Exclusive: YouHodler CEO Ilya Volkov on DeFi, LUNA meltdown, crypto savings, and regulation

Rick Steves

In a time when many still believe there is a war taking place between the digital asset space and traditional finance, the rise of centralized decentralized finance (CeDeFi) comes as an opportunity to make peace by taking advantage of the best each world has to offer.

YouHodler entered the scene in 2017 to simplify access to crypto and DeFi and offer crypto savings accounts with high yields as fiat currencies face challenging times.

We spoke with Ilya Volkov, co-founder and CEO of YouHodler, to learn more about the platform and how it combines the safety and security of traditional finance with the innovation of decentralized finance.

How does staking work and how do yields go that high?

First, I just want to say that “staking” on YouHodler is not staking in the traditional sense as staking on proof-of-stake (PoS) or in DeFi protocols. Instead, we refer to them as crypto savings accounts or crypto yield accounts because we believe they are more in line with traditional savings accounts. Funds are never locked on YouHodler. Our clients simply top up their crypto and earn interest on their wallet balance. They can withdraw funds at any time but of course, when they withdraw, their savings accounts stop generating interest. This works just like any traditional savings account.

Interest payments are calculated every four hours and payments occur every week.

As for the high-interest rates you see on our yield accounts, (up to 12.3% APR plus compounding interest), we can pay these rates via the fees we generate from other features like crypto-backed loans, Multi HODL, exchanges, and Turbo Loans.

This helps us stabilize our interest rates compared to some of our competitors that have fluctuating interest rates.

What is Multi HODL?

Multi HODL is an original feature our talented developers created. It’s a one-of-a-kind tool that allows traders to multiply their crypto and benefit from the price movement of a dedicated cryptocurrency pair. It’s a fully automated process that helps traders trade their crypto using a chain of loans principle.

Our automated lending engine uses funds in a chosen wallet as collateral for a loan. Then, the borrowed funds from the first loan are used to buy or sell more crypto (depending on if the trader wants to long or short the market). This process can be repeated from 2 to 50 times depending on the trader’s risk appetite.

To further manage risk, traders can set automatic exit levels at specific price points or close the position manually if they choose.

What makes YouHodler unique in the world of crypto and DeFi?

We have started YouHodler back in 2017 with one idea in mind – to help people to unlock all benefits of crypto in a simple and secure way.

I have noticed a lot of projects in the crypto and DeFi space pride themselves on being “anti-TradFi” or “anti-fiat.” However, at YouHodler, we believe that philosophy is counterproductive to the main goal of mass adoption. We don’t see blockchain technology as a replacement for traditional finance. We see it as an enhancement.

That’s why we made YouHodler a bridge between the fiat and crypto worlds. Both have benefits that can help each other and we want to make those benefits available to our clients.

For example, the regulation and professionalism of traditional banking make it extremely safe for users. Meanwhile, blockchain technology and cryptocurrency help people unlock new opportunities for investing and trading that the traditional world lacks. Of course, that comes with risks too. However, if we can combine the safety and security of traditional finance with the innovation of decentralized finance, then I think we truly have something unique that can be built on for generations to come.

So, we already made a bridge between crypto and fiat in the most simple and secure way to help normal people (not just crypto geeks) benefit from crypto and now we’re focused on building another bridge – between CeFi and DeFi or in other words we do our best to simplify access to DeFi.

Has the Terra meltdown done a disservice to the DeFi industry or was such a risk already priced in and won’t affect confidence in the space?

Firstly I’d like to say that we never listed Terra & Luna on YouHodler because of the deep due diligence process our risk and compliance team does before any listings on the platform.

I don’t believe in events being “priced-in” or not. However, what I do believe is that the crypto market is maturing immensely. What we have out of the Terra event – is a demonstration of market resilience.

The long-term potential of blockchain technology is obvious now and it is less speculative than ever before. So I truly don’t think we will see a Mt. Gox type of event ever again where the majority of the market cap is wiped out overnight. We will likely see more Terra events in the future but they will have a smaller impact on overall market health as the years go on.

Projects will come and go but the overall confidence in this industry will continue to grow until it is on the same level, or greater than, that of the traditional stock market.

What’s your take on central banks, namely the BoE, wanting to bail out the next collapsing stablecoin. Could it ruin the whole decentralized purpose of DeFi?

It’s a sign that the market is becoming more mature and is being taken seriously. It may seem scary to some “anti-establishment” people out there but in reality, it represents a complex process of adoption. A process of DeFi and crypto merging together with the much larger traditional finance industry. Again, I don’t think this bridge between worlds will ruin one or the other but in fact, make both stronger than before.

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