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Rep claims his firm was 8 years ahead of its time on DeFi

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DeFi failed to catch on eight years ago, according to comments from Yoni Assia, founder and CEO of financial platform eToro.

“I think that DeFi is super interesting,” Assia said on Oct. 6 during a panel on crypto exchanges and venture investments, as part of the LA Blockchain Summit.

“We actually built a decentralized exchange back in 2012 based on the Colored Coin protocol we developed in eToro, which was tokenizing assets on top of the Bitcoin network, so this was really really premature — the beginning of thinking of tokenization.”

Ethereum has made a name for itself as one of the go-to networks for decentralized applications. The Ethereum blockchain, however, did not come along until 2015, so prior innovators took to other chains using the industry’s first network, Bitcoin. 

“We actually built an exchange with atomic swaps on top of Bitcoin,” Assia said. “Waiting for eight to 15 minutes for a swap to actually happen, and the lack of actual stablecoins and real assets on the Bitcoin network, actually made this very much premature.”

Back in 2012, the crypto space only yielded a tiny fraction of the use cases, assets, blockchains and tools currently available eight years later. It would seem that eToro had a good idea, but was much too early.

Assia also said he maintains a positive outlook on the future of DeFi from here, in part due to its potential to simplify traditional finance while adding transparency and speed.

Today, the DeFi space continues seeing mammoth growth as speculators pour their capital into the latest yield opportunities. 



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Enjin joins Crypto Climate Accord, goes carbon negative

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Enjin, a blockchain gaming and nonfungible token platform, has stepped up to decarbonize its footprint by joining the Crypto Climate Accord, a move that adds further credibility to the industry’s growing environmental mandate. 

The Crypto Climate Accord is backed by 20 firms from the blockchain, fin-tech and greentech industries. Inspired by the 195-signatory Paris Climate Agreement, the Accord was established in April to address the “large and growing energy consumption of cryptocurrency and blockchain, and the climate impact of their energy use.”

Enjin claims that its JumpNet blockchain has already achieved carbon-negative status nine years ahead of schedule. In March, the company said it planned to enable carbon-neutral NFTs by 2030.

“The creation of new forms of technology should never come at the cost of destroying our environment,” said Enjin CEO Maxim Blagov. “Carbon neutrality for JumpNet is an important step toward our vision of a sustainable NFT ecosystem for Enjin and our partners.”

In addition to decarbonizing newly created tokens, Enjin’s environmental sustainability plan includes supporting the tokenization of the physical economy and decarbonizing existing digital assets. Other measures include upgrading to carbon-neutral nodes and incentivizing carbon reduction technologies.

Environmental concerns have virtually hijacked Bitcoin’s narrative this year, with the likes of Elon Musk casting shade over carbon-intensive mining. The Tesla CEO briefly embraced Bitcoin earlier this year before deciding that BTC payments are no longer acceptable due to environmental risks. Now, he states that his firm is willing to accept payments of the virtual currency, provided there’s more evidence for sustainable mining.

Related: Elon Musk lays out when Tesla will begin accepting Bitcoin payments

Other environmental sustainability efforts within crypto are also underway. As Cointelegraph reported, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss’ Gemini exchange has purchased carbon credits to reduce Bitcoin’s carbon footprint. Separately, U.S. miner Stronghold Digital Miner recently announced that it raised $105 million to divert waste coal to cryptocurrency mining.