submitted by sidhujag to ethereum [link] [comments]
We are excited to participate and present Syscoin Platform's ideal characteristics and capabilities towards a well-rounded Reddit Community Points solution!
Our scaling solution for Reddit Community Points involves 2-way peg interoperability with Ethereum. This will provide a scalable token layer built specifically for speed and high volumes of simple value transfers at a very low cost, while providing sovereign ownership and onchain finality.
Token transfers scale by taking advantage of a globally sorting mempool that provides for probabilistically secure assumptions of “as good as settled”. The opportunity here for token receivers is to have an app-layer interactivity on the speed/security tradeoff (99.9999% assurance within 10 seconds). We call this Z-DAG, and it achieves high-throughput across a mesh network topology presently composed of about 2,000 geographically dispersed full-nodes. Similar to Bitcoin, however, these nodes are incentivized to run full-nodes for the benefit of network security, through a bonded validator scheme. These nodes do not participate in the consensus of transactions or block validation any differently than other nodes and therefore do not degrade the security model of Bitcoin’s validate first then trust, across every node. Each token transfer settles on-chain. The protocol follows Bitcoin core policies so it has adequate code coverage and protocol hardening to be qualified as production quality software. It shares a significant portion of Bitcoin’s own hashpower through merged-mining.
This platform as a whole can serve token microtransactions, larger settlements, and store-of-value in an ideal fashion, providing probabilistic scalability whilst remaining decentralized according to Bitcoin design. It is accessible to ERC-20 via a permissionless and trust-minimized bridge that works in both directions. The bridge and token platform are currently available on the Syscoin mainnet. This has been gaining recent attention for use by loyalty point programs and stablecoins such as Binance USD.
SolutionsSyscoin Foundation identified a few paths for Reddit to leverage this infrastructure, each with trade-offs. The first provides the most cost-savings and scaling benefits at some sacrifice of token autonomy. The second offers more preservation of autonomy with a more narrow scope of cost savings than the first option, but savings even so. The third introduces more complexity than the previous two yet provides the most overall benefits. We consider the third as most viable as it enables Reddit to benefit even while retaining existing smart contract functionality. We will focus on the third option, and include the first two for good measure.
Syscoin + Matic IntegrationMatic and Blockchain Foundry Inc, the public company formed by the founders of Syscoin, recently entered a partnership for joint research and business development initiatives. This is ideal for all parties as Matic Network and Syscoin Platform provide complementary utility. Syscoin offers characteristics for sovereign ownership and security based on Bitcoin’s time-tested model, and shares a significant portion of Bitcoin’s own hashpower. Syscoin’s focus is on secure and scalable simple value transfers, trust-minimized interoperability, and opt-in regulatory compliance for tokenized assets rather than scalability for smart contract execution. On the other hand, Matic Network can provide scalable EVM for smart contract execution. Reddit Community Points can benefit from both.
Syscoin + Matic integration is actively being explored by both teams, as it is helpful to Reddit, Ethereum, and the industry as a whole.
Proving Performance & Cost SavingsOur POC focuses on 100,000 on-chain settlements of token transfers on the Syscoin Core blockchain. Transfers and burns perform equally with Syscoin. For POCs related to smart contracts (subscriptions, etc), refer to the Matic Network proposal.
On-chain settlement of 100k transactions was accomplished within roughly twelve minutes, well-exceeding Reddit’s expectation of five days. This was performed using six full-nodes operating on compute-optimized AWS c4.2xlarge instances which were geographically distributed (Virginia, London, Sao Paulo Brazil, Oregon, Singapore, Germany). A higher quantity of settlements could be reached within the same time-frame with more broadcasting nodes involved, or using hosts with more resources for faster execution of the process.
Addresses used: 100,014
The demonstration was executed using this tool. The results can be seen in the following blocks:
It is important to note that this POC is not focused on Z-DAG. The performance of Z-DAG has been benchmarked within realistic network conditions: Whiteblock’s audit is publicly available. Network latency tests showed an average TPS around 15k with burst capacity up to 61k. Zero-latency control group exhibited ~150k TPS. Mainnet testing of the Z-DAG network is achievable and will require further coordination and additional resources.
