INTERVIEW: Santiago Sabater about Defichain Accelerator and the current crypto market crash.
Mirko Riedel and Matthias Nagele recorded an interview with Santiago Sabater from the DeFiChain Accelerator team. In this interview we talk about the latest developments of the DeFiChain Accelerator, the current market situation and a lot of background information from Santiago.
Mirko Riedel: Welcome to our interview Santiago, thank you for joining! We invited you because we had the pleasure that you invite us to an interview, and it was our very first YouTube video. It’s a real pleasure to see you here on our very virgin YouTube Channel.
Santiago Sabater: Thank you very much. It’s really a pleasure to be here. And I know the first video was on my channel, so I’m really happy that you’re also starting to do a new channel. People start small, but you never know how this channel will develop in future. And I really like your project. So it’s really great to be here.
Mirko: Great, thank you! Let’s start with some questions because we want to do an interview with you. So actually, in the community, many people know you already. You are involved in many projects. I think you have two YouTube channels, right?
Santiago: It’s actually just one YouTube channel Crypto Explained.
Mirko: So many people know you already, but let’s use this chance. Maybe there are a few people who don’t know you, and it’s never bad to show the face again. Where you come from? What is your background? Maybe you say something a little bit about yourself.
Santiago: My name is Santiago Sabater. Most people actually don’t know my name because they always know the channel name Crypto Explain, but not my name. Santiago, exactly like the city. So I was actually born in Venezuela, South America, and my family is from Germany. And we moved to Germany when I was six years old. And I went to school like a normal German citizen, German kid. I grew up with my mom and my brother, and after school, I started studying math. In 2016, I was really interested in crypto and started to do some research. I didn’t buy any crypto, but I just got pulled into the topic. I was always that type of person that wants to do something on his own. So I was always selling and buying things in school. I was trading with my Nintendo and all of that. And somehow I always tried to make money. I was teaching math, and I was teaching guitar and doing all of that. So I really got dragged into investment . I was also into trading and I tried to develop my own algorithm to beat the market and be super rich.
And then I somehow got involved into crypto. Julian, for sure, was the person who introduced me into all of that. And, yeah, this happened between 2016 and 2017. And I bought my first Bitcoin in 2017 at a price of $11,000. And I thought like, oh man, I timed this bitcoin crash from $19,000 to $11,000. I am the one. I know how to play this game. And then it crashed down to $3,000 and it was really sad, to be honest. I thought, game over. I saw Etherium at $72. I didn’t buy because I thought, this is dead. The good thing about actually the way I got introduced into Blockchain through Julian was, that I initially started to learn about crypto. That was pretty cool. And then pretty fast I had some sort of foundation I can stand on. And from this, I’m now here. I am a crypto investor. I live in Cyprus. I am an entrepreneur, independent, if you want to call me like this. I am engaged in the DeFiChain ecosystem pretty heavily. Built a couple of projects over there which are community projects. And I guess we will talk about this maybe in more detail.
Matthias Nagele: How did you discover DeFiChain for yourself?
Santiago: Julian Hosp introduced DeFiChain in the very beginning on his YouTube channel. And I really wanted to do some research on the project. I really like the idea about bringing DeFi to Bitcoin and all the capabilities. I would love to be a bitcoin maximalist, but I love DeFi and the features that it brings. So I need something in between. And DeFiChain seemed to be a perfect solution to that.
Mirko: Even the market is not a pleasure at the moment. Right?
Santiago: Yes it’s a pain in the a** at the moment, to be honest. Many people lose a lot of money right now. And also, if we look to our own community within the DeFiChain, I think most people bought DFI between $2 or $3. Some people generated a lot of rewards between $2 or $3, which maybe need to be taxed around those numbers. I don’t want to get into tax issues now, but let’s assume this a little bit. We’re now at $1.4. It’s tough.
Mirko: Yes. They actually have to sell everything to realize the loss and buy back, according to, let’s say, German tax law. I personally have the same situation, because I went into it with a lower price. A lot of people have to sell now to realize the loss. Let’s come to this topic. How do you see the current market situation? What is your opinion about what’s going on from macroeconomic standpoint? United States, Europe? What’s your idea, what’s going on when we get out of this situation?
Santiago: This is a good question and I think no one knows the answer. So this is maybe the first thing that it’s really good to realize, actually no one knows the answer. I’m not an expert, I’m doing my research. I try to combine things to try to be as logically as possible. But things are really complicated. We are not sure, or maybe we are slightly tapping into a recession. I’m not really sure if the recession got already technically approved, but we’re kind of on the way to do this. I believe, or maybe not only believe, I know that the macroeconomics has huge influence on the crypto market itself. So you cannot escape from the market economic behaviors and you really need to pay attention to this. In case we are facing a recession right now, no one knows how long this will last. If you could start comparing the recessions, which we have right now to other recessions, you may be get a feeling for this, you don’t get an answer, but you maybe get an impression if you compare it to cover the recession. The crash was really heavy, but it only took a couple of months to recover and for what reason?
