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The Future of Privacy and Technology with Kee Jefferys

The Bit Podcast — Episode 21

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This week on The Bit, we’re joined by Kee Jefferys, the Co-founder, and CTO of Oxen, a private cryptocurrency, secure messaging platform, and much more, all wrapped in one package.

Kee and Chris touch upon everything from Oxen’s origins to an in-depth discussion on proof-of-stake, different use cases for Zero-knowledge proofs, NFTs, and more.

Here are the show notes

[02:50] From Computer Science Class to CTO

[08:51] Meet the Team

[16:25] Proof-of-Work or Proof-of-Stake?

[24:20] Know your Customer vs. Anonymity

[30:23] Integrating DeFi and NFTs

[37:59] The Future of Session and Decentralized Storage

Chris: Hi, welcome to The Bit, the Bittrex Global podcast, where we give you the inside scoop on all things crypto. My name is Chris Sinkey, and I am the Chief Business Officer of Bittrex Global. I work on many different things here, but one of them is listings and bringing new, exciting projects to our community at Bittrex Global.

As technology continues to evolve rapidly, all of us spend more and more of our time immersed in the digital landscape. One of the things we’re going to be talking about today is all about privacy and security; things that are omnipresent in our lives, lurking in the back of our minds at all times. Are we being spied on? Is our data safe? Indeed, every day, it becomes increasingly clear that technology is being used to keep a close eye on everyone in the world.

Just look at all the news coming out about Pegasus and the ability for governments to track individuals. Even our trusted cellphones have evolved into 24-hour spying machines. Watching Apple scramble to patch the zero-day exploit certainly doesn’t make me feel safe. I think we all feel unsafe from surveillance, but then comes cryptocurrency to potentially give us a little bit of a reprieve from that if we’re able to leverage it correctly.

There’s light at the end of the tunnel. For instance, a cryptocurrency firm that we’re going to be speaking with today, Oxen, combines cutting-edge privacy and a fully decentralized community-managed software stack. They have a bold vision for the future of privacy by granting anonymous transactions and allowing users to cloak themselves with a layer of anonymity.

So join us today for a stimulating discussion on how Oxen is confronting the pressing issues of privacy and security in this hyper-modern digital ecosystem. Today, I’m joined by the company’s co-founder and CTO, Kee Jefferys. I’m certainly excited about this today, and I’m especially excited to talk about how this relates to a centralized exchange and the interaction between privacy and no privacy when we go between those two worlds. So Kee, welcome to The Bit. I’m excited to be chatting with you today.

Kee: Thanks, Chris. That was a really good introduction; you covered a lot off there, which is super important for people to think about when they’re considering which services they use and how private they really are in the world.

[02:50] From Computer Science Class to CTO

Chris: Well, let’s get into it; I can’t wait to dive in. There aren’t many teams that I get to talk to about anonymity, so this is exciting. In my daily job, I think I’ve probably interacted with at least 300 different cryptocurrency teams from around the world, and over the past 4+ years with Bittrex Global, I’d say less than five of them have been in your space. So this is very exciting for me personally, as well as everybody that’s listening.

So let’s go into some of the trends shaping crypto, especially when it comes to how Oxen is involved in those trends, and by trends, I mean, all related to privacy and security. Before we do that, why don’t we get an introduction for our audience on you? How did you get into crypto? How did you hear about it? When did you buy your first Bitcoin? What are you doing now? We’d love to hear your background.

Kee: Thanks, Chris. I think the first time I interacted with Bitcoin was finding out about it on a YouTube series. At that point, everyone seems to think, “Oh, yeah, Bitcoin. Yeah, it’s cool, but it’s kind of a scam. No one knows what it’s going to go to; it’s super volatile.” Everyone initially looks at it with a lot of skepticism, or at least the people I’ve met in the space. I came out with the same type of skepticism, but I really started to understand it when I started my computer science course right after I got out of high school.

