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5 DeFi Projects to Keep an Eye on in 2021



Defi Projects

Amidst the Coronavirus pandemic that has stifled global economic activities, decentralized finance systems are emerging as an alternative to the traditional financial system, with a number of DeFi projects leading the foray. 

If you have been keeping an eye on blockchain technology, chances are you may have heard of the innovative crypto niche sector called decentralized finance (Defi). Defi is the next phase of digital finance seeking to rebuild financial services by creating a permission-less financial service ecosystem based on blockchain infrastructure. While cryptocurrencies aim to decentralize money, Defi aims to take it further by recreating the traditional financial system by creating an open economic system void of third parties and intermediaries thereby making global financial services accessible to everyone.

In the last year, the Defi market witnessed tremendous growth in terms of development and adoption. The total value locked (TVL) rose by over 2000%. As the industry matures and continues to attract significant capital investment, industry experts believe 2021 will be the year to catapult Defi into greater heights. As such, it is worth keeping an eye on some exciting Defi solutions emerging in the market.

Top DeFi Projects

Below are the top five Defi projects to watch out for in 2021. You can also check out the top 10 Defi tokens according to market cap.


AaaveAave is a decentralized Defi system that allows lending, borrowing, and earning of interest on assets. Built on the Ethereum blockchain technology, Aave operates a transparent open-source system of all activities carried out on the entire network lending protocols.

Assets deposited on the Aave platform are turned into special tokens called aTokens. aTokens are ERC-20 compliant and have value pegged at 1:1 to the collateral deposited on the Aave platform. Additionally, interest on aTokens like aBUSD, aWETH, and aUSDC can be stored, exchanged, or transferred to any ETH wallet at all times. While collateral is lent to borrowers, interests accrue on aTokens are real-time. Thus, making it easy to track your balance.


Synthetix DefiSynthetix is a Defi protocol that enables the issuance of synthetic assets (Synths). It aims to broaden the cryptocurrency space by providing on-chain exposure to a range of crypto and non-crypto assets. Synthetix enables users to create assets that mimic real-world assets like gold, euro, dollar, and Bitcoin.

Synthetix Network Token (SNX) is the main form of collateral backing synthetic assets available on the Synthetix platform. SNX tokens can generate new synths through a process called collateralization. This is when users’ SNX tokens are put into the synthetix platform using Mintr, a Dapp that allows interaction with the Synthetix contracts.

Synths can be utilized for crypto assets (ETH, BTC), non-crypto assets (gold, silver), and even currencies like the US dollar and euro. For example, users can buy bitcoin through sBTC, a synth designed to mimic the value of Bitcoin. There is also sUSD which mimics the real-world value of the US dollar. Synths can track prices of these underlying assets using contract-based price discovery protocols called oracles allowing holders to gain exposure to the real-world market of these assets.

Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC)

WBTCWrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) is an innovative Defi protocol that enables the exposure of bitcoin into the Ethereum ecosystem. WBTC brings greater liquidity to the Defi ecosystem by providing interoperability of Bitcoin into Defi applications. WBTC protocol standardizes Bitcoin to ERC-20 compliant token, which enables its use on any smart contract on Ethereum; this allows bitcoin holders to take part in all DeFi’s activities. WBTC tokens can be exchanged on DEXs like Uniswap and can be borrowed on lending protocols like Aave.

WBTC tokens have value at a 1:1 relationship with bitcoin. Users can buy BTC and get the same value when they convert it to a WBTC token and vice-versa. The exchange is through the help of a merchant, who after performing the necessary verification executes the swap of bitcoin to WBTC. Merchants are also responsible for redeeming bitcoin from WBTC tokens through a process called Burning.


UniswapUniswap is a decentralized trading platform that allows the exchange of ERC-20 tokens in a financial marketplace that is open and accessible to all. It allows users to participate in cryptocurrency trades without the need for centralized intermediaries or third parties.

It differs from centralized exchanges as it does not require the need for an order book before executing trades. For example, if you wish to buy bitcoin at a specific price from a centralized exchange, you will need to wait for a seller willing to sell an equivalent value of the bitcoin before you can make the trade. It eliminates the need for an order book by using an innovative trading model called automated liquidity protocol. It also allows users to have control over their funds at all times; this is in contrast to centralized exchanges which require users to disclose their private keys.

All ERC-20 compliant tokens can be on Uniswap; as long as the provider makes a liquidity pool available for traders. Uniswap has no listing process, as such, there is no listing fee on the platform. Users can trade all types of ERC-20 tokens, trade and buy BTC using WBTC, and perform all other exchange activities on the platform.


DAIDAI is an ERC-20 compliant stablecoin by MakerDOA. It has its value pegged to the US Dollar and offers stability and transparency through decentralization. DAI has some unique properties; it can store value, serve as a medium of exchange, and also a means of payment. As such, DAI can be used in the same manner as money or any other cryptocurrency.