Only because the FED printed a ton of shi* of money. So would you think this is somehow connected to the current crash or it could be play out similar? I wouldn’t. So you can go back further. Cryptocurrency 2017 was mostly initiated through the ICOs hype. This was a super hot market, extremely overhyped. All the crypto prices skyrocked tremendously.
Matthias: Would you say the current crash is similar to the crypto crash, 2017?
Santiago: I wouldn’t, it’s difficult. Right. And then can you go back further, maybe 2008, something that we could compare a little bit more? We had the banking crisis in the US. The whole market went into recession and it took longer to recover. I don’t know the numbers correctly, but you can check it. Maybe one year, two years, something like this. You can just try to compare all those crisis with the current market situation. You can try to make some analysis on cycle theories on how does macroeconomics play out. But I think the general strategy that I’m trying to do right now is to have a portfolio size that allows me to grant me a lot of insurance so I can stay in the market as long as it’s needed.
As long, let’s say it needs three months it will be fine. Or one year will be fine too. And even two. To be honest to hold longer than three or four years is really long. Some people always think that they can do this, but really, three to four years? Having this time horizon is super hard. It’s not easy. And you probably will change your opinion if you’re not super disciplined with yourself. So yeah, I’m just trying to do that. And yes, this is the only thing that I can do. So resize the portfolio balance, try to not get kicked out, have endurance, but also don’t lose hope. I mean, also this fear that price is never going up again, super dangerous. You shouldn’t let yourself into this rabbit hole because there will be the moment where prices are rising again.
Mirko: We discuss also a lot of times how you see in general the setting, the condition of the general crypto industry at the moment. Because when we go back to 2017, the crypto industry was not matured at all, was really hot shit. Many people went into this business without having something to add to technology. They just did ICOs.
Santiago: I think it’s super interesting with whom you’re talking about it. If you talk to a bitcoin maximalist, you would say it’s the same because all this DeFi NFT stuff, this is just like printing shit out of thin air. This doesn’t create any value. So we are actually pretty in a similar condition like we did before. If you talk to maybe people who are more interested in all of that growth through more use cases than only bitcoin, then you would say, okay, the industry grows a lot, maybe to get the curve. We see tremendous growth on bitcoin side when it comes to Lightning, this is something that I really appreciate. And you see that more institutional players are coming into lightning itself. We saw this with Walmart. People now announced that they are enabling the integration of bitcoin in a complete different manner than they did before. So people cannot send bitcoin between each other without fees. You can also withdraw your bitcoin to your personal address. So those are something which is really cool. You have more big players compared to 2017, more institutional capital.
And I think this is really interesting. If you believe in all of this NFT things that I just mentioned and then DeFi applications, then you have a lot more use case. So you can trade tokenized assets, you can go into lending, you can go into yield protocols and there’s a lot more that you can do compared to 2017. Basically all people which were invested in 2017 were just holding the coins in the wallet, right? That was all. So you bought it and then you just hold it and nowadays you can do a lot more.
Mirko: I think the same. This is something completely different than 2017. And you’re right, there are so many use cases. There’s so much more technology in this market. What you said with Lightning is very interesting because when people talk about the use case of Bitcoin, some still say this goes to zero, there’s nothing what you can do with Bitcoin and they miss the point of second layer networks, of second layer technology and especially the Lightning network, it’s so much use case what has really value for people to transfer money around the globe with light speed and super low cost. This is something that people miss. It’s interesting. And we see even in different communities at the moment, there are new projects, there’s more professionalization, there are more teams working on projects and technologies. So I completely agree with you.
Matthias: You said the word use case of DeFiChain. That’s where we have to bring ourselves in position with our project dStocks.io. That’s what we plan to do. I wanted to ask you at the beginning, what’s about the accelerator program? What’s going on there? Do we see already something, what’s the status?
Santiago: To give you an overview, the whole accelerator team is the crypto and community project I’m involved in the most. I’m working full time on that. And yeah, so I’m doing this together with Lazar and Ben. You probably know them or probably a lot of people who maybe watch this video know them. And we recently also had some sort of recap on the DeFiChain channel in English and we presented our KPIs and how things develop, how much money we spend on specific measures and all of that. And I think it developed really great. So when you look at what happens around DeFiChain, which you can actually track like the noise around DeFiChain, we did a lot of good groundwork. So we have the PR running, we had like over 100 publications last month. We worked together with eight influencers. And we are doing a lot more that we actually cannot talk about right now. Things are starting to get really into shape and so we are working on influencer marketing, we’re working on PR site, we’re working on the Learn & Earn campaign, which is something people can start learning about.
