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Over the past two years, DeFi has perhaps become the most striking event in cryptocurrency reality. The rise of this new star is closely tied to Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency network by market capitalization, on top of which almost every existing DeFi application runs. The fact of the matter is, Ethereum is not only a digital asset that allows you to make transfers on the blockchain network but also an entire ecosystem within which you can provide services and perform more complex tasks, such as writing smart contracts. It was these two functions that became the foundation for the emergence of the DeFi phenomenon, which ultimately became something of a spontaneous market response to the request for freedom of financial services and their equal provision to any participant in the ecosystem, regardless of the social status and geographic location.
Over the past year, the capitalization of the DeFi market has grown by almost 60 times reaching a height of $130 billion, and the total value of user deposits (total value locked, TVL) has grown about 100 times, reaching roughly $100 billion. Many analysts predicted the industry to have the quickest decline in history, but DeFi withstood every problem it faced thanks to its underlying network. Being overloaded with transactions allowed for a general correction in the cryptocurrency market, which brought down the cost of the first cryptocurrency and along with it, the rest of the crypto assets in the spring and summer of 2021. Despite all the negative events, DeFi continued to grow. What was the fundamental driving force behind this growth?
The art of cutting off obstacles
The coolest feature of DeFi is the elimination of middlemen from its financial processes. In CeFi (centralized finance), the transaction’s confidence is provided by an intermediary: a bank, a stock exchange, a brokerage office, a settlement center, etc. The intermediary typically performs important functions for the economy such as storage and movement of funds, as well as lending to individuals and organizations.
Everyone is more or less familiar with the shortcomings of these organizations: due to their complex and demanding structure, they exclude more than a billion inhabitants of the planet from economic life, and the high commissions they charge customers guarantee neither a quick nor a trouble-free transaction. Often transactions, especially international ones, may be delayed for no apparent reason, and some of them may be regarded as suspicious. All this leaves the feeling that your money does not belong to you, it’s as if someone is disposing of your funds at his own discretion.
This situation, however, has greatly changed thanks to blockchain — a transaction register protected from unauthorized access, distributed among users, and belonging to everyone and no one in particular at the same time. Due to its decentralization, a common transaction log serves as a general source of truth for all network participants. And if some network participants are motivated to give their free funds to others, while others take these funds as a loan from a bank, then there is no need for an intermediary: the role of the trusted party is played by the blockchain itself, and a self-executing smart contract guarantees the fulfillment of the conditions. The same applies to any other economic interactions — insurance, the issuance of stable assets backed by currencies or individual advantages of protocols, and even the sale of unique works of art in the form of NFT tokens.
The uniqueness of DeFi lies in the fact that the users of decentralized applications (DApps) get rid of not only financial intermediaries from the real world but also centralized crypto platforms that require them to verify their identity with the personal information disclosure, which essentially violates one of the basic principles of cryptocurrencies — anonymity.
DeFi, with its decentralized exchanges (DEXs), allows its users to trade without having to go through identity verification, interference of anti-money laundering regulations, or any other restrictions that centralized exchanges were forced to impose.
DeFi is more than fintech. Most fintech projects are a digital shell that wraps up old systemic phenomena. DeFi, on the other hand, functions on a completely new basis as it gives total independence to people when it comes to choosing a path in the financial world.
Of course, DeFi still faces problems. For example, the congestion of the Ethereum core network with the popularity of DeFi itself leads to the birth of too many transactions, which then results in higher fees. On top of that, many applications still have awkward, clumsy user interfaces. As such, DeFi can be considered as a simple local phenomenon, which only people from the crypto world or those well versed in technical nuances can enter. Because DeFi is still difficult for those who are far from being tech geniuses. These are important problems that need to be addressed, and whoever overcomes these obstacles will emerge victorious.
How the LocalTrade ecosystem solves the pressing problems of DeFi
In fact, despite the explosive growth, DeFi is still beyond the attention of most financial market participants. This will undoubtedly change soon thanks to the LocalTrade platform — a universal cryptocurrency exchange and an ecosystem of financial products that aims to bridge the gap between traditional finance and the cryptocurrency industry.
