Marcel Harman, founder and CEO of Thor Wallet DEX, spoke with Ashton Addison from Block West Capital during an episode of the Crypto Coin Show. Harman explained his background in finance and IT, how he became interested in blockchain, and the creation of Thor Wallet as the first non-custodial wallet with integrated cross-chain DEX capabilities. He also discussed the need to improve user experience and ease of use for decentralized exchanges, as well as the importance of educating users about the technology. Harman believes that with continued updates and improvements, mainstream adoption of blockchain technology and decentralized exchanges is possible.
The Crypto Coin Show: Interview with Marcel Harman, Founder and CEO of Thor Wallet DEX
I’m Ashton Addison from Block West Capital for InvestmentPitch Media and today on The Crypto Coin Show we have Marcel Harman, Founder and CEO of Thor Wallet DEX. Marcel, welcome to the show and thank you for taking the time.
Background on Marcel Harman
Hi Ashton, thank you so much for having me. Very much looking forward. Likewise, I’m excited to dive into the Thor ecosystem. I’d love to kick off our conversation by just hearing a little bit about yourself, your experience as an entrepreneur and in blockchain, and what led you to starting your wallet.
Marcel’s Experience and Thor Wallet DEX
Yeah sure, absolutely. So originally I have a background in Finance as well as IT. Roughly one year after my master’s degree and working for a bank, I decided that I want to start my first own company. Since then, I’ve been in the startup space in various different roles from founder, investor, but also early member, Early Management member. After discovering blockchain around 2017 through a friend, I immediately got hooked pretty much because it’s the synergies of my two favorite topics finance and IT. And then since the blockchain technology is so diverse, and I wanted to become an expert, I decided to start a PhD in blockchain crypto finance. And at the same time, I also joined the Ceba Bank, one of the fully licensed crypto banks here in Switzerland, as one of their first or early employees. But at the heart, I’m always being and always will be an entrepreneur with the drive to build something new. I was always constantly on the outlook of building something new. I was interested in building something that has like an immediate impact, has the potential to scale globally, and technology is ready or close to being ready for mass adoption. And there were many ideas circling around, but in the end, like Thor Wallet manifested itself. That’s exactly what I wanted it to be, as now the first non-custodial wallet with the integrated cross-chain Dex where you can swap native tokens unwrapped and also earn yield on them if you pull those assets. So that’s in a nutshell, the story.
Incredible, and yeah, that’s a feature that even I would like to use myself, and great backstory there. You know, I love finance and IT as well, and this is the perfect industry, so I’m excited to dive more into Thor Wallet.
Distinguishing Thor Wallet
You know, there are so many wallets that are already available, and I’m sure you’re familiar with more than a few of them. And obviously, that function that you just mentioned there sounds like super important, but I feel like even though there are so many wallets, we’re so far away from mainstream adoption that we need it to be easier for people to get wallets and be using them for everyday. What else can you talk about with the distinguishment of Thor Wallet as a wallet solution, and why it’s prepared for mainstream adoption and heavy use?
Yeah, absolutely. I think what really distinguishes us is that, well, first of all, we’re the only native iOS and Android app in let’s say, the Thor chain ecosystem but also the wider ecosystem or space, and that enables cross-chain DeFi. So you can swap native tokens from one chain to another, and the user does not need to care about wrapping or even know what it means and so on, and this is something very important also for from asset option to make those things easy. And now we also launched our web app, which gives customers basically a full suite of possibilities how to interact cross-training. And yeah, I’d like to compare it often to the days of when you want to print something out, and a few years ago when you had a Mac computer, you need to have a Mac printer, otherwise, you simply couldn’t print, and Windows the same, you need to have Windows printer. Nowadays, you can buy whatever printer you want, and from all the systems, including Linux, you can just simply print, and this is because there was some effort put into to make those things interoperable, make it mass-friendly, everyone can plug it in with the USB, and the same thing is happening in the blockchain technology, and through training and for Wallet, I believe being one centerpiece to enable that.
The State of Decentralized Exchanges
Great to know, Marcel, and yeah, I feel like the amount of coins on different blockchains; you need to have like a multi-chain wallet that can just support it all and not have to be like this blockchain over here, this blockchain over here; I need to trade you know how do I trade across blockchains, making it hard. Some I’m glad to hear that you’ve thought that through, and I really do like the functions of the DEX and being able to do decentralized swaps. I feel like it’s the future, but what we’ve seen from the numbers of people that are using centralized exchanges compared to DEXes, I feel like we’re not even at 1 percent. Can you talk about obviously there are clear advantages to using DEXes but the stage that we’re at right now and how early it is and why has it not been adopted sooner?
Sure, on the positive side on certain days, the volumes of the decentralized exchanges are on par with decentralized exchanges or even bigger. They do grow faster, which is also nice. So it’s the fastest-growing industry currently, the D5 sector, which is here to stay, not just a high. And definitely more, the technology just needs to evolve further and then and everyone is working on that cross-chain, but also lowering the fees, proof of stake Ethereum that is coming; it all plays together basically. This combined with better user experience and user interfaces, making them basically as easy to use as Coinbase or decentralized versions, is definitely key. You need to be able to push the technology in the background so the end-user doesn’t know or feel that he’s actually everything he’s doing is unchained. So this comes with a few challenges interacting with different chains, different error messages, and unchained transactions are not as fast as on centralized exchanges. So if you execute a swap, for example, it doesn’t appear instantly. You might need to wait a few seconds up to a few minutes until the trade has settled depending on which training you stand. This needs a new thinking of how to tell the user who is inexperienced that this is totally normal because what you do is unchained. So those are things I think are needed, and then we’re good to go. Just simply step by step, making it better with every update, we come closer to making it possible to onward the mess to D5. Maybe one last thing that comes to my mind is education. Education is needed, and it can be done in various places within the app with learning, just little blocks where they can learn how pooling works, what impermanent losses, etc., on the website FAQs, etc. Yeah, I guess that’s also needed to make them comfortable.