YouHodler Year in Review: 2021 + Bonus AMA
Ferdinand Hodler, a famous Swiss artist, a leader of the “parallelism” art form, and one of YouHodler’s biggest inspirations once said,
"when you look up at the sky, you have a feeling of unity, which delights you and makes you giddy."
Unity. That is the theme of 2021. This year was a year of unity not just for YouHodler but for the entire world. We came together in the face of challenges to create something great that will impact the world for the better.
Going back to Hodler's “parallelism,” this art form focuses on the symmetry and rhythm that Hodler felt represented human society. In this spirit of innovation, creativity, and individuality, YouHodler pays homage to Ferdinand Hodler with the way how we combined crypto, fiat, DeFi, and CeFi this past year. Our mission in 2022 is to continue our parallel path with traditional finance, not to compete against it, but to bridge the gap and improve financial technology for everyone.
Before we get to our plans for next year though, let’s take some time to review all the top hights of 2021 such as:
- Top business achievements and team goals
- Notable technical additions to the platform
- Updates to our legacy features
- Review of top contest results
- Bonus AMA: CEO Ilya Volkov will answer the top questions at the end of this article!
YouHodler sets firm roots in Switzerland
Years in the making, 2021 was the year that YouHodler officially set firm roots in the great nation of Switzerland. We started 2021 off hot by first launching our Swiss platform. Then nine months later, we relocated to a new office building in Lausanne (the first one was opened in 2019). This new one brings us more space and room for positive growth.
It’s truly been a great experience building a team in Crypto Valley and connecting with all the other great companies in the region. Together, we are working hard to bring blockchain financial services to the mainstream in a trustable, and efficient way that compliments the current financial ecosystem, while providing new opportunities for people around the world.
Team meetup in Cyprus establishes a roadmap for 2022
Another top highlight of 2021 was our annual team meetup. This year saw the team flying to the beautiful island of Cyprus for a week of hackathons, brainstorming, and team-building workshops. We are fortunate to have such an amazing international family that works so well together. Also, ee are happy to say that our team more than doubled this year in order to help deliver all the new features requested by our clients.
Thanks to each and every one of you and we can’t wait to do it again in 2022.
Click here to read the full Cyprus meetup recap!
Top tech achievements of 2021
Adding new blockchains for deposits and withdrawals
Our technical development team works extremely hard. Their around-the-clock effort is a massive reason for our success and thanks to them, it was possible to implement several new features on the platform this past year. Most notably perhaps was the addition of the Binance Blockchain on the platform. Bitcoin and Ethereum may still be the top two blockchains by market cap, but several others are making their case recently.
Due to its lightning-fast speed and affordable transaction cost, the Binance blockchain has grown incredibly popular over the years. YouHodler met client demand by implementing this blockchain on our platform, offering a sneak peek for more blockchains to come.
Chainlink price feed and oracle integration
Chainlink’s price feed and oracle service was another major technical integration we made this year. Chainlink price feeds provide new opportunities to improve the reliability of YouHodler data that’s used to trigger important backend processes like issuing new loans and liquidating loans. Chainlink price feeds offer the most accurate data possible, high update frequency, and a robust infrastructure run by top blockchain DevOps professionals.
19 new coins and tokens added to YouHodler
While we know there are still many more coins our great community is clamoring for, we think adding 19 new coins and tokens to the platform this year was a great achievement. We’ve added a few trendy “meme” coins, revolutionary DeFi tokens, and a few other up-and-coming candidates suggested by our YouHodler family.
At YouHodler, we always say that our main objective is to help people activate their crypto and become regular users instead of passive HODlers. Hence we believe adding more coins and tokens allows more options for our clients to participate in this new digital economy. If you don’t see your favorite coin or token on YouHodler yet, don’t worry. Plenty more are on the way!
Popular legacy features get a fresh new look
Our Classic Crypto Backed loans, Turbocharge loans, and Multi HODL features were three of our most popular features in 2021. So popular in fact that we decided to make them even better for you. Therefore, we decided to wipe out all commissions on our Multi HODL service, giving our clients more money when they profit. On top of that, we renewed our loans and turbocharge services, allowing stablecoins as collateral and opening up new avenues of cooperation with DeFi services as a result.
With stablecoins as collateral, users can get loans in tokens like UNI or LINK, and then stake them on DeFi platforms and also on YouHodler to diversify investments and take advantage of various interest rewards in the industry.
