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The Ultimate Guide to DeFi Lending in 2020

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The spark of Defi Lending

Growing speculation and a new shift in attitudes towards financial markets has catapulted interest in DeFi lending. This is not just a trend but a long-term disruption in the lending market due to the substantial interest rate arbitrage available driving the acceleration of its growth. 

DeFi lending functions a bit similar to the traditional crowdlending P2P services, but there is a core difference. In DeFi the loans are issued on decentralized platforms that lock up cryptocurrencies through smart contracts on public blockchains. It lets users supply cryptocurrencies in return for a year-on-year return. DeFi lending reduces the burden of paperwork because it uses smart-contracts. This is an on-demand service with the principle of quid pro quo where one party interacts with the other and the blockchain is a transparent conciliator that records the operation and fulfills the terms of contracts. 

The unique features about DeFi lending are:

  • It is permissionless meaning that anyone has the leeway to lend their assets at the barest minimum cost
  • The selected lending protocols are audited meticulously. The code backup for lending contract funds is robust and uncompromising implying that security is taken extremely seriously.
  • Most of the DeFi lending protocols do not expect their users to transfer ownership of their inherent assets. They do not need any approval from a third-party.
  • The interest earned from lending is collated axiomatically which means that from the end-user side, there is very little maintenance work to be done to earn passive income.
  • Self-administered interest rates rule the roost as interest rate fluctuations are a direct measure of supply and demand changes

What are DeFi lending protocols

Decentralized Finance is implementing financial instruments in the form of smart contracts on Decentralized blockchain networks. Decentralized is one such financial service that aims to democratize the ability to get loans. The DeFi lending protocol ecosystem has seen humongous growth over the years. Among the several reasons why DeFi lending protocols are a must, there are 3 very strong reasons to go for it.

  • For a long-term crypto holder who is not interested in selling their crypto investment yet, but still has a list of bills that need to be paid, taking a loan on their crypto will help the holder pay for his/her daily expenses. 
  • We know that leveraged trade is executed with borrowed money; the margin is that collateral which is used to make the leveraged trade. This magnifies the investor loss or gains made on the trade. 
  • Lending protocols helps traditional crypto holders to earn interest higher than traditional savings
defi lending

The most popular ones that are high on popularity, security and ease-of-operation are:

  1. Aave
  2. Compound Finance
  3. Dharma
  4. dYdX
  5. Nuo

Most of the DeFi lending protocols can be accessed with a Web3 wallet like Metamask. Users have to source their wallet with a small amount of ETH to pay for the transactions with the capital they wish to supply. No same lending protocol has a similar risk. Our top picks are safe to lend with very little chance that your funds are compromised through any unforeseen attack.

What makes DeFi lending tempting?

A comparison of DeFi lending with heritage lending

  1. On one hand DeFi majorly circles around the lending of Ethereum based currencies, traditional markets focus on fiat currency. DeFi lending platforms use smart contracts to interact with currencies making them embrace ERC-20 tokens widely. Some of the most popular coins on DeFi lending platforms are DAI and USDC as they are smart breeding grounds for rapid smart-contract interactions.
  2. DeFi lending is permissionless meaning that the loans are hugely overcollateralized compensating for the loss of capital owing to any reason. If it is undercollateralized, immediate liquidation occurs and it is sold-off in the open-market to make sure protocol is collateralized back to what it should be. In the legacy lending platforms, loans are usually either undercollateralized or with tangible goods to avoid the case of bad debts and recovery.
  3. Mostly all of us at some point in time, take loans. It usually requires a process that one needs to undergo to ensure that the loan is sanctioned. That includes verification of income, the credit scores, the collaterals in question and so one and there is no sure shot way of saying that you will get what you want.  But with DeFi lending there is no cap on the amount of capital required. Interest also can be collected at any moment. All you need is great network connectivity. 

Most popular cryptos used in DeFi Lending

Currently, we have listed 3 hottest cryptocurrencies that are hot on DeFi lending platforms

DAI 

defi lending

Considered as a game-changer for the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem. It is a decentralized cryptocurrency that is stabilized against the value of the US dollar. It uses margin trading to react to changing market conditions and ultimately preserves its value heads-up against the major currencies dominating the world. Compared to other stablecoins that take the support of USD, this is backed by crypto collaterals which can be seen publicly on the Ethereum blockchain.

