The Expanding Fuse Network and DeFi with Voltage Finance
Recently, I had the chance to sit down with Mark Smargon, founder and CEO of Fuse Network. Fuse is a layer-1, EVM-compatible public blockchain that powers the eponymous platform as well as a growing ecosystem of applications including Voltage Finance the company’s DeFi expansion. We talked about the network and its history as well as what their move into DeFi means for the future of the industry. Enjoy!
Kyle: Welcome, Mark, a short introduction?
Mark: I’m a longtime entrepreneur who has been almost a decade in crypto started my first company when I was 14, that was doing e-commerce, one of the first e-commerce providers in Israel, then discovered Bitcoin, and ever since, I have looked at this technology as a game-changer because especially for payments and, you know, from like being like an E-commerce insider payments insider and seeing how those things work. That’s a big unsolved problem. When it comes to payments, they’re broken. The way I looked at Bitcoin back in the day is here’s a technology that can potentially, you know, not fix it, maybe cause new problems, but it can flatten all the structures that were suffering.
Kyle: What is Fuse and the Fuse Network?
Mark: We started this company three years ago and launched an EVM chain in 2019. It was less fashionable than today. We had a good sense of how the future will look. We saw the future as a multi-chain world and that there will be more than one blockchain. We expressed that the people would have a way to use blockchains and move freely between blockchains because there is no friction after you deposit after you know, the positive your money into crypto. You can move around after you have your private key, and there are no gatekeepers. You can do whatever you want. It’s a bit technical, and you need to understand what you’re doing. But it’s open for everybody, and there will be more and more blockchains around different verticals.
Kyle: What kind of apps or decentralized applications (dApps) are other people may be building on and around the ecosystem?
Mark: We have many moving parts. The essence is three main parts. The network layer is the governance, the validators and the network itself, the open-source code, and the ledger, the base layer.
On top of that, we have the B2B layer, which is the API layer. Businesses and developers who don’t want to spin up their own nodes can tap into a SaaS product, which gives them access to a bunch of tools for a lot of heavy lifting. That layer is all about focusing on the needs of businesses and developers to tap into those capabilities. It includes the studio and APIs, wallets, and items like that.
The last layer is consumer-facing. Here we have many partners launching products ranging from decentralized exchanges (DEXs) to lending to wholly new and novel experiments in DeFi. We are organically seeing a lot of spillover between networks thanks to the bridges we have in place to other networks. We even have a lot of NFT activity that started pretty much bottom-up.
We have many moving parts, but we’re focused on those three different layers to build them and how to incentivize them. All of those layers are separate organizations and teams.
Kyle: How is the Fuse Network unique in the DeFi industry?
Mark: If you go to Fuse Cash on mobile, you can see the differentiation or value proposition. People who use Fuse or entry-level users, or businesses who need essential tools will not learn how to use Metamask. They’re not going to pay $100 to open an account, and there can be a lot of friction and a steep learning curve. We tried to make it simpler. Users don’t need to be their own bank, and we generate a lot of tools that help them manage fear obstruction, rate limits, and social recovery, where if you’re losing access to your funds, we can help you restore them.
It’s all coming from this concept of blockchain’s role plus context and who’s the audience. It’s about looking at the target audience and thinking about how people will interact with crypto ten years from now — really trying to work backward from that.
Kyle: What’s to come for the Fuse Network?
Mark: We’re launching a new platform, a new SaaS platform in the next few months that will take all our work in the last three-plus years and repackage it in a new way. I can’t give too much information about it, and we will announce it soon. The plan is to build a Stripe type of product that is open to non-US companies, basically, a decentralized Stripe that’s cheaper and globally available. It gives a lot of superior features, for instance, recurring payments and things that don’t exist yet in crypto. I think payments, the entire space, not only Fuse, are just getting started; crypto payments have picked up dramatically, especially with the fees, gaming, and stuff like that.
I’m very excited about this product and how it can fit into this race. The second thing is that I think mobile adoption is growing. What excites me the most is that most like 90% of usage in crypto are Metamask is on the desktop. We haven’t seen too many mobile products that have succeeded in this space yet. Despite the big jump in user and retail adoption, mainstream adoption ahead of us was very, very early. Every vertical in crypto likes more companies and more adoption, more users. I’m excited.
To learn more about Fuse & its ecosystem, visit fuse.io/
Writer’s note: The above interview has been edited and reduced in summary for this article.
About Fuse: Leveraging DeFi to create a platform for entrepreneurs and bring the power of open-source money to millions globally.
About Fuse Network: The Fuse Network is a layer-1, decentralized EVM-compatible public blockchain that powers the Fuse platform and ecosystem. The network is fully compatible with Ethereum, meaning that any smart contract deployed on the latter can also run on top of the Fuse Network. The Fuse Network blockchain uses a variant of delegated Proof of Stake (dPoS) + AuRa algorithm for achieving consensus.
About Voltage Finance: Voltage Finance (formerly FuseFi), was originally created in November 2020, as FuseSwap the first decentralized exchange (DEX) on the Fuse Network that provided holders of tokens within the Fuse ecosystem the ability to trade and exchange seamlessly. Today, Voltage Finance is a full-fledged DeFi platform and a leader on Fuse by volume.