Sometimes referred to as the “Stripe” of cryptocurrency industry, crypto payments firm Wyre has honed in on helping mainstream users interact with digital assets in seconds. Now, the next frontier for the firm is the rising decentralized finance ecosystem built atop Ethereum.
Back in October, the San Francisco-based Wyre noted its coming upgraded “V2” platform would enable so-called meta transactions, which would give the firm’s users the ability to “effectively turn their Apple Pay or Google Pay wallets into secure Ethereum wallets to fund [DeFi] transactions,” the company explained at the time.
On December 3rd, Wyre confirmed it would launch such meta transactions in 2020, meaning the Ethereum community was on the verge of receiving its first direct fiat on-ramp to DeFi services like decentralized exchanges or tokenized collectibles marketplaces.
“Considering our existing banking relationships, payment rails, regulatory licenses, and compliance program, it seemed we were the perfect candidate to connect [DeFi and the mainstream],” the Wyre team said.
As part of its latest community update, Wyre also revealed the latest partnerships it had established with Ethereum stakeholders for its V2 roll out. These stakeholders included ecosystem projects like Metamask, “DeFi bank” Zerion, smart contract wallet Argent, and the AirSwap DEX.
Notably, another new Wyre partner is non-custodial lending project Nuo, though perhaps not surprisingly. Back in May, Wyre agreed to help bring a debit card-facilitated fiat on-ramp to Nuo — in retrospect, a sign of things that were to come for Wyre, which has now set its sights on helping Ethereum projects of any size “build powerful financial applications.”
The grand takeaway? Wyre’s fiat on-ramp for DeFi could help bring millions of new users into the arena, a significant possibility at a time when cryptocurrencies, while insurgent, remain on the cusp of mainstream adoption.
“The central hypothesis is that if we can increase the velocity, we can grow the industry at a pace we haven’t seen before,” Wyre said earlier this year.
Like Wyre, DeFi Bank Zerion Also Eyes Mainstream Future
On December 3rd, the aforementioned Zerion team also gave a confirmation of its own in revealing it had just raised $2 million in seed funding from cryptoeconomy investment firms Placeholder and Blockchain Ventures as well as from Ethereum dApp project Gnosis.
We are thrilled to announce that Zerion has raised $2 million in Seed funding to build the best interface to #DeFi ????
— Zerion (@zerion) December 3, 2019
Per Zerion co-founder and chief executive officer Evgeny Yurtaev, the new funding will go to helping Zerion continue to build out its streamlined interface for helping mainstream users easily conduct and track their various DeFi activities in a one-stop hub.
“You can think of it as Coinbase for DeFi assets, but without some of the biggest drawbacks,” Yurtaev said.
Commenting on what was to come, Placeholder partner Brad Burnham likened the decentralized finance sector as akin to the early Internet and hailed the Zerion team as well suited to make this new financial frontier more approachable for everyday users:
“DeFi, or decentralized finance, feels just as profoundly transformative today as the Internet did then, but it is still too hard to use. Like with the Internet, it will take a young team, native to the new infrastructure, to simplify the user experience and make it more accessible.”
When $1 Billion?
The DeFi sector is still quite fledgling, though it’s made impressively steady growth in 2019.
For instance, last week the USD value of ether (ETH) locked up in DeFi projects crossed the $700 million USD mark for the first time ever.
That validating milestone has many Ethereum proponents guessing when, in kind, the total value of ether locked in DeFi will pass the $1 billion threshold, as such a possibility seems all but inevitable at this point. The question for now is when, not if.