taking a lot of time to onboard institutions (and why we have only set aside 50M tokens for VCs coupled with a vesting period).
Our approach to VCs is actually much like our ICO, because we do not aim to overraise and it’s not all about the money, but about the right backers and partners who can help us build a strong foundation for the project.
To be quite honest, we are only looking for top VC firms that will help us increase our exposure, advise us, and guide us through the process of creating a remarkable company. Dimitar and Stefan, who are already on board, are very well connected, and we hope they can help us speed up the process of partnering with VCs whose interests are aligned with ours.
Q8: How do you think your leveraged staking feature will impact the crypto market?
NI: Oh, we love to talk about Leveraged Staking, thanks @Damien C. I think it has been mentioned, but Leveraged Staking has not really been done before, at least not quite the way we are planning to implement it.
As the crypto stakers always scout for the highest APR option available, the leveraged staking functionality has a strong marketing potential through the communities of integrated high-APR assets in the ChangeX app (e.g. CAKE and BNT, which we envision to be the launchpads for the service right after HYDRA). For example, look at PancakeSwap’s new locked staking, which currently provides ~125% APR for a year’s lock. Our Leveraged staking can easily top that with the 1.2x-2x APR increase due to leverage (of course minus the lending interest rate, which should be between 5 and 10%). Additionally, we are not expecting a huge decline in the yields as more and more users stake and there won’t be a lock as well.
Q9: How do you plan to get more exposure? Most investors just focus on the price for short term instead of the value of the project, can you tell us the motivation and benefits for investors to hold for longer term ?
NI: Thanks for the question. Motivating investors to hold for the long terms has again to do mostly with $CHANGE and the benefits it provides. As we mentioned earlier, these include free services for holders, better staking and lending rates, higher cash back, etc. This is incentive enough for investors to hold $CHANGE in the long run, as these various types of rewards will not go away, but only increase and become more diverse. This is where short-term becomes long-term.
Every new feature we add will ultimately be connected to the $CHANGE token and will be reflected in its price, so, again, this only invites investors to hold the token and reap the rewards of its upwards price action, while consistently enjoying various benefits just by holding and staking it. We believe that this is a good philosophy for future success and sustainable growth.
Our goal is to make ChangeX become a part of users’ daily life when it comes to their personal finance and this is exactly the way we are going to position ourselves across novice and experienced crypto and DeFi users. Our vision is to provide simplicity and quality of life for people who care about their personal finance, and this is of course a long-term proposition.
Q: What were the main reasons to choose Hydra as the Blockchain for ChangeX from the many blockchains out there?
MK: Based on our shared experience, we have been looking for a developing blockchain technology with experienced founders and we have found that Nikola Alexandrov and Hristo Tenchev are the right fit for us with their Hydra project. The whole idea of Hydra is also very fitting to our concept and I believe that it is something that has a great positive impact on ChangeX and ChangeX will have a great positive impact on Hydra as well.
In terms of technology Hydra combines both leading blockchain projects — Bitcoin codebase with Ethereum EVM, which also suits us perfectly.
Q: So this (the debit card) can work as a super version of an ordinary card, meaning we can pay for dinner but also buy a bike or do online shopping, right?
Q: You guys might already know what happened to LUNA, how can you convince us that this won’t happen in your case?
NI: All crypto funds will be on DeFi, meaning that we won’t have control over your funds. With respect to fiat, we will be licensed and regulated and will use a third-party banking-as-a-service provider, ensuring the safety of your funds. We do not believe in algorithmic stablecoins and there is no correlation to our business model.
Q: I have seen a lot of people in the space become more skeptical towards DeFi as a whole (because of LUNA), not to mention how terrible such a crash looks to outsiders. Do you take these developments into consideration in the long-term strategy?
MK: DeFi is democracy, it is a market without a middleman. My personal opinion is that the whole UST/LUNA situation was something that had to happen because the whole blockchain is so young as a technology and it needs its lessons in order to mature. I’ve been in the space since 2016 and I have seen many products succeed and fail. The products that last are the ones which are technologically advanced, easy to use and have a strong team. We are buiding ChangeX on these core principles.
Q: From when do you estimate that leveraged staking becomes available for the public to use?
MK: Our preliminary plan is to start R&D progress on that feature as soon as we release the delegated staking functionality. We already have a base plan for the implementation of both, but these features are new to Hydra and the market. The tech team and I will do our best to deliver them both according to the roadmap.
Q: Can the debit card payments also directly withdraw funds from crypto assets?
MK: Our aim is to provide that exact functionality. For the faster go-to-market we will start with a separate balance for the card which can be spent.
Q: With regards to being Multi Chain, can we say that ChangeX will be as awesome as it currently is, along with an improved version of what ThorChain is currently doing? It would be really amazing to see Thor get some kicka*s competition
PN: Yes, we are definitely planning to allow users to exchange Bitcoin for Hydra on their own networks, for example, without the need to wrap and bridge them.
And that wraps it up.
To all who were there — thank you once again. To all others — we hope to see you soon.
Thanks for reading,
The ChangeX team