Thank you to the Infinity Chain for participating in Ask Me Anything (AMA) with Portal DeFi 4 February, 2022. This guest star,

  • George Burke — Co Founder
  • Dr Chandra Duggirala — Co Founder, Product
  • Hanson So — Partner, B21 Capital

Introduction

George Burke,
My name is George Burke, a co-founder at Portal. Our team started working on this since 2018 but I’ve been involved in bitcoin since early 2013. Always a believer in censorship resistant, egalitarian technologies.

I built a bitcoin/altcoin exchange in 2013 which was sold. I later went on to build the first bitcoin debit card in the US called FreshPay.

Prior to crypto, I launched the first “netflix for books” subscription club.

I also currently run the first-ever bitcoin meetup — Silicon Valley Bitcoin — SVBTC.org — first started by Roger Ver and Andreas Antonopolous

Our company, Portal, recently announced an ~$8.5M raise to give birth to DeFi built on Bitcoin.

We believe financial applications should be built on the protocol that is most likely to become the base money layer. Portal makes DeFi unstoppable with anonymous, zero-knowledge swaps via the first true cross-chain DEX that’s genuinely trustless. Unlike Uniswap/others, Portal eliminates minting wrapped coins (ie wBTC, wETH) or risky staking with intermediaries. Trading across incompatible blockchains is now just 1-click, trustless and private.

Fabric protocol, our layer 2 & 3 technology powering Portal, enables building censorship-resistant communications, media and one-click cross-chain swaps, all on Bitcoin (along with all its security advantages).

QUESTIONS MODERATOR

Why did Portal choose built on Bitcoin? What are some of problems/pain points that Portal aims to solve?

George Burke,
Let’s first discuss the WHY we’re solving problems with the ecosystem before we get into HOW we’re solving them.

The motive behind Portal is expression of self-sovereignty. Portal is to cryptotrading what Tor is to p2p communication. Portal is an unstoppable p2p exchange.

For Bitcoin to become money, we need a censorship resistant, peer to peer trading system that crosses blockchains. That’s why we are building DeFi using cross chain atomic swaps. BItcoin is strengthened by building many layers of functionality.

OK… now what are we fixing?

Today’s DeFi and DEXs have problems with:
1) High gas fees: we utilize layer 2 for cross-chain swaps by which nodes can communicate hundreds or thousands of messages/transactions prior to settling on the main chain.

2) Poor UX: We agree the user experience for DEX trading has been awful so far. We have a beautiful non-custodial wallet that is as easy to use as Coinbase but self-sovereign and trust-minimized, where you can store coins and trade from within the same interface. We’ve worked years on developing this.

3) Asset locking & asset replication: The wrapping and locking of funds onto other chains by these so-called “cross-chain” DEXes are neither trustless nor decentralized, nor are they even cross-chain! BitGo custodies the majority of the billions of locked up BTC. As we saw with the recent $600M hack, these DEXes are honeypots waiting to happen. Atomic swaps solves this. Wrapping tokens becomes a thing of the past since coins of incompatible chains can be traded natively and without a risky middle-man. Each party’s funds are only locked during trade execution and not re-bonded or replicated onto other chains for eternity.

1) Building a secure layer 1 system is incredibly hard. We don’t want to do that; Fabric uses the layer 1 system that already exists and therefore we use Bitcoin as OUR layer 1.

In Portal’s DEX, the contracts don’t depend on anything other than the trading pairs’ native chains… say BTC<>ETH. We are harnessing the security already built into Bitcoin and into Ethereum; the atomic swap contracts are minimal. Independently audited and tested to the max by a truly decentralized network before going live over the course of the past 5 years.

Unlike wrappers and bridges, these coins are not re-bonded into Portal and are not honeypots. The community treasury does not contain exposed user’s funds. The exposure is limited only to the token which is being traded — NOT what is bonded. This is the main difference between the Portal project and other so-called false “cross-chain DEX” projects. The flaw in bonding/wrapping is double the exposure for a breach in security; be it theft, risk, hacking. It’s like making a duplicate -or a triplicate- of your house key. The Portal project is designed to protect your key- the reliance on simple and native atomic swaps means there isn’t anything to expose. This is possible through the use of Fabric Protocol technology, which is an internet built on the layer 1 blockchain of bitcoin — the timechain itself.

2) Bitcoin provides the security; no need to implement a new system and attempt to garner superior adoption. Bitcoin is the most decentralized and secure system and we think it is the monetary layer. If you want to build functionality, financial contracts, and beyond, it makes sense to build it on top of the monetary layer vs any other layer. More importantly, layers of functionality enable bitcoin to capture the value, but not the risk of a failure of a layer 2 system.

