Sniper Spotlight with Vaultus Finance

Credit: Vaultus Finance

Vaultus Finance is a Web3 investment platform offering investment managers a powerful technology suite that’s flexible, secure, and integrated into DeFi protocols.

Vault managers can create their own vaults, all of which comply with ERC-4626 standards and allow users to stake a myriad of underlying ERC-20 assets. The technology infrastructure provided by the platform aims to foster collaboration between managers and investors, further democratizing the process of sophisticated crypto investing.

Last week, we sat down with Vaultus Finance team members Jerame, Samuel, and Dramaticus to talk more about the company’s history and vision.

The following interview has been edited for concision and clarity.

Please briefly introduce yourselves and explain the roles you play at the company.

Samuel: I’m Samuel. I’m one of the co-founders and I’m the CTO. I manage all the tech. Vaultus was formed last November, and I manage the front end on Solidity teams and security.

Jerame: Sure, I’m in charge of Business Development and Strategy. I’ve been with Vaultus for about two months now. My background is with a bunch of other protocols helping out with Business Development marketing.

Dramaticus: And I’m Dramaticus. I’m the CEO. I handle all the non-tech — like legal, human resources, and funding.

Great. Thanks for sitting down with me today. What exactly is Vaultus Finance?

Jerame: Vaultus Finance is a platform of tools that we provide to fund managers or strategists to be able to roll out their own managed vaults that investors can then put money into, and our vault managers can trade it just like an on-chain hedge fund.

We give them access to multiple protocols that are integrated into our product, so they can whitelist certain products that only the managers can use. So, the funds of the investors are always secure, and it can only be used in the way that is listed on the vault before they ever deposit a dollar into it.

There are some other people that have similar projects, but they’re limited in power to only being able to trade one asset at a time or use one protocol at a time. In ours, right now we’re at four protocols — you can put all four of those in, so the manager could employ a large number of different strategies implemented with what we already have.

And we’re constantly adding new stuff. We have two new products coming out soon that are very versatile and powerful.

What is the genesis story of Vaultus?

Samuel: Dramaticus and I have known each other for some quite some time. Dramaticus has always been interested in crypto, and I’ve been working as a DeFi developer for three years across a variety of protocols, primarily as a contractor. And so, we were discussing potential ideas that would be interesting… And then Vaultus was formed.

What year did you found the company?

Samuel: 2023. November.

What is the company’s vision and how do you separate yourself from the competition?

Dramaticus: The vision is to bring more financial freedom to people. The hedge fund world has very high barriers of entry, both for someone who wants to start a hedge fund, who is bound to very heavy regulation and high costs, but also for people who are not accredited investors. These people usually don’t get access to the best traders of hedge funds because in most jurisdictions you must be a credited investor to be allowed to invest in those funds.

We wanted to lower the bar for both potential fund managers and people who wanted access to the best investors. And another side of that story is that, of course, people with things like Celsius and FTX lost a lot of faith in centralized custodians.

So, we believe that our platform can offer an alternative to that, where people can invest in a trustless and permissionless manner. Or probably semi-permissionless for now, but of course, that’s where we want to go at one point — completely trustless and permissionless — being able to set up these kinds of systems that before people usually accessed through centralized custodians.

Can the average person use the platform? If I wanted to come invest in the platform, would I be able to use your services?

Jerame: Anybody can open and manage a vault.

Dramaticus: Yes, we’re still in beta version, so we have several options. We still have to whitelist someone who wants to start a fund. Then once you start your vault, you can keep it open or whitelist it. But yes, if you want to start one tomorrow, we’ll whitelist your address and you can start a vault.

How does it work when someone opens a vault? Do they choose a certain protocol? For example, to degen into memecoins or only invest in Bitcoin — where each protocol has a particular strategy?

Samuel: Yes. For example, when you create your vault, you’d select the protocol you want to use as a strategist. So, you’d select Uniswap, because it’s on Arbitrum at the moment. Camelot for the DEXs. For Leverage trading, you’d select GMX. For lending and borrowing you’d select AAVE.

You can have all four of these protocols integrated for your general vault strategy. And then we have an additional layer of security where we we only allow certain tokens to be interacted with. We whitelisted around 50 tokens, and that provides a bit of extra security guardrails. But in the future, for example, we could add more of the memecoins, etc.

