A group of crypto industry heavyweights are set on bringing the rather specialized world of decentralized finance (DeFi) to the masses.
Announced Wednesday, Alameda Research, a well-known trading firm within the crypto space, is leading a $40 million investment round in Oxygen, which aims to do for DeFi what Robinhood has done for stocks – only without the reliance on centralized legacy settlement systems. Alameda is joined by Multicoin, Genesis Capital and CMS in the round.
Oxygen is built on Solana, a blockchain that can handle 50,000 transactions per second, compared to Ethereum’s 15 or so transactions per second. In a press release, Alameda said Oxygen will be integrated into Maps.me, a mobile alternative to Google Maps with about 100 million users.
“On the back end you want the most powerful things you can have, but on the front end you want the most simple things you can have,” Alameda CEO Sam Bankman-Fried said in an interview, adding:
“So all you need to show [users] of Maps.me is that if they want to lend out some dollars, they can get 12% per year. But behind it, there’s a full prime brokerage model on-chain that’s capable of powering borrowing, lending, derivatives, structured products, portfolio margin and a lot of other things.”
“DeFi prime brokerage,” the elevator pitch for Oxygen, is almost a contradiction in terms; the white-glove service banks offer to