AMA with the CEO of Bondly — Brandon Smith

DuckDao
DuckDao
Oct 2, 2020 · 20 min read

On Monday the 28th of September, the Foundry community had an AMA with the CEO of Bondly — Brandon Smith.

Bondly — A Summary

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Bondly is a trusted, transparent and portable swap protocol designed to make you into a marketplace. Some of Defi’s largest barriers for adoption are currently interoperability and trust, and Bondly aims to solve these issues through its three key products:

BONDSWAP (BSWAP)

Similar to Binance OTC Trading Portal but directly on-chain and can be sent via any chat app using different blockchains.

Wallet to Wallet trustless Over the Counter (OTC) trades that are performed by signing a smart contract. Completely portable smart link can be sent via a chat app or on your favorite social media. It will first support all ERC-20 tokens and NFT (Ethereum) then eventually with BSWAP you will be able to:

  • Sell a large order of a low liquidity token with no risk of slippage.
  • Become your own NFT marketplace by minting the token, setting your own price, then post to your social media for your audience to buy.
  • Buy assets using Debit/Credit card (using our third party partner onramp).
  • Send a smart link in Telegram to someone you know or your favorite group.

BOND DEX

Similar to Mooniswap but includes rewards token provided to Liquidity Providers on top of fee share.

An Interoperable Decentralized Exchange (DEX) that’s easy to use and blockchain agnostic. Requires liquidity provider (LP) participants to pool assets for a portion of transaction fees along with rewards APY rewards. Our pricing engine will compare major cross chain swap options and will let you know the best one to use (even if it’s not us). Validation is done directly within your Web3 browser (with Metamask) or polkadot.js based Native Wallet.

With BOND DEX you can:

  • Trade native assets on Polkadot with USDC on Ethereum
  • Get recommendations on the cheapest bridge transaction path
  • Create your own asset pairs that otherwise might not exist

BOND PROTECT (BPROTECT)

Similar to Paypal/AliPay Express Buyer Protection combined with Escrow.com with a simple UX like Zapper.fi or Zircon. This is our most revolutionary product that we feel will have the largest impact on the eCommerce market.

PROTECT is decentralized escrow and buyer protection for customers of crypto friendly marketplaces.

  • Designed to replace all site specific crypto escrow products with an easy to use API and completely smart contract driven product. Marketplaces may still be in a ‘validator’ role for the marketplace transaction but now they don’t have direct access to funds. This mitigates misappropriation by the marketplace along with exit scamming
  • By participating in the Bondly network, marketplace vendors can represent themselves as BPROTECT ready and show their on-chain transaction history and successful Bondly enabled deals
  • BPROTECT will have a similar UX to Zapper.Fi that will pull this vendors on chain activity and history into one place across ethereum and our native substrate chain so you can see their status and history
  • Functions as a ‘Buyer Protection’ similar to most major marketplaces, where customers are protected by collateral within Bondly
  • First customers will be marketplaces that sell digital goods like Domain Names and In-Game items and that support crypto payments already. Existing domain name credentials and ownership will be wrapped in an NFT and swapped for requested crypto directly
  • Requires that the marketplace itself stakes Bondly collateral as well as each individual marketplace vendor
  • COMPLETELY UNDERCUTS the whole ‘fake review’ industry which is prominently used to inflate value on sites like Amazon.com

Website: https://www.bondly.finance/

Medium: https://medium.com/@bondlyfinance

Telegram: https://t.me/bondlyfinance

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bondlyfinance

Discord: https://discord.com/invite/5AkCCuw

Participants:

Bondly — Brandon Smith — CEO

Bondly — Megan Lui — Director of BD

Foundry — Limmy — Foundry community representative

Please note that the following summary has been edited for clarity.

Foundry

Hi Folks, welcome to the very first Foundry AMA! We are joined today by Brandon Smith (CEO) and Megan Lui (Director of BD) from the Bondly team.

On behalf of the DuckDAO and Ferrum communities here at the Foundry, I’d like to thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedules to talk to us today.

Bondly

Pleasure is ours

Foundry

We have quite a substantial number of community questions that have been submitted that we want to grill you wi- I mean, ask you today, so we’re keen to jump right in if that’s ok.

