The answer is, all of the above. Perhaps one of the most fundamental philosophical tenets of cryptocurrency is the ability to completely own one’s portfolio of assets- without a middleman. Currently, the vast majority of the most widely-adopted cryptocurrency exchanges are centralized. These include Bittrex, Binance, Coinbase and its trading subsidiary GDAX.
Decentralized exchanges exist, but are often hard to use, have no liquidity, and are slow. David Bleznak, CEO of the project, aims to shake up the current state of decentralized exchanges with a beautifully crafted decentralized exchange aggregator, Totle. When asked about the the conception of the idea of Totle, Bleznak explained:
“Totle was first conceived about a year ago when I started trading on EtherDelta. The experience of a true decentralized exchange felt revolutionary and cumbersome at the same time. The concept is remarkable but the interface and UX, in general, made my head hurt. I knew immediately this could be done better. After studying existing projects such as 0x, Bancor and Kyber, I participated in their community channels and even contributed to the ICO’s of these projects. The vast difference among the DEX platforms in development drew me to find a solution that would allow a user to interact with all of the protocols and order systems from one interface. That is exactly what Totle does. The problem similarly exists in the centralized exchange world, but aggregated interface solutions such as Coinigy were already far along and my intuition was that DEXs were going to grow in popularity significantly over the next 2-5 years. You have to skate where the puck is going in a sense.”
Totle caught the attention of Han Yoon, CEO of Lunar Digital Assets, last month at the Crypto Invest Summit held in Los Angeles. “I was walking around checking out all kinds of interesting booths when Totle caught my eye with its beautiful UI. At a first glance, I thought it was just a another portfolio management tool– but when I saw the tech behind it and the integration of aggregated DEX order books, I knew that the Totle team is doing something very special and absolutely necessary in the industry. Beautiful UI and easy UX is what is necessary to bring these types of tools to the masses, and I commend Totle and wish them nothing but luck,” Yoon said.
Decentralized exchanges, like blockchains, operate as a distributed ledger. These platforms do not hold customers’ personal information, account balances, portfolio allocations, and fund positions, according to Totle. Just like other decentralized protocols, there is no single point of failure (making it subject to higher tolerance for DDoS attacks, phishing scams, and exit scams). Secondly, Totle points out that a decentralized exchange can operate without conflicting interests between users and central authorities.
Totle, a decentralized exchange, aims to empower the users by granting them control over their portfolios, providing anonymity, and full custody of their assets. Currently, Totle aggregates the orderbooks of a handful of other established decentralized exchanges, such as Bancor, Airswap, Kyber and Ether Delta. When asked about the integration of other non-Ethereum platforms, such as NEO and Stratis, Jordan Lyall, member of the Totle team confirmed: “When the protocols allow, we will build Totle out on any and all smart contract platform.”
The benefits of this aggregating order books, according to Totle, is so that trades will have lower latency, ensure more liquidity, and more equalized pricing. Furthermore, Totle’s established partnerships with two of the biggest players from the hardware wallet/cold storage front: Ledger and Trezor. They’ve made it so that users can trade directly from their hardware wallets.
When asked about the biggest hurdles that they are currently facing, Jordan Lyall answered two main points: scalability & infrastructure issues in the blockchain, and the lack of talent.
The first simply has to do with how immature this industry is. Ethereum is not scalable to the point where most of the desired use cases can operate efficiently on the network. This will take some time, but is being worked on by the best and smartest people. Liquidity and DEX infrastructure reliability is a separate issue and will come more naturally with improvements to Ethereum. In order for a truly trustless exchange to exist, order matching must occur on-chain and those models have major issues today due to the limitations of the Ethereum network’s throughput.Talent is also a major problem because most people who are smart enough to develop in this space can very easily and cost-effectively act as a sole proprietor due to the ecosystem’s architecture. Value is democratized and publishers can be rewarded for their contributions to the community by issuing their own token or buying Ethereum/tokens as an investment. The concept of a rent-seeking centralized entity governed by a hierarchical bureaucracy is simply less efficient than a distributed network because our society is realizing that there is a blurred line between a contributor and customer. The best talent in the space does not want to work “for” someone but rather “with” other like-minded people. This causes a perceived lack of qualified candidates to corporations who are used to the traditional hiring process. The truth is the enlightened and capable simply do not want to work for corporations, they want to contribute to a DAO and consume the products and services of DAOs.
David Bleznak is currently the CEO of Totle, whose experience in commercial real estate, finance, and business administration led him to enter the crypto exchange space in 2014.
Sergey Tsyba, the CTO, has experience founding two other startups in online media and DDoS protection. He served as CTO for Wisecredit Ltd., a fintech startup that provided risk management solutions.
Jordan Lyall, Chief Product Officer, has been a serial tech entrepreneur his whole life and is “obsessed with bringing design and usability to crypto.”
Totle is slated to launch officially in June 2018, but you can sign up for BETA access right now on their website.
Disclaimer: we are not affiliated with Totle in any way, nor was this a sponsored post.