Over the last year and a half, DeFi has brought decentralized global banking, thus making it possible for the first time in history to provide banking services to anyone in the world, no matter where they are. Of course, there is still the matter of adoption, as not everyone uses DeFi as of yet.
Even so, projects like EQIFI make it possible to democratize financial products that were previously only available to the privileged minority. The project harnesses the power of DeFi, which positioned it to become an industry leader on the global stage.
What would you say is the biggest problem with traditional banks today?
Centralized institutions have a monopoly on wealth, causing every ﬁnancial crisis in history. In traditional ﬁnance, distinctly separate silos of function have been reinforced by legacy systems developed to meet the needs of centralized institutions. This idea of assigning separate silos to each banking product, such as one for a current account, another for a credit card, and another for a mortgage loan, has been central to every ﬁnancial crisis, increasing distrust of banks. A lack of vision has prevented the creation of a single ecosystem to streamline ﬁnancial services.
Traditional banks have failed to offer a fair and sustainable business model to maintain safe and secure lending strategies. They are simply too big to adopt a full-scale solution to replace their infrastructure, brick and mortar costs, technology, and antiquated operating models. Their levels of hierarchy, antiquated mainframe systems, siloed business models, mountains of paperwork, hidden or difﬁcult-to-understand fees and payment schedules have been the subject of criticism for several years. Users and their assets are under the control of centralized institutions they do not trust and often can't access.
The Booth/Kellogg Financial Trust score indicates that trust in the ﬁnancial system has dropped 33% since peaking in 2019.
Trust is one of the most important factors consumers consider when purchasing ﬁnancial products. It ranks second only to “ease and convenience,” and even then it's by a tiny margin.
Trust even outranks price.
How can DeFi help?
First of all, it's worth pointing out that eqifi is the ﬁrst DeFi protocol in partnership with a fully licensed and regulated digital bank in EQIBank, which offers seamless cross-platform transactions for the mass market along with a guaranteed ﬁat gateway. EQIFI itself is a decentralized protocol for pooled lending, borrowing, and investing for eth, ERC-20 tokens including wBTC, Stablecoins, and a select number ﬁat currencies. EQIFI provides a single platform for DeFi products with access to EQIBank accounts, custody, debit and credit cards, as well as OTC, and wealth management.
EQIFI is designed to solve the trust problem in CeFi and also grow the entire DeFi section by offering users the chance to manage their entire banking, lending and trading requirements on one platform. Basically, we're taking all of the benefits of DeFi and offering even more convenience and ease of use for our clients.
While a revolutionary concept, DeFi still has its own issues. Could you tell us about a few of them, and how might they be solved?
The truth is, the majority of lending platforms for blockchain assets are centralized platforms with traditional trust-based concerns. These are limited to particular groups or assets and very rarely allow movement of a position on-chain. Decentralized protocols, which have developed materially in the past few years, still face material issues, including achieving a seamless user experience and secure industry standards. They often incur smart contract vulnerability, lack of interoperability with wBTC and other blockchains, low liquidity, over-collateralization, difﬁculty switching between blockchains, and issues with ﬁat on/off ramps.
Some of the more prominent risks present in the ﬂedgling DeFi ﬁeld come from issues with error of both the smart contract and human variety, volatility in the marketplace, a distinct lack of insurance on loans, low liquidity, and interoperability between blockchains that is quite simply inadequate.
When it comes to lending and borrowing, one of the biggest issues today is over-collateralization. As there are no guarantees with such a volatile market, lenders want signiﬁcantly higher collateral for their loans. This provides us with a situation where many lenders simply won't work with a borrower unless they can front a signiﬁcant amount of assets, which undermines the essential function of borrowing. The situation then does not fulﬁll one of the main philosophies of DeFi, which is, of course, to bank the unbanked. It also causes notable cuts into proﬁts made on leverage trading, discouraging that use case as well.
That's where EQIFI enters the picture. What solutions do you offer?
