The Russian Roundup Presents A Beneath The Surface Breakdown To Reserve Protocol With Reserve Community Manager Sinatra. ®
For those who have been following what we have been doing for a while they will know Reserve is one of the crypto projects which we believe aligns with what we look for as investors in the crypto space.
Readers are in for a treat as today we have @RussianDeFi having an Interview with the Reserve community manager Sinatra. We would like to reinforce the importance of understanding what your projects are about and what better way to do this then have a conversation with someone directly from the team of one of our favourite projects!
Russian DeFi: First of all I would like to formally introduce our guest Sinatra joining us here today on the Russian Roundup, it is a major privilege to have someone from the Reserve team join us today!
Sinatra® : Hello to all the readers of the Russian Roundup! Thank you for having me
Russian DeFi: I would like to start of by getting into a general introduction into who you are, what it is you do, your role at reserve and your all round crypto journey?
Sinatra® : My name is Sinatra - I’ve started out at Reserve as a Community Manager for the RSR Community Squad and have recently been appointed the Guild Leader of the RToken Community. Most of my work is focused around the RSR community.
The goals of the RSR Community Squad can be summarised in three main pillars:
📍- Proactive & reactive education of the workings of the Reserve ecosystem
📍- Sharing progress about the growth of the Reserve ecosystem
📍- Moderating the workings of the Reserve ecosystem
I originally came into contact with Reserve as a big fan of cryptocurrencies as a whole (mostly as a way to make money), looking for valuable projects that were not discovered by the masses yet. For me, Reserve was “just another project” until I decided to dive into the whitepaper. Once I did, I fell in love with the mission Reserve was trying to accomplish and decided I wanted to be part of the community.
Due to the fact that I thoroughly researched the project (which not a lot of people tend to do), I was able to answer a lot of questions the community had, and I enjoyed doing it. This proactive approach eventually led to me becoming a community moderator, and not much later I received a DM by Nevin Freeman (CEO of Reserve) asking whether I’d be interested in joining the team. So I quit my previous job (Head of the consultancy department at a small IT firm) and here I am! :-)
Russian DeFi: It is great to hear how hard work can be rewarded. Having a passion for the project and a willingness to share your knowledge has put you in a position to take the step up from community moderator to where you are now!
On many occasions I myself have emphasised that there is always stability and value when there is community, I’d like to ask how does Reserve view the importance of community?
Sinatra® : As you might know, the Reserve Protocol is being worked on towards becoming fully decentralised. As with any decentralised protocol, the community behind it is one of the most important aspects, especially if you think about governance of the Reserve stable-coins (some of which will be run fully by a DAO).
Something that I think we can improve on regarding community is to find a way to attract people that care about the long-term vision of the protocol and want to actively participate in governing it.
A great example of this is the MakerDAO forums — from what I’ve seen all discussions on their forums are very high-quality and civil. I feel like that part of our community is currently too small, and I’d like for us to work towards a way to make it larger.
Russian DeFi: Reserves views towards decentralisation is something which always stood out to me as many people know already, I am extremely passionate about decentralised finance.
As the current Guild leader for the RToken community guild, the second RTokens upon initial protocol launch are backed by yield-bearing USD coin, backed by DeFi USD tokens, why do you think it is important to have DeFi involved?
Sinatra® : If you look at the Reserve app in its current state, it is basically a way to “escape” from weak local currencies (such as the Venezuelan Bolivar or the Argentine Peso) by exchanging them for our stablecoin RSV — which is a stablecoin indirectly pegged to the value of the USD. By exchanging your local currency to RSV, you can rest assured that your hard-earned money stays stable, and you can even spend it at one of the many merchants that accept Reserve.
However, with recent developments in the world of DeFi, we can offer our customers even more. By leveraging the power of DeFi, we managed to create a stablecoin that generates passive yield for the holders of the stablecoin (no staking or lockups required). This new stablecoin will be offered in the Reserve app as a “savings account”, and our customers will be able to earn an expected 1–7% APY on the funds they hold in it (depending on the general crypto market conditions).
Many of our customers have not been able to save their money with yield for a very long time, so we are very glad to soon be able to offer this option. Furthermore, I believe our institutional customers will be excited to hear they can earn up to 7% on their treasury assets.
Russian DeFi : It is interesting that you describe the Reserve App as an “escape from weak local currencies” as I would certainly agree, seeing many screenshots and the growth in users, the app is certainly what you described it as.
Once again, another example which you have highlighted is the way in which Reserve uses DeFi to achieve the wider goal of the project. Reserve believes there is a possibility of a catastrophe as central banks continue with quantitive easing, how do you and the team believe a financial crisis would affect cryptos adoption and what is it doing to ensure the project comes out on top in case of such a catastrophe?
Sinatra®: I can only speak from my own perspective, as I don’t know the opinion of other team members on this topic.
At this point in time there is definitely somewhat of a correlation between the S&P500 & Bitcoin; one example is the crash in both the S&P500 & Bitcoin in March 2020 due to initial COVID-19 news (there is no logical reason for Bitcoin to crash due to COVID news if there wasn’t a correlation with the stock market). My personal hypothesis is that, if we see a large stock market crash, Bitcoin — and thus the rest of the crypto market — will crash along with it. I only base this on historical evidence, who knows how the market will react in the future…
A big question to ask in that case is: “Will all stablecoins be able to defend their peg when the general crypto market is down and/or goes through a bear market?” A lot of people have a lot of different opinions on this. I personally believe that there will be multiple stablecoins that will not be able to do that.
