Get to Know YFDAI: An Interview with LaunchPad Manager & Legal Advisor, Richard V. ESQ

The First Installment of our Interview Series with Core Members of the YFDAI Team

Dear Community,

With last quarter’s release of the YFDAI LaunchPad, and the successful launches of our first two projects , DEFIT and ImpulseVen, we thought it would be nice for you to get know one of the YFDAI core team members diligently working behind the scenes on LaunchPad, SSGT and publicly with the greater YFDAI community!

His name is Richard V. and he’s a US based-attorney with 30 years of experience in civil, criminal, and federal cases. He has been involved in the crypto space since 2012 as a trader and advisor on several projects and now is full-time volunteer advisor to YFDAI Finance, specializing in crypto regulation. Richard handles vetting of new potential LaunchPad and SafeSwap projects for YFDAI to ensure that only the best projects with the greatest chance of long-term success are a part of the YFDAI ecosystem.

We asked Richard to address some questions so that all of you in the community can get to know him better.

How long have you been with the YFDAI team?

I’ve been with the project from the start in mid-2020 and have worked in the capacity of community admin, then worked on all public facing documentation including the lite paper, white paper, medium articles, website, etc.

I have done research and development of the governance system, the SSGT token, the global sales force, prepared (with Phil, our Head Advisor) the Launchpad application, SafeSwap application, pitch decks, one pagers, etc.

How would you describe your role on the team?

Although I am the current LaunchPad Manager and a Legal advisor to YFDAI, I would describe my role as a jack of all trades as my crypto background (10 years) and legal background (32 years) has given me tremendous insight into what a successful project looks like vs one that is not likely to succeed.

The only area that I don’t really get involved with is the marketing and the finances.

My attraction to joining YFDAI was their mission to clean up the DeFi space and stop all the rug pulls that have plagued the industry. Vetting new launchpad projects is my strong suit as I come face to face with the teams behind the projects and get to use my legal skills as a trial attorney to depose them and filter out the good from the rest.

I’m currently writing the company business manual with the assistance of the core executive team to document the best practices going forward to ensure that the YFDAI vision is preserved into perpetuity.

What’s been the single most important question to ask projects when conducting due diligence for LaunchPad?

There is no single most important question to ask projects when vetting. It is a process where all the questions and answers are considered in conjunction with one another to determine the “big picture” on their credibility, knowledge, background, skill sets and likelihood of success.

Of course the KYC is critical as most anon projects have the capability of rugging. But the code itself is also critical and not just from an external threat perspective but also potential internal threat.

The feedback I often get after a zoom meeting where we review a project is that it was a painful experience but enlightening.

Many times I get the feeling that the team realizes that we know as much, if not more, about their projects than they do.

This is because we have seen successful projects and not so successful ones come across our desk and we are looking out for our community so that they are protected first and foremost.

Why have you chosen to be anon, and don’t you think the freedom or space to be anon is a great aspect of the crypto world?

[I’ve chosen to be anon] because of the potential for retribution. I take on scammers head on all the time and actively pursue them and expose them. Many try to get past our vetting process.

Of course I believe in privacy and anonymity in the crypto world and the DeFi space. It’s the hallmark of decentralization to be able to interact with smart contracts and the “code” in a trustless and censorship free environment. At the same time many bad actors take advantage of that principle by hiding behind anonymity to carry out fraud and other illegal acts, so it’s a double-edged sword. Since I aggressively engage with these bad actors on a regular basis in my efforts to protect the community I find my freedom of movement and activity is best served by remaining anonymous myself.

How challenging is it to differentiate in the crypto / DeFi space these days and what do you think is YFDAI’s single greatest differentiator?

Differentiating the solid projects from the vaporware is not an easy task. The main differentiator for YFDAI I think is the intellectual capital behind the project. We have a very strong professional team that puts quality over quantity. Safety and security over everything.

Can you provide an example of this, where the collective intellectual capital of YFDAI has especially stood out to you during your involvement with the project?

Recently with our first launchpad project, the way the team worked together to get everything rolled out in a structured and logical way, we were “all hands on deck” making sure that 1000’s of buyers got their correct allocations, and when some wallets slipped through the cracks and weren’t able to complete their purchases, we manually adjusted the system to make sure they got in on the next round with their full allocation, and fixed the bugs on the fly that had caused the errors.

How has it been watching the YFDAI community grow?

