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DeFi’s critical missing piece: Credit scores

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Over the last 12 months, the remarkable growth in decentralized finance has been driven by one thing: the ability of users to earn strong yields on their crypto assets by lending, staking and providing liquidity. Depending on your risk appetite, gains from DeFi investments can run tens or even hundreds of times higher than standard returns in the traditional markets.

Even if those kinds of yields don’t last forever, DeFi offers significant promise to transform the financial markets in the long term. At the start of this year, former U.S. acting comptroller of the currency Brian Brooks predicted (I think, accurately) that “self-driving banks” would be a reality before self-driving cars will be able to fly.

However, the growth of DeFi lending markets is currently hampered by one significant drawback: the need for over-collateralization of credit. We see this requirement deterring a large fraction of borrowers.

By size, reputation-backed > asset-backed financial systems

Traditional finance — from credit cards to dollars themselves — is largely backed by reputation and credit, not just assets. As individuals, we’re assessed on our ability to repay a mortgage based on our credit history, not purely on the fact that we’re already outright owners of real estate. Similarly, there are ways to assess the capital strength of corporate and institutional borrowers. These “reputation economies” make up the majority of the traditional financial system, with which DeFi can and will compete.

In the current DeFi landscape, over-collateralization is necessary partly because of the pseudonymous nature of blockchain transactions. A lender rarely knows a borrower’s identity, which introduces an unacceptable degree of risk, as there’s no way to guarantee repayment.

Even on a pseudonymous basis, DeFi also lacks adequate credit scoring or borrower risk assessment mechanisms. So, making sure someone has sufficient “skin in the game” is the only way to ensure they’ll make good on their repayment obligations. In case of default, over-collateralized lenders can simply liquidate the borrower’s collateral.

The solution to bridging the gap between requiring assets and managing uncollateralized loan risk is simple. Ideally, the credit model is robust enough to support active lending rather than purely serving as a theoretical framework.

Structure of on-chain credit scores

A key discovery is that zero-knowledge proofs allow for highly trustworthy on-chain credit scores without revealing confidential information about a borrower.

  1. The credit score is computed in a secure enclave (a special, highly secure computer chip).
  2. The credit score, as well as proof-of-computation, is uploaded to the blockchain.
  3. The proof-of-computation is verified by the smart contract.

The credit score that’s computed off-chain could include private information such as a borrower’s assets, use of leverage and even Know Your Customer. None of this private information would be uploaded to the blockchain — just a proof of computation demonstrated that it was taken into account in the credit score in accordance with the protocol’s design.

This off-chain data could also be combined with existing protocol data such as repayment history. Creditworthiness can then be assessed, using a multivariable model, much like the current retail and institutional credit sector in traditional finance.

Portability is critical

One of the most crucial considerations is that these credit ratings should be fully portable, and even composable (like DeFi Lego blocks), across different DeFi protocols and blockchains. This is especially important now that we’re seeing new layer-one DeFi ecosystems starting to flourish on platforms such as Polkadot and Binance Smart Chain, which don’t have the same on-chain history of lender and borrower interactions. Portability may enable existing lending platforms that currently require over 100% collateral to borrow to begin offering undercollateralized loans to those who have a rating that meets a minimum threshold level.

Of course, such a system doesn’t mean that we have to do away with overcollateralized lending for those without any credit history or reputation. However, the fact is that introducing reputation-based lending to DeFi will provide a massive boost to the ecosystem by making it appeal to a far broader range of potential users. It will remove constraints on the growth of DeFi lending, paving the way for more institutional involvement and boundless future expansion.

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.

Rafael Cosman is the CEO and a co-founder of TrustToken, developers of the definitive unsecured lending protocol TrueFi. Prior to TrustToken, Rafael helped build StreetCode, a nonprofit that teaches East Palo Alto youth technical skills, and worked at Google Brain, Palantir and Kernel. Rafael graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor’s degree in computer science. In his free time, you’ll find Rafael reading or surfing.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/defi-s-critical-missing-piece-credit-scores

Blockchain

TrustSwap Launchpad hosts token offering for RegTech platform Sekuritance

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Sekuritance, a CeFi/DeFi ecosystem delivering compliance, regulatory, transaction monitoring, and identity management solutions, is collaborating with TrustSwap, a full-service blockchain asset platform, to support the execution of its SKRT token offering starting on May 8th, 2021 at 9:00 AM PST.

