Five years of groundbreaking Web3 innovation

1inch Network
1inch Network
Published in
7 min readMay 31, 2024

On May 19, 1inch celebrated its fifth birthday. We’ve had a remarkable journey, evolving from a hackathon project to a leading player in the Web3 space. But we never rest on our laurels — more accomplishments await!

It was May 2019, the ETHGlobal hackathon in New York City. There, over the course of 56 sleepless hours, developers Sergej Kunz and Anton Bukov, who went on to co-found 1inch, built the first DEX aggregation protocol in Web3, the backbone of future 1inch.

1inch co-founder Sergej Kunz and Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin at ETHGlobal NYC in May 2019.

Overall, Sergej and Anton have a solid hackathon background, having participated in 17 hackathons around the world together.

1inch co-founders Sergej Kunz and Anton Bukov at a hackathon in 2019.

Fast-forward to the present day, and 1inch is one of the Web3 space’s leaders, with over 150 contributors worldwide. Over the past years, more than 15 mln wallets have used 1inch, while the total swap volume has reached nearly $500 bln.

The 1inch team in 2022.

Always at the forefront of innovation

1inch has always focused on developing innovative solutions to address the most pressing current problems. Back in 2019–2020, one of the biggest challenges was the fragmentation of liquidity across different pools, leading to unfavorable prices on some decentralized exchanges (DEXes). What was 1inch’s solution? We built the first DEX aggregator, becoming trailblazers in DeFi aggregation and the segment’s main player and saving users huge amounts of time and money.

Another major task that 1inch set to solve came in 2021, when, despite the market’s rapid growth and the arrival of new promising projects, there was a shortage of user-friendly decentralized apps that would offer users an experience similar to that of centralized exchanges, without sacrificing security and decentralization.

To fix that, we introduced the most user-friendly Web3 wallet app, the 1inch Wallet, and launched the most efficient limit order protocol. The 1inch Limit Order Protocol quickly became the market’s leader and remains in the top spot to this day. Currently, roughly 80% of all DEX trades involving limit orders are executed via the 1inch Limit Order Protocol.

In December 2022, 1inch revolutionized the DeFi segment with the launch of 1inch Fusion. This solution allows swapping tokens across various networks without gas fees, providing access to liquidity throughout the crypto space and protection from maximal extractable value (MEV), also ensuring a high level of compliance. The compliance procedure includes KYC / AML liquidity source whitelists and an ongoing AML process for each settlement. The latter is especially vital for institutional customers eager to embrace DeFi in a compliant way amidst alleged AML uncertainty.

However, while 1inch Fusion’s first version offered favorable rates for large swaps, it wasn’t always profitable for smaller trades. Addressing this issue, we recently released 1inch Fusion 2.0, which, thanks to its optimized code, improved auction mechanism and the use of an upgraded version of the 1inch Limit Order Protocol, offers attractive rates on small trades, while also dramatically enhancing transaction speeds.

Incidentally, 1inch Fusion was among the solutions pioneering the intent-based approach, where users state their intent and the platform applies suitable strategies to execute it in a secure and decentralized manner. In the case of 1inch Fusion, a user states an intent of swapping a certain amount of tokens with a specified minimal return, while resolvers — professional market markets — compete with each other for the right to execute the swap, using the most efficient strategies.

In 2023, we launched the 1inch Developer Portal, a cloud SaaS (software as a service) platform offering multiple software services for developers building Web3 apps. Currently, the 1inch Developer Portal offers almost a dozen APIs that are suitable for solving nearly any task required by Web3 developers. In less than a year, the 1inch Developer Portal has gained 200 partner integrations and around 2,500 active users.

Building a bridge between traditional finance and DeFi, we launched the 1inch Card in partnership with Mastercard and Crypto Life, enabling users to pay for goods and services with crypto anywhere (limited to region accessibility).

The 1inch Card was introduced during the Paris Blockchain Week in April 2024, causing a sensation at the event and immediately winning the hearts and minds of users. Within the first week of the launch, over 1,000 applications for the 1inch Card were submitted. The 1inch Card’s users receive a cashback of up to 2% in crypto, a unique offering for crypto debit cards.

Building an ecosystem

Over the past years, 1inch has grown into an ecosystem encompassing not only our contributors but also other developer teams. Some of the 1inch ecosystem’s notable products have been built by such teams.

One example is 1inch Portfolio. While there is a shortage of reliable and comprehensive portfolio tracking solutions, this cutting-edge tool enables traders to analyze the performance of their crypto portfolios across multiple wallets and networks, obtaining portfolio performance data in a convenient format. 1inch Portfolio also serves as an example of a Web3 app based on tools from the 1inch Developer Portal.

Another example is a team working on the 1inch Hardware Wallet, which obtained a grant from the 1inch DAO to build a hardware device for secure and convenient storage of crypto assets.

In the past couple of years, the collapses of major centralized services have taught users about the risks associated with them, leading to a rise in demand for hardware devices.

Meanwhile, existing market offerings in the hardware wallet segment are unable to fully satisfy users’ needs for efficient and secure hardware solutions. Based on the crypto community’s reactions, the 1inch Hardware Wallet is one of the most highly anticipated products in the segment, with the number of users on the waiting list above all expectations.

Work on the 1inch Hardware Wallet is in full swing, and the first wallets are going to reach users soon.

Looking into the future

Since 2020, the DEX segment has grown significantly. While four years ago, the share of DEXes in all crypto spot trading accounted for about 0.16%, now, this figure is approaching 10%.

However, as the DEX space grows, it continues to encounter new challenges. Now, in 2024, 1inch is again working on solving a big problem facing the space. These days, crypto liquidity is distributed across multiple blockchains, and the popularity of Ethereum L2 networks, as well as new fast-growing alternative chains, is growing thanks to lower fees offered by those chains. However, moving liquidity between chains could be rather frustrating, due to inefficient bridges that are either centralized or vulnerable to hacks.

Our innovation, aiming to solve the cross-chain interoperability issue, is based on two components. The first one is 1inch Fusion, whose resolvers have been successfully bridging liquidity from various chains for 18 months now. The second component is atomic swap technology, which has been around for some time but has never been properly packaged into a market-ready solution.

The upcoming release of an atomic swap functionality will make 1inch the first DeFi/Web3 ecosystem to facilitate not only various Web3 transactions but also unlimited liquidity movement between chains — as securely, conveniently and efficiently as ever.

Toughest and hardest-hitting

Over these five years, 1inch has been proud to stand as one of the toughest, boldest, and hardest-hitting projects in the Web3 space — perfectly reflecting our name, inspired by Bruce Lee’s iconic punch.

1inch user numbers and swap volume, 2019–2024.

Currently, 1inch provides a variety of tools for users, facilitating their smooth entry into DeFi. Users can start their Web3 journey with the 1inch Wallet and seamless swaps in the 1inch dApp and gradually move to market making, complex trading strategies or the use of crypto in the real world.

Meanwhile, developers can benefit from a wide range of innovative tools offered by the 1inch Developer Portal, which facilitate building various Web3 applications. Perhaps one of their projects will become the next unicorn in the Web3 space!

It’s also important to stress that all our innovations are primarily aimed at one thing — making our community members’ Web3 journey seamless, user-friendly, compliant, secure and profitable. Thanks for being with us all these years, and rest assured, we won’t disappoint you!

More news and updates are coming soon, stay tuned!

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1inch Network
1inch Network

A distributed network for decentralized protocols enabling the most lucrative, fastest and protected operations in DeFi.