Social and copy trading tools are relatively new in the cryptocurrency scene. Basically, their trades are reflected in your account. Their profits are your profits and their losses are your losses.
Such tools are simple to use and have all the features that any trader will need. How would DeFi and social trading work together? Let’s look into it now.
Community-powered DeFi protocol Pollen aims to shake up the asset management industry with its bold attempt to really put the community in the driving seat, led by top-performing traders that emerge from the community.
As the first really tangible step to making that happen after two years’ development and several months of testing involving 7,000+ beta users, Pollen has now launched its trading simulation product after 99 per cent backing in a 100K strong community vote in line with Pollen’s merit-based DAO structure.
But in a growing market for social trading globally how does it stack up against existing startups in the space, such as eToro and League of Traders?
The mainnet launch is designed to create a community of crypto traders, so-called ‘Pollinators’ which in turn will identify a talent pool of the top performers. These users will provide the trading insights to power the asset-backed Pollen Indexes.
How it works is that Pollen Virtual enables traders to try out their trading strategies in a safe sandbox environment, based on staked tokens, in a portfolio composed of assets available on Pollen with the ability to rebalance the proportion of each asset to improve performance in real-time.
In turn, this encourages traders to compete in a leaderboard to earn reputation points and PLNs. Those less willing to risk their tokens can delegate them to the best performers for an 80% share of the trading profits.
Pollen’s social model fits a post-Terra DeFi world, where the trust is put in the decentralised community rather than the founders. Of course, the downside is the gains are not going to be crazy DeFi gains where you stake a dollar and have a million in your wallet in a couple of days!
Instead, as Agova explained, the aim of Pollen is to bring some much-needed balance to DeFi and reduce the risk, reduce the volatility through indexes. “DeFi for grownups. It’s DeFi if you’re not necessarily crypto savvy, but an average person with some disposable income that wants to get into DeFi but can’t get into DeFi.”
The virtual assets users allocate in their Pollen Virtual portfolio (with the protocol based on the Avalanche and Ethereum ecosystem) represent real assets, meaning that they rise and fall depending on each asset’s performance in real life.
However, there is no exposure to the underlying assets in the Pollen Virtual portfolio: they are purely simulations, with only PLN earned or burned depending on the portfolio’s performance. The Pollen Virtual protocol actually has two tokens available to users, the PLN is the native token, and vePLN is what they call the “voter escrow token” which users obtain when they lock their PLN.
While you can earn PLN as a reward you cannot earn vePLN, as a locked token, it simply allows you to earn rewards up to 20 per cent more. However, to add a gamification element you can lose vePLN as a result of poor performance of your trading activity.
How eToro compares
In comparison one of the market leaders eToro offers is the ability to see how other investors and traders manage their crypto portfolios which allows you to take advantage of their tactics.
In addition, eToro provides a service called copy trading which automates the copying of the best-performing investors. A third layer of social trading is access to forums where traders can discuss their strategies.
In a way similar to Pollen eToro also offers a virtual trading account. However, a key difference is that you don’t need to buy eToro’s own token to participate, instead, you use US$100,000 in fake money so the quality of the learning is probably not as great as with Pollen where you can lose PLN and reputation ranking for poor performance.
Bethany Garner of Forbes Advisor in reviewing eToro confirmed that it lets users buy and sell more than 60 crypto assets and offers its own crypto wallet for users to store their tokens.
Plus, as well as the social trading tools. “Anyone, even those who aren’t users, can visit eToro and gain access to lessons on investment terms, interpreting the markets, and different types of assets through the eToro Academy.”
That educational support is certainly lacking from Pollen currently, but no doubt will be something they’ll want to develop once the asset management service launches later in the year.
A neat twist on the social trading concept is the leading social trading service in Asia League of Traders, a crypto app that runs a leaderboard similar to Pollen, where the best performers are rewarded.
League of Traders has ‘doubled down’ on social trading by gamifying crypto trading with features including real-time leaderboards, monthly competitions, and trader profiles, transforming trading into a social, competitive experience. Each user’s profile includes a growth chart, token distribution pie chart, volatility risk assessment and current positions which allows speedy insight into one’s portfolio’s strength.
And unlike Pollen, which works as a closed ecosystem, or eToro which aims to make money from your crypto purchases, using the app you can link your portfolios across different exchanges to see their performance aggregated in one place. Like eToro however you can also click on the profile of top traders to check out their portfolio, with the option to copy another account.
Barrister and Attorney at Law at BlockchainLex.io, Brian Sanya Mondoh, said, “In my view, the delegation of tokens to make profits by delegators is likely to interact with the Howey Test, as there is an investment of money in a common enterprise with a reasonable expectation of profits to be derived from the efforts of others.”
Mondoh added that crypto regulation is rapidly underway with many DeFi protocols presented as real risks to consumers, businesses, national security, and the financial system. The recent Terra collapse is still fresh in our minds and has further highlighted the need for appropriate regulation to help mitigate consumer, market integrity and financial stability risks,” he added.
Anndy Lian, Chairman of BigONE Exchange said Pollen was a great example of what DeFi can offer following the Terra collapse. “The risky returns offered by Terra’s Anchor Protocol proved that you need to base DeFi on sound first principles, a decentralised offering which empowers users rather than encouraging them to take unsustainable risks.
“I’m impressed by Pollen’s careful stepped approach to their social offering driven by community-led adoption and testing to get it right. I particularly like the fact that anyone can create their own asset pools, and then turn successful indexes public, and earn tokens. But of course, for the newcomer, a service like eToro or League of Traders has a lot to offer where you can learn from the best traders.
“And while eToro like Pollen wants you to stick to its ecosystem I like the flexibility of League of Traders, aggregating your traders under one roof, while also gamifying the experience through the regular trading competitions. Clearly, the social trading market in crypto is only going to grow further in the future, as Web3 is the perfect architecture for a networked decentralised people-led approach to trading and investing.”
Anndy Lian is an early blockchain adopter and experienced serial entrepreneur who is known for his work in the government sector. He is a best selling book author “Blockchain Revolution 2030”.
Currently, he is appointed as the Chief Digital Advisor at Mongolia Productivity Organization, championing national digitization. Prior to his current appointments, he was the Chairman of BigONE Exchange, a global top 30 ranked crypto spot exchange and was also the Advisory Board Member for Hyundai DAC, the blockchain arm of South Korea’s largest car manufacturer Hyundai Motor Group. Lian played a pivotal role as the Blockchain Advisor for Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), an intergovernmental organization committed to improving productivity in the Asia-Pacific region.
An avid supporter of incubating start-ups, Anndy has also been a private investor for the past eight years. With a growth investment mindset, Anndy strategically demonstrates this in the companies he chooses to be involved with. He believes that what he is doing through blockchain technology currently will revolutionise and redefine traditional businesses. He also believes that the blockchain industry has to be “redecentralised”.