Greetings Qredonians. Finally, transparency and self-custody are in the spotlight!
Since the earliest days of Qredo, the team believed that at some point in the future all exchanges would need to go non-custodial.
We believed the driver would be the slow and steady increase in regulation. Thanks to the recent fallout in the markets, the inflection point may indeed be very near.
In truth, it was actually the spectacular collapse of FTX that was the straw breaking the camel's back. As we watch the FTX insolvency proceedings unravel, the sheer scale of chicanery on display has driven the market to rapidly demand better transparency.
Trust in centralized operators is at an absolute low, and rightly so. This has caused both users and providers to explore ways to give their users access to products and services, directly from self-custody.
Why trust a black box when on-chain infrastructure can give you an almost real-time window into certain activities? This is exactly why we built the Qredo Network, to create a radically transparent suite of services, for builders, institutions, and individual users alike.
Our mission is more relevant than ever – Qredo will make on-chain, enterprise-grade self-custody accessible to everyone. In this post, I'll tie together recent developments and talk about why we are so excited for the Ankex Exchange.
So why did Qredo decide to incubate an exchange?
This is the story of how Ankex went from an idea, to fully focused incubation.
Through 2022, we toured various exchanges (which shall remain unnamed) and started showcasing the virtues of what we call "on-chain custody". We told the story of how the Qredo Network can give any platform, dApp or CEX the ability to give their users access to products and services, all from self-custody. We told how the movement of funds would be transparent and viewable, in real-time, thanks to the Qredo Network's Block Explorer. We even went as far as to say, "Hey, this could probably solve your Proof of Assets issues!"
The universal response was at best tepid – and I'll paraphrase: "Yeah, that's great, but we prefer to keep users' assets. They trust us, and it also keeps them sticky on our platform."
To say that we were disheartened would be an understatement.
At this point, we decided to build it ourselves, and the seed of Ankex, a high-performance non-custodial exchange, was planted. When we watched the horrific collapse of FTX, one long weekend in November, as we scrambled to get inbound users set up with self-custody whilst the market was imploding, I recall immediately messaging a handful of the management team - we all knew instinctively this was the moment to get moving on Ankex.
Ankex is a huge demonstration of the power of self-custody, revealing in a very direct way how Qredo technology can underpin the emergence of new ecosystems, hybrid services, dApps and exchanges which protect and empower users in profound and powerful ways.
As we've built Ankex, we've learned exactly what users need to do to be prepared for self-custody. This knowledge is designed into our new service ClearVault.
ClearVault is an API that will power off-exchange custody and settlement for both retail and institutional users. On this, much more to come.
All clearing of collateral on Ankex (i.e. the movement of funds from user self-custody to the exchange's wallets) takes place and is recorded immutably and transparently on the Qredo Network.
Ankex can choose to do this in real-time, or batch settlements on an intra-day basis. Qredo was always created to facilitate transparent, real-time Layer 2 settlement of assets, and this is the perfect use case to demonstrate this.
Since all transactions moving across the Qredo Network accrue a Qredo Protocol fee, we also see in Ankex an excellent, sustained and purposeful utility for QRDO, defining and driving the future growth of transaction and protocol fees.
The short answer. What we have seen is centralized exchanges scramble to offer "off-exchange custody" or "cold storage" to their users (amongst others, Binance and their custody arm, Ceffu).
We've seen other custody technology providers move to build "off-exchange" custody and settlement systems.
We haven't seen a provision which secures and enables exchange directly from self-custody for all.
These are movements in recognition of an important reality, but the hard truth that needs telling here is this.
Firstly, new off-exchange custody solutions are mostly only available to institutions. We think that's simply wrong, and we know that individuals deserve just as much protection in self-custody of their digital assets as any firm.
Trust in custodians and centralized third parties to hold the keys to your funds has quite rightly been lost in the wider ecosystem, after some stunning failings. It's time for crypto to return to what it was always supposed to be about – the decentralization of financial systems.
Qredo brings technology which can protect individuals in holding their digital assets exactly where they should be - in their own hands.
Ankex is an exchange that is designed so that it needn't be trusted – since it operates whilst keeping your assets squarely in self-custody, matching funds on the exchange via a collateral system which all operates and is recorded on a Layer 2 blockchain, Qredo Network.
This is truly trustless technology.
All custodial solutions are either trust-based or rely on convoluted legal arrangements that are largely untested. Most other decentralized exchanges suffer from liquidity, speed or other related issues which hamper growth and performance.
Ankex brings the best of both worlds – the security of the best DEX with the speed and agility of the best CEX. At the heart of it all, lies your self-custody of your own digital assets.
When you trade on Ankex, your assets are yours, always. When they are due and payable to someone else, Qredo's on-chain custody can take care of the transactions and will do, automatically – without any middleman, without anyone charging you to hold on to your keys. Clear, simple, secure, and all yours.
Ankex recently welcomed Michael Moro as its CEO. This is a huge development.
Michael brings a wealth of experience, having led Genesis as its CEO until August last year. Michael led Genesis from the ground up, and has the builder credentials that Ankex needs to develop a world-class management team.
Ankex's first milestone is the launch of the Ankex Alpha in May, when early users and testers will get their hands on the platform and be able to trade in a live environment via the Web App as well as the APIs.
The Qredo team is working hand in glove with the growing Ankex team, and we cannot wait for Ankex to launch and for you to get the chance to dive into true trustless trading.
All the very best to all of you Qredonians, until we speak again,