#1 Twitter Spaces AMA: The Future of Defi with CEO of Fantom and Founder of Atlas DEX


A summary and transcript of a twitter spaces with CEO of Fantom, Michael Kong and Founder of Atlas DEX, Ahmed Salam hosted by Tina Qi, Chief of Growth at Atlas DEX.


Tell us about Fantom:

Fantom is a big platform now, with over 700/800/900k transactions a day in lending, borrowing and swaps. — Michael

With asynchronous processing, the Fantom network can process multiple transactions, or multiple blocks, more specifically, simultaneously. As opposed to Ethereum, where you have to wait for your code to be included in the next block in the line. This is a core difference between Fantom and other chains. Fantom provides a more efficient consensus mechanism. — Michael

Exciting launches on Fantom: More Defi applications to watch out for, as well as futures and derivatives platforms. There are also a few NTF and Metaverse projects that are launching on Fantom. — Michael

Tell us about Security and Trust:

Some problems with smart contracts, such as bugs, need to be ironed out. But it becomes increasingly easier to develop smart contracts with more security-based tools. Theoretically, smart contracts and Defi are very strong systems. — Michael

Always be sceptical of people, founders and projects. Do not automatically assume they have the best intentions. It is also good not to get overwhelmed by people’s credentials. — Michael

Tell us about the future of DeFi:

In simple terms, Defi allows for the same financial transaction, without a central intermediary. Allowing for a more secure, lower barrier to participation and a transparent system. — Ahmed

Defi products are inherently innovative and complex. The single biggest and most challenging barrier to entry is that people do not understand how the Defi or how the blockchain in general works. Once its risk and value proposition has been explained in a simpler form, we will bring in a lot of new people into the Defi space. — Ahmed

The crypto space is just gonna grow over time. And we just need to keep developing and building new, interesting applications. — Michael

Tell us about the cross-chain and Atlas DEX:

The pain points of swapping and moving tokens between chains led us to create Atlas DEX. Now you can have a simplified user interface for all your swapping needs. You could say that Atlas DEX aggregates other DEX aggregators. — Ahmed

For us, it was very important to come up with the algorithms that could find the most optimal route in real-time. It has to take into account the different prices, different slippage and different kinds of TVL of tokens on DEXs and DEX Aggregators. — Ahmed

People will continue to use multiple chains for all sorts of reasons because maybe they see a particular application or opportunity on a chain. The cross-chain volume will increase and is going to be a pattern in the future. — Michael


Tina | Atlas DEX 5:42

Thank you so much everyone, for joining us. We’re so excited about our first Twitter space today. We have two very special guests with us. Today we have Michael Kong, the CEO of Fantom joining us. And we also have our very own founder of Atlas Dex, Ahmed Salam. Welcome to our Twitter space today and we appreciate you taking your time. I’m going to hand it over to Michael first. Do you want to say a bit of hello and introduce yourself to everyone?

Michael | Fantom 6:38

Great to be here. Thanks for the invitation. Happy to answer any questions!

Tina | Atlas DEX 6:55

Great. Thank you, Michael. I’m hearing an Australian accent there. So I’m assuming you’re also from Australia.

Michael | Fantom 7:03

Yeah, I moved recently, but yeah, I was born and grew up in Sydney. Yeah, I noticed that accent as well.

Tina | Atlas DEX 7:10

Yes! I’m also the same, from Sydney. So nice to hear the familiar accent. Ahmed, can I hand it over to you to give a quick intro as well?

Ahmed | Atlas DEX 7:26

Thank you, Tina. So glad to be here. I have had my background in technology for the past 18 years and have been working with different kinds of software systems, mostly from the traditional finance, the past four years or so have been getting more and more into the Defi, and now exclusively working with the blockchain space. So yeah, happy to be here.

Tina | Atlas DEX 7:53

Great, thanks. Ahmed. It’s kind of funny asking you to introduce yourself since I know you quite well. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Tina. I’m part of the Atlas DEX team and I’ll be hosting and asking questions. today

The topic of today’s space is the future of Defi. But before we get started, I think it’s really important for our audience here today to understand a little bit about Fantom. So Michael, could you first start telling us a little bit about your journey with Fantom and how you started contributing to the Fantom Foundation?