To start with, can you give us a bit of background on yourselves, and a bit of an introduction for the key members of the Bondly team?

Bondly

We are a cross discipline team with a variety of different experiences. I’ve [Brandon] spent the past 15+ years of my career in financial services working for the biggest banks via PwC, the largest credit card issuing company GE Capital (now Synchrony) in a leadership position in the digital escrow company Shieldpay.

Harry is a Google and Shopify partner and is one of the top 5 in total sales in Canada. He knows everything about ecommerce and has a wealth of tools and relationships across the world. He’s also worked with me on Digital Business M&A for the past view years since the 2017 crypto bull run.

Parker and Adam are easily the best ETH/Solidity devs in the US and their whole studio who is now working for Bondly are experts on UX and engineering. Megan has been helping to build startups while finishing college and now is working relentlessly on making sure we are connecting with the right crypto projects + marketplaces. There’s so much more to say but check out our linkedins if you have any questions.

Foundry

I think some Linkedin stalking is definitely in order. It’s extremely encouraging to see the depth of experience in the team.

Bondly

Thanks yeah we all bring something very unique to the group and even more with our broader team.

Foundry

With the current DeFi hype many people are trying to jump on the trend and often projects are quickly launched with half-cooked concepts. When reading about Bondly I was glad to find out that Bondly actually is a product of 2.5 years of business deal flow and tech, so that the current rise of DeFi is rather a very fortunate timing and not the “trigger” for Bondly! Could you please elaborate a little more on what caused you to come up with the concept of Bondly and how the last 2.5 years of preparation will benefit the project?

Bondly

We were always going to build a smart contract escrow product because there isn’t a good one out there now. I knew we could be way more than just a feature tool when the following things started to come together:

DeFi — We saw massive amounts of AUM come into unaudited smart contracts which let us know that people were ok trying new financial products and money was coming back into the market to do things like enabling people to buy their first online business

Huge success in M&A — Harry and I had amazing success buying and maturing digital businesses since the last crypto bull run. We were able to build revenue and sell other businesses to a multiple of 2–6x but this could have been even more if Bondly already existed

Rejecting customers @ Shieldpay — When we had marketplaces desperate to integrate into Shieldpay but I had to turn them down for various reasons because of US /CA/MX banking restrictions I knew it was time for crypto to out innovate and that a product as easy to integrate as Stripe would be a perfect fit for marketplace customers.

So these are the biggest reasons that we knew it was the right time to do this.

Foundry

Fantastic — so in some ways, Bondly is a product that you’ve built to use for yourselves after seeing a dire need in the market

Bondly

also BOND memes, lol Thanks for the community for that

Foundry

Can’t have crypto without memes haha

In order for Bondly to be successful and ready for mass adoption, liquidity providers will be key. In what ways would you attract liquidity providers from mainstream Dex such as Uniswap/Sushiswap/Balancer? I understand that there will be liquidity mining, but in what other ways do you plan to build a more sustainable ecosystem?

Bondly

You have to think about this a bit separately. So BSwap our first release doesn’t need liquidity because it’s a peer to peer swap protocol. BondDex does but that will be out on our Polka testnet next year. If we never beat Uniswap in TVL that’s ok because we are much more targeted then they will be, so our goal is to integrate with all the crosschain dex bridges available and give our users the best deal (sort of like 1inch). We know we will support certain types of assets before others so we have some advantages there but ultimately there are a ton of people working on the Dex side and we are super happy to use their products inside ours.

Foundry

Do you have plans to bid for a polkadot parachain slot? If so, how do you plan to manage this bidding process? If not, on which parachain do you plan to run?

Bondly

So we are definitely aspiring to be our own parachain so we are taking an AND approach rather than an OR approach. We will be moving our EVM related code for BSwap and BProtect to a Polka based EVM project (think like Sushiswap on Moonbeam) while also building our own parachain called Bondchain.

I can confirm we are having discussions with all the major Polka EVM providers so we should be able to make more announcements on this shortly

Foundry

Great to hear!

Barclays Bank in the UK has long had the option to transmit money via text messages — an app called Pingit. Was this any inspiration behind the tech you have created?

