Out of Stealth Mode Part 2: Why Ferrum Network?
For those that don’t know me, I am the Co-Founder and COO of Ferrum Network, a new network for fast, decentralized cross-chain financial applications.
Now that the project is going out of stealth mode, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to explain not only what we have been doing these past months, but also why we started Ferrum Network in the first place.
The Early Days
Our story begins about one year ago with two guys, who for lack of a better phrase, were late to the party. Both myself and Ferrum Network’s founder, Naiem Yeganeh, PhD, are not what you would consider crypto old timers. We only got meaningfully involved into the space in mid 2017. And while we may personally lament the fact that we missed out on many great investment opportunities, I actually believe that entering the space when we did gave us a unique and valuable perspective.
To understand where we are coming from, one only has to remember Satoshi’s original vision of peer-to-peer financial transactions, and compare it to what we have today — a market where a vast majority of transactions occur through centralized exchanges, many users opt not to control their own private key due to a lack of security, and hundreds of different networks exist without a viable means of peer-to-peer exchange between them. And this is to say nothing of the state of the crowd funding model, originally hailed as a groundbreaking means of democratizing investing, now reduced to shell of itself due to short term thinking and greed.
So when we looked at the state of the market, we asked ourselves two questions: why had it become this way, and what can we do to help change it?
In our view, the answer to the first question boils down to the lack of interoperability; or the inability of various blockchains and networks to readily interact with each other. We believe that prevailing solutions of atomic swaps and ERC-20 decentralized exchanges are too slow and/or limited to achieve the vision of a truly decentralized financial system. Since the number of networks is only growing, the question becomes, how can we allow these networks to interact in a way that is fast, cheap and scalable?
So Naiem got to work building a new network from the ground up specifically designed for speed, low cost, interoperability and simplicity. By the time we met, the Ferrum Network test net could already execute a peer-to-peer BTC <> ETH transaction in milliseconds for essentially no costs (note that transactions on the Ferrum Network require users to attach nominal value to the transaction in the form of our native token, such that a TX effectively costs $.01 cents). Recognizing the magnitude of this achievement, I promptly quit my job at my law firm and we began the hard work of building a company.
Phase Two: Building
You may have noticed I used the word, company, not “project”. This is by design. Ferrum Network is first and foremost a FinTech company, but one that uses blockchain technology to execute its vision. We recognized early on that revenue streams, working products, and real users are absolutely critical in order to succeed long term. So after Consensus 2018, we began building our first line of decentralized products — the Ferrum Wallet, Ferrum DEX, the Sub-Zero Wallet, and our West African fiat gateway, Kudi.Exchange.
Demos of beta versions of these products can be found here, but in short, these products aim to compete with the best centralized versions — with the same speed, functionality and ease-of-use — but without the custodial risks and exorbitant costs typically associated with centralized exchanges.
Ferrum DEX will be the first interchain decentralized exchange that can execute trades in milliseconds, and will offer advanced features like margin trading, short selling and AI driven trading assistance. Tired of placing a limit order without any clue on which direction the market will go? Using our team’s experience at Bloomberg and quantitative analysis, we are building an AI trading assistance feature to compile data from across the market and help traders make informed trading decisions. We believe it is small features such as those that distinguish the Ferrum DEX from a crowded field.
Like the Ferrum DEX, the Ferrum Wallet is geared towards everyday users. It is simple, intuitive, and doesn’t require users to manage a bunch of different private keys. One key allows access to the wallet and where they can simply deposit assets from nearly any other network. Once inside the network, users can engage in risk-free OTC trades, near-instant market trades, and peer-to-peer transactions with special features to prevent accidental loss.
One major concern with a decentralized wallet is security and private key management. We understand that to achieve mass adoption of our products, users need to be able to simply and securely manage their digital assets. The Ferrum Sub-Zero Wallet is that solution. Using an Android phone, users can now hold their private keys in a mobile device that is completely offline, with three levels of encryption, and soon, we will be incorporating additional securities features used by military and spy agencies.
Finally, one of the most significant aspects of the Ferrum Network is its ability to incorporate digital fiat currencies. However, fiat gateways naturally come with a host of legal and regulatory hurdles. Fortunately, one of our early investors, TLG Ventures, were able to help us overcome those challenges. Kudi.Exchange — powered by the Ferrum Network — will be West Africa’s first fiat gateway to pair local currency with BTC, and be able to execute that exchange in milliseconds. As of this writing, the licenses and banking relationships are secured, and we are laying the groundwork for building a community of users who will use cryptocurrency for everyday needs, all powered by Ferrum’s decentralized network.
Beyond the nuts and bolts of the products are company’s core values and vision. Too many ICO projects have been plagued by short term thinking and the absence of plan for growth. Ferrum Network is trying to do things differently. From day one, we have been guided by our core values : transparency, community, and longevity.
Transparency means you can expect things such as open and honest communication from our team, regular updates on the development, AMA sessions, and a strong presence at conferences.
Community means we put our users and community first. We know that without a strong community and user base, Ferrum Network cannot succeed. Expect to see our user centric focus when we deal with the community, the way we develop our products, and how we comport ourselves on a day-to-day basis.
Longevity starts with thinking long term. The quickest way to failure is through greed. Our fundraising strategy may be the clearly example of this line of thinking — why raise $30 million when $6 million will suffice?
What can people expect next from Ferrum Network? For one, we have some exciting announcements upcoming regarding new partnerships. You can also expect to see us at more conferences like World Blockchain Forum, Devcon Korea, and the Lagos, Nigeria stop of Ian Balina’s crypto world tour. But most importantly, you can expect the continued development and release of real products, a focus on user acquisition, and growth, starting with the Kudi.Exchange, then the Ferrum Network wallet and DEX in early 2019.
So thank you for joining this journey with us, and please stay tuned for more exciting updates!