Recap of AMA session with BIFROST
We had the pleasure of hosting Dohyun Pak, CEO and Co-founder of BIFROST, for an informative AMA session where they answered the community’s questions about BIFROST’s milestones and future plans. Listen to the Korean AMA session recording through the Twitter Spaces link below or read on for our English recap!
Note: Some of the text have been edited for grammar and clarity.
Date & Time: Feb 25th at 1pm SGT / 2pm KST
Platform: Twitter Spaces
Speakers: Dohyun Pak, CEO and Co-founder of BIFROST
Host: Bina, Community Manager (Korean) at Klaytn Foundation
Bina: Good afternoon and TGIF everyone! Thank you for joining us in this AMA session. I am Bina, the Korean Community Manager for Klaytn and I will be the host for today. We have with us a very special guest, the CEO and Co-founder of BIFROST, Dohyun Pak.
BIFROST, the world’s first blockchain middleware that enables multichain technology, has integrated with Klaytn, expanding the endless possibilities for developers through the diversity of blockchain protocols, customization of network promises scalability of a private blockchain, safety and decentralization of public blockchain. This partnership is indeed the combination of multichain technology and a friendly end-user experience.
Today’s session will be divided into two parts. We will begin with an introduction from Dohyun, followed by questions from the community that we have compiled. Going through the questions that we have gathered, our community is really eager to learn more about BIFROST milestones and future outlook.
Please kindly introduce yourself to the community.
Dohyun: Hello, everyone. I’m Dohyun Pak, the CEO and co-founder of BIFROST. Thank you all for joining.
Before we start this AMA, I want to thank everyone for understanding that this AMA will be held in Korean as a lot of our community members are Korean. An English recap will be posted on Medium.
I worked in the financial sector specializing in derivatives for over 10 years before I started BIFROST. I have a PhD in Financial Engineering and I founded this company, Pilab, back in 2016. Our co-founders CTO and COO are both Computer Science experts and we have started together with the hopes that blockchain technology will be able to change the world.
Bina: Thank you for the introduction. With your experiences and credentials, I am optimistic about BIFROST’s future outlook. Before jumping into the questions from the community, why don’t you share a little bit about BIFROST’s products?
As far as I know, there are 4 main products and could you explain a bit about each product for the audience?
We started to develop BIFROST in 2017 and finished v1 in 2019. The goal then was to enable DApps to freely connect to all blockchains with a multichain middleware platform. So this is slightly different from cross-chain. And back then, there were a lot of attempts to figure out the multichain solution, but of course, you needed to have money.
We were able to get funded from South Korean VCs when we first introduced BIFROST to the blockchain developers community from all around the world at DevCon in 2019. Afterwards, we built 4 more products and BiFi was the first to launch.
BiFi is a lending and borrowing protocol like Compound. We initially started with the Ethereum network just like Compound, but we realized that if we are able to connect to the Bitcoin network, the market cap can increase tremendously. In 2020, we have successfully launched BiFi that now supports multiple networks, most notable ones including Bitcoin and Klaytn.
BiFi X is a leveraged trading platform and this is getting more and more popular within the DeFi community.
We’re currently redesigning the interface of BiFi X. With this newer version, I’m confident that even people who don’t normally use DeFi can enjoy and have fun investing with it.
ChainRunner is another big and ambitious project of ours. The first version of ChainRunner is called ChainRunner Q, followed by the next version, ChainRunner M, which will be launched this year.
Simply, it’s the Open Banking of DeFi that connects all different kinds of DeFi like BiFi, Aave, Compound, Venus, or SushiSwap — enabling you to move assets in one single platform with a connected wallet, like Biport or MetaMask.
ChainRunner is a financial innovation for DeFi. We carried out the idea from popular Open Banking products in South Korea. It has mainly DeFi features right now, but it will soon be equipped with non-DeFi features such as NFT purchasing, minting, and smart contract security auditing.
At first, the concept of ChainRunner can be a bit complicated, but everyone who uses ChainRunner really enjoys using it. In the end, I believe that our mission to offer innovative financial products for everyone can be achieved with ChainRunner.
As with Biport, anyone may ask, how can anyone compete with MetaMask at this stage?
But as you may know, our overarching approach is “Multichain”. Currently, there is no multichain wallet that works perfectly in this space. To fully perform the multichain features that we envision, it needs to support not only tokens or DeFi, but NFT and products like marketplaces. This can be accomplished with Biport. And as a matter of fact, you can even transfer your MetaMask account to Biport so that you can use Biport as if it were your MetaMask.