EQIFI is a global ﬁnancial protocol built on the value proposition that all products and services should be uniformly available and delivered digitally. Here at EQIFI, we have built a multi-faceted decentralized ﬁnancial system, native to crypto, to both recreate and improve our legacy ﬁnancial system. EQIFI successfully bridges the gap between ﬁntech and DeFi, working to combine both in one single ecosystem, with the help of a licensed and regulated digital bank. EQIFI provides a range of DeFi products and services, all entirely governed by the community, and regulated where appropriate, by a ﬁnancial authority.
The interoperability of EQIFI products establishes a spectrum of entirely new ﬁnancial products and services. All on one platform, for the very ﬁrst time.
The EQIFI Protocol provides an open, secure, and transparent DeFi market, offering the issuance of credit, loans, and investments to a much larger group of people than ever before. This comprises a symbiotic partnership of DeFi and digital banking with the delivery of DeFi lending, derivative and investment products, connected to bank accounts, credit cards, loans, OTC, wealth management, custody service and other complementary ﬁelds of ﬁnancial products.
Our main products and attributes are both fixed term and variable rate loans, a yield aggregator, and interest rate swaps.
We are the first DeFi platform to partner with a licensed bank, providing, among other things, world-class fiat integration, community-based voting and governance, as well as low fees and higher LTVs.
The token also allows users to participate in governance. Does any holder get to participate in decision making?
The EQIFI protocol is governed by EQIFI (EQX) token-holders. Any holder of 800,000 or more EQIFI Tokens has the right to propose governance actions in executable code.
EQIFI structure gives the community complete control over all proposals, voting, and the execution of changes via the governance functions of the EQIFI platform. The community can propose new asset classes, new interest rates, and new fees, delivering a completely new governance model for banking.
The EQIFI community has control over all core functions, including the listing or delisting of new tokens and asset types, the adjusting of interest rates per the market and within commercial variable levels, and pausing deposits or loans for a reasonable timeframe which could offer consistency in cases of high volatility, and much more. We encourage all of your readers to check out our website for more in-depth information.
What are the other benefits of holding EQX token?
EQIFI has one of the most expansive sets of Token Features in the DeFi sector today. The benefits of holding EQX include up to 25% APY and passive returns, the opportunity to take part in EQIFI's community-based governance, our early adopters bonus, priority access to bank accounts, higher LTVs and preferential bonuses in the form of rewards.
There are many more benefits on offer, with information available on the EQIFI website.
Token holders also receive passive income from EQX. Can you tell us a few details about EQX staking?
EQIFI has one of the best staking bonuses available on any DeFi platform. Token holders who stake their tokens receive substantial and preferential bonuses in the form of rewards. This is in addition to the bonuses listed above and on our website.
Your platform is also the first to partner with a licensed bank. What does that mean for EQX?
It puts EQX into rarified air as far as DeFi is concerned.
Globally trusted and licensed, EQIBank works with EQIFI to provide innovative, distributed ﬁnancial (DeFi) products to customers.
EQIBank Limited is one of the world's leading digital banks boasting users on every major continent. It offers competitive rates, 24/7 service, trusted security, and an innovative, simple online global banking experience across all devices. EQIBank offers tax-neutral personal and corporate banking services in multiple currencies to users located in nearly 180 countries. User relationships are built on partnership, continuity, and mutual trust, and jurisdictional advantages are synonymous with best-in-class banking, investment, and wealth planning solutions. These foundations are complemented by prudent ﬁnancial and risk management.
EQIFI users are offered and encouraged to secure a number of services through EQIBank, including current and savings accounts, lending, custody, debit and credit cards, wealth management and OTC services.
Finally, can you tell us what is the next step for EQIFI? What are your goals for the second half of 2021?
All four of our products will launch in the beginning of August. We will then scale to around $1BN AuM by the end of the year from the already active DeFi sector but also from traditional banks, wealth managers, funds, family offices and capital markets.