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Inside MANTRA DAO: Ecosystem of DeFi Services Powered by Polkadot Tech

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Ethereum’s decentralized finance arena has seen the beginnings of breakout success in 2020, but with the rise of DeFi comes the prospect that other up-and-coming smart contract platforms and the chains and dApps they power will be able to peel off activity for themselves in the sector.

To be sure, Ethereum’s lead here is resolute for now. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t competitors already planting the seedlings for their own DeFi gardens. One of these competitors is Polkadot.

Polkadot is a multichain network, which essentially means it’s a blockchain of blockchains, where interoperability between these chains, called parachains, makes them open and interconnected rather than siloed. To this end, the Polkadot team developed Substrate, a framework for easily creating new cryptocurrencies and blockchains.

Of course, Polkadot is a young project as its initial version only just launched back in May 2020. But the network’s Substrate tech is already paving the way to DeFi services in the Polkadot ecosystem. A prime example of this dynamic is the rise of the Substrate-based MANTRA DAO.

A DeFi Platform for Polkadot

Simply put, MANTRA DAO is a community-governed decentralized application, or dApp, built on Rio Chain, a blockchain underpinned by Polkadot’s Substrate infrastructure. At its core the MANTRA platform has three pillars, which are lending, staking, and governance.

As such, MANTRA’s key offerings center around cryptonative earning opportunities like decentralized lending and saving services, as well as non-custodial crypto staking. Moreover, the project’s governance system empowers and incentivizes stakeholders to manage MANTRA into a well-tuned and effective platform.

A Hub for Staking Polkadot Assets

Since Polkadot is structured around the interoperability of parachains, it stands to reason that over time projects will proliferate atop it. Accordingly, MANTRA DAO is positioning itself to become a non-custodial staking hub for Polkadot-based assets and beyond.

Indeed, out of the gate MANTRA will support staking for Polkadot’s DOT token and KSM, the native token of Kusama, Polkadot’s community research network. OM, the governance token of MANTRA DAO, will also be supported by the group’s staking platform.

Yet MANTRA has also set its eyes beyond Polkadot. For example, the DAO also intends to provide non-custodial staking services for a range of general Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) assets, including ADA, BAND, ELA, EOS, TRX, and XTZ. Additionally, the DAO is planning to support staking around straightforward Proof-of-Stake (PoS) assets like ETH 2.0 and DASH, too.

Key Features
Key Features

Notably, the platform initially won’t charge staking service fees for Polkadot-based assets, though it will require them for DPoS assets. This dynamic could lead to MANTRA DAO becoming a premier early staking hub in the Polkadot ecosystem.

Yet the platform has another staking-centric service in the works, which is dubbed MANTRA POOL. This pool will function as a crypto savings game: the service will randomly select winners to receive weekly cuts of the staking rewards generated by MANTRA DAO Foundation, a separate legal entity focused on fostering the MANTRA ecosystem.

One-fourth of the staking rewards accrued by the Foundation will be earmarked for the savings game, and these rewards will be distributed as they come, i.e. a basket of assets like DOT, OM, KSM, and so forth. To join the game, users must either burn one OM per entry ticket, or they can qualify for automatic entries if they score high enough in MANTRA DAO’s reputaiton protocol, KARMA.

Cross-Chain Lending Bridges

Lending has been the hottest nook of Ethereum’s DeFi surge this year, and MANTRA DAO is looking to tap into that heat.

That’s because an early focus for the platform will be building “cross-chain bridges to existing open-source DeFi lending protocols, such as Compound, to offer our users access to lending interest for Ethereum-based assets.”

It’s a smart, if you can’t beat ’em join ’em approach that will give Polkadot users the ability to access the best that Ethereum’s lending sector has to offer. But this is just the start of MANTRA DAO’s lending plans.

Eventually, the platform’s roadmap has it embracing 3rd-party lending service providers “across multiple blockchains” but with the perk of all this being mashed into a simple user interface.

Even further down the road, the project is planning to build its own lending algorithm and stablecoin, a la MakerDAO has done in the Ethereum ecosystem. The difference is that MakerDAO loans can only be collateralized with Ethereum-based tokens, while MANTRA DAO will more nimbly allow cross-chain collateralized assets. This means users will be able to take out loans denominated in MANTRA DAO’s USDOM stablecoin using assets from across the cryptoeconomy.

