Origin Dollar (OUSD) is a new stablecoin that was initially launched in September 2020 on the Ethereum network. Its design is superior to existing stablecoins because OUSD captures competitive yields while being passively held in wallets.
In 1999, Yu Pan, Origin’s R&D engineer, and his fellow PayPal co-founders conceived of creating “the new world currency”, complete with interest yielding strategies and debit cards without having to connect to traditional banking systems. Several pivots and an eBay acquisition later, PayPal dropped its ambitions in this area.
Almost two decades later, Tether introduced the concept of a USD-denominated stablecoin in 2014. Since then, stablecoins have proven themselves as an ideal way of transferring value without exposing users to the price volatility of free-floating currencies. Today, more value is transferred via Tether than with Bitcoin. Meanwhile, Decentralized Finance (DeFi) has experienced an explosion of growth with billions of dollars of capital now locked up in smart contracts that generate yields from lending and trading protocols.
One of the problems with existing stablecoins is that users have to constantly choose between holding an easily spendable coin and earning yields by locking their tokens up in smart contracts. For example, users that lock up USDC in Aave cannot spend a portion of that USDC simultaneously. Expensive Ethereum gas fees serve as "switching costs" each time those users want to switch between spending mode and earning mode.
To make matters worse, yields from lending and trading activities change rapidly. Sophisticated DeFi yield earners are familiar with constantly having to rebalance their portfolio of assets across many competing platforms. This is time-consuming and expensive as gas fees once again eat into yields. In addition, it is time-consuming to calculate real ROI as APYs are unstable and constantly fluctuating. There isn't an easy unit of account. As a result, while DeFi is growing extremely rapidly, it still makes it difficult for many cryptocurrency users to participate.
With OUSD, there’s no need to unwind complicated positions when you want to spend your OUSD. You can transfer it freely without having to pay gas to unlock spendable capital. In addition, OUSD gives you access to some of the highest-earning opportunities across DeFi with none of the hassles. The OUSD smart contract will deploy your underlying capital to a diversified set of yield-earning strategies, rebalancing over time to achieve great yields while diversifying risk. Earnings automatically accrue in your wallet and compound continuously while you hold OUSD. Again, no staking or lockups are required. OUSD also serves as an ideal unit of account. DeFi investors no longer need complicated spreadsheets to calculate their earnings as they can easily see their constantly updated OUSD balances in real-time as their interest compounds automatically. OUSD is an ideal stablecoin for DeFi yield farmers and novice cryptocurrency users alike.
Created by cryptocurrency and fintech veterans, the Origin Dollar is brought to you by the team at Origin Protocol that includes serial entrepreneurs, early cryptocurrency investors, early employees at YouTube, engineering managers at Google/Dropbox, and one of the Paypal co-founders, Yu Pan.
For those interested in diving into the technical details of how it works, these docs are a great place to start. We encourage developers to audit and contribute to our Github (100% open-source). Our team hangs out in Discord if you have questions or need help getting started.
Welcome to the future of money.