Michael | Fantom 8:59

It’s kind of a bit of a long story. I started getting involved in building smart contracts with Ethereum, playing around with it, around 2015 / 2016 with a friend of mine from the University of Sydney. And then it turns out that there was a professor, called Bernard Schwartz who is a professor of programming languages and computer science who was running a research project on studying, analysing EVM machine code instructions. So I joined that project and then later I joined in 2017. For most of the year, I was the first engineer in a blockchain development company called Block Ed. That, for example, were the guys that first developed the semantic network token. And then later like I started a hedge fund out in Australia. And during that period was so like advising on a few projects that were ICOs, and one of them was Fantom out of Korea. And back in 2017 and 2018, you know, ICOs were kind of like all the rage. And in particular, like, Korea was kind of seen as, like the crypto capital at the time. And projects that were, you know, infrastructure-based out of Korea, during that period were like, very attractive for people and got like, a lot of hype around them. And the team back then, in Korea, you know, consisted of these couple of postdocs and associate professors from a very well known University in Korea called Yonsei. University. It’s like the top Technical University. And they were talking about, you know, ideas around asynchronous consensus and building better, faster, cheaper, consensus and be efficient and secure, etc. And so that was like, the original vision. But unfortunately, the Koreans back then were not entirely honest about their technology, they claimed that they had a lot and solved a lot of problems. And it turned out that that wasn’t the case. So, Andre and I, it has to be mentioned, you know, we worked together and rebuild a new team. Some of the people that have actually built the original vision now with asynchronous consensus in the platform, are still with us to this very day. So it’s been quite a long journey. But now, you know, Fantom is quite a big platform we have, we’ve processed over 250 million transactions since we first launched at the end of 2019. Now, we do daily transactions, probably around 700 800 900,000 a day. And I think people use Fantom right now primarily, for Defi, doing all the usual device stuff that they will do, lending and borrowing and collateralization. And swapping via DEXs does have a very big part of the Fantom ecosystem. There’s quite a bit of NFT growth that’s happening at the same time.

Tina | Atlas DEX 12:23

Well, I already have quite a lot of questions off the back of that. The first one is that it’s pretty amazing to see that you started your journey in blockchains from university, a lot of universities are not advanced enough to even facilitate that kind of learning. The second thing you touched on was the asynchronous consensus that Fantom has, I wanted to call that out. There might be people in the audience who might not know what that means. So would you be able to explain that a little bit more to those who might not understand?

Michael | Fantom 13:00

Yeah, the research university, I got a bit lucky there, because,I had to do a final year software project honours project. And I was interested in blockchains. And it turns out that there was a professor who very much was interested in like the same level that I was. So that was a great relationship. When it comes to asynchronous technology, what I mean by that is, that we’ve been calling it a theorem when transactions are, they’re confirmed sequentially. So in other words, blocks are confirmed one at a time — a block in Ethereum, is mined once every 14 seconds. For your transaction to be included in the chain, it has to be coded in one of those blocks, and the earliest it can be included in the next block in the line. You wait 14 seconds, you’re included in that block, and then,14 seconds later, there’s another block ahead of your block, etc. With asynchronous processing of transactions, what we mean is, that transactions enter into the network at any time, and they start to get confirmed by the network. So the Fantom network process multiple transactions, or multiple blocks, more specifically, simultaneously. So that is a core difference between our technology and other technologies that are out there because we can process transactions simultaneously, which means that you get much higher transaction output. In addition, you get a much faster consensus because you’re not waiting for your multiple blocks to be mined afterwards to make sure that your transaction is confirmed. After all, there’s no longest chain rule, finality or transaction confirmations are deterministic and independent of other transactional blocks that are submitted around the same time. The old block times are about point A to point nine seconds at the moment, which means that the time to finality is under a second. And so transactions are fast on-chain and transaction throughput is a lot more than what you get on Bitcoin. And Ethereum. That being said, there are a lot more technical improvements that still need to be made to the technology. We haven’t solved the quote-unquote, “Blockchain Trilemma”. Fantom’s technology can’t scale infinitely at the moment. But we can get to that position, I believe, over the next few years.

Tina | Atlas DEX 15:24

That’s really exciting. And you actually just perfectly led into the next question that I had about Fantom. You touched on this a little bit about how Fantom grew over time. Do you have any key challenges that Fantom had in the past that you guys have learned a lot from and that you’ll take learnings from into the future?

