In the past few years, we have witnessed explosive growth in Decentralized Finance (DeFi). A wide range of financial applications has been built, including money markets, decentralized exchanges, derivatives protocols, and synthetic asset platforms. With the elimination of central intermediaries, most of these platforms can only operate and function with the participation of the community, in turn providing users with rich opportunities within the ecosystem.
However, many of these opportunities come with many uncertainties; investors and institutions are perpetually faced with considerable fluctuations in yield and token prices. Nascent derivatives protocols offering options and interest rate swaps have recently entered the market, providing the ecosystem with the primitives to alleviate these challenges. However, these protocols are often too complex for institutions and investors to utilize, and the risks inherent in them are often hard to uncover and quantify.
Furthermore, there are currently capital inefficiencies in DeFi money markets, where investors are often required to offer up substantial collateral in order to borrow or take on leverage, resulting in opportunities costs that investors incur and have to weigh.
What it does
Struct Finance solves these issues by bringing structured financial products to DeFi. Our products tokenize a suite of yield-bearing positions and complex derivatives to provide investors and institutions with a simple investment product tailored to their risk profile.
All our products are tokenized and represented by a token. They can be used as collateral to leverage or composed with other products to form another layer of complex instruments
The first two product categories we will be releasing are lossless and leveraged products, and we intend to move into fixed-yield and enhanced-yield products in the future.
Lossless products will allow investors to ensure their principal is safe while allowing part of their deposit to take on riskier positions to obtain a higher yield. A leveraged product uses Struct products as collateral, automatically borrowing and allocating loans to yield-bearing positions to take on leverage
Struct products represent a new layer on the DeFi stack which has only been enabled by the recent rise of derivative protocols. Our products will empower the DeFi stack and form the foundation of a new generation of DeFi instruments.
How we built it
Our team was split up into front and backend-end/smart contract development and worked closely throughout four different time zones. We went from the idea to mockups to a finished product by working together and continuously exchanging ideas and theories and improving upon them.
We used and combined several technologies throughout the development for both front-end back-end and a few 3rd party API services.
Challenges we ran into
There were several challenges that we ran into during the hackathon.
Firstly, one of the protocols that we wanted to integrate with required whitelisting of our contract addresses from their end. We decided to move ahead with another protocol for the hackathon and circle back to fulfilling their requirements later down the line.
Secondly, as a global team spanning four different time zones, it was challenging to coordinate and communicate with each other. We overcame this obstacle by clearly documenting what needs to be done and our status, and having daily stand-ups.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We started our Idea at Antlers VC accelerator precisely seven weeks ago and used the Chainlink Hackathon to source the right team and build our MVP.
What started as an idea, materialized in front of our eyes through communication, alignment, coordination and dedication of the whole team. What initially was a challenge, having a global team spanning across four different time zones, became our strength since everyone is in sync, aligned, and we have learned from our challenges.
In such a short time, we have been able to develop on the product side, and develop relationships with future integration partners, VCs, ecosystem partners and most importantly our relationships and friendships within the team. The team is very much aligned, in sync, we can rely on each other, and we all have fun on top of that. Long hours do not hurt at all. The whole project became an extraordinary journey for all of us.
Some of the technical challenges forced us to look and solve things, whether through connecting directly to the ecosystem or through implementing a workaround. Either way, we turned challenges into accomplishments, knowledge, experience and a never give up attitude.
What we learned
Firstly, documentation and communication are crucial to aligning team members on the objectives, prioritized tasks, and current status of the project.
Secondly, for projects with a hard deadline, prioritization is imperative. Trade-offs were made to ensure a correct balance of functionality and user experience.
Lastly, having teammates spread across the globe made us realize the importance of having more than one communication channel.
What's next for Struct Finance
For us, Struct Finance is an actual project that we started and is now a part of us. We were lucky that the Chainlink Hackathon was kicking off, met our team and have started building it from scratch during this time. We have a comprehensive roadmap for the next half a year. We will continue developing and finalizing our MVPs for Lossless products, Aggregator and Lending platform in December and aim to launch the public beta of these modules in Q1 2022.
We received our first initial funding from Antler last week and started talking to VCs. In December/Jan, we will start our seed & private round funding and institutional business development. Once this is achieved, we will scale up our marketing and development teams.
The next step in our journey will be to get the right partners and investors on board, build the foundation, scale and integrate with the ecosystem.