Giving away Teslas, holidays and more: a new YouHodler tradition
While technically NOW is the season for giving, YouHodler doesn’t play by the rules. We like to give gifts at all times of the year. That was evidenced by a few different promotions in 2021 that saw some loyal and intelligent clients win amazing prizes like a Tesla Model 3, a trip around the world, and electric bikes. This was not a one-off activity and it was so popular with our community, we look forward to doing more stuff like this very soon.
YouHodler finishes in finals at “Favorit 2021 Entrepreneurship Gala”
While everyone was busy talking about the metaverse and Web 3.0 in 2021, YouHodler was busy bringing crypto into the real world. At the Favorit 2021 Entrepreneurship Gala, YouHodler finished in the top three finalists. The first prize was taken by a group that is engineering spacecraft for suborbital cargo and passenger flights. So while we didn’t beat them, it’s nice to give up 1st place to these amazing real-world projects.
YouHodler CEO Becomes Board Member of Crypto Valley Association
This was an exciting year for our CEO Ilya Volkov as well. 2021 saw him elected to the Board Member of the Crypto Valley Association (CVA), in addition to the CVA Western Chapter Chair position. Also, Ilya became an ambassador of Innovaud, an innovation and investment promotion agency for the Canton of Vaud, Switzerland.
This is not only good news for us, but good news for YouHodler clients as it helps to drive new development, increase the size and quality of the community and expand the ecosystem to new innovative heights.
2021: the year of transparency
Transparency is a big issue in the crypto industry. Many people like to remain anonymous, which is one of the industry’s biggest strengths. At the same time, a certain level of transparency is welcome to establish trust from the corporate point of view. For that reason, we created a YouHodler stats page that allows everyone to see stats like:
- Community growth
- Savings account distribution
- Average Multi HODL input
- Platform volume
- Coin popularity and more
These stats also help provide an answer to a popular question about our high-interest rates on savings accounts. Our average revenue is simply higher than the average interest payout, so that’s how we can cover the high-interest rates you see on the platform.
Speaking of popular questions, we will now pass the mic over to our CEO Ilya Volkov, who will answer some of the most pertinent questions in an exclusive AMA.
End of year AMA with CEO Ilya Volkov
Q: Please explain clearly what is the problem converting EURS to EUROS?
Ilya Volkov: EURS is a unique stablecoin and it’s the only real Euro-backed stablecoin on the market. For that reason, liquidity is quite limited and we need to work with a variety of techniques to try to manage this liquidity effectively. YouHodler is always focused on efficiency and balance. We want to carefully balance our portfolio in a way that minimizes risks for our clients as much as possible so they are protected.
We have good news, however. Soon, we will reopen EURS functionality in late January with a few minor limits. These limits will not affect the everyday user. These limits will only affect large whales and arbitrage traders. While we welcome these types of users to our platform, YouHodler is and always will be, a platform for everyday people.
Q: Your latest compliance requirements are annoying and time-consuming. Why do you put clients through this?
IV: Simply put, YouHodler is a regulated company that needs to follow strict requirements. Other CeFi companies that claim to be regulated but have very loose compliance guidelines are not truly regulated. If they were, they would have the same, strict procedures as us.
The future of crypto lies in the hands of regulation. Take the Markets in Crypto-Asset Regulation (MCAR) proposal for example. When this regulation comes into place in 2022, only licensed providers will be allowed to offer cryptocurrency services in the European Union (EU).
We know our compliance procedures are not the most fun, but we do our best to make it as easy as possible for our clients. Our main reason is to get rid of bad actors on the platform as they do a disservice to the progress of this great industry. YouHodler just went through a 4-month audit of our own so we know how annoying these procedures can be but we try to make it as friendly as possible for you.
At the moment, we are already regulated. We have a Swiss pawnbroker license and a financial intermediary status. Next year will see us pursue more advanced, Tier 1 licenses which will make our platform more accessible and safer than ever before. So we thank you for your patience during this process.
Q: When are full YouHodler services going to be available for Swiss residents?
IV: We have a clear roadmap that will come in 2022. Many more services for Swiss residents are on the way!
Q: It was a great year for crypto but when do you think the crypto bull market will start to decline?