What security is implemented for Portal?

George Burke,
I’ll reiterate my answer from: https://t.me/InfinityChains/288971

Bitcoin provides the security; no need to implement a new system and attempt to garner superior adoption. Bitcoin is the most decentralized and secure system and we think it is the monetary layer. If you want to build functionality, financial contracts, and beyond, it makes sense to build it on top of the monetary layer vs any other layer. More importantly, layers of functionality enable bitcoin to capture the value, but not the risk of a failure of a layer 2 system.

Who are Portal current partners and backers? How can Portal partners help in development ecosystem?

George Burke,
1) Angels who backed us are allstars:
There are senior executives and founders from Ethereum, DFINITY, MobileCoin, Tether (USDT), Galaxy Digital, Bitcoin.com, Republic, Centre.io (USDC), Polymath, Æternity, Hedera Hashgraph, Reef Finance, GlobeDX, FIO, Portion, Ankr, Bounce Token, and 4K.

2) I’ll list several institutional investors of Portal here, both large and small:
GenBlock, Taureon, ArkStream Capital, Republic Capital, Lotus Cap, RenGen, Shima Capital, OKEx Blockdream Ventures, Perpetual Value, Garthowen Capital, ArringtonXRP, LD Capital, Krypital Group, AC Capital, Æternity, Wave7, Damo Labs, WealthUnion Ventures, a41 Ventures, RR2 Capital, MarketAcross, CryptoDiffer, Supra Oracles, NetVRk, Kyros Ventures, BigCoin Vietnam, Moonwhale Ventures, Titans Ventures, Krish1, Exnetwork, X21 Digital, Formless Capital, Gate.io, Banana Capital, Criterion VC, MoonBoots Capital, B21 Capital, Regain Ventures, FFVentures, DCI, VD Gem Capital, R-930 Capital, Maven Capital, BCA Investments, Crypto Avengers, INTR Ventures, INV Ventures, Crypto Banter.

So many! Sorry if I’m missing a few…

Some are exchanges with whom we hope to announce some partnerships soon. Others are blockchains & coin issuers that are looking to have their coin swappable within the Portal DEX ecosystem as an atomic swap. Others are communities and media outlets that want to spread the good word about our technology.

Please inform Portal roadmap and also what phase is currently taking place? What is strategic plan of Portal in the future?

George Burke,
Before roadmap, let’s start with accomplishments so far: We invented zero-knowledge swaps, which fix the Layer 1 “Tier Nolan” atomic swap problems. In addition, our CEO invented the Fabric protocol (the protocol Portal uses to build p2p ZK circuits for Fully Homomorphic Encryption), and has been used to build peer-to-peer communications and decentralized other apps.

With the atomic swaps integrated into Fabric, we are rebuilding the Web from client server model to an uncensorable, decentralized architecture.

As for roadmap, we can announce that in only a couple of weeks we are launching our public sale on one of the most prestigious launchpads in the world, Republic, and unlike most other high profile projects, we are allowing investors from the US. If you’d like to participate, you’ll first need to be on the whitelist, available at https://PortalDeFi.com/whitelist. We will also be announcing a number of partnerships with other tier 1 blockchain issuers over the coming weeks.

On the regulatory front, we have been seeing SEC lawsuits to various token projects for raising on an unregistered security; potentially fraud. This can result in a fine of millions or send teams to jail. Any issuer who promises an investor tokens is irreparably tethering the network token to the fundraise and will forever make that token a security. We will see any tokens deemed securities to be banned from trading on non-brokerage exchanges (which is pretty much all of them). Our fundraise is specifically designed to preserve the non-security nature of a digital asset that runs on the decentralized network, and therefore is never sold, given away, airdropped, etc. This way it can always be as freely transferrable as BTC itself.

Last, with regard to roadmap, Portal is a completely community-driven development. The community will determine roadmap and features post-launch. We’re excited to see where the community drives the project as they push the bitcoin interoperability ecosystem forward.

QUESTIONS TWITTER

How will Potal DeFi replace the web server model that is prone to centralization by design and architecture with a free marketplace for data and computation? How will you extend the functionality of Bitcoin without the need for any BIP?

George Burke,
To answer this, you need to know what Portal is and its underlying technology, Fabric. https://fabric.pub

1) Fabric is the protocol, built ON BITCOIN, for peer-to-peer message passing and contracting using bitcoin as the security layer. All of the layered networks built using Fabric can use portal to exchange into Bitcoin and other assets. It is a natural fit to have the team unified and aligned.

2) Portal, built on Fabric, is enabling atomic swaps for coins across incompatible blockchains; trust-minimized trading using the security model of bitcoin.

