- Shane Molidor is the head of business development at AscendEX, which recently raised $50 million.
- He shared the two major trends on his radar and his price outlook for bitcoin and ethereum.
- He also explained why the firm is looking to grow its “Earn” product, which generates high APRs.
After three years of working as a technology consultant, Shane Molidor was interviewing with venture capital firms when he was put in touch with Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.
The Winklevoss brothers were in the early stages of starting their crypto exchange Gemini and looking to boost their team, which had less than 10 full-time staff at the time. Molidor, who was already intrigued by blockchain technology, jumped at the opportunity.
Since then, he has gone all-in on crypto and even moved to China to join the digital asset hedge fund FBG Capital before taking on his current role as the global head of business development at AscendEX.
Molidor said he joined the crypto platform because it is seeking to be more than just an exchange. On AscendEX, investors can not only buy and sell cryptocurrencies but also participate in lucrative staking, decentralized yield farming, and
“If you think about all the cool opportunities that exist in crypto, all these ridiculous returns on investment or APR percentages that can be generated,” he said in an interview. “Really, it’s just the sophisticated investor that’s getting access to that.”
While venture capital investors, trading desks, and hedge funds scramble to exploit the arbitrage opportunities in decentralized finance, retail investors are often left in the dark due to the complexity of and barriers to executing those strategies. That’s why the team behind AscendEX built its “Earn” product, an automated yield-generating strategy that combines staking, DeFi yield farming, and liquidity mining.
“Our goal is we don’t care how complicated it is, we are going to do all the work for you,” Molidor said. “All you have to do is store the assets within your wallet, click one button, and you start earning.”
How to earn up to 100% APRs
Both staking and DeFi yield farming are ways for investors to lock up their cryptocurrencies and get rewards in the form of tokens for doing so. In staking, crypto investors are using their funds to validate the transactions and blocks on the networks. In yield farming, traders deposit their tokens on DeFi platforms to provide liquidity.
While staking usually provides single- to double-digit annual percentage rates, yield farming can generate triple- or even five-digit APRs. For example, among the 70 crypto assets on the AscendEX platform, staking Clearpool (CPOOL) and Waterfall Governance Token (WTF) by depositing them onto the platform can generate 100% estimated APRs, as of Friday afternoon, according to its website.
“If we are able to generate that yield, we are giving it all back to the user. A lot of other platforms are taking a haircut and that’s their way to generate revenue,” Molidor said. “We are acting as an agent working on behalf of all of our users and we are passing all of the earnings back to them.”
To be sure, AscendEX does not accept US-based users right now. It counts 500,000 registered users across more than 200 countries and is most popular in Asian countries.
The Singapore-based crypto company recently raised $50 million from prominent venture capital investors including Polychain Capital, Jump Capital, and Sam Bankman-Fried’s Alameda Research. The newly injected capital will allow the firm to invest in research and development for new DeFi protocols that generate attractive yields for its end-users and build validator nodes to plug into those ecosystems, he added.
2 major trends Molidor is looking at
“With bitcoin hitting new all-time highs, ether tends to chase bitcoin,” he explained. “When you have all these other layer-one protocols like solana claiming to do what ethereum is doing but better, then when ether grows, solana grows. So it’s just one big train of cryptos following one another.”
The SOL and AVAX tokens have skyrocketed 11,476% and 2,329% in the past year, according to CoinGecko pricing.
Despite the recent retracement of bitcoin and other blue-chip altcoins, Molidor still sees tons of trading volume and liquidity for cash and derivatives in the markets, which is a sign of healthy price discovery. He thinks bitcoin and ethereum could reach $100,000 and $8,000, respectively, if this trend continues.
He also thinks that solana could “flippening” ethereum if the network can achieve the same level of retail adoption for the decentralized applications built on top of it as ethereum has.
Another trend he’s following is the entrance of incumbent gaming companies into the crypto space through either tokenizing their business models or introducing token economies into existing games.
He explains that crypto-native companies such as Axie Infinity (AXS) and Star Atlas (ATLAS) have built exciting and addictive games that would attract players. However, he doesn’t see many games of the same caliber created by blockchain companies.
“Traditional gaming companies have the additional benefit of already having a really well-established community, and sometimes hundreds of millions of users,” he said. “So that captive audience is positioning them well for success if they were to introduce a token economy to their existing platform.”