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DeFi-ing the odds: Why DeFi could rebuild trust in financial services

Republished by Plato

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To function effectively, society has long depended on people having faith in their institutions. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and wide-ranging failures of leadership, that faith has been tested like never before.

Nowhere is the decline in trust more evident than in the financial services sector. In its 2021 Trust Barometer, Edelman found that only 53% of American respondents said they trusted those in the U.S. to “do what is right” — down 5% from its 2020 survey. You can see this in the battle between Main Street and Wall Street, which played out in January’s GameStop rally. More than just another “short squeeze,” the rally highlighted the fact that many younger investors simply don’t believe in financial institutions.

Related: r/Wallstreetbets vs. Wall Street: A prelude to DeFi bursting onto the scene?

Trending away from institutional authority is also evident in the explosive growth of decentralized finance, or DeFi. By using decentralized applications on the blockchain, DeFi allows individuals to lend or borrow funds, trade coins and earn interest on savings. Their transactions are governed by smart contracts, embedded in the software; no bank, brokerage or exchange is required.

With a digital-first generation, DeFi will become the default

To illustrate how fast DeFi has taken off, examine the total value locked, or TVL, being poured into the DeFi sector. TVL is the best way of charting the success of DeFi, as smart contracts usually require a counterparty to post collateral for any transaction. As of mid-March, almost $59 billion was locked into DeFi. A year earlier, that figure stood at around $500 million.

The overall crypto market — driven by Bitcoin (BTC) — is now worth well over $1 trillion, so there’s a long way to go before DeFi becomes headline news. Though remember: It took Bitcoin nearly 10 years before institutional investors really started to buy in — and it seems that it will take half that time for DeFi to achieve similar penetration.

Related: Why institutions suddenly give a damn about Bitcoin

Why? Because younger investors — like the GameStop traders — understand the concept of digital scarcity, embracing the fact that non-physical assets have value. That’s why they’re buying up nonfungible tokens as a way to trade digital properties. The best-known example of the NFT phenomenon was the Christie’s auction in March of a digital collage by artist Beeple — purchased for almost $70 million using cryptocurrency.

Related: Actionists reinventing art: As it ever was, so shall it ever be (even in crypto)

What has been a trickle of crypto activity promises to become a torrent, once the bulk of Baby Boomers retire. The epochal event, now underway, represents one of the greatest transfers of wealth ever. According to “Big Four” audit firm PwC, an estimated $59 trillion in wealth will move from retiring Boomers to their digital-native beneficiaries by 2061.

It is this new generation that will be looking for ways to invest their inheritance — and choosing the systems and platforms in which to place their trust. Given the choice, Millennials and Gen Zs will always choose the investment option that’s cheaper, more accessible and available 24/7.

Related: Crypto could save millennials from the economy that failed them

As DeFi takes off, expect legacy institutions to fight back

Of course, banks being banks, you can expect to see them — along with other legacy institutions — fighting hard to defend their turf. They know that to remain competitive, they’ll need to increase service hours, decrease settlement times and boost user functionality.

Already they’re starting to integrate smart contracts and other DeFi technologies into existing platforms — both to increase efficacy and to keep up with market demand for more transparency and customer privacy. In a February white paper, released by the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation, the DTCC proposed shortening the settlement cycle for U.S. equities from two business days to one.

Even then, the planned implementation of the DTCC plan could take two years — and still lag behind the instantaneousness of crypto. In a world that’s moving rapidly toward a 24/7 model, security issuers that stick to industry laggards will soon be left behind.

The path ahead is promising — but not without its bumps

While the technology for DeFi is advancing quickly, it will take time for the capabilities to get where they need to be for broad-scale adoption. The network fees required to trade on decentralized trading exchanges such as Uniswap are still high (though that’s expected to come down over time).

There’s no denying the potential of being able to buy or trade digital assets 24 hours a day, with immediate delivery, or to borrow on a peer-to-peer level — and dictate your own terms.