3) Here’s what’s so exciting and unique about atomic swaps:
Atomic transaction means either the entire cross chain contract (typically updating of both ledgers) happens all in one piece. For example, if you “atomic swap” your Bitcoin with someone’s ETH, either you get their money and they get yours, or nothing happens. It provides guarantees of a secure execution of an exchange without a trusted third party.

Fabric splits contracts into “ZK Swarms” — allowing all network participants to agree to contracts on their own terms. These are “multi party contracts”, with each peer earning Bitcoin for computing their part in the program. It does this at “layer 3”, which provides the privacy PLUS fungibility of transactions.

With the atomic swaps integrated into Fabric, we are rebuilding the Web from client server model to an uncensorable, decentralized architecture.

There’s something our CEO Eric Martindale said in a recent AMA (republished here https://medium.com/@Portal_team/portal-discord-ama-1-18-2022-92ba97aaa991):

“We actually do want to include a marketplace but not now. Not before we get the full implementation of the exchange in place but once the exchange is up and running there are many other features and services for which we’d like to have a marketplace within the Portal application. This gets to the same idea of being able to create multiple interoperable products. Perhaps Portal offers additional products down the line that do things other than just trading. Maybe some of those services are financial and ideally whoever builds those applications, whether it’s a user or us, the company or other companies, they can provide that application as a consumable product within other applications because the protocols are compatible between each of the applications. You can imagine things like price-prediction models. You can do backtesting against this kind of paper trading thing. If you had made this trade, how would you have done? Even price feeds for centralized oracles if it’s some sort of API. I mean you can imagine “Metadata” or “Sentiment” data. These are all services that can exist inside of a Fabric speaking network and using that you know people will have the opportunity to kind of make money by adding/creating Value-Add services for this new decentralized system but great suggestion. I think paper trading would be fun. Might even be able to launch some kind of contest. I appreciate the suggestion and as always for everybody. Please keep community feedback coming. It has been very helpful over the past couple of weeks as we move through this troubled time.”

Now, with that context in-hand, we can answer the question asked…

The design details are forthcoming, but the mechanic is simple — we are creating an “information market” whereby the user broadcasts a request for a specific document (such as a web page, an image, a stylesheet, etc.) and anyone who has a copy of that document may send a response containing 1) a proof they hold the document, and 2) a price that must be paid to receive the document.

DeFi Swap Portal is the solution you have developed by implementing the revolutionary ZK-Swaps technology. So, can you explain how this technology works in your P2P solution? What are the positive and negative points of using this technology? What are the main benefits?

George Burke,
Actually, I already explained the HOW here, regarding ZK circuits at Layer 2 and Layer 3: https://t.me/InfinityChains/289000

But WHY zero-knowledge (ZK)? Why privacy?
How can a decentralized exchange layer be truly censorship-resistant if traders are known and addresses can be traced? So, Fabric technology enables ZK circuit creation which, when implemented, opens the door to a whole host of new methods of obfuscating transactions without losing verifiability.

For Bitcoin to become money, we need a censorship resistant, peer-to-peer trading system that crosses blockchains.

Based on what I read on your website, PORTAL wants to change the paradigm in DeFi with second layer solutions and bitcoin. Can you tell me about how this combination can benefit a strong trend in a market like NFT? Is bitcoin compatible with NFT?

George Burke,
Yes, NFTs are hot.

I already see incompatible siloes being problematic because an NFT on one chain cannot be accessed through smart contracts on another chain.

Since Portal is all about cross-chain, trustless interoperability, I can see a future where we may be able to bridge the gaps between siloed NFT platforms. I also see a future where a single NFT can be bonded with several FUNGIBLE tokens being minted for fractionated ownership. Fabric’s technology would enable Portal to build both of these awesome NFT-features… HOWEVER, our roadmap is community driven and they will be the ones to direct the development team down that path. We shall see!

Do you have any plans to build a ( DAO ) on the Portal ecosystem? If yes, what is needed to build a DAO?

George Burke,
I am actually a huge fan of DAOs in general. Decentralized autonomous organization. ONe of the things you can use bitcoin for today, and even better with taproot, is mirror the idea of coporation on the blockchain. We can’t talk about our own internal plans. Among the top items on my list though. You can use an on-chain bitcoin multi-sig. THe depositors, who own a share of. The owning parties have a staking vote over funds. One of the core features of the fabric protocol making the establishing and something of a peer to peer contract easy. Design goals of fabric. Portal will be making good use of those features throughout the software. Not relying on a regid static system, rather having a dynamic peer to peer governnance system. We are building exaxctly wat a DAO needs, the free establishment of peer to peer contracts.

Are Portal projects really care community? Does Portal receive feedback and demand from your community for any ideas or development plans? Do any Portals have events like quiz, memes or others for your community members?

