DeFi 2.0 Primer: Decentralized Finance is Poised to Expand its Reach But Challenges Loom

In comparison with the walled gardens of conventional finance the advantages of DeFi provide a extra ubiquitous vary of economic instruments for shoppers. However with that stated, the very nascency of its ecosystem has led to a plethora of flaws, like impermanent loss and shortcomings with liquidity mining that require many customers to compromise on danger.

That is the place DeFi 2.0 is available in.

What Is It: 

In essence, and as with every iteration of expertise (not simply blockchain), DeFi 2.0 is a motion targeted on enhancing on the shortcomings of its forebears. Whereas a extra detailed perception shall be coated within the following DeFi 101 article, key variations between DeFi 1.0 and DeFi 2.0 have centered on liquidity, scalability, safety, and centralization.

Why Does It Matter:

On the danger of generalising, one shared side of any profitable enterprise or service (no matter business) is that it helps create (or reinforce) a path of least resistance for end-users.

For instance, Amazon helps its clients save time by automating the supply of its merchandise. Uber and Airbnb assist streamline and save time on the price and energy of transportation, lodging, and many others.

One may argue from each a macro and micro perspective that the aim of DeFi is analogous in its intent to decrease the barrier of entry to aggressive monetary options. For instance, individuals who would ordinarily wrestle with accessing loans can discover non-prejudicial alternate options with MakerDAO or Compound.

Nonetheless, the present strategies wanted to profit from core DeFi-centric actions like lending, staking, or yield farming are nonetheless comparatively daunting for the common consumer. However by simplifying the consumer expertise, offering stronger incentives, aligning with up to date rules, and mitigating towards the degrees of uncertainty in web3 markets, DeFi 2.0 may also help transfer its wealthy tapestry of platforms and assets additional alongside the extra expansive journey to democratise finance safely and securely.

The Shortcomings of DeFi 1.0: 

To raised perceive the relevance of DeFi 2.0, we will discover among the extra widespread issues it’s attempting to resolve.

Liquidity: Offering liquidity to a pool requires a lock-up of funds and their complete worth. Whereas separated throughout disparate blockchains and markets, this monetary rigidity usually leads to capital inefficiency.

Liquidity Mining: Many DeFi protocols undergo from an absence of long-term, sensible incentives for liquidity suppliers exterior of distributing LP tokens. Because it stands, one widespread drawback with liquidity suppliers is that they routinely withdraw each their allotted assets and rewards as soon as eligible or when a extra aggressive protocol with the next APY comes round. This periodic and capitulated sale of a protocol’s native tokens in the marketplace usually causes a diluted provide.

Scalability: DeFi platforms that have excessive intervals of community exercise can usually undergo from knowledge congestion. These bottlenecks sluggish the velocity of transactions and make community charges, like gasoline (within the case of Ethereum), more and more costly.

Safety: Whereas there are periodic audits of sensible contracts, routine upgrades and modifications to software program can usually result in outdated and redundant data even from credible DeFi safety corporations like certik. Given the extremely technical nature of those techniques, most DeFi customers nonetheless don’t perceive methods to safely handle danger or objectively validate the safety of a community as they stake (lock-up) massive volumes of funds.

Centralization: Per the problems outlined by the blockchain trilemma, many DeFi platforms sacrifice decentralization to permit for larger ranges of scalability and safety.

Oracles: Monetary companies that depend upon exterior or off-chain data want the next high quality of third-party knowledge sources (oracles) than what’s at present obtainable in web3.

DeFi 2.0 Tasks:

The whole worth locked (TVL) in DeFi has dramatically elevated to greater than $100 billion in December 2021 from $667 million in December 2019.

Whereas the general motion was largely accelerated because of the rise of companies like UniSwap (2018), MakerDAO and Compound, a number of of the extra important tasks that emerged all through this era additionally embrace:

  • Curve
  • Aave
  • SushiSwap
  • Yearn Finance

Though every of those respective platforms helped contribute a various vary of technological enhancements, incentives surrounding actions like liquidity mining nonetheless weren’t proving sustainable. In response to the continued business shortcomings, Olympus DAO was one of many first DeFi 2.0 options to supply a unique route by its distinctive bonding mechanism.

What’s OlympusDAO:

Launched in Could 2021, Olympus is a decentralized reserve foreign money protocol primarily based on the OHM token, backed by a basket of property within the Olympus Treasury. The undertaking’s aim is to construct a policy-controlled foreign money system that makes use of its related OlympusDAO to assist handle the efficiency of the OHM token. The Olympus Treasury holds a variety of property, together with DAI, FRAX, LUSD, ETH, and LP tokens like OHM/DAI from SushiSwap.

