Cryptocurrencies have been gaining popularity in recent years, and there is no doubt about that. You could even say that it has gone mainstream, as now there are more ‘unqualified’ investors, who just follow the trends. And as for some, it may look like the rise of crypto is sudden, it actually came later than some experts believed a few years back.
The Napster moment of cryptocurrencies came in 2017, when the ICO rise (the Initial Coin Offering) had the leading role on the stage called ‘the market’. And honestly, many people believed that the time to shine was just around the corner for crypto.
Even with the ICO starting to lose popularity, DeFi (Decentralized Finance) and Tether’s Stable Coin actually picked up momentum. Ethereum completely revolutionized the concept of crypto with their new programming language. This is where programmable money emerged.
Any logic could be programmed into the payments, as you’re now able to merge the security and control of Bitcoin with handy services from other institutions. With Ethereum, other cryptocurrencies could be used, where Bitcoin is limited – and the possible services include borrowing and lending, payment-scheduling, as well as index investment.
First Dai Release
Some Decentralized Finance observers believe that this complicated crypto ecosystem is caused by ‘altcoins’, or any other virtual currencies different to Bitcoin. Most of them debuted before Christmas 2017, while others came about when Bitcoin was forking down (the same year).
The history of DeFi is sometimes traced back to December 2017, when Andy Milenius announced the coming up ‘First Dai Release’. Since Dai was introduced, a group of communities and companies have gathered around the project. The trend seems to have shaped, and it appeals mostly to Ethereum enthusiasts. Many of them are US-based of borne. But you can also find enthusiasts from other countries – such as Finland, India, Denmark or Canada.
And it is nothing peculiar that the United States are taking up so much of the DeFi space. Meaningful tokens and developers have decided to move their operations to the United States of America. But are there any other, regional hubs?
Actually, yes. Israel entered the space quite early, and so did Japan. Ethereum is not really very popular outside the United States, and both Israel and Japan are more Bitcoin-solution-oriented countries. Other markets that could be considered, are Singapore and Dubai. And the United Kingdom too?
Decentralized Finance scene in the UK
Not that long ago, Ron Kalifa OBE spoke about FinTech. He expressed a belief, that open banking is something that the UK could be thriving on, as it potentially could be currently the leader, when it comes to developments and use of services. The Wise listing (formerly known as TransferWise), and the recent Revolut valuation, both show us something really important, as both of the companies are now UK-based, and they lead the Fintech industry.
Decentralized Finance has become the topic of mainstream discussions
In 2019, during the Sibos financial services event that is held in London, the topic of Decentralized Finance has been put on the agenda. The debate only propelled and enriched the approach towards the FinTech in the United Kingdom, and thus set some direction, we’re still on nowadays.
Most (if not all of them) of the exchanges are looking for ways to sail away from manual processes, and it’s the perfect time for DeFi to step in and be present on the market in London. AllianceBlock (Level39 members) have actually been making waves there for quite some time now, and they are not the only firm to be working in the Decentralized Finance that’s engaging with London-based stock exchanges.
Aquis may not be the most popular, but it does not change the fact, that it’s a great place for Dispersion Holdings to be starting their London journey. All that together (and much more), it appears like DeFi has entered London for good now.
To find out more about the topic, and to read an amazing piece by Andy Samu published on the Disruption Banking website, use the link: https://disruptionbanking.com/2021/07/20/is-london-ready-for-defi/.