Nigerian startup Xend Finance uses decentralized finance (DeFi) to address currency devaluation. DeFi aims to bridge the gap between decentralized blockchains and financial services. Aronu Ugochukwu and Abafor Chima founded the startup in 2019, and Ugochukwu is quite familiar with currency devaluation.
Currency devaluation is a common economic nightmare faced in most African countries and other developing countries worldwide. It has become imperative for organisations like credit unions to hedge their collective funds against their local currency’s devaluation.
“We’ve experienced three massive currency devaluations in the last three years in Nigeria, and this is similar to different economies in the world with unstable economies,” Ugochukwu said to TechCrunch. “My mother and I belong to different cooperatives where we save and make monthly contributions to help one another in the cooperative. Realizing that despite saving regularly, we were losing more value for our money. This gave birth to Xend Finance.”
Today, the company announced its mainnet launch, opening up the ability for credit unions to access DeFi for their members by using decentralized stablecoins such as DAI and BUSD.
Not only is Xend Finance trying to protect credit unions from fluctuation, but it is also changing how they operate. In these unions, groups of individuals contribute to informal savings for their different mutual benefits.
However, they are often limited by three factors. One is in its size — only a small knit of people in a particular locale can access the service. The second is lack of insurance, which means people don’t have the confidence to join saving cycles. The third has to do with how credit union members default in payments, affecting how much is paid down the line.
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