Stablecoin RAI launches, a pure, decentralized alternative for DeFi

The RAI stablecoin will attempt to bring stability to DeFi markets with the long-term goal of becoming a stable global reserve asset not tied to any nation’s currency.

New Ethereum-backed stablecoin RAI hopes to be the savior of the DeFi sector by providing a truly decentralized stablecoin alternative. 

Developed by blockchain startup Reflexer Labs, RAI is not pegged to any fiat currency and its monetary policy is managed by an on-chain, autonomous controller. It’s a fork of Maker’s DAI. RAI co-founder Ameen Soleimani explained:

“RAI is an asset backed only by ETH, governance-minimized, and programmed to maintain its own price stability without needing to peg to an external price reference like the USD.”

Soleimani believes that RAI, which he dubbed “A Money God,” has far greate potential than simply improving the DeFi sector, adding:

“Our aspirations for RAI, however, are more profound — if RAI fulfills its purpose within DeFi and starts to earn global adoption, it could prove to be a viable solution to the Triffin Dilemma, and bring credible neutrality to the administration of a stable global reserve asset.”

The Triffin Dilemma consists of potentially contradictory incentives which arise when an asset, like the USD, serves both as national currency and for international reserves.

Announced today, the asset has launched on the Ethereum blockchain and is available via Uniswap v2, with liquidity mining pools set to be announced in the coming weeks. Prior to a strong liquidity pool, the team admitted that “the controller will be weaker than usual.”

While it’s a stable, it’s not pegged to the value of USD and initially, RAI’s redemption price will be set at $3.14. One immediate use-case in decentralized finance, or DeFi, the team predicts will be a method to avoid liquidation on strong price fluctuations for Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies.

How is RAI different?

Stablecoins like Tether (USDT) are centralized and pegged to US dollars, while even Maker’s DAI accepts centralized stablecoin USDC as collateral. This makes true decentralization finance acolytes concerned as centralized coins can be censored. RAI only uses ETH as collateral.

RAI’s ability to maintain a stable price despite fluctuations in the value of its ETH backing revolves around its PID Controller — a control loop mechanism similar to a car’s cruise control.

The asset has two prices, a redemption price and a market price. When the market price deviates from the redemption price, an interest rate for those who have staked Ethereum is set to oppose the price move, incentivizing users to return RAI to the target price.

Soleimani, who is also the CEO of the crypto cam site SpankChain explained that, “It works kind of like a spring: the further the market price of RAI moves from the target price, the more powerful the interest rate, and the greater the incentive to return RAI to equilibrium.”

Soleimani added that the redemption price, also known as the initial target price, does not really matter because, “RAI only cares about relative stability.”

During the testing phase conducted throughout 2020, which used Proto RAI tokens, the asset’s price managed to maintain a volatility level of 4% or lower with an average price of around $2. During the same period, Ether’s price grew by more than 250%.

Last week, Reflexer Labs announced a $4.14 million series A funding round led by Pantera Capital and Lemniscap. This round was preceded by an investment raise of $1.68 million in August 2020 led by Paradigm.

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Venus (XVS) rallies 900%, TVL hits $3.54B after Binance Smart Chain launch

Venus protocol becomes the top-ranked DeFi platform on the Binance Smart Chain as XVS price and the total value locked in the platform reach new highs.

As decentralized finance continues to increase it hold on the wider cryptocurrency market, Binance Smart Chain (BSC) is beginning to emerge as a suitable option for traders looking to escape from high transaction fees on the Ethereum (ETH) network. 

With more attention being paid to BSC, DeFi projects operating on the chain have also seen an influx of buying activity in recent weeks as token holders rush to supply liquidity for recently launched protocols. One such project is Venus (XVS), an algorithmic money market and synthetic stablecoin protocol designed specifically for the BSC.

XVS/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Data from Cointelegraph Markets and TradingView shows that XVS price has exploded 775% from a low of $10.04 on Feb. 2 to an all-time high of $82.86 on Feb. 18 amidst an increase in activity on BSC.

Total value locked grows as the list of supported assets expands

A scroll through the project’s Twitter feed points to a rapidly expanding ecosystem that has been systematically adding top cryptocurrency projects to its list of assets that can be deposited to earn interest, participate in the liquidity mining program, or use as collateral to borrow other assets.