Introducing Sekuritance

The cryptocurrency economy has taken the world by storm and it is here to stay. Just like traditional finance, the risk of fraud, misuse, abuse also exists in the crypto space. Due to the decentralized and semi-anonymous nature of blockchain, these factors can be compounded resulting in hesitation of adoption by financial regulators and banking institutions. While there may not yet be a bulletproof solution, there are ways to mitigate risk and potential losses, and blacklisting.

Most people who are active in the DeFi space are also using some form of traditional banking service (credit cards, bank accounts, mortgage/insurance payments, retail commerce, etc.). When crypto proceeds start moving between these realms, the banks and regulators want to know where the money came from, whether it has been declared or taxed effectively, whether it has passed through unauthorized darknet services, and so many more questions needing specific answers. In the event that any of the above questions result negatively, the traditional finance ecosystem is most likely to reject the onboarding or the use of those proceeds to pass through their networks.

The Sekuritance RegTech Suite addresses this by making available specific services and modules to address the various regulatory and compliance requirements.

Sekuritance recognizes that there are many jurisdictional challenges in the RegTech niche so, rather than competing with other software-as-a-service providers in the RegTech industry, they are invited to make their API offerings available also through the Sekuritance Partner Marketplace so that merchants and individuals around the world can enjoy an All-In-One RegTech Gateway.

Sekuritance Ecosystem

The Sekuritance ecosystem is comprised of 8 main products:

1. Sekur.Vault (Data Tokenisation Vault)

Sekur.Vault is a unique omni-vault, audited to the highest level of industry security standards and tweaked to not only store what is commonly referred to as “Rubbish In, Rubbish Out” but to add value to the output upon retrieval by cross-consumption of the other Sekuritance modules such as BIN checks, KYC checks, AML checks and more.

The platform’s robust and simple to use API set and dedicated user interface allows the secure storage of Card Data (Debit, Credit, Alternate); Crypto Wallet Private & Public Keys; Sensitive Personal Data; Confidential Corporate Data; KYC, KYB Related Data; Transaction Data for BI and AI and more.

2. Sekur.MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication)

This omni-auth module caters primarily to 3D Secure services for the traditional card payment industry. Development has also started for an on-chain decentralized identity management and claiming process. Our own unique acquirer-agnostic 3D Solution allows merchants to validate and process 3D checks (both versions 1 and 2) before taking payment.

3. Sekur.Connect (RegTech Marketplace)

The Sekuritance RegTech SekurSuite platform is a powerful toolkit on its own but trying to stay ahead of all the global jurisdictions, updates to regulations and policies, AML guidelines, etc. is a mammoth task. So, rather than try to outsmart all the other valuable and recognized players in the industry, Sekuritance is creating a RegTech marketplace where software-as-a-service providers and developers can showcase their solutions and participate in the SKRT token economy.

4. Sekur.Alert

Sekur.Alert functionality connects to specialized datasets to help keep our customers safe and help them ensure that they are doing business with wallets and identities of good standing. To help grow this dataset, the crypto community is invited to report any fraudulent activity to Sekuritance so that the whole community can be better protected. Every new unique and verified report gets to participate in the SKRT Loyalty and Reward program.

5. Sekur.Transact

KYC, KYB, KYT, AML, Sanction Screening, and other rule engine applications are all available on the Sekuritance platform. Businesses and institutions can use these tools to identify who customers are and their eligibility for specific product offerings. They can use the Sekuritance RegTech platform to get transaction and IP “Risk Scores” and sub-scores as well as other data in order to prevent fraud and abuse.

