Compound’s Enterprise Arm Receives S&P Credit Rating in DeFi First

The iffy B- grade applies to Compound Treasury, a platform promising 4% yield for USDC-denominated business accounts.

May 9, 2022 at 2:55 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2022 at 3:09 p.m. UTC

Zack Seward is CoinDesk's deputy editor-in-chief. He holds BTC, ETH, UNI, ATOM and a couple NFTs above CoinDesk's disclosure threshold of $1,000.

Sam is a reporter at CoinDesk focused on decentralized technology, DeFi and DAOs. He owns ETH, BTC and MATIC.

An institutional offering from decentralized finance (DeFi) platform Compound is getting mixed marks from S&P Global Ratings.

The arbiter of creditworthiness slapped Compound Treasury (a product of Compound Prime LLC) with a B- grade, meaning the USDC-powered yield platform ranks as "speculative" but "currently has the capacity to meet financial commitments."

"The outlook is stable," S&P said of Compound Prime in a statement.

Despite the poor marks, Compound heralded the rating as DeFi first. It appears to be the first time an "institutional DeFi" product has been scored by one of the major credit rating agencies.

"[This] signals tremendous progress in the crypto industry's maturity, as traditional institutions begin to judge the risks of digital asset powered financial offerings," Compound Treasury's general manager, Reid Cuming, wrote in a blog post.

Cuming described the rating to CoinDesk as a "translation mechanism" for institutions looking to dip their toes into DeFi.

"What is really interesting and important about this is it really does show that DeFi can be measured, weighed and incorporated into more traditional financial risk methodologies, and additionally, also understood by traditional finance," Cuming said in an interview.

Launched in June 2021, Compound Treasury is designed to be appealing to crypto-savvy enterprises hunting for yield on their cash reserves. Accounts throw off 4% APR on deposits of the stablecoin USDC, are classified as securities and are offered only to accredited institutional customers, according to the product's website.

In its assessment, S&P said Treasury has yet to find its footing, "with only 20 customers and $180 million invested at the end of April." By comparison, Compound's primary DeFi lending platform currently boasts a total value locked (TVL) of over $5 billion in crypto assets.

Wrote S&P: "Major rating weaknesses include, in our view, the company's very low capital base, regulatory risk associated with cryptocurrencies, considerable operational risk and complexity, convertibility risk between private stable coins and fiat currency, and the potential hurdles to generate a 4% return."

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Zack Seward is CoinDesk's deputy editor-in-chief. He holds BTC, ETH, UNI, ATOM and a couple NFTs above CoinDesk's disclosure threshold of $1,000.

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Sam is a reporter at CoinDesk focused on decentralized technology, DeFi and DAOs. He owns ETH, BTC and MATIC.

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Zack Seward is CoinDesk's deputy editor-in-chief. He holds BTC, ETH, UNI, ATOM and a couple NFTs above CoinDesk's disclosure threshold of $1,000.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Sam is a reporter at CoinDesk focused on decentralized technology, DeFi and DAOs. He owns ETH, BTC and MATIC.

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