Cardano (ADA) is the most recent addition, while the other projects currently available are Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Polkadot (DOT) and Chainlink (LINK)

Similar to the MakerDAO (MKR) platform and DAI, users of Venus can borrow against their assets and mint Vai, the stablecoin for the Venus protocol. Since Feb. 1, the supply of VAI has grown by 360% from 42 million tokens in circulation to a current count of more than 195 million VAI.

According to the Venus dashboard, there is currently $3.54 billion in total value locked in the Venus protocol, making it the seventh-largest DeFi protocol by TVL behind SushiSwap which currently has $3.7 billion in TVL.

Total value locked, total borrowed and available liquidity on Venus. Source: Venus

A survey of the top-performing assets over the past week shows that BSC projects have outperformed the competition and are beginning to attract liquidity away from projects on the Ethereum network.

XVS/USDT price compared against direct competitors. Source: TradingView

High gas fees on the Ethereum network are likely to continue for some time and this could catalyze further growth in chains like BSC and DeFi protocols that are able to capitalize on its lower transaction costs.

With an expanding list of supported tokens and a rapidly growing TVL, Venus is quickly establishing itself as a top contender in the decentralized finance space.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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US Federal Reserve Seeking Manager to Research CBDCs and Stablecoins

US Federal Reserve Seeking Manager to Research on CBDCs and StablecoinsThe U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) has posted a job advertisement that seeks to hire a role related to stablecoins and central bank digital currencies (CBDC). The Fed is looking for a research manager to join its team to assess the “benefits and risks” of digital assets. The Role Is Part of the Fed’s Digital Innovation […]
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A Look at Facebook’s Diem Wallet- Token Sale Accepts 3 Cryptos, Strict KYC, Hefty Data Collection

A Look at Facebook's Diem Wallet- Token Sale Accepts 3 Cryptos, Strict KYC, Hefty Data CollectionDuring the last two years, there’s been a lot of interest in Facebook’s cryptocurrency diem (formally libra) and rumors of a nearing launch date went viral last November. Now the social media giant is advertising the crypto asset’s pre-sale heavily on the platform, as people can now purchase diem with U.S. dollars and three different […]
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Circle enables seamless USDC-USD transfers, providing a bridge from banks to DeFi

The result of developments in both crypto technology and regulation, Circle’s new USDC API provides a bridge between crypto and traditional finance.

Circle, the company behind the second most popular stablecoin USD Coin, has rolled out a new API that will allow for the seamless transfer of USDC to USD via automated clearinghouse (ACH) systems. 

The first exchange to adopt the new API will be derivatives and futures specialist FTX, looking to speed up USD settlement processes on behalf of their customers.

In a blog entry, project manager Gee Chuang described how Circle’s ACH API improves connections between the fiat world and the digital world by introducing interoperability among payment rails, such as card, wire and blockchain transfers. Using the API, USD funds can be transferred easily between banks and blockchains with processing traditionally done manually, now automatic.

Circle has partnered with Plaid, a company that specializes in online account security and verification, to provide a process for streamlining USD/USDC transfer through Circle. Chaung said:

“This process prevents common errors like mistyping bank accounts or routing numbers and ensures greater user security, while reducing fraud reversal risks. No digging around for numbers, no clunky codes, no switching between applications during the process.”

More than 50 countries use some version of ACH payment processing, including the EU, United States, United Kingdom, China, Japan and South Korea. Circle has also partnered with Visa to process crypto-related payouts across 30 countries covered by their network.

USD Coin is primarily an Ethereum-based token that can be exchanged for US dollars on a 1:1 basis and is backed by a reserve of regularly-audited assets. Launched in Oct. 2018 as an alternative to Tether, there are currently about 5.4 billion USDC in circulation, making it the second biggest stablecoin by market cap, after USDT.

Demand for USDC has been at an all-time high, setting weekly volume records during the first three weeks of the new year. In addition to being used heavily at Binance and Coinbase, USDC is also a stablecoin favorite among DeFi traders, with platforms like Uniswap, Curve and Compound accounting for hundreds of millions in daily trading volume.

Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire has long been a proponent of integration between the digital currency space and traditional finance, appealing to the U.S. Treasury Department in Dec. 2020 to allow crypto industry collaboration in the regulation development process.

Speaking at a fintech festival earlier that month, Allaire predicted that upcoming breakthroughs in blockchain technology will encourage massive adoption, putting its potential benefits “in the hands of hundreds of millions, if not billions of users.”

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