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Marouane Hajji, Founder of Unslashed Finance – Interview Series

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Marouane Hajji is the Founder of Unslashed Finance a platform that provides insurance for decentralized finance. Marouane  is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for blockchain and fintech. With previous experience working in traditional financial markets and investment banking, Marouane has served as a strategy and innovation consultant, and a financial analyst for institutions, such as Accor, Axa Investment Managers and Citigroup. Marouane, who has been passionate about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology for years, took his skillset into the crypto industry by helping to found several startups before deciding to build a more secure digital financial system with Unslashed

When did you initially learn about blockchain and cryptocurrency?

In 2012 I was working in the traditional finance world when I first heard about Bitcoin. It seemed like such a radical idea that I was immediately drawn to learn more about it. That started me down the road of educating myself on the technology and the implications that it could have on the world.

You’re known as being passionate about Ethereum specifically, what is it about this blockchain that sets it apart?

Ethereum was as significant to the crypto world as adding a scripting language to internet browsers was; it took the initial world-changing innovation of the original technology (in this case, BTC) and created usability and functionality out of the basis. Ethereum has allowed people to build applications and real-world use scenarios on the blockchain, which has created the industry that we all exist in today. Ethereum is the most important blockchain in the world right now from a usability perspective.

You are a serial entrepreneur, what were some of the other startups that you helped to launch in the blockchain space?

In the blockchain space specifically, I worked in an advisory role to help develop Paraswap, and I also helped bring PoolStake to fruition.

Could you share the genesis story behind Unslashed?

The initial idea for Unslashed was born shortly after I discovered Ethereum, I knew it was a space that had boundless potential. I saw the need for a true, decentralized insurance solution for a host of risks plaguing investors and developers in the space. I knew that with my background I could help the industry grow by utilizing my expertise and creating a solution to protecting people from these risks.

What are some of the biggest risk factors that decentralized finance operators need insurance for?

Centralized exchange hacks, DeFi hacks, and stablecoin loss-of-peg are the most obvious examples of dangers that cannot be covered through traditional insurance companies, and they represent tangible risks for retail and institutional users alike. The ability to offer policies covering these common risks in a decentralized fashion attracts more users to the crypto space. Most retail crypto users heard about the Mt. Gox story at some point, which is historically the most known exchange hack; this creates an awareness towards the risks that come with having assets on centralized venues. Stablecoin peg policies have a different user base that is either institutional (crypto hedge funds who trade actively in and out of stablecoins) or crypto users who lend or borrow stablecoins in different venues (centralized or decentralized).

Users can earn yield with Unslashed, can you explain how the economics behind this works?

Absolutely! Capital Suppliers can supply assets (ETH) to an individual Capital Pool and have a risk exposure that is limited to one single policy. By depositing assets (ETH) in a Capital Pool, Capital Suppliers start to receive a yield in the form of Premiums, which are paid in ETH by Cover Buyers in exchange of being protected against the risks of said policy.

A “capital bucket,” then, is a collection of insurance policies that are carefully designed, assessed, priced and put together for insurers to underwrite. They allow insurers to diversify their exposure and provide insurance coverage for a number of policies at once. Capital suppliers earn 3 types of yield:

  • Premiums paid by cover buyers in exchange of being insured on the chosen policy or policies
  • Asset management yield resulting from deploying the supplied capital
  • USF capital mining rewards

Unslashed recently partnered with Enzyme Finance, could you share some details regarding this partnership and what it means for Unslashed?

We are very proud of our partnership with Enzyme! It allows us to have a more capital-efficient model than anything in the space and build out the world’s first capital-efficient DeFi insurance protocol—letting deposited collateral earn DeFi yield on top of standard premiums and $USF mining.

Enzyme offers more functionality and support than any other asset management infrastructure in DeFi today. It supports 200+ assets and is connected with all types of DeFi protocols. Enzyme Vaults can handle lending, AMM pools (eg. Uniswap and Curve pools), staking (eg. Curve LP tokens or just plain ETH), semi-automated farming strategies, leverage and more. The modular and extensible design empowers teams like Unslashed to build alongside and extend the protocol to a new use-case enabling them to go-to-market much faster and at a fraction of the cost.

Perhaps more importantly though is that by leveraging Enzyme as infrastructure, the Unslashed team can essentially lean on Enzyme’s network of developers and highly recognized security experts (Enzyme Council, Chain Security, PWC and Open Zeppelin), outsource the maintenance burden and free themselves up to focus on building the best insurance protocol in the market.

Is there anything else that you would like to share about Unslashed?

Yes, we ran a very successful private beta and we have now launched the site fully and it is open to everyone. Please come by and take a look at what we have on offer more in-depth and interact with our community on our Discord. Thank you!

Thank you for the great interview, readers who wish to learn more should visit Unslashed Finance.

Antoine Tardif is the founding partner of Securities.io, the CEO of BlockVentures.com, and has invested in over 50 blockchain & AI projects. He is the founder of Unite.AI a news website for AI and Robotics. He is also a member of the Forbes Technology Council.

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