18th January 2023 — In another edition of Bitrue’s “Ask Me Anything” session on Twitter Space, a special guest from one of our most prominent projects of 2023, Hashflow, was invited. Hashflow is a decentralized exchange platform with its own unique and modern features that make it one of the most special projects for this year. Varun Kumar, CEO of Hashflow, joined us on Twitter Space to share more about Hashflow with our community.
Without further ado, let’s look into the Q&As during the session below:
Can you briefly describe Hashflow and how it differs from other projects generally?
To simply put it, Hashflow is a decentralized exchange protocol, meaning we allow anyone to trade cryptocurrencies simply by connecting their wallets. You don’t need to create an account, deposit funds or custody anything with us, you simply trade directly from your wallet. That’s basically Hashflow in a nutshell. If you ask how this differs from other decentralized exchanges and what’s the advantage of using this, as a trader, this means you can basically swap in a permissionless manner without running into issues like MEV exploits, Front-running, or suffering massive slippage because of bonding curves and so on. So, basically, you get to trade more safely and essentially receive exactly what you were promised. There are no surprises. The architecture also allows people do things cross-chain, where they can natively swap assets between any chains without using a bridge. Also, it allows you to expand and basically penetrate any asset class without, again, relying on bonding curves and so on.
Can you share with us a little bit more about your team and how you guys are working together?
Surprisingly, we don’t have a very big team. It’s actually a team of 10 people, but 10 extremely smart people. So, I think that helps. Most of the team came from a Web2 background. My personal background was in aerospace engineering and physics, and I was like mostly doing robotics before getting into crypto. Victor, who is not on the call, was at Airbnb as a staff engineer for more than four years.
Pretty much most of the team has come from a traditional Web2 background and they’re extremely product-focused. That really helps because in my opinion, things that are lacking in DeFi is how low product-driven they are and how not very user-centric they are. Bringing that mindset into building consumer products that people can use and not abstracting away any complexity to make the user experience as seamless as possible are a couple of the key things that will be critical for the next evolution of DeFi. I feel pretty optimistic about our team and the fact that they come from this background, means that they apply that knowledge to building better user experiences for upcoming launches.
What is Hashverse and what value do you think you can bring to the project and the Hashflow community?
Hashverse is basically the term that we use to describe a DAO. It’s a gamified governance experience or DAO experience. As of now, we’ve launched pre-staking into the Hashverse, which is interesting. Basically, people are staking the tokens and they define the time period they stake. That then allows them to gain this power level that they could use to compete within the Hashverse over time for more rewards. They compete by completing different quests which could directly be tied to trading activities, quests that directly benefit the community, or meme creation/art creation, etc. Overall, community engagement. These would be the base quests.
All of these RPG-game style components make it even more interesting. Basically, the idea behind the DAO is to make it not boring and make it more fun so that anyone can participate and bring any sort of skill to basically build this community from the ground up. It is designed to foster more participation and excitement among anyone who is part of it and to grow as a community together. And that’s the general idea behind designing the Hashverse’s own universe with different NFTs. Everyone from any skill set can come in to contribute and become somebody in the DAO.
The next thing that a lot of people in our community would be interested in is obviously your native token HFT. Can you share with our community, what kind of utilities and tokenomics your native token, HFT possess?
The token started as a governance token, but then other utilities we saw left it open-ended. That led the community to decide or us working with the community to figure out over time what makes the most sense. That way, we’re not constraining the usage to one particular use case and having to live with it. Rather, we can dynamically figure out its use cases based on user behaviour and what works the best.
There’s been some interesting proposals around how the token could be used. Right now it’s being used mainly for voting, obviously. Also, it’s functioning as a user’s power level within the Hashverse and plays a role in pre-staking. Your power level is the product of two functions, staking your tokens and defining the lock-up time period. In order to enter the Hashverse to participate and compete, you need the tokens. It almost acts as your ticket to get into the Hashverse.
