AMA RECAP : CRYPTO CHALLENGERS x PORTAL DEFI
Venue : CryptoChallengersD
Date : 22 JUNE 2022
Time : 02:00 PM UTC.
Guest: GEORGE BURKE, Dr,CHANDRA DUGGIRALA, HANSON SO
They shared detailed information and his opinions about the project PORTAL DEFI
SEGMENT 1 INTRODUCTION.
1. Could you please provide your quick self-introduction to the community?
My name is George Burke, a co-founder at Portal. Our team started working on this since 2018 but I’ve been involved in bitcoin since early 2013. Always a believer in censorship resistant, egalitarian technologies.
I built a bitcoin/altcoin exchange in 2013 which was sold. I later went on to build the first bitcoin debit card in the US called FreshPay.
Prior to crypto, I launched the first “netflix for books” subscription club.
I also currently run the first-ever bitcoin meetup — Silicon Valley Bitcoin — SVBTC.org — first started by Roger Ver and Andreas Antonopolous.
2. How is Portal positioned in the blockchain space? What are its prospects compared to similar projects?
Our company, Portal, late last year announced an ~$8.5M raise to give birth to DeFi built on Bitcoin.
We believe financial applications should be built on the protocol that is most likely to become the base money layer. Portal makes DeFi unstoppable with anonymous, zero-knowledge swaps via the first true cross-chain DEX that’s genuinely trustless. Unlike Uniswap/others, Portal eliminates minting wrapped coins (ie wBTC, wETH) or risky staking with intermediaries. Trading across incompatible blockchains is now just 1-click, trustless and private.
Fabric protocol, our layer 2 & 3 technology powering Portal, enables building censorship-resistant communications, media and one-click cross-chain swaps, all on Bitcoin (along with all its security advantages).
For comparisons, I suppose you could think of it like Uniswap, but cross-chain, private, and trustless
3. Can you share what initiative community can expect from Portal team in order to educate the users? And also what comes after the Portal Offering on Republic?
Every one of our team members evangelizes bitcoin every chance we get, but I don’t think the Portal brand is taking on the responsibility of educating the community at large, but instead, building a tool that the community has desperately needed for years.
Every exchange hack… every defi rugpull… every smart contract drained… every KYC blockade… is another lesson the crypto community learns that we need anonymous & trustless cross-chain trade.
As you mentioned:
Portal’s fundraise — HAPPENING THIS WEEK — is through a compliant securities offering on the best lauchpad in the world: REPUBLIC. What we do after? We’re building our beta to be launched 🙂
4) Could you share a bit about the benefits you will provide to incentivise users choosing your platform?
The problems of today’s DeFi and DEXs that we’re solving with Portal are:
1) High gas fees: we utilize layer 2 for cross-chain swaps by which nodes can communicate hundreds or thousands of messages/transactions prior to settling on the main chain.
2) Poor UX: We agree the user experience for DEX trading has been awful so far. We have a beautiful non-custodial wallet that is as easy to use as Coinbase but self-sovereign and trust-minimized, where you can store coins and trade from within the same interface. We’ve worked years on developing this.
3) Asset locking & asset replication: The wrapping and locking of funds onto other chains by these so-called “cross-chain” DEXes are neither trustless nor decentralized, nor are they even cross-chain! BitGo custodies the majority of the billions of locked up BTC. As we saw with the recent $600M hack, these DEXes are honeypots waiting to happen. Atomic swaps solves this. Wrapping tokens becomes a thing of the past since coins of incompatible chains can be traded natively and without a risky middle-man. Each party’s funds are only locked during trade execution and not re-bonded or replicated onto other chains for eternity.
5. The most common desire among crypto users is to have risk-free trading platform in terms of security and smooth experience. Does Portal have something to offer in this regard?
1) Building a secure layer 1 system is incredibly hard. We don’t want to do that; Fabric uses the layer 1 system that already exists and therefore we use Bitcoin as OUR layer 1.
In Portal’s DEX, the contracts don’t depend on anything other than the trading pairs’ native chains… say BTC<>ETH. We are harnessing the security already built into Bitcoin and into Ethereum; the atomic swap contracts are minimal. Independently audited and tested to the max by a truly decentralized network before going live over the course of the past 5 years.
Unlike wrappers and bridges, these coins are not re-bonded into Portal and are not honeypots. The community treasury does not contain exposed user’s funds. The exposure is limited only to the token which is being traded — NOT what is bonded. This is the main difference between the Portal project and other so-called false “cross-chain DEX” projects. The flaw in bonding/wrapping is double the exposure for a breach in security; be it theft, risk, hacking. It’s like making a duplicate -or a triplicate- of your house key. The Portal project is designed to protect your key- the reliance on simple and native atomic swaps means there isn’t anything to expose. This is possible through the use of Fabric Protocol technology, which is an internet built on the layer 1 blockchain of bitcoin — the timechain itself.
2) Bitcoin provides the security; no need to implement a new system and attempt to garner superior adoption. Bitcoin is the most decentralized and secure system and we think it is the monetary layer. If you want to build functionality, financial contracts, and beyond, it makes sense to build it on top of the monetary layer vs any other layer. More importantly, layers of functionality enable bitcoin to capture the value, but not the risk of a failure of a layer 2 system.
SEGMENT 2 TWITTER QUESTIONS.
