Decentralised protocol Umbria Network launches into the DeFi universe

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Umbria Networks

Umbria Networks is a new community and open source project, which will enable DeFi (Decentralised Finance) applications on the Ethereum blockchain. A user of Umbria will in due course be able to swap tokens and earn interest on their cryptocurrency positions on the Umbria website.

Today (January 25th, 2021) is an important milestone for the project. Its Umbria utility governance token has officially launched on Uniswap. You can now buy UMBRIA with ETH (and vice versa) and provide liquidity to the ETH UMBRIA pool to earn interest.

As a decentralised protocol Umbria is focussed on creating accessible applications so that anyone can participate in DeFi confidently. DeFi is a very steep learning curve, but Umbria aims to simplify and demystify the currently over-complicated user-experience, which acts as a barrier to entry for many. …


One year into the COVID-19 pandemic, we can see numerous changes in consumer behaviour and priorities. Change and uncertainty have prompted people to take a more holistic approach to their overall well-being, factoring in what makes them feel happy and healthy.

There has also been a collective realisation around excess weight and associated health conditions, and their link to increased risk of the effects of COVID-19 and other serious illnesses.

As health and lifestyle awareness grows and people make real shifts in their behaviour, the wellness market is expanding. Market activity is expected to heat up in nutrition and fitness, highlighting the population’s increasing attention to preventive measures which help boost the immune system and improve well-being. …


Among the many changes we witnessed in 2020, the placement of sustainability at the core of many business strategies is one of the most urgent and promising. Companies all over the world pledged to reduce carbon emissions: Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, committed $3.6B to curb emissions and boost sustainability.

A report from the Financial Times pointed out that eco-friendly products are ‘green gold’ and that sustainability is a ‘trend that will intensify as companies seek to meet evolving consumer expectations.’

The fashion industry had come under fire for its high carbon footprint for years. According to the World Bank, the fashion industry is responsible for 10 percent of annual global carbon emissions: more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined. …


A new advancement in the digital economy is starting to take shape: the rise of digital identity. The use of digital identity is establishing itself as one of the foundations of an increasingly digitised economy, with many governments putting it at the top of their agendas.

Beyond the convenience and security aspects, there are economic benefits to setting up a digital ID system: a study by McKinsey showed that full digital ID coverage could unlock economic value equivalent to 3 to 13 percent of GDP in 2030 as it increases inclusion, formalisation and transparency. …


Last week, the Prime Minister unveiled plans to start the Green Industrial Revolution in the UK, which encompasses clean energy, transport, nature and innovative technologies. According to the official announcement, the initiative “will mobilise £12 billion of government investment to create and support up to 250,000 highly-skilled green jobs in the UK, and spur over three times as much private sector investment by 2030.”

This is an ambitious and encouraging plan, showing the government’s commitment to sustainable growth and the transition into a green economy. …


Cybercrime in DeFi is growing: A report by crypto intelligence company CipherTrace showed that hackers are targeting the trendy DeFi sector to exploit infant projects in an unregulated industry. The study revealed that while hacks, thefts and frauds in the crypto space have declined in general, crimes in the DeFi sector have risen in 2020.

In the two years following the 2017 crypto boom, cryptocurrency exchanges were hackers’ primary victims. …


The DeFi ecosystem is comprises a variety of blockchain-based financial service applications. We have already introduced you to decentralised exchanges and infrastructure and lending projects.

Another class of service offered by DeFi is asset management. Investors in the traditional environment have often taken their positions for granted as they can afford the risks and fees involved, and live in locations with a reliable financial market that allows investing. However, within decentralised asset management, investment opportunities will be extended to a wider circle of users for whom the traditional finance model proved prohibitive or limiting.

Under the current or traditional model, specialised institutions and financial advisors tailor an investment portfolio to individual characteristics such as risk profile, income and goals. This process is controlled by asset management companies, and investors have considerably limited access to their own funds, while fees must be paid to the intermediary actors. In general, investors have little independence and autonomy over their own assets. …


In our first blog of DeFi series, we introduced the new exciting crypto universe of DeFi Lending Projects. This time, we’re digging more deeply into decentralised exchanges. As explained, Decentralised Finance is a movement composed of initiatives that resemble conventional market services, offered via blockchain-built smart contracts with no need for intermediaries. Decentralised Exchange, also called DEX, is the decentralised version of exchanges used for trading activities.

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Cryptocurrency exchanges are usually one of the main ports of call for investors and traders new to the crypto space, yet many of the largest crypto exchanges are centralised. …


A nascent financial paradigm is taking shape, an evolution from the current economic and financial system whose governance is highly centralised and controlled by authorities. The new paradigm centres on empowering users, promoting self-sovereignty and leveraging technology to open up financial institutions for individuals.

The DeFi system is open to everybody and not reliant on any central authority to make decisions. It democratises access to financial services by lowering the barrier of entry for those who — for a number of reasons — may not be able to access traditional bank accounts, loans or other financial products.

Welcome to the Decentralised Finance, the evolution of crypto.


Cryptocurrencies are often seen as an abstract concept for those more familiar with the traditional investment scene. After all, bitcoin-like tokens are intangible assets with high price volatility — so far — and limited use-cases. Yet, the conversation has evolved in recent years as the promise of digital assets has piqued the interest of investors and fund managers.

In a recent FinancialFox interview, we talked to Amanda van Dyke, Managing Director at ARCH Emerging Markets and an experienced gold fund manager. Regarding investment opportunities in gold, Amanda mentioned that “Bitcoin is millennials’ gold”, referring to the younger generations adopting cryptocurrencies as a legitimate store of wealth. …

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