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Crypto, DeFi startups pursue ease of use in emerging Asia

Published on February 27, 2023

In places like Southeast Asia, crypto carries considerable promise as a way to provide financial inclusion to millions of underbanked consumers. To help fulfill this promise, some platforms are placing a strong focus on simplicity.

In a recent episode of Indonesia Digital Deconstructed, Leighton Cosseboom of AC Ventures spoke with Cake DeFi CTO U-Zyn Chua and Reku COO Jesse Choi about how their platforms provide ease of use for the crypto community.

Reku is a leading Indonesian crypto exchange for investing in, buying, and selling various crypto assets. Meanwhile, Singapore-based Cake DeFi is a fast-growing platform for crypto holders to access decentralized financial services. While it does not run an exchange, Cake seeks to make it easy for anyone to make use of lending, staking, and liquidity mining for crypto. 

Making DeFi a piece of cake

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“So, what we do here is to simplify the user experience for decentralized finance,” explained U-Zyn. “DeFi came in about four years back and really took crypto and blockchain by storm because it allows a lot of different types of financial transactions to take place without a middleman.” 

“But the thing about DeFi is that it’s very complex and only understandable among techie users who can read smart contracts and manage private keys. So, Cake then came in to make DeFi very simple for regular users and to provide full transparency,” he said.

“When Cake users do liquidity mining, they can actually see where their funds are. We publish all proof of reserves. You can even track individual rewards. I think that’s where we’re really different from other providers out there.”

Reku is for newcomers and crypto pros alike

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Reku, on the other hand, is a straightforward crypto exchange and marketplace designed for use by newcomers but also experienced traders. Jesse explained that the company’s overall aim is to help Indonesians in the crypto community invest wisely with their digital assets.  

He said, “We’re a marketplace where you can combine a lot of different crypto assets. Our mission is to enable Indonesians to become smarter crypto investors. What that means is we are providing educational resources and other features that help them understand crypto better.”

Jesse added, “But we also provide the most compliant, safest, and most efficient trading platform. So we play a pivotal role in terms of being the central point where you can get into the crypto world.”

Reku recently secured an US$11 million series A funding round, led by AC Ventures, with participation from Coinbase Ventures and Skystar Capital. Reku generated US$3 billion in gross transaction value in 2021. The platform was built fully in-house, has been refined over the last five years with maximum security and compliance in mind, and has grown almost exclusively from word-of-mouth.

Reku’s founding team hails from the futures trading industry and has more than 15 years of experience dealing with complex financial instruments. The startup’s co-founders also come with intimate knowledge of – and pre-existing professional relationships within – Indonesia’s Commodities and Futures Trading Regulatory Agency.

The exchange only provides reputable tokens to its users, meaning tokens must be highly credible and have sufficient liquidity in order to provide an extra layer of safety for customers.

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See also: ASEAN’s crypto and DeFi players seek more nuanced regulation
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