There are still some 1.7 billion people who are considered “unbanked” — and DeFi holds the promise of offering any individual with an internet connection and mobile phone a full array of banking services.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Mitchell Demeter is a serial entrepreneur who launched the world’s first Bitcoin ATM in Vancouver, Canada back in 2013. Mitchell now serves as president of Netcoins, a trading platform that is aimed at making it easier to buy, sell and understand cryptocurrency. He has been featured in publications such as Wired, Time, HuffPost and Forbes and contributes regularly to Fast Company and Entrepreneur.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/defi-ing-the-odds-why-defi-could-rebuild-trust-in-financial-services

Blockchain

Reef Finance’s Schedules Mainnet Release for May, Promises Polkadot Integration

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Reef Finance has announced that its Substrate-based mainnet will see the light of day in May 2021. Called Reef Chain, it promises to “make DeFi easy” by enabling developers to use a highly scalable and fully EVM-compatible network that’s integrated into the Polkadot ecosystem.

Reef Chain Coming in May

Reef Finance is a cross-chain DeFi operating system allowing traders to access liquidity from centralized and decentralized exchanges through its smart liquidity aggregator and yield machine. The project outlined the date for its long-anticipated mainnet launch in a press release shared with CryptoPotato.

According to it, Reef Chain will be launched next month after finishing the final checks of the current Maldives testnet. The precise date will “depend on the result of the rigorous tests being conducted right now, though the team is confident that they will be completed soon.”

Upon its release, Reef Chain will enable DeFi developers to produce scalable and EVM-compatible systems integrated into the Polkadot ecosystem. Reef’s new product will be rolled out as a standalone blockchain based on the Substrate framework. This feature will simplify the integration to the Polkadot parachain network.

The mainnet’s compatibility with EVM, meaning developers can write contracts in Solidity or Vyper and deploy them on the chain, and its ability to bridge with other blockchains, including Ethereum, should enhance its interoperability features.


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No Better Timing

Denko Mancheski, CEO of Reef Finance, outlined Reef Chain’s launch as perfect timing because of the “insatiable” demand for DeFi and the issues he sees with the current ecosystem. More specifically, those are the record-high transaction costs on the Ethereum network and even the struggling lately Binance Smart Chain.

Apart from promising scalability and deeper liquidity integration, Reef Chain is also “committed to helping out developers in their quest to bring their DeFi idea to life.” It plans to do so by enabling them access to Reef’s user base, network partners, investors, exchanges, and media.

“We know the struggles of up and coming developers all too well, and a lot of the time, technical skills are only a part of the equation. By tapping into Reef’s business network, DeFi builders will multiply their chances of success.” – concluded Mancheski.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/reef-finances-schedules-mainnet-release-for-may-promises-polkadot-integration/

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Blockchain

CEO of a Turkish Crypto Exchange Thodex Reportedly Runs Off With $2 Billion

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Nearly 400,000 users of a Turkish cryptocurrency exchange were left out of their accounts without being able to withdraw their funds. The platform’s website has been down for several days, while reports suggest its CEO has already fled the country with up to $2 billion.

Turkish Exchange Does a Rug Pull?

Bloomberg reported yesterday that Thodex, a Turkey-based crypto exchange, has ceased trading, citing an “unspecified partnership transaction.” The founded in 2017 trading platform issued a statement explaining that all services will remain shut down for about five working days. However, the message reassured customers that they shouldn’t worry about their funds.

Approximately at the same time, though, users started to complain about their inability to access their own assets. Some took it to Twitter to exemplify the absurdity of the situation.

More recent coverages asserted that the exchange’s chief executive officer and founder, Faruk Fatih Ozer, who refrained answering comments before, had fled the country.


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Users Alleging of Fraud

Upon the news of Ozer’s alleged escape from Turkey, users of the local exchange hired a law firm to file a complaint against Thodex. Oguz Evren Kilic, representing an unspecified number of Thodex customers, confirmed the development, saying, “we have filed a legal complaint on Wednesday.”

He speculated that the funds on the Turkish exchange could be worth “hundreds of millions of dollars,” keeping in mind that the user base is just shy of 400,000. A prosecutor in Istanbul has reportedly launched an investigation.

According to another report, Thodex’s CEO and founder has run away in Thailand with an estimated amount of roughly $2 billion.