Governance has been among the hottest topics in the cryptoeconomy this year. MANTRA DAO is making it the heart of its project using its OM token, which users will rely on to decide the parameters of the DAO’s DeFi offerings. The project’s builders explained in a brief shared with Blockonomi:

“In order to submit a proposal and vote within the MANTRA DAO ecosystem, a member must first hold and stake OM. Each staked OM represents 1 vote within the MANTRA DAO system. In order to propose a topic for voting, users will need to deposit $100 worth of OM as collateral. If the proposal should fail, they will lose the OM, but if the proposal passes evaluation from the council, then the vote will proceed. If the proposal receives a simple majority (51%) of the votes from the valid voters (staking OM), then the depositor will receive their OM back as well as an additional amount of KARMA for helping the ecosystem.”

This voting process takes place over the course of a month, with one week each dedicated to 1) proposals, 2) evaluation of proposals, 3) voting on proposals, and 4) proposal implementations.

Moreover, every 24 months MANTRA voters will on the members of a MANTRA DAO Council, a sort of executive branch of the decentralized organization. The body will start out at 5 members and be capped at 9, with odd-numbered membership always employed so as to prevent ties during council votes. Council members will have a 5-term term limit, as well.

This structuring will additionally allow for the creation of sub-councils within MANTRA DAO, though these lesser councils will be subject to the veto power of the main council.

MANTRA DAO’s ecosystem won’t build itself up. To that end, grants can help foster and attract talented builders around the platform’s infrastructure.

That’s why MANTRA DAO Foundation is, in fact, establishing a grants program that will boost efforts to create new applications and use cases around MANTRA’s tech and OM tokens. Accordingly, these grants will be denominated in OM or the USDOM stablecoin, and will number between $5,000 and $100,000 in value.

Conclusion

If there ever was a time for non-Ethereum platforms to throw down the gauntlet and try to gain market share in the DeFi arena, now’s it. The sector’s catching fire right currently and the best time to move on that reality was yesterday. MANTRA DAO, as a Substrate-based blockchain on Polkadot, is certainly one of these gauntlet throwers.

For now, it’s impossible to say whether projects like this will be able to seriously catch up on Ethereum’s DeFi moats, but MANTRA DAO is giving it a go, and it has a real opportunity to become an early DeFi hub in the Polkadot ecosystem. If DeFi eventually goes multichain, this DAO will be well positioned accordingly.

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Source: https://blockonomi.com/mantra-dao/

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What is OpenDeFi? A Guide to Open Finance Protocol

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OpenDeFi is a platform that encourages the tokenization of real-world assets such as gold, stocks, commodities, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), silver, and many more.

Apart from keeping their secrets tightly guarded, the law requires traditional finance companies to conduct anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) procedures. Coupled with the price volatility of cryptocurrency prices, these have caused conventional firms to miss out on the advantages brought by the decentralized finance (DeFi) train.

Fortunately, developers are creating blockchain-based platforms with the capability to handle KYC, AML, price slippage, as well as offer split-second transaction times and other functionalities in a bid to make these platforms at home with DeFi and the DLT space at large. An excellent example of such platforms is Open Finance by OroPocket. It brings real-world assets to the blockchain world, thus, increasing the confidence of conservative investors and firms to cross over to the other side.

Here, we put Open Finance under a microscope and interrogate its every aspect.

Table of Contents

Who’s Behind the Project

The platform is developed in conjunction with key platforms like Matic, Razorpay, Inblox, Conquest, Pioneer, and Cashfree.

What is Open Finance (OpFi)?

The coming together of the above companies brings to life a platform that can accommodate traditional investors, blockchain developers, and digital asset users. Additionally, it provides a bridge where other decentralized platforms can exchange or share virtual assets.

Notably, it’s major perk is that it removes price volatility from blockchain-based wealth and increases their liquidity. Consequently, deep-pocketed investors such as institutions can trustingly redirect funds to cryptocurrencies and other digital valuables. OpFi achieves this by powering what it calls OpenDeFi.

OpenDeFi encourages, among other things, the tokenization of real-world assets such as gold, stocks, commodities, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), silver, and many more. In addition, the platform is being primed to support synthetics and derivatives as well.

Interestingly, the assets are insured and put under a custodian to increase transparency and provide easy access at all times. To achieve its goal, OpFi is divided into key layers and functionalities.