Even further optimizations are expected in the upcoming Syscoin Core release which will implement a UTXO model for our token layer bringing further efficiency as well as open the door to additional scaling technology currently under research by our team and academic partners. At present our token layer is account-based, similar to Ethereum. Opt-in compliance structures will also be introduced soon which will offer some positive performance characteristics as well. It makes the most sense to implement these optimizations before performing another benchmark for Z-DAG, especially on the mainnet considering the resources required to stress-test this network.
Cost SavingsTotal cost for these 100k transactions: $0.63 USD
See the live fee comparison for savings estimation between transactions on Ethereum and Syscoin. Below is a snapshot at time of writing:
ETH price: $318.55 ETH gas price: 55.00 Gwei ($0.37)
Syscoin price: $0.11
Snapshot of live fee comparison chart
Z-DAG provides a more efficient fee-market. A typical Z-DAG transaction costs 0.0000582 SYS. Tokens can be safely redeemed/re-spent within seconds or allowed to settle on-chain beforehand. The costs should remain about this low for microtransactions.
Syscoin will achieve further reduction of fees and even greater scalability with offchain payment channels for assets, with Z-DAG as a resilience fallback. New payment channel technology is one of the topics under research by the Syscoin development team with our academic partners at TU Delft. In line with the calculation in the Lightning Networks white paper, payment channels using assets with Syscoin Core will bring theoretical capacity for each person on Earth (7.8 billion) to have five on-chain transactions per year, per person, without requiring anyone to enter a fee market (aka “wait for a block”). This exceeds the minimum LN expectation of two transactions per person, per year; one to exist on-chain and one to settle aggregated value.
Tools, Infrastructure & Documentation
Syscoin BridgeMainnet Demonstration of Syscoin Bridge with the Basic Attention Token ERC-20
A two-way blockchain interoperability system that uses Simple Payment Verification to enable:
APITools to simplify using Syscoin Bridge as a service with dapps and wallets will be released some time after implementation of Syscoin Core 4.2. These will be based upon the same processes which are automated in the current live Sysethereum Dapp that is functioning with the Syscoin mainnet.
DocumentationSyscoin Bridge & How it Works (description and process flow)
Superblock Validation Battles
HOWTO: Provision the Bridge for your ERC-20
HOWTO: Setup an Agent
Developer & User Diligence
Trade-offThe Syscoin Ethereum Bridge is secured by Agent nodes participating in a decentralized and incentivized model that involves roles of Superblock challengers and submitters. This model is open to participation. The benefits here are trust-minimization, permissionless-ness, and potentially less legal/regulatory red-tape than interop mechanisms that involve liquidity providers and/or trading mechanisms.
The trade-off is that due to the decentralized nature there are cross-chain settlement times of one hour to cross from Ethereum to Syscoin, and three hours to cross from Syscoin to Ethereum. We are exploring ways to reduce this time while maintaining decentralization via zkp. Even so, an “instant bridge” experience could be provided by means of a third-party liquidity mechanism. That option exists but is not required for bridge functionality today. Typically bridges are used with batch value, not with high frequencies of smaller values, and generally it is advantageous to keep some value on both chains for maximum availability of utility. Even so, the cross-chain settlement time is good to mention here.
CostEthereum -> Syscoin: Matic or Ethereum transaction fee for bridge contract interaction, negligible Syscoin transaction fee for minting tokens
Syscoin -> Ethereum: Negligible Syscoin transaction fee for burning tokens, 0.01% transaction fee paid to Bridge Agent in the form of the ERC-20, Matic or Ethereum transaction fee for contract interaction.
Z-DAGZero-Confirmation Directed Acyclic Graph is an instant settlement protocol that is used as a complementary system to proof-of-work (PoW) in the confirmation of Syscoin service transactions. In essence, a Z-DAG is simply a directed acyclic graph (DAG) where validating nodes verify the sequential ordering of transactions that are received in their memory pools. Z-DAG is used by the validating nodes across the network to ensure that there is absolute consensus on the ordering of transactions and no balances are overflowed (no double-spends).
APISyscoin-js provides tooling for all Syscoin Core RPCs including interactivity with Z-DAG.
