Tuesday saw the launch of ICON’s long awaited star DeFi project: the Omm decentralized money market.
And what a launch it was! Within less than 2 days, the platform had secured over USD 50 million in total staked assets (TVL) — a major milestone for the project, and a good indicator of the solid traction ICON is gaining.
Wait, what is a money market?
Money markets have been popular in traditional finance for the past several decades as a means for providing short-term funding and liquidity for borrowers. Retail investors have long championed money markets for their high interest rates, while small businesses and corporations love the easy availability of immediate liquidity.
What about DeFi?
Traditional financial institutions employ centralized control over the assets you put in their trust. Decentralized Finance (DeFi) projects like Omm put this control back in the hands of the people that actually use the service. There is now more than USD 80 billion locked in DeFi worldwide.
OK, so tell me about Omm
Omm allows anyone to lend or borrow digital assets and earn interest. It also includes Bridge wallet as an easy sign-in option and fiat on/off ramp — meaning you can use plain old US dollars to take out a loan. ICX HODLers can also use Omm to borrow stablecoins against their ICX while continuing to earn staking rewards.
Omm also has its own token — called OMM, suitably enough — which you can stake to receive daily OMM rewards, or provide as liquidity on Balanced to earn even more. Staked OMM also translates to staked ICX, which means you can allocate your stake to vote for P-Reps of your choosing right on the Omm platform.
Perhaps the most enticing aspect of Omm is that anybody can easily use it as a high interest savings account by supplying ICX, sICX, USDS, or IUSDC to a liquidity lending pool.
And we mean high interest! Check out the below screenshot, boasting over 81% APY for supplying USDS liquidity! (Accurate as of 2 PM Korea time, August 27.)
The most useful part of Omm’s platform is it’s so much more simplified than other DeFi alternatives, thanks to Omm’s integration of Bridge. Anyone can sign in to Omm and deposit USD directly from their regular old bank account using Bridge and USD-pegged stablecoins from stablecoin platform Stably. And of course you can still connect any crypto wallet that already holds supported assets.
And best of all, Omm is truly decentralized: it operates as a DAO under a fair launch protocol and its OMM tokens give holders governance power, allowing them to vote on the future of the protocol.
Daeki Lee, Head of Ecosystem at the ICON Foundation, took to Twitter to explain the brilliance of Omm’s system. He said:
“Let me share a story on how I got involved with Omm. Interest rates on stable coins were very high during DeFi Summer last year, and I wanted to tell my friends and family to deposit their cash/fiat to earn high interest rates. Unfortunately, many came back to me. Why? There was too much blockchain knowledge required for them to use these apps. Their questions ranged from ‘how do I set up a wallet?,’ ‘what is a gas fee?,’ ‘Why does it take several minutes,’ ‘Where do I get USDC when we don’t have access to the Coinbase app?’, etc.
For blockchain natives, these were all very easy questions, but for non-crypto folks, they were not. I have nothing against existing DeFi protocols and I love their innovation, but I wanted my close friends and family members to also experience the joy of using defi protocols. Fast forward a year, and I’m very excited that it is finally live. I can’t wait to tell my friends and family to give it a try and talk about the beauty of using defi protocols over dinner. I hope you are excited as well!”
What’s next for Omm?
An early contributor to Omm explained the roadmap for Omm thusly:
“Omm will start off as a pillar of the ICON DeFi ecosystem, but plans to evolve into a cross-chain money market. Our grand vision is to create an open money market that pushes the mass adoption of DeFi by letting anyone around the world experience it – without even needing to know they’re interacting with a blockchain service.”
Being built on ICON, an aggregator chain aimed at interoperability between blockchain ecosystems, Omm is well-positioned to make good on their claim. Launched in 2017, the ICON project boasts a well-developed ecosystem of services including an NFT market, games, gambling dApps and DeFi alternative Balanced. In the very near future, ICON will be releasing ICON 2.0 with a new blockchain software architecture that will make interoperability even easier.