Bondly

To be honest there are a ton of new financial apps with GREAT experience and tons of VC cash to burn on marketing. I would love all of them to be frontend resources for Bondly specifically BProtect as I don’t think that any of them will offer cheap escrow, recurring payments and buyer protection like we will. Esp when it comes to digital goods buying and selling there’s not another project or tech that will be built directly for it.

We should think beyond Bondly as just an app but more like a platform to get our features from

Foundry

That makes sense — I believe we have a question about integration a bit later on that we can relate back to this

The next question is a tough one — Will you be competing directly with/what differentiates you from projects like Polkaswap and Parachute? As is often the case, the first to market usually gains network dominance, so how do you plan to overcome this challenge?

While I really love the concept of Bondly, parts of what the project is offering have been tried before and none of them have really made it to mass-adoption… What sort of competitive edge do you have over these previous attempts and why do you think that you will be the first of these projects to really be successful?

Bondly

Yeah so we love Polkaswap (esp their base code released recently) and we have spoken to the great team at Parachute. Honestly for their core products they are ahead of us on their implementation and adoption, but our starting point is a bit different as what these 2 projects do well are just features to support an actual external market out there that needs our product. These are first and foremost catered to crypto natives while we are looking to bring Digital businesses and their buyers and sellers into crypto

For example, BProtect could potentially bring billions of more people to own their first crypto if they can sell their tiktok accounts in minutes with 5 clicks or less. This account cost them 0 to create, but have worked on diligently and now has a real world value. We just supply the marketplace [and] channel to sell. I’d love to integrate into PAR and Parjar.io and have them be a customer interface for BProtect , and use Polkaswap as a competing bridge on our platform to give our customers the asset they want at the best price.

Considering all of you are Telegram users and will hopefully be Bondly users too, working with Parachute is like a dream come true

Foundry

Right so, the target market for you guys is quite different — great!

Polkadot has been extremely hyped recently, so just the fact that Bondly will be built on top of Polkadot infrastructure will attract many investors I assume. But I am sure that the reason for choosing Poldakot over other blockchain options has been of technical nature — could you please explain what these technical advantages of building top of Polkadot are?

Bondly

Polkadot has literally every possible technical reason to get involved and your community should too!! Huge growing dev community and lots of support from Web3. The only single issue that we have encountered so far is the limited parachain slots issue and when there’s so many other really great projects, that cap of 100 looks much smaller. So we will: host our EVM code through a guaranteed parachain while also building our own using Substrate called Bondchain.

Foundry

I’m sure there are a few technical minded folks in our channels that may do just that.

How will using BSWAP work for fiat? From a user’s perspective, will this be as simple as paying for something using their card on Amazon/eBay etc? You mention a third party partner called OnRamp — is this https://onramp.tech/ ?

Bondly

We have no association with OnRamp but maybe we should haha. So we have several options for moving from Fiat to Crypto and have that be an integrated experience for our users. We don’t have a partner that can do Crypto to Fiat yet but Ian and Ferrum are potentially helping us with that.

That will come with the BProtect EVM launch later this year

And sorry so EVM — Ethereum Virtual Machine for those that might not know

Foundry

This is definitely key to bringing in the masses so we’re excited to follow the development of this point.

You’ve stated that BOND PROTECT is your most revolutionary product with the greatest impact on the eCommerce market (Agreed!!).

For those decentralized escrow use cases where there may not be a marketplace to act as a validator, such as for OTC Trades, BPROTECT allows for staked collateral with either a specific date or a specific condition. Does the condition system rely on the counterparties indicating to the system if the conditions were met, on-chain data, or oracles? — So that, for example, if a trade for an unreleased token was delayed because the token’s project pushed back the public listing and the distribution of presale tokens, is the seller simply forfeiting with no recourse? Does modification of terms, if available, always require consent of both parties, and is there a system for arbitration in the case of a bad actor or other dispute?

Bondly

Really great question and I appreciate you elevating the convo! We have thought about this in a lot of detail re:disputes and we have some good ideas on this . We ourselves will not be a dispute resolution system (like Kleros) but we will definitely have other options available for the case that it happens. Please look for a more detailed medium post that will talk more about the BProtect scenario list and supporting validators.

Foundry

Will do!