USDC

defi lending

USD coins are pegged to USD and tokenize USD to facilitate its use over public blockchains. It can be changed back to USD anytime. With the help of ERC-20 smart contracts, issuing and redeeming USDC tokens are executed seamlessly. 

Ether

defi lending

Ether – the cryptocurrency of the Ethereum network is one of the most popular tokens that are decentralized making use of distributed ledger technology. It has competitive lending rates and most of the lending protocols support ETH lending as it owns the market with the second highest market cap.

Advantages of DeFi lending

Lending with Blockchain technology involved makes the offerings not just transparent but also cheaper and faster to borrowers and lenders. Leveraging on blockchain technologies with peer-to-peer lending offers several advantages.

No paperwork

There is no need for any paperwork or a bank account while you decide to choose a crypto-backed loan. For those individuals who are unbanked and at the lowest level of the financial pyramid and those who cannot provide KYC, this feature will certainly bring cheers.

Insignificant transaction fee

Under the lending process, when the borrower puts in the loan request, it goes to a financial institution like a bank that charges you additional fees for documentation, early payment, and whatnot. The fee in question usually adds up to considerable amounts. But on the other hand, crypto-backed loans do not carry the burden of any processing or transaction charges. Compared to P2P loans, crypto-backed loans are more value for money.

Defying boundaries

In conventional P2P lending, the major barrier is the geographical boundaries but DeFi lending opens the door to cross-border lending. This is a win-win situation for borrowers and lenders because it offers diversification. With crypto-backed loans, lenders can diversify their portfolio defying boundaries to take advantage of variegation. Borrowers also get access to a large pool of lenders who are spread globally.

defi lending

The Future of DeFi Lending

DeFi lending, and lending protocols have a long way to go in terms of building infrastructures to truly support the vision, but in 2020 we are already off to a phenomenal start. In order to build DeFi lending architecture, user experience, security audits, and user education are essential.

There is enormous potential for DeFi lending to flourish because of its groundbreaking innovation, yet the future of DeFi lending is up to the efforts of the builders in developing and educating others.

It’s in all of our hands.


Check back in at DeFiRev.com to find out the latest in DeFi News.

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Huobi top official arrest – Are these rumors or a reality?

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CryptoQuant, a crypto information provider, has indicated a significant increase in Bitcoin funds outflows from Huobi global. This is a development that comes when the firm has issued in public denial about rumors of an arrest of one of its executives. But as per the Chinese media, crypto exchange Huobi Chief Operating Officer (COO) Robin Zhu was under investigation by the Chinese people. 

In a tweet thread that was posted on November 2, Huobi quashed rumors about the supposed arrest of a Huobi senior executive. It came out with the clarification stating: 

“All of Huobi’s management team members have been accounted for and have not been detained or arrested,” the firm said. “We understand that the spread of false information can lead to concerns about the safety of user assets, but please rest assured your assets are safe.”

CryptoQuant mentions that the outflow increase peaked after midday on Monday. 

Source: CryptoQuant

Huobi is a global exchange with monthly trading volumes above $170 billion. It has assured its users and the media that nothing such as this has happened. It so happened that Huobi COO Zhu Jiawei was reportedly unreachable on Monday evening and immediately after that rumors were afloat in the circles that he was being arrested. All of the social media was swirling with the news with local news channels also reporting on the rumors. 

The exchange said that Zhu was on a flight returning from a conference in Guizhou and that he would be attending a meeting in Beijing on Tuesday morning.

But, the assurances of Huobi haven’t stopped users from withdrawing funds and now they are viewing themselves in the same boat as users of OKEx. In fact, many hours before it directly addressed the rumors of an arrest, Huobi tweeted that it uses a multi-signature process for withdrawals so that the users did not have to rely on a single key holder. As for the rumors, the exchange claimed that Zhu was on a business trip and would be here this week for an important meeting. Huobi said that its operations were unaffected by these unsubstantiated rumors as per an earlier statement on its Chinese website. 

Bitcoin removed from Huobi rapidly

A greater likelihood is that the rumors are false but users are not taking any chances. As said earlier, there is a mass exodus of Bitcoin with its outflows hitting 4,241 BTC which is growing rapidly. 

“Looking at Huobi Netflow, BTC outflow has soared in the last eight hours.”

