Abhinav Ramesh, the CEO of WandX, is building the financial instrument infrastructure on the rapidly growing Ethereum token market. Imagine the equivalent of a Wall Street, with securitization and derivatives, except here it would be on tokenized assets with full transparency and identity management.
Bryan Feinberg, Founder of Etheralabs / ChainDynamics and Partner-at-Large at Blockchain News recently interviewed Abhinav, founder and CEO of WandX, about his new erc20 token – the Wand token. The WandX team of Blockchain developers, veterans of the financial services industry, and veterans in the Indian IT sector are building out the WandX infrastructure on Ethereum (think decentralized Kraken + tools to create any derivative such as futures, options, swaps, all on one platform).
Feinberg: What’s your vision and what’s been the progress so far?
Abhinav: The vision of WandX is to create decentralized infrastructure for creation, trade, and settlement of any financial instrument built on ERC20 tokens. In the real world you have various instruments on currency and commodities such as futures, options, securitization of income streams, debt instruments. With the rapidly growing crypto-asset space, we’re building a platform on which anyone can create, trade, and settle any kind of financial instruments on tokens built on Ethereum. Our first instrument is the portfolio; currently we have a prototype on the Ethereum testnet that enables users to create and trade portfolios of ERC20 tokens, through our smart contracts and APIs, with a single transaction.
Feinberg: Tell us more about the target market for your platform.
Abhinav: For our portfolio trading application, the target market is divided into two sides. The first side is the creators and sellers of these portfolios; they would create these token baskets because it would enable them to sell the basket at a markup, as well as sell multiple tokens with a single transaction. The buyers are the second side; they would have the convenience of owning a portfolio that has shown good returns over the past. All the trades would happen through our smart contracts and APIs, which brings in another potential business model – partnering with fiat-BTC/ETH exchanges. Exchanges could potentially use our APIs to enable their customers to trade in a variety of ERC20 tokens as well.
Feinberg: For such a platform to work, trust is key. How do you plan to get users to trust your platform?
Abhinav: Our smart contract code is open source. The contracts are designed such that the ERC20 token portfolio either transfers completely, or the entire transaction would fail, hence no potential for errors.
Feinberg: There’s a lot of decentralized exchange platforms and protocols coming up. How are you different?
Abhinav: Decentralized exchanges enable trade between tokens; WandX goes a step further and enables decentralized trade between financial instruments. The first financial instrument is the portfolio; users can create and trade portfolios of ERC20 tokens, hence helping them to hedge risk and diversify their investments. Through our APIs that connect to our smart contracts, any third party can connect for a fee. Our protocol for decentralized derivatives trade on ERC20 tokens will release in 3 months. Our easy to use user interface, APIs that connect to our smart contracts would help user onboarding and quick usage of the platform.
Feinberg: What’s your 2 month, 6 month, and two year plans?
Abhinav: 2 month – We’re targeting a mainnet release of our portfolio trading application, along with trade between portfolios, meaning that users can swap portfolios of ERC20 tokens between themselves. 6 month – Our platform would enable decentralized creation and trade of derivatives, ETFs, and portfolios built on ERC20 tokens. This would be done through our APIs and smart contracts. We would define a protocol for decentralized derivatives trade in terms of escrow and margin accounts. We intend to pilot our product across industries such as loyalty points as detailed on our blog. 2 years – enable creation, trade, and settlement of any financial instrument across blockchains and crypto-assets.
Feinberg: Whether it’s blockchain or not, this is a business. What’s your business model and growth strategy?
Abhinav: Our business model for the first portfolio trading application is a percentage of the trade. The next application which would enable creation and trade of ETFs and derivatives would have a similar business model, except that we would also take a percentage of creation as well. This is because we’ve created the APIs and smart contract infrastructure to enable easy creation and trade; we’ve added a lot of value through creating this smart contract framework, hence we would be taking a percentage for creation as well. We plan to grow by partnering with liquidity providers who would be willing to trade on our application, pilot real world use cases of our platform, and fast track to become one of the first decentralized platforms for financial instruments on Ethereum. With the number of users trading cryptocurrencies increasing by the day, we believe that we’re well poised to capture a reasonable chunk of the altcoin trading market.
Feinberg: Coming to the tokens, why are you introducing a new token, how can users benefit from it, and how does it fit in your business model?
Abhinav: Thanks for the question. We’re introducing the Wand token to incentivize creation and trade of financial instruments; it’s the equivalent of a loyalty points scheme in retail. Users are incentivized with a percentage of Wand tokens for every creation and trade of instruments. In our initial application, users can pay for portfolios with Wand tokens, and they get a discount on our platform trading fee every time a trade is made. They also get a discount every time a derivative or ETF is created. The Wand token is a utility token, and does not have any connection to shares at WandX Pte. Ltd.
Feinberg: What does your team bring to the table where others may fall short? How is your team different?
Abhinav: Our team can be classified into three groups – Software experts, financial services veterans, and Blockchain experts. Our core development team has spent over 20 years in the Indian IT industry, developing software from Java to configuring hardware in an industrial setting. Our Blockchain developers have developed smart contracts in various industry PoCs. Our financial services veterans have each spent over 20 years in debt markets, custodian services, management consulting, as well as research. Some of the team is still working in companies, since bills still have to be paid. But they’re passionate about getting on board full time once the mainnet release is out. I believe that we have the right intersection of talent from various industries to pull off our full-fledged financial instrument platform in 6 months’ time.