Crypto’s advance towards mainstream adoption takes another significant step forward as the CEO of an ecommerce giant is publicly pondering how to integrate his business with the decentralized financial (DeFi) ecosystem.
On Friday night, Shopify CEO Tobi Lutke posted a Twitter message asking the DeFi community what “ role ” Shopify could play in the growing finance industry:
Hello #DeFi Twitter. What are the business opportunities that you are most excited about? What role do you want Shopify to play?
– Tobi Lutke (@tobi) April 2, 2021
The investigation generated hundreds of responses, including from several DeFi players. Alex Svanevik from Nansen called stablecoin payments and using DeFi protocols to render cash in Shopify accounts, and also ConsenSys’ Corbin page pointed on a hackathon project that deposited payments directly into revenue-bearing protocols.
More complex suggestions focused on leveraging deposited funds for payments, real-time subscription fees, and using protocols such as Alchemix to enable asset-backed loans for payments.
While highly speculative in nature, Lutke’s musing seems to be a sign that he has caught the crypto bug. Earlier in the day, he Posted that he’d been working on smart contracts, referring to their functionality as ‘fascinating’. Besides the technology, the CEO seems to be too taken with DeFi’s open, permissionless ethos
In a Tweet, he said that while it certainly doesn’t fit a purist’s definition of decentralization, one of Shopify’s goals was to reduce barriers and friction in online retail – a spiritual cousin of Defi:
Usually, companies see a market as retail and say “cool, I’m going to win that market”. Shopify did it “cool, let’s make sure everyone can join”. So in spirit (not according to your definition) we help to counter centralization. Sounds logical?
– Tobi Lutke (@tobi) April 3, 2021
If a Defi-powered feature ever makes its way to the Shopify platform, it probably would immediately become one of the main catalysts for adoption in DeFi’s short history. Shopify is the largest company in Canada, one of the largest in the Northern Hemisphere, and has more than 3 million online stores as part of its platform.