Seoul, South Korea – Recently, FIREDAO, a famous community-run platform in crypto industry, has launched a new DeFi protocol for financial independence.WallStreetbets movement’s recent squeeze on Wall Street and the following response by stock trading apps proved that the current financial infrastructure serves much better the privileged financial establishment rather than retail investors, who need a new system, which would be inclusive, fair and will not discriminate users by age, nationality or starting capital. It should be a system that values equal access, investor rights and cannot be shut down by greedy corporations. It also should be a system which guarantees financial freedom.
The idea of financial freedom has always been an inspiration for many people but in reality less than 1% of Americans retire before age 50. Achieving financial independence from a typical 9-to-5 job and having an opportunity to work optionally is the main idea behind the “FIRE” movement (stands for “Financial Independence; Retire Early”), which attracted millions of followers around the world. In their online communities FIRE adherents tell their success stories, support each other and share practical advice on cutting living expenses and making efficient investments.
The core FIRE strategy is quite simple: if a person starts making aggressive savings (50%-70% of income after tax) then after 10-15 years of work this substantial investment portfolio should generate annual profits larger than living expenses. For investments most FIRE influencers recommend a passive strategy based on stock index funds. Though these strategies work well in a growing economy, currently, many individual investors are nervous that despite unfavorable underlying economic conditions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, stocks markets have been inflated too much and too quickly by the unprecedented monetary stimulus. In expectation of the global economic slowdown and the subsequent stock market crash in 2021 many FIRE enthusiasts explore alternative investment strategies to protect their retirement funds.
Surprisingly, the blockchain industry, traditionally associated with high risk investments and price volatility, currently offers efficient instruments for long-term strategic investments with the help of so-called “stablecoins”. Stabelcoins are cryptocurrencies, which value is pegged to stable currencies, most often, the US dollar. Therefore stablecoins allow making payments and investments measured in US dollars, and the holders of stablecoins do not have any risk associated with Bitcoin’s price going up or down. The world’s three most popular stablecoins are USDT, DAI and USDC, all pegged to the US dollar.
However, compared to cash or other forms of electronic money, stablecoins have a major advantage as they can be used by smart-contracts – algorithms that generate revenue from cryptocurrency lending and exchange operations. These algorithms are fully autonomous, meaning they work 24/7 without downtime, intermediaries, maintenance and human intervention. This is what makes them very cost-efficient. Also, these algorithms are open-source, so many developers can review their computer code and confirm their safety and resilience. Finally, smart contracts run on Ethereum blockchain – a decentralized network of hundreds of thousands of computers, which means that no one can stop or secretly modify these algothisms.
Within the blockchain industry these financial algorithms are commonly known as Decentralized Finance or DeFi. The technology turned out to be so efficient that the DeFi sector started to grow at astonishing speed: in 2020 cryptocurrency holders deposited over $25 billion dollars in DeFi protocols, which is a 25X increase since February 2020.
In February 2021 FIREDAO, a startup backed by several prominent crypto VCs, launched its first DeFi product targeting FIRE enthusiasts interested in safe and long-term investment options.
“FIREDAO was established to explore the opportunities of using blockchain-based products to support people’s long-term financial needs,” – says Almir Salimov, the marketing director of FIREDAO. “Our mission is to fast-track our users to financial freedom by offering low-risk financial products that consistently generate much higher returns than the stock market.”
Right from the start, FIREDAO was set-up as a community-run organization, which means that all important decisions on product and marketing strategy are made by FIRE token holders. To make governance open and democratic, the FIRE token is being introduced via a 5-year long liquidity mining program, which everyone can join. “Collaboration, interoperability, and teamwork are in the DNA of the DeFi industry, where developers build complementary products and benefit from each other’s work. In FIREDAO we heavily rely on the knowledge and expertise of our partners and other teams who help us develop better and more resilient products“, – explains Mr. Salimov.
At launch, FIREDAO announced two financial products: a yield aggregator and a co-investment protocol. The yield aggregator is a smart contract that accepts deposits in three stablecoins: DAI, USDT, and USDC, and automatically deploys them to other algorithms like dForce, Compound, and Aave that generate the highest returns. FIREDAO deploys capital only to the most trusted algorithms in the DeFi industry: for example, Aave and Compound manage assets worth $3.7 billion and $3.1 billion USD in deposits respectively and can generate up to 15% APY on stablecoins at the time of writing.
The co-investment protocol, which will be released later, aims to help retail investors pool capital and invest together in blockchain projects. The mission of FIREDAO is to democratize investments by removing any barriers, commissions and intermediaries. Unlike investing through VCs and hedge funds there are no minimum investment requirements, no commissions, no performance and management fees to pay. Unlike the infamous Robinhood app that tried to stop retail investors from winning the battle against Wall Street firms, in FIREDAO no one can intervene with user’s decisions. Similar to other DeFi products the co-investment protocol allows investors keep total control over their funds at all times and invest directly in selected projects.
In contrast to centralized apps like Celsius and BlockFi, protocols like FIREDAO, Aave or Compound are open-source, decentralized, and non-custodial allowing depositors manage their assets in a transparent and flexible way without the need of passing KYC (Know-Your-Customer procedure).
FIREDAO’s products have a formal security audit pending, and until then run in safe mode, limiting the total deposit amount to $300,000, a sum which was reached within minutes after the protocol went public.