George Burke,
Yup, yup, and yup. Come chat with us at

https://t.me/portalgroupchat

QUESTIONS TELEGRAM

Where can I buy your tokens for sure now? What is the address of your current contract and how can I buy them and what are the benefits?

George Burke,
We cannot discuss tokens or token price. Why? On the regulatory front, we have been seeing SEC lawsuits to various token projects for raising on an unregistered security; potentially fraud. This can be as little as a fine of millions or as bad as going to jail. Any issuer who promises an investor tokens is irrepairably tethering the network token to the fundraise and will forever make that token a security. We will see any tokens deemed securities to be banned from trading on non-brokerage exchanges (which is pretty much all of them).

Instead, Portal’s fundraise — happening IN 2 WEEKS through a compliant securities offering on the best lauchpad in the world, Republic — is specifically designed to preserve the non-security nature of a digital asset that runs on the decentralized network, and therefore is never sold, given away, airdropped, etc. This way it can always be as freely transferrable as BTC itself.

For more info on this, see the writeup we did on this compliant fundraise model here: https://blog.portaldefi.com/no-ico. Compound and Chia used a similar mechanism.

Your project name seems to be very interesting. Does it have any story behind it? Can you share us with the inspiron for approaching to this name?

George Burke,
The name Portal stems from our plan to be THE GATEWAY to decentralized finance.

The motive behind Portal is expression of self-sovereignty. Portal is to cryptotrading what Tor is to p2p communication. Portal is an unstoppable p2p exchange.

Our team started in 2018 by building a self-sovereign multi-currency wallet that allows people to trade at many centralized exchanges right from within the wallet interface, but quickly noticed that the biggest point of failure for the entire crypto ecosystem exists at the layer of exchange. So between 2019 through to today, we’ve been concentrating on making trading coins as trustless as can be and decided to focus on making cross-chain atomic swaps usable, practical, and fast. Portal, at the layer of trade, will free up so much potential within the ecosystem.

For Bitcoin to become money, we need a censorship resistant, peer to peer trading system that crosses blockchains. That’s why we are building DeFi using cross chain atomic swaps. BItcoin is strengthened by building many layers of functionality.

Nearly 85% of investors only focus on short-term token price instead of understanding the real value of the project. Can you tell us the motivations and benefits for investors to hold your tokens in the long-term❓

George Burke,
Convincing investors to invest is not our primary objective. Obviously it is a great side effect of our efforts, however we are not in the business of soliciting investors. We are more concerned with developing a product that the community trusts, uses, and, most importantly, embraces. Portal the network doesn’t depend on us, and is not controlled by us — the ultimate security. You want p2p systems to be secure against any 1 point of failure. The participants in the Portal network make or break the system- not us. Once it is live, because the community is the wind in the sales, the decentralized community has complete authority over the network.

I read that Portal is a platform that will combine the best of Bitcoin and Layer 2, but isn’t the Layer 2 solution only compatible with a few networks that are fully DeFi? If so, how will it be compatible with Bitcoin when it has not yet been fully decentralized?

George Burke,
Whether or not a network is fully decentralized is not what allows for compatibility with Portal, or the underlying architecture, Fabric. Even centralized networks can interoperate with Portal. We have no problem with this.

There is a simple answer: Cross-chain Atomic Swaps are what enables interoperability other chains, regardless of the status of that chain’s decentralization.

‘STAKING’’ is one of the STRATEGIES to ATTRACT USERS and HOLD Them long term. Does your GREAT PROJECT have plan about Staking??

George Burke,
We must be very careful when describing network mechanics before the public sale in order to keep the digital asset from being classified a security, but here’s what I can reveal:

There is a non-security digital asset that runs the mechanics of the network. Portal’s protocol does involve facilitators who ensure trades occur. Facilitators may stake the digital asset and receive rewards for their facilitation service. Liquidity Providers (AKA market takers) also receive rewards for their service. Additionally, we’re exploring the ability for certain network-positive actions to be taken that utilizes the digital asset and be paid a distribution of revenue % the network generates. More on this to come.

You can learn more about the network and exchange facilitators in the whitepaper: https://go.portaldefi.com/whitepaper

Telegram Chat | Telegram Channel | Twitter | Website | Discord

Thank you for trusting Infinity Chain as the organizer of the event today, hopefully everyone can understand about Portal DeFi.

Join our Telegram Group and you can talk directly with other Communities and enjoy some of the events that we created. We are always here to support.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Infinity_Chain News

Infinity_Chain News

Telegram Chat : @InfinityChains Telegram ANN : @InfinityChain_News Twitter : twitter.com/Infinity_Chains Website : Infinitychain.news