The Learn & Earn campaign will be executed in partnership with Coinmarketcap. We’re also working on the AirDrop that we actually facing some kind of trouble since Coinmarketcap changed a lot of rules regarding the air drop. Since we also work with Coinmarketcap on those measures, we for sure always try to push the correct listing on Coinmarketcap. We talk to exchanges, we talk to partners and we also talk to community members and people who need help. So for example, people who come to us and say, hey man, I would like to make a community project. How can I do this? Whom can I ask for a specific question? Where do I find technical documentation around DeFiChain? How can I get started? How does Ocean API works? And we do all of that. And Lazar, the creator of Jelly, he does all the Brave ads that we do. And people really love Jelly. And there’s more exciting to tell that I cannot tell right now, but we’re getting some track, it’s building up.
Mirko: Super interesting. I got a question for this one. Due to the current market situation, what you do for DeFiChain in this current situation? Is this something what is good for us or bad for us, for the accelerator program? Or is it something that you say, okay, now in this moment we prepare for the market when we will go up again? Or how do you see this in combination, these two things?
Santiago: This is a tremendously interesting question. So we discuss this internally a lot. Like, we spend a lot of time on that. And there are two things. So it’s pretty obvious that people are not really interested in buying something right now. The blood is on the street. People are just afraid they lost money. People are not risking something right now. And it’s pretty hard to just buy ads or a good video or influencer or telling about a new project or an article that you read to get someone to really invest into DeFiChain. And I think this won’t change until we have better sentiment again. But the thing is first of all, the first question you need to ask yourself, do you know when the market is shifting? So how long do you postpone your marketing measures? Three months, six months, nine months? Do you really want to take such a long break? And the second topic is it’s not only the reason that you don’t want people to buy DFI now or you want to, but what I’m trying to say, the more marketing you do right now and the more people know about DeFiChain, the more people will remember when the market sentiment shifts.
For example, if you see DeFiChain on Brave like seven times, ten times, 15 times, and then maybe next year a different market phase where DFI is pumping, then you remember about this DeFiChain ads on Brave again. And maybe you will check this out. And there’s also some psychological measures within people that they need. Like, again, I’m not the marketing expert in our team, but he said, that people always tend to buy something only if they touched with it like seven times. There are specific rules for this and this is something which is really interesting and you need time for that. And this market awareness is really like the foundation for people then to pick it up in a good market situation. So we are trying to not rush on specific things. For example like the air drop, we are not super pushy on that, to push it out now because the current market is not that great. We don’t need to push it out right now. But still we have specific marketing measures.
We still want to have constant noise around DeFiChain and we also want to be this project that survives the bear market. We want to be this project that people think oh wow, it’s actually interesting that during the bear market they still can afford all the marketing on Brave. If you look at Brave there’s no other crypto project that can endure such a good marketing on Brave site and people will align DeFiChain to a more quality product and then something which is sustainable because they know this maybe already for a longer time.
Mirko: Super interesting. It reminds me, I just read last week, I don’t know if it was in Manager Magazine or something in some publications I read an article about do you know guys Liqui Moly? They produce motor oils for cars. They put their advertisements even on race cars. And this is small company, not connected with some big mineral oil company. So they grew from a small companies to a medium sized company. How they did it, they never invested heavily in marketing. But when the market conditions are down like this at the moment, when the stock market goes down and all the companies reduce their marketing spending, they start their marketing and they buy super cheap slots even in prime time, before the news, at 08:00pm in Germany. They buy this for the half price, one third of the price, because no one wants to buy advertisements in those moments. They buy cheap and pump and push out the marketing. And to answer a little bit about this, I agree with you and we have in the same situation with not the same, but let’s say we are also in this market condition with our project dStocks.io.
We go to the market in July or August with our closed beta version and we think okay, what’s going on now? It’s hard to raise money and it’s hard to get customers and so on. But we have this mindset, as you said, now is the time to build it that people understand we are here with our product and when the market is more favorable for us and for the whole community. Then we are already there and people will come to us. I completely sign what you said.
Santiago: We cannot stop. What if this recession lasts the next two years? Should the defection stop and communicating with people and trying to acquire now? So we need to go on and we need to do this strongly. The result won’t be that good if the market sentiment would be pretty positively. Again, this is obviously but yeah, you just kind of quit. This doesn’t work out.
Matthias: What do you believe does DeFiChain needs the most now? What’s missing the most?
