A blockchain app development case study - DeFi startup

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Case study overview

Ajna had a bold, experienced team, an exciting concept product in the DeFi blockchain space, huge market demand, significant investment and a problem….

A sophisticated and performant web3 application that offers users access and the incentivised opportunity to contribute to a P2P cryptocurrency liquidity pool still had to be built.

Time-to-market was a priority. And precious time wasted in an unsuccessful bid to recruit senior Web3 developers locally in the USA.

A team of 2 were in place but there were skills gaps and a pressing need for the level of blockchain development stack and experience Anja was finding to be rare. And incredibly expensive to recruit domestically.

In February Ajna turned to K&C and by March Andrii, an experienced senior front end, blockchain and Web3 developer, had been integrated into Anja’s team.

By June, Ajna’s team had been augmented by another three senior Web3 developers recruited by K&C and progress on the app has accelerated and is back on schedule.

Key points

A sophisticated DeFi blockchain application

The Ajna protocol is a noncustodial, peer-to-peer, permissionless lending, borrowing and trading system implemented for the Ethereum Virtual Machine that requires no governance or external price feeds to function.

The protocol consists of pools: pairings of quote tokens provided by lenders and collateral tokens provided by borrowers. Ajna is capable of accepting fungible tokens (ERC-20) as quote tokens and fungible (ERC-20) as well as non-fungible (ERC-721) tokens as collateral tokens. There is no governance process or gating mechanism that controls which assets can be used in a pairing.

Once a pairing of assets has been created, any user can come to the pool to lend or borrow quote token by pledging collateral. Lenders input a price that they’re willing to lend at (and conversely willing to purchase the collateral at) and borrowers are informed as to the best available liquidity for the amount of collateral they have.

The smart contracts, using market mechanisms, manage liquidity, interest rates, and liquidations. Loans on Ajna are perpetual in nature and do not expire. More information on these mechanisms will be provided in the whitepaper on it’s release.

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The Problem

In early 2023, DeFi fintech Ajna was in the midst of a recruitment drive. The U.S.-based fintech needed to beef up the development team working on its permissionless cryptocurrency lending pools app. 

To stay on track with its product roadmap, development needed to accelerate. 

Recruiting senior developers with the right tech stack of React, Solidity and Web3 experience was, however, proving challenging. 

The domestic U.S. talent pool for the Web3 experience and stack Anja needed was limited and competition for that limited resource meant eye-watering demands. And the risk of high turnover in the dev team – something to be carefully avoided given hiring costs, onboarding time and tight timelines. 

Another drawback meant that the inherent nature of a permissionless P2P blockchain app means that once launched, it is designed to run itself. That meant a team had to be hired on the understanding work, and contracts, were timeboxed – another recruitment challenge.

Ajna logo

Although the project is still in progress, K&C has met every deadline and fulfilled our requirements so far. The team's knowledge and willingness to help contribute to a smooth engagement. Virtual meetings facilitate communication.

Ajna Labs

Why IT outsourcing is a good strategic fit for Ajna

Ajna Labs has resolved its blockchain development recruitment challenges with an IT outsourcing strategy. Working with K&C means:

  • Access to a much larger, global, Web3 development talent pool. 

  • The ability to hire more senior talent at a lower cost than domestically recruited compromise candidates.

  • Well-qualified candidates recruited and onboarded in weeks, not months.

  • Flexibility to scale the team up and down with the project’s cycles without impacting moral and motivation – it’s what everyone has signed up for. 

  • Ajna now has a highly competent and motivated development team and its blockchain protocol and app are on schedule and in budget.

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