1.Even though it hasn’t been the worst, 2022 has certainly be a hard year for the crypto market and Bitcoin. So, With Portal DeFi being a Project related to Bitcoin, what kind of challenges have you faced through the year because of the bearish tendencies the market has had so far?
1) If you’re talking about today’s price trend, anyone not experienced in Bitcoin might think the ecosystem is imploding… But having been in Bitcoin since 2013, I’ve seen even WORSE price collapses at least 3 times before. Price aside, the hash rate of the Bitcoin Network is the strongest it’s ever been. This is indicative of things not going away.
2) As a company & project, Portal is not experiencing hardship in any way. We had a large fundraise and have enough treasury to weather MANY bull/bear cycles
2.Will Portal allow for cross-chain swaps on other chains such as Ethereum to polygon directly without going through Bitcoin? And What would the throughputs and transactions per second be like?
First, let me explain that a cross-chain DEX network being built ON Bitcoin does not mean conversion to BTC for non-Bitcoin assets. Also, unlike all the supposed “cross-chain” DEXs/swaps we know today that utilizes cross-chain bridges, there’s no need to wrap assets. The swaps occur directly & on their native chains without an intermediary step.
Several blockchains are looking for bridges to swap between their token and bitcoin, but these don’t trustlessly exist (yet). We have a few blockchains wanting integration for near trustless swapping and bonding between their token and bitcoin (or other tokens of incompatible blockchains). This interoperability is the holy grail of the crypto space.
First partner we can name is Aeternity…
…Another partnership is with Ankr.
…Then there’s Polygon working with us to provide trustless bridging for their native stablecoin: https://dailyhodl.com/2021/11/17/portal-and-polygon-enter-strategic-partnership-to-boost-bitcoin-usability-in-defi-ecosystem/
…And we just announced a partnership with Chainlink: https://cointelegraph.com/press-releases/portal-partners-with-chainlink-to-bring-trusted-data-onto-its-bitcoin-based-dex
…We even have a partnership that, for the first time, brings shares of pre-IPO companies (like Klarna, SpaceX, Automation Anywhere, Epic Games, and Cross River Bank) directly to the Bitcoin blockchain: https://cryptobriefing.com/portal-and-highcirclex-to-tokenize-pre-ipo-equity-on-the-bitcoin-blockchain/
3.The potential of Portal is huge. The revolutionary idea of DeFi on #BTC not only change blockchain/crypto space but also the whole world. I take this from your twitter,What is the potential of Portal can you convince us? what makes #Portal exclusive and different from the rest?
For some background, a layer 2 is a sequence of unsettled transations on the main chain done for a purpose. For example, Lightning Network is a layer 2 system for peer-to-peer micropayments. However, lightning transactions — until settled — are not broadcasted to the main chain.
We invented layer 2 zero knowledge swaps, which fix the Layer 1 tier nolan atomic swap incentive problems, and add speed and liquidity features. In addition, Fabric protocol (the protocol we use to build p2p ZK circuits for FHE), has been used to build peer to peer communication and other apps. Just like lightning is a layer 2 system for peer to peer micropayments, and is therefore fast because lightning transactions, until settled, are not broadcasted to the main chain. Portal is a layer two system for peer to peer cross-chain contracting. Because it’s layer 2, it’s fast.
Portal is building a true cross-chain method of trust-minimized exchange without a 3rd party. But because these chains do not natively interoperate or communicate with another, a layer must be built above the base layer for such communication. Portal is a layer 2 system for peer-to-peer cross-chain contracting. Cross-chain contracting facilitates a variety of in-demand DeFi activities, like spot-trading.
Fabric, the underlying technology Portal is built on, splits contracts into “ZK Swarms” — allowing all network participants to agree to contracts on their own terms. These are “multi party contracts”, with each peer earning Bitcoin for computing their part in the program. It does this at “layer 3”, which provides the privacy PLUS fungibility of transactions.
But why zero-knowledge? Why privacy?
How can a decentralized exchange layer be truly censorship-resistant if traders are known and addresses can be traced? So, Fabric technology enables ZK circuit creation which, when implemented, opens the door to a whole host of new methods of obfuscating transactions without losing verifiability.
For Bitcoin to become money, we need a censorship resistant, peer-to-peer trading system that crosses blockchains.
4.How are you planning to attract the non-Crypto Users to your platform , Can you talk about the UI/UX , Is it easy to use even for users who are unaware of blockchain ?
Regarding UI/UX, I mentioned this previously:
Regarding attracting non-crypto users to our platform, we’re not focusing on non-crypto users. Only crypto users who truly understand WHY the need for anonymous and trust-minimized trading across chains is who should use Portal.
Besides… The various government & macroeconomics debacles around the world are doing a great job of evangelizing for Bitcoin.
5.@portal_finance is as an DEX AMM, so, important is attract liquidity and create a large pool, the more liquidity there is in the pool, the less slippage the orders will have. So, what strategies will you use to attract enough liquidity and thus counteract the slippage of orders?
We’re not yet revealing this to the public. What we can reveal is that there are node operators or “facilitators” in our model. All facilitators get paid based on the value of trades they facilitate. Portal’s revenue, as well as the revenue of any facilitators is tied to the growth of the network and userbase. Every wallet downloaded can be configured to run a facilitation node. The whitepaper goes into facilitators more extensively. Please see the whitepaper at https://portaldefi.com/whitepaper