It has been a pleasure watching the community grow. We have a very loyal following. Interacting with the community on a daily basis isn’t always easy as we have so much to do to get the deliverables out, but I do enjoy chatting with everyone and seeing the spirit of the community go up when we make big announcements.

What’s one thing you’ve personally learned from the YFDAI community?

I’ve learned to be patient and professional in dealing with the questions and concerns of the community and addressing them with the core team to make sure that improvements suggested by the community get implemented. The community is very intelligent and thoughtful and has a lot to offer. The governance community has some of the most dedicated YFDAI holders who passionately voice their improvement proposals. The pros and cons get debated and decided in a robust arena of intelligent discussions.

What are you most excited to see unfold with Launchpad and SSGT?

I’m most excited to see the way that SSGT works to bring in the liquidity to SafeSwap, and to see it be a rewarding new part of the ecosystem. Many hours were spent designing the tokenomics and the theory behind SSGT weaving it together with NFTs for voting, the DAO, and the staking and farming aspects of it.

We know that many projects have been able to raise massive amounts of money via “whitepaper ICOs’’ and so what’s on paper in the crypto world often doesn’t translate into actual, tangible problems solved and products being built. Given this, talk a bit about why the vision of YFDAI is so important.

YFDAI started with a humble beginning. The founders put up their own funds to get the project off the ground. No pre-sales or seed rounds. YFDAI went straight on Uniswap and I was lucky to invest in this gem before it went up 100x or more from its listing price. The whole time that I have been part of the executive team we have been hard at work scaling the project up to where it is now. We are still a micro-cap project, with macro-cap potential. We are hiring more devs and more assistants to beef up our core team to increase our output. We have just finished our Q2-Q4 2021 roadmap and look forward to bringing onboard many new projects to our launchpad and DEX and adding the borrowing/lending and insurance this quarter and the e-commerce and debit card going forward among other products.

Take us through an especially long YFDAI day you’ve had recently? What did you do? What got done? What were the challenges overcome?

Every day is a long day, which I find challenging and exciting. Recently when we ran the first couple of launchpad projects through it was a delight to see the whole team firing on all cylinders making a successful launch and listing, while we encountered plenty of bugs and issues along the way, we also learned a lot and adapted and evolved on the fly.

What are some of the key legal developments happening related to crypto that the average person may not be aware of, but should?

There are many regulations being considered at the moment that will have a big impact on the crypto space and DeFi in particular. I used to think that regulations were designed by those who saw crypto as a threat, and thus were meant to slow its growth or hold it back completely. Over time however I realize that without regulation and oversight the space will not be conducive to the institutional investors who handle other people’s money and cannot bridge their fiat assets to the crypto space if it is unregulated due to their fiduciary duties. That being said I still think that some of the regulations being considered like the restrictions on self-owned (non-custodial) wallets and the KYC requirements for DeFi with the reporting requirement being reduced to very small sums such as $250 will put an onerous burden on a nascent technology that is not designed to be centralized in such fashion. The existing exemption to the travel rule that the project be “sufficiently decentralized” makes sense to me and should remain intact.

Tell us what we can look forward to with respect to the projects forthcoming through Launchpad

Since our first couple of successful launches we have been getting many new applications from innovative and interesting projects that I have been vetting lately. I look forward to bringing some of the best projects through our launchpad where they can be funded by an army of small investors rather than a limited number of privileged investors who are lucky enough to win a lottery ticket for an allocation by some of the competing launchpads. We also have had the benefit of launching the first couple of projects with our partners, Ferrum and DuckDao, which has helped ensure the success of the launches.

And finally Richard: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Working with Phil, the head advisor has been the highlight of my time with YFDAI. Shadowing him and seeing how he operated was the best learning experience I’ve had in crypto. He told me one thing that I will always stay true to — “keep the community’s interest first and foremost in your mind in everything that you do as they are the building blocks of the project and be honest and transparent with them.” I always put the safety and security of the community first when I work on building YFDAI into a top 100 project.

Thanks Richard!

And, thanks to each of you that makeup the YFDAI community.

What’s Next

Our next interview will be with Simon Bogdanowicz, Head of Growth for YFDAI who is overseeing and in charge of scaling the project on all fronts — marketing, product, partnerships, and human resources.

You should expect to see a new interview every single week through May as part of our interview series. Stay engaged!


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YFDAI is a community centric, innovative DeFi project developed by the people, for the people.

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