Profile Series: Jaemin Jin

The Co-Founder’s Fortmatic journey and access to DeFi yields

Before diving into the world of Web3 and the founding of Formatic, Jaemin Jin was knee-deep with software eating the world at Uber when it disrupted the global taxi industry. It was a phenomenon he soaked in as a software engineer in the beating heart of San Francisco. His journey into the tech bubble may have all started with his love for Apple and a stint at the famous tech giant.

By delegating LUNA to*, users (delegators) will be able to contribute to the security of the Terra payment network and participate in the on-chain governance voting process. LUNA functions as an asset to absorb volatility on the price of the stablecoin basket. In return for providing stability and security, delegators are rewarded with transaction fees and seigniorage profits from the network.

Access to Yields

Jaemin is a die-hard Apple fanboy. After opening his Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) in Canada, he bought his first investment in stocks with savings from the account during his first year at the University of Waterloo. With strong convictions in Apple and its vision, it was a no-brainer for Jaemin to purchase and go long on the investment. This kickstarted his investing journey, which led to finding ways to profit from trading Netflix stocks as a short-term opportunity. But with zero experience in trading, his early investments eventually went horribly wrong.

Recalling those unfortunate trades, Jaemin adds that it's hard to say if DeFi (Decentralized Finance) would have changed what he had experienced. Or helped roll back mistakes he made. But one thing that is certain to him is that with DeFi, financing becomes easily more accessible.

When Jaemin was younger, he never took much interest in learning about the value of money until he understood how inflation worked during his senior year of high school. This is why he believes that with DeFi's accessibility, anyone (including himself) would be at a significant advantage to accumulate far more knowledge about finance at a younger age.

"I realized that the yields my money was generating in my savings account were not enough to beat inflation. This got me worried, so I started looking for ways to at least beat inflation."

That realization prompted Jaemin to wish he had early access to learn how to make money work for you and why it was necessary. The reality is that there is not one service in traditional finance that allows young people (under the legal age) to invest their money to earn higher yields. And that's why he emphasizes the importance of 'learning by doing' as a reason to explore DeFi.

Perhaps it's why when Jaemin learned of blockchain through Ethereum in 2017, he foresaw its potential to disrupt some, if not all, parts of industries that exist today. Fired up to get involved in the ecosystem, he decided to develop Fortmatic with Sean Li and Arthur Jen.

Getting in on Yield Farming

While it's challenging to stay up-to-date with all the innovative new things popping up in DeFi, Jaemin tries his best to be relevant. He particularly loves seeing creative abstractions being launched to level the playing field for mainstream users.

A recent example would be yield farming.

But to effectively participate in yield farming, users will need to at least complete a prerequisite, DeFi 101. An education covering concepts like impermanent loss, understanding implications of variable gas costs, and learning the interactions with certain smart contract functions via Etherscan.

Unfortunately, so much of DeFi activity today is pushing up gas prices to unsustainable levels, landing the ecosystem into a vast ocean where only Whales could effectively yield from. "It's cutting out users who previously were able to interact with DeFi with less than say, a hundred dollars. Hopefully, that gets addressed with the adoption of Layer 2 and other scalability solutions".

Despite that, there are so many possibilities for users to start to yield from with protocols like Aave and Compound. While it's one thing to have earlier access to finance primitives, it's the implications of interacting with programmable money that is limitless.

Jaemin's first big aha moment with DeFi was through Set Protocol. He was thrilled to learn that TokenSets is basically a simplified robo-advisor of its own, which can trigger automatic rebalances based on a set of finance strategies. And he could not be more fascinated when they introduced Sets with yield farming strategies. It's now allowing users to easily participate in yield farming by merely buying and holding a Set.

about the author
Gabrielle Chia

Growth & Marketing