We’re trying to create a “passport” that connects the whole blockchain ecosystem. And if you’re curious, that’s actually where the name Biport comes from — “BiFi Passport” shortened!
So these are the four main products that have been launched by BIFROST thus far. Please visit our YouTube channel if you want to learn more about our products.
Bina: Let’s move on to the questions from the community and very excited to hear your thoughts.
Bina: What are some of the greatest achievements BIFROST has experienced?
Dohyun: When we connected the Bitcoin network to BiFi and became the first to offer Bitcoin lending in DeFi, we experienced an unimaginable price surge of the BFC token. I think this was well due to a similar price surge of THOR, as many had expected that BIFROST could bring about a similar situation.
Indeed, it was very difficult to connect the native coin. Cryptographical proof work was needed for the connection and since the process did not involve “wrapping” of the coins, it was expensive. At the same time, we needed to ensure it was hack-proof at all times.
Our team went through a lot of difficulties investing a lot of our time and effort, but consistently pushed through the project. I’d say this is a proud achievement that others could not make of it.
Another achievement for us is marketing. As you may already know, the industry trend is continuously changing, and fast. In 2021, DeFi was very popular. Since 2021 till now, NFTs and the Metaverse are the next big thing. We have a vision that the 4 DeFi products of ours will connect the Metaverse, NFT, P2E, and DeFi all within BIFROST City and are well heading towards it.
Bina: Summoner is the first DApp running on BIFROST, are there any success stories?
Dohyun: Summoner is our first NFT-based P2E game which we hope can provide us with a solid foundation for us to take a leap in the metaverse space. We are working with a partner to develop the actual game.
We also aim to open up a new world of NFT marketplace. There are many active NFT marketplaces right now. I’m aware that Klaytn is creating its own NFT marketplace. Polkadot and Solana are making huge efforts, too. But if all of these marketplaces are not connected, users will find it difficult to play and collect.
As a multichain provider, we plan to connect all of the marketplaces, and Summoner is just the beginning. Through the Summoner NFT minting and staking platform, we want to be able to provide all the wants and needs of P2E gamers. Later, we would love to collaborate with Klaytn and connect to Klaytn’s NFT market. The integration of the marketplaces for our partners is the least we plan to achieve. Our ultimate goal is to offer a universal place where users can easily buy, sell, and enjoy the real value of NFTs.
Summoner game will be launched in March. In fact, we already have an active community on Discord and Twitter. We will be providing many different NFT-based games and products very soon.
Bina: How do you think Klaytn Foundation will benefit the BIFROST ecosystem?
Dohyun: I am eager to see the Klaytn Foundation advance. The success of the Korean networks can benefit all of us. The ecosystem on Klaytn is well-structured and we have joined to build an even better DeFi ecosystem for Klaytn by connecting Klaytn network to all of our products.
Klaytn will be able to experience all its ecosystems connected through BIFROST, especially as Klaytn network is cheap, fast, and highly scalable. If the Klaytn ecosystem scales rapidly, there are higher chances that our products are developed with more focus on Klaytn. We expect to build a long-term relationship with Klaytn along with our journey to NFT and the metaverse.
Bina: BIFROST started out as a middleware platform and is now transitioning to its own network. Could you elaborate on why and how BIFROST plans to achieve this?
Dohyun: When we announced that we will launch our own network, many questioned whether our focus had shifted, since we emphasized being the “middleware platform” in the past. Well, I’d like to call it an “expansion” rather than a “shift”.
Of course, connecting all of the different networks like Klaytn is interesting and innovative. But with our own network, we believe we can achieve even more scalability much faster. When we connect Klaytn to our network, DApps can be cheaper, faster and more scalable. Since we are also in the NFT marketplace business, we would need an NFT exchange platform in the form of DEX. To have features like swap, we thought that having our own network is essential.
The BIFROST network will be launched by the end of the second quarter. The city that we envisioned will be realized within the last half of 2022.
Bina: Will there be an android version of Biport wallet? If yes, when will the android version of Biport wallet be available?
Dohyun: Currently, Biport wallet is available as a Chrome extension and we are in development to launch the mobile app on both iOS and Android by Q2. Most of the development is done at this stage, but we are at the testing stage for the highest security while providing a seamless UI, which is why it will take some more time and will be launched by the end of the second quarter.
