· Acumen’s Vision is to enable fair access to capital for small and medium-sized businesses and entrepreneurs in developing nations (microfinance)
· The Acumen StableDapp will use stablecoin deposits in crypto to give out microfinance credits to such business, while enabling the users to generate a stable uncorrelated yield
· Acumen’s approach will allow users to earn microfinance yields, have a positive social impact and keep using a part of their collateral within the crypto ecosystem to further enhance their yields
· The pilot country will be El Salvador, where Acumen has formed alliances with the Small Businesses Association and the government to make DeFi a legal, lasting and positive force in its economy
The Acumen Vision:
While many of our users believe that Acumen is purely a lending and borrowing protocol, this cannot be further from the truth. Acumen went live with a minimum viable product that is simply a lending & borrowing protocol, this is only a small part of the team’s vision. In this blog post, we will reveal Acumen’s use case This blog post will outline Acumen’s StableDapp, which is under development, and how it leverages DeFi to empower microfinance globally.
Currently, there is a disconnect in our financial system — the financial tools that DeFi offers aren’t accessible by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). There is also a disparity in access to capital, where SMEs in developing nations must pay very high rates for lines of credit compared to large financial institutions and multinationals. SMEs are stuck paying rates from anywhere from 30–300%, while at the same time, SMEs, are often the growth engines of their economies, so it is vital that we make capital just as accessible to SMEs as it is to large banks and Corporations. This is what Acumen set out to achieve.
High Level Overview of the Acumen StableDapp:
The StableDapp aims to fix this problem by finding an equilibrium point between earning a stable non-correlated yield and providing more affordable access to capital to SMEs, in turn democratizing access to capital. The StableDapp will allow users to lock up their funds to earn a stable, non-correlated interest rate while being able to take loans out on their deposits. This lets users earn a fixed apy of 3–6% while also maintaining exposure to other more volatile investments like SOL, SRM, and BTC, or generating higher crypto stable yields elsewhere.
When capital is deposited into the Acumen StableDapp, funds are locked and converted into fiat. This fiat will then be deployed throughout financial markets starting in El Salvador but expanding globally. Not all capital deposited into the StableDapp will be deployed in the real world, however. The StableDapp will have a reserve factor (or capital that isn’t lent out to SMEs) this reserve factor will allow users to leverage their deposits, by allowing them to take out loans on their locked crypto. The reserve factor ensures that users can’t overborrow and that the apy of 3–6% is still paid.
Let’s go over an example situation. Let’s say there is a TVL of 1 million in the StableDapp, and the reserve factor is 30%. This means that $300,000 will not be lent out. The $300,000 serves as the total borrowing power for the depositors in the Acumen Ecosystem. The $1,000,000 locked in the protocol gives all the lenders a borrowing power of $300,000 or around 30% of the value individuals deposit to further use in the Acumen and Solana ecosystem. Since $300,000 won’t be deployed in lending markets, this comes with a couple of stipulations. Firstly, the interest on the $700,000 (the part that is deployed in lending markets) has to cover the interest payments on the $1,000,000, For example, if the depositors are earning 4.5% on their deposits, the total interest paid on the $1,000,000 would be $45,000. Thus, the interest earned on the $700,000 would need to be able to cover that. In this scenario, the loans would be earning ~6.5% which is a total of $45,500 earned on the capital lent out. This ensures that the depositors receive their interest.
Stable DappStableDapp and Microfinance:
The capital deployed in the economy that is not part of the reserve factor would then proceed to be deployed in traditional financial channels. The first stage of this deployment is the “on-ramp”, which is when the funds are in the protocol and haven’t been deployed. Users will designate the lock-up period of their funds and seamlessly begin to earn interest. Users’ deposits earn interest in ACMN tokens. This creates a debt function, where the Users are earning a debt that needs to be paid back by the StableDapp. Once the users lock-up period ends, the protocol will buy back Users’ ACMN and burn them leaving users with the interest paid in USDC.
There are many benefits to paying the interest in this way. Namely, users will begin to earn the APY as soon as their assets are deposited into the StableDapp. Additionally, a demand/scarcity function for the ACMN tokens is created. With a large amount of capital in the StableDapp, ACMN tokens will slowly decrease in availability. ACMN token thereby functions as the bridge between stable coins and real-life credits, giving it increased use case and scarcity.
The next stage for capital on the StableDapp is the “deployed” stage. This is where the funds are lent out by third parties and are earning interest. The initial target market is El Salvador. The reason we chose El Salvador is because of their favorable outlook on cryptocurrencies and blockchain, as well as the team is from Latin America and familiar with the market.
