Last year, the crypto industry witnessed one of the biggest downfalls of major crypto exchanges. The market also lost more than $1.3 billion to hackers and several times that number through companies that filed for bankruptcy.
FTX was one of the largest crypto exchange platforms before its collapse. The centralised exchange platform’s demise came following an expose of founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried’s shady dealings after it emerged that he used client funds for personal investments. This is a perfect example of why the crypto industry seems to be rapidly moving towards decentralised exchanges (DEXes).
Over the past two years, the crypto market has also been pushing for cross-chain interoperability to accelerate the mass adoption of users. For reference, consider the mainstream banking sector where people can use an ATM card to withdraw funds from any dispensing machine.
That is not the same for blockchain platforms unless they use cross-chain bridges that allow interoperability. However, based on the evidence of Axie Infinity’s Ronin bridge breach, which saw hackers steal $625 million, this further exposed the vulnerabilities of using centralised exchange platforms.
In decentralised exchanges, trader funds are kept in non-custodial wallets, giving users all control of their assets. This provides a more secure trading experience as compared to using a centralised exchange.
However, unlike centralised exchanges, DEXes experience lower trading volumes, which can often cause high price fluctuations on large trades. This has been one of the major drawbacks to accelerating the adoption of decentralised crypto exchange platforms.
Nonetheless, some like Hashflow, seem to have found a solution that prevents trades from the downsides of DEXes.
Hashflow wants to revolutionise crypto trading through what it calls RFQ (Request for Quote) technology. The company is building an ecosystem of crypto trading and experiences that will also feature an evolutionary DAO (decentralised autonomous organisation), and gamified experiences and quests for members.
To explore Hashflow’s approach to DEX trading, we asked Thibault Binier, the company’s Strategy and Growth Lead, what makes the Hashflow Protocol unique from AMM DEXes, and how this could disrupt the DeFi market.
Please tell us a bit about your journey in Web3 and your role at Hashflow.
My journey into Web3 started via NFTs. I was excited by the opportunity the tech offered to verify digital ownership. From there, I dove deeper into blockchain technology and DeFi. The Hashflow DEX stood out as a unique and exciting product in the industry, offering better prices by using a different model for market making. My role at Hashflow today involves building and exploring growth strategies in order to optimize marketing initiatives.
What makes Hashflow Protocol unique from AMM Dexes?
Hashflow offers seamless trading by leveraging the RFQ (Request for Quote) technology instead of the traditional AMM model for DEXes. By using this hybrid on-chain / off-chain engine to fetch off-chain quotes from professional market makers, prices are guaranteed and protected from any slippage or MEV.
The Hashverse DAO is one of your priorities for H1 2023, what is it all about and how far is it from launch? Also, tell us about the importance of DAOs in Web3.
The Hashverse will be the first story-driven and gamified governance platform. Our aim is to bring Web3 communities together to enjoy an immersive experience where users can complete quests and earn rewards while helping to determine the future of the Hashflow protocol. The launch of the Hashverse is our priority and is inching closer, however, a date hasn’t been announced yet!
DAO infrastructure is at the ethos of DeFi. Decentralized governance creates an interesting layer for projects to uniquely involve their ecosystem by using blockchain technology. DAO models are still being developed and tested, and there is a lot of room to keep optimizing this component of Web3. The Hashverse aims to make DAOs more than just about governance by gamifying the experience and tying it to a larger story.
How do NFTs fit into Hashflow’s ecosystem?
NFTs will be an integral part of gamification in the Hashverse. We will be leveraging this technology to expand functionality and make quests more interactive and fun. Earlier this year, we released the Creations Coffers collection, which will afford users substantive and unique utility within The Hashverse.
Additionally, we are close to releasing the first in-Hashverse items for gameplay via our Season 1 Battle Pack, a 1K collection of mystery boxes, and the first drop on Magic Eden’s new ETH marketplace.
Your company’s last fundraising was a $25M Series A in July 2022. Have you launched any new products since? Tell us about the progress made amid the crypto winter.
Since our Series A raise, we’ve decentralized governance of the protocol with the launch of our token, $HFT. We are also constantly optimizing our core product DEX functionality in order to offer the best experience and prices possible.
This bear market has been the perfect opportunity for us to focus on building the best trading experience in DeFi, without the noise and distraction that comes with bull markets.
Your company plans to add non-EVM chain support in H1. Why is cross-chain interoperability so important for decentralized finance platforms?
At Hashflow, we believe the future is multi-chain. By leveraging the RFQ model for market making, we have the unique opportunity of offering bridgeless cross-chain swaps for any chain. We are excited to be working towards a multi-chain future and truly believe that chain interoperability is key to the advancement of crypto.
What is the biggest change that DeFi could bring to traditional finance?
DeFi removes custody risk, which, particularly time-relevant given current events, is clearly a valid risk associated with traditional finance and centralized exchanges.
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