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Oasis, a blockchain focused on privacy, is a relative newcomer compared to other layer-1 blockchains (a class that includes , , and ), but it’s been attracting a lot of value on its network straight out of the gate.
Last January, in the days immediately following the network’s ecosystem launch, the total value of funds locked into the network (TVL) grew at a faster initial rate than any other layer-1 blockchain, according to Oasis analysis of DeFi Lama data, attracting $100 million in less than 12 hours.
As the leading privacy-enabled layer-1, Oasis has wowed investment funds and developers alike with its growth strategy and potential to become one of the most scalable solutions on the market—one that’s suitable for DeFi applications such as reputation-based, under-collateralized lending.
According to a Messari 2021 Q3 report, it's attracted the third-most investment of any blockchain. According to Oasis, it also has one of the fastest-growing developer networks in the industry and has plenty of room to scale further. Here’s how.
Oasis: A scalable, privacy-centric layer-1
Over $200 billion of value is currently locked into DeFi protocols, but analysts—and Oasis—consider the industry to still be in its infancy.
“Trillions of dollars are waiting to enter the DeFi market and bring it to scale,” according to the Oasis team. “But the market is heavily limited by high fees, a lack of security and privacy.” These factors, they insist, limit expansion and mass-market adoption.
Oasis was launched in November 2020 with initial funding of $45 million from investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Polychain Capital, and Binance Labs. The protocol aims to solve the issues preventing DeFi from scaling, and to bring in new features such as private lending—made possible through privacy-preserving technology that allows sensitive data to exist on-chain.
To address scalability, Oasis separates the (PoS) consensus layer from the computation layer, which it calls the "ParaTime layer." This improves scalability because each ParaTime can process up to 1,000 transactions per second. With a current limit of 1,000 ParaTimes on the network, that equates to a theoretical upper limit of 1 million transactions per second.
The Oasis core team has already built three ParaTimes. The first, Emerald, is Ethereum Virtual Machine-compatible, so developers can bring their applications to Oasis and process transactions quicker and cheaper than on Ethereum. The second, Cipher, is set to launch in March. It executes while preserving privacy; developers can even make it so node operators don't see the details of the smart contract.
The third, Parcel, enables users to store their data privately and permanently on the blockchain while granting access on a case-by-case basis to parties that want to analyze or use that data. It is currently a permissioned ParaTime for use by companies, but will be opening up to the public this year.
Built for DeFi: Attracting value straight out of the gate
For DeFi applications, Oasis is a layer-1 blockchain that promises not only privacy but also allows for instant finality. Meanwhile, the transaction fees are 99% lower than market leader Ethereum, throughput is higher, and the network is protected from practices such as front-running.
And there's clearly a demand for that in decentralized finance.
Oasis launched its DeFi ecosystem in January with a wallet for the Oasis token ROSE and YuzuSwap, a peer-to-peer automated-market-maker. A community-developed project built on the Emerald ParaTime, the YuzuSwap decentralized exchange provides users with low-cost trading. What's more, one-fifth of all transaction fees go into the YUZU DAO; holders of the YUZU token then use those funds to incentivize further growth on the DEX. YuzuSwap surpassed $100 million in TVL within the first 12 hours of its launch and $1 billion in trading volume in less than a month, per Oasis.
And when Cipher, due in March 2022, launches, it will open the network up to an entirely new privacy-first DeFi ecosystem, including a privacy-preserving decentralized exchange (), identity services, and a new asset class: tokenized personal data that can be transformed into for the purposes of staking and generating income.
To kickstart development and fuel the next generation of Web3, DeFi, and builders, Oasis announced a $200 million fund in November 2021, backed by some of the biggest names in crypto, including Binance, Pantera, Dragonfly and Jump Capital.
A new generation of privacy-first applications
All told, 2021 was a pivotal year for Oasis, but it hopes 2022 will deliver the fruits of many of the twenty-odd new partnerships announced over the prior 12 months.
It’s an impressive roster of partners that includes Google Cloud, Nebula Genomics, Genetica (Asia’s fastest-growing genome sequencing company), BMW, and MetaMirror, which is building what it claims to be the first-ever Web 3.0 identity service for the Metaverse.
Many Oasis partners are already using Parcel, the ParaTime that offers confidential data storage for improved privacy. Binance, for instance, has partnered with Oasis to develop the Cryptosafe Alliance, which allows exchanges to share threat intelligence data confidentially.
The potential Oasis holds for the protection of sensitive information, combined with a design that brings fast speeds and high throughput to DeFi transactions, now leaves it primed to power the next generation of privacy-first applications.