Santiago: There’s one topic, we need to have a look on the dUSD topic again. So we need to really think deeply and analytically. How do we want to approach the US dollar algorithmic stable coin in the future. I think this is something we have the perfect timing right now. No one is looking at us. We can take the decisions, we can play around with it, we can adapt the fees. We have to figure it out for the next bull market and people need to have a good feeling in buying this and we need the mechanisms to be in place. We have this huge leverage that we are right now. We are some kind of hidden gym. So we’re not listed on Coinmarketcap properly, we’re not listed on the big exchange like Binance or something like this. We still have a really huge community. We have extremely good use cases compared to other blockchains, but we still have some things that we need to solve and one of them is for example the dUSD stability.
When it comes to what this actually needs to increase in value, I would say we need to promote DeFiChain the way that people want to provide more liquidity on DeFiChain and earn more yield from it. I know that this is a marketing measure that is maybe not substantial and on the long term you need to promote people to trade the stocks, to use the dUSD to enabling all the functionalities that the decentralized exchange grants to the people. But in the first place people will be attracted and this is like obviously through the rewards. We need cross chain capabilities to make the liquidity pools accessible, to build protocols on DeFiChain that has some sort of trading strategies. We need also people like you that build like really exchanges for the people.
When we talk to exchanges we always pitch the assets this is a pain in the ass because people don’t want to do the legal groundwork for this. But if we come to this specific moment where people start trading the assets on the exchanges you drain such an amount of liquidity out of the chain that prices are going to increase. So when you think about what we need and you imply the price increase we need people to use the stocks, we need people to provide liquidity, we need people to lock their assets into DeFiChain. But I think DeFiChain is on a really good way and I told this to Ben and Lazar also a couple of days ago. This moment right now that you see the value of the DeFiChain and the price in such big deviation. You also see this with Bitcoin and Etherium. Right now this DFI coin is undervalued and if you just compare what DeFiChain’s half functionality set compared to other really big projects then you see the huge gap and this is what makes me really bullish.
The conversation is completely different than it was six months ago. Previously exchanges wanted to charge like $100,000 for DFI listing and then we needed additionally $100,000 for market making. Yes, maybe we can do like that. We will get back to you. And nowadays, it’s like oh wait, DeFiChain is a really interesting project, we will list it for free! We just need the market making to get it done and then they ping us and want to come back with hey, how’s it going? Can we go on with the listing? And then we say okay guys, we need to ask the community first, coz it is a decentralized project. We cannot decide it on our own and this is a really big shift. Great!
Mirko: I think many people like to hear this because it’s a very common question, when more exchanges, when more exchanges. Really great! One last question. Many people know that you are working with a small team on Jelly Wallet. And I would like to give you the space and the time here to explain to our viewers a bit more about the Jelly Wallet project. What is it about, what are the benefits for the community?
Santiago: Jelly Wallet is a web based wallet for DeFiChain. It’s like Metamask wallet for DeFiChain. And what’s really cool, what was my goal when creating the Jelly Wallet is, to have a wallet which people that come from Ethereum and come from this Web3 crypto space that they have a wallet, they feel familiar and they feel like at home using it. And this is like every single blockchain has a web wallet. DeFiChain also needs a web wallet. With web wallets you can connect your wallet to websites. So you enable the infrastructure. Let’s say people want to build protocols on the DeFiChain. Then they can in future use Jelly Wallet to connect it with their protocol and people can get started. And the websites are not required to build their own wallet which is also like a kind of workload? This is something I love talking about, native DeFi. People always don’t really understand what this means. For example, on Metamask you cannot do liquidity mining within the wallet.
You need to connect to a specific protocol and you have like millions out there and then you select one and choose one. And all the protocols have millions of pools and you need to select something. But on DeFiChain it’s more streamlined. You have it directly in the wallet. It’s pretty cool. Everything is natively. You just don’t hop from protocol to protocol. Everything is in one place and this is really cool. And I mean, DeFiChain also at the current stage has not any other desktop wallet which is maintained through the developer team. I know there’s the Treton wallet which is the new developer team of the Saiive. We are pushing on that and also trying to be an alternative. We implement the DeFiChain ocean infrastructure. So in case the core infrastructure from the core developer team is offline, we can still use the other infrastructure. People can still use the same seed on Jelly Wallet as they can do on the Light wallet. They can use both at the same time. And we are going to develop some really cool things for Jelly Wallet.
Mirko: Great to hear. I think DeFiChain needs more decentralization in terms of different wallets, different products, different services. So it’s really great to see that you work on such a great product and you will enrich the whole ecosystem.
Santiago: Thank you very much for the invitation. I really enjoyed it. And thanks for the kind words. I’m really happy. And this is also the reason I invited you on the very beginning to my channel. Then I hope that dStocks.io becomes successful. This is a success story for all of us. And we will definitely also be on your side and try to push you and then build this ecosystem together. We’re working on this all together. So let’s try to build something really great and with real use case. And you’re definitely working on that you’re very much.
Mirko: Thank you very much, guys. Have a nice evening.
Matthias: Have a great evening!