DeFi land is a multi-chain gamified asset management layer for decentralized finance. The project seeks to unlock mass adoption of DeFi through a friendly user experience & onboarding process. The project combines elements of play-to-earn blockchain games alongside an easy-to-use DeFi management toolkit.
Ever since DeFi kicked off after the summer of 2020, the industry has shown immense growth and created massive value for the blockchain ecosystem. As the DeFi ecosystem grew it developed many different types of applications within it, lending, AMMs, insurance, derivatives, prediction markets, stable coins, and new crypto-specific features such as flash loans and on-chain governance of protocols.
DeFi is exploding, but despite the growth, the numbers do not suggest that the industry is anywhere close to mass adoption. Let’s look at some stats for DeFi usage:
Data as of 9th September 2021, References 1 , 2
- DeFi TVL is composed mainly of assets such as ETH, BNB, and wBTC which are themselves in price discovery mode.
- TVL numbers can be highly inflated due to the ongoing bull phase of the market
- Average TVL contribution per wallet is about $36,000 which suggests that retail users haven’t mass adopted DeFi
For comparison, it is estimated that between 60-70% of the global population owns a bank account. While DeFi has a much lower barrier to access, it has a very high barrier to entry due to the lack of education and a non-existent user onboarding experience.
What is DeFi Land
DeFi land is a gamified approach to building a DeFi aggregation layer that seeks to solve the problem of mass adoption to DeFi. This is a unique approach for onboarding users and liquidity to DeFi, as gamification increases user stickiness and helps in community building around the project. If we look at an example of Reddit; r/gaming boasts a community of 30 mn and is the 4th largest subreddit compared to the most popular finance subreddit r/personalfinance with 14 mn subscribers and a community ranking of 40+. These cursory statistics show that gamification is extremely good at building an active user base and community.
The team has started by first building its footing on Solana due to its fast transaction times, high throughput & exploding ecosystem. The project was conceived during the Solana Hackathon where it won 2nd prize in the DeFi tack.
Keeping mass adoption in mind, DeFi Land plans to start with Solana to build traction. The reasons for this choice can be summarised as:
- Fast settlement that can handle volume crucial for gaming
- Low cost transactions incentivise frequent interaction, increasing user activity
- A growing ecosystem of DeFi, means very little competition in the middleware layer
- Smart contract capable blockchain that serves all types of DeFi and NFT use cases
Image by @Solanians
DeFi Land presents itself as a web-based farm simulation game. Different buildings on the farm represent various DeFi protocols that users can interact with, all integrated in one beautiful-looking farming game.
DeFi Land’s game activities run on top of existing platforms like Serum and Raydium. User interactions with these protocols are the same as on the native app with no middleman fees or added layers. In the future new projects can be added as new buildings and activities on the farmland.
Unlike other blockchain games, DeFi land is not creating its own closed ecosystem of tokens and interactions, instead, the innovation lies in creating an incentivization layer that seeks to accelerate the growth of the existing DeFi ecosystem.
Need for a better on-boarding experience
DeFi evolved in a very fractured manner, there are hundreds of dApps across every sector. The UX also varies between different services making adoption challenging for users. For example, the UX of two different Lend/borrow apps like Compound and AAVE differ so much that users will have to go through a list of documentation to become familiar with the applications that both offer similar services
A DeFi aggregation layer solves many of these problems for the ecosystem:
A common example of non-standard terminology is the word ‘staking’. Staking has been co-opted for many activities in DeFi, including POS validation, native token mining, protocol fee farming, and even liquidity provisioning to AMMs at times, which can be very confusing for beginners. An aggregation layer solves all these problems & improves DeFi management.
Some notable projects in this space are Instadapp on Ethereum and Polygon and Zapper.fi on Ethereum, BSC, Fantom, Avalanche, and more. To understand the size of the market we don’t have to look any further than the TVL locked in Instadapp’s DSL contracts. Over $13.11 bn worth of DeFi positions are managed via Instadapp making it the 3rd largest DeFi protocol by TVL as per Defi Pulse. Here is how DeFi land compares to the leaders in this space:
Riding the Play-to-Earn wave
While DeFi Land cannot be strictly defined as a game, it is expected to still get traction from the ongoing blockchain gaming hype. Axie Infinity, the current market leader’s recent success, is proof that the gaming market is ready to embrace blockchain. Between July-September of 2021, Axie generated $786 mn in protocol revenue. This was the second-highest revenue generated via any layer1, layer 2, or dApp project in this duration. As of October of 2021, the project sits over $800 mn of digital assets in its treasury.
What is play-to-earn?
Play-to-earn is a popular movement led by games utilizing Blockchain technology for in-game economies. Monetizing in-game items is a proven business model. The revenue generated by the top video games companies in Q4 2020 were:
Blockchain allows for the creation of a revenue share model using a native token and allows all players to also become a stakeholder in the growth of a company. This is hard to imagine in a traditional game where revenue flows only to the investors and game developers. The current generation of play-to-earn games is a bit basic and primitive in their mechanics. But it’s not hard to imagine a world of craft-based games with blockchain-based in-game economies. Already AAA studios level games have gone into development with play-to-earn models. An example being Illuvium
Casual gamers who do not mind paying for game items are now waking up to the idea of playing to earn and questioning the pay-to-play model. Also, players can completely sell their assets in a gameverse and buy into another gameverse when they stop enjoying the game.