DocumentationZ-DAG White Paper
Useful read: An in-depth Z-DAG discussion between Syscoin Core developer Jag Sidhu and Brave Software Research Engineer Gonçalo Pestana
Trade-offZ-DAG enables the ideal speed/security tradeoff to be determined per use-case in the application layer. It minimizes the sacrifice required to accept and redeem fast transfers/payments while providing more-than-ample security for microtransactions. This is supported on the premise that a Reddit user receiving points does need security yet generally doesn’t want nor need to wait for the same level of security as a nation-state settling an international trade debt. In any case, each Z-DAG transaction settles onchain at a block target of 60 seconds.
Syscoin SpecsSyscoin 3.0 White Paper
(4.0 white paper is pending. For improved scalability and less blockchain bloat, some features of v3 no longer exist in current v4: Specifically Marketplace Offers, Aliases, Escrow, Certificates, Pruning, Encrypted Messaging)
WalletsWeb3 and mobile wallets are under active development by Blockchain Foundry Inc as WebAssembly applications and expected for release not long after mainnet deployment of Syscoin Core 4.2. Both of these will be multi-coin wallets that support Syscoin, SPTs, Ethereum, and ERC-20 tokens. The Web3 wallet will provide functionality similar to Metamask.
Syscoin Platform and tokens are already integrated with Blockbook. Custom hardware wallet support currently exists via ElectrumSys. First-class HW wallet integration through apps such as Ledger Live will exist after 4.2.
Current supported wallets
Syscoin Spark Desktop
ExplorersMainnet: https://sys1.bcfn.ca (Blockbook)
Thank you for close consideration of our proposal. We look forward to feedback, and to working with the Reddit community to implement an ideal solution using Syscoin Platform!
|submitted by Fly115 to Bitcoin [link] [comments]|
submitted by tkeycoin to Tkeycoin_Official [link] [comments]
“The TkeyNet development team is surprising to us” — recently such a quote came from our lips. Why would that be?
TkeyNet: Instant transactionsNow transactions in the TkeyNet network are instant. You won’t even notice how the TKEY delivers to the recipient. For example, when you send a payment from card to card, and after a few seconds, the money is in the recipient’s possession. Despite the fast speed of transactions, the system has not only preserved its security properties but also strengthened them and still works on the blockchain.
“The chain of information a store on every computer in the network. The addition of information occurs by using cryptographic functions, allowing you to identify the information for any period. When a new data block adds to the TkeyNet network, the integrity of all previous information confirm by the entire TkeyNet, and each node checks its integrity.”
In early September, we completed work on one of the main functions of the system: “The Financial Module Of The Marketplace.”
What is it for, and how does the “Financial Marketplace module” work?TkeyNet combines various assets in a single system, creating instant access to liquidity. Digital exchanges connect to TkeyNet and provide assets for exchange: BTC, USDT, ETH, and others. For example, Kraken connects to TkeyNet and provides digital assets: ETH, ETC. Binance: USD, BTC. Bitfinex: USDT, EOS, etc. Exchanges can provide any assets that trade on their platforms.
The blockchain acts as a Registrar of financial transactions. Accounts, balances, and orders store in a distributed registry TkeyNet, and copies of data to distribute across network TkeyNet nodes. Payment routing is implemented in the TkeyNet system, which allows you to track not only balances but also distribute transactions without the participation of any party.
The user, in turn, has quick access to transactions with digital currencies, regardless of the blockchain used: Bitcoin, Ethereum, EOS, or any other, transactions are recorded in TkeyNet, and transactions are processed instantly.
“The task of the platform is to automate the interaction of the parties and ensure the convenience of performing operations. — This is the core element of a trusted environment.”In addition to digital assets, the “Financial Marketplace module” includes working with Fiat currencies, stocks, bonds, as well as raw materials: oil, gas, diamonds, etc. — This means that payment systems, banks, currency exchanges, commodity exchanges, and other financial market participants, are also connected to the TkeyNet blockchain.
Payments between companies in a few secondshttps://preview.redd.it/v84fizszvdp51.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=e501b06661b2a960fe75abe07a1aba5177db620d
Companies can make payments in seconds, not days. TkeyNet can seriously mitigate the adverse risks of extraterritorial sanctions against the financial system of the countries if such follow. Also, the ability to conduct internal and cross-border transfers through an independent financial channel directly to the counterparty at high-speed is beneficial to business and the state from any point of view.
