Since the beginning of the year, the native token of the largest and most used crypto exchange in the world – Binance – has skyrocketed by 374.51%. We can point out a few reasons behind this startling dynamics of Binance Coin (BNB): first, an escalating institutional interest in everything that has to do with decentralized money, and second, PancakeSwap – the first billion-dollar project implemented on Binance Smart Chain, which immediately pushed the latter to the volume-based second rank among all decentralized exchanges (DEXs). While Binance by itself is a China-based exchange and a primary target for investors in Asia, the interest towards decentralized finance (DeFi) a long time ago overgrown geographical boundaries and transformed into a global movement.
At first, this may seem like an alarming signal for banks. But, on a closer inspection, it appears that investment guru across the world have long ago realized the advantage of succumbing to the force larger than themselves instead of trying to fight it off with bare hands. Holding this view, JPMorgan, first vivaciously rebuffing Bitcoin, has finally expressed positive approval in its regard. Next, another America’s titan Goldman Sachs is reviving its cryptocurrency trading desk, while Citigroup is positively commenting on Bitcoin’s role in international trade. All of this points to the shifting preference that in many ways comes from the realization of hopelessness of an individual actor, no matter how grand and powerful he is, against the global force-majeure of Covid-19.
And, although the stock market may infuse optimism pumped by the quick vaccine spread, in the long-term the market is doomed to recede. The disappointing signs of this are shown by the central banks who are struggling to support the whole system from a wreck-down. These institutions are, however, helpless to combat against the giant figure of the workplace drop-out, and the intuitive, although not explicitly said, lack of resources to safeguard into long-term economic recovery. All of this comes down to one implication: sooner than later, the new economic order will be created, and we will have to embrace this.
Keeping that in mind, that’s worth giving a forethought on how it’s better to stay on the surface while the old world is crashing down. One way to do this is to stay at the forefront of innovation. While blockchain still causes a lot of frowns from the population poorly familiar with it, numerous experts point out that it’s going to be the next big thing in the post-pandemic future – not only in finance but in all spheres of human life. However, it’s worth pointing out that the financial sector will undergo the most transformations. The testimony of this is platforms like xWin, who have come up with features of financial management intertwined with decentralized protocol technology.
By building its solution on Binance Smart Chain (BSC) network that supports all the BEP20 tokens, xWin aims to achieve the maximum functionality combined with minimal investor worries. The platform builds its core proposition around asset management and trading vaults, that bears a strong resemblance with what a traditional asset management firm may come up with. Thus, xWin takes one step closer towards making a DeFi-lookalike to banks and financial institutions, which constitutes a major milestone in the progress of this fast-growing niche.
Now, it’s time for an interview with the founder of xWin. We discussed many concerns surrounding the niche, talked of what may help companies to withstand the turbulent times, and looked at how the future will look like after the pandemic comes a la fin.
Thank you for joining me for a talk. How do you see DeFi’s evolution in a year’s time – and, if you don’t mind sharing with me - what tokens do you personally support?
From the number I can see in DEFI space, the total lock value exponentially grows from few hundred million dollars in beginning of 2020 to now around 40 billions less than a year. This is a significant growth. To me, MakerDao, Compound Finance and Uniswap had been great impact to the whole DEFI industry. They bring the decentralized financial ecosystem together with the strong pillar and connected the dots in decentralized financial system. MakerDao, introduced stable coin collateralized backed and live on blockchain. Compound finance protocol facilitate the lending and borrow with algorithmically determined the interest rate based on supply and demand of each token. Uniswap, replaced the traditional order books execution with autonomous liquidity pool to facilitate the token exchange. Going forward, I expect to see more evolution in area of investment including asset management, credit & lending, infrastructure such as layer 2 protocol and cross chain.
Personally, I prefer to have various of token that I believe they made significant impact to the community. It is not easy to hand pick any single good token from investment perspective. It is easier for beginner or any investor to have the exposure to the DEFI market. It means, getting an index token will let you to have exposure to the any good DEFI project out there. That is one of the reasons we build xWIN which provide different type of indices to make the investment easier than ever.
From your personal perspective, in what way will an average investor be affected by the wave of DeFi transformation? What can the companies do to embrace this change before it's too late?
Defi is transforming the way of how traditional financial business is conducted now. Defi is still infant stage of development and there will be more and more decentralized financial service to be introduced in various financial sectors. Number of Defi users will continue to grow exponentially.
Companies who is unable to disrupt itself will be obsoleted from the business. Looking back at the history, When the iPhone was released, Nokia knew they were in trouble. In just 6 years, Nokia’s market cap fell 90% until they were gobbled up by Microsoft. Digital camera is another good example. Kodak was crushed just less than a decade just becasue they couldn’t see how massive the wave was until it was too late, and refused to compete with their own business model.
Companies should continue to encourage innovation within the organization such as encourage intrapreneurship at organization with such simple steps as establishing where employees can go with their ideas. Reward experimentation even failure as well as create a supportive atmosphere in which people feel free to express their ideas without the risk of criticism or ridicule
Covid-19 helped to make a giant leap towards the digital economy – but despite this, it’s still not clear how the workplace of the future will look like once the lion’s part of activities become automated. Maybe you have some considerations on this?
