Anndy Lian, Chairman of BigONE Exchange spoke at the American Digital Week event on 19 October 2021, 13:00 – GMT. His speech is about ‘Decentralized Finance – What are the Opportunities?’
The following is the summary of his speech.
This is a fantastic time to be in DeFi, driven by short and long term drivers from the explosive growth of the NFT market overtaking DeFi, the new breed of play-to-earn games or GameFi, to rise of the ‘metaverse’ as the next big thing, there’s also a lot to unpick which is exciting an a little daunting if you are new to it.
But let’s start with some basics for those of you new to DeFi. A decentralized finance (DeFi) system allows people to create financial products or “smart contracts” that execute actions automatically on the blockchain – without any bank, brokerage, exchange, or corporation acting as an intermediary.
At the end of July 2021, the market capital for DeFi products was hovering near $80 billion. While that was down from its May peak of more than $89 billion, pundits believe growth will continue in the coming year as DeFi projects mature. Key to that maturity process is innovation DeFi – creating opportunities to profitably shape a decentralized future you’ll be sure to want to be a part of.
Let’s start with non-fungible tokens or more commonly known as NFTs. The NFT industry has exploded in popularity this year. There was more than $2.5 billion in sales volume during the first half of 2021 and it has only accelerated since then. OpenSea, the most popular NFT marketplace, saw more than $3 billion in NFT sales volume just during the month of August.
So what’s driving this demand in NFTs? The fact is that digital natives would rather own digital goods than physical goods, which means that we are watching the digitization of the collectibles industry. These digital natives want to use the NFTs as a way to play games, transact with each other, and generally recreate the collectibles industry. Another perspective, as outlined recently by popular crypto podcaster Pomp, is that we are watching the birth of a new type of status:
Talking of the metaverse just a few weeks ago Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said within five years Facebook would be a “metaverse company” while Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, said they were investing in the “enterprise metaverse.” Simply put, whoever can integrate NFTs and payment with the metaverse may well lead the biggest change in online culture and economy since the birth of the web in the 1990s. A view supported by David Raszucki, head of the $50 billion Roblox Corporation, who sees the emergence of the metaverse as profound a shift as the invention of the internet and the world wide web.
In a close fit with the vision of an open metaverse, play to earn crypto games are built on the fundamental need for a place that is available to everyone and owned by no one in particular. An amalgam of gaming and decentralized finance (DeFi), ‘GameFi’ refers to the intersection between blockchain-based gaming and decentralized financial instruments in all their guises: yield farming, lending/borrowing, algorithmic stablecoins, token minting instruments, etc.
This rise in popularity of GameFi and associated tokens has captured the attention of the wider crypto market, especially in the longer-term trend of NFTs and the metaverse. The fund’s goal is to support developers and create GameFi projects by building decentralized finance (DeFi) content, the foundation said in a press release.
A striking example of how the rise of GameFi is driving the value of tokens came in early August with Axie Infinity, the popular crypto gaming platform on Ethereum, which raked in more than $220 million in revenue in 30 days to early August, making it the top revenue generator among all DeFi protocols and blockchains, Ethereum included, according to data from Token Terminal.
One of the key problems associated with such rapid growth in the DeFi ecosystem is the increasing transaction costs, particularly the rapidly increasing Ethereum gas fees. To address this issue, many projects in the crypto space are starting to offer cross-chain functionality. One of the most successful innovators in this space has been Polkadot. The price of the Polkadot governance coin (DOT) has risen to over $30 from under $10 in August. This puts DOT’s market cap at over $30 billion, about the same size as Ethereum a year ago. Also worth noting is the rise of Solana, recently listed on BigOne exchange, another ‘Ethereum-killer’ with lightning fast transactions at a fraction of the price. The rapid increase in value is largely a result of crypto gaming and successful NFT launches. Amid a huge NFTs sales, resulted in a bull rally of the Solana and the price of its token SOL which, trading at $1.60 during the start of January, smashed its all-time high (ATH) $194.82 on September 7th, 2021.