IV: We are very positive in general about the market. Yes, it is volatile at the moment but volatility is a sign of market productivity and health. The crypto market is still very young so more volatility is to be expected but we are still positive about the direction it will take in 2022. There are many strong signs of growth and market capitalization. Web3, the Metaverse, NFTs, and more are all signs the market has a lot of potential and crypto will play an important role within these realms.
Q: $100K interest-earning limit is too low. Are you planning to increase it without using MultiHold?
IV: We have two features coming soon in Q1-Q2 of 2021. The first feature is about increasing limits and providing active users with more interest and further benefits. The second feature will be about adopting a CeDeFi approach meaning our users will benefit from high interest in other DeFi platforms integrated into the YouHodler platform. We’ll have more information on this exciting news coming soon.
Q: What makes YouHodler stand out from its competitors?
IV: Our main goal since starting in 2018 has been to help people benefit from crypto simply and securely instead of just HODLing. We believe our services do that and will continue to do that as we improve upon them and implement crypto into the current financial system. We aim to bridge the gap between TradFi and crypto. We have all the features needed to do that like savings accounts, loans, exchange, wallets, and unique tools that help clients play with the market and potentially profit.
Unlike our competitors, the YouHodler model is about stability. We are focused on balancing revenue with our cost structure. On the YouHodler stats page, you can see how our revenue results in the ability to offer the high-interest rates we have on our platform.
We are not trying to replace fiat like our competitors. We are offering maximum functionality for our clients to benefit from the crypto world and doing so in a transparent and balanced way.
Q: Does YouHodler regret not creating an altcoin?
IV: We do not have this plan in our roadmap for 2022 and we still don’t see a clear use case for it. We favor simple UI/UX over an unnecessary altcoin that could make things more complicated for our users. Pushing our clients to buy and use an altcoin that doesn’t need to be there is not an honest practice in our opinion. Of course, we never say never. If we could find a use case for a YouHodler coin someday, then we will make it. However, in 2022, it is not in our plans.
Q: Multi HODL could potentially become your flagship product if interest rates collapse. Would YouHodler consider improving client cost-effectiveness (i.e offering volume discount, or lowering borrowing rates by 50% to match FTX, Kucoin, or removing price slippage and conversion spread, etc)?
IV: During this year alone, we have improved the usability and the price of Multi HODL in our client’s favor. This was just a sneak peek of things to come. We are constantly working on improvements for Multil HODL and all products. As of now, we’ve significantly improved prices for Multi HODL and have seen a lot of positive feedback from our customers.
Q: Will New blockchains be added for deposits and withdrawals?
IV: Yes! More blockchains are coming in Q1 of 2022.
Q: One of the biggest risks in using a service such as YouHodler is that we lose ownership of our private keys. What is in place to make sure that customers can always get back their crypto?
IV: We’ve implemented many additional security features over the years and are making sure our platform is as secure as possible. We added Fireblocks in addition to Ledger Vault which all help us achieve our goal of maximum insurance and protection. As for the point about private keys, there are two different approaches one can use.
Some people prefer to always keep their private keys and manage their crypto. Others don’t mind using a trusted service provider to keep their money. The same comparison can be made with cash in your pocket vs. keeping money in a bank or with a service provider like a stockbroker. Banks and stockbrokers are both trusted to keep your money safe and we feel YouHodler is similar to that to help your money work for you.
Q: Are you guys using rehypothecation by directly lending customer coins to people or are you keeping them in a cold wallet as collateral and lending an equivalent amount of your coins?
IV: Please check out the stats page linked above to get an idea of how our stable business model works.
Q: About the safety of funds stored on the user's account: what is your policy about the remote eventuality of death of a user? Will you allow his family or his designated person to withdraw funds from YouHodler?
IV: Yes, we follow all common legal practices in this situation. The process is the same as what would happen with a bank account. We are making some sort of simplified automation for these events in the future, much like Facebook has where someone takes over your account for you.
Q: Is there a timeline to improve business transparency and boost clients’ confidence? I.e deposit insurance, reserve attestation, corporate office showcase.
IV: Once again, please see our stats page linked above to see a few key stats and business transparency. We will keep adding to this in the future as well.
Q: In terms of marketing what plans does youhodler have to capture more of the market
IV: The implementation of our new CeDeFi implementation will help users interact with YouHodler and DeFi in exciting new ways, bringing more benefits to active users on our platform.
Q: How many total users now?
IV: You can see our stats page for that information.
Thanks for all the great questions everyone and we hope you have a happy new year!