The Akropolis Protocol (AKRO token) is a suite of DeFi aggregation and automation projects built on Ethereum. Akropolis aims to provide DeFi equivalents of core financial services such as insurable savings (variable and fixed rate savings deposits) and access to credit on relaxed terms. The platform has integrations with Compound, Maker, Aave, Curve, Fulcrum and dYdX. We sat down with Akropolis team members Yana and Kate for a Q&A to gain a better understanding of Akropolis.
Introduction – What is Akropolis?
The team focuses on and develops an easy-to-use suite of borderless, trust minimized portable and fraud resistant DeFi products for financial operations and decision making. The principal component is the AkropolisOS, on which the other two products are built:
-Sparta focused on undercollateralized loans.
-Delphi focused on automated passive mixed investing/income product.
The Future Of DeFi – Akropolis Protocol
After deploying the Delphi beta on Ethereum mainnet in a controlled manner on Aug 12 and currently running a bug bounty, the team is now planning to complete a full launch by Aug 24. The Akropolis Protocol is planning to further introduce Sparta v2, DeFi yield re-balancing module, crypto/fiat on-off ramp, support for more stablecoins, UI/EX enhancements, and liquidity mining incentives feature with Akropolis Delphi Token (ADEL) token.
Through integrations with OpenGSN, the users can pay in other tokens except for ETH plus the team will get insurance coverage from Nexus Mutual/Opyn to safeguard against hacks and code exploits. The provided timeframe for completion is August 2020.
We sat down with Akropolis team members Yana and Kate to gain a better understanding of the project, its aims and objectives, its inspirations and the future direction.
Q1. There’s little history available on the Internet for the Akropolis project. So, when did it all start? What was the team’s motivation for building the Akropolis project?
The initial idea for a distributed pension fund was born out of what one of the founders, Ana, has witnessed as a result of the Lehman Brothers fallout in 07-09. The problem is both simple and relatively unknown to the younger population, it’s the current and ever-increasing pensions deficit crisis and no visible solutions to it.
Akropolis wanted to create a solution alternative to current pension schemes – a way to save money, protect wealth against inflation, ensure access to credit and basic insurance, and remittances through a p2p network that can communicate with, but doesn’t structurally depend on the banking system. It was started with more of an enterprise angle, with institutional parties support but it became clear that their enthusiasm for exploring alternatives in this sector closely tracks public sentiment, which in turn was negatively affected by the collapse in prices in 2018. And, of course, client acquisition in enterprise usually exceeds 12 months.
As the team continued customer research, it became clear that pensions, savings, remittances, insurance have to be enabled for the product to be economically viable. In that sense, they didn’t exactly pivot away from pensions, as pensions are effectively long-term savings with a tax shield, but to a slightly different model. That’s how AkropolisOS came to life – a light and modular framework for creating for-profit DAOs and first two products – Sparta & Delphi. As for the team, we are decentralized.
Q2. Your central component is Akropolis OS. How modular is it and is it available open source for everyone to build upon DeFi?
We took inspiration for AkropolisOS from OpenZeppelin SDK which modular architecture proved to be one of the best practices in the market for creating building blocks from which you can assemble smart contracts customized for specific tasks.
AkropolisOS is essentially a different modules connected to each other – and you can add additional modules/lego blocks any time. It’s designed as an upgradeable modular framework which provides lego-like scalability without the loss of coherence and security. And yes, it’s open source – anyone can use AkropolisOS to set up and collectively manage distributed capital pools & customize business logic on the go.
Q3. What will the Sparta v2 bring? What are the improvements and modifications that are being brought?
Sparta v2 will have different enhancements. The main ones are:
1. support for a number of stablecoins (currently it operates with DAI only, we are adding USDT, USDC, TUSD in new release)
2. passive yield from different DeFi protocols (via RAY & Curve)
3. improved UI/UX (constantly in the works).
We’re also researching different risk scoring solutions and how we can improve & bootstrap undercollateralized lending for end-users – though it will come in next releases most probably, still a lot in the works.
Q4. Upon Delphi launch, how long will the cap and restrictions stay on?
The cap will stay until security audit is completed (aiming for August 24). We are inspired by the idea of Guarded launch by Ken Deeter from Electric Capital, so stay tuned for more updates on the matter.
Q5. What are undercollateralized loans? What’s the guarantee of payment if the collateral doesn’t equal the lend amount?
In our case, borrower provides only 50% of the collateral, and loan issuance depends mostly on lenders afterwards – they need to collateralize the loan (co-sign it). This approach is inspired by informal savings group (ROSCAs, Broodfonds, etc) – we did a research last year in Kenya that led to this design. The general idea is allowing users to pool capital & earn passive yield as well as take loan from the system if needed.
As to loan repayment – it comes from the design. While default is possible, we think that people will mostly issue loans to someone they know (decreasing the chance that he/she will run with the money). Tough as I said, we are doing a research on different risk scoring solutions to expand the platform itself
Q6. There are a couple of DeFi protocols on the market. What makes your project different from the rest? What’s the edge for Akropolis?
I guess that we’re universal. We can build different products in a pretty fast pace because of AkropolisOS, and we essentially willing to build what we need and would use ourselves – you can see it with Sparta & Delphi. Having a tool for undercollateralized loans & another one for simple farming & dollar cost averaging is pretty much needed in the market, yet not many people think/work on this.