Alex Mashinsky believes that CeFi and DeFi are two sides of the same coin and can’t exist separately.
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The volatility of the crypto market had minimal impact on what’s happening behind the scenes of the crypto industry. Speaking to Cryptonites‘ Alex Fazel at the Paris Blockchain Week, Brian Rose said that the state of the market hasn’t come up a single time during the entire event.
The event, designed for professionals and institutions, showed that the excitement and innovation in the industry are immune to prices. Rose, the host of the podcast and YouTube channel London Real, said that the macroeconomic turmoils we’ve seen recently have been positive for crypto, as more and more people realize they need to take control of their own money.
“One bitcoin is still one Bitcoin,” he told Cryptonites.
Despite the rising concern over rising interest rates and the ongoing war in Ukraine, Mashinsky believes that the strong interest in events like the Paris Blockchain Week shows that the industry is holding strong.
This strength is evident in the number of new users flocking to crypto, and the amount of funding projects received. Mashinsky said that this is a stark contrast to when Celsius was first launched just five years ago. At the time, offering users a yield on their crypto investments was unheard of, and the idea for Celsius was pitched to over 200 VC firms.
Now, Mashinsky said that VCs are chasing Celsius and other companies like it. However, there’s no room for VC investments in Celsius—Mashinsky says that the platform is funded by its users, and it keeps growing every day. With over 159,000 BTC and 2 million ETH in its reserves, Celsius is no longer a proof-of-concept but a real source of revenue for millions of its users.
When asked about the relationship between DeFi and CeFi, Mashinsky offered a unique outlook on the dichotomy of the two sectors.
“CeFi and DeFi are two sides of the same coin.”
He explained that one couldn’t exist without the other, as 99% of crypto users find it more comfortable to stay in CeFi. But, with 1% of users still looking for alternatives, there’s room to grow and bring more users to decentralized finance. However, getting into DeFi is an aggressive transition for many leaving the safety of CeFi.
This transition is where Celsius steps in as a stepping stone between the comfort of centralized services and the risk of decentralized ones. Mashinsky calls this “Web 2.5”.
It offers users the ability to enter the DeFi market and earn yield with very little money while mitigating the time and risks DeFi services require.
Rose shares Mashinsky’s beliefs, saying that having a service like Celsius act as a bridge between Web2 and Web3 helps users become more aware of the risks associated with DeFi. His DeFi academy has graduated over 1,000 students, providing them with the knowledge and confidence necessary to interact with DeFi.
This bridge is necessary given how competitive the DeFi market is getting. Mashinsky noted that there’s been a separation in the market, with platforms like Celsius emerging to take advantage of the part of the population looking for a low-risk entry into DeFi. Other decentralized platforms have taken on the less risk-averse user base, offering high-risk, high-reward farming services.
He believes that this bifurcation will help get more people into crypto, offering everyone a way into the market.
On the other hand, Rose believes that the rising popularity of GameFi will be what will create a revolution in the industry. Offering people a glimpse into the market through the world of games will make more people comfortable when interacting with cryptocurrencies and ultimately make them a part of the industry—be it centralized or decentralized.