Decentralized lending protocol Aave is planning to launch “Aave Pro,” a permissioned platform for institutional investors later this month, according to a new report from Cointelegraph. The platform, which will provide the same kinds of services as Aave’s current platform, will be launched in partnership with digital asset custody and settlement platform Fireblocks.
The new platform was reportedly announced in a webinar entitled “Next Steps in Institutional DeFi” that featured Stani Kulechov, Michael Shaulov, and Mike Novogratz, who are respectively the CEOs of Aave, Fireblocks, and Galaxy Digital.
According to a screenshot of an email that is said to recap the contents of the webinar, Aave is launching Aave Pro in response to “extensive demand from various institutions.” The platform will only support four crypto assets at its beginning: BTC, ETH, AAVE, and USDC. Aave Pro’s pools will also be kept separate from its main platform. The email also said that there are plans to eventually decentralized the governance of Aave Pro.
$AAVE Pro coming in July.
For those that didn’t attend the “NExt Steps in Institutional Defi” Zoom with Stani, here’s a recap email I received. pic.twitter.com/ClwlBkXh2r
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— Noah (@TraderNoah) July 4, 2021
Additionally, Aave Pro will add a whitelisting layer onto Aave’s V2 smart contracts to ensure that only “institutions, corporates, and fintechs” approved by Fireblocks’ Know-Your-Customer verification process can access the platform. Fireblocks is also responsible for Aave Pro’s anti-money laundering and anti-fraud controls.
Aave Pro is slated to vastly expand the total value locked in the Aave ecosystem, which currently sits around $17 billion.
DeFi “rails” for institutional investors
According to CoinTelegraph, the announcement of the new platform received “mixed reactions” on Twitter. Some enthusiastic users pointed out that the platform will act as a rail for institutions enter the DeFi world in a meaningful way for the first time.
Others, however, pointed to an ongoing lawsuit against Fireblocks by staking provider StakeHound. The lawsuit was filed over the alleged deletion of private keys to a wallet that contained $72 million in ETH.
Aave first announced that it was entering the institutional world in May, when Stani Kulechov said that Aave had created a “private pool” for institutions to “practice” with before jumping headfirst into DeFi. Aave also partnered with Compound in early 2020 to launch DeFi services for institutional investors.