Sequoia-Backed Startup Enters DeFi Market With Bitcoin Binary Options

Band Protocol launched its binary options dapp Monday, allowing users to make predictions on bitcoin's price swings.

AccessTimeIconOct 1, 2019 at 2:14 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 11:30 a.m. UTC

Another participant is entering the decentralized finance (DeFi) fray.

The Sequoia-backed data management startup, Band Protocol, announced Monday the mainnet of its decentralized trading app. The dapp functions as a brokerage – without a centralized authority to confirm prices or collect fees – for ether-denominated binary options.

Dubbed BitSwing, users can take long or short positions on bitcoin’s price within a one-minute time horizon. In time, additional cryptocurrencies and financial products will be added to the platform.

With binary options, traders purchase an option contract to bet on whether the price of an underlying asset will either increase ("call option") or decrease ("put option"). BitSwing works similarly, providing users with a BTC/USD spot price to bet against.

True to binary options' sometimes "all-or-nothing" epithet, if BitSwing traders are correct in their predictions they will double their staked ETH, or lose it all. The dapp has seen 300 unique users, putting it in top 15 active dapps according to dAppRadar’s stats.

The tool uses data oracles to provide real-time price feeds for the market. Information is sourced from CoinGecko, Binance and Upbit, among other sites. These data providers receive rewards for providing trustworthy information from users in the form of collateralized "band" tokens.

With BitSwing, there are two price queries for every transaction: one at the initial put or call to receive the starting price and one at the resolve for the final result. Each query currently costs 0.02 ETH so total of 0.04 ETH is being paid to data provider in every transaction. They are only paid per transaction.

Prior to going live, BitSwing garnered $12,000 in ETH from data query fees in its first two weeks. At that rate, “Band Protocol expects to generate over $300,000 in value per annum for its ecosystem via BitSwing alone,” the company said in a statement.

Founded in 2017, Band Protocol provides a platform for decentralized data governance on public blockchains such as ethereum, EOS and Cosmos. In February, venture capital firm Sequoia India led a $3 million seed round for the startup.

Team photo via Band Protocol

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