" DeFi brings many risks but it also brings freedoms", Milana Valmont CEO of Kira Network

The boom of DeFi protocols has not stopped, and there are more and more interesting proposals on the market to explore. One of them is Kira Network, a layer 1 protocol that allows to interconnect chains such as Bitcoin, Polkadot, Cosmos and Ethereum, so that users can make use of any type of asset: From fiat to crypto, through NFTs, metals, among others. .

Kira Network uses the Liquid Staking solution, cataloged by experts as Staking 2.0, a technology that allows you to dispose of the assets staked, while obtaining passive income. To learn more, we interview Milana Valmont, CEO and Co-founder of Kira Network,

Daniel Jiménez (DJ): Hello Milana, nice to greet you. Tell us how has your entry to the Blockchain ecosystem been?

Milana Valmont (MV): I was living in New York at that time working in corporate finance. A friend of mine who’s working in cyber security was asking me if I’ve seen how eth has been performing lately. So I started to conduct more research about crypto. In early 2017 I was investing in a few projects and started to learn more about the economics and the ideas behind blockchain. Later the same year I  joined Binance exchange as a community volunteer. Afterwards I have worked as project manager for Adcoin com and was an adviser to Sentinel dVPN. In 2018 I joined Knoks platform as head of strategy, and by mid 2019 I dedicated my full attention to Kira as CEO. 

(DJ): Why was Kira Network born?

(MV): Mateusz (Founder and CTO) and I were both part of the interchain ecosystem for a few years at the time when they started KIRA .

We shared a vision that there is not going to be a single masterchan network that scales infinitely and provides all the features you might imagine. It's more than rational to think that in the long term we will have 1000s of projects inter connecting together just like in the real world we see 1000s of smaller companies on the internet offering their services rather than a single website like Amazon that offers in one spot

Wanted for people to utilize 100% of their capital with minimum possible risks involved, without fears of liquidations without fears of market volatility, and we didn't want people to just sit on their assets.

Wanted KIRA to connect with real world economies, not just solely a crypto project, KIRA should be part of the real world and be secured by real world assets, rather than artificial tokens. We are using the assets that exist in the real world in the context of decentralized applications in crypto space. We’ve also wanted to find ways for Kira to bring capital from outside of the crypto ecosystem.

Came up with an idea to enable staking of crypto currencies to induce money flow and utilize real world assets like NFTs to vouch for security of the network operators. KIRA is designed for hosting trustless financial applications, and in this case of dealing with financial applications there is nothing more important than security. Which is why we came up with an idea to secure our network by multiple assets at stake, which no longer originate only from the crypto ecosystem, as well as integrate cross chain concepts into our ecosystem to guarantee fault tolerance.

Our goal was always to develop a self sustainable network, governed by the community rather than a small circle of crypto-wealthy individuals. 

(DJ): What is the term "liquid participation" that you propose in Kira Network?

(MV): Liquid staking means that users can “stake” any of their tokens yet maintain the “liquidity” of the capital those tokens represent, thus “liquid staking”. Under the hood every asset staked on KIRA is represented by a 1:1 derivative issued to the user. While the original assets are locked and can’t be moved the derivative asset can be freely transferred and used within and outside of the KIRA Network to interact with various DeFi apps.

(DJ): How safe is it that a user can 'block' their funds and at the same time use them within Kira's internal ecosystem, such as, for example, requesting a loan with the guarantee of these blocked assets.

(MV): Staking is generally much safer than risks of liquidation in your typical DeFi app on ethereum for example as there is no exposure to market volatility. Users at all times maintain full custody and ownership over their derivative assets which can be used to claim underlying staking tokens. Users themselve decide which validator they trust and even if they choose wrongly (e.g. their validator creates a fork or goes offline) they are protected by the MBPoS consensus of KIRA where slashing can occur only in case of coordinated and malicious collusion of multiple validators at once, and even in such case slashing process would be assisted by the governance to determine if any penalties should be applied at all. In other words safety of user funds is not held in the hands of dumb algorithms nor in the hands of the volatile market. 

When it comes to interacting with dApps on KIRA or beyond - those have their own risk parameters which users must acknowledge, however dApps deployed on KIRA will be secured by way larger value at stake thanks to MBPoS (which can support uncapped TVL) making KIRA parachains way safer than any other cross-chain network.

(DJ): What is the most promising milestone you have achieved so far since its launch?

(MV): So far we launched an incentivised testnet, with over 1k candidates who submitted their request to test early releases. Testers managed to successfully launch KIRA as well as deploy the software on both x64 and ARM CPU, demonstrating that KIRA is a network which can be run by individuals in the home environment and on hobby micro-computers such as Raspberry PI. This will help make KIRA more decentralized, operated by enthusiasts and not only by corporate entities in the cloud environment run by centralized molochs like Amazon, Microsoft or Google.

(DJ): Under which Blockchain does Kira Network work and what were the reasons for selecting it?

