Jane Street makes DeFi play with planned $25 million USDC loan

Jane Street Capital, one of the world’s biggest market makers, is pushing into decentralized finance (DeFi) as it plans to borrow up to $25 million in the stablecoin USDC.

According to a statement on Tuesday, the funds will be borrowed from BlockTower Capital through Clearpool, which launched in March. Clearpool is a decentralized capital markets ecosystem which provides uncollateralized liquidity from a group of lenders. 

Jane Street – known for its position in markets such as exchange-traded funds and corporate bonds – plans to scale up the position to $50 million, subject to market conditions.

This is the first time a major Wall Street institution has borrowed through a DeFi protocol, Clearpool said in the release.

Clearpool already has five permissionless pools launched by crypto market-making and trading firms, including Amber Group, Auros Global, FBG Capital, Folkvang and Wintermute.

This isn’t the first time Jane Street has dabbled in crypto. In March, it made an investment in Bastion, a decentralized lending protocol built on the NEAR blockchain. In a statement shared with The Block at the time, the project’s anonymous founder N^2 reported that the project has experienced “explosive growth,” pointing to $200 million in total value locked in the protocol within the first 24 hours of its launch.

Jane Street was also among the 50 investors that participated in 1inch’s Series B. Still, relative to competitors like Jump Trading and GSR, its venture activity has been muted.

Historically, Jane Street has refrained from speaking to the press and has mostly flown under the radar despite trading more than $17 trillion worth of securities in 2020, as noted by Robin Wigglesworth at The Financial Times. 

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