Interview with Ryan Matovu, Founder of Ardana, the First All-in-One Stablecoin Ecosystem Built on Cardano

Interview with Ryan Matovu, Founder of Ardana,

Ardana is a decentralized financial hub built on Cardano. Each blockchain ecosystem requires certain primitives to flourish, such as secondary markets and oracles. Ardana provides several of these primitives, including a decentralized stablecoin exchange, called Danaswap, and a collateralized lending platform. Ardana’s long-term focus is to bring foreign exchange to crypto through an ecosystem of multi-currency stablecoins. Founder Ryan Matovu, shares more details with us in this interview with TechBullion

Tell us more about yourself and the team behind Ardana.

Our team is composed of highly technical talent, experienced blockchain developers, community building experts, and ambassadors drawn from reputable companies and blockchain projects. 

I first learned about blockchain as an alternative way to transfer value in 2015. After that, I immediately got involved in early projects building on Ethereum, helping out with everything from community management to marketing and strategy development. From that point, I got into technical development and front-end development. In 2017, though, I moved beyond Ethereum, and got involved in Cardano. 

Most of our team are developers, with about 25 people in total, generally with Haskell experience. The whole team is strong, but I’ll try to keep it brief and highlight just a few key members. Scott Franklin is our Head of Strategy, with extensive experience on equity markets on Wall Street. Derek Evans, our COO, has over 20 years of experience leading corporate and government software projects. Chetan Bafna, our Head of Outreach has non-profit experience, while Noam David Elbaz, our Head of Research, is a DeFi expert.
And, Basam Awad, our Chief Economist, is also a Senior Economist and the Head of Risk at the Central Bank of Jordan. 

As you can see, our team has extensive experience, but all from slightly different areas — that all contribute to building a well-rounded ecosystem and foundation.

There are other stablecoins on the Cardano ecosystem. What makes Ardana different and why would users choose it over the others? 

Ardana is different in several respects. First, we are the only stableswap DEX (Danaswap) and Collateral Debt Position (CDP) provider on Cardano, and the only one to aggregate these two products under one project that we are aware of. Secondly, we are the first all-in-one stablecoin ecosystem built on Cardano. This means we offer various solutions, like minting, trading, and staking, under one roof. Therefore, once you’re on Ardana, there is no need to keep switching between other platforms or to look for alternative solutions. You can complete all your transactions within our ecosystem. 

In terms of solutions, what does Ardana offer users that other established stablecoins like Tether and USDC are not providing.

Ardana will have a suite of on-chain, over-collateralized, asset-backed stablecoins. The first will be dUSD, backed by Cardano native assets. We also have a lending platform where users can deposit ADA to mint these stablecoins. This is different from some other stablecoins. For instance, while Circle and Tether have centralized fractional reserves for their respective stablecoins, this leads to limited transparency about how much is kept in reserve and rules for how many stablecoins can be minted as a result. By over-collateralizing dUSD through a decentralized smart contract,  there will be a buffer and increased stability. Thus, by managing this with a smart contract, the rules will be clear, as is how they will be enforced.

What features/functionalities make Ardana a good fit for DeFi?

Ardana establishes several key DeFi primitives, which have been crucial to the success of DeFi, such as a stablecoin exchange, a lending platform, and collateralized stablecoins. While DeFi has seen similar products on separate chains, they haven’t been built on Cardano.

This is notable, as Cardano has a mission to bank the unbanked and work with developing nations to build out infrastructure. By aligning with this mission and building on Cardano, Ardana has the potential to benefit everyone, from a farmer in Africa to large financial institutions in the corporate world. Building on Cardano enables us to solidify this core principle and help realize the goals of DeFi to democratize finance. 

There is a whole ecosystem surrounding the Ardana project. Could you give us a breakdown on how they all come into play?

Sure. We’ve built Ardana so that users don’t have to switch between platforms or look for external solutions. So, you’ll be able to mint, trade using our DEX, Danaswap, stake, or even just store value, all from within Ardana. 

For example, with Cardano staking pools, a user can stake their ADA while still keeping ownership over those assets and receiving ADA stake rewards. The Ardana vaults, then, are built so that a user can deposit their staked ADA into the vaults and still remain staked in the staking pool. Those staking rewards can be used to help pay off the dUSD loan stability fee, effectively creating a subsidized loan. And, that stablecoin loan can then be used to interact with the wider Cardano ecosystem.

Typically, there is a high amount of slippage loss from swapping between one stablecoin to another on a traditional DEX. However, with our stablecoin DEX, users will see an increase of between 50-100x in the capital efficiency of swaps. This makes high volume, high value swaps feasible, so we can build out the entire Cardano ecosystem for both retail and institutional users. This also lays the foundation for a ForEx with crypto via the Ardana platform in the mid- to long-term as we add more stablecoins pegged to more currencies. Furthermore, users will be able to provide liquidity with our stablecoin DEX and earn a portion of the Danaswap transaction fees.

Ardana seems to have a novel governance model. How does it work and how can users participate?

DANA is both a governance token and a utility token. DANA allows users to stake and have access to a share of protocol fees via the Ardana Reward Enhancement Module, which draws from a vault of stability fees, collateral auctions, and Danaswap trading fees. Liquidity mining programs will enable users to stake DANA LP tokens made up to earn DANA. Our token holders who lock their tokens can profit off of the success of our ecosystem.

When users lock DANA, they receive exDANA. exDANA will confer governance rights as Ardana transitions to a DAO governance model. Our locking system will also incentivize people to lock their DANA in for longer, rather than just incentivizing based on the amount a person locks in. This builds a governance community of people who have a long-term focus for the project in mind, not just the biggest token holders. We think this is an important aspect to keep as Ardana develops to best serve the community.

You’ve had some exciting partnerships recently. What can your members and the crypto community at large expect from these collaborations?

Absolutely, we’ve been incredibly fortunate to  bring on board an incredible team of members, advisors, partners, and backers for Ardana. We have vetted all of our collaborators to make sure they bring clear value to the project and will be instrumental in relationship-building, technical expertise, and opening inroads and channels between Ardana and other prominent players. 

We are especially excited to announce that our private fundraising rounds were led by Three Arrows Capital and Ascensive Assets, some of the most well respected private equity funds in the space.

As you’re gearing up for the token generation event and eventual public sale of $DANA tokens, what are your expectations from the market?

We have received a humblingly positive response from our many community members and large backers. The work that we do is guided by our vision for Ardana to expand financial primitives to all, and we are fortunate to have a rapidly growing community that shares our belief that Ardana can make this possible. Based on this community, we are extremely excited for what the future might hold for us and to begin bringing this vision to fruition.

After the sale, what’s next for Ardana. What are the exciting developments that we can look forward to?

After the sale, we first plan to launch DANA, followed shortly by the launch of Danaswap and the Ardana lending platform. Mid- to longer-term, we are excited for the launch of the Ardana foreign exchange platform.

Foreign exchange is the largest financial market and averages about 6.6 trillion dollars of volume per day. We plan to bring ForEx to crypto, which will enable fiat on-ramps and off-ramps for users to swap between currencies in only a few seconds or even less than a second, any day and any time they wish. 

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