Keep an eye out here folks: https://medium.com/@bondlyfinance

Bondly

I would encourage this group here to send me any ideas for dispute resolution partners to our company email. we are happy to work with them

Foundry

Can you please elaborate on the recurring payments between parties function? What is the validation mechanism, and what kinds of rules will/can be put into place when a subscription needs to be discontinued? E.g. if either party decides to back off half-way through or there is a mutual desire to halt.

Bondly

Our initial version will have a predetermined set of recurring payments at setup eg 3 . but with an option to cancel actively so the vendor or service person will know when to end services. This also deserves its own Medium post so stay tuned.

Foundry

Is the bondly platform web based only, or will there be an app for mobile phones as well? Trying to use uniswap on mobile is a nightmare — An easy to use app to swap/trade/lend should be key to hit the masses.

Bondly

First version of BSWAP will be designed to be mobile first but the actual rollout will be a desktop product because metamask on phones is not a great experience. Our maturity curve will include making our own native apps but I’m way more excited about plugging into all the major wallets out there and portfolio apps. Our plans re:adoption after BSWAP go live will likely surprise you.

You might end up using one of our partners and not even realize it’s us until after.

Foundry

That’s exciting — I’ve been part of a few conversations about adoption and a common thread is that a user should be able to use an app or platform and not even know it’s related to crypto or blockchain. It should all be seamless.

Bondly

1000000%

Foundry

How will token holders be incentivized to hold their BOND tokens long-term? I have read that Bondly will offer an innovative staking model — can you already provide some more information regarding this staking model and how it differs from traditional staking?

Bondly

Yes, once we launch we will have enhanced reward staking for participants immediately thanks to our staking partners but we will eventually have this functionality within BSWAP and BProtect. Esp BProtect is different from most as the stakers will be Marketplaces and individual vendors in those marketplaces.

So we will have some non crypto folks staking for the first time with us

Foundry

That will be cool — a seamless experience for them will only spread the word of the project, and the crypto space at large.

Bondly

We will also be providing rewards for those who provide liquidity to BOND DEX too! 40% of our tokens are dedicated to rewards over the next 5 years.

Foundry

I really like that BOND tokens will be burned for certain transactions, so that the whole system becomes deflationary, which will most likely have a positive impact on the BOND token value. Could you provide a little bit more background on for which activities and how this token burning is supposed to take place?

Bondly

The best example is our revenue model. So for marketplaces that integrate BProtect we will charge 1% that brings revenue back to the company. This is 66% less than Stripe per transaction. For marketplaces we know directly this will come back to us in the form of revenue, but since this is defi and anyone can use our product, for the marketplaces we don’t know we will still charge 1% but that will go out, buy BOND token, then burn it.

This will create scarcity on the network for more BOND tokens and balance out the rewards being unlocked until there’s a totally negative burn.

Foundry

Fantastic, thanks.

In the event of a hack or attack on a particular chat app, what security measures are in place to protect a user’s accounts and funds?

Bondly

So we would not be responsible at the chat app level so difficult to answer this clearly but I think this would be a case by case scenario. Our smart contract side will def be audited tho so we are doing all we can to mitigate this esp considering our marketplace partners.

Foundry

I think that’s a fair answer. Social engineering attacks and hacks etc. will always be a part of our online world, so ensuring that everything that can be done from your end (E.g. auditing) is key.

No rug pull please

:)

Bondly

haha we are tacking down all rugs

Foundry

Are there any plans to prevent “vampire” attacks where projects try to steal your liquidity? E.g. What happened with uniswap and Sushiswap?

Bondly

Cool new term for me! Better love story than Twilight.

Foundry

🤣

Bondly

So BOND DEX is just like 1Inch where we look for the best crosschain deal for our customers so even if this happened somehow we would let our customers use the other platform. Bondly just wants to give you the best and cheapest trade possible and we are not arrogant to think we’ll always have the most liquid AMM.

