The Case for Decentralised Finance

12 January, 2022
Two men smiling

Decentralised Finance, commonly known as DeFi, is an ecosystem of blockchain-powered products and services that empower individuals to manage their assets, borrow and lend money, and trade derivatives.

Instead of using banking apps built on legacy systems, consumers can now transact more quickly and affordably. Rather than rely on the meager returns in savings accounts at banks, consumers get to enjoy better returns by moving their idle crypto assets into different lending protocols. 

The premise of DeFi is that it allows individuals to maintain complete control over their assets. At the same time, they can access the whole gamut of financial services without costly intermediaries such as financial institutions.

It’s no wonder then that it has generated huge amounts of excitement and has become one of the leading trends in the crypto world, and we are barely scratching the surface of what’s to come.

The Opportunity

Bradian Muliadi and his co-founder, Lorenzo Ampil, met at Entrepreneur First and founded Hawksight, a crowdsourced trading signal platform, that pulls data, dissects them, and extracts actionable insights for users.

They soon found that while their platform brings a broad suite of AI-powered signals catering for a wide variety of users who trade anything from global stocks, FOREX to even cryptocurrencies, 95% of them were, in fact, active crypto adopters. 

It became clear that demand for cryptocurrency trading was high, and their natural next step was to build a DeFi app to tackle the bottleneck and make DeFi more accessible to the masses. 

“This is very much in line with the renaissance of sorts that’s happening in the cryptocurrency market, thanks in part to the widening use cases from DeFi, GameFi to Web3 – more people can enter this space; it’s no longer just exclusively for crypto investors,” tells Bradian.

DeFi, in particular, is gaining quick traction, with hot money flooding in. 

By connecting digital wallets to these decentralised apps (DApps), anyone can access standard bank functions on the go. Assets deposited on such decentralised platforms have grown from US$1 billion in mid-2020 to US$100 billion by mid-2021.

This is in part driven by many other blockchains with other native cryptocurrencies looking to compete with ether on the DeFi market. The Solana market, for instance, grew by 12,000% and is now the fourth largest cryptocurrency globally. 

Growth on Ethereum DeFi networks seems to have slowed, driven mainly by the price of ether, not actual trade volume

However, as DeFi gains more prominence, it’s also catching regulators’ attention due to the high incidence of fraud. Many of the more notable hacks were due to DeFi theft and fraud, amounting to over US$10 billion in 2021. 

“People are jumping on to dabble in this fast-growing DeFi space but this is still an immature and highly risky market. While decentralised, those running the apps are anonymous, it’s  harder to sift out the reliable ones,” adds Bradian.

“The knowledge gap there is real. Additionally, a fragmented market also results in poor user experience, and despite the novel technology, moving into crypto still often involves going through a long list of complex and cumbersome manual processes.”

As such, Bradian and Lorenzo decided to take on the mantle to accelerate mainstream DeFi adoption by building fresh solutions to overcome these obstacles for more people to be able to capture the excess returns relative to standard market indexes in a simplified manner. 

“We are on a mission to mint the next one million new DeFi users,” tells Bradian.

“And our game plan is an extreme obsession on building a superior product and the most passionate, dynamic, and diverse crypto community.” 

The team grew their AI Engine and Signals Platform to 500,000+ users in 3Q 2021 and then doubled it by the end of 2021. They also clinched a $4.2 million Strategic funding round with leading strategic partners like Solana Ventures and Terraform Labs. 

“We chose to collaborate with Solana Ventures and Terraform Labs because their platforms help bring our mission to life. Solana, one of the most scalable platforms out there, will power our ability to facilitate affordable and quicker transactions for our users, while Terra enables us to bring amazing financial products for our users to profit from higher yields.”


Building a crypto product that people love

“We believe that an awesome DeFi product means enabling DeFi adopters to trade in an easy, quick, cheap, and rewarding way, backed by actionable, data-driven insights.

Take the case of the US stock market, for instance, it wouldn’t have been thriving like it is today if it’s prohibitively costly for people to buy stocks or if people were to take hours just to execute a trade.

The same holds for DeFi. The high trading cost in Ethereum is a deterrent and other blockchains like Solana and Terra are coming in to make DeFi more accessible for people,” shares Bradian.

“And so we are now laying the groundwork for a 1-click automated investments and yield farming experience on Solana and Terra.” 


The Hawksight Platform
The Hawksight Platform

Authentic community engagement

A product would be nothing without a strong and engaged community and Hawksight channeled all their efforts on what has been described as the Crypto Community’s holy trinity of social channels – Telegram, Twitter, and Discord. 

“One of the biggest things we value is an authentic, genuine, and real community. There shouldn’t be any hard-selling; people come together organically, having the same goal: contributing to building a more accessible, robust DeFi ecosystem,” shares Bradian. 



Chats on Discord
Chats on Discord

The duo is taking that one step further and will be announcing concrete incentives and airdrops to reward their community and various partners for everyone to benefit and win for contributing to the DeFi ecosystem.

To date, Hawksight has amassed almost 30k followers and members across Twitter, Telegram, and Discord

Hawksight is also expanding its network through a B2B2C strategy, deploying its robust actionable trade signal engine to other partner platforms and regional institutions. 

Conversations on Discord
Conversations on Discord

Global mindset but localised execution

“When we entered the DeFi space, we decided that we would either go big or go home. It has to be a global business – no question about it – but supported by local executions. 

A one-size-fits-all strategy is untenable; Every country is unique with its own nuances that only locals understand, and we currently have teams on the ground across Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia, Russia, and the United States so we can cover all time zones in a meaningful way. 

We are now well on track for our upcoming token launch initial DEX offering (‘IDO’), alongside IDO Launchpads, DEXes, and CEXes in February 2022. Our DApp mainnet and concierge service will also go live in Q1 2022, paving the way to welcome more new first-timers by providing white-glove guidance for end-to-end onboarding.

Hopefully, with more follow-on successes, we can also extend our services to institutions in the long run.” 

Decentralised Finance is here, and it’s here to stay

Nascent. Volatile. Challenging. The same was said about the Internet, so don’t write it off yet.

Driving a paradigm shift to the archaic financial infrastructure, DeFi continues to unlock a world of new economic activity and accessibility for users globally and is gaining traction. 

The very same force that is driving these naysayers is also attracting the best engineers and entrepreneurs to the blockchain world who are working relentlessly to problem-solve, paving the way towards mainstream DeFi adoption.

The future of DeFi is bright and it’s growing exponentially. 

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