In a press launch as we speak, C.R.E.A.M. Finance introduced a brand new characteristic for (and, by proxy, an unofficial relaunch of) Iron Financial institution, the protocol-to-protocol lending platform designed for flash and undercollateralized loans. 

C.R.E.A.M., which founder Leo Cheng describes as “the yolo-est Compound fork,” is a cash market designed to cowl belongings which are “underserved” and permit for higher capital effectivity for decentralized finance (DeFi) energy customers, itemizing belongings resembling Yearn vault tokens and liquidity pool tokens.

“We’re including belongings that individuals wish to have, however others could also be terrified of,” stated Cheng.

Iron Financial institution is, in some ways, an excessive implementation of that ethos. The protocol, which allows for undercollateralized protocol-to-protocol lending, is supposed to function DeFi’s equal of the $10 trillion company debt business, permitting the precept of “company credit score” to operate between whitelisted protocols. 

Some critique the concept conceptually — undercollateralized lending remains to be an unique area of interest in DeFi — and people critics took a victory lap in the wake of the Alpha Homura hack that led to an exploit of Iron Financial institution. This regardless of Iron Financial institution bearing no accountability for the vulnerability, and the truth that the Iron Financial institution has quietly continued to operate throughout a number of Yearn vaults for months — although not practically on the scale to which it’s succesful. 

Now, with a brand new characteristic launch and Alpha Homura gearing up for a relaunch of its V2, Iron Financial institution is able to re-enter the highlight — and it could be poised to take action in a serious approach. 

DeFi Voltron

Cheng speaks with a contact of pleasure about C.R.E.A.M.’s standing as a member of “DeFi Voltron” — the body of high-profile protocols that “merged” with or were “acquired” by the Yearn ecosystem on the finish of final yr. 

What began as an off-the-cuff dialog about getting DeFi maestro Andre Cronje involved within the undertaking shortly grew to become a team-level integration between Yearn and C.R.E.A.M., says Cheng. To at the present time the practicalities of the integrations/mergers/collaborations between the protocols largely stays a thriller to outsiders, and as a recent rupture with Cover has demonstrated, the “mergers” aren’t all the time etched in stone.

In Cheng’s view, proper now the varied initiatives/protocols may be considered the pre-Constitutional United States: separate state-level entities are linked by means of the Articles of Confederation, and every leverages their very own forex.

He hinted that someday it could be a “chance” that every one tokens underneath the Yearn banner merge to create a single, unified token.

“I’m not saying that’s the place we’re headed, however I feel it’s a chance in the long term — I don’t know.” 

C.R.E.A.M’s function within the Yearn DeFi Voltron machine is to be the one-stop lending, and because the Iron Financial institution proves, lending is a large umbrella. Whereas Iron Financial institution may be troublesome to know conceptually, in the end what it creates is easy capital effectivity, says Cheng. 

“Take a look at the anatomy of a flash mortgage,” says Cheng.

A flash mortgage may work together with a number of protocols without delay and commerce between a number of belongings, however Ethereum “doesn’t fairly care, and it doesn’t fairly see the borders with the sensible contract initiatives.” They bounce between protocols and belongings in a “flash,” enabled by open liquidity.

If this borderless imaginative and prescient is taken to its excessive, “any asset a consumer has on Ethereum, they need to have the ability to leverage it to borrow the rest anyplace else,” and if liquidity may be achieved by means of an arbitrage commerce through a flash mortgage, that alone counts as a type of asset — at the least in a super, capital-efficient future.

Iron Financial institution brings this precept of open liquidity to protocol-to-protocol relationships. Cheng says that C.R.E.A.M. is trying into working with initiatives like Saffron Finance, who’re creating risk-based tranched debt. If customers assume that Iron Financial institution debt is riskier (particularly on the higher finish of its attainable leverage, as much as 95x), Saffron has the infrastructure to help that.

What’s extra, Cheng says that C.R.E.A.M is working to increase the horizons of liquidity even to different chains.

Capital Effectivity Squared

If Ethereum doesn’t care in regards to the borders between belongings and protocols, then why can’t the identical liquid effectivity logic apply to all Ethereum Digital Machine-compatible chains? This might enable for loans, undercollateralized loans, and flash loans throughout a number of ecosystems, bolstering liquidity throughout the house. 

“Cross-chain lending. That’s the factor the place folks cease and say, ‘wait, maintain on, what?’” Cheng laughed. “That’s one thing we’re prototyping proper now. It’s not one thing on the roadmap, blah blah, we’re prototyping it proper now.”

In its early kind, customers would have the ability to deposit belongings on C.R.E.A.M. V1 and unlock a mortgage on one other chain, permitting them to entry another ecosystem whereas sustaining their belongings on Ethereum. The extra unique lending sorts will come later.

The issues in creating excellent, protected capital effectivity throughout all EMV-compatible chains are important, however they’re presently being labored by means of, says Cheng. Ultimately the purpose is to allow Yearn vaults to go cross-chain through a “generalized wrapper,” which may increase the instruments accessible to vault strategists by orders of magnitude.

It’s a imaginative and prescient of open liquidity and capital effectivity enabled, partly, because of an open developmental ethos throughout the DeFi Voltron:

“We have now so many channels open. In the event you had my Telegram open… so many working teams. I feel that story is underplayed. The entire thought of this merger, it’s so highly effective — we are able to hop in these channels at any time, ask one another something. It’s letting us transfer so shortly.”