In October, Symbiosis Finance’s cross-chain swap protocol raised $2 million in funding from Blockchain.com Ventures, Primitive Ventures, Avalanche, and others.
In December, we spoke with the co-founder and CMO Symbiosis Finance Nick Avramov. He spoke about the project team, the features of Symbiosis Finance cross-chain swaps and the upcoming launch of the protocol.
Cryplogger: Hello Nick! Tell us about yourself. How did you get into the crypto industry?
Nick Avramov: Hey! In 2016, when I was graduating from the Graduate School of Management at St. Petersburg State University. My teacher advised me to write a master’s thesis on blockchain.
I remember the first time I read the bitcoin white paper and began to understand how cryptography works based on elliptic curves. Later I published part of my master’s work on Medium.
In 2017, I worked for a company that arbitrated traffic on Facebook and Google. It was the year of the ICO. I started looking for blockchain marketing projects and got a job in one of them as a community manager.
A few months later, I realized that the crypto industry is more interesting than advertising and completely immersed myself in this area: I participated in the road show of several cryptocurrency projects in China, and also worked in the Digital Horizon venture fund.
Cryplogger: When and how did the idea of Symbiosis Finance come about?
Nick Avramov: In September 2020, although there was no name yet, we were just investigating the problem of liquidity fragmentation in blockchains. In January 2021, we started working on the code base of the project, and in the summer we started looking for investors.
Cryplogger: How did you get the support of Blockchain.com and other big market players at an early stage?
Nick Avramov: We took the path of the classical venture. In June 2021, we started writing cold letters on LinkedIn, made presentations, showed the repositories and the project development plan to investors. They did what they teach in business school.
Blockchain.com played a big role in attracting investments. We received some positive responses, but it was the support of Peter Smith and Sam Harrison that made the difference. For this we are very grateful to them.
Cryplogger: And who is behind the word “we”? Can you tell us about the Symbiosis Finance team?
Nick Avramov: The team is truly stellar. The core developers of the protocol have known each other for almost five years. Among them are people from Zerion and a number of other projects.
The former team leader of Yandex and the Japanese conglomerate Rakuten is responsible for security. The head of the repeater network development team previously led open source projects in the Russian division of IBM.
Cryplogger: What are you working on now?
Nick Avramov: The main priority is the mainnet launch in January 2022. We recently released a mobile SDK and will start piloting integrations with wallets soon.
Cryplogger: How is Symbiosis Finance different from the ThorChain protocol?
Nick Avramov: Unlike ThorChain, we use the classical model AMM– pools. This approach eliminates the need to stake a native token, in the case of ThorChain – RUNE. Liquidity providers Symbiosis Finance independently assess the risks of volatility of pairs in the pool.
We are focused on transferring tokens in networks with growing DeFi ecosystems, while ThorChain is focused on transferring native blockchain tokens.
Cryplogger: Symbiosis Finance works with EVM-incompatible blockchains?
Nick Avramov: The protocol supports blockchains with smart contracts that allow key generation EdDSA/ECDSA, such as Solana and Near. The complexity of integration depends on the virtual machines of such blockchains.
In networks like bitcoin, AMM logic cannot be executed. However, if they support time-locked hash contracts (HTLC), Symbiosis Finance creates a cross-chain bridge to exchange native assets.
Cryplogger: Tell us about the specifics of the protocol’s liquidity pools.
Nick Avramov: Symbiosis Finance uses pools with stablecoins: in the case of an exchange between PancakeSwap and Uniswap, BUSD and USDC.
The protocol is looking for the most profitable way to exchange on decentralized exchanges – using the 1inch liquidity aggregator in EVM networks and its own solution in blockchains without EVM support.
With this approach, you do not need to install special software. The exchange can be done in one click through MetaMask.
Cryplogger: How do you solve the problem of uneven exchange, which leads to an increase in the balance of one asset in one network and a decrease in another?
Nick Avramov: We are rebalancing pools and incentivizing affiliates to equalize prices when there is a high demand for a certain direction of exchange.
For example, if users often exchange Tether from Ethereum to Binance Smart Chain, arbitrageurs do the opposite with a premium.
Cryplogger: Tell us about the relay network. How to run a node in it?
Nick Avramov: This is a separate network whose nodes monitor events on blockchains and then sign and send transactions of Symbiosis Finance users.
We will launch it in several stages. The early version will have 15 nodes that are synchronized using a smart contract on the Ethereum network. Then we will gradually increase the number of nodes and translate the logic of the relay network into a sidechain.
To run a node, you need to stake SIS tokens. The size of the collateral depends on the stake of other participants, however, it cannot go below 50,000 SIS.
Cryplogger: Do you plan to transfer the control of the protocol to the control of the DAO?
Nick Avramov: Yes, but not right now: such a transition will complicate the process of making decisions on updating the protocol. It is rather our long-term goal.
Everything has a price, including decentralization. At the moment, Symbiosis Finance has to develop and move very quickly: the market is very active and the competition is only growing.
Cryplogger: How do you see the future of Symbiosis Finance?
Nick Avramov: We want to do Symbiosis Finance cross-chain communication standard. We can say that this is the cherished dream of our team.
I hope that in the future, third-party projects will use our work and create additional services based on the protocol.