Decentralized Finance (DeFi) has grown exponentially over the past year, creating a new ecosystem around permissionless borrowing and lending of digital assets such as stablecoins. These lending markets offer substantially higher interest rates than those offered by savings accounts at traditional high street banks. In many cases offering more than 20% APY over a stable period of time. However, it remains technically challenging to access DeFi markets without knowledge of blockchains, management of private keys. Additionally, the UX used by these platforms are often unfamiliar to anyone accustomed to traditional FinTech apps.
We want to show that high interest rates can be earned as easily as managing money in a regular cash savings account and that these investment gains can be donated to support good causes without any 'loss' to the saver.
What it does
Investcause allows any saver to access higher rates of interest on offer using DeFi without technical knowledge of blockchains. Savers deposit funds to Investcause using the Rapyd hosted checkout. These funds are exchanged for the equivalent amount in digital stablecoins by buying from Investcause treasury. We then send the stablecoins to a lending protocol where they start earning high interest. Currently we are supporting the Anchor Protocol. However, many other blockchain protocols exist and some of which will be supported by Investcause in the future.
How we built it
We built Investcause using Elixir and Phoenix framework. We used the Rapyd Wallet and Rapyd Collect APIs and created Elixir wrappers around them, which we've open sourced at ex_rapyd.
The Wallet API managed transfers between a saver and Investcause treasury. The Collect API was used to create the hosted checkout page link. To connect to Anchor Protocol, we created an ExpressJS server with the Anchor Protocol SDK.
Challenges we ran into
There wasn't an SDK or code examples of the API in the Elixir language, so we had to create wrappers from scratch.
As a small team, we were not able to complete on time the feature that supports streaming of interest to charities and good causes such that it was easily accessible through the UI.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Creating the open-source Elixir API wrappers for Rapyd: ex_rapyd to expose more developers to Rapyd APIs. Even in the Rapyd sandbox and Anchor testnet environment, we have created an end-to-end solution that allows fiat currency to be deposited and immediately earning a high interest rate, without the user requiring any knowledge about blockchains.
What we learned
This was our first time using the Rapyd APIs and also learning about Anchor Protocol and using the Anchor Protocol SDK. We learnt about webhooks, idempotency, making secure and signed API calls.
What's next for Investcause
We are already working on ideas similar to Investcause, and the team will continue to work together on bridging traditional finance with decentralized finance.
For the Investcause application, we will be completing the streaming of interest to support charities and good causes, extend support for other DeFi protocols. We aim to allow investing directly from non-USD currencies using the Rapyd FX feature, and develop withdraw and disburse features.