Investors Love DeFi, See Crypto as Shitcoins: COMP Founder

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Investors Love DeFi, See Crypto as Shitcoins: COMP Founder
  • Institutional investors are more interested in DeFi than cryptocurrencies, says COMP founder.
  • Robert Leshner argued institutions are interested in using blockchain technology to borrow traditional assets.
  • Other blockchain experts disagree with Leshner’s view about institutions’ interests.

Robert Leshner, the founder of the Ethereum-based lending protocol Compound (COMP), recently expressed skepticism regarding institutional investors’ involvement in the crypto space. Leshner proclaimed his view during a panel discussion at the Permissionless Conference in the United States.

In the meeting, Leshner questioned the likelihood of institutions showing enthusiasm for trading or borrowing cryptocurrencies like ETH, LINK, and other tokens he described as “shitcoins.” Yet, he highlighted that while institutions may be unenthusiastic about cryptocurrencies, they are interested in blockchain technology and the concept of decentralized finance (DeFi). Leshner explained,

They love the idea of DeFi. They love the idea of financial products built in a way that is stronger, more transparent, more efficient, cheaper, better.

Emphatically, he pointed out that their interest lies in using blockchain technology to trade and borrow traditional assets such as stocks, bonds, currencies, and commodities. Leshner referred to this divergence of interests as the “big divide” that will shape the future of DeFi over the next decade.

Moreover, Leshner believed that the first wave of DeFi protocols has served as proof of concept for institutional investors regarding the potential of tokenized assets. Interestingly, Leshner founded a new firm, Superstate, to bring traditional assets onto the blockchain. This came after he resigned from his CEO position at Compound Labs in July.

Meanwhile, other blockchain experts disagreed with Leshner’s view about institutions’ interests.  Shawn Douglass, co-founder of blockchain data provider Amberdata, argued against segregating assets into “theirs” and “ours” categories and cited stablecoins.

Douglass stated that every DeFi protocol relies on stablecoins as the basis for transactions, which represent tokenized treasuries. Consequently, he contended that there is no need to divide traditional and crypto assets.