(MV): KIRA Network has its own blockchain and its own in-house built consensus called Multi-Bonded Proof of Stake. Currently there exists no other PoS blockchain capable of both scaling the throughput and security, and that's what we designed KIRA chain for. Furthermore, building our own network was essential to enable staking of any assets and not just a single token which usually tends to centralize more over time in the hands of custodians.

(DJ): What assets does Kira Network support within its DeFi ecosystem?

(MV): KIRA Network will support any digital asset accessible over Cosmos IBC, Polkadot XCMP and Ethereum bridge, that should cover the overwhelming majority of decentralized assets space and include both fungible and non fungible tokens.

(DJ): How does your derivation of the PoS algorithm work? "MBPoS"

(MV): Multi Bonded Proof of Stake (MBPoS) relays on users staking any of their existing, highly valuable assets to secure the network, in return network shares with those users block and fee rewards which can be in the form of its native token KEX as well as basked of other tokens in which network fees are paid (for example for transfers of interacting with DeFi apps). MBPoS doesn’t freeze user funds like other PoS, instead staking derivatives are issued which enable users to secure the chain but at the same time interact with dApps deployed on KIRA and beyond. MBPoS is further secured by an uncapped number of validators who are a part of the governance system deciding on onboarding rules of new members and guaranteeing sybil resistance.

(DJ): How profitable is staking on Kira Network?

(MV): Governance of the network defines interest rates for staking foreign assets based on two factors:

  • how much security (TVL) given asset brings
  • how much network activity it induces (how much it contributes to fee rewards)

Based on those factors governance actively manages return rates to maximize economic performance of the system. In other words interest rates can range from very small to hundreds of % APY depending on the revenue those assets bring to the network. 

(DJ): How has the Kira Network been accepted within the ecosystem? Some key metrics to show?

(MV): We are going  to set up our own Cross Chain Alliance which will include who want to partner with us and gain market access from the assets that will be staked on KIRA, such as Orion Protocol, Bluzelle, Binance Smart Chain, Elrond and RAMP. We also partnered with some of the NFT and Fiat issuewers projects which we will be revealing in a few weeks. You can check out our current partners at kira.network under “partners” section 

(DJ): How do you see the Latin American region in terms of cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technology in general?

(MV): We believe that all developing countries will become huge economic hubs for cryptocurrency ecosystems and that thanks to the financial freedom digital assets offer we can expect a major technological and economical development coming from regions like Latin America.

(DJ): Is there a specific plan for the region in the future?

(MV): Yes, we are planning to create and translate more educational content about KIRA, participate in local online and eventually offline events. We already have few ambassadors that are covering that region in terms of marketing and community awareness. 

(DJ): What is the next big step for Kira Network within the Blockchain ecosystem?

(MV): Next step is going to be network launch after the start of the public test in Q1 and then first cross-chain transfers following soon after.

(DJ): How do you see the future of Blockchain technology and especially the DeFi ecosystem?

(MV): I think that enabling retail investors to manage their own wealth and access tools previously reserved only for institutions will create a new wave of economic freedom and help decrease the ever present wealth inequalities in the society. DeFi brings many risks but it also brings freedoms, I believe that it should be up to us individuals to be able to decide our own financial future and not up to a small circle of wealthy individuals with incentives that are not aligned with our well being.

(DJ): Any important news that you want us to advance to your audience?

(MV): Yes, of course, we have three important announcements to share:

  • Upcoming NFT -  Staking on KIRA Starting with our first-ever edition of KIRA NFTs, created by several well known artists in crypto space and released as common, uncommon and rare NFTs, KIRA Network will be releasing an ERC20 staking platform, via https://kira.network, in the lead up to our mainnet release. On our staking platform, NFTs will be able to farm $KEX, and $KEX holders will be able to stake $KEX tokens and receive KIRA NFTs as rewards. Half of all KIRA NFTs will be given to our community via a series of NFT giveaways, while the remaining half can only be earned by staking $KEX. The first stage of our KIRA NFT release will only include NFTs minted by KIRA Network, but in later stages we will be including other NFTs minted by partner projects. This is the beginning of our NFT staking showcase to educate our community on how NFTs and other assets can be used to secure KIRA KIRA Network while generating passive income to its users.

    2. Mainnet Release in April

    3. KIRA & Binance Smart Chain (BSC) Integration - By integrating KIRA with BSC, users will have the ability to stake BNB on the KIRA Network and stake farm with BNB or any tokens issued on or deposited to BSC, without need for any intermediary custodial or even non-custodial “bridge” solutions. Thanks to the Cosmos IBC protocol, all staking derivatives created on KIRA will also have the ability to simultaneously access Binance DeFi applications. Simply put, users will be able to stake BNB or any token issued on BSC on the KIRA Network and yield-farm on BSC at the same time.

Note: Although the interview originally came out for Cointelegraph Spanish, I will leave the English version for the enjoyment of all lovers of the Blockchain ecosystem.

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