At that point, we started talking about public key encryption and asymmetric cryptography. That’s when it really started to click for me; when I realized that Bitcoin was actually just applied cryptography and economic theory mixed together. At that point, I understood it, and I started to go to all of these blockchain meet-ups. I live in Melbourne, so we had a local blockchain meet-up here, and that’s where I met all of the co-founders of LOKI at that point, now renamed Oxen. So, through computer science, I reaffirmed how cool Bitcoin was, and soon after that, I bought my first Bitcoin, and we founded Oxen. After that, the rest is history.

Chris: I love it; that’s a good story. I’ll have to tell you my story one day, which is a lot more boring than yours, but let’s talk about Oxen. Breakdown what it does. What is it? How is it used? And anything you want to speak of in terms of differentiation amongst the privacy coins that are out there as well?

Kee: At the core, Oxen is a fork of Monero. I assume most of your listeners would be aware that Monero is one of the pioneering digital privacy currencies out there. It has a particular method of adding anonymity to its transactions through three methods: ring signatures, RingCT, and stealth addresses. This is quite different from some other private cryptocurrencies out there, like Zcash, which tends to use their Zero-knowledge proofs to provide privacy to users.

In early 2018, when Oxen was founded, we looked at the privacy space and understood that Monero had the most practical application of privacy then; Zero-knowledge proof was still really big and expensive to produce. They’re getting better now, but back then, it just made sense that if we were to launch our own private coin, we would base it off Monero. So, the base layer of privacy is all built off Monero.

We weren’t happy with just launching another fork of Monero because there were hundreds of them out there at that point. We wanted to build a network on top of that cryptocurrency that would actually enable people to do things. So, that’s what we’ve built with the service node network, which is essentially Layer-2 of nodes, which can provide services to the network. The primary application that we built on top of that is called Session, an end-to-end encrypted messenger based on the Signal code.

Essentially, you have this network of incentivized nodes, which can store and route messages and form onion routing paths between individual clients. That network is powered by the Oxen cryptocurrency and allows us to build cool applications on top of that network like Session, which is pushing up to nearly 150,000 monthly active users now. So, it shows what you can do on top of these networks.

Chris: That’s fantastic. It sounds like you’re using Signal code, and you’ve got infrastructure built on top of Monero. That’s really exciting; how does the user engage with the Session application?

Kee: The way we’ve tried to build things is as seamless as possible. Users of Session don’t even necessarily need to know the whole thing has a cryptocurrency underneath it. They can just download the desktop, Android application, or iOS application, start it up, and they’ll connect to the service network seamlessly.

To them, it just looks like they’re using a centralized server, but what they don’t know is that 1800 centralized service nodes are running behind the scenes that are routing all their messages, forming onion routing paths, and storing their messages. So, it’s seamless to the user as it just looks like an old messaging application, but what’s going on in the background has taken us years to build up and is much more complicated than that.

[08:51] Meet the Team

Chris: Well, I’m trying to download it right now. I want to kick the tires on by sending some stuff because I’m a huge proponent of Signal. We spend a lot of time communicating, especially internally, with passwords and sensitive information. So that’s just incredibly exciting. I can’t believe I haven’t been using it yet.

Moving forward, I’d love to get some background on the broader team, when this project kicked off, and where you guys are based. I have an idea based on your accent where you guys might be based.

Kee: Yeah, so if you can’t tell by my accent, I’m an Aussie. Basically, the whole team is Australian, and we have a bunch of developers in the US as well that work on Session. So, we’re a little bit split between Australia and the US, but the founding team comes from Australia. As I mentioned before, most of us met in the Blockchain Center, a Melbourne-based meetup where people talk about Bitcoin, Ethereum, and all these different coins. We met in mid-2017 and founded the project in early 2018, coming straight into a bear market which is an interesting way to start your journey into the crypto space.

Chris: It’s not a bad time to start because you get to build and deliver products without a lot of pressure. I think coming into a down-market is probably the best time to go live with the project, personally. If your fundraising requirements aren’t such that you need the bull market to survive. it can be a blessing over time.

