The realm of decentralized finance (DeFi) is witnessing a remarkable transformation, offering new avenues for financial inclusion and growth. At the forefront of this revolution stands Okto, an innovative DeFi wallet that’s making waves with its user-centric approach and cutting-edge technology. We had the privilege of engaging in a conversation with Neeraj Khandelwal, the Co-founder of Okto & CoinDCX. In this exclusive interview, we delve deep into Neeraj’s insights, strategies, and aspirations that are shaping the trajectory of Web3’s future.
Can you tell us about the inspiration behind creating Okto and what sets it apart from other DeFi wallets currently available in the market?
The inspiration behind creating Okto was to build an easy to use Web3 product that enables access to the decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem for mainstream users. Our goal is to bring positive changes to people’s lives by enabling them with the power of web3 – self-custody ownership.
Okto is a DeFi wallet that sets itself apart with its unique features. It offers easy onboarding, allowing anyone to get a wallet with their email or social logins. To address security concerns, Okto integrates multi-party computation (MPC) technology, providing a balance between self-custody and ease of use.
Okto’s “Trade & Earn” feature enables seamless token exchanges directly from the wallet, making transactions more simple. Additionally, the staking feature allows users to earn rewards by investing their crypto assets in smart contracts, providing a passive income stream. Overall, Okto aims to be a self-custody DeFi super app that empowers users to navigate DeFi securely, access multiple tokens from various DEXs, and maximize their yields across the best liquidity pools.
Security is a top concern in the DeFi space. How does Okto address these security challenges, and what measures have been taken to ensure user safety while providing self-custody of assets?
Security is the most important aspect to get masses to DeFi. Security threats such as hacks and phishing attacks continue to pose a significant risk, leaving users vulnerable and demotivated to explore opportunities in the DeFi ecosystem. Okto is highly safe because it is backed by Multi-party computation (MPC) technology to protect users’ funds. Our MPC infrastructure runs on a MPC cluster consisting of MPC nodes residing in geographically distributed data centers, combined with a mobile node running in a highly secure environment on the user’s device.
Thus, our solution uniquely involves two independent computing parties: the user and geographically distributed Okto nodes. Each party runs nodes within their own secure network, making security compromise extremely hard. To ensure reliability all our infrastructure is backed by multiple layers of security and robust backup mechanisms. This enables our users to benefit from a highly secure and highly available service.
We are also working on continuous cognitive authentication powered by artificial intelligence. This innovative approach would use AI and machine learning algorithms to verify a user’s identity based on their behavior and cognitive patterns, rather than just relying on traditional login credentials like usernames and passwords, and that too without intruding into the privacy of the user. To protect customers from phishing attacks on web3 dApps, we have integrated smart risk mitigation systems which simulate the transaction on blockchain and warn users if their funds are at risk. Users can rest assured that their funds are safe in the Okto wallet, and they can explore the world of DeFi without any worries.
Okto aims to reach 3 billion people in digital transactions. Could you share some insights into how the platform plans to achieve this ambitious goal? Additionally, how does Okto plan to support multiple chains and enable inter-chain transfers for users?
Our vision is to empower billions of people worldwide to access the benefits of decentralized finance and embrace the future of Web3 with confidence and ease. Therefore, we focus on user-centric solutions to simplify the complex technology behind DeFi. These challenges include difficulty in simple aggregation of earning opportunities, complicated private key management, and concerns about self custody and safety of funds. With the vastness of the DeFi space, choosing the right blockchain network for transactions can be confusing. Okto helps users with chain recommendations: we analyze factors such as token liquidity, fees, risk, transaction time, and earning opportunities to recommend the best blockchain for each transaction, making it easier for users to make informed decisions. We simplify transactions by allowing users to pay gas fees in any token from the same blockchain network. This flexibility streamlines the process and makes transactions more convenient. Okto aspires to facilitate transactions for a substantial number of people and our goal is aligned with our commitment to inclusivity and accessibility, in line with the principles of web3 and decentralized technologies. Our intention is to provide a valuable and accessible solution without aiming for a monopoly, respecting the decentralized ethos of web3.
Multi-party computation (MPC) technology is at the core of Okto’s security measures. Can you elaborate on how this technology works and the advantages it brings to the platform’s users?
MPC stands for Multi-party computation. It is a type of cryptography technology. MPC enhances the existing crypto wallet framework allowing for scalability and flexibility for users while reducing vulnerabilities, increasing security and maintaining control of the wallets with the users. Simply put, MPC is a cryptography technology that allows multiple (two or more) parties to securely input information into a system to activate (or achieve) a result without any party being able to ever see the input from any of the other parties. When applied to Crypto wallets, this makes it possible to design a wallet that uses multiple parties to create and operate the wallet, while still keeping the funds in complete control of the users at all times.