In the month of June, there were rumors that Dong Zhao, the co-founder of the Chinese crypto lending platform Renrenbit apparently cooperating with the police for investigations which is now a new trend in the Chinese markets. OKEx announced in October that the founder Star Xu also has been under investigation for weeks, and following that OKEx had suspended withdrawals of crypto assets from the platform. The statement came out at least one week after he was detained by the police and users are still not able to withdraw their funds. 

Source: CoinGecko

Huobi Token price today is $3.58 with a 24-hour trading volume of $257,890,383. HT price is down -6.6% in the last 24 hours as per CoinGecko.

Rumor or reality?

Huobi is surely the largest target for Chinese authorities and watchdogs cracking down on crypto exchanges, and all this has added to the jitters of the crypto investors. As of now, there has been no evidence proving that the COO had been arrested and the company has plainly denied allegations. But nonetheless, the markets reacted.

But as far as evidence and other events surrounding it happened, the rumors have been baseless. The Bitcoin and crypto trading platform also confronted these claims in a tweet thread stating that they could share it with strong confidence that they are false. The exchange further stated that they have accounted for all of their executive team members and reassured users that all their assets are safe. 

“All of Huobi’s management team members have been accounted for and have not been detained or arrested. We understand that the spread of false information can lead to concerns about the safety of user assets, but please rest assured your assets are safe.”

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Harvest Finance Hack Explained. Here’s how it happened.

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Unscrambling the Harvest Finance hack and its aftermath

Harvest Finance, the Decentralized finance protocol was hacked for a staggering $24 million. The attack was a reminder to the crypto community that DeFi has sure risen to prominence but it has its own share of loopholes, and it is this that the attackers take advantage of. 

Harvest Finance attack details

The attacker directly attacks the protocol’s liquidity pools leading the arbitrage attack using a large flash loan – a type of uncollateralized loan. The attacker later returned $2.5 million but in a mere seven-minute act, the entire hack was complete, leaving the protocol stakeholders bewildered. 

In further addition to the details of the hack, the protocol revealed that the hacker manipulated prices on one money lego which is the Curve Y pool. This was done to drain another money lego farm USDT (fUSDT), farm USDC(fUSDC) multiple times.

The attacker then converted the funds to renBTC and later excited to Bitcoin. renBTC is not synthetic because it does not rely on any liquidation mechanism and it is certainly not the price of Bitcoin on Ethereum. It is a one-to-one representation of Bitcoin on Ethereum which can be redeemed for BTC at any time and in any amount. 

harvest finance hack

The native token of Harvest Finance, FARM fell 54% to $101.79 when the news of the hack came forward. Following the attack, the amount of money that was locked in the protocol plummeted from $1 billion to $575 Million On October 25th. The investors were so fretful that they pulled their deposits back. 

Harvest Finance acted accordingly and withdrew all the funds from the shared pools almost immediately after it had completed a fine evaluation of the attack. It began with reconstructing the processes which included DAI, USDC, USDT, TUSD as well as WBTC and renBTC. The funds are currently present in the vaults safely so that they are not exposed to further market manipulation. The hack did not involve DAI, TUSD, WBTC, and renBTC, and the depositors in these vaults were not affected.

How was the hack carried out?

The mechanics of the protocol has allowed for the execution of such an attack. Let us see how:

The investment strategies used by Harvest involves calculating the real-time value of assets that are invested in the base real-time protocols. The value of the assets is then used by the vaults to calculate the number of shares to be used to the user depositing the funds. The same value of the assets is also used when the users take out funds from the vaults.

Payout is then calculated upon the user exit. What also needs to be noticed here is that the assets inside some of the vaults are deposited into shared pools of underlying DeFi protocols. These are subject to market effects such as impermanent loss, arbitrage, and slippage. This means that its value can be manipulated through larger volumes of market trades. 

The attacker knew this well and had exploited the impact of the impermanent loss of USDC and USDT inside the Y Pool of Curve.fi by manipulating the asset value to deposit funds into the vaults and obtain the shares for a beneficial price. 

The aftermath of the Harvest Finance Hack

Harvest Finance’s Twitter account has been buzzing with messages and activity. The protocol has taken full responsibility for the engineering attack and has ensured that in the future such attacks will be countered and mitigated. The protocol has made it clear that formatting a disaster management plan to assist those who are affected will be the top priority for the protocol. 

The protocol is investing its resources to catch hold of the scammers and has already provided a list of Bitcoin addresses of the hacker where it believes that the stolen funds may have moved. It also had taken immediate action by asking prominent exchanges like Binance, Coinbase, and Huobi to block the attacker’s addresses. It further said that there is:

“A significant amount of personally identifiable information on the attacker, who is well-known in the crypto community.” Not willing to dox the cyber-thief, Harvest Finance is now offering a $100,000 bounty “for the first person or team to reach out to the attacker”.

