DeFi movement gaining ground

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Diego Gutierrez Zaldivar, RSK

Q&A with Diego Gutierrez Zaldivar (pictured), RSK Co-Founder and IOVlabs CEO. Rootstock (RSK) is an innovative blockchain network launched by veteran technologists and venture capitalists in 2018. RSK offers a unique proposition for its users, combining Bitcoin’s security and userbase with Ethereum’s smart contract capabilities. RSK has its own internal currency, called RIF, which powers many of the network’s services.

How has your offering changed in view of the growth of the crypto-currency market?

In recent months, RSK has been at the forefront of Bitcoin’s Decentralized Finance (DeFi) movement. This movement is a natural extension of Bitcoin’s technology, involving the development of new technological layers on top of the network. RSK enables the creation of smart contract solutions for Bitcoin users, who are able to transact on the network through a secure bridging mechanism.

Recently, we have been able to attain significant momentum with several projects, such as RIF on Chain (Money on Chain stablecoin project) which is considered one of the cornerstones of Bitcoin’s DeFi movement. There are also many other great projects we’re partnering with, such as RSK Swap (exchange), Kripton Market (e-commerce), TEX Money On Chain (decentralised exchange), Sovryn (lending), Liquality (web wallet), and Defiant (wallet), with more to be announced during 2021.

We have also witnessed some of the largest DeFi projects join the RSK ecosystem, such as Maker and Chainlink, each of which has a multi-billion dollar valuation. 

RSK, together with its RIF token, can lead this new wave of decentralised applications by tapping into Bitcoin’s large userbase and enhancing the network’s capabilities. 

What role does regulation play in the future of crypto and digital asset trading and settlement?

The regulation of financial technology is an increasingly prominent topic; blockchain, by the very nature of its foundations, even more so. International bodies are stepping in to encourage the development of regulatory standards across multiple countries. Further, certain countries are taking a much friendlier approach towards cryptocurrencies than others, which creates an unlevelled playing field. 

Regulation will bring immense benefits to the industry as a whole, though some of the DeFi players will need to adapt in order to embrace the evolving regime.

How have your clients’ needs changed in the past year and how have you been supporting those changes?

DeFi is clearly a segment in which “bitcoiners” have lacked opportunities, as Ethereum has been dominating the scene to date with a Total Value Locked (TVL) of almost USD40 billion and an annual growth of +4,000 per cent. RSK aims to lead the way in addressing this gap by fostering the development of DeFi applications for Bitcoin users. Integrating the RIF token with Binance has provided a huge amount of liquidity to the RSK ecosystem and together with the RSK dApps that are going to be launched during Q1-Q2 2021, we expect RSK to make a big difference to Bitcoin’s DeFi prospects. RSK will be committing considerable resources to supporting this movement during 2021.

What are the key considerations for investors and managers trading in digital assets and cryptocurrency?

Risk management remains a primary concern. Cryptocurrencies have made great progress in terms of awareness and mainstream adoption with the incorporation of big institutions into the crypto space, such as Tesla, MicroStrategy and Square (who are now holding Bitcoin in treasury). Further, PayPal and Mastercard have announced that they will support crypto as a means of payment.

However, cryptoassets are still very volatile assets and there are many other risks involved when trading these: hacks, technological issues that can lead to the total loss of an investor’s funds, unclear regulations/laws, etc. High risks usually come with the potential for high returns, and as we have witnessed in recent years, cryptoassets are no exception to this rule. 

Diego Gutierrez Zaldivar, RSK Co-Founder and IOVlabs CEO

A pioneer of web development in Argentina and Latin America since 1995, Diego was also one of the first persons to foster and develop Bitcoin and blockchain technology in Latin America, which he has done since 2012. In addition to RSK Labs, he also has co-founded Koibanx, another blockchain company that is aiming to transform the potential of Bitcoin and blockchain technologies into real use cases, which serve as a driver for social and economic change.

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