In a recent interview, Shahaf Bar-Geffen, the CEO of FinTech startup COTI Group, the issuer of algorithmic stablecoin Djed (which is built on Cardano), talked about the upcoming launch of the eagerly anticipated project.

What Is Djed ($DJED)?

On 26 September 2021, day two of the two-day Cardano Summit 2021, IO Global (IOG), the blockchain technology firm responsible for the research and development of Cardano ($ADA), and FinTech startup COTI Group, unveiled Djed, a formally verified crypto-backed pegged algorithmic stablecoin for Cardano that was designed by the former and is issued by the latter.

Djed’s use of smart contracts ensures price stabilization. Djed can be useful in decentralized finance (DeFi). It works by “keeping a reserve of base coins, and minting and burning stablecoins and reserve coins.”

The following is the abstract from IOG’s white paper (released on 17 August 2021) for Djed:

This paper describes Djed, an algorithmic stablecoin protocol that behaves like an autonomous bank that buys and sells stablecoins for a price in a range that is pegged to a target price. It is crypto-backed in the sense that the bank keeps a volatile cryptocurrency in its reserve. The reserve is used to buy stablecoins from users that want to sell them. And revenue from sales of stablecoins to users are stored in the reserve. Besides stablecoins, the bank also trades reservecoins in order to capitalize itself and maintain a reserve ratio significantly greater than one.

To the best of our knowledge, this is the first stablecoin protocol where stability claims are precisely and mathematically stated and proven. Furthermore, the claims and their proofs are formally verified using two different techniques: bounded model checking, to exhaustively search for counter-examples to the claims; and interactive theorem proving, to build rigorous formal proofs using a proof assistant with automated theorem proving features.

In a blog post published on 26 September 2021, IOG said that Djed “operates by maintaining a reserve of base coins, while minting and burning various other stable assets and reserve coins” and that “it is designed to be used for paying transaction fees on the Cardano network,” which helps to “make transaction costs more predictable, so avoiding volatile and exorbitant gas fees for users.”

The COTI team believes that “stablecoins are a ‘killer app’ that will be adopted by a large number of crypto users for settling payments and covering fees.”

Shahaf Bar-Geffen, the CEO of COTI Group, had this to say:

The stablecoin ecosystem has matured tremendously over the past few years. Blockchain participants are using stablecoins to engage in everyday transactions because they allow monetary value to be exchanged in a seamless manner, regardless of the sender and recipient’s location. I believe that adding the Djed stablecoin to the Cardano blockchain will significantly improve how transactions are settled on the platform.

And IOG Co-Founder and CEO Charles Hoskinson stated:

The Djed stablecoin could be a game-changer in the crypto space, appealing to an entirely new audience at a time when the industry is already experiencing astronomical growth. Djed shares our commitment to formal verification, proving a robust method of combating price volatility of crypto markets.

COTI has been a long-time partner of the Cardano ecosystem. It’s great to have them on board with this new venture.

Also, on 26 September 2021, COTI published a blog post (titled: “Why Being the Issuer of Djed, Cardano’s Official Stablecoin, is a Game Changer for COTI”), which had this to say:

Djed isn’t just a stablecoin built upon Cardano’s chain, it is also designed to become the ultimate coin with which Cardano’s entire network transaction fees will be paid. It makes more sense for a chain to have predictability in how much transaction costs, rather than have volatile gas fees, and Djed will do just that…

“While our main goal is to issue stablecoin for enterprises and merchants on COTI’s Trustchain, we also plan on being involved with stablecoin issued on other chains. Our long relationship with Cardano, leading to an equity investment by their ecosystem fund, has created the opportunity for COTI to become the official issuer for Djed, Cardano’s stablecoin.

As part of COTI’s role, COTI is in charge of developing the user interface system and will operate the integration between users to the smart contracts for the stablecoin. COTI will partner with enterprises, developers, and others parties who wish to mint both the stablecoin and the reserve coin used as part of the pegging algorithm.

$DJED and its reserve coin’s mint and burn fees will be charged in $ADA and will be entered into the equity pool of the protocol. The reserve coin holders get a share of this pool as an incentive for their participation in maintaining the $DJED peg ratio.

As the provider of this service, users will be subject to operating fees that will be paid in $ADA and deducted from the initial deposit and operational costs. We plan on converting such $ADA fees to $COTI coins, initially by buying $COTI directly in the market and supporting the demand for $COTI, then by depositing such $COTI in COTI’s Treasury, for the benefit of the Treasury users. It’s a real win-win and a great opportunity for the COTI ecosystem.

Djed’s Launch Plans

According to a report by The Daily Hodl, earlier this month, the COTI CEO said to the host of the “Learn Cardano” podcast:

“We kind of like lay the groundwork for Djed by signing over 40 partnerships with everything from all major DEXs [decentralized exchanges] to trading protocols, NFT [non-fungible token] marketplaces, launch pads, you name it. Now we’re going to execute on all of these partnerships...

So we’re going to start with selected DEXs. I think there’s going to be like three of them that we’re launching with. And they’ll be part of the launch process. They’ll give users substantial farming rewards for building liquidity. And we’re going to start there and then gradually roll out to all of these platforms...

Djed is essential for DeFi in Cardano, but I think there’s more actually: Payments. And we’re going to release Djed Pay… and we’re going to roll that out to get extra demand for the usage of Djed...

Then there is the technical roadmap. The version that we launch in January is already compatible with Vasil. But it still doesn’t use Plutus V2 and all the benefits that come with Vasil. This is version 1.2. And that will be rolled out as well early next year.

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