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How Starknet can help provide real-world solutions starting with decentralized financial solutions: personal experience


Big shoutout to contributor @Estheroche1 for this article. Since 2023, she's been heavily engaged in the Starknet ecosystem as a core contributor, actively participating in numerous open-source projects within the community and playing a significant role in the impressive expansion of Starknet.

My journey into the decentralized finance (DeFi) world was not merely a career choice but rather a convergence of personal interest, professional aspirations, and a deep-rooted belief in the transformative power of blockchain technology. In this article, I share reflections on my experiences within DeFi.

Let's get started!

With a background in Engineering Mathematics and Financial Economics, I possess a strong analytical foundation. About three years ago, I decided to pivot into the realm of decentralized financial solutions—a challenging yet rewarding journey fueled by my passion for blockchain technology. This decision led me to join a blockchain development boot camp.

During this period, Nigeria faced severe banking restrictions that prevented access to funds, hindering electronic transactions and cash withdrawals. This situation created a cash scarcity, leading to inflated rates for cash exchanges and leaving many unable to afford basic needs. Amid this crisis, my family couldn't access funds for my younger brother's hospital bills, contributing to his untimely death. This experience intensified my frustration with the government and the limitations of traditional banking, motivating my search for alternatives.

The government failed my brother, failed many Nigerians and also the commercial banks which are built on the web2 technology failed me.

I therefore turned to decentralized financial solutions in Web3 as a way to circumvent governmental and banking control over personal finances, inspired by the global potential of DeFi to prevent such tragedies.

How did I get into Web3?

My software development journey began with training in Web2 technologies—HTML/CSS, JavaScript, and TypeScript. My curiosity in decentralized finance (DeFi) led me to enroll in Web3 Bridge, Lagos, Nigeria, where I expanded my expertise to include Solidity, engaging in projects that utilized tools like Remix, Hardhat, and Foundry. My projects were successfully deployed on Ethereum testnet, Celo, Base and Starknet.

At Web3 Bridge, dedicating over 60 hours weekly, I was introduced to Cairo, Starknet, and Rust, technologies I have since been deeply engaged with. My work on various contracts (staking, multisig, ERC20, ENS) enhanced my familiarity with Cairo syntax, logic building, and the Starknet ecosystem.

Amongst the many things I learnt at Web3Bridge, I was drawn to Starknet and the Starknet ecosystem for the following reasons:

  1. Scalability: Starknet allows developers to build dApps such as decentralized exchanges, payment systems, and gaming platforms that can handle massive volumes of transactions without compromising on performance. This opens the doors for creating highly scalable applications with large user bases with the help of account abstraction.
  2. Starknet's Cairo programming language: This offers more flexibility compared to Ethereum's Solidity, enabling developers to create innovative applications and experiment with novel functionalities.
  3. Cost Efficiency: Lower transaction costs enable microtransactions, micropayments, and accessible DeFi protocols, democratizing financial services.
  4. Privacy and Security: Zero-knowledge proofs ensure privacy for sensitive data, beneficial for industries like healthcare and identity verification.
  5. Decentralized Finance (DeFi): Projects on Starknet offer high-throughput decentralized exchanges, competitive lending protocols, and secure derivatives platforms, addressing financial exclusion and inefficiencies.

In addition, Starknet has a developer friendly environment that appreciate every individual’s contributions.

So how did I start with Starknet?

Sheer drive and commitment is the simple summary of my journey to Starknet. I started reading whitepapers, articles, and blog posts to understand its architecture and unique features.

I realized Starknet could be the key to financial decentralization for countries like Nigeria, facing similar challenges.

Real-world solutions with Starknet's technology

In countries like Nigeria, which face restrictive financial policies on how and when to access their assets in the banks for payment, challenges of inter-border payment for services and goods, Starknet, as a scaling solution for Ethereum, holds immense potential to offer real-world value across decentralized finance.

Starknet offers faster, cheaper trading and payment, scalable lending/borrowing, new financial instruments which makes making DeFi more accessible and user-friendly. I've used projects on Starknet such as Argent, AVNU, and BRAAVOS to address real-world problems in decentralized finance:


Argent is the first and most trusted smart wallet on Starknet.


AVNU is a decentralized exchange protocol designed to offer the best execution.


Braavos is the first and only Starknet wallet on mobile, Android & iOS. Use all your favorite Starknet dApps on the go! Also available for chrome, Firefox and Edge. All in one assets management - DeFi and NFTs.

You can find more relevant projects at Starknet Ecosystem.

Going further

To deepen my interest and knowledge, I applied to join the Cairo Bootcamp at Block Header Web3 and a Basecamp organized by David Barreto. These bootcamps not only solidified my proficiency in the Cairo language but also provided hands-on experience with developing and interacting with Starknet applications.

At the end of the bootcamp and to kickstart my professional journey in the Starknet ecosystem, our tutors introduced us to making open source contributions projects on OnlyDust. OnlyDust is an excellent platform for contributions and learning, providing a supportive community and diverse projects that facilitated my Starknet journey.

Understanding my strengths of writing, I hastily registered on the platform and started contributing to the Starknet book and other projects. I aimed to simplify the development resources for others building on Starknet.

If you need a quick guide on how to get started, here is how I went about it:

  • Choose your environment: Start with a test environment like Starknet Goerli or Sepolia for learning and experimentation.
  • Mainnet: When comfortable, move to Starknet Mainnet for real-world interactions.
  • Set up your tools: Select a Starknet node provider or install your own node, choose a wallet like ArgentX or Braavos, and install development tools including Starknet CLI and the Cairo compiler.

And now you are all set!

Conclusion: bridging technology and impact

My path from facing traditional banking limitations to exploring DeFi and Starknet highlights a personal and professional transformation. As discussed in this article, Starknet's promise for more accessible and secure financial services captivated me, highlighting its potential to surpass conventional banking limitations. Joining OnlyDust was a strategic step that connected me with like-minded individuals and projects, reinforcing my commitment to DeFi.

This experience illustrates the importance of community and practical engagement in the DeFi space. It demonstrates the potential of decentralized technologies to create a more inclusive financial system. My story is a testament to the power of innovation and collaboration in overcoming challenges and making a tangible social impact.