Michael | Fantom 15:49

Yeah, well, you know, that’s sort of like business and people challenges that I’ve learned from, and of course, there are like technical challenges. So in terms of like, business challenges, I kind of learned that you should always be sceptical of people, you should always make sure that you know, whenever you meet someone that you don’t automatically assume that they have the best intentions, that what they’re saying to you, is accurate, or they’re telling you the truth. And always just remember that you should kind of like take a neutral approach, don’t just assume that someone is automatically trustworthy as soon as you meet them. At the same time, you know, don’t assume that everyone you meet is, you know, a scammer or fraudster, because then you won’t be able to work with anyone and establish good relations with anyone worth establishing a relationship with. Do not get overwhelmed by like people’s credentials, because that was a mistake that I made, when I was looking at the old founding team in Korea, because, you know, on paper, they had great credentials, you know, Associate Professor, Post Doctorates, all these papers published. And, I just graduated with a bachelor’s. And so when I asked them questions about, how the technology work that didn’t give me clear answers, I sort of like was a bit suspicious about that, but at the same time was like, my background is not really in distributed computing, it’s more so in virtual machines and programming languages. You know, maybe these guys just know so much more than me, and I just don’t understand this stuff, because I’m just not smart enough. And I realised that was a mistake. And to think it’s important to think through things logically, critically, and not, take into consideration that much, who is saying it, but rather like what they’re actually saying, and what they’re actually doing. And on the technical side, I think the biggest challenge with Fantom has been, when you’re processing transactions asynchronously, how do you get the final ordering of transactions across all nodes and make sure that it’s done in a fault-tolerant manner. Because blockchains have a very important property, which is, the ledger has to be entirely consistent across all nodes in the network and validating nodes and non-validated daily nodes. And that’s very important. Because, you know, if the blockchain is only like, 99.9%, correct or 99.99% correct. That little discrepancy means that people cannot be sure, who actually owns what assets, and actually, what transactions are the correct transactions. So the ledger has to be consistent across all nodes. And it also has to be fault-tolerant, meaning that your part of the network would go offline, and parts of the network offline all the time, for whatever reason, you have people upgrading nodes, people switching different machines, you know, because electricity goes out, whatever, that the network needs to be able to handle those sort of outages that occur from particular nodes. And so being able to do all of that, and make sure that transactions that entered the network at random points in time, because the final ordering has been the most difficult part. And I’m also doing all of that in the most efficient manner. So that’s really what the team had spent about a year and a half working on before we released the first mainnet. So now we have a working system. That’s kind of like solving that problem. And now it’s about okay, we’ve got a great baseline of technology, how do we improve it a lot further than what we currently have at the moment?

Tina | Atlas DEX 19:27

I really appreciate how honest you were with the experiences that come with joining this space, from people challenges to tech. Of course, when it comes to tech like I think everyone can agree here that things definitely just take time to build, especially good technology. I resonated with what you said about joining this space and seeing people having certain credentials and putting weight into that. I think the exciting part about crypto is that it’s so new that it doesn’t really matter what people have as past credentials. It’s more how motivated we are to build something and to do the best that we can at it. So I want to ask Ahmed more about. Ahmed, you have led multiple businesses before. Now starting Atlas DEX for a year, how have you managed the people aspect of it? We’re an international team, I’m sure that’s something that a lot of people resonate with. Have you had any interesting experiences? Or things that you found challenging around that?

Ahmed | Atlas DEX 20:48

Yeah, I think I also completely resonated with Michael here, I think in this space, it’s quite common. It’s unfortunate. But that is what it is. In terms of Atlas DEX, as Tina mentioned, as well, we have quite an international team. We have people located in Denmark, Ukraine, Russia, Pakistan, Singapore, Australia, and quite a lot of places. And one of the challenges is managing a team like that, of course, the project roadmap, your timelines, they’re also exposed to the geopolitical situation, because we were quite in the middle when this Russia and Ukraine conflict started. And that also had an impact. But I think that overall, it’s just the part of the game, that you really have to work with different kinds of culture, different kinds of people, and then gel them together towards a common goal. And, and I would, really appreciate it because I can see that there are a few people from our team, who have joined as listeners. And I would mention that I appreciate having them on board and working together towards this goal.

Tina | Atlas DEX 21:59

I appreciate that. I can see a few of our team members in the spaces. And obviously, I’m here. So thank thanks, Ahmed.

Ahmed | Atlas DEX 22:09

Yeah, Indeed, indeed.