What role will your protocol token play in the Vaultus ecosystem? And do you have any set dates for when it might launch?

Samuel: We’re aiming to launch around July. That’s when the public sale is targeted. The role of the token is it’s going to be generating some type of accrual from the fees. So, the typical hedge fund gets 2% management and 20% for performance.

So, vault managers will decide, but some portion of the fees are going to go to the strategist, and some portion will go to the protocol because we’re providing the technology, etc. The fees that go to the protocol will go back to the holders of the token in some manner.

The exact mechanisms, we will have to think about more. But it could be a staking mechanism. It could be a buyback and burn, etc. There’s a variety of options to distribute the fees to the token holders.

How do you go about acquiring investment managers?

Jerame: For now, we’re just trying to get our name out there and show our tools and the utility that our platform provides. There are a few other platforms that have similar ideas, but they’re toolset and design is not as versatile as ours.

We think that once people see how much of the tech side they can offload to us, it’s going to open up a lot of interesting and exciting strategies that people haven’t even thought about yet.

Right now, if you have a good idea for a strategy, you need to hire a back-end and front-end developer. You need to pay for audits at a hundred thousand dollars, and you need to maintain all the integrations that you need. The amount of work that goes into running a vault and a strategy is tremendous.

We basically take away all that work and let the people who have the ideas — the strategists and fund managers who want to bring DeFi yield to people that maybe aren’t as aware of all the opportunities out there — we take away all the hard part and let them focus on the making money part, and let us handle the tech.

It looks like we are entering a crypto bull market. Or maybe we’re already at the beginning of it. Do you guys have any strategies for what you expect this year, or do you leave all the strategizing up to the vault managers?

Samuel: At the moment, the platform offers the ability for external strategists/vault managers to open a vault. But we are also developing some of our own internal strategies.

One of the ideas is to build ETF type products, so we could build an ETF that ties to high-performance Ethereum. It could be called ‘Ethereum ETF,’ and it’s like a boosted version of Ethereum. We could have an ETF that tries to capture the memecoin narrative, and similarly for the AI narrative.

We’re also looking to use Bittensor because it’s machine learning AI and it can produce signals on Bitcoin price, so we can build an algorithm-based trading bot using signals from Bittensor. And we’re also speaking with some potential algo (algorithm) traders that might want to use our platform and help us develop internal strategies.

The platform runs on Arbitrum and Ethereum — is that correct? So that all the transactions are on-chain.

Samuel: Yep. Everything’s on-chain. We’re just on Arbitrum at the moment, but we want to launch Ethereum as well in a couple of months.

What are some of the benefits of having everything on chain?

Samuel: If it’s off-chain, there’s zero transparency, right? Users may not want to send their funds to an off-chain blackbox. That’s what FTX was, right? That’s the reason FTX was able to create this Ponzi scheme because there’s zero accountability — it was pure fraud, which you can’t hide in DeFi because everything’s on-chain. You can see exactly where the funds are.

Okay, to close things out. We are an NFT Rarity ranking site. Do NFTs play any role in what you guys do, or is there any way that you might involve NFTs in the future?

Samuel: Not right now, but in the future, we could build NFT integrations. We could allow vault managers to buy NFTs within the vault.

Jerame: And not just that, but with each of our vaults, the vault manager has the ability to whitelist the people who are allowed to deposit into their vaults. So, say you’re an influencer with 100,000s followers and you have a private telegram where you post your trades, and people have to buy access to that telegram. You could do a mint, mint an NFT, and then use the NFT as as an access pass to the vault. You would have an ever-updating whitelists. You could sell a limited-edition NFT that just gives people access to your managed vault on Vaultus Finance.

And another thing on the roadmap that’s probably a year or plus out is we’re looking at ‘whitelabeling.’ So, say you’re that influencer and you have three different vaults. You have a Bitcoin Bull vault that’s 3X leverage that your trading, you have an ETH Bull vault, and you have a Memecoin ETF. And the only people allowed who can invest in your vault have to hold your NFT, and you set your rate and charge your percentage to manage the vault.

Once we role out the whitelabel, we’ll be able to stand up the front-end so the vault looks like you did everything yourself. It will just be powered by Vaultus Finance in the background.

For more information about Vaultus Finance, check out their website

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