During the pandemic, consumers have moved dramatically toward online channels, and companies and industries have responded in turn. We have seen many of the technology company such as ZOOM gain much traction and growth in business during this COVID-19 pandemic. By now, majority of the companies must be realized of benefit to the organization with working remotely.
On the other hand in Defi community, there are many Defi projects are building a decentralized network or community. It requires clarity, shared values and goals that need to be clear to all participants. All participants can contribute to the project through online connected network or platform. Participant is incentivised through bounties or hackathon program. The new norms eliminate the traditional 9-to-5 working style and hence increase productivity without giving up work life balance.
Looking into the past, when would you say was the best time to jump into a cryptocurrency market? Is it not too late to start now, in your opinion?
Never been too late! Tesla announced in early Feb 2021 it has bought $1.5 billions worth of Bitcoin. Paypal launched new service end of 2020 to enable user to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrency. Beginning in early 2021, PayPal customers will be able to use their cryptocurrency holdings as a funding source to pay at PayPal's 26 million merchants around the globe. All of the big players started to flock into the space. Crypto or DEFI space are moving fast. There are a lot of projects showing up in Ethereum or BSC. As an investor, you need to do your own due diligence on each project tokens that you intended to buy. The project has to be sustainable with reasonable roadmap and commitment from each of the team member.
What motivated you to build your project on a Binance Smart Chain? How does it compare to a standard blockchain, and what are its strong and weak sides?
Binance Smart Chain (BSC) is a folk of Ethereum chain. One of the advantages of choosing BSC over Ethereum is the network fee and speed of transaction. To encourage more individual investor to DEFI space, the network fees have to be reasonably cheap. Majority of the players out there are beginner, and it doesn’t make sense for investor to pay $100 or $200 to make a $100 investment transaction. In BSC, you may just need to pay $1 for the network fee. Binance has really committed their effort to expand and encourage all the developer to build on BSC through Binance Accelerator Fund and many Binance-X hackathon. That really gives us more confident on the BSC.
If we are to tell investors that they can invest in PancakeSwap and UniSwap, what is the reason to prefer the former and why?
PancakeSwap is built in Binance Smart Chain (BSC). PancakeSwap’s growth has been attributed to the shortcomings of the Ethereum blockchain that hosts Uniswap. The ETH-powered network suffers from scalability issues due to its reliance on the proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism. As a result, the congestion on the platform causes a rise in transaction costs or gas. Transactions in BSC settle faster and fee are substantially lower since there is no network congestion.
CAKE is PancakeSwap's base asset, which doubles as a governance token, as well as provides farming and staking functionalities. Users can get their hands on CAKE by either providing liquidity, staking or buying them on an exchange (the staking option allows holders to earn more tokens). On the other hand, we have UNI tokens, Uniswap’s native asset, which its developers had airdropped to initial users of its platform back in September 2020. However, the token's real use case on the platform, apart from governance, is yet to be defined.
Could you tell us a bit more about the team members? Have they been exposed to the DeFi industry prior to the project, and what motivated them to get involved?
There is main core member in xWIN. Myself, as a founder of the xWIN and co-founder Fumihiro Arasawa. Both of us responsible for building vision, mission and roadmap of xWIN. We are fortunate enough as getting a lot of supports from member that believe in this project. Mariya Ebirayim, Filip Galic and Dai Oshima as our main marketing advisor. Daisuke Kobayashi as trading advisor. We also get support from famous professor Yonekura Seichiro and Yokohama Kitanakadori Law firm as our advisor in the business and legal issue. DEFI is pretty much new to everyone. All xWIN members are motivated because we believe DEFI is the evolution and everyone of us want to change the world.
Could you lay down the roadmap of your project? What’s expected to come in the years ahead, and how will the existing users benefit from the network growth?
We launched our xWIN platform end of Feb 2021. It is just a week old but we already successfully launch multiple sector index vault, liquidity pool vault and farming feature for our users. The total lock value and market cap of xWIN is around half a million now, which is still relatively small. In the next few months, we focus on:
Marketing campaign such as organizing various of online AMA session.
Introduce more vaults in farming, index and trading to benefit the BSC community. We already have xWIN BSC Defi Index, xWIN Infra Index and xWIN ANTG-US index. There will be more to be launched for our community users.
We also open the opportunity for community who want to create their own trading fund in xWIN finance. We encourage all the traders and fund manager who seeks for the easy-to-use platform to manage their fund with their investors.
xWin Crypto TV to be launched in mid of March with the purpose on educating users on Defi space and mainly how to use xWIN
Introduce new special offer in xWIN platform to encourage community to own XWIN token in easy way
We are putting effort to get recognized by the BSC community such as applying for Syrup pool, listing in Coingecko, Defistation and etc.
Rework on the UI/UX in xWIN finance.