Why Athena is poised to fill the missing gap in DeFi
The Wonderful World of DeFi
There’s no question that the world needs DeFi. Unlike in the US, many people throughout the world do not have stable banking, financial, or political systems that they can depend on. Bitcoin first solved this problem by making it possible to store one’s wealth via a provably scarce and censorship resistant asset that cannot be tampered with by any one entity, political or otherwise. But while Bitcoin solves the problem of storing one’s wealth, it doesn’t make it possible to compound one’s wealth the way it’s possible to do so with ETFs. This is where DeFi comes in: you can use DeFi to earn compounding returns without having to custody your money with trusted centralized parties. This new digital financial infrastructure is especially beneficial to individuals in developing countries where sophisticated financial products providing high yields may not even exist or be accessible. In this sense, DeFi does a fantastic job of making the field more level for all participants instead of just privileging a small elite.
However, DeFi in its current state is exceedingly complex: proper risk management requires a great deal of expertise, tax tracking can be onerous, insurance needs to be manually purchased, gas fees may be exorbitant, performance analysis is fragmented, and one may need to interact with multiple protocols to obtain those highly sought after returns. DeFi is not yet friendly enough to be accessible to many current crypto users let alone potential newcomers who are just now becoming acquainted with the field, keeping users on CeFi platforms such as BlockFi.
Athena Fixes This
This is where Athena comes into play. Athena seeks to make DeFi easy and automated by providing:
- Seamless fiat on- and off-ramps
- Risk analysis: different investment strategies will be scored based on their risk profile
- Risk hedging: insurance and emergency funds will be available to protect user funds in the case of black swan events
- Performance analysis: performance is tracked both across your investment(s) and across the fund strategy
- Tax tracking and optimization: taxable events are automatically tracked and users can select different tax optimizations according to their financial situation
- Educational content: users will be able to learn about DeFi without becoming overwhelmed with overly technical content
- L2 integration: support for L2 onramps to ensure that as much of your money goes into the actual investment as possible
The Missing Gap
One might ask: don’t these services already exist on services such as Coinbase, Voyager, and Celsius? Yes, but with one major caveat: these services require you to custody one’s funds with them and trust their business practices. This means that they could be hacked (e.g. Mt. Gox), abscond with one’s money, or generate yield through overly risky opportunities that may compromise one’s funds. Moreover, there is higher ROI based on historical performance in DeFi vs. CeFi.
Athena seeks to provide all of the features of centralized providers with the added benefit that one always holds custody of one’s funds and that everything is transparent because all activity is conducted on the blockchain. It is the missing gap between DeFi protocols that provide ultimate self-sovereignty at the cost of user friendliness and CeFi institutions that provide usability at the cost of self-sovereignty. Athena does not compromise on either.
Athena is effectively an app-layer protocol that targets existing crypto users as well as future users who are yet to onboard due to usability and compliance reasons. The latter group encompasses retail investors who seek high yields to protect their wealth but are put off by the UX barriers, complexity, and riskiness of DeFi. However, unlike Fidelity and Vanguard, Athena is opting for complete decentralization. The platform will be governed by community stewards economically incentivized to properly maintain the protocol for the long run.
Who We Are
This is why we have chosen the name Athena for the protocol. Athena is the Greek goddess of wisdom and protection, and like the ancient deity, the Athena platform will protect its users from the complexities and risks inherent in DeFi as well as provide resources enabling them to become wise investors.
Follow us on our journey to unlock DeFi for everyone: