Crypto Crash Heightens Awareness of Risks & Hacks

8 min read
Crypto Crash

Learn how a blockchain protocols can stay prepared and protect themselves from crypto crash.

One of the principal reasons for widespread adoption of Amazon’s marketplace is convenience: fast search and comparison of products, fast purchase (one-click), fast delivery (same-day in many countries), and reliable service (Amazon’s A-to-Z guarantee).

Uber, AirBnB and many other success stories have utilised a similar mix of ingredients that make their solutions convenient.

In the retail banking sector the rise of neobanks, such as Revolut, has re-defined convenience: fast transactions (typically a few seconds, as opposed to days), mobile phone banking meets UI (user interface) design, fast and real online chat help (OMG what? … yes honestly, no more talking with answerphones!).

OK, so how convenient is crypto? (Possibly the subject of another article) For now, let’s stick to how can we make financial protection convenient?

At Neptune Mutual, everything we create follows the four core design principles:

  1. Maximise security
  2. Minimise risk
  3. Maximise scalability
  4. Maximise user experience (UX)

This is our “secret source” to making financial protection convenient and accessible.

Maximise Security#

This isn’t just a maxim. It is the DNA of Neptune Mutual’s culture. It is our mission to cover, secure, and protect against hacks and exploits. Therefore, it is crucial that we ourselves do everything possible to be as secure as possible.

Security matters to us, and it should matter to you. One of the mantras, and underlying values of blockchain systems, is that they are trustless. So we think that it would be odd for us to say “trust us” that we are doing a good job of securing our application, whilst at the same time hiding the means for users to do their own research. Neptune Mutual is one of the few cover protocols that have a trustless or more precisely, open-source protocol. Anyone can review our bespoke (non-forked) code. We believe this is the standard that blockchain users should expect.

Minimise Risk#

We have gone to great lengths to review every detail of our marketplace design to minimise risks. We have completely removed any token/crypto market price volatility from the marketplace model. Firstly, it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that there is significant price volatility in the crypto market.

Crypto Volatility Index Chart | Source:

Secondly, when protocol APY returns are driven by tokens, the impact of the change in the price of the token can significantly outweigh the APY “returns” of additional tokens; put another way, you can get a 1000% APY whilst at the same time ending up with a lower principal and lower total funds in dollar value than you started with i.e. you made a loss.

At Neptune Mutual, we minimise risk to both liquidity providers and policyholders by insulating both parties from any token/crypto price volatility. This is done through the use of stablecoin liquidity in cover pools and stablecoin payouts to policyholders.

Furthermore, there is a 100% minimum capital requirement for cover pools so that we can, with 100% confidence, guarantee that cover policyholders will receive a payout in the event of an incident. If you would like to know more about this important subject, and how our approach differs from other protocols you might like to read it here.

Of course, there are many other aspects to minimising risk which we will no doubt write further about.

Maximise Scalability#

When hacks and exploits occur, the consequences can affect a lot of people or wallets. Convenience means resolving these consequences fast.

So, when designing a cover solution Neptune Mutual adopted a parametric solution.

What does this mean?

It means that by assessing the incident, rather than individual claims, the Neptune Mutual solution is scalable in the sense that it takes the same amount of time (set by the cover creator and usually 7 days) to resolve an incident, irrespective of the number of people or wallets affected.

Imagine a hack where you are one of 20,000 people that have been affected. What does that look like for protocols that need to assess 20,000 individual claim assessments … Well, we drew 20,000 faces to give you an idea of what it looks like. Resolving all these individual assessments would inevitably take a lot of time.

This is why parametric covers are so convenient for CeFi, DeFi, and Metaverse communities because by simply focusing on the event instead of individuals, digital asset protection can scale to cover as many people or wallets as the cover pool liquidity will allow, whilst maintaining a quick (7-day) period for assessing everything that parametric cover needs to resolve the situation.

Maximise User Experience (UX)#

User experience optimization is critical especially since the blockchain ecosystem is relatively nascent and full of technical jargon. The average potential user does not know what dApp means, nor do they have any clear understanding of how a smart contract works.

But the thing is they shouldn’t have to learn about all the underlying technology just to access the digital asset protection services that they need.

At Neptune Mutual, we’ve made our cover protocol as user-friendly as possible. Whether you’re purchasing a cover policy, providing liquidity to cover pools, or reporting a trigger incident, we’ve made sure every step of the process is straightforward. This means simplifying all terminologies and providing a series of explanatory videos on how stakeholders can interact with the protocol.

