Message From the CEO of Relife Metaverse

Hello, I’m Dr.Liew, the CEO and cofounder of Relife. I’m very excited to share our vision for Relife with you today.

Just to briefly share my qualifications: I have over 10 years of experience in blockchain research as well as a Doctor of Business Administration from the University of South Australia. I’m a frequent speaker at international blockchain events, as well as an author of more than 10 books on blockchain and crypto. In my years as a blockchain architect, I’ve developed a variety of business models in the metaverse, NFT, Defi and Gamefi spaces. But out of all the projects I’ve worked on, Relife is the one with the greatest potential to change the world as we know it.

It may not feel like it, but right now, we’re living in the most peaceful and prosperous times in all of human history. We have so much amazing technology that makes our lives so much better than most people in the past. If people from your grandma’s or grandpa’s generation looked at us, they would probably think that we’re like gods! But if you look at human history, even the most amazing civilizations will be destroyed sooner or later. Just look at the Mayans or Babylon. There were so many amazing cultures and societies that all just disappeared.

But what if there was a way to preserve what you love about the world we live in, no matter what happens? So that’s where Relife comes in. We created Relife as its own separate world free from threats like disasters, wars, and disease – and you get to decide what that world looks like.

That’s the most exciting thing! You, the players, will be the creator gods who shape this parallel universe. With the tools and resources, we provide, you get to establish a whole new identity. You can build whatever you want. Farm. Compete. Express yourself. Entertain. Create whole new kinds of sports and new ways of playing and interacting with each other. With Relife, you can truly live the way you’ve always wanted to live. No limits at all.

Together, Relife players will create an alternate reality that is everything you treasure about the world, and even more! More creative and wonderful ways of life that transcend the limitations of the physical world. And I hope I get to see all of you there.

The good news is, you won’t have to wait long to jump right in! Relife 1.0 is launching very soon, on the 20th of November. Our very first batch of players, the pioneers, will get to start creating your own new lives and laying down the very foundations of the world. So don’t miss the chance to get in on the ground floor and help establish a whole new universe! For all the latest updates, make sure to follow us and turn on notifications for our official Telegram, Twitter, Gitbook, Medium and Facebook.

As for me, I’ll be right there in Relife as well on November 20th, 2021, and I really hope that you will all join me there. I can’t wait to see what kind of metaverse you will create!

Metaverse

When you woke up in the morning on 29th Oct 2021, you must be surprised to notice that Facebook has changed its logo into an infinite loop ∞, and its name to meta, thus announcing its official entry into the Metaverse. Instantly the stock markets reacted with a bang as metaverse related stocks Roblox, Nvidia and Unity spiked significantly. Compared to the stock market, the crypto market reacted even more dramatically. The blockchain metaverse pioneer Decentraland governance coin MANA rose from $1 to about $4, i.e., 400% gain within four days. Another metaverse coin SAND (The governance coin of the SandBox) from $0.9 to 2.6, about 290% gain in the same period. In addition, GALA and MBOX also spiked significantly.

In recent months, the term metaverse has sort of become the newest buzzword in the crypto and gaming space, and startups venturing into Metaverse are mushrooming around the Globe. These startups were able to attract investments from angel investors and VCs. The biggest news this year was the direct listing of Roblox on the New York Stock Exchange which the company’s stock closed at $69.50 per share, giving the company a market cap of $38.26 billion. Another sensational story was Epic Games, the company that built Unreal Engine and the popular metaverse game Fortnite has just completed a 1 billion round of funding to support the long-term vision for the metaverse. 

However, the most mind blogging news was the announcement by Mark Zuckerber that he wants to transform Facebook into a metaverse social media platform , even changing its name. In fact, when you woke up on 29th Oct 2021 , you will notice that Facebook has changed its logo into an infinite loop, signaling its entry into the Metavese. With Facebook going insanely big on Metaverse, and everyone so closely tied to Facebook, what will be the impacts on our personal life socially , economically and perhaps psychologically? We will no longer interacting in a 2D world but a VR, AR and XR mixed reality parallel world where you can meet your friends face to face, representing by your Avatars. However, things can turn ugly if you are not careful, friends you hate may suddenly appear and say hello to you, and he may just stab you from the back, though only your Avatar…

Metaverse is a term that first appeared in science fiction. The prefix “meta” means beyond, and “verse” means universe. The term was coined in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash, where humans, as avatars, interact with each other and software agents, in a 3D virtual space that uses the metaphor of the real world(Wikipedia). Fast forward to 2011, Novelist Ernest Cline authored a famous science fiction, Ready Player One, which hits theaters in March courtesy of Steven Spielberg. While the story is set in the strife-torn meatspace of 2045, most of its action unfolds in a vast network of artificial worlds called the OASIS, an earlier version of metaverse.