Each user will be able to make quick transfers to counterparty wallets, exchange digital currency for another or fiat money at the current exchange rate.
What else is interesting? — ApplicationsDevelopers can connect to TkeyNet and get access to a large-scale pool of liquidity: digital currencies, stocks, precious metals, etc.
This solution not only reduces development costs but also allows you to get access to the best prices and fast exchanges. You can create any financial application, regardless of the market usage: a cryptocurrency, or financial markets.
Developers can create a digital Bank or exchange, fast connect the app, and TkeyNet using the API.
“By working with partners around the world, we can significantly increase our market share in this business, providing our partners with ready-made tools without risks.”And also regardless of the applications that will be created by partner developers. The company will provide its interfaces that will provide access to various types of assets — digital currencies: BTC, USDT, ETH, etc.; Fiat currencies: euros, dollars, pounds, etc.; securities and commodity assets.
Anywhere in the world, at any time, the system user will have access to the desired currency without having to exchange one for another. Also, when implementing the application for NFC payments, it will become even easier to use the system. However, even with the availability of several types of currencies, such as the pound, dollar, and euro, it is easy to make payments abroad.
“According to the World Bank, more than 1.7 billion adults are still not covered by banking services, but two-thirds of them have a mobile phone that can help them access financial services. — This tells us one thing: the traditional banking approach is exceptionally inefficient. Lack of infrastructure: a network of ATMs, fees and deposits, a network of cashiers, and internal money transfer programs are just some named obstacles to creating a real banking experience.”Imagine that in one app you have access to Apple shares, Tesla shares, gold, precious metals, rubles, dollars, and even oil if you want. TkeyNet — makes this possible.
TkeyNet is an industrial solution designed for companies and users at the same time. Since payments in the system are very fast, a person can store and send money in any asset they want. This flexibility creates an open market, which is necessary at present.
PostscriptTkeyNet back-end — completed. Currently, we are actively working on the front-end side. Regardless of working on the front-end side, the TkeyNet system is tested on an ongoing basis.
submitted by Smart_Smell to Robopay [link] [comments]
Bank deposit against bitcoin. How to save your money
Rates on ruble deposits have dropped again, and cryptocurrencies offer more profitable ways to save money. However, this option involves high risks.
Interest rates on ruble deposits in Sberbank fell. The maximum rate on the most profitable of the deposits of the main line “Save” was reduced to 3.56%, although at the beginning of July it was 3.65%. This option is designed for those who make a one-time deposit of at least 400 thousand rubles. for a period of 1–2 years. It is impossible to replenish such a deposit or withdraw part of the money from it.
The rates on ruble deposits “Replenish” (up to 3.09% per annum) and “Manage” (2.56%) have also been reduced. Only one dollar deposit from the basic line became available to the bank’s mass clients — “Save”. The maximum rate on such a deposit is now no more than 0.35% per annum — taking into account capitalization when making at least 1 year of $10 thousand or more.
At the same time, the popularity of cryptocurrencies and related services, staking and landing pages, continues to grow. For example, Binance Lending and Binance Staking allow you to receive income from 3% to 20% per annum from cryptocurrency deposits, which is significantly different from traditional offerings in the traditional market.
Nikolay Klenov, financial analyst at the Raison Asset Management investment company, explained that deposits and cryptocurrency (including staking and landing) are different instruments: the first is conservative and aimed at preserving value, the second is high-risk and potentially high-yield.
“You can’t make money on deposits, but they are not subject to market risk. The only risk that the owner of the deposit takes is the bankruptcy of the bank, but for such cases a deposit insurance system is provided. Cryptocurrency can significantly lose value, it is a volatile instrument. In addition, it is much more difficult for a person who has never invested to deal with cryptocurrencies than with deposits. You need to read special literature, immerse yourself in the topic. However, those who are ready to do this can potentially receive much higher returns than from deposits, ”added Klenov.
The head of the analytical department of AMarkets Artem Deev emphasized that dependence should be taken into account: the higher the rates, the more significant the risks. You can invest well, but you can quickly and burn out. Moreover, high rates most often accompany investments for short periods. Conversely, the longer the period, the lower the rates and the lower the risks.