Our contact channels and social media communities are always available to answer any inquiries as well. We also provide Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions on our Discord channel so users can gain more insight into how we operate.

How Much Do You Know About Parametric Cover in Blockchain?#

The basic concept of parametric cover is quite simple — cover the probability of a predefined event happening rather than indemnifying for the actual loss incurred. Put simply, payouts are made according to predefined parameters.

In this way, it offers a means of guaranteeing payouts after a qualifying event has been validated.

There are two foundational elements in any parametric cover model:

Risk(s) To Be Covered#

Like the discretionary model, parametric cover is designed to mitigate security risks that significantly impact digital assets. The difference here is that parametric cover determines risk using predefined parameters, meaning the specific risk(s) being covered in the policy have been pre-established in the contract.

Threshold Level#

A threshold level is a parameter that determines the size of the hack or incident that qualifies the security breach as a trigger event.

All the parameters required to trigger an event are predefined in the policy, so it’s a simple matter of validating their occurrence by the NPM community, following which payout is guaranteed for all policyholders.

What Makes Parametric Cover Convenient?#

Deployed for risk mitigation, the convenience that parametric cover protocols provide is immediately clear. For one, it provides certainty — there’s no risk of your claim being denied after the community has validated that the parameters of a policy have been triggered. Policyholders also know how much they will receive once resolution has been reached on the incident.

Other benefits include:

Quicker Claims Processing#

Because it is the event that is assessed, and not individual loss, the claims process is a lot faster. There’s no lengthy loss adjustment process or time-consuming investigations, as we have seen in the example above about the 20,000 user wallets affected.

In this way, parametric covers can cut down the claims processing time from a few weeks or even months to a few days.

Guaranteed Payouts#

Incident validation is also streamlined and usually follows a simple binary decision rule. NPM token holders report and vote on whether an incident has triggered policy parameters. Once an incident has been validated, all policyholders are guaranteed that their claim will be paid out.

Policyholders can be confident in this guarantee given the low risk 100% minimum stablecoin capital requirement of the cover pools, as already mentioned.

Tailor-Made Cover Policies#

In the Neptune Mutual marketplace, cover pools are created by projects, and therefore tailor-made specifically to match the requirements of the community of that project.

What Policy Should I Get for My Digital Assets?#

Imagine suffering a loss and expecting compensation from your policy, only to be told that the loss was never covered from the start.

When there is a mismatch in understanding between the policyholder and the insurer as to the scope of the policy, the outcome of the process is likely to be disputed, or at the very least, leave one side feeling aggrieved.

The nature of parametric cover is that it generally covers a much wider range of risks and has a few sets of exclusions.

So armed with the knowledge that understanding precisely which cyber risks are included, and those which are excluded, by a cover policy leads to the question: How do I find the right cover policy for a specific digital asset that I hold in a particular DeFi, CeFi or Metaverse project?

We believe that our marketplace will be a convenient search engine to help users find cover policies tailored by projects for their communities. Neptune Mutual is a community-centric project, and over 20k of our community helped us refine the user interface (UI) of our application following its launch on the Polygon Mumbai testnet: have a look here at the blog we wrote about the winners of our testnet competition.

Neptune Mutual Cover Marketplace#

Neptune Mutual is designed to be a convenient and reliable marketplace for parametric cover policy purchasers.

First, policies are designed by cover creators to meet the needs of their own specific projects. This way, policyholders get the appropriate cover from the project itself. Not only does this save time, but it also solves the problem of having to compare different policies to find one best suited to cover the risks of a specific blockchain project.

Underwriting capital is funded through dedicated liquidity cover pools using stablecoin. This makes the marketplace completely independent and removed from crypto market and token price volatility and also helps ensure that there is always sufficient liquidity to cover validated payouts.

Lastly, where cover creators have integrated Neptune Mutual’s SDK, policy purchasers can access the Neptune Mutual cover marketplace directly from project or exchange applications. Choose the type of cover you need and duration and you’re good to go. It’s really that quick and painless.

Promoting Mainstream Adoption of Digital Asset Protection#

Convenience is equally as important as awareness when it comes to adopting digital asset protection in blockchain, perhaps even more so.

At Neptune Mutual, our aim is to drive the adoption of digital asset protection by making parametric cover solutions reliable, fast, secure, and of course, convenient. We have rigorously employed our four design principles to optimise every aspect of the protocol in terms of security, risk, scalability, and UI.

Finally, we are guided by our Neptune Mutual community, whom we serve. We invite you to join us and contribute to, our mission to cover, protect and secure digital assets.