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Looking Back and Forward: 2020 in Review

And what a year it was! 2020 ended up being extraordinary in every sense of the word. Despite all the macro-misery that the COVID-19 pandemic brought upon the world, 2020 was also the year in which the DeFi space exploded in terms of innovation, utility, adoption and, finally, total value locked. Just consider that a lot of DeFi concepts like complete governance via tokens, yield farming, and flash loans didn't exist back in January!

We are glad that we had a place in this year’s DeFi movement and want to thank our community and ecosystem partners & friends for the support! Let's take a moment to review our progress made this year.

Opium Team has been working on decentralized financial derivatives since 2017, way before "DeFi" came into existence. However, our latest iteration of Opium Protocol was launched in early 2020, after passing a thorough security audit. This marked the beginning of an exciting year for our team & community.

We flew to Paris for EthCC[3] and we were impressed by the excellent organization and positive energy at the event. Unfortunately, the pandemic started around that time, but we are glad we could make it there and meet a lot of interesting people, share new ideas, and have a lot of fun. Hope to be back in April for EthCC[4]!

We had great success with the release of Swap Rate—our product for decentralized interest rate swaps. The first tradable IRS made available was focused on Aave deposits and loans. It's one of those moments when we realized the potential of derivatives in DeFi.

Back in May, we released our flagship product built on Opium Protocol: Opium Exchange. It's a professional platform for trading decentralized financial derivatives, featuring gasless orders and an advanced UI. Our first notable derivatives were gas price options because back then Ethereum users were facing high volatility on gas prices. We continued innovating throughout DeFi summer with products such as pre-markets for upcoming DeFi governance tokens and several CDS contract to transfer the credit risk.

For Opium Team, the summer of 2020 has been about experimenting with various types of DeFi derivatives in order to find product-market fit.

As the DeFi space started heating up in summer and the yield farming craze was at its peak, we were considering how to enable more advanced risk management strategies

And then we got thinking about the risks, there is so much risk for DeFi users, what derivative can possibly help us with it? This where CDS comes into the game! Many people thought that CDSs were only created for speculation purposes, but we actually created them for protection purposes and that’s was mind-blowing for a lot of people.

Then we were happy to announce our investment round with $3.25 million! We were proud to onboard QCP Soteria, Alameda Research, Galaxy Digital, and other top-tier investors for our journey and we believe that it will help us make better products and satisfy our users with new features and useful instruments.

Following our initial long-term plans, the Opium Team strongly believes that the possibility of sharing the Opium Protocol’s ownership with all of its users will be its greatest strength and guarantee for success. And in 2020 we marked the start of the process of transferring the ownership to the Opium community. It is not a fast process but in the end, the community through DAO will be in full control over the protocol to govern and develop it further.

And our last resort of this year is “a revolution in DeFi risk management” — Opium Insurance! On the optimistic assessment, the total covered asset under all kinds of DeFi insurance is less than $100 million, so less than 0.5% of Total Value Locked in DeFi. At the same time, there is almost no insurance that is fully decentralized, tokenized, and custom. That is why we decided to launch Opium Insurance that has a simple interface but at the same based on decentralised derivatives with on-chain collateral.

Coming on Mainnet in the first days of 2021!

That was a great year to be in DeFi and build there and we believe 2021 will be even greater! Hope to see you all there in person and continue making progress in decentralization the financial industry!

Stay tuned for Opium Insurance, $Opium Governance Token, Risk Tranching, Opium Turbos and more news coming in 2021!



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