The recent popular Netflix short series “The Billion Dollar Code” that was based on the true story also tell us that the early concept of Metaverse has indeed started to materialized in the 1990’s. Although the Virtual Reality technology was called Terravision invented by a group of artists and computer nerds in Germany, it is indeed the 3D virtual map that allows you fly and zoom in to any part of the world in real time. It was alleged that Google stole the technology to create Google Earth though the case Art+Com vs Google of patent infringement was rejected by a US court.

Metaverse would not have been possible without the invention of the Internet, in particular the World Wide Web that allows global citizens to access and share multimedia contents around the globe. On the 6th of August 1991, Tim Berners-Lee posted the very first public invitation for collaboration on the World Wide Web, the beginning of the connected world where people are connected and access information and enjoy multimedia entertainment, even monetize from it. It was also the era of the browser war involving Netscape, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Safari and more. Without a browser you could not access the web. Eventually IE won the war but lost to Chrome in the 21st century.

The early world wide web was just providing multimedia content, non-interactive and did not allow any tom dick and harry to create a website, you must be a little bit tech savvy to use the HTML code to create a webpage. This era is generally known as Web 1.0. Besides, the computer processors were much less powerful than even today’s mobile phone , coupled with slow Internet speed using the dial-up modem, accessing the web was a painful experience. It is no wonder Terravision encountered a lot of issues due to the limitation of the hardware and Internet bandwidth. Despite the limitations, many dotcom companies were formed trying to monetize from the web, even some early online business platforms were developed to facilitate online commerce, which later known as e-commerce. Some famous examples were eBay and Amazon.com. Internet Giants Google , Facebook and Alibaba were not even born yet.

Entered the 21st century, many dotcom companies and startups went bust as a result of the dotcom bubble happened at the end of the 20th century, leaving a few giants like Amazon.com and the struggling Yahoo! to carry the torch. However, the Internet infrastructure has become more robust with the invention of faster modem, router and other hardware and much more powerful computers and laptops. In addition, connecting to the Internet has become seamless as WiFi replaced the old dial up modem. Besides that, touch screen mobile phones were becoming ubiquitous , making mobile web possible. Now people can stay online 24/7. It is also the emergence of search engine giant Google followed by the social media giant Facebook. Users are not only able to access the information, they can create and publish contents easily via social media and interact with other users. The interactive web is hence known as web 2.0.

Early 21st century also saw the emergence of  massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) . It is a video game that combines aspects of a role-playing video game and a massively multiplayer online game. This type of game allows players to immerse themselves in a virtual world so it can be considered a precursor of Metaverse game. MMORPGs are stark different from single-player or small multi-player online RPGs by the number of players able to interact together, and by the game’s persistent virtual world which continues to exist and evolve even while the player is offline and exit the game.

Since many massively multiplayer online games share features with the Metaverse but provide access only to non-persistent instances that are shared by up to several dozen players, the concept of multiverse virtual games has been used to distinguish them from the Metaverse.

In the NFT space, it refers to shared virtual worlds where land, buildings, avatars and even names can be bought and sold using cryptocurrency. In these environments, people can wander around, play games, visit buildings, buy goods and services, and attend events, exactly like the real world. Let us examine some popular Metaverse NFT platforms. Metaverse has gained increasing popularity due to combination of NFT, DeFi and GameFi that form the in backbone of the Metaverse ecosystem.

To learn more about metaverse, please come back in my blog to check on updates on my current book publication date, the title is “Metaverse Made Easy: A Beginner’s Guide to the Metaverse: Everything you need to know about Metaverse, NFT and GameFi 

References

Automatic Market Maker

Automatic market maker(AMM) is one of the key components of the decentralized exchange(DEX) platform. Traditional exchanges and centralized digital exchanges rely on the order book to facilitate trading between buyers and sellers. In contrast, DEX employs an AMM algorithm that allows automated trading using a mathematical formula that determines the price of the tokens in a liquidity pool. In fact, AMM is a smart contract that is embedded in the liquidity pool of a decentralized exchange ecosystem.

Different DeFi protocols use different formulas in their AMM algorithms. Uniswap uses the formula x*y=k, where x is the amount of token X and y is the amount of token Y in the liquidity pool, and k is a constant. The equation implies that x and y will move inversely proportional to each other on a hyperbolic curve.

