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Looking Back and Forward — September 2020 edition

Continuing our innovations related to Credit Default Swaps by launching the first CDSs for USDT and wBTC, enabling the use of interest-bearing collateral to unlock the billions of value in DeFi for the derivatives market, significant growth and milestones for the Opium Community, and much more!

September started out hot with the Sushiswap drama, followed by a cooldown of DeFi markets. Amidst falling crypto prices, the fundamentals of DeFi have steadily improved as teams continued building out their protocols and products.

This month Opium Team has been focussing on further innovating with decentralized Credit Default Swaps — a much-needed financial instrument for today’s DeFi markets. In addition, we have significantly grown our community and continued development of Opium Protocol and Opium Exchange in order to bring more features and better UX to our users. Let’s dive in!

Team updates

Shared our view on the state of market-making in DeFi and our vision on the future of markets

As automated market makers (AMMs) are growing in popularity, we felt the need to share our opinion on the future of market-making for DeFi markets. In the article, we explained how AMMs are a powerful innovation but cannot win from informed market makers that compete for alpha on order book-based exchanges. We’ve received a ton of positive feedback on the article, on Twitter and Telegram but also from other teams in the space.

Read the full piece below and share your thoughts in the comments!

Launched Opium Bot — a chatbot companion for Opium users

We’re tuned in with our community to build relevant features and improvements to our products. By popular request, we’ve introduced Opium Bot this month — a chatbot companion for users of Opium Exchange and Swap Rate! The bot can be used to check and manage your open positions on Opium.

It’s a new and exciting way for users to manage their positions and we have some very cool plans for additional features, such as easy transferring of positions. Stay tuned for more features and updates related to Opium Bot!

Opium Bot lives on Telegram and can be found in the menu bar of Opium Exchange and Swap.rate. Check out the feature video below to see how it works. Also, try it our yourself through this link. 👈

Opium Discord server launched

As the Opium community grows and the project progresses, more community involvement will be required. This is especially true once decentralized governance launches! For this reason, we have launched our very own Discord server, which allows for targeted discussions in dedicated channels.

The Discord server will be the stage for governance discussions, AMAs, focus group sessions, and more!

Join our official Discord server and participate in the discussions!

First AMA conducted with the Opium Community

Although our founder Andrey has been actively participating in panel discussions and conferences lately, we have seen an increase in questions and discussions within our own Opium community. To address these frequently asked questions and in order to bootstrap our newly launched Discord Server, we decided to host an AMA on Discord. Topics like technical scalability, L2 tech, tokenomics and collateral types were discussed. A recap of the AMA can be found in the blog post linked below:

1k member milestone for the Opium Telegram community

As we have seen an increase in media attention to our work on decentralized derivatives, we have also seen significant growth in our community. Our Telegram community has now surpassed the 1000 member milestone and we are looking forward to onboarding the next 1000 enthusiasts to our community!

Join our official Telegram chat and join our announcements channel!

We are also committed to growing our Discord community, which will be crucial for governance discussions later this year.

Product updates

Launched DeFi’s first Credit Default Swap (CDS) on a stablecoin

We launched the very first CDS on the most widely used stablecoin in crypto: USDT — which happens to be a centralized (custodial) asset. USD Tether has been controversial in the space since the organization behind the stablecoin hasn’t been fully transparent about audits. The wide usage of USDT in crypto markers have created a systemic risk, which can be hedged using derivatives.

Our CDS can be used to protect yourself against (or speculate on) a systemic failure of the most widely used stablecoin in crypto. It also allows you to earn interest on your capital in case you are willing to bet on the quality and sustainability of USDT. Learn more by reading the article below, or click here to trade the CDS on Opium Exchange!

Launched the first CDS using interest-bearing collateral

After launching multiple CDS products before, we continued innovating with this financial primitive. In order to fully leverage the composability of Opium Protocol with other projects in DeFi, we’ve built the first CDS product that is collateralized by interest-bearing tokens.

The resulting product is a CDS for wBTC — the most widely used flavor of tokenized bitcoin that is issued by custodian BitGo — which is collateralized by yearn finance’s yDAI token. The CDS can be used to hedge custody risk of holding wBTC but can also be used by CDS sellers to earn an extra premium on their existing yields. Learn more by reading the article below, or click here to trade the CDS on Opium Exchange!

Media & Events

Opium Protocol listed on DeFi Pulse

DeFi Pulse plays an important role in the DeFi space as the most popular aggregator of news and financial protocols, including some helpful metrics on growth and usage. Opium Protocol is now included in the derivatives section of the platform and is fully integrated to show TVL. We are also discussing with the DeFi Pulse team how to add more relevant metrics for derivative protocols. Check out the Opium Protocol page on DeFi Pulse below!

Attended a panel on Deconstructing Derivatives (by Outlier Ventures)

We were invited to a panel at the Deconstructing Derivatives event — a high-quality deep-dive on derivatives in DeFi, organized by Outlier Ventures. Our founder Andrey participated in an interesting panel discussion with Barney Mannerings of Vega Protocol, amongst other DeFi founders. Watch the full panel discussion below!

Our work on CDSs for stablecoins was featured by Coindesk

Coindesk editor William Foxley wrote a feature article on our work related to Credit Default Swaps. The full piece is available for reading below:

The Block wrote about our innovations related to Credit Default Swaps

Director of News of The Block, Frank Chaparro, wrote a feature article on Credit Default Swaps in DeFi based on our latest innovation in this field. For the article, Frank also discussed our work with an early player in the traditional CDS markets. One quote from the article:

“The Aave contract makes sense,” said one early pioneer in the traditional CDS market. Opium’s efforts show that it’s “OK to bring the best parts of Wall Street to crypto,”.

Subscribers of The Block can access the full article below:

What’s next?

Continue innovating on Credit Default Swaps: A simple UI

Many of our users asked for an easier method of buying “insurance” or providing liquidity using CDS products built on Opium Protocol. Therefore, we will build and launch a simple user interface for buying CDSs to get coverage for counterparty risks. The interface can also be used by players that seek extra returns on their existing yields by accepting some uncorrelated risk (eg. USDT insolvency risk). Stay tuned for an announcement soon!

We believe that CDS collateralized by interest-bearing tokens will bring a revolution in capital efficiency to DeFi!

Speaking at LA Blockchain Summit

Our founder Andrey will be speaking at LA Blockchain Summit, which will take place on October 6th and 7th. The keynote is titled “DeFi Needs a Safety Net to Make Banking Dinosaurs Extinct” and will be streamed on October 6th 8pm CEST. Register for the free event through this link!

Initial launch of Opium Protocol governance

We plan on launching the Opium DAO and $OPIUM governance token soon. It will signify the start of the next phase for the Opium project and we can’t wait to share what we have been working on. Through the new governance model, we will be able to further involve and engage with our community in order to boost usage and value of Opium Protocol.

Make sure you follow our announcements channel on Telegram!

About Opium

Opium is a universal and robust DeFi protocol that allows for creating, settling, and trading decentralised derivatives. Use our products today to speculate on opportunities inside and outside of DeFi, or hedge yourself against trading risks.

Explore Opium Protocol or try out Opium Exchange.

Stay informed through following us on Twitter, joining our Telegram chat and announcements channel.

Join the discussion on our new Discord server!



Opium Protocol is the universal protocol to create, settle and trade virtually all derivatives in a trustless way.

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Crypto native, in deep since '17. Passionate about coordination mechanisms and Decentralized Finance. Product Manager @ MakerDAO. wagmi culture.