Tina | Atlas DEX 22:11

Cause I had one more question about Fantom. And before we move over to talk more about Defi, in general. But Michael, are there any areas that you’re most excited to see develop on Fantom? For example, more Defi? Or maybe GameFi? Any areas that you’re most excited about?

Michael | Fantom 22:39

Yeah, I’m excited about the different Defi applications that can be launched from Fantom. Because, you know, we do have applications for sure. But there are like, certain types of Defi applications that, you know exist on Ethereum, that haven’t been deployed on Fantom yet, that will be interesting too, you know, get deployment of Fantom one. One thing that comes into mind, is like futures and derivatives platforms that you see on the Ethereum, we don’t have that to the same level on Fantom. We are also interested in what’s coming on the metaverse and NFT side, we’ve got a few more metaverses that are in development, in the community that will be launching on Fantom. And all we need, to help turbocharge Fantom’s growth is to have like, one or a few games or metaverses that just like really take off and get a lot of traction. And we’ve seen that with a few applications on the chain. So hopefully, that eventually happens. But there is also another category of applications that I haven’t seen people launch on any chain. And that’s the whole idea of group-based insurance. And I sort of have mentioned this on a few of our podcasts. But I think it’s a very interesting idea. I did explore this a few years ago, myself with a few others, but it never really took off. And the whole idea about group-based insurance is being able to remove the big insurance company in between people who are paying premiums. This sort of peer to peer insurance is something that you can execute well, using smart contracts and insurance pools with anybody around the world. If you can remove the big insurance company, you’ve removed a lot of bureaucracy and costs associated with it. So that’s like an interesting idea that someone could make, on Fantom that I think, could get big. I know, a couple of people who are working on this sort of idea, but it’s not something that we’ve seen take off.

Tina | Atlas DEX 25:47

That is such a great concept. So I suppose anyone on this call, make sure you’re taking notes. Because, that might be the next project idea that that hits off. And thank you for explaining that. So clearly, as well. All right, before we go a bit deeper into Defi, I’m aware that some of the people listening might be at all different levels of expertise when it comes to Defi. So I’m probably going to ask you the hardest question of today. And I’ll point it to Ahmed first. Could you explain Defi in layman’s terms, for those who aren’t as familiar with it?

Ahmed | Atlas DEX 26:46

Okay, that is perhaps the toughest question. And I get asked quite often. I think Defi is an emerging financial technology. It’s a new phenomenon. And one of the challenges with it is that generally, people do not understand how it works. In simple terms, the idea is that if I have to do a financial transaction, for example, to pay somebody, what happens in the traditional finance, is that there is some sort of guarantee or intermediary in the middle, who actually signs off that this transaction has happened. So if I have to pay you some money, basically, it’s the bank that actually has to take out the money from my bank, deposited into your account. And at the same time market, update the balances. And this is how traditional finance works, where we have some sort of centralised authority bank and institution that is actually responsible for maintaining that ledger. Decentralised finance, on the other hand, challenges this concept as a whole. These kinds of transactions should not require a centralised authority, and the network consensus can actually be good enough to be able to update the ledger in a way that the transaction can be put in the ledger and be considered final. So I think this is primarily the core concept of decentralised finance. And basically what it offers is that it eliminates the fees that banks are getting, making out of these transactions. Defi protocols, also charge some sort of fee. But that fee usually goes back to the participants of that protocol, to the people. At the same time, I think one of the other things that we have, is we have quite a lot of bankless people in the world. But when you talk about Defi, all you need to have is a reliable internet connection, and you’re good to go. At the same time, I think there is a kind of a confidence deficit, a mistrust, with the financial institutions, because when you have a custodian who is holding up your assets, either it’s a bank or any other financial institution, you’re not the true owner. So basically with blockchain and the Defi, what it does is that it takes that power from the banks and decentralised authority and put it back into the people’s hands so that you have full control of your money. Because it is secured in a cryptographically secure Wallet. That’s I think that’s pretty much what the foundation of Defi is.

Tina | Atlas DEX 29:30

I think you did a great job. Yeah, that was the hottest question. So you’re lucky I didn’t throw that to you, Michael.