There had also been proposals around the token being used to get fee accruals. Some suggested that once we should start generating revenue, a percentage of the revenue should go to the token holders, which was an interesting idea. Others suggested using the revenue collected through fees to buyback and burn the tokens or reuse them for something else. There had been a bunch of ideas that are being proposed on how the token should be used, which is all good because it’s all coming from the community.
People who own the tokens should decide exactly what they want to use the token for. In the next month or so, once one of these proposals actually comes through, it will have a more defined use case around what we’re doing with revenue and such. But at the moment, it’s strictly a governance token. By the end of the day, what we want is for the community and other governors to decide what the utility should be, as opposed to us using pushing it top-down onto everybody. That’s the general idea behind how the tokenomics has been designed.
Generally, I’m not opposed to the top-down approach, especially if you’re building a product. It makes sense that when the core development team is less hands on the table and more focus, the decision making is better. The token holds the interest of approximately 12,000 people who are holding it right now. So, if we become the ones that make the decisions, that doesn’t make sense. People who actually have an interest in that should all be part of the decision making process. This was why we didn’t push any top down decision making on the token in particular. That’s where we left it to governance.
How have you and your team been navigating the space thus far post-FTX fallout?
I think it’s been a tough year for the entire crypto industry. I agree. But at the same time, I feel like the only thing you could do is accept the reality and continue to build because that’s the only way. It’s like surfing. One of the things lessons you learn in surfing is to never panic. Why is this so? When a massive wave that wipes you out and now you are in the water. You will then be hit by even more waves. You can’t really panic, or do anything about that. At that point, the only thing you could do is relax, let the storm pass away, and keep on paddling until you’re out of trouble. Then, you return to the wave again.
That’s exactly what you do here, you simply let the storm pass. The only thing you could do is continue to build because you know exactly what the space is about and what’s the future going to hold for it. Basically, you stick to your ideals and you continue to build. That’s what we basically end up doing. Luckily, we’re fortunate enough to raise a round pre-bear market. We have sufficient capital for the next three years and the team is fairly lean, which means our burn rate is pretty small or low, putting us in a pretty strong position to close the bear market and actually build something cool.
In general, I’ve seen like three cycles now since 2015-ish or 2014. If you’re looking for long-term success in crypto, it’s a function of patience, right? It’s a game of patience. If you’re looking to build something that’s going to make an impact and then look and see it succeed, you need to have patience. Success comes to those who wait and patiently build, and not panic based on these things. These cycles come and go, but how do you pursue and stay focused on the mission? That’s really important and this is the best time to learn new things and to just create something new.
So for 2023, is there anything big or anything prominent for Hashflow?
I can give you a teaser of the roadmap. Until last year, I think the key product milestones were building the infrastructure for cross-chain and allowing for EVM chain swaps or native asset swaps. And then we announced the token and we got the token out and then basically just kept onboarding more market makers and liquidity to make the platform more robust. Now that we’ve actually hit those milestones, I think the focus for this year in particular would be to expand to non-EVM chains and then also enable cross-chain functionality between EVM and non-EVM chains natively. So, that will be something that will be shipping soon. The launch for Hashverse, which we talked about, is obviously ongoing.
Currently, in Phase One, pre-staking was launched on the 12th. Now, we’re expecting that the next leg up would be when the next phases of the Hashverse is launched. That’s something that will be coming out this year. We also expect a bunch of functionality in terms of just how the trading works. We want to make it more sophisticated by adding things like TWAP/VWAP, limit orders, etc. That would be something added to the trading termina. We will also add more insights into what people are trading, looking for at the charts, and so on. We also revamped the UI a bit to make it more retail-friendly.
For the last quarter, we’ve been researching order book. I won’t say much about that at the moment, but I think these are all the things in the roadmap that will be coming up. This is already like a year to year and a half in the making, but it’s going to be fun.
We basically want to build out the best trading experience without counterparty risk. If you can get there, I think that’ll be a big win. We just don’t have that at the moment as an industry. We think we have great user experience. Well, I don’t know if it’s great, but at least you have a pretty good user experience in finance and such. But then it also comes with the counterparty risk that you saw with other centralized venues. Right, so you basically want to build something that doesn’t come with that kind of risk. That’s really the goal.