Based on this principle, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are high-risk and speculative assets, Deev said. The popularity of cryptocurrencies has led to the fact that now the number of participants in the digital asset market is increasing, their value is growing. But all this is provided only by the influx of private investors into the market.
“It is, in a sense, a pyramid — the more participants, the higher the market capitalization and asset value. But such a pyramid can also collapse very quickly, since it is not provided with real value. Although, of course, against the background of decreasing rates, investment in cryptocurrencies looks attractive. But they are accompanied by very high risks. Given that the only risk on deposits is that interest does not offset inflation“, the expert emphasized.
Cryptorg.Exchange CEO Andrey Podolyan adheres to the opposite position. In his opinion, cryptocurrency staking and landing pages are already ahead of bank rates in terms of a lot of parameters. So, the average annual percentage of profitability in stablecoins offered by the leading crypto-exchanges is 8–15%. In addition, DeFi (decentralized finance) is now gaining strong popularity, in which you can earn 30–50% per annum. But the mechanism for a common man in the street is rather complicated, so this direction is still available only to professionals.
“In general, some traders and investors I know personally have more capital, placed in stable cryptocurrencies and giving a monthly percentage higher than in bank deposits,” Podolyan said.
Staking rates in cryptocurrencies are nominally high, but they include the credit risks of the platform or counterparty, and the credit risk often exceeds the staking rate, warned Grigory Klumov, founder of the STASIS stable cryptocurrency platform. For example, the cryptocurrency staking rate is 8%, of which the counterparty credit risk is 10%. The real staking rate is minus 2%.
“Investments in bitcoin and ether, despite their volatility, can bring income significantly higher than a deposit in a bank. But the availability of funds is not comparable to the deposit, which is additionally insured by the state. Investing in cryptocurrency is obviously a more risky instrument, which should not be allocated more than a few percent of your capital. But a few percent of the income is worth investing every day”, concluded Klumov.
Investments in cryptocurrencies can bring significantly more income than bank deposits. However, working with digital money implies the absence of insurance and extremely high risks of losing all funds. Therefore, investing in digital money is only worth considering the possibility of its deprivation.
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These crypto lending & borrowing services found early traction. Are they capable of bundling more financial services and winning the broader consumer finance market?submitted by mickhagen to genesisblockhq [link] [comments]
This is the third part of Crypto Banking Wars — a new series that examines what crypto-native company is most likely to become the bank of the future. Who is best positioned to reach mainstream adoption in consumer finance?
While crypto allows the world to get rid of banks, a bank will still very much be necessary for this very powerful technology to reach the masses. As we laid out in our previous series, Crypto-Powered, we believe a crypto-native company will ultimately become the bank of the future. We’re confident Genesis Block will have a seat at that table, but we aren’t the only game in town.
In the first post of this series, we did an analysis of big crypto exchanges like Coinbase & Binance. In our second episode, we looked at the world of non-custodial wallets.
Today we’re analyzing crypto lending & borrowing services. The Earn and Borrow use-case covers a lot of what traditional banks deliver today. This category of companies is a threat worth analyzing. As we look at this market, we’ll mostly be focused on custodial, centralized products like BlockFi, Nexo, and Celsius.
Many of these companies found early traction among crypto users. Are they capable of bundling more financial services and winning the broader consumer finance market? Let’s find out.
Institutional BorrowersBecause speculation and trading remains one of the most popular use-cases of crypto, a new crypto sub-industry around credit has emerged. Much of the borrowing demand has been driven by institutional needs.
For example, a Bitcoin mining company might need to borrow fiat to pay for operational costs (salaries, electricity). Or a crypto company might need to borrow USD to pay for engineering salaries. Or a crypto hedge fund needs to borrow for leverage or to take a specific market position. While all of these companies have sufficient crypto to cover the costs, they might not want to sell it — either for tax or speculative reasons (they may believe these crypto assets will appreciate, as with most in the industry).
Instead of selling their crypto, these companies can use their crypto as collateral for loans. For example, they can provide $1.5M in Bitcoin as collateral, and borrow $1M. Given the collateralization happening, the underwriting process becomes straightforward. Companies all around the world can participate — language and cultural barriers are removed.
