Interview with Ryan Berkun, Founder & CEO of Fabrx
Ryan Berkun, Founder & CEO of Fabrx talking about building on the new decentralized web.
Hello! What’s your background, and what are you working on?
Ryan Berkun from Fabrx here. I am a self-taught software dev, now turned blockchain entrepreneur. I became a major fan of Andreas Antonopolous in the early days of 2017, and quickly went down the crypto rabbit hole. The idea of open access to financial instruments inspired me to launch Coinplan, a marketplace for cryptocurrency portfolios, with the goal of building a decentralized Betterment. Since then, our team has shifted focus into building an extensive toolkit of Web 3.0 and open financial adaptors. We enable both companies and individuals to seamlessly tie into Web 3.0 technologies and, soon, their own decentralized financial products.
Fabrx is a Web 3.0 automation and middleware platform. We connect the many layers of Web 3.0 technology into a single, accessible interface allowing developers to seamlessly integrate Web 3.0 functionality in their own platforms. No need to worry about gas fees, nodes, Web 3.0 providers, or deep blockchain functionality. Simply plug Fabrx into your application today and access the decentralized web, with less than 5 lines of code.
The Fabrx Platform makes it easy for businesses to incorporate seamless integration and interoperability with Web 3.0 and blockchain platforms. A number of cloud-based services are offered — such as Service Suites and Adaptors — that make it easy to access the decentralized web from any legacy platform. These solutions provide a simple and familiar interface that allows organizations to unlock the potential of Web 3.0 and achieve new use cases.
What’s Fabrx backstory?
The concept for Fabrx grew naturally out of building on Web 3.0. We personally felt the uphill battle needed for developers to integrate Web 3.0 functionality into their platform. This steep learning curve has turned many bright developers away from the blockchain ecosystem. We set out to build Fabrx with the mission of opening access to blockchain technology to all end developers.
Now, we are proud to say that Web 2.0 developers can hop onto Fabrx and, within 5 minutes, implement Web 3.0 functionality. An example of this is the ability to launch your own ERC-721 token with one API call (seriously, that’s it).
In building the platform, the Fabrx team is extremely fortunate to have received significant support from the 0x team. They have provided major support for the development and growth of the Fabrx platform.
What went into building the Fabrx?
The team started building Fabrx around January of 2019 and since that time, the decentralized finance and tokenization space has grown exponentially. The Fabrx platform is separated into three layers allowing developers to create tokens, spin up exchanges or relayers, and access technology with little to no code and within just a few minutes.
Fabrx API (Layer 1)
Plug into a single API for access to every Web 3.0 application in a 1:1 manner. No need to worry about API updates, brakes, or deprecation. Fabrx has you covered.
Fabrx Service Suite (Layer 2)
The service suite offers higher level Web 3.0 functionality for developers to perform specific actions. Currently, they offer the ability to launch, issue, and transfer non-fungible tokens, with less than 5 lines of code. The ability to spin up your own secondary marketplace or exchange, backed by the 0x Protocol, from a single API call will soon be available.
Fabrx Point and Click Automation (Layer 3)
The Fabrx Point and Click Automation interface enables product and business managers to launch Web 3.0 applications without code.
While Fabrx does not write smart contracts directly, we utilize standard encryption and privacy mechanisms to maintain security within our system. In addition, we are always up to date with smart contract audits and respond quickly to major issues.
In no particular order, 0x, Totle, Kyber Network, bZx Network, and 0xcert have been instrumental in getting Fabrx up and running as quickly as possible. Fabrx was also recently admitted into the 0x Ecosystem Acceleration Program.
What’s your business model?
Fabrx charges customers in a simple fee structure for access to services. Upon initial sign up, they are given a default amount of credits, however, customers can purchase additional credits a la carte or in packages. These credits are consumed and deducted when accessing tools, API’s, adaptors, and functionalities such as token issuance, relayer configuration, and analytics.
We have 3 pilots in the works with Shopify stores to build their loyalty points system with Fabrx. This particular implementation uses both ERC-721’s and the 0x Relayer as loyalty points and the immediate secondary exchange, respectively. At the time of this writing, there have also been 11 Relayer requests for deployment.
Fabrx fits into a classification called Blockchain-as-a-Service and the closest competitors include Kaleido, Clovyr, Amazon Web Services, and IBM.
Our platform isn’t a unique blockchain, protocol, interchain wallet, or decentralized application, nor does it need a utility token. It is a gateway that provides APIs and other tools to access dozens of Web 3.0 and blockchain services. We are unique in the marketplace because of our top-down approach to blockchain-as-a-service. Our solution suites and adaptor products do not require intimate knowledge of core blockchain infrastructure, nor will the end users be required to manage their own wallets, keys, or nodes.
The majority of the offerings in the market have made it easy to spin up private blockchain implementations but the rest is completely up to the developer to figure out. With steep learning curves and long development times, they’ll need to learn how to write smart contracts, connect to wallets, manage security, and cover the costs of all of that infrastructure. With Fabrx, this is all taken care of for the user, enabling them to add decentralized resources to their own business logic while drastically reducing those long development phases.
Our target market includes the following:
- Enterprise Software Developers
- Entrepreneurs and Cloud Innovators
- Prosumers and Workflow Junkies
- Data Aggregators
- Data Producers
What’s your position on the regulatory landscape today?
As Fabrx is explicitly built as a technology platform, we are open to work within and adapt to the ever-changing regulatory landscape. In order for regulations to have a positive impact on the blockchain ecosystem, we, as a community, must help guide regulators, so that they can best protect citizens and maintain open access to Web 3.0 instruments.
What are your goals for the future?
Immediate milestones on our roadmap include expanding the available services and integrations across the different suites that are offered. This includes the expansion of Fabrx’s API and Adaptors Library, building out more of the core infrastructure for the platform, and getting pilots and beta’s up and running. We’re also in the process of making basic Web 3.0 analytics accessible and completing our first phase of constructing applications for crypto developers.
Like most projects in this space, the lack of developer resources is the main roadblock slowing us down. We’ve bootstrapped the project so far and are looking to get some seed funding so we can start adding more developers to build faster.
What are your future thoughts for the DeFi market?
The decentralized finance sector is an already rapidly growing and in the next few months and years, the evolution of this space will grow exponentially. We are still in the early days, however, the impact it has on the global population is massive and will include:
- Wider global access to financial services.
- More affordable cross-border payments.
- Improved privacy and security.
- Censorship-resistant transactions.
Decentralized finance won’t completely replace their centralized counterparts, however, they will interact and co-exist with the traditional financial systems to create a new, hybrid model. There are a few hurdles that need to be overcome including mass adoption, regulation compliance, and cryptocurrency volatility. Regardless, the DeFi ecosystem can completely democratize current financial systems.
Where can we go to learn more?
We’re giving DeFi Prime users that follow this link an additional 100 Fabrx credits when they sign up to the platform:
DeFi is coming. Don't get left behind
Zefram Lou, co-founder of Betoken, talks about fundraising difficulties for DeFi projects in an uncertain regulatory environment and how they build a decentralized fund that invests in crypto-assets.
Benedict Chan, CTO of BitGo talks about origins of WBTC, delivering trust in digital assets and exploring the depth of the programmable ecosystem.
Brian Norton talks about building a new version of MEW and sharing thoughts on the future of DeFi and dApps space at Ethereum.