Advantages of this design- No single point of failure or vulnerability, both internal and external – Fully user-controlled , Scalable and flexible, allowing integration with multiple chains and protocols – Easy to both operate and recover
Okto provides seamless access to various tokens and chains, including chains like Polygon, BSC, and Avalanche. How does Okto manage to abstract DeFi complexities for users and offer a user-friendly experience despite the diversity of supported protocols?
Users care about the value in earning opportunities, the risk in those opportunities, and fees they pay for transactions. The rest of technical aspects like chain selection, gas fee payment in native tokens, bridging tokens between chains, etc., are experiences that Okto simplifies by making some technologies invisible, while others easy to understand. We have done the hard work on behalf of the user, and built platforms which abstracts this tech complexity for the user, and helps them discover, evaluate and invest in the right pools at the right time.
The DeFi sector is rapidly evolving, and liquidity mining has become a significant aspect. How does Okto enable its users to participate in liquidity pools and staking opportunities while maximizing their returns with boosted APYs?
Crypto staking is appealing for several reasons. It offers a low-risk way to earn income from your digital assets without the complexities associated with active trading. This makes it especially attractive to individuals who might be new to the world of DeFi and want to participate without taking on significant risks. Crypto staking on Okto is designed to be user-friendly and accessible to all. The process is simple – you lock up your tokens for a specific period, and in return, you start earning interest on your investment. This is a great way for users to put their idle tokens to work and earn a passive income. Okto’s staking platform offers a wide variety of staking rewards, with some assets earning impressive double-digit annual percentage yields (APY). This high earning potential attracts users who want to maximize their returns on their crypto investments. Tokens available for staking on Okto include popular options like FTM, MATIC, UDST, DOGE, BUSD, and more. The platform is continuously working to add more tokens to provide users with diverse staking opportunities.
CoinDCX Ventures is an exciting initiative for supporting Web3 start-ups. How does Okto fit into the broader vision of CoinDCX and the Bharat Web3 Association (BWA) in promoting India’s position in Web3?
CoinDCX Ventures, as the investment arm of CoinDCX, plays a vital role in supporting and nurturing early-stage start-ups in the blockchain and Web3. By providing funding, mentorship, and strategic guidance to 15 startups in India and globally, CoinDCX Ventures aims to empower innovative projects and entrepreneurs to contribute to the Web3 ecosystem. CoinDCX’s belief that India can be a global powerhouse for Web3 technologies resonates with the objectives of the Bharat Web3 Association. BWA is an apex body that strives to create a conducive ecosystem to accelerate the adoption of Web3 technologies in India. CoinDCX’s active involvement as a founding member of BWA highlights its commitment to driving India’s position in the global Web3 revolution.
Okto’s inclusivity is instrumental in driving mainstream adoption of Web3 technologies in India. By simplifying access to DeFi and addressing common challenges faced by crypto users, such as discovering opportunities and managing private keys, Okto empowers a broader audience to embrace the benefits of decentralized finance.
The DeFi sector has been transforming the financial landscape, and it’s becoming a critical aspect for professionals entering the industry. How does Okto ensure that users have access to the necessary information and resources to fully understand DeFi fundamentals?
At Okto, we understand that the DeFi sector can be complex and overwhelming for professionals entering the industry. Our priority is to empower users with the necessary information and resources to fully understand DeFi fundamentals and make informed decisions. Education is at the core of our mission. We believe that informed users are empowered users. Through our blog, videos, and our flagship platform, Namaste Web3, we provide comprehensive educational content about all elements of Web3 and DeFi. These resources cover topics such as blockchain technology, decentralized applications, yield farming, liquidity mining, and much more. We break down complex concepts into easily digestible content, ensuring users can grasp the fundamentals of DeFi at their own pace.
Finally, what exciting plans lie ahead for Okto? Could you give us a sneak peek into upcoming developments , any new investments or accessibility features that users can look forward to?
As always, our commitment to user-centric design and simplification remains strong. Okto’s recent partnership with Polygon zkEVM marks a significant milestone in the DeFi sector, and we are thrilled to be the official ecosystem provider for this cutting-edge technology. The upcoming airdrop and $100,000 giveaway add tremendous earning opportunities for our users, making their experience with Okto even more rewarding. In addition to the exciting technological advancements, we have some surprises in store for our users. A delightful airdrop is on the horizon, offering users the opportunity to receive tokens as a reward for their participation in the Okto ecosystem. This airdrop will be a way for users to further engage with the platform and benefit from being part of the growing Okto community. Moreover, we have a $100,000 giveaway planned, giving users a chance to win exciting rewards and prizes. This giveaway is our way of showing appreciation to our early users and giving back to the community.