The leader (and one of our partners) in this space is Genesis Capital. While they are always the counterparty for both lenders and borrowers, they are effectively a broker. They are at the center of the institutional crypto lending & borrowing markets. Their total active loans as of March 2020 was $649M. That number shot up to $1.42B in active loans as of June 2020. The growth of this entire market segment is impressive and it’s what is driving this opportunity for consumers downstream.
Consumer ProductsWhile most of the borrowing demand comes from institutional players, there is a growing desire from consumers to participate on the lend/supply side of the market. Crypto consumers would love to be able to deposit their assets with a service and watch it grow. Why let crypto assets sit on an exchange or in cold storage when it can be earning interest?
A number of consumer-facing products have emerged in the last few years to make this happen. While they also allow users to borrow (always with collateral), most of the consumer attraction is around growing their crypto, even while they sleep. Earning interest. These products usually partner with institutional players like Genesis Capital to match the deposits with borrowing demand. And it’s exactly part of our strategy as well, beyond leveraging DeFi (decentralized finance protocols).
A few of the most popular consumer services in this category include BlockFi, Nexo, and Celsius.
BlockFiBlockFi (Crunchbase) is the leader in this category (at least in the West). They are well-capitalized. In August 2019, they raised $18.3M in their Series A. In Feb 2020, they raised $30M in their Series B. In that same time period, they went from $250M in assets under management to $650M. In a recent blog post, they announced that they saw a 100% revenue increase in Q2 and that they were on track to do $50M in revenue this year. Their growth is impressive.
BlockFi did not do an ICO, unlike Celsius, Nexo, Salt, and Cred. BlockFi has a lot of institutional backing so it is perceived as the most reputable in the space. BlockFi started with borrowing — allowing users to leverage their crypto as collateral and taking out a loan against it. They later got into Earning — allowing users to deposit assets and earn interest on it. They recently expanded their service to “exchange” functionality and say they are coming out with a credit card later this year.
It’s incredible that BlockFi has been able to see such strong growth despite their numerous product and security woes. A few months ago, their systems were compromised. A hacker was able to access confidential data, such as names, dates of birth, postal addresses, and activity histories. While no funds were lost, this was a massive embarrassment and caused reputational damage.
Unrelated to that massive security breach and earlier in the year, a user discovered a major bug that allowed him to send the same funds to himself over and over again, ultimately accumulating more than a million dollars in his BlockFi account. BlockFi fortunately caught him just before withdrawal.
Poor Product Execution
Beyond their poor security — which they are now trying to get serious about — their products are notoriously buggy and hard-to-use. I borrowed from them a year ago and used their interest account product until very recently. I have first-hand experience of how painful it is. But don’t take my word for it… here are just a few tweets from customers just recently.
For a while, their interest-earning product had a completely different authentication system than their loan product (users had two sets of usernames/passwords). Many people have had issues with withdrawals. The app is constantly logging people out, blank screens, ugly error messages. Emails with verification codes are sometimes delayed by hours (or days). I do wonder if their entire app has been outsourced. The sloppiness shines through.
Not only is their product buggy and UX confusing, but their branding & design is quite weak. To the left is a t-shirt they once sent me. It looks like they just found a bunch of quirky fonts, added their name, and slapped it on a t-shirt.
To the innocent bystander, many of these issues seem totally fixable. They could hire an amazing design agency to completely revamp their product or brand. They could hire a mercenary group of engineers to fix their bugs, etc. While it could stop the bleeding for a time, it may not solve the underlying issues. Years of sloppy product execution represents something much more destructive. It represents a top-down mentality that shipping anything other than excellence is okay: product experience doesn’t matter; design doesn’t matter; craftsmanship doesn’t matter; strong execution doesn’t matter; precision doesn’t matter. That’s very different from our culture at Genesis Block.
This cancerous mentality rarely stays contained within product & engineering — this leaks to all parts of the organization. No design agency or consulting firm will fix some of the pernicious values of a company’s soul. These are deeper issues that only leadership can course-correct.
