Skip to content

Collateralized Debt Obligation

Give me the basics

Collateralized Debt Position (CDP) is a smart contract-based mechanism that allows users to lock up their crypto assets as collateral to obtain a stablecoin loan on the Ethereum blockchain. The value of the collateral must be maintained above a certain ratio (Collateral Factor) to the value of the loan to avoid liquidation. The Collateral Factor represents the percentage of the collateral’s value that can be borrowed against. For example, if the Collateral Factor is 50%, the user can borrow up to 50% of the value of their collateral. The higher the Collateral Factor, the riskier the loan.

In-depth explanation

A collateralized debt obligation (CDO) is a type of structured financial product that pools together a variety of debt securities such as bonds, mortgages, and loans, and then separates them into different classes of risk and return. Each class of debt has its own unique risk and return characteristics, which are designed to meet the needs of different investors. The riskier the debt, the higher the potential return, but also the greater the likelihood of default. CDOs are typically created by investment banks and sold to institutional investors such as pension funds, insurance companies, and hedge funds.


The basic idea behind a CDO is that it allows investors to gain exposure to a diversified pool of debt securities, which reduces the overall risk of the investment. The cash flows generated by the underlying debt securities are used to pay interest and principal to the different classes of debt holders in the CDO. The most senior class of debt holders receives the first priority of cash flows and is considered to be the safest, while the lower-rated classes have a higher risk of default but also offer a higher yield.


CDOs gained notoriety during the 2008 financial crisis, when many of them failed due to the subprime mortgage crisis. These CDOs were backed by subprime mortgages, which were high-risk loans made to borrowers with poor credit histories. When the housing market collapsed and many of these borrowers defaulted on their loans, the value of the CDOs plummeted and caused significant losses for investors.


In the world of cryptocurrency, collateralized debt obligations are gaining popularity as a way to create a new type of financial product. Instead of using traditional debt securities as collateral, cryptocurrency tokens are used instead. These tokens are locked up in a smart contract and used to back the different classes of debt in the CDO. The idea behind these crypto-backed CDOs is that they can provide a new way for investors to gain exposure to the crypto market, while also managing their risk by diversifying across different tokens.


While the use of crypto in CDOs is a relatively new development, it has the potential to open up new opportunities for investors and create a more diverse range of financial products. However, as with any new financial product, there are risks involved, and it is important for investors to do their due diligence and fully understand the risks and potential rewards before investing in these products.