"The Single Biggest Driving Factor for Robinhood was Democratizing Investing" - Atif Yaqub by@Sergeenkov

"The Single Biggest Driving Factor for Robinhood was Democratizing Investing" - Atif Yaqub

Atif Yaqub is the founder of YOP Finance, a London stock exchange listed company. He explains why the market structure lacks coherence and a rigid centralized structure so akin to traditional banking institutions. He says yield farming is overhyped, while DeFi is the real goldmine. YOP will merge several lenders into one, merging DeFi with one single token - $YOP. The alliance between DeFi and SushiSwap is interesting, but it is not yet clear how it will impact yield farming.
Andrey Sergeenkov Hacker Noon profile picture

Andrey Sergeenkov

Cryptocurrency researcher

Taking the world by storm this year, DeFi will forever remain imprinted on 2020’s surface.

Experiencing the boost of more than 20 times since this time last year, this nascent technology is largely obliged in its tremendous success to a few underlying factors.

One of them is well-known and is not in need of additional introduction – Covid-19 is still here and does not fade away today or the day after. Another one, though known to a narrower group of DeFi supporters, is yield farming.

Since its very introduction, yield farming was taken up with roaring success. For those who still don’t know – this technological trend allows locking up the funds and receiving generous returns on your investment, reaching up to 10 times value boost of the initial amount.

In general, yield farming was meant to bring liquidity to decentralized exchange platforms like Uniswap, later expanding to cover other ‘vampire’ platforms like SushiSwap.

Due to its accessibility and good return offerings, yield farming grew to be tremendously popular, uplifting the TVL to its current value slightly short of $15B.

This, however, did not put an end to the fragmentation of the current DeFi market. If you look at it from the bird’s-eye view, it becomes way too obvious that the current market structure lacks coherence and a rigid centralized structure so akin to traditional banking institutions.

What’s characteristic for DeFi is a multiplicity of projects, each of them pursuing their own goals, but failing to provide one unifying system that would allow the use of multiple algorithms at once. For a long time, that’s been a hurdle on the way to bring DeFi into the mainstream - which may partially explain why your neighbor is still not a DeFi geek.

Seems that YOP found a solution. Through creating an aggregator platform, YOP Finance synthesizes the data from all liquidity platforms into one app. The platform aims to bring harmony into the discarded state DeFi is currently in, thus merging several lenders into one.

By using it, the users can stake on multiple platforms at the same time with one single token - $YOP.

With the ravaging news of YOP partnership with Pires Investments Plc, a London stock exchange listed company, I decided to interview Atif Yaqub, the Founder of YOP Finance, and explore his angle on some of the most important topics bothering DeFi.

Andrey Sergeenkov: The evolution of DeFi has been something hardly foreseen a year ago, just the same as Covid-19 pandemic. How do you see the trend of DeFi enveloping in the future?

Atif Yaqub: It is still early days for YOP, we see huge growth potential and more innovative financial products emerging as it becomes a more liquid marketplace. 

Andrey Sergeenkov: Some critics put forward the argument that yield farming is overhyped, while DeFi is the real goldmine. What’s your take on this?

Atif Yaqub: There was a rush of over exaggerated yield farming platforms with wild APY that was never going to last. As with any new technology or product there will be some froth at the start but as the market settles it is clear that yield farming and DeFi are here to stay as is the token economy. 

Andrey Sergeenkov: What are the main roadblocks DeFi currently struggles with, and how could YOP Finance help to surpass them?

Atif Yaqub: New users understanding the actual product. With poor customer experience and a confusing plethora of protocols to engage, there is no chance for someone who is not native to this technology. We need the correct infrastructure which is easy to use that can help onboard large amount of users.

Andrey Sergeenkov: Several weeks ago, Uniswap suspended its liquidity mining rewards program, and the community started questioning the sense of this provision. How yield farming on the whole is going to be affected by this move?

Atif Yaqub: The appetite for yield farming is still there, which shape or form it takes is questionable. So you may see new variations of product emerging, even from the larger players have back off for now. Also, we view yield as any earning of staked tokens, which in Uniswaps case, the tx fees shared by pooling is still better than holding tokens idling in wallet without any earning. 

Andrey Sergeenkov: The alliance between YFI and SushiSwap promises to be the biggest in the field. How would it shift the competitive landscape, and would it in any sense affect you, specifically?

Atif Yaqub: This is a very positive move from our perspective where the industry will go. One product providers will get left behind. So the race is on in what term having the DeFi Super Protocol, or at least access to all in once place. 

Andrey Sergeenkov: Do you see Covid-19 as an appropriate entrance point to start playing on the market, either financial or crypto? 

Atif Yaqub: We have seen how Robinhood membership exploded during this period. The macro outlook for individuals seeking some financial reward is in the mobile application. It is the single device we all interact with the most. So it makes sense that during COVID-19 there has been growth in this area.  

Andrey Sergeenkov: YOP Finance has already been compared to Robinhood on several occasions, especially by its major investor Pires Investments plc. What is the main source of the resemblance with the platform, and what makes them different? 

Atif Yaqub: The single biggest driving factor for Robinhood was democratizing investing in the stock market, which before was very difficult and boring for the average user outside of Wall St. YOP has taken the same approach. We want to make it as easy as possible for everyone to access DeFi, while allowing the user to maintain custody of funds. So our key differentiator is we are keeping true to the decentralised economy.

Andrey Sergeenkov: With the whole variety of yield farming apps currently available on the market, how do you pick up the best one for a reliable investment? 

Atif Yaqub: Education for the consumer here is key. With the right information & data on hand you can make a more informed decision rather than just diving into unknown token deposit contracts. YOP specifically included market data in the app to give the user as much data as possible on what they are engaging with.

Andrey Sergeenkov: How could you describe the most striking investment in DeFi you’ve ever made?

Atif Yaqub: Bitcoin. For me it will always be the first decentralised finance protocol. It was also been the best investment of the past decade.

Andrey Sergeenkov: What’s the main strength of $YOP token? How is it projected to unfold in the future?

Atif Yaqub: We have some exciting functionality coming to the yProtocol which will be powered by the $YOP token. The driving force with our community and app functionality. $YOP allows users to access exclusive services, selected DeFi deposit accounts and earn rewards. As a net deflationary token we believe $YOP has core strengths that other mobile app utility tokens generally miss out on.


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