Decentralized Finance (DeFi) is continuing to gain traction and DeFi protocols are raising millions to offer retail investors better access to the growing market.

Ribbon Finance, a protocol seeking to facilitate access for investors to the complex world of crypto derivatives, has raised US$8.8m after partnering with Paradigm to build new risk products native to DeFi and double down on the project's multi-chain approach.

At the same time, Struct Finance raised US$3.9m to develop structured products in DeFi, which the company will use to build the tools allowing institutions to easily customise interest rate products and to combine them with options to build structured products that are better suited to the profiles of different investors.

Structured products in DeFi allow investors of various risk profiles to participate in the DeFi ecosystem and is boosting investor interest in DeFi.

Some of the protocols benefiting from this growing interest include WonderFi Technologies (Neo:WNDR), Bit Digital (Nasdaq:BTBT), Bitfarms (Nasdaq:BITF) (TSXV:BITF), Coinbase Global (Nasdaq:COIN), and HIVE Blockchain Technologies (Nasdaq:HIVE).

Delta One raises US$9.1m to build DeFi's 'set-and-forget' yield farming protocol

Delta One, a Solana-based DeFi protocol, has raised a US$9.1 million seed round led by Alameda Research and Ship Capital, with participation from Solana Ventures, Raj Gokal, Electric Capital, AlleyCorp, Chris McCannJoe McCann, and Alfred Chuang.

The funding round will help support Delta One's core development and ecosystem growth for projects looking to integrate with the protocol. The Delta One protocol packages complex yield generation strategies into ‘user-friendly structured products’.

Automated delta-neutral strategies require little to no active management, while offering attractive risk-adjusted yield to users, according to DJ Sengh, co-founder of Delta One. The protocol has amassed a waitlist of over 100,000 participants since its inception at the Solana Ignition Hackathon in October 2021.

‘Delta-neutral farming is a technique that many hedge funds love to use, but it can require spending hours each day crunching numbers and tracking positions when done manually by retail investors,’ said Sengh. ‘We believe democratising these strategies through structured products will be a pivotal part of onboarding the first billion users into DeFi.’

Delta One is seeking to build new lending markets, reserve currencies, and novel options products like ‘power perpetuals’ that compose on top of the existing vaults.

21Shares and ETF Securities launch BTC, ETH tracker funds in Australia

Swiss-based crypto ETP issuer 21Shares, with USD3 billion in assets, and ETF Securities have launched two funds, designed to offer ‘simple, cost-effective and direct access to cryptocurrency investments’. 

Both funds will list on Cboe Exchange (formerly Chi-X). The 21Shares Bitcoin ETF (EBTC) will track the price of bitcoin in Australian dollars. The ETF is fully backed by bitcoin held in cold storage by Coinbase; the 21Shares Ethereum ETF (EETH) will track the Australian dollar price of ether, which is the cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain, and it is also fully backed by ether held in cold storage by Coinbase.

Hany Rashwan (right), 21Shares founder, said that the firm is focused on creating retail accessible crypto products with institutional grade quality.

‘Everyone out there deserves a safe, affordable professional exposure to crypto,’ said Rashwan. ‘Our mission is to build bridges into the crypto world.’

ETF Securities head of distribution Kanish Chugh noted that bitcoin has been the best performing asset over the past 10 years and ether has been one of the top performing assets over the past five years.

‘They may be used as an alpha tilts or side bets in a portfolio. They can also be bought as portfolio diversifiers, as they are completely different asset and uncorrelated to shares, bonds and commodities,’ said Chugh.

The net asset value of EBTC and EETH units is calculated by multiplying the coin entitlement of every unit by the price of underlying cryptocurrency as measured by CryptoCompare at 3pm Central European Time, converted into Australian dollars.

21Shares offers over 130 listings with more than 30 products across 10 regulated European and Swiss trading exchanges, including the world's only ETP tracking Binance, four crypto index baskets, and two ETP with investor staking rewards (Tezos and Solana).

Sygnum releases DeFi-based investment plan

Swiss regulated digital asset bank Sygnum has launched a DeFi-based structured investment solution, Sygnum Yield Core AMC.

The new actively managed certificate (AMC) generates attractive ongoing returns from yield generating strategies - including staking, lending, and arbitrage - in the growing US$250 billion DeFi market.

The Sygnum Yield Core AMC is designed to deliver risk-adjusted returns while having low directional market exposure. It offers diversified exposure to yield-generating strategies in small ticket sizes, supported by active, ongoing due diligence of the underlying investments.

Investment in the Sygnum Yield Core AMC solution is available for professional and institutional clients directly from Sygnum, or from other banks or brokerages with a Swiss ISIN.

Rigorous portfolio and operational risk management rules will be applied to address both general and specific crypto investment risks, according to Sygnum’s head of asset management Fabian Dori (right).

‘DeFi markets continue to grow rapidly and offer significant return opportunities,’ he said. ‘In times of low interest rates, you can put your capital to work in an intelligent fashion and further diversify your portfolio.’

The bank plans to launch further investment strategies as part of its asset management product roadmap throughout 2022.

‘These will provide investors with a continually expanding choice of bank-grade solutions across the full spectrum of digital asset investment opportunities,’ said Dori.

Sygnum Yield Core AMC is available to professional and institutional clients directly through Sygnum or via other banks and brokers, with an initial minimum investment of ten certificates.

FIS teams with Fireblocks to accelerate crypto adoption in capital markets 

US fintech FIS (NYSE: FIS) has partnered with Fireblocks to accelerate crypto adoption within the capital markets industry by enabling firms of all types to access the largest crypto trading venues, liquidity providers, lending desks and DeFi applications.

A recent study - The Institutional Investor Digital Assets Study by Fidelity Digital Assets - found that 69% of institutional investors in the US would like to adopt digital assets as a part of their investment portfolio. 

Under the partnership, FIS capital markets clients can move, store and issue digital assets, and gain access to self-custody digital asset wallet technology, an asset transfer network and tools to access staking, DeFi and other more advanced forms of digital asset exposure by leveraging the Fireblocks platform.

‘As digital currencies become more mainstream, capital markets firms will greatly benefit from a single destination that helps them manage many classes of digital assets,’ said Nasser Khodri (above-right), head of capital markets at FIS.

‘The strategic partnership with FIS will bring the Fireblocks technology to nearly every type of buy-side, sell-side and corporate institution in traditional assets,’ said Michael Shaulov, chief executive officer at Fireblocks. 

Image: photon_photo/ Adobe Stock