Kee: Yeah, and I think that’s what we found as well. We were fortunate to raise in a bull market at the end of 2017 when things were still going well. Still, we had this period of time for about one and a half years where we were just building the project out of all of the required infrastructure to get Session going. That was an interesting time because you saw some of the people and thought, “Are these people in it for the technology? Are they in it because they’re interested in the space? Or, are they in it for the money?” A lot of people faded away in 2018 and 2019 because they were just in it for the money, and the money was gone.

Chris: I’ve found almost three different groups in the cryptocurrency coin-holding or trading ecosystem. There are those in it for the money, those in it for the tech, and those in it for the tech because the money’s there. The latter two fall off for the money.

So my team and your team talked over a year ago once we decided to kick off the process for integrating and listing LOKI on Oxen.

So you guys went through a rebrand; you used to be called LOKI, and now you’re called Oxen. It sounds like there was an upgrade so tell us about the changes and the brand name change.

Kee: I think one of the main points is that the name LOKI had a lot of competition with certain Marvel characters that existed at the time, and that franchise was only growing. So when our searchability started to get hot, we only saw things worsen as the Marvel character Loki gained more traction.

I also think launching in 2018, many projects around that time had this negative stigma attached to them. So, we just wanted to freshen up the brand a bit and provide a new vision for the team and the community. It made sense to pair that along with a new name, Oxen, and it worked out because we were coming into the year of the ox as well, so the stars were aligning for us.

Chris: I love it. It’s funny because I didn’t even put that together; maybe it’s because I’ve been familiar with you guys for so long. Of course, I know the Loki character, but I didn’t put two and two together.

Okay, so the native token is Oxen, ticker OXEN, for anybody looking forward on Bittrex Global or any other exchange you might happen to be using; hopefully, it’s Bittrex Global.

It serves a lot of use cases, and I know that we’ve talked about use cases tangentially but let’s go through them specifically. So how do you guys frame up the use cases, if you will, for the token itself?

Kee: As I said before, the main product that we’re developing is Session. It’s got about 150,000 monthly active users on it, and we’re building up the user base every day. The way that we have always thought about monetization is that you shouldn’t have to use Oxen directly to use our products. If we’re trying to compete with Signal or Telegram or any of those big messaging services, they’re all free to use and free to sign up. So, adding a cryptocurrency barrier where users need to pay for the service to use it is something that we wanted to avoid. The way we’ve structured things is that we’re thinking deeply about a freemium type model for Session, and we’re calling that service Session Pro at the moment.

The way that will work is that we’re trying to build the user base for Session as much as possible, and then we’ll bring in some monetization features. So, that might be things such as uploading bigger files, having multi-way voice calls, having video calls. These will be features that put more strain on the network that need to be compensated for by that user. So it’s a pretty traditional model that you see in the exchange space pretty often. We’re thinking about Session monetization in this space and ways to provide the existing base layer of Session for free and offer pro users or those power users additional features. That’s the main idea.

[16:25] Proof-of-Work or Proof-of-Stake?

Chris: For those who aren’t familiar with the infrastructure layer or the coin you guys used to build the initial privacy layer Monero, what type of coin is Oxen? Is it proof-of-work or proof-of-stake?

Kee: Yes. Initially, we were a proof-of-work coin, and when we forked off Monero, we changed our hashing algorithm a little bit. The Monero space has always been interesting in terms of what they’ve been doing with proof-of-work. They’ve always been going down the ASIC resistance path, which on Bitcoin, there are these machines that consist of very specialized hardware, which used to mine the specific algorithm that Bitcoin uses; SHA-256. Monero has gone the opposite way and has tried to allow mining as much as possible on consumer hardware. So, we followed that idea and forked our mining algorithm a few times to continue with ASIC resistance. Eventually, using something similar to what Monero is using now, which is called RandomX.

The idea is that the hashing algorithm permutates over time, so it’s hard to build an application-specific hardware device that’s good at mining that program because it’s changing all the time. We eventually decided that proof-of-stake was the future because of the environmental aspects of proof-of-work, which many people see as negative, and just the overheads to maintaining a large mining network.