Foundry

I think it was Boxmining who said that constant innovation in the Defi space is such a key driver of success due to the speed at which this space moves. Your tech and your product should speak for itself and it definitely sounds like you have the team with the right skillset to pull this off

Bondly

Yes more to come, and we are definitely hiring more so if you know Solidity or Substrate send us your resume: contact@bondly.finance

Foundry

Ok — moving on from teen romance novels

What really got me excited about Bondly is the fact that BONDProtect can easily be integrated into any online marketplace as an additional payment method — this can really drive mass adoption of crypto! Is it true that you already signed MOU with existing marketplaces? And from your conversations with them — what is it that makes BONDProtect attractive for them?

Bondly

Yes we are excited but our marketplaces are even more so because of 3 main things:

We are cheaper — much better than Escrow.com and other options

We bring them crypto people — new audience for their marketplace and likely HNWI that just made crazy gains on COMP and other DeFi products

Reach new markets — So giving the unbanked and underbanked group of people an option to buy a business with real revenue is huge

There’s also a lot of other more specific benefits to each one but these are how we are closing deals

Foundry

I hope they’re prepared for how savage crypto whales can be haha

Bondly

haha good point

Foundry

As you know, trading of NFTs is massively gaining traction. Often the seller of a NFT — e.g. a rare unique online gaming item — does not know how much people would be willing to pay for his NFT. Is Bondly also planning to provide some sort of bidding infrastructure, where a seller can offer a digital asset at a minimum price and buyers can bid for it, with the highest bid eventually performing the transaction?

Bondly

[Ian Friend — Co Founder and COO of Ferrum Network] knows I talk too much about NFTs

I think he’s actually unable to get annoyed, only I can do this to him

Foundry

Oh another TLA (Three letter acronym) — Nonfungible Tokens

Just in case :)

Bondly

But you’re totally right. NFT is seeing a bit of a spike in hype but honestly we are soo so underutilized when it comes to what an NFT can do. Initially most of the bid management will be done via a Marketplace partner similar to Ebay and we will just handle settlement, but I like where your head is at so stay tuned on that.

Foundry

I think we’re up to looking out for maybe..12 Medium article updates now? :P

Bondly

I would ask your community to send us exciting stuff they are seeing with NFT, especially for existing digital goods

lol yeah I’m going to have to find 40 more hrs a day to write them

Foundry

Ha — crypto never sleeps though

I’m sure you’ll be fine

Bondly

Indeed, we should add time travel to our roadmap

Foundry

(At this point, Ian Friend, Co Founder and COO of Ferrum Network who is in the chat starts typing a response)

I think you may have drawn Ian out of hiding here.

Ian Friend

Lol this man loves NFTs! Bondly is going to do some awesome things with NFTs and help bring them into the mainstream with valuable real world use cases. Can’t wait.

Bondly

Yeah it’s not cryptokitties, bad art, or even your watch certificate on the blockchain. Real NFT innovation comes from identity and value for assets that are created outside of crypto

Foundry

As long as I don’t’ have to pay crazy gas prices haha

Bondly

We and polka will hopefully help with that!

Foundry

Ok so we’re actually running close to our usual 1 hour time block here and we have a few more questions to zip through if that’s ok

Are you able to provide some more details around the rewards for providing liquidity at this stage? Tokens for providing liquidity and a share of the fees are mentioned, but not much detail is given in the Medium post.

Bondly

I’ll pass that one for now as it’s a model we want to share separately but we think your comm will be happy with it

Foundry

Ok sounds good — article number 13 it is haha

Bondswap will support all ERC-20 tokens and NFTs (Ethereum). What about BOND DEX — Can we trade native assets on BOND DEX as well?

Bondly

BOND Dex is cross chain AMM and will support all sorts of liquidity pairs across different blockchains. BSWAP will launch with ERC20 capability but the updates will be quick to support things like NFT trades.

BTW — AMM — Automated Market Maker, similar to Uniswap

Foundry

When will we be able to demo/use your 3 products? (Wallet marketplace, cross chain swap, buyer insurance)

Bondly

We will be releasing BSWAP and BProtect this year in EVM versions. The whole package on Polka will be released middle of next year on mainnet

Foundry

Take note of those dates folks!

Are there tax implications for users exchanging value via social media?

Bondly

Totally! We are not a tax prep software but we are discussing integrations for our marketplace customers that would help with that process. It’s a digital product so it’s likely going to depend on your physical location to determine this. Please DYOR on this.