DAI can be minted by depositing underlying assets into Maker Vaults, through purchase from exchanges or receiving it as a means of payment. Users can also use different cryptocurrencies aside from ETH as collateral on the DAI platform.

Final Verdict

The Defi industry has taken a significant leap over the last year. Projects like WBTC which allow users to buy bitcoin and exchange it to WBTC open up so many possibilities in the Defi markets.

More investment and exciting projects are rolling out this year as people seek to move away from the traditional financial system to an open system without censorship and discrimination. Like most investors, you will certainly want to add long-term value projects to your portfolio, and Defi offers an excellent way to go about it.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to any company, product, or service mentioned in this article. is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any loss or damage caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, product, or service mentioned in this post. 


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Problems Nigerians Face With Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies



Bitcoin to Naira

Nigeria is ranked as Africa’s largest country with the most crypto traders and ranks third globally. The country accounts for the largest volume of cryptocurrency transactions outside the United States. In the last six months, it has been recorded that about 35% of the Nigerian population has traded cryptocurrency.

As encouraging as these numbers may be, Nigeria, as an environment, has been very unfriendly to cryptocurrency and its related aspects. Last year, the Central Bank of Nigeria ordered all commercial banks and lenders to stop transactions or operations in cryptocurrencies, citing a significant threat to the country’s financial system.

The ban on cryptocurrency in Nigeria was big negativity to the Nigerian youth, especially knowing that over 50 million of the population are involved in cryptocurrency. During this time, a lot of crypto trading platforms were shut down in the country. Also, many bank accounts suspected of dealing with cryptocurrency were locked, including their funds.

Even today (as of May 27, 2022), any bank transaction with a description or notes of “crypto,” “bitcoin,” “P2P,” or any crypto-related words will be locked away alongside the account(s).

The unfriendly treatment of cryptocurrency in the country is alarming. In the plight of making a positive solution, the community led to adopting systems where crypto traders could trade cryptocurrency without involving the bank.

Top 4 Problems Nigerians Face When Dealing with Cryptocurrency

  1. Where to Buy or Sell Cryptocurrencies

Today, finding the right crypto trading platform that works for you significantly can be frustrating. Many cryptocurrency exchanges came into existence to aid in safer cryptocurrency transactions in the country. In this plight, some fraudulent platforms were made in disguise to exploit money from crypto investors. How would Nigerian crypto traders know which platform is genuine or not? With some checklists for selecting the best crypto exchange in Nigeria, you will be given key guidelines on how to choose the best place to sell bitcoin in Nigeria.

  1. Speed of Transactions

A fast crypto transaction is important as the speed of cryptocurrency may block. Most times, transactions take hours to complete. Ideally, crypto transactions on regular crypto trading platforms take between 10 minutes to one hour. Surprisingly, some take over 5 hours. However, a few crypto transactions can take less than five minutes, depending on the app. In cases where we need transactions done quickly, or we accept crypto payments for your business, how do we intend to confirm payment before allowing customers to take their products? Should the customer wait for hours?

The speed of transactions has been a damaging factor for most Nigerian crypto traders. This has been a reason why many Nigerian companies find it difficult to accept cryptocurrency as payment options for their businesses.

  1. High and Inconsistent Fees

Crypto transaction fees are another issue many Nigerians face. To really compare the best options for you, you have to look at the fees before and after conversion. What are the withdrawal fees, processing fees, and receiving fees,… These fees cause a huge discouragement in crypto trading in the country.

  1. Limitations

It is saddening that many Nigerian crypto traders cannot make transactions because many of these crypto trading apps have put some limits on how much they can withdraw, receive, buy or sell. This breaches the purpose of cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency has made it easy for people to send money from one place to another without a barrier. Why should I not be able to receive my funds because it is below your limit for withdrawal?

Limitations have made many Nigerians lose interest in cryptocurrency or lose their cryptos.

These factors, alongside many others, have caused the trading of cryptocurrency in Nigeria very difficult.

How Breet Solves Some of the Issues Nigerians Face in Cryptocurrency

Breet is an OTC crypto exchange platform that allows users and businesses who simply want to receive crypto and get a flat equivalent of their coin to convert their crypto to cash money immediately. 

Breet App

With Breet’s over-the-counter system, you are saved from the hassle of boring explanations of what and how crypto works and tedious illustrations of cryptocurrency market charts. Breet enables users to securely convert and withdraw their crypto coin to cash money in less than five(5) minutes without the use of peer-to-peer trading or any third-party agent.

Breet is a revolutionary new way to convert and withdraw your crypto coin without the need for peer-to-peer trading or any third-party agent. With just one click, you can have cash money in hand within five minutes.