Michael | Fantom 29:37

I think Ahmed basically like nailed it on the head. It’s exactly what you mentioned. It’s really about like replacing the middleman and having the middleman really be the smart contract. And so when the smart contract is transparent, it doesn’t have a bug in it, then you remove a lot of issues to deal with the third party. One issue that the regulated financial system has yet to resolve, is that the trust might not be reciprocated. Somebody can run off the money, somebody can, take the customer’s money and use it to gamble, and then they lose your money, and you’re not aware of that. With a smart contract that is bug-free, you can put your money in that smart contract and be 100% assured that, someone can’t just like steal the money from you, and it’s still going to be there and that you can take it out at any time, according to the rules of the smart contract. And so that transparency and removing the human element with operating financial applications or products is what is the real innovation here. Obviously, some problems need to be ironed out, for example, smart contracts often have bugs in them. But theoretically, it’s a very strong system. And I think, when it becomes easier to develop smart contracts with more security-based tools, etc, I think that will really strengthen Defi as well as any other smart, contract-based application.

Michael | Fantom 30:01

But theoretically, it’s a very strong system. And I think, when it becomes easier to develop smart contracts with more security-based tools, etc, I think that will really strengthen Defi, as well as any other smart, contract-based application.

Tina | Atlas DEX 31:20

I think what someone should do is just write down both of your definitions, and just save it on a blog somewhere, because honestly, both of those descriptions were super clear. I think one of the hardest things that I found from people who are not into crypto, is that they find the onboarding part of Defi quite difficult. So that leads me on to one of my next questions. Defi has grown a lot, you know, we saw Defi summer, and we are still growing. But I think one of the things that will help Defi grow, is onboarding new users. So Ahmed, do you have any thoughts on what you think are the biggest barriers to the onboarding part?

Ahmed | Atlas DEX 32:23

Well, I actually, think that Defi products are inherently innovative and complex. And I think we also need to all admit that it’s rather new, which is the past couple of years, maybe three, or four years, where this phenomenon has emerged. If you go back a few years, you will see that most of these new protocols were created by tech people, and only to be used by engineers or tech-savvy people. So in my opinion, the single biggest and most challenging barrier to entry is that people do not understand how the Defi or how the blockchain in general works. If I may put it it’s really hard for people to digest, where does this magical internet money come from? And does it have any real value in the real world? And I think also, the relationship to the traditional finance is also something which is the biggest for most of these people. So what I believe is that, once the concept has been communicated, how it works, the risk associated with it, the awards associated with and everything is explained in a rather simpler form. I think that is definitely something that is going to bring in a lot of new people into the Defi space.

Tina | Atlas DEX 33:37

Yeah, so definitely, I 100% agree with that and that’s something that I resonate with. Michael, did you have anything to add about that? Are there other things that people building projects should focus on to make it easier to onboard new users?

Michael | Fantom 34:10

I think over time, there’s gonna be more and more people using like, DeFi applications or just crypto in general. The space has grown tremendously over the past few years. You know, we’re still in the early days, because I think, you know, day to day experiences, you know, we can tell you that still a lot of people, like, don’t even know about crypto, have never touched a wallet before. I think over time, it would be just like how the Internet emerged, a few decades ago. Initially, not that many people know how to use it. It’s a bit clunky, using interfaces a bit weird, but then over time, they learn how these things work. And so just like how people learn how to use a browser, I think people will learn how to use Metamask or, you know, or various crypto wallets over time. And so there would be organic growth that will just continue happening over the next few years. In terms of user interfaces, this is something that’s like really important. You know, it’s not just like the smart contract development, it’s not just about like the sophistication of the underlying technology, which of course, is very important for what matters is just like building interfaces that just are familiar to users based on like existing user experiences, or existing user interfaces that the most people are like used to. So I think about, like all sorts of different applications that people use on a daily basis, and think about how you can take inspiration from those user interfaces, and put it to your project. That being said, though, the UI has been getting a lot better for crypto projects in general. Just playing around with, like Atlas DEX, just playing around with like other like DEXs and, and different Defi apps out there. They’re all pretty, like straightforward to use. And, you know, I might be biased by saying that because, you know, I kind of live this the stuff now. And I’m like, really in it. But I think any like newcomer, will find it easier than it has been in the past to get on board and decided to use it. So I think, naturally, the space is just gonna grow over time. And we just need to keep developing and building new, interesting applications. And also, there are a lot of tools that are coming out with regard to you improving online security. And that’s definitely like one of the aims that we have at Fantom. We’re working on the middleware stack that has a new virtual machine, that has security checking principles built into the actual execution of the smart contract rather than higher up the in the programming language stack. But those technologies, you know, are difficult problems to solve, I’m not gonna say otherwise. But I think given enough time, they will be solved, and they will make the Defi experience a lot safer than it currently is.

