Aave, the leading decentralized finance (DeFi) money market, has announced plans to launch a permissioned version of its platform for institutional investors this month.
It has been reported that the platform will be launched in partnership with crypto custodian and service provider Fireblocks.
However, on June 4, Twitter user TraderNoah shared a screenshot of an email he claims to have received after attending Blockworks’ “Next Steps in Institutional DeFi” webinar that featured Aave founder and CEO Stani Kulechov, Fireblocks CEO and co-founder Michael Shaulov, and Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz.
The report said that both during the conference and in the email, it was revealed that Aave’s institutional product, dubbed “Aave Pro,” intends to launch this month in response to “extensive demand from various institutions.”
At launch, Aave Pro will only support four assets: Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Aave, and USD Coin (USDC), with its pools segregated from Aave’s other deployments. The platform will add a whitelisting layer onto its v2 smart contracts to ensure that only “institutions, corporates, and fintechs” that have passed Fireblocks’ Know Your Customer verification can access Aave Pro. Fireblocks will also be tasked with implementing Anti-Money Laundering and anti-fraud controls for Aave Pro.
In May, Kulechov first revealed that Aave was building a permissioned pool for institutions. Aave’s three deployments currently represent a total value locked of roughly $17 billion combined. The screenshot received mixed reactions on Crypto Twitter, with some highlighting that the platform provides a rail for institutions to begin deeply engaging with DeFi.
Others expressed apprehension regarding Fireblocks’ involvement with the platform, emphasizing an ongoing lawsuit filed against the firm by staking provider StakeHound over the deletion of private keys to a wallet containing $72 million worth of Ether.
Thus, Aave Pro is not Fireblocks’ first foray into helping institutional capital access DeFi, having teamed up with Compound in early 2020 to launch services catered to institutional investors.