Ororo shared Sovryn backstory, and told us how they are building a bitcoin-based DeFi platform for seamless lending and borrowing.
Disclosure: This article was sponsored by Sovryn
Hello! What’s your background, and what are you working on?
My name is Ororo and I am technical lead at Sovryn. I got into crypto when I was working to pay my way through school. I was waitressing when a friend, who had a lot of Bitcoin, started selling it to me for a discount for cash. The price was going up which led me to explore trading and eventually stop waitressing and turn full arb degen.
I went on to complete a degree in computer science and got interested in smart contracts. I was interested in the idea of building decentralised alternatives to centralised exchanges, but was always frustrated that it wasn’t possible with Bitcoin. Sovryn is the solution to this.
Sovryn is the first fully functional decentralised exchange for bitcoin for those who want to be able to borrow, lend and trade without giving up their privacy or take on counterparty risk.
What’s Sovryn backstory?
I was working on a way to donate masks through a decentralised network and wanted to give an NFT with each mask that would be backed by bitcoin, this led me to discover RSK, a smart contract technology built on Bitcoin. Along with another developer Jamie - we started exploring RSK and coded up the first prototype of what Sovryn would be and showed it to other bitcoiners and developers. A small community gathered around the project and started building it out.
Sovryn is a big shift for Bitcoin because it took Bitcoin beyond just money, providing bitcoin-native smart contracts to extend the capability of bitcoin - and in Sovryn’s case, all of finance. In the last years it’s been growing faster than I ever expected, a lot more developers have joined the project and the features are now very extensive as a result.
What went into building the Sovryn?
One of the technical challenges building Sovryn was bridging with other chains. We wanted to develop cross chain capabilities and allow the system to interface with ETH, BNB and create stablecoins.
Allows all types of financial activity - trading, leverage trading, leveraging borrowing, creations of bitcoin backed stablecoins, the protocol miner fees are very inexpensive because you get to piggyback on the security of the bitcoin network which allows you to keep the gas fees low, but the protocol in addition to paying gas fees, pay trading fees and those are collected by the protocol and are distributed to the stakes of the SOV tokens.
What’s your business model?
Sovryn doesn’t see itself competing with Ethereum-based defi - more centralised finance. Our goal is to provide an alternative to centralised finance that is global, transparent and trustless, by the fact that it is secured by the bitcoin network with bitcoin as the native asset. There really is no other platform like Sovyrn that works this way.
The other differentiation is that Sovryn is seamless. By that I mean it is vertically integrated so all features are available within one app, trading, lending, borrowing, yield farming, which is great for layer 2 world.
What’s your position on the regulatory landscape today?
Regulations as they currently exist don’t make sense. Digital money is a global phenomena that doesn’t care about national borders and yet all regulation is built around borders, so it is increasingly irrelevant. If you have a decentralised system, then there is no one to regulate, so the system acts as a natural standard that anyone can use permissionlessly - allowing the rise of a truly global financial service.
What’s important is that financial services are transparent whilst allowing for user privacy. In traditional finance a bank will know all about you and yet you will know nothing about the bank. With Sovryn this is reversed. You can know everything about Sovryn and Sovryn will know nothing about you, which reverses privacy and puts you in control.
What are your goals for the future?
Our aim is to continue shaping the DeFi market. If we do a good job of building a successful protocol we can eventually eat the entire financial system, creating a single financial operating system for the entire world. Sending funds cross-border would open up the developing world to accelerate faster. As someone that grew up in the developing world, that is something very meaningful to me. Building a world where you have censorship resistant monetary assets - surrounded by a censorship resistant operating system - would be a huge benefit, and is where I think the DeFi world is headed.