Complexity is the enemy of mass adoption—and if decentralized finance (DeFi) has been anything to date, it’s complex.
It’s true that a niche of crypto pioneers are comfortable navigating the often challenging DeFi ecosystem, from the various different protocols to the nuances of asset circulation.
But the average investor needs a simple, intuitive user experience that makes it easy to participate and provides a feeling of security while abstracting underlying infrastructure behind a familiar interface.
Without that, mainstream users will continue to shy away from DeFi, said DJ Qian, CEO of Chainge Finance. Chainge's DeFi app runs on the Fusion blockchain and allows users to perform complicated operations, including cross-chain bridging and decentralized escrow, with just a few taps.
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Although there’s been a boom in DeFi protocols and projects that bring the value of the internet to the blockchain, “they’re isolated from each other and it’s very difficult for them to interact,” Qian told Decrypt.
“It’s not unlike today’s financial world with different banks in different parts of the world that don’t speak to each other,” he said.
In short, for DeFi to thrive and grow, cross-chain communication is key – and it needs to happen automatically in the background without consumers having to worry or even think about it.
But before they can embrace interoperability, investors have to feel safe. Security is the first paving stone on the road to wider adoption, Qian said.
“No one wants to use a risky protocol,” he said. “And, unfortunately, there are a lot of scammers in this industry.”
The Chainge app is powered by distributed control rights management (DCRM), a patent-pending cryptographic technology that creates a secure bridge between blockchains so that multiple different digital assets can be moved between them easily and securely.
Generally, moving assets between chains is a hassle. It’s time-consuming, confusing, and can require an intimidating level of technical skill that neophyte investors just don’t possess—and shouldn’t have to, Qian said.
“I’ve been told by so many users that one of the main things they want is for cross-chain transactions to happen in the background,” he said. “This is not something the end-user should have to worry about.”
That’s why Chainge has introduced a cross-chain roaming feature, which allows users to seamlessly make transactions and swaps across decentralized exchanges even if their assets are split between multiple different chains.
Typically, bridging assets can take up to an hour or more, but Chainge can facilitate the process in under a minute for a nominal fee with a couple of taps. The user interface is straightforward and clear. All users have to do is select the receiving address where they want their assets to go, choose the corresponding chain, and hit send.
Currently, the Chainge app supports more than 85 assets that can hop across 16 integrated chains, including Fusion, Polygon, Ethereum, Tron, Binance Smart Chain, HECO, and Bitcoin, with plans to add Kusama, Algorand, Cosmos and others soon.
“Moving assets from one chain to another is a never-ending need,” Qian said. “A user’s ultimate goal is to focus on the financial action they want to take, whether that’s swapping to another blockchain or adding liquidity without having to care which chain their assets are on.”
Trust the process
But there’s another barrier standing in the way of mass adoption, and that’s being able to execute contracts and move funds without the risk of losing money due to breach or fraud. Retail investors who are new to DeFi are often risk-averse.
It’s a valid concern, Qian said.
“The protocols using a smart contract are not always easy to verify, which is why we’ve seen a lot of hacking incidents over the past few years,” he said. “This is a very big challenge for regular, more mainstream users.”
But it doesn't have to be an issue. Late last year, Chainge launched an escrow module that allows parties that don’t know each other to do business in a safe, decentralized environment for a small fee—just 0.5%—and without the need for a middleman. (Traditional escrow services generally charge high fees, which can range between 5% and 10% and even hit up to 15%.)
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After a buyer initiates an escrow smart contract, both sides agree on basic terms and the collateral is deposited. Neither the buyer nor the seller can touch the collateral until the product is received.
“Even strangers can do business,” Qian said.
Qian himself used the escrow module to buy the domain for anyswap.com from a stranger who reached out randomly by email with the offer. (Anyswap, which rebranded to Multichain in December, is a decentralized exchange co-founded by Qian based on Fusion DCRM technology.)
Rather than using a pricey traditional escrow service, Qian convinced the seller to use the decentralized escrow protocol in the Chainge app.
Qian initiated the contract, the seller transferred the domain to Qian’s GoDaddy account, Qian released the Bitcoin—and the entire translation was finished within roughly five minutes.
“Trust has always been a problem for people who do business in the digital world, but they can trust the smart contract,” Qian said. “Without permission, the money will never move.”
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