Critical Parts of OpenDeFi

OroPocket

Think of OroPocket as a bank that converts your deposited funds into assets. To spend the funds, OroPocket provides a debit card. In addition, it enables users to interact with instant loans, earn interest on investments, and send them instantly across the globe to family and friends.

Assets usable with OroPocket include EFTs, cryptocurrencies, energy and oil, wines and whisky, real estate, and precious metals. Note that this aspect of Open Finance was built to hedge against the inflation of government-issued currencies, the lack of transparency from conventional financial institutions, as well as to increase access to funds and bank the over 3 billion unbanked individuals spread across the world. Furthermore, it has an efficient interest rate and saves users from the monkey-business that is unfortunately conducted by banks with user funds today.

Architecture

OpenDeFi’s architecture has notable functionalities. For example, it fractionalizes physical property, enables instant trading and cheap loans, and puts a yield on assets.

  • Dividing physical assets into manageable chunks – In the current setting, decentralized platforms allow exposure to the price of real-world valuables instead of the property itself. Unfortunately, without a strong link to the physical property, the trader is exposed to a multitude of risks such as collateral, counterparty, and liquidity risk.

To solve this problem, Open Finance tokenizes physical holdings, opening the door to fractionalization. Furthermore, it removes control from a central authority and bestows it upon a decentralized group of investors.

Apart from allowing direct and fractionalized exposure to physical possessions, tokenization enables real-world assets to be easily moved and audited every 24 hours.

  • Instant trading – You don’t need an exchange. Open Finance facilitates the decentralized exchange of physical goods without worrying about price fluctuations. To be able to track an asset’s movement throughout the ecosystem, each virtual property is handled by a unique smart contract. Part of the smart contract’s function is to handle USD-pegged tokens deposited by investors.

    The contract then sends an equivalent share of the tokenized worldly possessions. In addition, the contract has a reverse gear enabling investors to send their virtual property and receive a stablecoin-equivalent, such as Tether (USDT), in return. However, there must be a price reference. Therefore, the network uses a decentralized price oracle. Instant trading opens the platform for developers to build insurance, flash loans, among other applications.

  • Instant low-cost loans – What if we remove credit scores when filing collateral? Well, it would actually ease the process of getting loans. Open Finance does just that. A user’s asset holding will be used as collateral, and no credit checks are required. 

That’s instant. The loans are disbursed in stablecoins and last for a minimum of seven days. Note that the higher the loan amount, the lower the interest rate and vice versa.

  • Interest-based assets – OpenDeFi allows users to earn interest on assets. Consequently, more people interact with the network. Yield farming enables users to gain the platform’s native token, ORO.

ORO (Open Finance’s Native Currency)

ORO is the protocol’s governance token. Additionally, it forms the center of rewards and the platform’s reserve system. Staking ORO gives users a right into the platform’s inflationary rewards.

ORO follows Ethereum’s ERC20 token standards and has an initial supply of 100M tokens. The tokens are divided among token sales (30 percent), staking rewards (20 percent), and reserves (20 percent). Others include partnerships, advisors, and marketing.

When invoked as a governance token, ORO token holders can influence critical decisions on the network. Interestingly, they can decide whose part of the team, major platform upgrades, and changes to system parameters. Note that the network’s governance module’s inspired by COMP, a popular DeFi protocol.

Yield Farming on OpenDeFi

Open Finance supports yield farming through real-world assets. Notably, earned yields are distributed in ORO tokens daily. To enhance transparency during yield calculation, the protocol considers the availability of asset-based tokens and the demand.

Lower liquidity means more yields to attract stakers while high liquidity lowers the yields to encourage users to diversify their holding into things like hedging.

Whose Open Finance for?

Good question. The platform is designed to onboard everyone. For example:

  • Institutional investors benefit from on-chain AML and KYC procedures, high liquidity, global access, and no price volatility.
  • The banking sector can reach the unbanked.
  • Open Finance allows inter-chain sharing of digital assets. This solves a situation whereby users avoid a distributed system due to a lack of native tokens and developers sidelining a platform thanks to low user volumes.

Key Open Finance Partnerships with DeFi Networks

OpenDeFi has partnered with several notable DeFi systems to enhance its usability across the ecosystem. For instance, it partnered with Unilend Finance, a blockchain-based platform focusing on spot trading, lending, and money markets. Also, it has collaborated with TDeFi, an accelerator for DeFi startups.