7. Sekur.Trace

The anonymity of cryptocurrencies is a myth. Very few mixing services can outwit modern de-anonymization technologies for Bitcoin tracking and other cryptocurrency alternatives. No one has a clear understanding of how fast the RegTech niche will be evolving but one thing beyond question — regulation of the cryptocurrency space will tighten and all will have to accept the new rules and play by them.

Sekuritance strives to become one of the leading vendors of RegTech solutions for the crypto and fiat industry and believes that the openness of financial data on blockchains will be a driver for regulatory institutions to reinforce control. With a powerful blockchain analytics toolset like Sekuritance, regulatory bodies could end money laundering and make financial reporting easy and transparent.

8. Sekur.Certify

The Sekuritance Sekur.Certify Blockchain Wallet Verification service allows for a user to claim controlling power certification on a particular wallet once a number of actions would have been performed, KYC & AML checks confirmed and crypto investigation on the wallet completed.

Details of Sekuritance Token Offering

The Sekuritance token offering will be executed by leveraging the TrustSwap Launchpad. Upon the successful conclusion of the offering, a Uniswap pool will be created on May 13th, 2021, and trading can commence for use of SKRT in the Sekuritance network. Alongside the offering, Sekuritance will be showcasing a preview of its RegTech Suite and Partner Platform.

TrustSwap technology utilizes secure peer-to-peer transactions via TrustSwap SmartLaunch; which ensures that Sekuritance and its community can transact securely and without fear of participants or team members negatively impacting the markets following the public offering. TrustSwap’s time-based SmartLock ensures a methodical distribution to mitigate the risk of unauthorized token transfers.

Sekuritance will use TrustSwap SmartLocks for:

  • Team token vesting
  • Token holder vesting
  • Liquidity locks

For more information about Sekuritance visit https://www.sekuritance.com.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.cryptoninjas.net/2021/05/07/trustswap-launchpad-hosts-token-offering-for-regtech-platform-sekuritance/

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Blockchain

Shanghai Man: VeChain on TV, DOGE flips BTC volume, Hotbit hack and more …

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This weekly roundup of news from Mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong attempts to curate the industry’s most important news, including influential projects, changes in the regulatory landscape, and enterprise blockchain integrations.

Will DOGEmania ever stop?

Dogecoin has officially flipped Bitcoin in a few categories here in China, with DOGE trading volume on leading Chinese exchange Huobi surpassing that of leading assets ETH and BTC. On May 6th, according to CoinGecko, DOGE volume made up more than 15% of total exchange volume, whereas BTC and ETH were around 8% each. Searches for ‘Dogecoin’ on WeChat surpassed searches for Bitcoin, with 2.3 million versus 1.7 million on May 5th. Dogecoin has become increasingly appealing to the Chinese retail community since earlier this year as many are attracted to the virality and get-rich-quick potential of the colorful DOGE community.

Hacking attempt fails, but causes a major ruckus

Centralized exchange Hotbit was the victim of a hacking attempt on April 30th. The good news was that assets appear to be safe on the platform. The bad news was that user data was compromised, leading to a corrupted database. Trading, deposits and withdrawals have all been paused while the exchange attempts to restore normality. The Chinese exchange has been communicating actively via Twitter, with the interrupted service lasting potentially another week. Hotbit is well known for listing a diverse range of assets, making it a popular spot among more risk averse investors.

Shenzhen-based HOO launches Smart Chain contender

Hoo.com became yet another exchange to launch an Ethereum Virtual Machine, or EVM-based, smart chain, attempting to bridge their CeFi users into the DeFi space. The chain, currently in testnet, boasts low fees of just 0.001 USD per transaction and over 500+ transactions per second, as well as compatibility with Ethereum, BSC, and HECO. Since the start of the year, Hoo’s token has increased by over 350%. Other Chinese exchanges, including OKEx and Gate, have also launched smart chains. Smart chains are proving an attractive way to let users maximize yield while still letting the exchange capture value from the process.

VeChain on national TV

English-language and state-run business channel CGTN created a short expository video on blockchain’s growth post-COVID19. The video and article featured a close look at VeChain’s progress in developing business solutions, explaining how the technology could be applied to the food safety and infection control industry. The media company shot a short video inside the office and interviewed a few of the developers, indicating that the company has done well to comply with regulatory requirements in the tightly run country. It’s no secret that VeChain has a top position and close relationship with many government backed organizations, which is an enviable position for any enterprise Blockchain-as-a-Service provider.