Let us examine the following example:

Assuming Uniswap has a pool comprising the ETH/USDT pair. Let say at a particular time the pool has 10000 ETH and the price of ETH was 1500 USDT, hence the total value of ETH was 15,000,000 USDT. As the ratio is 50:50, the total amount of USDT should be 15,000,000.

Based on the formula x*y=k, k=10000*15,000,000=150,000,000,000

Next, assuming now the amount of ETH has reduced to 8000, using the above equation;

the amount of USDT should increase to 150,000,000,000/000=18,750,000

Uniswap is the first truly decentralized AMM as it allows anyone to create a liquidity pool. Besides that, it allows anyone to provide liquidity to an existing pool

Another popular DEX that employs AMM is Kyber Swap. However, it is not truly decentralized as it does not allow anyone to create a liquidity pool or provide liquidity to a pool. Kyber swap liquidity pools are deployed by professional market makers.

Other popular DEX that employed AMM are Balancer, Curve, Sushiswap and more.

DeFi Products

In this article, I shall discuss the types of DeFi products and services available in the crypto markets. Popular DeFi products include decentralized exchanges, loan and savings markets, tokenized physical assets such as gold, derivatives, forecasting/betting markets, payment, insurance, asset management, and more.

The complete list of DeFi products are as shown in the following Figure.

DeFi loan and savings markets allow you to lend, borrow, or deposit money in a platform. Among the popular loan and savings platforms are Compound, Aave, MakerDAO, Fulcrum, dYdX, and more. If you lend out your digital assets by depositing them in a liquidity pool, you will earn interest over a period.  On the other hand, you can borrow a digital asset by giving another digital asset as a collateral. The collateral is usually ETH but can be other cryptoassets. The debt has an accruing interest which is to be paid off along with the principal.

Decentralized exchanges or DEXs are like stock exchanges but run by smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. While both allow you to trade assets, decentralized exchanges only trade cryptoassets and do not require centralized authorities to manage the trading. They run on autopilot 24/7. Therefore, it offers fantastic opportunity to anyone in the world to have access to invest in digital assets, particularly the unbanked and underserved.

In a nutshell, DeFi products allows you to use your digital assets to secure a loan and use that loan to invest in some other digital assets that you expect to gain higher returns. You may also leverage on your collateral to secure more loans to purchase more assets with the expectation that the value of the assets will appreciate, not unlike real estate investment. Besides, you can lend your assets in a lending and borrowing market to earn more attractive interest than banks.

In addition, you may contribute your assets to liquidity pools in the DeFi money market to earn rewards. If your risk appetite is high, you may trade with margin in many different types of Decentralized exchanges. You can even expose yourself to higher risk by leveraging. The list goes on, so do not miss the opportunities!

DeFi and Yield Farming Explained

DeFi and Yield Farming have been the most popular buzzwords among the crypto community in recent months. Some DeFi tokens can skyrocket to more than 10K USD in just a few days but drop back to near zero also in a matter of days! Besides that, people in the crypto community are talking about yield farming instead of mining nowadays, most of you might scratch your head and wonder what the heck is that? Skeptics might challenge that DeFi is merely hype, but the total value of digital assets locked in the DeFi platforms has reached an astounding $10 billion(as seen in the figure below), thus it has created huge DeFi economics(Should I call it DeFiconomics?).

Source: https://defipulse.com/

To help you understand DeFi and Yield Farming, I shall try my best to explain these two concepts in a nutshell.

What is DeFi?

The word DeFi stands for decentralized finance, which means operating financial applications on a decentralized platform such as blockchain. It is the new financial architecture that leverages decentralized networks and decentralized technologies such as smart contracts to transform old financial products into trustless and transparent protocols that run without intermediaries. DeFi has a popular nickname ‘Money Lego’ because of the process of DeFi development like building legos where different components of a system can easily connect and interoperate.

DEFI Features

DeFi has unique features compared to CenFi (Centralised finance) and claimed to be able to provide more convenient and seamless services, particularly for the underserved people. Here are some of the features:

  • P2P- Transactions are performed on peer to peer basis without the need for intermediaries
  • No need KYC- Anyone can open an account with a DeFi platform anytime and easily without going through the tedious and painful process of KYC
  • No one holds your digital assets- DeFi platforms are non-custodian in nature which means they do not hold your private keys, you have full control of your own digital assets.

DeFi Products

Popular DeFi products include decentralized exchanges, loan and savings markets, tokenized physical assets such as gold, derivatives, forecasting/betting markets, payment networks, insurance and more.