Tina | Atlas DEX 37:00

Right, I’m glad to hear that you’ve played around with Atlas DEX. So thank you, means a lot to us. I’ve also just noticed now that there might be some people on the call who aren’t as familiar with Atlas DEX. Ahmed, could I ask you to do just a quick intro to what our project does?

Ahmed | Atlas DEX 37:29

Of course, I will try to be brief. With most of the people in this call, we’ve all started using crypto a long time ago, when Uniswap just launched and took everything by storm. I think that when the Defi came in, it was mid of 2019 and late 2019, it kicked off quite a lot. And then we see a lot of growth, as we have been discussing as well over the past couple of years, which is good for the ecosystem, but at the same time, it brought a few issues with it. And one of the issues was liquidity fragmentation. There were you know, a lot of new DEXs are coming up with their own liquidity pools and farming. There are also new tokens, new protocols, and new projects getting launched on the DEXs every day. And then it kind of becomes hard for the end-users to be able to maintain so many different wallets and to be able to, you know, go through all these DEXs and find the tokens that they want, to buy. And I think that is something that we all experienced one way or the other back in the days. And that is how I think Atlas started itself as well. So basically, what we did was that we thought about the problem and said okay, what could be the possible solution. And the possible solution could be that we should have a single unified interface, where we could just go in and connect the wallets that we want to. For example, swapping an SPL token such as the Raydium token on Solana and you can swap it to any other token on any other chain. Before Atlas DEX, people needed to go through all these DEXs to find out where they get the minimum slippage, and what is the best rate, and they have to go through the bridge to manually to move tokens across another chain. So basically, I think these are the pain problems that we identified. And we just tried to come up with a solution that could address this. So Atlas DEX is not a true DEX in the way that we do not have any TVL or any pools or anything, because if we went with the pool, then it’s pretty much we become the part of the problem. What we tried to solve was that we aggregate all this liquidity and bring it into the single user interface. Let’s say, you want to swap an SPL token to an FTM token, what happens is that we will find you the best price and the best asset that can be bridged to Fantom on the Solana ecosystem, we will do the first swap there and then get to the bridge token. We will simplify all the complex details of the bridging and give you a user interface that you could actually, follow and understand. Tokens can then be bridged to Ethereum, Solana, Fantom, Binance Chain, Avalanche or Polygon and eventually a final swap to the token that you need. And to do that, one of the biggest challenges for us was that since, there are a lot of new DEXs popping up with new TVL, and the same token can be listed on 10 different DEXs. Each of them also has different prices, different slippage and different kinds of TVL. For us, it was very important to come up with the algorithms that could solve and find the most optimal route in real-time. And one of the approaches that we took because we do believe in, you know, just building on top of the integrations that are already there. We integrated quite a lot of aggregators. So Atlas DEX itself, you could say is a cross-chain DEX aggregator, aggregator. [Atlas DEX aggregates other DEX aggregators].

Tina | Atlas DEX 41:33

That that definitely super clear. You touched on the cross-chain space and that is such a big part of Defi, especially now, where bridges are becoming huge. Michael, do you have any thoughts, on the importance of the cross-chain space as Defi grows?

Michael | Fantom 42:00

I think, right now, what we’re seeing is that people use, multiple different, chains that are out there. They don’t use like 10 or 20 chains but are using a few, including Fantom. And I think that’s going to be the pattern in the future because it’s quite easy to switch between different chains. And people use multiple chains for all sorts of reasons because maybe they see a particular application or opportunity on a chain. These bridges essentially act as custodians of liquidity. And I see no reason why that trend is going to end, going into the future. That being said, there are some weaknesses with this model, one of them being a critical weakness. Because there is a lot of money in these bridges, some of these bridges have been compromised in the past to varying levels of degrees, and there are losses of a lot of money. But as long as the security is focused upon and improves over time, then it should become less of an issue. I think, there’s going to be increased cross-chain liquidity, and at Fantom, it’s really about how we capture as much of that as possible. One key reason for how we managed to grow as big as we are right now is because we establish good relationships with some of these bridges such as multichain from years ago. They integrated with Fantom and a lot of people move liquidity from Ethereum to Fantom. Working with bridges and expanding our TVL remains a core part of our growth strategy.