Rising salaries for blockchain devs

The Beijing Human Resources and Social Security Bureau recently released the 2021 Beijing Human Resources Market Salary Survey Report (First Quarterly)”. According to the report, new and hot jobs, which included the tech space, had a median average monthly salary mainly in the $3,000 to $4,600 range. Blockchain engineers comfortably eclipsed that with a wage of $6,700 per month, showing the growing demand for the skills. By contrast, the average annual salary of a blockchain developer in the U.S. often exceeds $12,500 per month, according to recruitment firm Hired.com, nearly double the going rate in Beijing.

Miners back up and running… away?

Mining appears to have resumed as normal following the outages after a deadly coal mine accident last month. The incident required rigorous inspections of mining facilities, forcing many ASIC miners to turn off their machines. Hashrates have currently recovered to near the rates they were prior to the incident in the middle of April. One interesting shift, however, is that the industry appears to be gradually shifting from China to North America. F2Pool founder Chun Wang noted that for the first time in 8 years, more than half the BTC hashing power was coming from outside of China. This may have been partially tied to the incident, but is a trend that many experts are following as mining regulations in China appear to be growing stricter.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/shanghai-man-vechain-on-tv-doge-flips-btc-hotbit-hack-blockchain-engineers-make

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Blockchain

XRP, Dogecoin, Cardano Price Analysis: 06 May

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With Bitcoin’s market dominance falling once again and the altseason gaining steam, the likes of XRP, Dogecoin, and Cardano have all appreciated significantly on the price charts over the past week or so.

XRP

Source: XRP/USD on TradingView

XRP’s recovery since falling to close to $0.20 on the back of the SEC filing a lawsuit against Ripple Labs has been impressive, with the alt recording YTD returns of 510% at press time. Its price action over the past week, however, has been very inconsistent, with bouts of appreciation followed by sharp price falls on the charts. Even so, the cryptocurrency was close to recuperating all its losses following the depreciation on the 25th of April.

While Parabolic SAR’s dotted markers were under the price candles and underlined the bullishness in the XRP market, Awesome Oscillator gave the opposite signal, with its histogram picturing a fall in market momentum.

According to Ripple CEO, the aforementioned lawsuit has been “frustrating,” despite how well it has been going for the defendants.

Dogecoin [DOGE]

Source: DOGE/USD on TradingView

Dogecoin has been one of 2021’s best crypto-performers, with the alt hiking astronomically to register YTD returns of 10,800% this year. DOGE’s hike has been particularly exponential since the month of April, with the same more or less being the trend in May too. In the last week alone, DOGE has climbed by over 115% on the charts, with many expecting the popular meme-coin to continue surging at least until Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s appearance as “Dogefather” on Saturday Night Live.

The scale of its bullishness was evident when Dogecoin’s technical indicators were checked out. While Chaikin Money Flow was holding steady close to the 0.20-mark, Relative Strength Index noted a slight dip after a visit to the overbought zone.

Mark Cuban was one of the many crypto-proponents to come forward and comment on the meme-coin’s utility and purpose recently.

Cardano [ADA]

Source: ADA/USD on TradingView

After a brief phase in February which saw ADA surge up the charts to lead the altseason for a time, the past few months have mostly seen Cardano trade within a tight price channel. At the time of writing, ADA was close to breaking out of the said range, while also inching closer to its previous ATH of $1.55 on the price charts.

In the last three days, ADA hiked by almost 20% on the charts.

While Bollinger Bands remained far apart to highlight volatility, MACD line was moving away from the Signal line to indicate the crypto’s latest bullish credentials.

The altcoin was in the news recently after IOHK’s Charles Hoskinson hit back at critics to comment that it’s bizarre to suggest that Cardano is a blatant scam.


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Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://ambcrypto.com/xrp-dogecoin-cardano-price-analysis-06-may

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