Introducing the DeFi blue tick
We’re making DeFi trading a safer experience with Token Lists
Last year, Uniswap announced Token Lists, a community-led initiative that creates a new standard for discerning legitimate ERC20 tokens from scams and duplicates.
Since then, Token Lists have proven how the permissionless discovery of DeFi assets can exist alongside community-based due-diligence.
We’ve chosen to incorporate Token Lists into Zerion’s interface because we believe this is a massive improvement on how we protect users from scam tokens while maintaining a permissionless, scalable curation system.
“We’re incredibly excited to see Zerion supporting the Token Lists standard. As token issuance proliferates, coordination among reputable community projects is urgently required to improve discoverability and protect consumers from duplicitous products.” — Teo Leibowitz, Unsiwap
Here’s what’s changing:
- Every asset will now be tradeable on Zerion. We’re no longer the gatekeepers of what users can and can’t do.
- Assets that appear on at least two Token Lists will have their own blue tick, similar to how Twitter verifies accounts that are of public interest. This blue tick does not constitute investment advice, it’s sole purpose is to make it easier for users to do their own due diligence.
- Assets that don’t meet this criterion will instead have a warning — the authenticity of the token is unclear, so users should proceed with extra caution.
The dapp dilemma
The sheer pace of innovation in DeFi means that new protocols and tokens crop up every day. Unfortunately, a number of these are deployed for the sole purpose of scamming users, either by duplicating the name of existing tokens or launching an entirely fraudulent project.
“DYOR” — do your own research — this is the DeFi maxim. Ideally, users should check the etherscan address of every token they interact with. But let’s be honest, this gets very inconvenient.
On the other hand, dapps like Zerion face a dilemma: we want our users to be able to access the entire DeFi market from our interface, but we can’t ignore our responsibility to ensure users don’t walk into outright scams. Previously, we’ve restricted the list of tradable tokens on our app. But this approach is not ideal — it means our team has to manually curate what users can and cannot trade. Not only is this inefficient and unsustainable given the number of new tokens being generated, but it begins to feel all too similar to gatekeeping. We don’t want to be in that position.
A perfect analogy to this problem is how early internet companies managed website curation. Browsers like Mosaic and Netscape manually added websites to different catalogues, then companies like AOL and Yahoo came along and helped automate this process by allowing website owners to add themselves (check out oldweb.today to get a feel for the UX).
But with Google, everything changed. They believed users were the best judge of what they wanted to see, so instead of presenting them with a restricted list, they enabled users to search for any website through an algorithmically optimized search query.
DeFi is experiencing a similar evolution. We believe users should be able to find and trade any DeFi token through Zerion. We’re not going to restrict what you see, but we are going to make it easier for you to do your own due diligence.
Token Lists are the middle ground because they outsource a portion of the vetting process to other trusted projects and communities.
The DeFi blue tick: verification at a glance
Assets on Zerion that appear on at least two Token Lists will now have their own blue tick to signify their authenticity.
The logic behind this that if an asset is a duplicate, the probability of it being included in more than one Token List is very low. To be clear, a blue tick says nothing about the quality of a token or protocol, but it does make the chances of encountering a fake token extremely low.
Assets that don’t have the blue tick should be approached with extra caution. We won’t stop you from trading, but the absence of a blue tick means neither Zerion nor any other reputable project participating in the Token Lists initiative recognizes the asset. As always, if you choose to proceed with a trade, know that you are doing so with heightened risk.
Staying safe in DeFi is getting easier
Hats off to the Uniswap team for designing Token Lists in such a way that supports standardization and integration across projects. Our goal is to make the DeFi user experience simple, safe and secure for everyone — and this latest feature is just one step in that direction.
Let us know what you think of this latest feature by chatting to us on Discord.