The LocalTrade ecosystem includes a full-fledged centralized trading platform and a decentralized financial platform for investments named DeFi Lab. Combining the experience and powerful technical infrastructure of CeFi with the capabilities of DeFi, LocalTrade attracts traders and investors from fields. If they wish, they can join the world of decentralized finance just as easily as they would be dealing with traditional financial products that they understand.
LocalTrade intends to become the first platform that will allow everyone, even those who have only a fiat bank card and $10 in their account, to get unhindered access to the most profitable DeFi and CeFi products. How is this possible? Using the capabilities of CEX, LocalTrade simultaneously simplifies the process of investing in DeFi products and makes this investment safer. This part of the LocalTrade ecosystem is called DeFi Lab, and it includes components such as NeoBroker smart-fund, DeFi Wallet, a Launchpad for crowdfunding, as well as last year’s trend — yield farming, and even more. LocalTrade’s products are absolutely unique, so let’s briefly describe the essence of the innovative functions that you can access in the updated LocalTrade platform.
LocalTrade’s DeFi Tools
LocalTrade’s DeFi Wallet is not your everyday wallet, but rather a product that will allow you to promote DeFi and make it mainstream. This is a smart multi-currency wallet for mobile devices with an intuitive interface, completely private and confidential with 100% storage of information locally on the user’s device, full data encryption, 2FA, and biometric authentication for increased security. You can set up commissions in the wallet, but its killer feature is the ability to exchange assets from different blockchains within the same application. This specific option makes DeFi Wallet the world’s first decentralized crypto wallet with a cross-chain exchange functionality.
LocalTrade’s DeFi Lab is a set of special digital tools tailored for investments and are classified by categories based on their risk factor. DeFi Lab is designed to meet users’ needs and is available to all retail investors. These tools are available for investors with different levels of DeFi knowledge, ranging from pros to newbies.
- NeoBroker Smart Fund allows users to invest in company shares before their initial public offering( pre-IPO), thus becoming a co-owner of such companies.
- Yield Farming Protocol offers users high APY rates for their assets, which will be used to mine liquidity via a variety of DeFi projects.
- Token Sale Investpool is a solution that allows users to purchase tokens from crypto projects that are currently on the pre-sale/ICO stage in order to get enhanced returns.
- LocalTrade Launchpad is a tool for more sophisticated investors, aimed at supporting and promoting cryptocurrency projects, as well as allowing the investors to purchase tokens during IDO, at the lowest price possible.
All projects hosted by LocalTrade’s DeFi Lab undergo strict verification and audit of smart contracts to identify potential risks and thus prevent users from investing in intentionally fraudulent projects.
There is also an opportunity to earn money on the platform using the LocalTrade token (LTT), which is a BEP-20 standard token issued on the Binance Smart Chain. The LTT token combines utility and governance functionalities, powering the entire LocalTrade ecosystem. As a link between the LocalTrade CEX and DeFi platforms, LTT includes a unique token model and is used in various cases on the platform. There are several ways to earn money with LTT:
- Staking, through which users join the DAO Sharing Economy and can participate in the management of the platform.
- Receiving remuneration for attracting new participants.
- Adding LTT to liquidity pools and receiving rewards for farming.
The LocalTrade VISA card & The NeoBank application are other LocalTrade products that allow you to use crypto whilst still enjoying the full convenience of fiat money. The card instantly converts cryptocurrency into fiat, after which you can pay for any purchases. At the same time, cashback in LTT tokens is paid for using the card. In addition, the card allows you to withdraw cash at any ATM.
If bitcoin was the spark for the financial services’ revolution, then DeFi was the catalyst for this process. Companies that bring DeFi into the mainstream are doing a huge service not only to the world of technology but also to the entire human society. This is exactly the task that LocalTrade has taken upon itself, providing its users with a full set of tools that will allow them to enter the world of DeFi as smoothly as possible. On the platform, LocalTrade conducts step-by-step training in mastering DeFi within the framework of its university. After graduating, students will not only have a clear understanding of DeFi, but also of traditional financial instruments and investing in general.