The Robinhood of DeFi: YOP Competitive Analysis
In our first post, we highlighted some roadblocks that we believe are slowing down the adoption of DeFi products and the wider crypto space. Specifically, we think that barriers to entry are still too high for an average person. User experience across most web and mobile apps remains sub-par. In-app integrations are not intuitive, and we still use specific crypto jargon, instead of simple, easy to understand language.
Buying cryptocurrencies is indeed becoming more effortless than ever before. PayPal’s recent announcement that it will support crypto, starting with Bitcoin and Ether, is a prime example. However, buying crypto is just the beginning. We, as a community, are building an entirely new, decentralised and open financial system. Now, we need to give everyone access to it. We believe that DeFi needs a Robinhood moment, a seamless and engaging app bringing together all DeFi has to offer.
Why The Robinhood Comparison?
Robinhood and Bitcoin have something in common. Both were inspired by the collapse of the global financial system in 2008–2009. In Robinhood’s case, the founders set out to make finance more accessible and democratise stock trading. Through its stylish and straightforward interface, Robinhood was able to revolutionise a decades-old industry and, in the process, deliver financial services to a previously underserved population — millennials.
Robinhood was a logical evolution of the brokerage industry. Stock trading started to become more accessible to retail investors in the 1970s, following deregulation of the industry. Internet took this to the next level, bringing with it cheaper transactions and lower trading minimums. By 2010s, however, brokers were still charging $5 or $10 per trade. When Robinhood launched its product, eliminating trading fees, it fundamentally changed the landscape of the brokerage industry.
It might sound strange, comparing DeFi to a brokerage industry, but there are plenty of similarities. Over the recent years, the number of DeFi products has grown exponentially. We have borrowing and lending markets, decentralised exchanges, automated market makers, insurance, asset management, synthetics and more. While most products are still experimental, the functionality is there. But the access to these products is still restricted to a select group of people. The space lacks the Robinhood of DeFi, a single app bringing these products to everyone in a simple and elegant way. This is why we are building YOP.
When we look at the competitive landscape, we see plenty of apps with great functionality. However, there is no single competitor that can provide a holistic, all-in-one experience comparable to what YOP will deliver. Few also feature a native token, further restricting the experience and product offering.
The leading competitors in the space are apps like Argent, Dharma, Frontier and Zerion.
Dharma, for example, just rolled out functionality enabling purchases of tokens on Uniswap directly from a bank account. It also supports swaps for more than 2,000 tokens and is integrated with Compound to provide opportunities for yield generation. Compared to YOP, however, it lacks access to other income-generating alternatives as well as yield farming options. Our yield farming optimisation protocol will allow users to stake their tokens from within the app. We are also working on introducing an Index Pool, which will manage your top yield farming tokens for you. Alongside giving easy access to the best yields available the YOP token has an intrinsic functionality which no other non-custodial DeFi app has offered to date. YOP will provide custom reward programmes and bonuses bolted directly onto other yield contracts. This not only incentivises more liquidity within YOP but paves the way for members and other token projects to create markets against YOP within the app. We are really excited about the possibilities this opens up and hope to keep YOP ahead of the competition by integrating the latest DeFi innovations.
Looking at other competitors, Frontier wallet supports multiple DeFi protocols, with Compound and yEarn integrations. But the wallet doesn’t provide fiat on and off-ramps, and swap functionality is also limited. Users can only swap their tokens into ETH, USD stables. Overall it seems the functionality is still limited and the token is not offering any innovation.
Moving onto Argent which we see as the current leader, is at first glance a good product, packed with features. Easy integrations, asset management functionality via Sets and a clean wallet. But it still has almost no market data functionality, limited customisation and the UI confusing at times.
YOP, through its Market Data feature, will provide direct live feeds from exchanges, block explorers and networks. We also plan on showing you key token trends, using artificial intelligence and our SMA (Smart Market Analysis) software.
We also studied web-based products and crypto products from traditional fintech businesses like Square and Revolut as our larger go to market sits within the traditional finance markets. Most of these apps are custodial and restrict the movement of crypto. They are also lagging in the DeFi arena but do provide a good customer experience which we can learn from. We also take note of a host of blockchain firms such as Bloq entering the market to provide easy to use DeFi products. Competition here brings more innovation and much needed in an area which has largely been ignored to date.
Moving to the web-based platforms, some have great potential but limit access to mobile users. Zerion, for instance, has excellent web functionality, but their mobile app is very limited at present. Metamask is another interesting example. Its browser extension wallet is extremely popular, and they recently introduced a swap feature from within the web extension. The mobile app, however, is less exciting. The dApp marketplace is functional, but not seamless or easy to use.
Our conclusion reaffirms our initial thought process that lead us to start building YOP. Yes there are some competitors, but nothing that is complete in its offering. We will look to the leading fintech apps for inspiration in customer experience and will take the best financial products from DeFi to package an all-in-one complete offering.
Clear Opportunity For YOP
We are building YOP to provide easy access to yield markets. Our vision is to incorporate a deflationary token (YOP) into a functional application. Capturing the new comer to crypto and the experienced user alike. From the onset, YOP V0 will have five distinct products; My YOP at the centre with Farmers Market & SWAP DEX to the left with Wallet & Market Data to the right. We look forward to sharing more product insights as our development progresses.
Just to recap then. Based on our analysis, no single app, mobile or web, currently offers the range of features that YOP will deliver. Our goal is to trigger a Robinhood moment in DeFi, to open up this world of complex technical innovation to the general public. Although our comparison today focused on existing crypto projects, our ambition is to reach a global audience and together facilitate a transition to an open finance infrastructure. We are embracing the challenge and committing to a better customer experience. Join us on this journey.
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