Days after the FTX implosion, companies began to come up with ways to navigate the resulting wake created within the digital asset sector. One such example was first announced by Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao or ‘CZ’, and referred to as an ‘Industry Recovery Initiative (IRI)‘. Weeks later, and these products are now beginning to take shape.
Industry Recovery Initiative (IRI)
The purpose of this initiative is simple – prop of the sector in its time of need. The idea (which echoes an earlier initiative meant to help industry miners) is to create a recovery fund, built on contributions by industry leaders, which will be used to purchase ‘distressed’ digital assets and products. In doing so, it is hoped that widespread collateral damage caused by high levels of inter-connectedness within the sector can be avoided.
Since the time Binance first announced its IRI, the response from the industry and public alike has overall been a positive one. So much so that various other companies and exchanges have already announced an intent to follow suit with their own variant, or take part alongside Binance. The following are a few examples of these participants, including but not limited to,
- Aptos Labs
- Jump Crypto
- Polygon Ventures
- Animoca Brands
- Brooker Group
With a growing list of contributors, Binance has already announced that the IRI which was supposed to be valued at $1B USD has already been doubled to $2B USD when/if needed.
It should be noted that the IRI is only anticipated to run for a ~6 month period. As it stands, Binance notes that over there are over 150 applicants – a disconcerting amount of companies clearly in need of help, highlighting the importance of an IRI.
Beyond the various IRIs being established, centralized exchanges have been working hard elsewhere to repair their tarnished reputations – something clearly needed as made evident by the mass exodus of funds to hardware wallets over the past month.
The other most talked about measure being taken by many is the release of Merkle Tree ‘Proof of Reserves (PoR)’. Under the guise of transparency, these inside looks at exchange holdings are being released as a means to assuage investors by proving that the respective exchange does indeed have sufficient asset reserves in its custody.
Not all PoR reports are created equal though. It is important to take in to account whether they are simply self-attestation made by the exchange, or if the reports were compiled by independent third parties, at an unscheduled point in time, and take liabilities in to account. We recently looked at some of the leading exchanges to offer such reports HERE.
Prudency or Ploy?
While the various recovery funds and transparency measures being established are a great thing at first glance, many question the rationality behind them. The issue is whether such funds are simply a ploy by centralized exchanges to entice wary customers back, or if they are truly a prudent measure with the health of the sector in mind? While only time will tell which is the case, it is likely that both things may be true.
The public has a short memory, so if tactics including recovery funds can keep the sector afloat until market bulls return, for better or worse, they will have done their job until the next crisis.