If BlockFi’s sloppiness were due to constant experimentation, iteration, shipping, or some “move fast and break things” hacker culture… like Binance… I would probably cut them more slack. But there is zero evidence of that. “Move fast and break things” is always scary when dealing with financial products. But in BlockFi’s case, when it’s more like “move slow and break things,” they are really playing with fire. Next time a massive security breach occurs, like what happened earlier this year, they may not be so lucky.
Based on who is on their team, their poor product execution shouldn’t be a surprise. Their team comes mostly from Wall Street, not the blockchain community (where our roots are). Most of BlockFi’s blockchain/crypto integration is very superficial. They take crypto assets as deposits, but they aren’t leveraging any of the exciting, low-level DeFi protocols like we are.
While their Wall Street heritage isn’t doing them any favors on the product/tech side, it’s served them very well on winning institutional clients. This is perhaps their greatest strength. BlockFi has a strong institutional business. They recently brought on Three Arrows Capital as a strategic investor — a crypto hedge fund who does a lot of borrowing. In that announcement, BlockFi’s founder said that bringing them on “aligns well with our focus on international expansion of our institutional services offering.” They also recently brought someone on who will lead business development in Asia among institutional clients.
BlockFi Wrap Up
There are certainly BlockFi features that overlap with Genesis Block’s offering. It’s possible that they are angling to become the bank of the future. However, they simply have not proven they are capable of designing, building, and launching world-class consumer products. They’ve constantly had issues around security and poor product execution. Their company account and their founder’s account seem to only tweet about Bitcoin. I don’t think they understand, appreciate, or value the power of DeFi. It’s unlikely they’ll be leveraging it any time soon. All of these reasons are why I don’t see them as a serious threat to Genesis Block.
However, because of their strong institutional offering, I hope that Genesis Block will ultimately have a very collaborative and productive partnership with them. Assuming they figure out their security woes, we could park some of our funds with BlockFi (just as we will with Genesis Capital and others). I think what’s likely to happen is that we’ll corner the consumer market and we’ll work closely with BlockFi on the institutional side.
I’ve been hard on BlockFi because I care. I think they have a great opportunity at helping elevate the entire industry in a positive way. But they have a lot of issues they need to work through. I really don’t want to see users lose millions of dollars in a security breach. It could set back the entire industry. But if they do things well… a rising tide lifts all boats.
Honorable MentionsCelsius (ICO Drops) raised $50M in an ICO, and is led by serial entrepreneur Alex Mashinsky. I’ve met him, he’s a nice guy. Similar to Binance, their biggest Achilles heel could be their own token. There are also a lot of unanswered questions about where their deposits go. They don’t have a record of great transparency. They recently did a public crowdraise which is a little odd given their large ICO as well as their supposed $1B in deposits. Are they running out of money, as some suggest? Unclear. One of their biggest blindspots right now is that Mashinsky does not understand the power of DeFi. He is frequently openly criticizing it.
Nexo (ICO Drops) is another similar service. They are European-based, trying to launch their own card (though they’ve been saying this forever and they still haven’t shipped it), and have a history in the payments/fintech space. Because they haven’t penetrated the US — which is a much harder regulatory nut to crack — they are unlikely to be as competitive as BlockFi. There were also allegations that Nexo was spreading FUD about Chainlink while simultaneously partnering with them. Did Nexo take out a short position and start spreading rumors? Never a dull moment in crypto.
Other players in the lending & borrowing space include Unchained Capital, Cred (ICO Drops), and Salt (ICO Drops).
Wrap UpWhile many companies in this category seem to be slowly adding more financial services, I don’t believe any of them are focused on the broader consumer market like we are. To use services like BlockFi, Nexo, or Celsius, users need to be onboarded and educated on how crypto works. At Genesis Block, we don’t believe that’s the winning approach. We think blockchain complexity should be abstracted away from the end-user. We did an entire series about this, Spreading Crypto.
For many of these services, there is additional friction due to ICO tokens that are forcefully integrated into the product (see NEXO token or CEL Token). None of these services have true banking functionality or integration with traditional finance —for example, easy offramp or spending methods like debit cards. None of them are taking DeFi seriously — they are leveraging crypto for only the asset class, not the underlying technology around financial protocols.
So are these companies potential competitors to Genesis Block? For the crypto crowd, yes. For the mass market, no. None of these companies are capable of reaching the billions of people around the world that we hope to reach at Genesis Block.
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