THORWallet noncustodial DeFi wallet review with Marcel Harmann
Wednesday, July 6, 2022
We recently caught up with Marcel Harmann, the CEO, and Founder of the THORWallet noncustodial DeFi wallet for a review on how it offers cross-chain swaps and passive income on native token swaps. Harmann discusses what the future of DeFi holds, what noncustodial wallets are, and the benefits of DEX wallets.
Marcel Harmann is the Founder and CEO of THORWallet DEX, the only noncustodial DeFi wallet to offer cross-chain swaps and provide passive income on native token swaps. A key value proposition of blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) is the opportunity to decentralize traditional, archaic financial frameworks. In the industry, this is known as decentralized finance (DeFi). DeFi gives rise to greater transparency and more equitable distribution of assets globally. In line with this, decentralized exchanges (DEXs) are becoming increasingly popular. We had the opportunity to speak with Marcel about why this facet of Web3 is gaining traction and how it can benefit the masses.
ADM: Tell us your story, Marcel. How did you become involved in decentralized finance (DeFi) and subsequently founding THORWallet DEX?
Harmann: I’m a seasoned entrepreneur with a deep background in banking and finance, also pursuing a Ph.D. in Computer Science. Blockchain and decentralized finance (DeFi) are key areas of interest for me, and because of this, I have worked in the space for several years.
I’ve held a number of positions both academically and professionally within the industry. I’m a Course Director at The Lucerne University of Applied Sciences for two further education courses, the CAS Crypto Finance & Cryptocurrencies, and CAS Blockchain course; Co-Founder and board member of the DEC Institute, an online examination and certification platform for digital assets specialists; Board Member of the Crypto Valley Association, one of the biggest blockchain-related associations worldwide. Previously, I was Head of SEBAversity of Swiss-based Crypto Bank SEBA, one of the first fully licensed global digital-asset banks. I am now CEO and Founder of THORWallet DEX, a noncustodial wallet to swap native assets across chains while earning passive income.
ADM: What do you think are the most promising aspects of DeFi for shaping the future of our economy?
Harmann: Financial exclusion is a serious problem in many areas of the world. We need better solutions, and I believe DeFi provides the tools to solve this problem and create more opportunities for the world’s 1.7B unbanked population. Our vision is to offer all the financial services a person needs in an easy-to-use mobile and web application powered by DeFi, one that is fair, transparent, and open to anyone, bettering the experiences of the world’s marginalized communities.
ADM: What is the role of a wallet within a liquidity platform?
Harmann: The best way to explain this is to use our ecosystem as an example. THORChain is a Layer 1 protocol that can be viewed as the base layer, but you need companies like THORWallet DEX to simplify the user journey, something that is key for user adoption. DeFi educational barriers mean that it is unrealistic to expect users to interact on-chain, so we have taken the approach to simplify and make the product interface as intuitive as possible. Users need a trusted wallet where they can store their assets in a noncustodial manner. We are one of the few mobile wallets that enable the decentralized cross-chain exchange of assets via this method.
ADM: What does it mean to be a noncustodial wallet?
Harmann: Noncustodial means that the base layer doesn’t store your private keys. The user is in complete control of the keys and therefore of the funds. It is our ethos within the THOR community: "Not your keys. Not your coins". Of course, shifting the custody to the user brings a new set of responsibilities, however without this, you are exposed to bad actors, hacks, or exchange collapses which are sadly common in the space.
ADM: Can you explain to our audience the relationship between THORWallet DEX and THORChain?
Harmann: From a business perspective, THORChain is an early backer and investor of THORWallet DEX. From a technical point of view, THORChain is the base layer upon which THORWallet DEX is built.
ADM: THORWallet DEX is the only noncustodial wallet to swap native crypto-assets across chains. What are the benefits of interoperability when trading and storing cryptocurrencies?
Harmann: What is clear is that the future is multi-chain. The ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach has been challenged and more case-specific blockchain solutions are rising. That is where THORChain comes in: being able to exchange value across ecosystems is fundamental, otherwise, liquidity is siloed. Until now, cross-chain swapping was done via ‘wrapped tokens’, assets that allow the value of a native asset from one blockchain to transfer to another blockchain and while that solution worked well, it comes with its own risks such as bridge hacks or a level of trust in the multi-signature that controls the bridge. The advent of THORChain marked a breakthrough in the blockchain ecosystem. For the first time, we are able to exchange native assets across chains in a decentralized manner with no wrapping or bridges.
ADM: THORWallet DEX allows users to earn passive income on native token swaps, can you provide an example of what this looks like?
Harmann: THORChain unlike most Automated Market Makers (AMM), has a unique setup for asset pools as all pools are in the format asset: RUNE. These pools enable the exchange of assets within the pool or with another pool. Pools collect swap fees that are paid as yield to liquidity providers (people who provided assets to the pool). In our suite of products, we allow users to access these pools and earn passive income on them.
ADM: Some of our audience are not familiar with DeFi technology, how would you advise them to start learning more and engaging with the technology?
Harmann: Great question! If they want to know more about THORWallet DEX, the best place to learn is our website, where they will find plenty of information and comprehensive FAQs. If instead, people want to learn more about the technology powering THORWallet DEX, then the best place to go is THORChain’s website (www.thorchain.org). I believe education is something we in the blockchain community have to improve upon. Technology moves at a fast pace and if we want more people to use these products, we need to educate them about the benefits and how they are impactful on everyday life.
ADM: What do you think the future of DeFi looks like in light of this bearish market we are witnessing?
Harmann: Bear markets are tough, but they are also a necessary evil because they clean up the market with only the projects solving real-life problems triumphing in the end. With regards to DeFi, it is the first true product-market fit we have had in the blockchain space since Bitcoin. Back in 2017 with the ICO rush, not much was developed that proved to sustain. Now the industry has continued to evolve and DeFi has become a market force — solving problems like borrowing and lending, money markets, exchange of assets without intermediaries, and more. DeFi is here to stay.
ADM: What is the one thing our App Developer audience should know about DEX Wallets?
Harmann: DEX Wallets are a great step forward on the road to decentralization. More importantly, DEXs adds a layer of resilience to the industry, as now swapping in DEXs is open to anyone, liquidity is ample and nobody can limit access or censor transactions. Previously, when trading was limited to centralized exchanges, the industry was at mercy of the government’s will. However, this is no longer the future. The future is DeFi.
About Marcel Harmann
Marcel Harmann, is the Founder and CEO of THORWallet DEX and a board member of the CVA (Crypto Valley Association). A seasoned entrepreneur with a deep background in academia, having previously co-founded the DEC Institute, which provides online certification for digital assets specialists backed by leading blockchain universities. Before joining THORWallet DEX, Marcel contributed to award-winning tech startups in various roles, from founder to early management member, and angel investor.
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