Foundry

Tax is a sensitive subject for sure — my accountant hates it when I call haha

Bondly

but he loves when you pay his invoice :)

Foundry

:(. lol

Are direct collaborations with Social Media companies/platforms planned regarding mass adoption of your product?

Bondly

Not yet and it’s a bit lower on our priorities. We see this as more of a feature than a core capability. But if you know Zuck I’d love to pitch him Bondly while we do some backyard grilling/smoking.

Foundry

Ha! — I’m pretty sure [Ken — Founder of DuckDAO and Foundry Co-Founder] is connected to everyone so I wouldn’t be surprised if they play golf or something together

Bondly

The good news is you will have a hyperlink to share in any app but some of the specific social media apps will have smarter links than others

Foundry

Or hunt humans for sport (or whatever lizard people do)

Bondly

haha for sure. [Ken] is also a lizard person so makes sense

Foundry

In your documentation you state that you “draw parallels to Uniswap” in certain features of your service. Are there any plans to evolve your Service to offer Future or Option-like products for certain crypto currencies?

Bondly

Yes and stay tuned :)

Foundry

Do you have any plans to expand the marketplace past Defi? There is definite value in the removal of the fake reviews from shopping online.

Bondly

Yes we think all $11B in DeFi AUM should DEFINITELY move to support the 4T of digital assets market that’s coming (per Statistica in 2024)

Foundry

4 trillion is a pretty ridiculous number

Bondly

BProtect allows vendors to elect in to show their transactions on chain so they can build a solid review score based around activities and customer service and not fake reviews. From the merchants we talked to this is a huge benefit to them in differentiating themselves from their competitors

Here’s the study:

https://www.statista.com/outlook/330/100/digital-commerce/worldwide

Foundry

Cheers — definitely worth a read after this

As communicated by The Foundry you have been in talks with many VCs and basically all of them would have liked to act as your strategic partner. I fully understand why The Foundry has chosen to select Bondly as its first incubation project — could you please elaborate why YOU have chosen The Foundry over many much more established players? How can we best support you as a community?

Bondly

So we had 4 incubator options and we selected the Foundry because of many reasons but the biggest one was they invested in us the most upfront in sweat equity.

Foundry

Sweat equity?

Bondly

they actually made themselves available and took care of the most important things relating to the launch and the community while we could work on the BD and Tech side

Foundry

Sorry for jumping in there — I’ve just never heard that term

Bondly

Yes meaning they could have given us any amount of money but it would not have been worth the amount of effort (sweat) they put into making us successful.

They came in as true team members to make sure we were a success together and helped us create a great community together in just 3 weeks! almost 2k people in our tg!

Foundry

Well, you’ve definitely made the right choice with us :)

That brings us to the end of the curated community question list.

On behalf of everyone here, thank you again for your time.

Bondly

Thanks everyone and Thanks for being a great Admin!

Foundry Details:

Website: https://thefoundry.one/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheFoundryOne

Telegram: https://t.me/joinchat/It2yDEvaEN2jPJ3arx3PlQ

DuckDao Details:

Telegram: https://t.me/joinchat/It2yDE3QPPTw9JLLMHLXKA

Website: https://duckdao.io/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dao_duck

Medium: https://medium.com/@duckdao

Ferrum Network Details:

Website: https://ferrum.network/

Telegram: https://t.me/ferrum_network

Medium: https://medium.com/ferrumnetwork

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FerrumNetwork

Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/FerrumNetwork/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCN658dMRTaH4C4dP32VHi6Q

DuckDAO

Who will win? One VC or ten thousand ducks?

DuckDao

Written by

DuckDao

WHO WILL WIN? ONE VC OR THOUSAND DUCKS?

DuckDAO

DuckDAO

DuckDAO is a community-backed digital asset incubator that provides promising early-stage crypto startups with the expertise, financial resources, and marketing power needed to fast track their progress on the path to success.

DuckDao

Written by

DuckDao

WHO WILL WIN? ONE VC OR THOUSAND DUCKS?

DuckDAO

DuckDAO

DuckDAO is a community-backed digital asset incubator that provides promising early-stage crypto startups with the expertise, financial resources, and marketing power needed to fast track their progress on the path to success.

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