The year started at full speed for Nash. We hit several milestones, culminating in our April beta program. During the first quarter, we worked on multiple iterations of our interface, employing user testing to optimize the launch of our non-custodial funds management and trading platforms. At the same time, we greatly refined the specification for our payments solution and our Marketing and Communications division began to build a support team. Nash continues to make great progress on legal fronts and our compliance efforts are yielding positive results. Last but not least, another important milestone for our company was the finalization of our non-custodial Bitcoin trading protocol.
We are happy to report the following results from the quarter:
- 32,000 new users have pre-registered for Nash as a result of our referral program. Combined with participants in our token sale, we have a potential 200,000 customers already familiar with and interested in using the platform at launch.
- Our security review process has been completed. This comprised a total of five reviews with three different companies (two with Recurity Labs, two with Cure53 and one with NCC Group). No critical flaws in current code were found in any of these reviews.
- Our token-listing procedure has now been finalized. We aim to list only high quality projects and those applying will need to invest a 10,000 USD fee to cover the costs associated with obtaining legal opinions for the listing. A listing application page will be added to our website soon.
- The user testing conducted in March and April has brought us to the point where we are satisfied with the user experience of our MVP designs (the Nash Exchange, funds management tools, and fiat on- and off-ramps).
- We have finalized our protocol specification for Bitcoin trading on Nash, which will be implemented soon after launch. Support for Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash and other related chains will follow rapidly. This protocol represents the technological innovation to which Nash is committed and will offer significant security advantages over present centralized solutions. Users will have self-custody of their Bitcoin and will be able to trade it securely through our matching engine in a performant fashion — the Nash signature.
We have also continued to look to the future and have carried out important work on the products that will soon accompany our MVP, providing an integrated financial platform. We have approached numerous businesses regarding our payments solution (a market worth more than 1 trillion USD). Development is also progressing on our mobile app, a crucial extension of the tools provided in our MVP, which will also include a novel and safer form of two-factor authentication.
We see ourselves as a technology company for decentralized finance, using blockchain as infrastructure for the digital finance space. Our products aim to bring the security and efficiency of blockchain to traditional finance while always providing the best possible user experience. We are very excited to have seen such tangible progress over the past quarter.
Clients and Operations
Ethan Fast’s team met key development goals this past quarter in a number of divisions. Frontend systems were integrated with the live exchange backend, allowing progress on beta testing to begin. Major achievements in the Frontend division were:
- Development of new APIs to provide a consistent view of asset state across the Ethereum, NEO and Bitcoin blockchains.
- Implementation of a blockchain signing protocol on the exchange using WebAssembly.
- Implementation and iteration of charts, trading interfaces, the orderbook and funds management interfaces.
- Final MVP user interface specification, following many iterations of all interfaces in response to user testing. This also led to significantly improved testing procedures and feedback loops, allowing for faster iterations.
Significant goals were also met in DevOps and Security:
- Completion of security reviews with no critical flaws being found.
- Design and development of a secure production deployment pipeline.
- Development of local production mirrors via Tilt.
- Infrastructure security testing and monitoring.
In addition, our Mobile division finalized the first version of our app designs and Quality Assurance released the first versions of our in-house automated monkey testing and end-to-end testing libraries.
Our backend team, led by Luciano Engel, focused this past quarter on wrapping our system for production. The MVP is now feature complete, with our matching engine offering functionality that has never before been included on a non-custodial exchange: time enforcement orders (stop-market, etc.) and fully non-custodial cross-chain settlement between the Ethereum and NEO blockchains.
With the essential features in place, the quarter was spent refining the system, dealing with performance improvements and planning for restore scenarios. We also prepared and supported releases for beta testing, adapting APIs to better fit our UI and UX.
A roadmap is in place to continue optimization work on the matching engine, aiming to meet the expected demands of a growing user base.
Blockchain and Fiat Integration
The integrations team, led by Thomas Saunders, accomplished several major goals this past quarter. We:
- Finalized our protocol for supporting Bitcoin and related chains.
- Finished our Go, Python and TypeScript client API libraries and accompanying documentation.
- Successfully completed the security review of our smart contracts.
- Finished integration with our initial fiat provider and began working with others to add support in further regions.
Design and Marketing
Nathaniel Walpole’s design team focused over the past quarter on refining our user interfaces through extensive testing. Testing initially took place on interactive prototypes before the exchange platform was opened to increasing numbers of Nash Community members in our beta program. The team gathered detailed feedback both through personal interviews with users of different backgrounds and, more recently, public Community feedback threads. Designs were reworked in response to testing and then submitted for further testing and review.
We are pleased to say that a final set of designs for our MVP has now been determined and is undergoing implementation. However, this does not mark the end of refinements to our user interface. Trust is absolutely central to user experience when dealing with financial software. Similarly, accessibility to new users is indispensable for bringing sophisticated blockchain-based infrastructure to a wide audience. We will continue to strive for a best-in-class trusted user experience and to distinguish ourselves from competitors in the approachability of our products. Usability testing and constant feedback loops will continue to be a major aspect of our work in the future.
The Marketing and Communications team, led by Carla Paiva, initiated the first stage of our launch strategy in February with our new website and referral program giveaway. The referral program has proven especially successful so far, costing less than one third of a dollar for each new user acquired. As the exchange draws closer to going live, the Marketing team continues to work on our launch strategy, expanding our relations work with traditional media and drawing up our post-launch media roadmap. They will soon be joined by a dedicated support division, which we expect to grow over coming months to meet the requirements of our user base.