Author: Climber, LianGuai
On August 17th, the yield on 10-year US Treasury bonds rose to 4.307%, reaching a nearly 15-year high; the yield on 30-year bonds rose to the highest level since 2011, at 4.4219%.
In response, strategists at Bank of America suggest that investors should prepare for a return to a “5% world.” Before the start of the global financial crisis in 2008, medium and long-term bond yields were typically around 5%.
On the same day, the crypto market, which had already entered a bear market phase, experienced a sharp decline. The market’s intense volatility, coupled with low yields from DeFi products, has shifted investors’ focus to the RWA track. As medium and long-term US bond yields continue to rise, the investment value of RWA projects in the government bonds category becomes increasingly prominent.
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Current Status of RWA Projects in the Government Bonds Category
Research institutions have pointed out that among the various RWA subcategories, government bonds are the most likely to see explosive growth in terms of scale and user base in the short to medium term.
According to data from rwa.xyz, the tokenized government bond assets in the government bonds RWA projects (excluding US bonds in MakerDAO) currently amount to $648 million, an increase of approximately 230% since the beginning of the year.
In addition, the government bond RWA in MakerDAO has also rapidly grown to several billion dollars.
As for the distribution of government bond RWA market value on different public chains, Ethereum has the highest value, accounting for about $3.2 billion; followed by Stellar, which is valued at $300 million; and then Polygon network.
Overall, the government bonds RWA track is growing rapidly.
Main Projects in the Ecosystem
MakerDAO is the issuer of the stablecoin DAI and the third-largest protocol in the DeFi field. Borrowers typically deposit collateral into MakerDAO’s insurance vault and can then withdraw debt denominated in DAI.
Since 2020, MakerDAO has officially included RWA in its strategic development direction. In MakerDAO’s RWA business composition, the government bonds project is called MIP65, with the name Monetalis Clydesdale and the code RWA007, proposed by Monetalis. It mainly uses stablecoins held by MakerDAO to purchase short-term bond ETFs.
In October 2022, it first passed a proposal ($500 million), and later in May 2023, it raised the debt ceiling (up to $1.25 billion) through another proposal. Currently, MakerDAO holds over $2.3 billion in RWA positions.
In addition, RWA assets account for a significant proportion of MakerDAO’s income assets, at 54.7%.
According to Binance Research, RWAs, especially US government bonds, are likely to continue playing an important role in MakerDAO’s balance sheet in the foreseeable future. Recently, MakerDAO purchased $7 billion worth of US government bonds in June, increasing its holdings to $12 billion.
In January of this year, Ondo Finance announced the launch of tokenized funds, primarily providing institutional investors with opportunities to invest in US government bonds and institutional-grade bonds.
The tokenized US government bond product launched by Ondo Finance is called OUSG (Ondo Ultra Short US Government Bond Fund), which mainly provides liquidity exposure to short-term US government bond ETFs.
Currently, the market value of Ondo Ultra Short US Government Bond Fund deployed on Ethereum is $145 million with a yield of 5.37%; while on Polygon, the market value is $21.65 million, also with a yield of 5.37%.
Ondo officials stated that the majority of the OUSG portfolio will be invested in iShares Short-Term Treasury Bond ETF, and the fee for various expenses is set at 0.15%.
Matrixdock is an on-chain government bond platform launched by Singapore-based asset management platform Matrixport. STBT is the first product of Matrixdock, which introduces risk-free rates based on US government bonds.
STBT is a tokenized RWA (Real World Asset) of US Treasury bonds issued by Matrixdock. It is an ERC-1400 standard token that allows qualified investors to earn risk-free Treasury bond yields using stablecoins.
STBT adjusts the interest base every day (each working day). The initial trading price of each STBT is $1, supported by short-term US Treasury bonds and reverse repurchase agreements (Reverse Repo) with a 6-month term.
According to data released on its official website on August 4th, the market value of Matrixdock’s STBT is $123 million, with a 7-day yield of 4.976%.
Currently, Matrixdock charges customers an annual service fee of 0.1%, a redemption fee of 0.1%, and a custody fee of 0.2%.
Maple Finance is an on-chain institutional capital market that provides undercollateralized loans to institutional borrowers and fixed income opportunities to lenders. The protocol is governed by the Maple token (MPL), which allows token holders to participate in governance, share fee revenue, and equity insurance in the lending pool.
For government bond-type RWA projects, Maple Finance provides a Cash Management Pool service, specifically designed to offer on-chain cash management solutions. This cash management pool supports USDC and USDT, and clients can earn US Treasury bond yields through lending transactions.
Cash Management Pool: Supported by US Treasury bonds and reverse repurchase agreements, the goal of the fund pool is the net annualized yield of the current 1-month US Treasury bond rate after deducting expenses and expenditures. Accredited investors need to
Borrowers convert USDC or USDT loan proceeds into USD returns and send funds to bulk brokerage accounts. Borrowers utilize their primary brokerage accounts to invest in US Treasury bonds and reverse repurchase agreements. According to the main loan agreement, the upper limit of the weighted average term of the borrower’s investment portfolio (transparently displayed on the lender’s dashboard) is 30 days.
The Cash Management Pool accepts deposits of USDC and USDT from qualified investors. Interest is compounded automatically and there is no maximum deposit size or lock-up period. Withdrawals are processed from 15:00 to 06:00 Eastern Time.
However, Maple Finance has a minimum investment requirement for customers, which is at least $100,000.
Backed Finance’s main business is the tokenization of real-world assets. Its bond products include bIB01, which supports 0-1 year government bonds with a maturity yield of 5.17%, and bIBTA, which supports 1-3 year government bonds with a maturity yield of 4.87%.
The investment objective of bIB01 is to track the performance of an index composed of US dollar-denominated government bonds issued by the US Department of the Treasury, with a maturity period between zero and one year.
bIBTA is a tracking category issued as an ERC-20 token, primarily tracking the price of iShares US Treasury Bond 1-3 Year UCITS ETF.
OpenEden was founded in early 2022 by Jeremy Ng, former Vice President of Gemini for the Asia-Pacific region, and Eugene Ng, Head of Business Development.
OpenEden provides a smart contract treasury for US Treasury Bills (“T-Bills”). TBILL Vault gives investors the opportunity to directly access the short-term government bond pool through TBILL tokens in the Vault, which are backed 1:1 by the T-Bills as well as reserves of USDC and USD.
In simple terms, the OpenEden T-Bill Vault is an on-chain pool that allows stablecoin holders to earn income from US Treasury Bills, with a current yield of approximately 4.86%. Users can mint TBILL tokens from their wallets, enter the vault, and earn income.
TBILL holders will receive a return on capital that reflects the return provided by the underlying T-Bill assets held in the vault.
At the same time, customers are not limited by US trading hours and can access US Treasury Bill exposure at any time. Through smart contracts, TBILL token holders can enjoy 24/7 instant subscriptions and redemptions.
Given the current poor macroeconomic environment, the uncertainty of the cryptocurrency market is increasing. How to reduce investment risks and obtain stable returns has become the goal pursued by investors in a bear market.
Compared to other investment targets, US Treasury Bonds have relatively higher credibility. And as the global economy declines, the yield on US bonds continues to rise. Therefore, the emergence of RWA caters to this current trend, especially the products offered by government bond RWA projects are worth researching and paying attention to by investors.