With Breet, you can sell your cryptocurrency in less than 5 minutes. This is an incredible feature on its own, meaning businesses can now accept cryptocurrencies as payment options without having their customers wait for hours to confirm payment.

Breet is also completely free. There are no hidden charges, no withdrawal fees, no processing fees and no receiving fees. There are zero charges with Breet. Breet’s free usage solves the issue of high and inconsistent charges for many Nigerian crypto traders.


There is no limitation to how much you can receive or withdraw on Breet. You don’t have to have about 10,000 Naira worth of cryptocurrency before you can withdraw. You can even withdraw as low as 100 Naira with Breet Exchange.

Breet is simple, free and certified. There is not much sugar coating to tell before believing that Breet is, arguably, the best crypto trading platform in Nigeria currently. The incredible reviews on the Breet app give perfect evidence.

What more do you need? If not, a crypto exchange that makes crypto transactions easy and makes people happy. You should become a Breet user by downloading Breet mobile app available on all Android and iPhone devices.

Remember being a crypto trader in Nigeria can be challenging. This is why it is important for you to learn more about cryptocurrency and the latest news by doing your own research.

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Ethereum Timeline: Shift to Proof of Stake



Shift to Proof of Stake

The much-anticipated transition of the Ethereum network from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus is finally taking place. The adaptation of PoS has always been the plan and a vital part of scaling Ethereum by future upgrades. However, abruptly shifting to PoS can pose significant technical and community challenges that are not as simple as using PoW to achieve network consensus. Having said that, what exactly are PoS and PoW?

Proof of Work

Proof-of-work (PoW) is a consensus algorithm that allows for the secure, decentralised verification of transactions on a blockchain. In a PoW system, miners are responsible for verifying and committing transactions to the blockchain. During the verification process, miners compete against each other to solve complex cryptographic puzzles. The first miner to solve the puzzle is rewarded with cryptocurrency, and the transaction is added to the blockchain.

Reasons To Shift From Proof of Work

The Ethereum ecosystem has evolved at an astounding rate in the last year. This growth was primarily due to a significant emergence and explosion of NFTs and Decentralised Finance (DeFi) initiatives. While the change-over was imminent, some factors to be considered for the same are:

  • The PoW consensus protocol requires users to utilise significant computational power to validate transactions and add new blocks to the network.
  • Users who devote their computational resources to the shared ledger are miners.
  • These miners are rewarded with Ether tokens in exchange for the computing power they have supplied to the network.
  • With PoW consensus, Ethereum takes up to 113 terawatt-hours of electricity in a year. According to Digiconomist, it is more than the total electricity consumption of the Netherlands per year.
  • The current Ethereum transaction with PoW consensus takes up energy equivalent to the consumption of one week of energy of an average US household.

With so many downsides to its cap, PoW has many advantages, which is one of the main reasons it has been a reliable consensus for so long. The PoW consensus has been robust and secure all these years. But the consensus can be utilised by a cryptocurrency with a massive valuation and relatively simple use case, such as the bitcoin. With the amount of energy and power involved, it becomes difficult for individuals to meddle with a high valuation asset.

Proof of Stake

The consensus protocol Proof-of-stake (PoS) has been introduced to address the issue of over-mining. Proof of stake (PoS) is critical to understand because it could eventually replace the proof of work (PoW) consensus mechanism that is currently used by most cryptocurrencies.

“PoS is a way to achieve decentralised consensus without using energy-intensive mining. It is an alternative to the more common proof of work algorithm. With PoS, a cryptocurrency’s blockchain is secured by its token holders who are required to lock up their tokens as stake and not by miners equipped with powerful hardware. It’s an energy-efficient, cost-effective and therefore, a popular choice for crypto giants like Ethereum,” states Dev Sharma, CEO of Blockwiz, a crypto marketing agency.

In contrast to PoW, in which the individual who completes the mathematical proof first is rewarded with new coins, with PoS, no new coins are created.

Benefits of Proof of Stake Consensus

Proof-of-stake introduces several enhancements over the PoS mechanism:

  • Improved resource proficiency – you don’t need as many energy mining blocks.
  • Minimal entry barriers, lower hardware requirements – Even if you don’t possess top-tier hardware, you still get ample opportunities to participate in the creation of blocks.
  • More excellent resistance to centralization – PoS would imminently facilitate the generation of more nodes.
  • Staking facilitates the operation of a node. It does not necessitate significant expenditure on equipment purchases or resources, and if you lack the ETH token to stake, you cannot participate in staking pools.
  • Staking consensus enables reliable sharding. Shards enable Ethereum to generate new blocks simultaneously, leading to enhanced throughput of transactions.
  • In a PoW mechanism, sharding the chain would reduce the amount of energy required to modify a particular network section.