Players that mining networks involve, such as pools or individual miners, made us think that proof-of-stake was a much better way to go. So, we’re fully proof-of-stake now, and we’re one of the only proof-of-stake coins with a Monero or crypto node layer to it.

Chris: Thanks for the segue. I think what many people are interested in today, when it comes to proof-of-stake networks, are staking opportunities. So how does the user stake? What does the yield look like right now? Can someone delegate their stake, or do they have to be running their own node? What’s the governance look like?

Kee: When we were looking at staking, we built out our proof-of-stake system quite early on. We were inspired by the DASH Masternode design because we wanted our network nodes to perform these tasks. For example, if you run a service node, equivalent to a validator or a block producer, they add blocks to the chain or validate transactions and do additional tasks. The biggest two tasks would be storing messages for Session in this decentralized network and routing for LOKINET, which is this onion router that we’ve built on top of the network.

In terms of yields, we’re looking at about 17% or 18%. That’s a function of a fixed block reward given out for each block, and there are about 1800 service nodes now. So as the service node count goes down, the award increases for the existing services that are still on. If the service node count goes up, then the reward decreases in terms of the available reward, and it’s been split amongst more people. In terms of delegation, you can delegate your stake to an existing service node, and the way we do that is the service node operator must have 25% of the stake, and then they can take 75% of the stake from delegated contributions. So, that’s the way that we’re running things right now, and if you’re interested in staking on Oxen, you can download the wallet. There, you can see a list of available nodes that you can stake up to there, and it’s really simple. At this point, you just download the wallet, put your Oxen in there, look at the node list, and you’ll be able to stake into a node and start adding that APY.

Chris: And the wallet is available on desktop and Android, you said?

Kee: Yeah, all platforms: iOS, desktop, and Android.

Chris: Okay, and then Session is available on all platforms as well?

Kee: Correct.

Chris: Okay. 17% yield is fantastic, by the way. I’m saying fantastic a lot, but it feels like that’s the appropriate word in this situation.

Kee: Yeah, it’s always a balance with yields to provide something sustainable. I mean, this is a fascinating topic if you want to look at some of the yield farming stuff that’s, for example, 10,000% APY. It looks very attractive, but it’s probably not sustainable in the long-term, which I think is what we’ve seen with many projects in DeFi summer. So yes, in the range of about 17% to 25%, I think it’s sustainable for a project long-term, at least as people are trying to get in, and then the technology is new and nascent.

Chris: Yeah, when that APR starts to creep up much above that, you get a lot of inflationary pressure on the supply side. It seems to drop the bottom out of the asset price, which negates the whole point of earning a yield in the first place, and we’ve certainly seen that in DeFi summer.

Okay, let’s shift gears a little bit and talk about the platform itself. From an applications perspective, can developers build on top of the Oxen network? My understanding is that they can, and I’d love to understand what that looks like. Also, how does a dev get involved? What kinds of participation are you seeing in the ecosystem today?

Kee: There are two ways to build in the Oxen ecosystem, and the first way is to build on top of our existing applications. So that would be like building on top of Session. For example, you can build chatbots and run your own open groups on Session. You can do a lot within that community, on Session as well.

For example, we had someone building a two-factor authentication client with Session. Instead of getting a text message, you would get a Session message, and it would provide a code for you that would enter into the website. I think that’s a cool way to build on top of one of our services because you get that level of anonymity while still providing a strong layer of authentication for your application that doesn’t use SMS or some outdated, easily hackable technology.

Also, you can build on top of Layer-1 as well. Session is an application built on top of the Oxen network, which is certainly much harder because we haven’t publicized many APIs. However, if you want to build an application with a decentralized storage network or one that requires an onion routing network to hide the IP addresses of clients, you can build that on top of Oxen.

We would definitely encourage people to look into Session or look into building applications on top of those because it’s much easier to do that right now, and I think it just makes sense.