There may be slight changes but not major ones to the launch schedule.
Bina: BiFi is the first to launch Native BTC lending and offers DeFi services on Bitcoin, Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain (BSC), Avalanche and Klaytn networks. It seeks to create a decentralized financial infrastructure that connects all the capital markets — allowing capital to flow seamlessly. May you share with us more insights about BiFi?
Dohyun: Similar to Compound, BiFi initially started out on a single network, Ethereum, as a lending protocol, connecting to multiple networks one by one.
BiFi became a truly multichain DeFi when we successfully launched native Bitcoin lending by connecting the Ethereum and Bitcoin network directly for the first time in DeFi.
Although the DeFi community may seem big just within the crypto community, there are actually only about 3,000,000 active DeFi users around the world. And of course, a large amount of DeFi capital is dominated by whales, who hold large amounts of assets without moving or selling them often, especially in lending incumbents like Compound.
But I see this as optimistic as BiFi has a lot of room for growth. We will definitely need to entice and acquire more users, and we will achieve this by providing a user-friendly product for all. BiFi is the beginning of this
As we approach the coming boom in the metaverse, all of our products: BiFi X, ChainRunner, and Biport, along with our NFTs and the marketplace will come together to create one powerful decentralized financial infrastructure connecting all the capital markets. And BiFi will be the core of this.
Bina: What is the current focus of BIFROST and what are some of the future plans or future technology roadmap for BIFROST?
Dohyun: Our focus is: how to be profitable now and in the future.
On a business standpoint, BiFi is actually doing very well right now. But the goal is to think beyond this simple lending and borrowing protocol on a more strategical and financial viewpoint to build more practical and innovative products, like BiFi X or ChainRunner.
A less-profitable, but more visionary focus in our stated roadmap pertains to NFTs and the multichain NFT marketplace. Our ultimate goal is to offer a flexible marketplace platform where users are able to freely create, collect and trade NFTs on different blockchain networks, using Biport wallet.
As we all are all aware, Facebook’s recent name change to Meta shows that they’re going all in on the metaverse. When that metaverse soon comes, and I believe it will, BIFROST will be well-prepared to connect all the existing DeFi and marketplaces with our multichain solution.
Bina: Do you think the multichain approach is the future of the blockchain industry?
Dohyun: Vitalik Buterin had recently tweeted that multichain is the future. And this (multichain) is inevitable.
Bitcoin is the oldeset blockchain. The most trustworthy and secure, Ethereum. These first and original blockchains still reign and nobody can deny that.
However, the industry and technology moves fast. We often see new blockchains appear with better security or speed, all competing to be the very best.
But you can’t be the only game in town. The multichain world we envision is not “one chain wins all”. We need to be able to use them simultaneously, using the most suitable ones in different situations. And the technology that enables this is “multichain”. Our goal is to be able to connect all blockchains, even those that claim that they’re multichain like Cosmos.
Bina: As BIFROST progresses to be the leader of a multichain DeFi, how do you ensure that BIFROST does not compromise the core of the trinity — transparency, security and scalability?
Dohyun: With numerous hacks we are seeing in the DeFi space today, it is becoming more critical to focus on the security of our protocols. Our CTO is an expert in blockchain technologies and software security.
Frankly, however, we don’t like to say that we’re hack-proof as there is no 100%. To provide a high-security product, the team constantly needs to test its products to prevent hacks that did not happen just yet. This is why we always keep security at the forefront in developing our products and conduct thorough auditing from the best security firms. And I can proudly say that we haven’t had any security issues thus far.
We will continue to deliver the best security efforts and focus on building high trust for our users within the DeFi community.
Bina: Thank you for the insightful sharing, do you have any final thoughts you’d like to share with our community?
Dohyun: Our vision has been and will continue to be “changing the world with our technology”.
We want to prove the traditional world that blockchain technology can change the world. Many had once questioned blockchain and crypto, but now the world has accepted that it has the potential to be truly disruptive and it is on the verge of revolutionizing the world with its fast-growing ecosystem.
I also keep mentioning the metaverse because it continues to grow immensely and we will all become part of it one day. But o build this virtual infrastructure, blockchain technology is crucial. We will continue to compete with our powerful technology and ultimately become a South Korean technology leader within few years.
I want thank the Klaytn Foundation and our BIFROST community for the continued support and I hope we can continue to working towards developing a better world together.