Published on Thu Jul 29 2021

Decentralized Basic Income: Creating Wealth with On-Chain Staking and Fixed-Rate Protocols

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In this review, we evaluate the mechanisms behind the decentralized finance protocols for generating stable, passive income. Currently, such savings interest rates can be as high as 20% annually, payable in traditional currency values such as US dollars. Therefore, one can benefit from the growth of the cryptocurrency markets, with minimal exposure to their volatility risks. We aim to explain the rationale behind these savings products in simple terms. The key to this puzzle is that asset deposits in cryptocurrency ecosystems are of intrinsic economic value, as they facilitate network consensus mechanisms and automated marketplaces (e.g. for lending). These functions create wealth for the participants, and they provide unique advantages unavailable in traditional financial systems. Our review speaks to the notion of decentralized basic income - analogous to universal basic income but guaranteed by financial products on blockchains instead of public policies. We will go through their implementations of how savings can be channeled into the staking deposits in Proof-of-Stake (PoS) protocols, through fixed-rate lending protocols and staking derivative tokens, thereby exposing savers with minimal risks. We will discuss potential pitfalls, assess how these protocols may behave in market cycles, as well as suggest areas for further research and development.