Harvest further tweeted that the $2.5 million returned by the hacker will be distributed to the affected depositors on a pro-rata basis using a snapshot. The attack on Harvest comes only six weeks after the attacker escaped with $8.1 million in Bitcoin from another DeFi protocol BZX, however, BZX managed to recover the funds. 

harvest finance hack

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MetaMask Swap : Here’s What you Need to Know

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MetaMask Swap :New feature Token Swap pitched for best trading experience in DeFi

metamask swap

MetaMask Swap has now officially launched. Metamask is a broswer extension and the most popular and used wallet and gateway for Ethereum. Metamask rose to great prominence this year with the ascension of Uniswap.

Now ConsenSys has recently made a big announcement – a new feature it has added in its kitty which is stated to resolve ancient issues of crypto wallets. The MetaMask Swap feature introduced by the giant aims to compare as well as swap tokens directly within MetaMask.

MetaMask has grown from strength to strength and has emerged as a wallet trusted by millions. It now has more than one million active users of its wallet services and is trusted by them to securely store their digital assets. It also is touted to offer a diverse variety of tokens at the best princess across DeFi.

Known to provide bespoke software solutions for the Decentralized Finance markets, ConsenSys, has established its foothold as the leading Ethereum Software company. 

metamask

Let’s explore it in detail.

MetaMask Swap: Best Features

  • The new token swaps feature will fetch quotes across several decentralized liquidity sources so that the users can get what they want at the best possible price.
  • Earlier MetaMask navigation was complex and tricky. The user had to go through many decentralized exchanges or aggregators which offer a different set of tokens at different prices. In addition, every token had to be approved for trading adding to the woes. But the new token swap feature offers a platform that has an intuitively integrated user experience and streamlines all available liquidity.
  • The novel platform also aims to bring in greater transparency and efficiency resulting in a  better network experience. 
  • The feature will be initially available to users of the MetaMask extension on the Firefox browser. The concern plans to come up with versions for other browsers as well as MetaMask Mobile.

Benefits of using MetaMask Swap

Token Swap has several benefits in the offering because it has taken into account everything that worked against MetaMask in the past. Some of the most discernible benefits are:

MetaMask Swap Offers more liquidity mining

Every aggregator will interact with different liquidity sources that hold a certain amount of liquidity. By getting orders from many aggregators like Uniswap, Airswap, 1inch.exchange, Kyber, and the likes it will have access to the maximum liquidity across the DeFi ecosystem.

Best prices and tokens

Decentralized Exchange aggregators in the sector employ different trading strategies. This explains why the assets are priced differently. 

But the users of the MetaMask wallet under the new feature can request prices from all the available aggregators and individual market makers. MetaMask will then ensure that every user gets what they want – the best prices across DeFi. Getting orders from different aggregators also ensures that MetaMask user is able to access all the top available tokens in DeFi. 

MetaMask Swap has a great User Experience

To ensure the user doesn’t drive away user-experience is the key. Earlier the entire wallet system was a conundrum of confusion and excessive complexity. But, MetaMask has understood that this could be a problem for them as it could drive away users. Hence it has streamlined its approval process so much so that the users will now be able to access liquidity directly from the MetaMask User Interface. Previously they were required to navigate each DEX separately but this is a more combined and integrated approach that will simplify the entire process. 

MetaMask Swap has Lower Gas Fees

Every single DeFi aggregator pushes to its etched out path to get the best trade. Every route it chooses has a different gas fee to ensure the transaction takes place. MetaMask through its token swap feature will get the best prices for the user. It also will get them the best aggregator which is most gas-efficient for a trade-in question.

MetaMask Swap has Fewer approvals

Earlier the users had to get the due approval for every token on multiple aggregators. This means that several user interfaces for every approval process but with MetaMask’s token swap users need to take approval only once. This directly converts into reduced gas costs and a much lighter approval process. 

MetaMask has registered impressive growth figures. Just a few days ago, the noted platform surpassed the figure of a million active users of the wallet services. 

With the token swap, MetaMask has excelled itself by removing several issues that barred the user from a good experience. By provisioning an optimized trade path, it has reduced complexities leading to better DeFi adoption. 

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