Depending on the stablecoin’s market cap at the time, this could have significant effects on the holders of the stablecoin, its future use, and on the general trust of the public in stablecoins.
Russian DeFi: You mention the overall importance of external influences having an impact on the market with S&P500 however, inflation is something Reserve have been trying to tackle for a while, it mustn’t come to surprise seeing the growth in fear for inflation outside of the crypto-verse?
Sinatra® : Knowing the effects hyperinflation has or has had in the past, even in the West (such as Weimar Germany), I think a fear of inflation is a logical reaction to have when you notice the Consumer Price Index (CPI) growing to ~6% for the US Dollar — especially since the world doesn’t really have a good solution to combat that situation if it would occur. Some even say that the CPI is an outdated metric and that the real inflation is much higher than what the CPI captures.
From all the research I’ve done on inflation of the USD, EUR, … I’ve learned one thing, and that’s that there’s definitely not a general consensus on what’s going to happen, even between economists. As I’m not economist myself, I’ve decided not to voice an opinion on the matter (as it would not be grounded in enough research).
From Reserve’s point-of-view, we are definitely aware of the rising fear for inflation of the US Dollar, and our long-term vision (which is to create a non-USD stablecoin that can beat any type of inflation) is rising in priority because of it.
Russian DeFi : I certainly can say I myself am not an economist either however it is interesting that from a Reserve point of view the team has already been aware of a growth in fear for inflation.
You have mentioned how the long term vision of the project is to create a stable-coin which can beat any inflation. This has even been emphasised recently by Reserve CEO Nevin Freeman.
I’d like to ask, what makes $RSV, reserves USD stable-coin different to other stable coins?
Sinatra® : To be honest, the current stablecoin RSV does not really differ that much from existing stablecoins like USDC or USDP, besides the fact that it is a bit more secure against the failure of any one stablecoin issuer (as it is backed by three USD stablecoins, each one easily replaceable in the case that one of the issuers finds themselves under regulatory pressure or other issues that would prevent them from issuing their stablecoin in the same way as they do now).
What does, however, make a big difference in RSV is its use-case. Instead of deciding to compete with existing stablecoins on the crypto-trading market, we decided to build where no one else is willing to build, which is the part of the world that is severely damaged by hyperinflation (currently South-America in particular).
The market we are targeting is several times larger than the crypto-trading market, and up to now there are way less players in that game compared to the crypto-trading market.
We’ve decided to take the difficult route, and getting to enormous market caps for RSV will be harder than if we would have targeted the crypto-trading world, but if the project turns out in the way we think it will, this approach will greatly benefit us, our customers and our community in the long term.
Russian DeFi: Hearing first hand from the team the emphasis on user satisfaction and how driven the protocol is to the benefit of their users is something that can only be emphasised by the team which is why I am so glad you have spent your time with us. Id like to ask one more question.
Getting merchants on board is a quite significant part in the success of Reserve long term. How do you plan to incentivise merchants to choose Reserve instead of other options?
Sinatra®: Something that is important to understand as context here is that, as far as I am aware, there really aren’t that many good solutions to the issue of hyperinflation that we are trying to solve. If you want to use Zelle you need a US bank account (which only a privileged minority of the people has), for using PayPal there is the risk of your account getting shut down, for using Binance P2P there is counterparty risk — and it is not optimised for payments to merchants.
Reserve is one of the few decent solutions that solve the issue many of our customers are faced with daily, and you can see how appreciated that is by our customers & merchants by taking a look at reviews or Twitter reactions.
With that being said, many merchants we approach are as excited as we are to be able to accept Reserve for their goods/services, and our Business Development teams have been making some great progress because of it.
We have recently signed deals with some very known brands (which we’ll announce publicly soon), which will also play a big role in the adoption of other merchants. If our BD team can go to a merchant and say: “Reserve is accepted by all X stores in the country”, and if “X” is a name everyone recognises, that will give merchants more trust that the Reserve app is indeed something legit — and they’ll be less wary to start accepting it in their own stores.
Russian DeFi: Id like to just thank you for your time Sinatra on behalf of the Russian Roundup community.
The responses were formulated in a manner which is extremely impressive and quite frankly it is a pleasure to be working with the Reserve team.
Is there anything else you would like to add to conclude?
Sinatra® : Yes! If any of the readers of the Russian Roundup think our story is interesting and would like to be part of our journey, there are two ways to do that:
1) We are actively hiring in a range of positions, from full-stack developers to operations support, administration, and much more. Check out the “Jobs” page on reserve.org for all open positions.
2) Initial Reserve stablecoins will be managed by a DAO, and we could use smart people that like the economics of cryptocurrency to help decide the future of those stablecoins.
If you are interested in joining the DAO, please follow @ReserveProtocol on Twitter — we will make an announcement there once the DAO is live.
Thanks a lot for inviting me, Russian Roundup!
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