It’s worth noting that Turkish authorities have already taken a steep approach towards the cryptocurrency industry. CryptoPotato informed last week of the country’s latest rule on digital assets, banning users from using them as payment instruments from April 30th.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/ceo-of-a-turkish-crypto-exchange-thodex-reportedly-runs-off-with-2-billion/

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Blockchain

Chainlink is uniquely placed to play this out in the market

Republished by Plato

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2021 has been a good year for Chainlink, the project growing leaps and bounds over the past few months. What’s more, LINK has continued to build on its foundations from last year, with the altcoin surging up the charts over the past few months. In fact, on the back of the wider market’s bullishness, LINK touched a new ATH on the charts just a few days ago.

At the time of writing, however, the aforementioned bullishness had given way to a wave of corrections, with the altcoin trading at a price level that was 18% away from its ATH.

Source: LINK/USD on TradingView

What does this mean then? Has LINK’s price rally finally exhausted itself? On the contrary, a closer look at factors such as ecosystem-centric developments, metrics, and technical fundamentals would suggest quite the opposite.

The most crucial of these ecosystem-centric developments came to the fore a few days ago when the project released the whitepaper for its next protocol upgrade – Chainlink 2.0. As the DeFi sector’s leading decentralized oracle provider, this is a significant development, especially in light of the inflows that have been moving into DeFi over the past few months.

The whitepaper in question proposed a roadmap of Chainlink’s future, one which sought to address the limitations that were part of the initial whitepaper. Smart contracts with limited functionality, for instance. According to a recent report by OKEx Insights,

“Chainlink 2.0 addresses these limitations by enabling hybrid smart contracts in DONs — allowing blockchain protocols to access off-chain data sources and perform off-chain computations.”

What’s more, 2.0 also seeks to make oracles much more scalable, with the addition of the ability to perform off-chain calculations and the introduction of a “transaction-execution framework for Decentralized Oracle Networks which processes off-chain transactions and oracle reporting.”

Finally, Chainlink 2.0 will also be a step towards strengthening privacy protections on the blockchain network with the addition of confidentiality-preserving adapters and support for confidential layer-2 systems.

Needless to say, this a major update, one that could have major repercussions on the value of LINK on the price charts. However, contrary to expectations, when the paper was first made public on the 15th of April, the altcoin’s market failed to react. In fact, it corrected instead.

Why? Well, because the rest of the market corrected too on the back of Bitcoin’s depreciation and fall below the $60,000-level. In doing so, what can be argued is that LINK’s price is yet to price in the aforementioned development. This means that when the bearish phase passes and consolidation ensues, there is potential for a lot more upside in the Chainlink market.

In fact, it can be hypothesized that LINK, more than most altcoins in the space, is better placed to see more upside in its price action in the near term. This, because despite how it has performed over the past week, LINK’s fundamentals remain pretty strong.

Consider this – According to Glassnode, the top 1% of LINK addresses now hold over 84.44% of the altcoin’s supply, a 3-year high. This finding is a testament to the accumulation trend in the Chainlink market, one that underlines the confidence the market’s whales have in the alt’s long-term credentials.

Source: Glassnode

Further, LINK’s Exchange Outflow Volume (7d MA) also touched an ATH of $3,753,855.00 recently, with the same suggesting that more and more people are now moving their crypto-assets off exchanges to HODL, with these unlikely to be sold anytime soon.

Here, it’s worth noting that in the past, whenever this metric has risen, the altcoin’s value has fallen on the charts immediately after. However, LINK’s price has also touched higher highs whenever recovery has ensued, meaning, this could be a sign to buy in.

Source: Glassnode

Finally, the number of active LINK addresses also surged to a 1-month high in the last 48 hours, despite the general market bearishness another sign of there being a lot of optimism associated with the alt’s price performance.

It’s no wonder then that many in the community expect the cryptocurrency to reignite its rally in the near term, especially since traditionally, the cryptocurrency has maintained a lower correlation with the king coin, when compared to the likes of Ethereum and Litecoin. This, coupled with its strong fundamentals, might allow LINK to surge again, independent of the rest of the market.


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Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://ambcrypto.com/heres-why-chainlinks-price-rally-isnt-over-yet

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