[24:20] KYC vs. Anonymity

Chris: This is an off-topic question, but I’m very curious as someone running a regulated, centralized cryptocurrency exchange. Every user on our platform has to go through KYC, and we certainly have to turn over data to authorities when we’re approached. From a philosophical perspective, how do you feel about the anonymity and security aspect of what you’re working on?

When you come on and off the cryptocurrency ecosystem as a whole, what does that feel like? Do you see centralized exchanges going away and being replaced by DEXes for that reason? Any thoughts in that space? We’ve listed Oxen, and if you’re depositing Oxen into our platform, you can’t open an account with it without us knowing who you are. So the anonymity falls off when you come to sell it and exit the crypto ecosystem.

Kee: That’s a really interesting point. I think centralized exchanges will still have a lot of sway and many more years in terms of fiat on-ramps and off-ramps. I think what we’re starting to see a little bit more is that you can be onboarded into crypto through crypto instead of going from fiat to crypto. For example, employers that are paying their employees in crypto might be a good use case. Your employer will know who you are, but they’re not necessarily going to have all of these identity documents stored on you in a centralized place. I think, ideologically speaking, anonymity and privacy are super important because they allow us to form ideas. I think that’s the core of privacy and anonymity.

Especially in today’s world, we’re not always comfortable with the ideas that might be inside of our heads. To be able to explore those ideas in open spaces where we’re not being judged or not having that connection to our identity is really important. I can’t tell you how many ideas I’ve thought about that haven’t ended up being in my philosophical construct. If all of those ideas were connected to my identity right now, I don’t think that would reflect on my personality very well. So, having privacy and anonymous spaces where you can talk, transact, and share value with other people without being connected to your identity is super important.

So, as you said, it’s not necessarily that bad that someone knows that you bought Bitcoin, and this person owns Bitcoin, because once you’re past that point, and once you’re into the decentralized ecosystem, it gets much harder to trace an individual. If I can swap Bitcoin into Monero, and then I can swap Monero into Oxen, the trail is getting harder and harder to follow at that point. That’s the way I think about it. These spaces are really important, but we don’t have a technological solution to onboard people from fiat into crypto right now, and I think the exchanges are the best we’ve got at the moment.

Chris: I couldn’t agree more. What you so eloquently stated couldn’t have been better said. As someone who works for a centralized platform in which data is collected on all of our users, I can’t help but think about all the other platforms that have to abide by the same regulatory guidance. At this point, what we do from the time we’re born to the time we die is almost all tracked, and it’s starting to feel like a social credit system is just sort of organically seeping into our culture. If we look at the news coming out of China, if you jaywalk, you can’t travel. They really have social credit. It seems like if the news is to be believed, and that’s the future, I don’t think it’s good for anyone personally.

So, having these places where you can express yourself and have a fully anonymized area, I think, is super important, and that’s why I love what Oxen is doing. I believe that work will become even more important over time as these platforms develop more market power and know more about us. It certainly feels like today, the internet knows more about me than I do when I try to shop. So anyway, thanks for that.

[30:23] Integrating DeFi and NFTs

I want to get back to Oxen, and I think a good segue to go there is to talk about a couple of the biggest stories that have emerged from the broader crypto landscape over the past couple of years. I’m talking about DeFi, NFT’s and the smart contract platforms that have supported those two concepts. Ethereum and Solana have propelled their adoption and the utility price of the coin into the stratosphere. Even Solana has nearly 10x’d over the past two months.

I’m sure our audience would love to know your take on each and what plans Oxen has down the line regarding further integration into these two spaces of decentralized financing and Non-Fungible Tokens.

Kee: The DeFi summit was one of the best periods of time that we had in the Oxen team; it felt like the birth of a new industry in the crypto industry. Seeing what Uniswap did with automated market makers and then all of the products built out of that was extremely cool. Financialization of different aspects of the token industry like getting loans and fractionalizing NFTs; there are so many different kinds of DeFi services.

