Chris Weddle leads Unido, a crypto enterprise platform developed by PAC Blockchain in Australia.
The development team’s experience consulting companies who wish to enter the crypto space led them to the conclusion that management and corporate governance around the private key is a key issue to solve for these users.
Unido presents a solution in the form of an all-in-one custodial service that allows crypto-native enterprises, asset managers, and investors to manage and allocate their assets from a central dashboard.
It’s features include a business banking platform and a DeFi Vault for receiving yields on idle assets. We sat down with Chris to learn more.
Do you think that enterprises are becoming more aware of the real value of crypto and are starting to see it as more than just a sort of strange internet money?
After a decade of BTC being in existence, people are recognizing that the cryptocurrency asset class is no longer an enthusiast’s interest and now represents a form of value transfer that has maintained its integrity for a prolonged period, making it ready for mainstream adoption not just amongst retail users but also enterprises.
In the news recently, for example, Tesla’s purchase of BTC —despite walking back on it’s plan to accept BTC for car purchases— is a clear sign that big business is adopting crypto.
But this is only because of the prior decade of slow but expanding adoption, where the number of wallets holding BTC has increased, hence consumers are demanding the option through their allocation of liquid assets.
Consequently, we are seeing multiple institutions such as MicroStrategy, Square, and Marathon Patent Group adding crypto assets to their corporate treasuries, and this is just the tip of the iceberg!
Experts believe Defi is still at its infancy stage despite the exponential growth. How will Unido provide smooth and seamless access for enterprises and institutional investors to DeFi?
We agree! And it shows in the user experience when delegating assets to the various DeFi protocols. It’s often a quite technical exercise which is beyond the experience of non-crypto enthusiasts and professionals.
Unido is underpinned by our secure key management technology, which is just as critical when posting to DeFi networks as it is holding and transferring crypto, but our aim is to make DeFi activity as simple as regular holding and transferring by via our smart and easy DApp GUI and web interfaces for the Unido Enterprise Platform and custodial versions.
Even some of us seasoned crypto enthusiasts get confused, so this will be welcomed by all.
Yes, same with me. Imagine you had a handful of DeFi options on a page, their current yield is compared, and you just select which one you want to go with, all in the same app. Point and shoot!
So why did Unido decide on Polkadot instead of, say, Casper or Cosmos? What does Polkadot offer for the project that the others do not?
The Polkadot substrate blockchain has been selected for its ability to run a very high throughput of transactions with customization of the economic model.
In particular, the transaction fees for recording API activity can be set as the working tokens themselves. Thus, working tokens are spent for their own usage and the cost of each transaction is the number of working tokens used in that transaction.
This structure gives the benefit of having all transactions be at no cost to the companies that publish the transactions or the users spending their working tokens for API requests.
Using tokens in this way on more conventional blockchains, even highly efficient third generation blockchains, would be cost-prohibitive.
Polkadot substrate with validator nodes provides flexibility and efficiency, but also allows ongoing evolution with the end goal to merge or aggregate critical data onto a parachain and open up the working token to have a trade value all of its own.
Can you talk about your vision for how best to guarantee successful adoption of the Unido Enterprise Platform by enterprises? Given your professional services background, what is your vision for helping enterprise customers succeed with the Unido Enterprise Platform in particular, and DeFi transformation in general?
We are expanding the Unido Ecosystem by partnering with firms both in the crypto domain and traditional finance.
For example, we have this partnership with Unifarm where we’ll be joining their seventh cohort to launch $UDO staking on Binance Smart Chain. We’ve also announced multiple large partnerships including Bridge Mutual and Moonstake to name a few, and have a strong pipeline of clients we’re currently in discussions with.
Bridge Mutual is special because we have this ongoing relationship. Just the other day, we created a Mutual Liquidity Pool on POP! Platform where we locked $200,000 worth of UDO and BMI tokens.
There’s also a partnership with Hypersign, who’re doing unique things for security and user authentication services. Their cross-chain DID infrastructure works great with our multiparty computation key management solutions.
We are in a fortunate position where our decades of corporate experience are opening doors to partner discussions with service providers who have a captive client-base of corporates who look to them for advice on crypto.
This includes accounting firms, industry bodies, and FinTechs as well as our direct partnering discussions with blockchains who have existing commercial uptake but wish to upgrade their wallet offering with enterprise-grade corporate governance capabilities.
Viewers will be able to follow the latest news in our announcement channel. There’s lots in the pipeline, so stay tuned!
With the Unido Crypto Banking feature, business banking portal enables enterprises to seamlessly manage their day to day operations and capital expenditure. This is a great feature but have you already secured agreements or partnerships with banks and credit card companies, and filed for licenses with regulators? How does UNIDO manage the wallet and customize governance?
Yes, this is already happening with Eqibank, a US-based NEO-bank. They’re the first client to whom we’ve delivered the custodial version of the wallet, allowing them to secure client funds, trade OTC for their clients, and provide crypto-secured credit card services. This is a
The custodial version of Unido places fragments of the private key with the custodial provider, meaning they can control signing instructions per a dynamic policy and database, allowing the custodial provider to oversee operation of theory client’s accounts, or prevent transfers out once a minimum balance is reached, allowing for customizable margin lending and secured lending products to be offered.
Can you talk more about your expansion plans and target markets or industries? Are you focusing on any particular industry or sector or just enterprise?
The immediately actionable segment is enterprise and asset managers, given the influx of fiat to crypto driven by merchants taking up crypto payment options and legacy FUM being deployed by asset managers into crypto.
We are entering partnerships with upstream service providers to disseminate the Unido product down to the underlying user base. An example of this is a current discussion with an asset manager in Australia who facilitates insurers and hedge funds into BTC exposure.
The aim would be to cross-sell the Unido wallet to parties approaching this asset manager for physical BTC exposure, instead of the alternative used today where BTC is wrapped in a SPV and investors hold the equity in the SPV.
This is an expensive administrative structure, which still does not address the security risks around the private key. Unido can replace this construct at a fraction of the price, with key corporate governance.
The retail Unido wallet will be marketed via a digital and social media campaign aimed at individuals who hold significant crypto that want the key managed over more than one device, that is, phone plus ipad, or scenarios where domestic partners want joint control over their assets, similar to joint bank accounts, which have “both to sign” instructions elected.
There are three core issues prevalent in crypto and blockchain: security, interoperability, and scalability. How does Unido plan to overcome these issues?
Our patented approach of fragmenting the private key, means the full private key is never stored on any one device, meaning there isn’t a single target to hack.
Our fragmentation process is abstract from the underlying blockchain, which means we can apply it to any blockchain, it’s just a matter of dev time.
For scalability, the working parts of the fragmentation largely live on each member’s device, so our central services cost base remains linear as adoption grows exponentially.
We will be unlocking this patented technology, which is at the heart of Unido, through an API later this year enabling 3rd parties to “whitelabel” this technology for their own needs.
The exciting aspect to this is that the enterprise use cases for this are numerous – from supply chain provenance, NFTs, finance – this is how we hyperscale the Unido Ecosystem.