NAVI Leverages Silicon Valley Know-How for DeFi Success

Sui's enterprise-scale approach to infrastructure technology led NAVI to build its banking protocol on the network.

NAVI Leverages Silicon Valley Know-How for DeFi Success

With features such as online banking and chip cards, banks have long embraced technology. However, Charles and Elliscope took a different approach in founding NAVI Protocol. Using their technology expertise and background, they embraced banking. 

"We believe that NAVI can become a Web3 bank for Web2 users, where kindness and open-mindedness are at the heart of the company culture," said Elliscope. The founders chose the name NAVI, which means be kind to each other, to reflect their ethos.

With stints at companies such as Apple and LinkedIn, NAVI's founders have been inculcated in Silicon Valley innovation, working with top engineers from around the world to develop technology used by millions globally. When they evaluated Sui as a potential platform for NAVI, they recognized how it was developed with the same eye towards innovative scalable impact.

Sui's founders, coming from a similar background, built the network from the ground to support enterprise-scale applications. Features such as Sui's object-focused programming model go far beyond the account-based model of other blockchains to give experienced developers the expressiveness available in the infrastructure from leading Silicon Valley technology companies.

Building for users

At its core, NAVI enables borrowing and lending on Sui. The protocol lets people contribute tokens, which will increase at a set interest rate. And on the other side of the equation, people can pay the interest rate to borrow tokens. Borrowers typically would use those tokens in ways that increase their supply beyond the interest rate. NAVI maintains a unified lending and collateral pool, maximizing its capital efficiency. 

"We took inspiration for NAVI’s design from traditional financial institution models that operate lending and deposit offerings, which has proven to be historically very effective. By integrating this approach with the flexibility and innovation of blockchain technology, we've been able to create a protocol that is both user-friendly and efficient," said M, NAVI's head of business.

graphic showing six charts of with NAVI's defi growth
By various metrics, NAVI's growth has been considerable, testament to how well it serves DeFi users borrowing or lending crypto on Sui.

The results have been impressive, with NAVI continually appearing among the top protocols on DeFiLlama's Sui listing page. It holds $150 million in total value locked and borrowed assets of $60 million.

Beyond the efficiency of its protocol, part of NAVI's success comes from its user interface. The main dashboard shows each user their token supply and borrowed amounts on the protocol, along with a health metric. Through Notifi, users receive updates through their preferred communication channels if the health metric signals they need to adjust their accounts. The dashboard also shows a lists of tokens, including SUI, USDC, and WETH, along with their yields and a simple "Supply" button, the latter enabling one-click lending.

chart showing user growth over time
Over less than a year, NAVI grew its user base to nearly 800,000.

Other tabs in the interface let users view NAVI's market by token supply, access bridging and swap capabilities, and see the top users on a leaderboard. This gamification feature includes categories for NAVI's point rating, supplied amount, borrowed amount, and overall activity. 

"We partnered with renowned brands in the Web3 industry, like OKX on a variety of campaigns, Bitget Wallet, Zealy, and Galxe," said Ivan, NAVI's marketing lead. As an example of these partnerships, the leaderboard includes a category showing users who completed quests on the Zealy platform.

Leveraging object security

DeFi protocols must practice and demonstrate superior security to protect their users and reputations. One thing that drew NAVI's founders to Sui was its object-focused data architecture, making it more resistant to exploits than account-based blockchains.

"All the assets and tokens are represented as objects," said Charles, "which avoids attack patterns common on EVM chains, like reentrancy attacks or double spending."

“This design paradigm allows for more robust control over how objects interact and are accessed, effectively mitigating a broad spectrum of attack vectors. The granularity of control extends to specifying who can interact with an object, under what conditions, and through what methods. Unlike traditional account-based systems that rely on more generalized security measures, Sui's object-centric approach enables developers to tailor security policies directly to the individual characteristics of each digital asset,” said Haoran, NAVI’s core smart contract developer.

NAVI's focus on user experience includes making sure that DeFi activities initiated by customers complete quickly and successfully. Users of Web2-based financial apps expect actions they initiate to conclude almost immediately. It's essential that these users find a similar experience when they open an account on NAVI. 

Sui supports this experience with a consensus mechanism that processes transactions quicker than other blockchains. When someone engages with NAVI for DeFi, their transactions finalize in less than a second, with settlement occurring within a few seconds. And with Sui's scalability, those times don't increase with volume, letting NAVI support trading surges.

Leaning into the future

DeepBook, Sui's first native liquidity layer, plays a part in NAVI's future plans. The protocol integrates with DeepBook for liquidations, ensuring it can weather changes in the market. The liquidity support offered by DeepBook has NAVI looking into new options for users, including swaps and flash loans.

With their experience at leading technology companies, coupled with a passion for Web3 and decentralization, NAVI's founders are well equipped to leverage Sui's architecture and features. The protocol's success already shows they are on the right track.