What’s super interesting as well is the composability between the different DeFi services. When we saw it, we wanted to step in as well, and so we developed this product called Block Swap, which was originally supposed to be a Cross-chain automated market maker. That ended up turning into a project, which was born out of Oxen, which is called Chainflip now.

It just finished off a $6,000,000 funding round from framework ventures, Coinbase ventures, and it’s gotten a lot of good news in the press. Also, all of the Oxen holders who staked into service nodes got an airdrop for that as well, which we’ll be releasing when we release Chainflip down the line.

So, we stepped into that space, and the space that we saw us occupying was the Cross-chain space. I’m sure many of your listeners would be aware of projects like THORChain, which aims to have an AMM or decentralized swapping of interfaces between different chains. An example of this would be to swap between Bitcoin and Ethereum natively.

That’s something that we saw ourselves and thought that we could throw our hat in the ring, and so it’s something that was developed in the DeFi summer as well. So if you want to check out Chainflip, that’s another project we worked on and launched successfully.

I think in the NFT space, that’s been super interesting, but it’s basically been the team trading funny pictures of each other, which has been super fun, but we haven’t stepped into it seriously. It’s hard to mix the idea of NFT’s with privacy because so much of an NFT’s value is linked to you being able to publicly display it or link it to yourself. That’s why we’re seeing many of these Twitter profile pictures changing to NFT’s, for example.

This destroys the anonymity that’s associated with your ownership of that particular thing. It’s not necessarily to say that there can’t be some use cases for privacy and NFT’s, but I think the primary use case for NFT’s right now is as a status symbol. When you’re talking about status symbols, you’re usually talking about things that can be publicly displayed and linked to your image, so I think it makes more sense for those to remain on public blockchains like Ethereum.

I think the NFT side’s relationship to privacy is much different because, with many NFT’s, they’re being used as status symbols. The function of a status symbol is connected to a person’s public identity. That being said, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to have that be on a privacy chain because you actually want to prove to people that, “Hey, I own this crypto Kitty and I might have my public person that’s associated with it.” That seems to be a trend that we’re seeing on Twitter right now, with people putting their profile pictures as these different things.

So, I think having that on a private blockchain doesn’t make much sense because you can’t claim the status of having one of these NFT’s connected to it.

Perhaps, there is scope with private art collections, and being able to only reveal your NFT ownership to particular people; I think that could be very interesting. There’s a potential use for Zero-knowledge proofs in that case as well.

Chris: Have you guys spent any time on or seeing any traction in the identity space around NFT’s and sort of anonymous identity tracking?

Kee: Yes, there’s a lot going on in the identity space in terms of blockchain and privacy. The route that you see most blockchain identity projects go down is the Zero-knowledge space. This means having these credentials associated with yourself and proving those credentials to other people without necessarily revealing the credentials. So, this would be the case if you’re 18 years or older in Australia and you want to buy alcohol. I think it’s 21 in the US.

Chris: It’s definitely 21 in the US.

Kee: You shouldn’t have to show someone your driver’s license, which tells you your identity, address, picture, or anything like that. At a liquor store, you should just be able to provide Zero-knowledge proof to the cashier, which proves your age and documentation validity without revealing sensitive information like your picture or address.

Chris: That’s so interesting to think about, and that makes perfect sense. Why would you need to expose way more information than you need to accomplish a particular task? Well, I hope that future comes soon.

[37:59] The Future of Session and Decentralized Storage

Getting back to Oxen, we’ve been chatting for a while. And I think we’re coming up against time. Let’s talk a little bit about the project’s roadmap for the rest of the year and into 2022. What are the short-term objectives for you guys? What does the long-term vision look like?

Kee: The short-term objectives are to build out Session’s features. We think that will aid our long-term vision to build Session into this multi-million monthly active user application. Then, the monetization aspects that we want to do in Session become much more viable to boil up the price of Oxen. So, it’s really about improving the Session user experience.

