San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange OKCoin is allowing users to invest in decentralized finance (DeFi) applications through its site without paying gas fees, the company announced Wednesday.
With the company’s Earn product, users can get yield by depositing stablecoins into the Curve, Yearn Finance and Compound protocols. OKCoin says it will be pooling transactions so it can send large sums of stablecoins to the protocols in batches, keeping gas fees low and allowing the exchange to eat the fee.
The move comes as a handful of exchanges (emblems of centralized finance (CeFi) in crypto-speak) have sought to keep up with the offerings of their decentralized counterparts. Decentralized exchange (DEX) volume has surged in recent months and companies such as Binance, Huobi and OKEx have debuted DeFi products as a way to compete.
OKCoin hopes its latest offering serves as an easy – while still non-custodial – DeFi gateway for its customers.
“You don’t have to deal with private keys, recovered phrases or MetaMask,” said Jason Lau, chief operating officer of OKCoin. “We’re known as the fiat-to-crypto exchange. Where we make money is when users complete that go from dollars into USDC or DAI. … We also hope that they come and trade.”
As for OKCoin’s DeFi-CeFi mashup, Lau said, “With Earn, we were thinking about bringing a larger audience and user pool to these protocols so they can grow, too.”