We believe the Acumen protocol can play a unique role in developing nations by making capital more accessible at more favorable rates than traditional channels. While initially starting operations in El Salvador, which also has a very favorable outlook for cryptocurrency, being the only country in the world to declare BTC national tender, we believe the protocol can rapidly expand to additional countries as it provides a workable framework to all partners in the ecosystem and solves a key issue in financial inclusion globally which is access to capital at reasonable rates. Third-party capital deployment partners can take many forms to generate the desired return and can be asset-backed lenders, direct investment with preferred payments streams, trade finance, or companies that provide short-term loans.
We have already identified several key players in El Salvador that would benefit from the architecture that this ecosystem is creating, and we have formed alliances with them.
Since third-party institutions will handle capital deployment, they will be vetted to ensure that they perform well and are receiving payments, we will also plan to set up third-party auditors to provide further oversight to funds deployed through the protocol.
The Acumen DAO is the governing body of the Acumen protocol. The DAO has control over the protocol’s functionality. It can change the interest rate model, add new assets, change asset parameters, and have voting rights over the third-party entities deploying capital. The DAO will vote on whether capital deployers can lend more money out or less based on their performance.
The last stage for capital on the StableDapp is back on the “off-ramp.” At this point, the user’s interest and principal would be paid back, and they would be able to withdraw their funds as the lock-up period has ended.
Acumen is setting out to improve the lives of people who have limited or no access to financial markets so that they can build a life for themselves by empowering their businesses. The social impact of microfinance loans has been proven in numerous scientific papers and its inventor has famously received a Nobel Prize for peace. Acumen goes beyond the classic proposition as loan rates paid by borrowers are several percentage points below the kind of credit they have access to today. This is possible because of the leverage of a crypto borrowing and lending platform and the possibility to keep using a share of the locked-up funds. Users can earn a stable apy from microfinance, have a social impact and still improve their apy by using the locked up collateral across crypto. Acumen believes that crypto should be a force for improvements such as these.
When users deposit USDC in the protocol, they will receive acUSDC (the ac denoting the Acumen platform) at a ratio defined by the reserve factor of the Acumen StableDapp. With the example above (of a reserve factor of 30%), users will receive .3 acUSDC for every 1 USDC deposited. This ensures that users can’t borrow more than the defined reserve factor ($300,000) as described above. For example, if a user deposits 100 USDC in the protocol, they would receive 30 acUSDC. This ensures that they can only use 30% of the value of their deposited assets, maintaining solvency in the protocol. Users can use the acUSDC they receive for their deposits by depositing acUSDC into the Acumen Lending platform. From there, they can borrow other assets, and their loan will be liquidated when their health factor drops below 1, meaning their loan is undercollateralized.
acUSDC loan Liquidation
Since acUSDC will be backed by the USDC not lent out, users can liquidate the acUSDC like they would a regular loan on the Acumen protocol and receive a liquidation bonus for doing so. For example, a user uses 50 acUSDC($50 value in USDC) to borrow 20 USDC worth of SOL. When the loan’s health factor drops below 1, the user’s loan will be eligible for liquidation. A liquidator can repay up to 50% of a single borrowed amount = 10 USDC worth of SOL. In return, the liquidator can claim a single collateral which is acUSDC (10% bonus). The liquidator claims 10 acUSDC + 1 acUSDC for repaying 10 USDC worth of SOL. The liquidator who claimed the acUSDC would then redeem that acUSDC for USDC using the Acumen swap DAPP. The lending protocol can alternatively utilize the Acumen swap DAPP to automatically swap the user’s acUSDC to USDC when the loan is liquidated.
Overall, we believe that a stable, non-correlated yield backed by microfinance is a perfect complement to the existing DeFi ecosystem, while it provides one of the strongest real-life use cases of DeFi around. We believe that it is a better alternative to interest-bearing products in traditional finance as it is permissionless and accessible by anyone in the world. We hope to remedy financial inclusion and allow people to access the essential financial tools that aren’t afforded to everyday people by leveraging Solana’s cheap and fast transaction speeds, as well as the ever-fungible nature of crypto.
Acumen is a DeFi lending and borrowing protocol built natively on the Solana blockchain that leverages DeFi to power microfinance. Acumen was built by a team of leading global developers interested in expanding the Solana ecosystem. We look forward to actively developing and improving Acumen for years to come!