After a blockbuster 2020, Ethereum is struggling to catch its breath — overwhelmed by transaction volumes sparked by the surging popularity of DeFi and non-fungible tokens.
Now, rival networks such as the Binance Smart Chain are attempting to steal Ethereum’s lunch crypto… and become the destination of choice for decentralized finance projects.
Here we speak to Vladimir Tikhomirov, the founder of Rubic Finance, for his take on the state of the DeFi sector — and talk about the project’s goals for 2021.
1. What do you think are the biggest challenges facing DeFi right now?
Everyone is talking about the increased load on Ethereum, which leads to high gas fees — and we believe that the market hasn’t got enough business models for rapid development. It also seems to us that yield farming is experiencing a decline because its business model is unstable. The main pushing force for DeFi is trading. This should be changed with the worldwide integration of cryptocurrencies.
2. Are high gas fees making Ethereum impossible to use for DeFi protocols?
Wealthy people are using Ethereum for DeFi — but high transaction fees are proving unsustainable for smaller investors and traders.
3. How significant has your integration with Binance Smart Chain been?
It certainly has got a lot of traction. Within some of our other projects, more than 80% of contracts are now created in BSC, and only 20% in Ethereum.
On Rubic.exchange, users are conducting hundreds of transactions between Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain to convert tokens from one blockchain to another.
To conduct exchanges on the Rubic platform, you don’t need to go through Know Your Customer or registration procedures as on centralized or other exchange platforms. This opens up opportunities for users from all over the world, including the U.S.
4. Do you believe BSC will overtake Ethereum as the blockchain of choice for DeFi?
I think that in the short term it will, but we can not ignore the factor of low decentralization on BSC. With the growth of volumes, the network may be of interest to the SEC, which can relatively easily limit the use of BSC.
The goal of our project is to combine all blockchains and protocols under one platform, so that DeFi will prosper regardless of the local victories of a particular blockchain.
5. You’ve spoken of your aim to deliver a complete one-stop decentralized platform. What does this involve?
Our team has made dozens of integrations with various blockchains since 2017.
Each blockchain has its own advantages for a particular task — Tron is suitable for gaming applications, and BSC for DeFi — and this means that each network will always have projects and corresponding assets.
Our task is to combine all the blockchains in one place, where you can make swaps and exchanges between your favorite blockchains using the latest protocols.
For example, if you want to use an ERC-20 token to trade in the Binance Smart Chain (using PancakeSwap,) you can convert the token and conduct a decentralized swap without leaving Rubic — with minimal fees due to integration of most DEXs.
6. How will layer-two solutions and an anonymizer tool benefit Rubic users?
To create a functional universal swap/trading solution, several things are needed: Extremely low swap costs, high speed with the help of layer two, the possibility of anonymous transactions, and support for the highest number of blockchains.
After achieving this, we will get a unique solution on the market for all users.
The anonymizer tool is important because there are a number of scenarios where you need to be able to trade with privacy: Buying or selling tokens under closed agreements, paying bonuses to team members, or making an investment if you’re famous.
Rubic will become a fusion of Tornado Cash and Uniswap, where you will be able to get any tokens into the smart contract and trade and withdraw them completely anonymously. There is no such solution on the market — and, in our opinion, it’s necessary.
7. Have you got any stats that offer an insight into the latest DeFi trends?
Creation of smart contracts on the BSC network leapt up by 100% in February, and there was a drop of about 40% on Ethereum.
A huge number of funds flow from Ethereum to BSC, and approximately 80% in the opposite direction — which indicates a trend in terms of trading on BSC, but storing funds on Ethereum.
8. Are there any new features that Rubic will be rolling out in the next 12 months?
Yes, a proprietary layer-two solution supported by various blockchains, an anonymizer tool for trading, and the implementation of more blockchains within the platform.
9. How do you think the decentralized finance sector will evolve in 2021?
We are exploring new financial business models — and more applications for flash loans, non-custodial services, and trading. We expect that through the interest in the growth of Bitcoin and Ether’s prices, users from the real world will be encouraged to try DeFi solutions and apply them in everyday life.
10. Do you believe that DeFi is too difficult to understand for everyday users — and what is Rubic doing to simplify this sector?
The main priority for us is maximum simplicity and convenience — combining all blockchains and platforms in a one-stop platform that enables the DeFi sector to level up.
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