Crypto derivatives exchange Opium has closed a $3.25 million funding round involving investors such as QCP Soteria, Kenetic Capital and Sam Bankman-Fried’s Alameda Research.
The Amsterdam-based startup allows for users to launch custom and exotic decentralized derivatives that anyone with an internet connection and an Ethereum wallet can access.
Founder and CEO Andrey Belyakov told CoinDesk in an interview that Opium was created to solve three problems in the traditional derivatives market: transparency, barrier to entry and cost-efficiency.
“You cannot make derivatives unless you’ve got millions of dollars to spare,” Belyakov said. He added that all three of these problems can be solved with blockchain because then “everyone can run his own derivatives.”
The protocol was designed over two years ago, long before decentralized finance (DeFi) popped into an $11 billion market over the summer.
“We are making DeFi more efficient in the short term but our long-term goal is to compete with traditional derivatives in this huge market,” Belyakov said.
Last month, Opium introduced credit default swaps for tether (USDT) to insure buyers in the event of a default by Tether, the issuer of the world’s largest stablecoin and fifth-largest cryptocurrency overall.
The company told CoinDesk it also has plans to launch different credit default swaps to compete with other solutions on the insurance market.
Investor Jehan Chu, co-founder of Kenetic Capital, said in a press statement:
“Opium’s BYOD (build your own derivative) platform will unlock value across inefficient markets and industries and will power DeFi through its evolution to tokenize capital markets.”