[Interview by Mart]
Tangleverse Times: How and when did your journey in crypto start?
Alpha Rho: Crypto was always around me since 2012-2013 when the crypto mining fiesta was very popular. Some of my acquaintances were starting a cloud mining company but I never looked into it with a deeper understanding since I was quite busy building my business – what a mistake, right? In 2017 IOTA was shilled to me and I slowly started reading and understanding what it’s about. But my real crypto journey started at the end of 2020 when I decided to exit from all of my businesses and “retire”. That retirement lasted for 3-4 months until I made a decision to read and learn more about crypto, with IOTA at pole position.
TvT: After you became part of the biz dev team of ApeSwap, what was your way “back” to IOTA?
AR: ApeSwap came as a consequence to my involvement with IOTA so it was never a hard decision to go “back” to IOTA. ApeSwap was the first protocol that integrated IOTA into their DEX and opened a “farm” where you could earn yield with it. That was my first touch with DeFi and I immediately became very interested in the topic. My time as a contributor to ApeSwap was crucial to me because I was given a chance to learn so much from other contributors - I’m indefinitely grateful for that opportunity. After IOTA announced the development of EVM - it was just a matter of time that I fully switched my dedication back to IOTA. ApeDAO was founded and a few months later I joined as a contributor to ShimmerSea DEX as well. Strong community, NFT PFPs, well managed DEX and money market are the foundation of DeFi and I didn’t want to stay on the sidelines for that.
TvT: What do you think separates Shimmer from other Chains?
AR: Shimmer as a foundational network has few unique selling propositions; feeless transfers, native assets, “bridgeless” transfers between smart contract chains that run on top of L1. Only these few USPs put Shimmer on par with many other “blue chip” networks and it’s just a matter of time until the Shimmer and IOTA ecosystems outshine its competition.
TvT: What do you think is the most overlooked part / aspect of Shimmer?
AR: At this moment there is not too much talk about Shimmer acting as a “bridge” between future chains that will be launched on top of L1. That’s what I’m curious about seeing after the Shimmer ecosystem flourishes. Seamless and quick transfers of tokens from one chain to another is going to improve UX by a lot, compared to current bridging solutions.
TvT: Is there anything completely new, never seen before, that the current DeFi protocols aiming to launch on Shimmer bring to the table?
AR: This is yet to be seen. We do have a pretty unique L1 - L2 interconnected ecosystem so my guess is that the unique use cases are yet to come. I would be happy if we manage to build a strong DeFi ecosystem based on the “battle-proven” protocols like Uniswap (DEX) and Compound (Money market), and then add a bit of uniqueness on top of that. Although, we at ShimmerSea DEX are preparing a never-seen-before tokenomics feature developed in-house that will be shared in our whitepaper and will be published closer to the ShimmerEVM mainnet launch. Also, ApeDAO already built and audited innovative (but not unique afaik) NFT-liquidity features that can already be tested on our app on the ShimmerEVM testnet.
TvT: As we are approaching a full DeFi ecosystem on Shimmer and later on IOTA, what are the biggest opportunities in your opinion?
AR: Being early in a whole new DeFi ecosystem is always fruitful for users as there will be many incentives to bootstrap the liquidity of dApps. Being a liquidity provider or just a simple speculative trader can earn you some nice profits, but it all comes with a lot of risks. Make sure that anyone that gets involved in DeFi understands the mechanics behind each protocol, and does the research before putting any money in as rugpulls are quite often in DeFi.
TvT: Many people in the community voice the concern that Smart Contracts on Shimmer are too late. Do you agree?
AR: I’m pretty sure there were a few search engines before Google even existed. What does “too late” even mean? How many people use crypto and with what purpose? In my opinion, we are still way too early for what the future is bringing.
TvT: What will change for ApeDAO once ShimmerEVM is on mainnet? Multisig wallets surely are a nice addition, but is there anything that you’re really looking forward to?
AR: ShimmerEVM launching its mainnet is a key event for ApeDAO. Some of the most important factors are:
- We decentralize the Treasury “ownership” with a multi-sig solution (we are already in close contact with Servrox)
- We start with Treasury operations which will hopefully bring us somewhat steady income,
- We deploy our smart contracts that allow us to perform “Ape Split” and “Liquid Apes'' upgrades - our attempt in making ape NFTs more liquid and diversify the voting power
- We intensify APEvisory and APEducation branches of our project
- We launch our first “Powered by ApeDAO'' project called Liquifier. “Powered by ApeDAO” is a novelty that we are “incubating” right now - it’s visioned as a program that allows ape contributors to build additional income streams for ApeDAO and themselves.
TvT: What do you think needs to happen for IOTA and / or Shimmer to really rise again in ranks?
AR: The “ranks” are a very subjective metric as it only takes the token market cap into consideration. That makes it pretty easy to answer - the price needs to go up for MC to go up and lead IOTA in the increase of ranks. What can make the IOTA price go up? Probably regaining trust within the existing community and reaching to the outer audience with the latest accomplishments of the IF. Subjective viewers would only criticize the IF and their work but if we take an objective look we can see a lot of accomplishments in the last couple of years. Namely Chrysalis, Shimmer network, ShimmerEVM Testnet, etc. It's the same with the building process of the house - you don’t care about how it looks until you start building something above the ground that you can actually see. I believe that many don’t understand how important the foundations are that are being built right now, and soon the “visible” part will become the center focus for builders. But some critics haven’t built a house yet to be able to see the wide picture here. So, in my opinion, it’s just a matter of time until people start seeing something “above the ground” until IOTA/Shimmer rise in ranks.
TvT: Let’s say Shimmer and IOTA start a bull run to end all bull runs, where do you see yourself? Where do you live, what do you do with your life?
AR: Not much changes as I already have everything that I need in my life. The only thing that I would love to change is that I would want to travel to meet all the awesome builders that I have an honor to build with.
TvT: Tricky question to conclude the interview: What’s your favorite bad boy that didn’t make his way into the collection of the original 1074 Apes. Could you show him to us?
AR: That’s really not that hard to answer. It’s the OG Ape that was the “template” of the whole collection and was designed as my PFP by BingoBongoApe before the ApeDAO officially started as a project. (see at the top of the interview)