This looks like adding voice calls, one-click open groups that can be created, and just generally improving the user experience to be at the level of, let’s say, Telegram or Signal. We’re focusing on integrating those features in the next three to six months. Afterward, we’re really just looking to build our user base so that when we introduce monetization features, we can kick back a lot more values of the Oxen coin.

Chris: That’s fantastic. Okay, I think you’re a brilliant guy clearly, and I think our audience would love to hear you opine as part of my last broad-based question to wrap things up. What do you see out there in terms of any other projects in the space? Any other blockchains or cryptocurrencies? The price points for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Solana in the future? What does the space look like a year from now? Five years from now? Is there anything noteworthy you want to mention that you think our audience should be paying attention to?

Kee: One of the biggest projects I’m interested in is Arweave, which is essentially a decentralized permanent storage. They have been able to capitalize on a lot of the trends recently. For example, in terms of the storage of NFT’s, what you’re storing on Ethereum is the hash of the image, and that hash might be on the IPFS Network, or it might just be on a centralized server in a lot of cases. So, the image that you’re actually buying doesn’t necessarily exist in a permanent sense. Even if it’s on IPFS, it only stays there as long as someone’s pinning it. If it’s on a centralized server and the centralized server goes down, you’ve essentially bought a hash, which relates to an image you can no longer see.

So, Arweave is building out this decentralized permanent storage network so you can upload something once, and it stays there forever. That use case makes a ton of sense for NFTs where you want your ownership to be connected to the actual item, and you want that item to remain there forever. So, that’s been something that I’ve been super interested in, and I think it drives well with what’s going on in the privacy space. Having a permanent store allows you to be able to confirm what someone has said, even if they’ve edited it at a later point in time.

In terms of the general ecosystem, I’m super bullish on Ethereum. I think it will probably have one of the biggest supply-side shocks ever coming into the new year as the merge happens, which is Ethereum going to proof-of-stake and the EIP-1559 narrative. We’ve already seen that narrative play out over the last couple of months. There are periods of time when Ethereum is deflationary at its current issuance, which is insane because I don’t think anyone saw that coming.

When the issuance drops by 90%, or whatever it’s scheduled to in the merge, which is a significant drop in supply, EIP-1559 is going to become way more important. For that reason, I think that’s going to be super bullish for the Ethereum ecosystem. I think it’s definitely seeing challenges right now, but I don’t believe that there’s only space for one. I believe there will be multiple chains out there. Obviously, as an exchange, you’d be happy to hear that because that means more trading volumes.

Segwaying into that, Multichain’s future means that products that allow you to swap between multiple chains will become super important. So, I would look into projects like THORChain or Chainflip because I think they will be super important in the coming years for Cross-chain liquidity. And I think we’ll be seeing a lot more centralized exchanges starting to get involved in the Cross-chain space as well in these particular projects.

Chris: That’s really interesting, and there’s a lot to unpack there, for sure. I think our listeners have probably kicked off their research efforts on that last paragraph of yours already. So, I wanted to say thank you so much for coming on the podcast and talking with us about Oxen. It’s definitely now on our radar, and we’re looking forward to hearing more about the exciting news coming from your team in the future. So, go to Bittrex Global, buy it, use it, download the apps and get into the ecosystem.

Thank you again for your time, I really appreciate it, and I look forward to connecting in the future on another thing you guys are working on.

Kee: Thanks so much for having me, Chris.

Chris: Thanks for listening to The Bit, the Bittrex Global podcast. Our guest today was Kee Jefferys, co-founder, and CTO of Oxen. To learn more about Oxen, visit That’s o-x-e-n-dot-i-o. To learn more about Bittrex Global, visit, and please make sure to subscribe to our podcast. You can find us wherever you get your podcasts.

Thank you for listening and making the day one of the fastest-growing podcasts in the world of crypto. I’m Chris Sinkey, Chief Business Officer at Bittrex Global.



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Bittrex Global Team

Bittrex Global Team

Team of one of the most secure trading platforms and digital wallet infrastructures in the world!