A New Kind of DeFi Primitive with Support from MetaCoin

Ethereum’s promising decentralized finance sector continues to give rise to new kinds of assets altogether. These novel innovations, or DeFi primitives, could revolutionize the way the world approaches finance in the future.

With one eye on what’s to come, then, keep one eye on what’s already arrived in the here and now. Among the newest DeFi primitives of note are “reflex bonds,” which bear considerable potential to help stabilize the hitherto volatile DeFi arena.

On Monday, April 13th, blockchain developer Stefan Ionescu published an introductory post titled “Stability without Pegs” that charted a path forward for such a reflex-bond system in DeFi.

A New Stability

In his post, Ionescu noted that in the cryptoeconomy the dominant conception of stablecoins to date has been around pegged tokens, i.e. currencies like the Dai from MakerDAO that maintain soft pegs to particular prices like $1 USD.

The developer went on to say that stablecoins with floating redemption prices — i.e. assets with stablecoin-like price stability that don’t maintain an arbitrary peg to a specific price — were viable but had been generally “abandoned” in the space until now.

Ionescu said the Dai was originally devised to have a floating redemption model, and that if the token had retained this model, the Maker ecosystem likely could have weathered the crypto market crash on Black Thursday, i.e. March 12th, much more gracefully.

The point of putting forth reflex bonds was thus to mitigate the effects of volatility on the DeFi sector during extreme market swings, Ionescu explained:

“The purpose of a reflex-bond is to be a more stable representation of its collateral while still maintaining a high level of trustlessness. If used in other protocols, a reflex-bond can shield its users against major and sudden moves in the cryptocurrency markets. For example, if Maker had used reflex-bonds as collateral prior to Black Thursday, [Maker Vault] creators would have had more time to…

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