Loan and Savings Markets

DeFi loan and savings markets allow you to lend, borrow, or deposit money in a platform. Among the popular loan and savings platforms are Compound, Aave, MakerDAO, Dharma, dYdX, and more.

Compound

Compound is a protocol on the Ethereum blockchain that creates a money market, which is a group of assets with algorithmically earned interest rates, based on supply and demand for those assets. The asset provider (and borrower) interacts directly with the protocol, earning (and paying) floating interest rates, without having to negotiate conditions such as maturity, interest rates, or collateral with peers or business partners.

MakerDAO

MakerDAO is a smart contract that allows users to open Protected Debt Positions, or CDP (Collateralized Debt Positions). Users deposit ETH as collateral and can mint or borrow tokens called DAI. DAI is a stablecoin linked to the US dollar.

Borrowers pay an annual interest rate called the stability fee to mint a new DAI. After the debt is repaid, the DAI is burned along with the stability fee owed in the MKR Maker token. Stability charges prevent users from overspending the amount of DAI supply in excess.

Aave

Aave is a decentralized non-custodial money market protocol in which users can participate as depositors(lenders) or borrowers. Depositors provide liquidity to the market to earn passive income, while borrowers can borrow in an overcollateralized or undercollateralized manner.

Dharma

Dharma is an open-source lending and savings account built on Compound which is characterized by its ease of use and simplicity. Dharma features a Smart Wallet is a non-custodial that automatically lends out any DAI or USDC it receives on Compound and generates a variable interest rate. Dharma requires users to have a fully verified Coinbase Account in order to create a new account.

dYdX

dYdX is a non-custodial trading platform on Ethereum that caters to more experienced traders. The dYdX platform allows users to lend, borrow, or margin trade any supported asset like ETH, Dai, USDC, and more. Interest rates vary by asset and adjust with supply and demand. Interest continuously accrues and is paid to lenders, minus 5% which is set aside for dYdX’s insurance fund.

All borrowed funds must initially be collateralized with 125% of their value. Liquidation occurs if that ratio falls below 115% and comes with a 5% penalty. Traders can take leveraged long positions of up to 5x their collateral’s value and 4x for shorts. Loans and margin trades can remain open for a max of 28 days, after which they are automatically closed out with a 1% expiration fee.

Decentralized Exchange

Decentralized exchanges or DEX are like stock exchanges but run by smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. While both allow you to trade assets, decentralized exchanges only trade cryptocurrencies and do not require centralized authorities to operate. Some of the popular exchanges are Uniswap, SushiSwap, Bancor, Kyber, Balancer, and more.

Uniswap

Uniswap is a decentralized ERC-20 token exchange that supports Ethereum and ERC20 tokens. The advantage of Uniswap is that you can exchange ETH with other ERC-20 tokens in a decentralized way. No companies involved, no KYC, and no intermediaries.

The Uniswap platform is unique in that it does not use an order book to derive the price of an asset or to match buyers and sellers of tokens. Instead, Uniswap uses the Liquidity Pool which comprises a group of tokens managed by smart contracts. The liquidity pool ensures enough tokens for users to exchange with each other using Ethereum as a channel.

Bancor

Bancor is a protocol on Ethereum for non-custodial token exchange using pooled liquidity. Bancor does not use order books, Instead, it uses an algorithmic market-making mechanism through the use of Smart Tokens. This will ensure liquidity and accurate prices by maintaining a fixed ratio among connected tokens and adjusting their own supply.

The Bancor platform has expanded beyond Ethereum to offer an exchange with EOS and POA Network. It also features a native token known as BNT( Bancor Network Token), which serves as a Smart Token hub that connects all other tokens in the Bancor Network, enabling instant trades among any asset supported by Bancor.

Kyber

Kyber Network is an on-chain liquidity protocol that allows the token holders to contribute liquidity known as reserves. The Kyber Network offers multiple types of reserves that exist in smart contracts. Besides that, Kyber does not use order books; when a user initiates a trade, Kyber returns the best price across all reserves.

The Kyber Network can be integrated into dApps to enhance user experience. In addition, Vendors and wallets can also use the Kyber Network to allow users to transact using their token of choice in a single transaction. Moreover, Kyber has a native token called KNC which is used to align ecosystem incentives. Holders can stake KNC to participate in governance and earn rewards, reserve managers pay fees and receive rebates in KNC, and DApp integrators receive a portion of fees.

