Recently I spoke with Dr. Lars Brünjes and Marvin Bertin, the CTO and CSO of Genius Yield, an all-in-one DeFi platform, that combines a concentrated liquidity DEX with an automated yield optimizer. We discussed the possibilities that Genius Yield provides to its users, the benefits of the Web3 technology and, as usual, the interviewees’ crypto portfolio. Let’s dive in!
U.Today: Hello, Lars and Marvin. Can you tell us about your background and how you got interested in crypto?
Dr. Lars Brünjes: I am a German mathematician holding a Ph.D. in pure mathematics from Regensburg University in Bavaria in southern Germany.
I started programming in my early teens and have been working professionally in software development for 15 years. I also have a passion for teaching and have taught Haskell and blockchain technology all over the world, both in-person and virtually, to thousands of students.
I got into crypto a few years ago when I joined Input-Output Global (IOG). I am fascinated by its mathematical nature and its great potential to improve the lives of billions of people.
Marvin Bertin: I have a background in machine learning/AI engineering, with years of experience working in biotech - specifically designing algorithms that can perform early cancer detection from sequenced DNA. I got started in crypto as a data science consultant on the Ethereum and Cosmos blockchains developing DeFi products for clients. I have in-depth knowledge of DEX architectures and ML-driven yield optimization strategies.
U.Today: Can you share the idea behind Genius DEX? Why is it considered a Web3 application?
Marvin Bertin: The upcoming Genius Decentralized Exchange (DEX) will be a core application on the Genius Yield platform. Genius Yield has a motto of "Democratize Decentralized Finance for everyone."
Our mission is to democratize DeFi for everyone by providing best-in-class automated liquidity management, powered by AI.
Our DEX will have a core feature of the “decentralization” of Web3, and everyone who has a Cardano wallet can join this movement and use the DEX, making swaps between Cardano native tokens, including $GENS - our platform’s native token. All activities can be tracked on-chain. Overall, we are going to have an inclusive community, where everyone is accepted to join.
Dr. Lars Brünjes: The solution of Genius Yield for the DEX space is unique. The Genius team has taken a first principles approach to smart contracts design. As such, our DEX and Yield Optimizer protocols have been designed from the ground up to fully benefit from Cardano’s UTXO-based ledger. Genius Yield is the first DeFi platform in the industry to combine a concentrated DEX with a Yield Optimizer.
U.Today: Thanks for the details. So, what are the major differences between Web3 and Web2 in terms of financial opportunities?
Dr. Lars Brünjes: Put simply, Web3 is a future, decentralized form of the internet, where users become owners. Rather than using free apps and platforms that collect user data, as in the current phase of Web2, users in the future Web3 phase will be able to participate in the creation, operation and governance of the protocols themselves.
Marvin Bertin: The incentivization and monetization methods are completely different in Web2 from Web3. In Web2, a user is the "product." Users’ attention to the platform is of utmost importance to Web2 platforms, since most of the revenue comes from showing advertisements to users.
The more a user engages and spends more hours on the platform, the more the platform makes money. On the other hand, Web3 incentivizes users by being part of the economy themselves. It is open to anybody, anywhere in the world.
U.Today: Could you elaborate more on how Web3 can provide new opportunities for everyday individuals like you and me, and how the Genius DEX fits into this opportunity set?
Dr. Lars Brünjes: Creating an open system based on a third-generation blockchain is not an easy task. We definitely understand that providing a decentralized ledger to anyone irrespective of where a user is located requires lots of building and testing, and repeating it in iterations. But we strongly believe these efforts will be worth it, and we will witness the creation of new markets in an unprecedented global transformation with a joint team of tech and industry-savvy individuals.
Marvin Bertin: As Lars mentioned, giving everyone access to participate in Web3 is a novel purpose. Genius DEX’s core primitive is the Smart Swap, which enables many of the DEX’s novel functionalities in an efficient and elegant way. Smart Swaps are buy-or-sell orders that automatically execute based on some programmable logic. Smart Swaps are to the DEX what smart contracts are to the ledger. Additionally, we have the $GENS token, which will have various utilities. We just have launched a public sale of $GENS tokens on the Genius X Launchpad.
U.Today: You mentioned your native token, $GENS. Can you tell us more about it?
Dr. Lars Brünjes: $GENS, the native token of Genius Yield, is only a utility token, therefore it is not used for any transaction payments. However, $GENS holders can choose to stake their $GENS in a Genius pool to earn extra rewards through yield farming and other platform benefits.
Marvin Bertin: Users who own and stake $GENS token benefit from it in two ways.
Genius DEX Fee: fees to the Genius Yield company, 20% of which is returned to $GENS holders through the $GENS staking program.
The second way is Smart Liquidity Vaults Fee: an additional 20% of all vault fees paid by users of Smart Liquidity Vaults also comes back to $GENS holders!
U.Today: Interesting. Are there any other benefits for $GENS token holders?
Dr. Lars Brünjes: $GENS staking is not just a source of yield, so apart from the possibility to earn 20% of Genius DEX trading fees and 20% of Smart Liquidity Vault Fees, it also unlocks a number of platform features, like:
1. Governance, i.e., voting power in Genius Improvement Proposals (GIP). The $GENS Staking Program gives you governance rights over the protocol, which will eventually allow you to vote on Genius Improvement Proposals (GIPs).
2. Premium Genius Academy content. $GENS stakers will have access to premium educational content and can receive discounts on special Genius Academy content.
3. Genius Pay. We are, at the moment, working on it. We will provide more information about it in the future.
U.Today: Do you believe that Web3 projects like Genius Yield will eventually help people achieve financial freedom?
Dr. Lars Brünjes: Yes! Giving the right tools to everyday investors is extremely important and can pave the way to financial freedom. That’s why we at Genius Yield are working on creating an all-in-one platform that contains both a decentralized exchange and a Yield Optimizer.
Helping individuals achieve financial freedom is the ultimate goal that we work on. Our platform will be available for both beginners and experienced investors, and its full potential will be unlocked for those who own and stake our native tokens, $GENS.
Marvin Bertin: We also strongly believe that alongside the tools, proper education regarding the blockchain, DEXs, order types and investment strategies should accompany them. Hence, we created Genius Academy, which will allow us to share knowledge with everyone and make this educational content broadly accessible. These steps will be further milestones that will help us get close to our goal that Dr. Brünjes mentioned.
U.Today: Do you have a crypto portfolio? Name the top three positions.
Marvin Bertin: My biggest portion of the crypto portfolio is dedicated to ADA, Cardano’s native token. The second and third biggest portions are Bitcoin and Ether, respectively. Everyone should do research before investing, so my points here should not be taken as financial advice.
Dr. Lars Brünjes: I myself only hold ADA, because I believe in Cardano, its mission and its community. Our portfolio is handled by my wife, and I try to not get in her way, because she is much better at handling it than I am.