Crypto Startup Brings 401k-style Automated Investing to DeFi2 min read
So you want to invest in DeFi but either can’t or don’t want to interact with each of the gazillion protocols that have launched since yesterday? Blockchain infrastructure company Bloq thinks it can help.
Bloq, helmed by early Bitcoin core developer Jeff Garzik, today announced Vesper, a tool for automating DeFi transactions based on individual investment goals.
For anyone who’s invested in mutual funds, the concept isn’t much different. By way of analogy, Bloq Chief Communications Officer Phil Gomes told Decrypt, “This is similar to a 401k where the asset is easily describable (e.g., ‘Gomes Advisors Mid-Cap Aggressive Growth Fund’) and you just kind of set-and-forget after making your deposit.”
Only instead of funds, users put their money into “holding pools” for ETH, WBTC, and USDC stablecoin. Their money is sent to other DeFi protocols, and, in addition to the interest they earn on their investments, they get back Vesper governance tokens (VSPR) in return.
At launch, the platform will integrate with Compound, Maker, Aave, and Uniswap. Over time, more pools will be added—and not just from Vesper or Bloq, said Gomes; users can propose strategies for inclusion on the platform and take a cut of the revenue from that pool. “But the user experience,” said Gomes, “remains ‘Visit Vesper site, choose pool, deposit.'”
Using Vesper, Bloq believes, will be much simpler than yield farming as it “reduces close to a dozen steps to less than a handful. You save time and, of course, money that would otherwise be lost to transaction fees.”
Bloq also thinks it can appeal to sidelined investors who want to avoid the rug pulls and untested smart contracts that have taken down some DeFi platforms.
“We are launching Vesper because we believe there is room in the DeFi community for a platform that blends professionalism with an evolutionary path toward decentralization,” Bloq CEO and co-founder Jeff Garzik told Decrypt. “We do this through well-audited code and an economic framework that encourages community participation and development. This sustainability model is in contrast with the tired farm-and-dump treadmill.”
Decentralized finance—the group of blockchain-based finance applications that bypass traditional financial institutions—is big business. According to DeFi Pulse, more than $11 billion in value is locked into Ethereum DeFi projects such as lending protocols, decentralized exchanges, and derivatives trading platforms. That’s a 2,000% increase since this time last year.