Balancer

Balancer is an automated market-maker built on Ethereum. It allows anyone to create or add liquidity to customizable pools and earn trading fees. Instead of the traditional AMM model, Balancer’s formula allows any number of tokens in any weights or trading fees.

In fact, Balancer is like an inverse of ETF: instead of paying fees to portfolio managers to rebalance your portfolio, you collect fees from traders, who continuously rebalance your portfolio by following arbitrage opportunities. Balancer protocol is designed to be composable and has three types of pools:

1) Private Pools where only the owner can contribute liquidity and has full permissions over the pool, being able to update any of its parameters.

2) Shared Pools where the pool’s tokens, weights, and fees are permanently set and the pool creator has no special privileges. Anyone may add liquidity to shared pools and ownership of the pool’s liquidity is tracked with a specific token called BPT – Balancer Pool Token.

3) Smart Pools which are a variation of a private pool where the controller is a smart contract, allowing for any arbitrary logic/restrictions on how pool parameters can be changed. Smart pools may also accept liquidity from anyone and issue BPTs to track ownership.

Yield Farming

Yield farming is an activity that uses crypto assets to generate as much return as possible on those assets. A yield farmer may continually chase which pool offers the best APY (Annual Percentage Yield). This may mean moving to risky pools from time to time, but yield farmers can deal with the risks.

In some sense, yield farming is similar to staking but is a lot more complex. In many cases, it works with users called liquidity providers (LP) that add funds to liquidity pools. For example, a yielding farmer puts 100,000 USDT into the Compound. In return, he or she will get a token for the stock, called cUSDT.

Let’s say he or she get 100,000 cUSDT back. He or she can then put the cUSDT into a liquidity pool that uses cUSDT in Balancer, an AMM (auto market maker) that allows users to set up a crypto index fund that is rebalancing. At normal times, this can earn a small amount of transaction fees. This is the basic idea of ​​yield farming. Users are looking for sophisticated cases in the system to produce as many results as possible in as many products as possible.

Liquidity Pool

What is a liquidity pool? It’s basically a smart contract that contains funds. In return for providing liquidity to the pool, LPs get a reward. That reward may come from fees generated by the underlying DeFi platform, or some other source.

Some popular Yield Farming platforms are SushiSwap, Yearn Finance, and YAM Finance.

SushiSwap

SushiSwap is an automated market making (AMM) decentralized exchange (DEX) currently on the Ethereum blockchain. Unlike other protocols, SushiSwap is a community-run project that is governed by the vote of the community. There are a few core products for SushiSwap’s ecosystem:

Each of these serve a different purpose within the ecosystem. Users Earn SUSHI tokens by staking SushiSwap V2 SLP Tokens.

Yearn Finance

yearn.finance is a decentralized ecosystem of aggregators that utilize lending platforms such as Aave, Compound, Dydx, and Fulcrum to optimize your token lending. When you deposit your tokens into yearn.finance, they are converted to yTokens. yTokens are periodically rebalanced to choose the most profitable lending services.

Among the aggregators, Curve.fi is the most prominent integrator of yTokens. Curve.fi creates an AMM between yDAI, yUSDC, yUSDT, yTUSD that not only earns the lending fees but also the trading fees on Curve.fi. On the other hand, YFI, yearn.finance’s governance token, is distributed only to users who provide liquidity with certain yTokens. With no pre-mine, pre-sale, or allocation to the team, YFI is claimed to be the most decentralized token in the DeFi space.

YAM Finance

YAM Protocol is a decentralized cryptocurrency that uses a rebasing mechanism to raise funds for a treasury managed by the community. The community can then use those funds via YAM governance to build the protocol.

In addition, YAM is the governance token for the YAM protocol. Using token voting, YAM holders have direct influence over the YAM treasury and direction of the protocol. Governance discussions take place on the Yam Governance Forum.

Currently, you’re able to earn YAM rewards by providing liquidity to the yUSD/YAM Uniswap pool. The rewards given to the pool are 92,500 in week 1, decreasing by 10% every week after. Please realize that you must apply the YAM scaling factor to get the current reward amount at any given time.

Conclusion

In short, DeFi is the most exciting blockchain-based financial ecosystem right now, but it is also extremely risky and confusing. This article is just an introduction to DeFi and I hope you could understand the basic concepts. To help everyone understand the DeFi applications better and even use them to accumulate wealth in digital assets, I will attempt to write a series of article of DeFi that shall zoom into some famous DeFi platforms like Compound, UniSwap, SushiSwap, yearn finance, Balancer and more, stay tune!

References