OlympusDAO Bondings – An Instance of DeFi 2.0 

As talked about, a central and aggressive point of interest for Olympus is its distinctive tackle bondings. Whereas additionally used as a technique to handle the efficiency of the OHM token, the bonding construction of Olympus doesn’t comply with the identical strategies as conventional finance.

In conventional markets, a bond is a sort of mortgage. When an organization or entity requires extra capital, they might challenge a bond to finance a mortgage for a set interval. Throughout that point, the corporate or bond issuer pays the investor a set quantity of curiosity, known as the coupon, and on chosen dates (usually quarterly).

There’s a vary of bond varieties, together with authorities, company, municipal, and mortgage bonds. As bonds are money owed, there may be nonetheless an inherent stage of danger for the buyers – sometimes credit score danger and rate of interest danger. If the issuer fails to pay again their debt, the bond can default. Due to this fact the extra danger surrounding the bond issuer (borrower), the upper the rate of interest required.

Bonding with Olympus differs by mirroring the construction of a reduced token sale. As an alternative of receiving curiosity, buyers promote property to the Olympus treasury to obtain OHM at a reduction.

Bonding with Olympus differs by mirroring the construction of a reduced token sale. As an alternative of receiving curiosity, buyers promote property to the Olympus treasury to obtain OHM at a reduction. This course of additionally includes a typical vesting interval of roughly 5 days. Traders additionally gained’t obtain any returns by their discounted OHM except staked or by larger worth appreciation in the marketplace.

As bond gross sales generate revenue for the treasury, over time, Olympus can accumulate extra of its liquidity within the OHM SushiSwap swimming pools – coined as “Protocol-owned-Liquidity”. Customers within the Olympus ecosystem can choose from a strategic vary of bond varieties primarily based on ROI proportion. These embrace DAI bond, wETH bond, FRAX bond, OHM-FRAX LP bond, and OHM-DAI LP bond.

In response to statistics on the Olympus web site and knowledge analytics agency Messari, the protocol owns and manages greater than 99% of the liquidity of the OHM-DAI bond. As this construction is managed and managed internally at a excessive stage by the DAO, they mitigate towards capital inefficiency and instability of OHM.

How does Olympus DAO profit its customers? 

Whereas there may be continued hypothesis round whether or not crypto markets would wish a reserve foreign money, finish customers can nonetheless profit and earn income by Olympus DAO by staking their OHM tokens.

Per the staking mechanisms that underpin various DeFi protocols, customers are rewarded primarily based on the quantity of OHM tokens they stake. By promising a excessive charge of return (APY), Olympus encourages its supporters and buyers to purchase extra OHM from the market or act on extra bondings from the protocol. A confluence of those elements assist preserve the value of OHM excessive and mitigate towards the protocol needing to redeem any liquidity from the pool. When staking, customers obtain sOHM, which may then be bought or leveraged on different DeFi protocols. To swap or obtain OHM from sOHM, customers must burn their sOHM tokens.

Dangers of OlympusDAO: 

Olympus claims that their Protocol Owned Liquidity and Bonds-as-a-Service protocol companies will assist mitigate (and even remedy) the issues with liquidity mining in the present day. Nonetheless, this doesn’t come with out danger. For instance, because the protocol continues to personal extra of its token liquidity, they achieve extra centralized management and might manipulate the value of OHM accordingly.

OlympusDAO Value Declines & Losses

Because the OlympusDAO protocol remains to be very a lot in its infancy, broader market volatility can rapidly influence investor sentiments and help, particularly regarding the worth and stability of OHM. This has been evident by the current decline of the crypto markets all through January 2022 following an announcement from the Federal Reserve that it might enhance rates of interest. As such, the market sell-off has brought about the Olympus protocol to fall over 50% since January tenth.

That stated, the current worth decline of OHM has additionally been shared throughout tasks that use comparable tokenomics. For instance, Wonderland (TIME) has dropped over 30% all through current weeks. And on Ethereum, the Olympus-DAO-backed fork Redacted Cartel can also be struggling since its launch in mid-December.

All in all, regardless of how engaging or refined a protocol and repair like OlympusDAO could sound, it’s crucial to know that in any development section, excessive worth volatility is normal.

