LIBRA: Making Defi Easy
On May 22nd 2010, Laszlo Hanyecz, a software engineer and web developer, bought two pizzas in Jacksonville, Florida, for 10,000 BTC — the first real world cryptocurrency transaction. At the time, the purchase bordered on parody, with funny memes of “magical internet money” circulating on internet message boards.
Fast forward 11 years and that very same amount of BTC is worth $429,583,000. “Crypto” went from being a curiosity, to a complex niche technology, to a legitimate form of currency, store of value and investment. Rappers tweet about it, athletes demand to be paid in it, and investment funds are increasingly diversifying their holdings into it. Quite a step up from “magical internet money”, isn’t it?
As much as we would like to give full credit to the developers, techies and brilliant minds, much of this progress is thanks to the participation of the everyday man and woman, who (often intuitively) understood the possibilities of the technology, or the investment potential, or simply wanted to take a speculative bet. It’s thanks to these countless nameless people that cryptocurrency has gained mainstream acceptance, a place in the cultural zeitgeist, and a $2.25 trillion market cap, with everyone from soccer moms, to farmers in developing countries having at one point or another bought, held, or transacted in Bitcoin, Ethereum, or one of the other major cryptocurrencies.
Having said that, we still have a long way to go. While growth has been a strong point in the crypto space, the market cap is still just a short fraction of the S&P 500 index (which stood at about $33.4 trillion as of December 2020), which is also a fraction of the global stock market investment market at about $80 trillion. More new crypto millionaires, who will have earned their wealth through fortunate investing in tokens and coins, will appear as the market grows. In our view, no part of the market is as promising as the world of DeFi .
DeFi (decentralized finance) is in many ways a frontier of the crypto world, and a fast growing one at that, having amassed over USD $39.11B on March 1st, 2021 from just roughly USD $1.01B exactly one year prior, exhibiting an exponential 39x growth in Total Value Locked (TVL).
At LIBRA, we believe that DeFi is not only the next massive growth story, but also the next technological development that can truly change the lives of the everyday man and woman. It is these everyday people who are, often unknowingly, trapped in a system of centralized finance that is antiquated, purposely opaque, occasionally dishonest, and largely built in favor of “the big guy”.
To put it in simple terms, the modern status quo looks something like this:
-you go to a bank
-they make a product for you (a mortgage, a savings account, a line of credit, a derivatives contract)
-you sign the agreement papers
-you hope that the deal is honored
But the reality is that there are parts of the agreement that are private, or obscured, or layered with clauses and written in the language of legalism, which highly paid lawyers have carefully crafted, and marketers have carefully packaged, all in an attempt to get “the little guy” to participate, while minimizing risk for the institution.
When you buy into a traditional financial product, be it a 30 year mortgage, a high interest savings account, or a derivatives contract, you’re not getting what you think you’re getting.
How is this possible? Because Language, by its very nature, is a form of communication prone to ambiguity and obfuscation.
But code, by its very nature, is not.
We believe that the general public will greatly benefit from a world where financial instruments are delivered in the later format, decentralized and transparent, for all to see. We are also of the opinion that the general public understand (or are on the way to understanding) the advantages of DeFi over the traditional centralized financial system.
So what’s the hurdle? The current complexity and base level of technical skill required to get started. At this time it’s simply easier for the average person to grumble and keep using their legacy financial services, even though they know there’s something not quite right.
This leads to our proposition. At LIBRA, we are striving to make DeFi: safe, accessible and easy for all. We have developed a product that serves the needs of beginners, crypto enthusiasts, retail and institutional investors and everyone in between. Our initial product testers were literally our girlfriends, who I can assure you, have absolutely zero interest in the world of crypto or DeFi. Despite this, the tests were a resounding success.
Without getting into too many technical details (we have a whitepaper linked to this article for that), below is a quick overview of what LIBRA has in store.
LIBRA combines components of several successful DeFi projects to bring one holistic platform that provides:
• Increased transparency
• Easy onboarding and Fiat to Crypto onramp
• High Yield Farming opportunities
• Instant liquidity on Binance Smart Chain
• Community and Charity driven incentives
• Fast, secure, low-cost transactions
• NFT Marketplace
- New project launchpad
On top of this, we are fully committed to helping beginners find their feet in the world of DeFi, with educational videos, step by step guides, and a positive community-building approach.
Finally, we are including a charity wallet that will be funded from the 0.05% that comes from every trade. We will use these funds to donate to a new charity, voted upon by LIBRA holders, once a month.
In summary, we believe that the general public should have the tools for easy access to DeFi. What’s more, we believe that they’re ready for it.
They simply need to be invited to participate.
-Julian and the Libra Team