To provide accurate and real-time price feeds, Open Finance tapped into Razor Network, a respected oracle platform focusing on DeFi systems. For security purposes, OpenDeFi turned to Shyft Network, for its known DeFi-focused security offering.

Conclusion

From institutional investors to cross-chain asset sharing, to the banking corridors, Open Finance brings a unique perspective to the decentralized world. By incorporating yield farming, the platform allows DeFi enthusiasts to explore extra rewards for providing liquidity.

On the other hand, a native token gives its holders a right into the platform’s decision-making process. Consequently, the network only provides community-driven upgrades and changes.

Source: https://www.asiacryptotoday.com/opendefi/

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Analysts Eye New Top of $74,000 as Bitcoin Comes Within 3% of ATH

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In a move adding to the already monumental rally, Bitcoin prices touched $19,400 during late trading on Tuesday, November 24. This is just 3% away from its peak of $20K which came in December almost three years ago.

Since then, the asset has retreated sharply in a $700 pullback to the mid-$18K level where it currently trades. With momentum still in its favor, analysts and traders are eyeing the next possible peak.

CNBC Touts $74K Bitcoin

During the 2017/2018 rally, mainstream media outlets were renowned for spreading fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) over something they really failed to truly comprehend. CNBC in particular came to be known as a counter trade signal as whenever the news outlet predicted a pump, BTC would dump and vice versa.

In its latest edition of Trading Nation, the channel interviewed a couple of traders who both had very positive things to say about the king of crypto.

Founder of TradingAnalysis.com, Todd Gordon, used Elliot Wave theory to measure herd mentality and market sentiment. He added that the fifth wave is just starting now which will result in a new all-time high in 2021. When asked about a price prediction he added;

“I can’t believe I’m going to go out on CNBC and say this, but it’s about $74,000. The Elliott wave goes very well with … Fibonacci multiples. If it does want to fall short, it can go to 61% of that target, which is only at $34,000.”

PayPal Driving Adoption

Mark Tepper, president and CEO of Strategic Wealth Partners, also commented on the trading show stating that before PayPal and other large corporations stepped in he treated Bitcoin like any other speculative investment, owning a small enough amount.

“The thing that’s always held me back from being an outright bitcoin bull has really been this lack of widespread adoption. But … adoption’s happening and those users, those PayPal and Square users, they’re buying more bitcoin than what’s actually hitting the market on a daily basis,”

He added that Bitcoin could be the Tesla of 2021, stating that it could possibly reach $100K by the end of next year. That certainly fits in with other models and predictions such as stock-to-flow which also predicts triple figures within the next year or so.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/analysts-eye-new-top-of-74000-as-bitcoin-comes-within-3-of-ath/

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Coinbase Pro To Disable Margin Trading From December Citing CFTC Guidence

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  • The Coinbase Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal published a post earlier informing customers that the popular exchange will seize offering margin trading.
  • Clients will not be able to place margin trading orders starting from 2 p.m. PT on November 25th, 2020. At the same time, the platform will cancel all open limit orders.
  • The San Francisco-based exchange will disable the margin trading feature fully at the end of November, “once all existing margin positions have expired.”
  • According to the statement, the decision aims to comply with guidance introduced by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) earlier this year.
  • Back in March 2020, the federal commodities regulator published a 35-page document with its views on how it will regard “actual delivery” of cryptocurrency assets. The guidance provides rules on when a customer has legally taken control of a digital asset, including acquisition through a margin or leveraged product. The document reads:
  • · (1) a customer securing: (i) possession and control of the entire quantity of the commodity, whether it was purchased on margin, or using leverage, or any other financing arrangement, and (ii) the ability to use the entire quantity of the commodity freely in commerce (away from any particular execution venue) no later than 28 days from the date of the transaction and at all times thereafter; and

  • · (2) the offeror and counterparty seller (including any of their respective affiliates or other persons acting in concert with the offeror or counterparty seller on a similar basis) do not retain any interest in, legal right, or control over any of the commodity purchased on margin, leverage, or other financing arrangements at the expiration of 28 days from the date of the transaction.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/coinbase-pro-to-disable-margin-trading-from-december-citing-cftc-guidence/

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