about minke

Why Minke Exists

At Minke we’re building the best way to save, borrow and invest with DeFi on mobile. Currently we offer savings rates 40x higher than big banks and have plans to unlock higher interest rates as we scale our platform

Since the great financial crisis of 2008, modern finance has been turned on its head. Your parents’ age old advice to put your savings in a bank and earn compounding interest simply doesn’t work anymore. Over the past decade interest rates in countries with stable currencies have gone to zero or even negative, and those in less developed countries have seen rates drop to around half of what they were pre-crisis yet they still barely make up for the value lost against the US dollar due to inflation.

This has all been amongst the backdrop of a massive advancement in software and the internet. In 2011, Marc Andressen coined the famous phrase “Software is eating the world” in a blog post where he predicted that large swathes of the economy would be taken over by software and technology companies in general. Through this time we’ve seen traditional businesses like Borders be out competed and eventually made obsolete by primarily software businesses like Amazon. The titles of world’s largest companies have gone from Exxon Mobil, Walmart and General Motors to the technology giants of Apple, Microsoft and Amazon in what seems like the blink of an eye.

But while most of the businesses of yesteryear are no more, the banking industry has kept chugging along continuing to rake in huge profits, with bloated corporations. The top 5 banks in the US in 1970 are largely the same today in 2022. However the explosion of DeFi since the summer of 2020 has finally put up what seems to be the first worthy combatants in decades. Within only 18 months the total value of assets locked within DeFi protocols has gone from $10 billion to nearly $100 billion. Today the top saving and lending protocols like Maker, Aave & Compound would be in the top 100 banks in the US based on their assets held. A remarkable feat given the complex user experiences and high gas fees plaguing DeFi on Ethereum today.

At Minke, we believe that the top saving and lending protocols in DeFi will be amongst the top 5 banks globally by the end of the decade and we will be the default interface on mobile to interact with them. With massive improvements in the user experience and the advent of layer 2s, it’s unfathomable to predict the scale that DeFi can reach over the decade.

The history of software tells the story of the middleman being made obsolete, and there’s no bigger middleman than the big banks today. Minke will give you direct access to the top savings protocols across DeFi and never take a cut. You’ll have self-custody over your funds and will always earn the full interest rate from the protocol. No more savings at 0.5% while the bank lends at 8%.

Over the past year stablecoin savings rates on Aave and Compound have ranged between 3% to 11%, averaging around 8% annually.

While a savings rate of 8% might not seem like a lot when you’ve been chasing 1000x returns on the latest dog coin. It can have a dramatic difference on your savings over time. Let’s take the scenario that you’re saving for a house deposit with $10,000 in your savings account and you’re making regular deposits of $500 monthly.

At a big bank with an interest rate of 0.25%, after 5 years you’ll end up with $40,310.89. A mere $310.89 earned in interest over 60 months. At an 8% interest rate your savings after 5 years ends at $51,636.89, with $11,636.89 of interest earned over the term. Or if you look at it as trying to save $50,000, you’re able to hit that amount a full 2 years earlier if you save with Minke rather than with your bank.

That’s not a 10x improvement, it’s a 38x one. Warren Buffet says compounding interest is the 8th wonder of the world, and you can finally realize that again with Minke.

As we scale to the masses our intention is to offer access to yield aggregators as well. Protocols like mStable today offer 14-25% interest rates on stablecoin savings. Meaning you could be saved up for a house deposit a whole 3 years earlier than with your bank.

We’re not just about savings at Minke as well. We believe the future of finance is open and permissionless. There’s no KYC or identity checks with your Minke wallet, you have sole custody of your funds and private keys which are backed up in your secure enclave with all the latest security features of iOS and Android. This means Minke will be global from day one.

While many of us in the West have never experienced true inflation until this year, those in the Global South often see their local currencies rapidly depreciate. This past year the Argentine Peso lost 20% of its value against the dollar. Minke will support top-ups direct to Polygon in 29 fiat currencies at launch. Simply put, we’re the best way to access a high-yield US dollar savings account globally.

We’re also a hell of a lot easier to use. Many of the interfaces in DeFi today are not only disconnected from the mobile world where consumer-finance lives, they require you to learn a whole new language with terminology seemingly native to crypto itself. The DeFi mullet is finally here with Minke: we look like your favorite fintech in the front, but we’re powered by all the magic of DeFi in the back.

We’re rolling out early-access starting next month, we can’t wait to show you what we’ve been working on.

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