On-boarding the next wave DeFi users
At Mapleblock we deeply believe that the crypto ecosystem needs a better onboarding experience to get to mass adoption. DeFi Land does this, with an approach that is unique and highly imaginative.
We talked about the incentivization layer being built alongside the DeFi aggregation layer that is DeFi land. Social gaming is how DeFi land can go beyond its competitors and introduce blockchain to the next billion users. The hype around play-to-earn is likely to drive a large user base to DeFi Land’s incentivization layer.
In the current gaming industry revenue is generated via the following methods:
- Upfront purchase for access to the game
- In-game revenue mode via sale of virtual skins, music, items, currencies
- A Mix of both
DeFi land’s incentivization layer is well-positioned to capture the market share of the blockchain gaming user base as well as the existing DeFi management user base. We have discussed the value of DeFi aggregation layers for DeFi users, but for the next set of users (gamers) there is more value:
- Learn concepts of investments and finance in a consumable format
- True ownership of digital assets and access to secondary markets
- Play-to-earn mechanics for potential income opportunities
The adoption should be easy because this is an audience that is familiar with buying virtual assets even without any real ownership. With blockchain, these users can also fully own & trade these assets, which could encourage even more in-game spending
Let’s look at a few comparable examples, which can serve as a model for DeFi lands game mechanics :
Farmville by Zynga: $1.3 billion in annual revenue at its peak in 2013
The most obvious comparison to DeFi land, Farmville was an agri-simulation social network game, launched in 2009. At its peak Farmville had over 85.9 million monthly active users. Most of the revenues came from sales of virtual goods in the game.
Clash of Clans by Supercell: Generated over $1 bn each year from 2014-2016
Clash of Clans popular social mobile game, where players manage and build their village. Raise armies and battle with other players. Players purchase in-game assets, buildings and decorations to build their village. It also has a global chat and a competitive leaderboard for active players; all these features are on the DeFi Land roadmap.
The native token is called $DFL (DeFi Land) which is a SPL(Solana) token. The maximum total supply will be 10 bn tokens. The team raised $4.15 mn through Seed, Private and strategic rounds. We at Mapleblock, are proud to back DeFi Land alongside other well-known VCs including Animoca Brands, 3Commas and Solana Foundation
- Community can use the token to vote on proposals such as adding new protocols, new DeFi land features & reward distribution
Rewards and in-game activity
- Buy skins, NFTs and customise the look of their farmland
- Generate staking rewards & rewards to active users
- Participate in seasonal events & in-game activities
The platforms revenue model will be generated through several streams through all the in-game activities in which users partake:
- Fee split from transactions on different protocols
- In-game NFT sales/auctions and secondary market sales
- Listing fees from new protocols being added to the game
- Transaction fees from fiat onramps
- A crafting system which will have transaction fee on creating new NFTs
- In-game advertisement spaces
Release and Roadmap
DeFi Land will be released in a staggered 2 part launch. The v1 and v2 versions will launch with the following features:
The project is currently in an invite-only closed beta since September of 2021. The current road map includes:
The team prefers to be pseudonymous and is led by DFL-Erwin (Team Lead) and DFL- Zeke (Lead full stack developer).
Erwin has experience working with international banks in fields such as data science and gamification. He has previously collaborated with Zeke on 2 ventures related to AR/VR and machine learning, in partnership with companies like AWS, Nvidia and more
Zeke is a software developer with over 10 years of experience as a full stack developer and blockchain engineer.
The rest of the team comprises experienced blockchain developers and game developers with over a decade worth of combined experience.
The Future and the Metaverse
DeFi Land is currently in its beta and has basic DeFi functionalities, the first version is focused on ensuring that the base DeFi integrations all work well and are easy to use. However, before a public launch new innovative gaming-centric features will be added and this will set the first step for DeFi Land’s market position in the inevitable metaverse on blockchains.
Initially DeFi Land will roll out exclusive NFTs, play-to-earn token drops and land sales to build a flourishing community on Solana. But what excites us is the possibilities with the metaverse. NFTs are a growing trend that are expected to still be relevant even in a bear market. Popular NFT projects have limited use cases such as using as a display picture. The avenues for using NFTs outside are limited and going to be the next big blockchain projects. A major use case lies in displaying NFTs in a digital environment. Digital art galleries, VR/AR spaces, displaying NFTs inside blockchain games in projects like Terra Virtua, Decentraland will become the natural homes for NFTs. This is where DeFi Land has a unique advantage where it can combine DeFi investing with metaverse community aspects.
DeFi Land links
Disclaimer: Mapleblock Capital is an investor in DeFi Land. This thesis is a summary of our opinions and views on the project. Cryptocurrency is a volatile asset class and readers should be aware of the potential risks of investing in blockchain projects. This is not investment advice & we will not accept liability for any loss or damage that may arise directly or indirectly from any such investments