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Ex-Russian Oligarch to Fund Encompassing DeFi Project 

Decentralized finance (DeFi) is getting even more of a boost as foreign nationals have begun looking into making investments. This week, Russian news source RBC reported that Aleksandr Lebedev, a former local oligarch, and bank owner, is set to provide funding for a new DeFi project. 

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Lebedev is known as one of the Eastern European nation’s wealthiest men. He began his career in the KGB and developed close links with the Soviet Communist Party. When the Soviet Union fell, he acquired the National Reserve Bank of Russia and grew it into one of Russia’s premier banks.  

According to the news source, the former oligarch is finalizing a deal that will see him invest between $10 million and $15 million into InDeFinEco – an acronym for Independent Decentralized Finance Ecosystem. Sergey Mendeleev, the founder of the Russian exchange Garantex, is also said to be involved in the business. 

Touting his investment in the DeFi space, Lebedev highlighted that the sub-industry is currently free of government interference. He hinted that InDeFinEco would be a primary lending protocol, although he added that it would have active portfolio management tools and complex derivative products like options and futures based on cryptocurrencies. 

The businessman shared some lofty aspirations for the project, explaining that they aim to take it into the top 10 existing DeFi projects. For now, they’re aiming for a $500 million valuation for the total assets locked in the project. To get this done, they will achieve high yields and add some attractive features as time goes on.

Lebedev added that they would incorporate the DeFi protocol’s holding company in Switzerland.

The Continued Growth for DeFi 

Lebedev’s DeFi interest is coming amid renewed crypto adoption in Russia. Following a new pro-crypto law, several entities have been encouraged to invest in the country. By pioneering DeFi’s growth in Russia, he could help his fortune a great deal. 

While he grew his wealth into the billions of dollars, an investigation into his dealings from the government and the Russian Central Bank crippled his bank, and he had to sell is in 2019. His current net worth is placed at about $400 million. 

The former oligarch also has significant media holdings. He owns The Independent, a top British news publication, and is a major stakeholder in Russian news outlet Novaya Gazeta. The news source is affiliated with the Russian opposition party – a perfect way for him to express his dissent at the ruling party and its perceived corruption.

Lebedev is joining a long line of entities turning their focus on DeFi, as the industry appears to be showing no signs of slowing down. Such increased adoption as the focus of Da Hongfei, the founder of blockchain project Neo.

Last week, Da appeared on China’s Hub live stream, explaining that the hype around DeFi is just beginning As he explained, the technology has created a process that traditional finance couldn’t make in hundreds of years. 

“Lending and borrowing, decentralized exchanges, insurance and all kinds of derivatives are on the rise in DeFi. The initial stage DeFi infrastructure has a solid good start, and now it is time to see more and more applications to be built and innovated on DeFi,” he said in part. 

The Neo founder added that people would ditch banks for digital financial services soon enough, and DeFi will play a significant part in this transition.

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      Jimmy has been following the development of blockchain for several years, and he is optimistic about its potential to democratize the financial system.

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