Working on decentralized exchange infrastructure with the OpenANX Foundation

I spend a lot of thinking thinking about the on and off ramps into our industry — exchanges. This is how new users come into the new financial world we’re all building everyday. It’s their first touch point and often a very poor one — expensive, risk prone and prone to security disasters.

It isn’t natural in the blockchain world for cypherpunks to trade on centralized, closed source exchanges, relinquishing custody of one’s private keys. For liquidity, we give up the values that we hold dear.

While there are a proliferation of decentralized exchange projects, they focus on pure crypto to crypto and are far from practical as end to end solutions at this point in time. Real world banking, compliance, and AML is simply not attractive to a small team of highly technical engineers.

On the flip side, centralised exchange operators are weary of fending off DDoS attacks, managing 24x7 trading engines, and managing customer private keys.

If you could build a platform to merge those two key competencies in a decentralized manner — letting exchange operators focus on their core competitive advantages (local language, support, compliance, and banking), while moving private key custody off balance sheets and back onto block chains — you’d have a product that could drive value for our entire industry.

The OpenANX Foundation (https://www.openanx.org) is the most credible attempt I’ve seen at leading the effort to deliver on this mission in the years I’ve been thinking about this problem. The underlying idea and structure look promising, but perhaps more importantly, the team behind it is the right team to take on this challenge.

Hugh, Dave and Ken and have been hard at work in Hong Kong years, building one of the larger DLT development companies in the world, albeit in a low key, quiet way. I met them shortly after they launched their first product, the ANX exchange, a few years ago. Since then, they’ve built a few successful projects, but they’ve been remained passionate about building a better way to provide liquidity in our ecosystem. Who better to build a decentralised exchange protocol than a team that already runs a first class exchange?

It’s a hugely ambitious project, with a tremendous amount of work to be done — but that’s what our space is all about. I’m excited about working with them to build radically better, more transparent, and less risky infrastructure that can facilitate liquidity and the on-boarding of the next fifty millions users into the cypto-ecosystem. After all, what could be more exciting than brainstorming on a regular basis with some great people working on a project that would improve our whole industry?