DeFi 2.0 Benefits and Advantages: 

Providing a wider stage of flexibility for staked property:  A normal function for a lot of DeFi protocols is that when customers stake a token pair in a liquidity pool, they are going to obtain an LP token in return. The DeFi 1.0 ecosystem allowed customers to additional compound their returns by staking LP tokens in a yield farm. Nonetheless, there wasn’t a lot else exterior of those core worth propositions, which resulted in tens of millions of {dollars} locked in varied vaults to assist present liquidity for his or her protocols.

DeFi 2.0 helps add additional layers of utility and incentives by utilizing yield farm LP tokens as collateral for a mortgage, or to mint extra tokens like MakerDao (DAI). Whereas the method varies in line with the platform, in DeFi 2.0, LP tokens can have their worth unlocked for brand spanking new alternatives whereas nonetheless producing APY.

Insurance coverage coated sensible contracts: Whereas DeFi operates on clear and open-source infrastructures, conducting due diligence and danger evaluation of protocols might be tough for folks with restricted technical expertise. DeFi 2.0 mitigates towards the obfuscated nature of the market by providing insurance coverage on sensible contracts for customers. Prior to now, somebody staking their LP tokens in a yield farm would beforehand assume danger as they may lose all their funds if stated sensible contracts have been compromised.

With DeFi 2.0, an insurance coverage undertaking can provide ensures on a deposit with the yield farm for a charge. Whereas an enchancment on the chance publicity, the general particulars of those insurance coverage platforms aren’t excellent and rely closely on the particular sensible contract. For instance, if the liquidity pool contract is compromised however not the yield farm contract, then the insurance coverage agency gained’t cowl the loss.

With the fast development of DeFi 2.0, customers don’t want to attend for entry to those options or to seek out sensible use-cases.

Insurance coverage for impermanent loss:  Ordinarily, for customers who put money into liquidity swimming pools and have interaction with liquidity mining, any change within the worth ratio of the 2 tokens locked could lead to a monetary loss. DeFi 2.0 is actively creating strategies to mitigate these dangers.

With DeFi 2.0, a consumer works with the protocol to create token pairs. On this state of affairs, somebody can add one token to a single-sided LP, with the protocol additionally including their native token as the opposite facet of the pair. Each the protocol and the consumer will then obtain charges from swaps made in that respective pair.

Over time, the protocol then makes use of charges generated to construct up an insurance coverage fund to safeguard deposits towards the potential of impermanent loss. If the loss out values the variety of charges constructed up within the insurance coverage fund, the protocol can mint new tokens to cowl the stability. The protocol also can burn extra to cut back provide or retailer them for later use.

Self-repaying loans: Sometimes customers that take out a mortgage are uncovered to liquidation dangers and high-interest charges on repayments. DeFi 2.0 helps overcome these pitfalls by providing self-repaying loans. In a self-repaying mortgage construction, a lender can use the curiosity earned on the deposited collateral to repay the mortgage over time. After the lender has earned the overall quantity of the mortgage plus additional as premium, the deposited collateral is returned to the borrower. There’s additionally no danger of liquidation with self-repaying loans. If the collateral token depreciates, then the time it takes to pay the mortgage shall be prolonged accordingly.

Excellent dangers of DeFi 2.0 and methods to stop them: 

Though a step ahead, DeFi 2.0 nonetheless shares lots of the similar dangers as DeFi 1.0. Among the extra widespread dangers are:

Compromised sensible contracts: An audit by no means ensures the safety and security of a sensible contract. Due to this fact it’s necessary that customers do as a lot layered due diligence and analysis of a protocol earlier than investing in it.

Altering rules: As governments and regulators have a rising curiosity in DeFi, tasks and platforms may have to regulate guidelines and companies to accommodate up to date mandates and business requirements. Whereas it may well assist provide larger stability and safety, it additionally modifications the extent of help and compromises the quantity of decentralisation concerned.

Impermanent Loss: Though DeFi 2.0 presents improved security nets just like the aforementioned insurance coverage constructions, there may be nonetheless a major danger for anybody who opts into liquidity mining attributable to market volatility.

Inflexible consumer expertise: If the web site of a DeFi undertaking goes down (for no matter cause), customers will be unable to withdraw their staked property except they’ve the technical experience to work together immediately with the sensible contract. To stop this, it’s steered that customers additionally find the sensible contract on a blockchain explorer as properly for his or her reference.


With the fast development of DeFi 2.0, customers don’t want to attend for entry to those options or to seek out sensible use-cases. Tasks like Ethereum, Binance Good Chain, Solana, and different aggressive rising blockchains are all beginning to provide the companies talked about earlier throughout their networks. With that stated, it’s really useful to do as a lot analysis as attainable as investing in web3 all the time includes danger.