Of Finding, Founding and Funding

You're about to read our founder's story – which is not only a story of success but also one of surprising symbology.

The year is 1998, I’m traveling around. The destination: Italy. I spend a day in Florence and, like any good tourist, I pay Palazzo Medici a visit and fall in love with the influence and abundance of the Medici saga. So, in order to have a souvenir back home, I purchase a commemorative coin for the 500th anniversary of the death of “Il Magnifico”, Lorenzo de’ Medici.

Innovation is truly a timeless game

At the time, of course, I didn’t realise that one day this experience would be foundational to the biggest start-up idea of my life. In 2018, I get introduced to crypto: a friend is doing the second-only initial coin offering (ICO) in the Netherlands. At this point, it’s not at all clear to me that there are symbolic parallels between this new technology and the Medici.

But first things first: In 2008 we all experienced what was considered the most severe financial crisis since the Great Depression (apart from Covid, that is). Anyway – of the many consequences of this crisis, a number of events laid the foundation and led to the formation of Florence Finance.

There’s the advent of Bitcoin and the rise of distributed ledger technology in 2009. Then the Ethereum network comes up and smart contracts start flourishing. At this point, we can only imagine what the new trend means for the growing abandonment of small businesses and savers by TradFi – the banking establishment as we know it.

Based on those developments, an idea emerges: Why not take what is arguably the most positive consequence of the crisis and use it to help disadvantaged borrowers? And at the same time we provide an alternative for savers and holders. It all comes down to one magic word: “real-world yield”. The kind of outcome that’s not available in TradFi or even DeFi to date. Two birds, one stone.

Starting from there, our “back to the future” story continues and I remember the Medici anniversary coin I bought as a keepsake. As a memory. As a token.

So, as simple as it sounds, in this very instant it becomes evident to me: DeFi will shape the next evolution of finance, just like the Medici did. I know Lorenzo “Il Magnifico” inspired me to come up with the MDC Token to kick off our evolution.

People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

The proverbial “golden ticket” here is purpose. Satisfying work should always be about fixing real-world problems. About community involvement. About accessibility.

Who needs noble blood if you can be an esteemed pioneer?

We’re giddy to kick off change. We want to innovate and revolutionise the concept of banking altogether. We’re building a low-threshold marketplace that is truly for everyone, permission-free. The future of banking is inclusive – it ensures immutability, integrity, radical transparency, and openness for all.

Chaos creates opportunity. At least as far as markets go.

What sounds like anarchy at first, may at the end of the day be exactly that – an absence of government. Think hierarchies, power, and mutual aid. Think Proudhon’s “What is property?”. The Medici invented the so-called family pacts to preserve values. They managed the majority of great fortunes in Europe. They pioneered in writing rules about loans.

And we’re here to do the same.

Related Questions
Are there any risks involved in lending?

The main risk associated with lending on Florence Finance is credit risk. This basically refers to the uncertainty that arises through the default of a borrower. However, determining the specific default risk of a borrower or a loan in a loan vault requires a trained/specialized credit officer and agency-approved credit models. So it's imperative to do this work on any and all of the vaults' borrowers and their respective business models – which, at the outset, will be handled by Florence Finance and its partners. Our aim is to promote and simplify credit information transparency over time. In the meantime, we're building a default reserve that can absorb smaller default losses should they occur.

How risky is borrowing against virtual assets?

Decentralised finance (DeFi) makes it possible to grant and manage loans more easily, more efficiently and more transparently than with the processes and resources used in traditional banking operations (TradFi) today. First off, from a borrower's perspective, it makes little difference if funding comes from stablecoins or as fiat from a bank. And from a lender’s perspective, credit risk and yield are not changed by the means of administration. Besides, the platform itself is antifragile – there is literally “no money in the bank” that can be stolen or hacked.

I want to become a borrower. How do I get approved?

It's as easy as pie. Simply apply online and share your necessary compliance information. Apart from that we'll only need to know about the size and nature of your credit request. Leave everything else to us – we look forward to your application!