Jul 30, 2020 at 15:00 UTCUpdated Jul 30, 2020 at 15:01 UTC
Dharma wheel (Met Museum, modified using Photomosh)
Dharma wants to do for DeFi what Robinhood did for stock trading: make it stupid easy.
The Coinbase-backed decentralized finance startup is adding token-exchange protocol Uniswap as its latest in-app offering. In addition to earning “interest” on Ethereum stablecoins, Dharma users will now be able to trade any ERC-20 token for another.
“This continues our strategy of building Dharma as the gateway to doing the important things in DeFi,” co-founder Brendan Forster said in an interview.
With only tens of thousands of active users by most estimates, the $3.8 billion DeFi market is still niche. For the sector to realize its potential of unseating legacy lending systems (think student loans rather than crypto “arb opps”) a user-friendly gateway is sorely needed.
Dharma is trying to be that gateway. A crypto app with the looks of a mainstream fintech, the startup has been focused on stablecoin savings accounts, powered by lending protocol Compound, since August 2019. Dharma’s approach is notable in that it puts DeFi’s oft-touted “money Lego” meme into practice.
“Dharma now supports the three core money services,” explained Forster. “Savings and yield via Compound, investing and trading via Uniswap and peer-to-peer payments.”
The app wants to be both consumer-friendly and non-custodial, in keeping with DeFi’s “trustless” ethos, he added.
“Our goal in building ‘the Robinhood of crypto’ is to bridge the final gap between these blossoming markets and the millions of individuals who will want to tap into them as they gain popularity and mindshare,” CEO Nadav Hollander said in a statement.
Timed to the release of the new trading feature, Dharma is covering users’ gas costs through Aug. 30. Gas fees on Ethereum have surged in recent weeks to two-year highs, driven largely by demand for DeFi services.
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