Cardano’s DeFi — Crypto’s Giant Baby

By Rasmi Mantilla | Ras Mantilla | 6 Aug 2021

Hey guys, Ras here — glad you could stop by.

It’s August 6th. I’m still in the Riviera Maya and hurricane season is almost here — canned tuna here I come. This week, Bitcoin went up to touch $42,000, retraced a bit and found support at around $38,000, and is now at $42,600 going into the weekend (where we usually retrace a bit — hopefully not, unless you’re trying to invest a little more before we continue up).

I’ve been anxious to write about some up-and-coming projects that will be launching on Cardano as soon as smart contracts are live (end of August-early September).

Before I go into it, here are some coles notes on Cardano if you don’t know what in tarnation I’m talking about:

  1. Cardano is the 3rd largest blockchain by market cap after Bitcoin and Ethereum and it’s also a smart contract platform like Ethereum
  2. $ADA its native currency is used for staking and for paying transactions on the blockchain
  3. Staking rewards right now are about 4% per year, no minimum stake, and no lock-up period — if you don’t know what staking is just do a quick google search
  4. Every technology deployed on Cardano has been peer-reviewed and rigorously tested — all documentation can be found on their website
  5. Ouroboros — it’s Proof of Stake consensus mechanism, allows it to process 300 transactions per second (Ethereum handles 30 and Bitcoin 4.6)
  6. The Cardano Foundation oversees the development which is done by 2 entities: EMURGO & Input Output Hong Kong or IOHK
  7. CFund is an early-stage sector agnostic venture firm in the Blockchain industry anchored by IOHK

What most excites me most about this blockchain over others is how much ADA is staked. As of now, approximately 22.7 billion ADA has been staked — roughly 65% of the total amount of ADA in circulation.

Let me tell you why this is important.

Firstly, investors in Cardano believe in it so much, that they are willing to take on the volatility and HODL through the dips + price increases — all the while receiving a 4% yield for doing so. Cardano’s community is so strong it’s scary how much conviction people have.

Here’s some potential proof:

During this last market dip where Bitcoin went from $60,000 to $30,000, ADA saw a similar dip, but surprisingly held up and recovered in a shockingly good way. As a rule of thumb about the crypto market — if Bitcoin goes down X%, altcoins go down X%+10.


And since that dip, ADA’s behaved more or less like a stable coin (exaggeration of course — but been ranging from $1 to $1.35 and hasn’t broken $1)


Okay and secondly, (hope I didn’t lose ya there) this staked ADA will provide the liquidity for the complex mechanisms of decentralized finance to take place.

With that in mind, here are the 3 projects which IOHK’s venture firm CFund directly invested that I am keeping an eye on.

BlockSwap, COTI, and OccamFi



Is a DeFi protocol that provides long-term-fixed rate savings products to Proof of Stake blockchains.

They are creating the corporate bond of DeFi which provides users with a steady APY and accrues interest perpetually through the staking inflation of a base PoS asset.

What really intrigues me about this project is a feature that could potentially allow stakers of ADA to get an extra yield on their staked coins without giving up custody of your coins.

So on top of a 4–5% yield for staking ADA, holders could receive an extra estimated 4–7% yield for providing liquidity to the BlockSwap protocol — that is super attractive.

Will wait and see how this develops — check my twitter for updates!


Was the first to be invested in by CFund and is creating an ecosystem that allows consumers and merchants to transact and manage their finances by leveraging the best of legacy finance and the best of blockchain.

COTI has partnered with Visa (however, this not a unique partnership in crypto nowadays as and Blockfi, among others have announced partnerships as well) and what they are offering is different than just a crypto debit card.

One of their unique propositions is a “crypto-friendly” bank account.

Users will open a bank account where they can convert to fiat, transfer crypto and pay with crypto through their debit card at merchants that accept Visa.

As it appears to me, they are using a similar technology that El Salvador is using to transact with Bitcoin.

Here’s one usecase:

A merchant who doesn’t want to accept crypto but a customer that wants to pay with it.

With the COTI app an instant conversion from Bitcoin — for example, to a stable coin or fiat automatically happens. If the merchant wants to start gaining interest on that stable coin from the moment of conversion — that can also happen in the app.

I think this is really appealing because there is totally a gap between legacy finance and DeFi — and it’s not like tomorrow everyone is just going to jump from traditional finance and go provide liquidity to a decentralized protocol on Ethereum.


The last project is OccamFi which is a DeFi solution encompassing a decentralized launchpad for projects on Cardano where holders of the OccamFi token will get first dibs on initial DEX offerings (IDO’s) on some of the most innovative projects in the space.

Some of these projects on current launchpads running on Ethereum like TrustSwap have seen 40X value increases.

This is very speculative and risky of course — not only because you’re usually holding and staking the OccamFi token which is volatile — but also a project your bidding on for the IDO’s could flop.

However, they’re not just offering a launchpad for Cardano, but a full ecosystem which is being tested on Cardano’s test net as I write this. There’s a reason why the Cardano Foundation has decided to invest in this project, and I’m sure we will see some great things soon.

Well, friends, saying I’m bullish on Cardano is an understatement. Even Gene Simmons invested — that’s probably not a plus haha but there you go!

Alonzo Purple went live today and could very well mean that smart contracts will be live by end of the month and it’s going to be epic to see what happens.


Talk soon

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Ras Mantilla
Ras Mantilla

Fintech Writer - Blockchain and Digital Assets

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