Why I chose CeFi over DeFi (short) – Collin Dyer, Esq. PhD.

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With Maker rising and new Dai just issued, DeFi is all the rage. Searching Google Trends for the phrase “ethereum defi” shows the industry is in growth-phase:

Google Trends for “ethereum defi”

The term “DeFi” stands for decentralized finance. DeFi stands in opposition to CeFi, which encompasses centralized services such as BlockFi and Crypto.com. The promise of both DeFi and CeFi is to hold your cryptocurrency while providing a rate of return, somewhat similar to the idea of staking for Proof of Stake cryptocurrencies.

Chosing Crypto.com as an example, the service offers a number of interesting features:

PROS

  • High quality UX, fast customer support
  • A wide range of cryptocurrencies are accepted, rates of return approximately 3+%
  • Flexible (withdraw anytime) staking, 1 month, and 2 month options.
  • Generous ($50 each) referral program
  • Anyone can invest, profit-share(CDO token)

CONS

  • No laptop support or web-interphase, phone app only
  • Phone app can be buggy
  • Mid-industry interest rates (BitTrue, BlockFi lead at 7 and 6%, respectively)

There are also decentralized services that offer interest-paying wallets. In addition, there is the Dai/Maker defi ecosystem. These defi services are of increasing popularity. Many support a range of coins/tokens

Crypto.com interest-bearing program: supported coins

There is an ideological bent in the cryptocurrency community that decentralization is always good and centralization is always bad. The truth of that proposition aside, the fact is that I eschewed my love for all-things-decentralized when I signed up for Crypto.com and BlockFi. So Why.

The reason I chose CeFi of DeFi is that I love good customer service where thousands of my dollars are at stake. Traditionally, I have self-custodied my own crypto on a Ledger, and used a brain wallet where I have my key phrase memorized. But a few months ago, I got nervous that I wan’t making any interest; my bitcoin and ethereum weren’t working for me. I wanted to participate in the loan-and-interest exchange that produces real rates of return for hodlers.

So far, I’m glad I went CeFi — when things don’t go 100% right, there is someone I can call/chat/email with to solve the problem (provided I don’t do anything truly boneheaded like use an incorrect withdrawal address). For example, when the Crypto.com app started screwing up on me, and wouldn’t let me withdraw, I was able to email a human being and trouble shoot the problem (turned out to be weak wireless). When my withdrawal from BlockFi took longer than expected, there was a person I could email to figure out why and how long to expect. I like that feeling of safety and security, especially where big piles of my cash are at stake. I suspect most potential adopters will feel the same.

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