Tina | Atlas DEX 43:40

Yeah, I resonate with you when you said that, people typically use a couple of their favourite chains. Ahmed, I want to ask you what parts of Defi are you most excited about? How do you envision the future of Defi will go? Are there any trends that you’re particularly looking forward to?

Ahmed | Atlas DEX 44:08

I think, to be honest, I think this is a space that is just kind of amazing. What we see today is something that we have not expected or anticipated a few years ago. I think, first of all, I truly believe that this is an innovative space. We have a lot of new projects and a lot of new builders coming up every day with some amazingly creative ideas. So definitely, I can’t pinpoint that this is something that I would like to see. But what I can tell you is that I get amazed every day when I look at some of these new projects and new concepts. But at the same time, I think that one of the things that I would like to see grow is how the metaverse is coming along over the past year or so. And I would say that this is kind of a baby space right now. It’s something where people are, just experimenting with different kinds of ideas with different kinds of things. But that is where we believe innovation would pop out. Tonnes of new different projects are coming up, and we are seeing the integrations of Defi with the metaverse, with NFT, the games and everything. So I think that is one area that I look forward to in future.

Tina | Atlas DEX 45:30

Yeah, I 100% agree with that. The Metaverse is super exciting. Michael, did you have any trends that you’re very excited about?

Michael | Fantom 45:38

There’s a lot more growth that’s going to happen in Defi and NFTs as well. I think we’re also going to see more, governments and stock exchanges, experiment with distributed ledger technology. For example, the Australian Securities Exchange is apparently going to be moving its systems to a distributed ledger. You’ll see more experimentation happening, and they will gradually adopt the blockchain. And I think as the technology gets better, as people get more aware of the benefits of blockchain technology over time, you will see a lot more organisations, we’re adopting it. So I’m very bullish on it long term.

Tina | Atlas DEX 46:55

Yeah, 100%. From personal experience, it seems like three out of the four big banks in Australia have already started dabbling into crypto, creating their own stablecoins. It was really surprising to see, especially the scepticism that came through a few years ago. I think you kind of touched on another topic that I’m wanting to ask as well, I think when people talk about Defi, regulation is also a really hot topic. You can’t talk about one without the other sometimes. Do you have any thoughts on that?

Michael | Fantom 47:42

Yeah, that’s a very important question. And that’s something I did want to touch upon, in this conversation. What are the regulations going to play out around the world, and in particular, in the US? Because there’s a discussion right now as to like, whether or not your Defi, DEXs, or, you know, various Defi applications will be classified as exchanges under the purview of the SEC. And I’m not a lawyer on an accountant, so I’m not gonna get it on the legal arguments. But I will say that, you know, if the government were to take a hard-line stance in the US and say, “all Defi or ones that exchange one token to another are deemed exchanges”, then that would put a lot of pressure on the Defi space because this would mean is that all Defi applications will need to have some sort of like, licencing, from the government to act as an exchange. And they would also need to have, like AML, KYC checks instituted. So that, that is a big concern of mine, that is something that I think anyone who wants to go into the Defi space should be paying particular attention to, because if there are some negative regulations that come out, particularly in the US. This is something that could have an impact on what you’re doing and, and your job and that sort of thing. That being said, it seems like in the US they’re not just saying that crypto is bad and needs to be regulated of existence. If you kind of look at the paper that the executive branch put out, and you also look at some of the other discussions because people do talk a lot about, you know, the benefits of crypto about the jobs that have been created about how Defi works, how blockchains could be like the new internet and all that. There are a lot of like lobbying efforts going on, there are a lot of like, what is known as political action committees in the US that are lobbying on behalf of, crypto users, and having a positive blockchain/crypto environment. Whether regulations will actually swing one way or the other, is something to keep in mind. Hopefully, governments impose reasonable regulations, that doesn’t stifle innovation in this space. Because if they do that, it will give people a lot more confidence to build in Defi or blockchains and not have to be worried about, regulations or that sort of thing, later down the line. This is one of the big unknowns that I think some people on the sidelines who maybe want to get into the space are kind of like waiting and seeing what happens.

Tina | Atlas DEX 50:52

I so appreciate you sharing your views, those weren’t easy questions. It’s a very hot topic. So thanks so much for sharing your views on that. And always, so well put in all your answers!

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