In a Nutshell

Proof of stake (PoS) is a type of algorithm used by cryptocurrencies to determine who gets to create new blocks on the blockchain. PoS works by requiring users to lock up some of their currency in a smart contract called a stake. In return, they are given the right to validate blocks on the network and earn rewards.

The advantage of PoS is that it doesn’t require the massive energy consumption that PoW does. This non-dependency on massive energy utilisation makes it more environmentally friendly. It reduces the risk of centralisation since few users would be able to control the majority of the currency. Therefore, it’s no wonder that Ethereum is making the much-anticipated switch.

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Amber Group March Recap 2022: Here’s What Happened



Amber Group NewsNamed one of CB Insights’ 2022 Blockchain 50, an annual ranking of the most promising blockchain and crypto companies in the world.

Announced the appointment of Ehsan Haque as the General Counsel for Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA)  region.

CEO Michael Wu was selected as a recipient of the “Top 100 CEOs in Innovation Award 2022” by Word Biz Magazine.

Product Development and Partnerships

Amber Group Partnerships

Participated in Mina Foundation’s token sale, EthSign’s seed round, and Zecrey protocol’s angel round.

In the News

Michael Wu CEO Awards

World Biz Magazine: Michael Wu, CEO of Amber Group – interview WBM Top 100 Innovation CEO.

CNBC: For crypto to be adopted globally, we will have to comply with regulators: Crypto-trading platform.

Bloomberg: Bankers Who Stay in Hong Kong Are Rewarded With a Pay Bonanza.

Economist: EthSign raises $12 million in stable coin led by Sequoia Capital India, Mirana Ventures.

Forkast News: From crisis currency to consumer adoption: What next for crypto?

CoinDesk: Mina foundation raises $92M to accelerate adoption of Zero-Knowledge Proofs.

Cointelegraph: If the glass slipper doesn’t fit, smash it: Unraveling the myth of gender equality in crypto.

AMBCrypto: Amber Group strengthens management team with Ehsan Haque as EMEA General Counsel.

CoinCu: Zecrey protocol has raised $4M in an angel fundraising round.

Chain Debrief: Is the user experience in DeFi bad? Opportunities, challenges and how to see growth in DeFi.

Medium: Reproducing the $APE airdrop flash loan arbitrage/exploit.

Medium: Non-fungible trends.

Events and Media Appearances

Michael Wu

CEO Michael Wu joined Forkast News to discuss crypto’s consumer adoption and what’s next for crypto.

CEO Michael Wu joined CNBC Street Signs Asia to share how Amber Group seeks a balance between regulation and crypto development.

CEO Michael Wu gave an interview with Economist Impact at Technology for Change Week on how to stay ahead of the curve in the fintech space.

Managing Partner Annabelle Huang joined Economist Impact’s Asia Trade Week to discuss the future of crypto as payment in Asia.

Managing Partner Annabelle Huang joined Avalanche Summit to discuss the opportunities and challenges in DeFi.

Managing Partner Annabelle Huang joined Goldman Sach’s panel discussion on “Digital assets – Investing in the future” to celebrate International Women’s Day.

Annabelle Huang

Managing Partner Annabelle Huang gave a guest lecture on DeFi and Web3 for the International Finance class at Singapore Management University.

Managing Partner Annabelle Huang joined the DIG FIN VOX podcast to talk about Amber Group’s move to Singapore and into retail.

CSO Dimitrios Kavvathas joined Blockchain Africa Conference 2022 to discuss institutional investment in crypto.

CSO Dimitrios Kavvathas joined FinTech Festival India at a panel discussion on “De-Fi – A better solution for peer-to-peer lending”.

CSO Dimitrios Kavvathas joined the World Blockchain Summit in Dubai at a panel discussion on “Fostering the global crypto ecosystem”.

Dimitrios Kavvathas

Europe Managing Director Sophia Shluger delivered a keynote speech on digital wealth at Blockchain Africa Conference 2022.

Europe Managing Director Sophia Shluger joined the CryptoCompare Summit in London to discuss the building blocks of the new digital economy.

Europe Managing Director Sophia Shluger joined the FundFocus Europe 2022 conference to discuss the foundation for the widespread institutional adoption of cryptocurrency.

Sophia ShlugerRear

Latin America Managing Director Nicole Pabello joined the Ethereum Rio conference to discuss the LATAM Ecosystem in the world.

Nicole Pabello

Institutional Sales Director Justin d’Anethan joined EmergentX’s Annual Digital Asset Summit to discuss the institutionalizing of the digital asset industry.

Justin d'Anethan

Managing Director Ben Radclyffe joined Credit Suisse’s Asian Investment Conference to discuss the spillovers between crypto and equity markets.

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