Hello! What’s your background, and what are you working on?
Hello! I’m Victor Tran and I am the Co-Founder & CEO of Kyber Network, a decentralized multi-chain crypto trading and liquidity hub. Our flagship product, KyberSwap, is a DEX (Decentralized Exchange) aggregator designed to provide the best token prices for traders across multiple exchanges, and maximizing earnings for liquidity providers using capital efficient AMM, in one decentralized platform.
As one of Kyber Network’s Co-Founders as well as a Forbes 30 under 30 Asia alumni, I’ve been contributing to KyberSwap’s vision from Day One, first as Lead Engineer, Head of Engineer, CTO before stepping in as CEO earlier this year. During my tenure at Kyber, I have also acted as Advisor to other Decentralized applications (dApps) such as SIPHER.
I’ve also been involved in blockchain and digital finance development since early 2016, holding several technical positions and leadership roles.
KyberSwap is a multichain DEX aggregator. It’s designed to provide the best token prices for traders across multiple exchanges, and maximizing earnings for liquidity providers using capital efficient AMM, in one decentralized platform. Currently, we provide optimal swap rates on 12 chains including Ethereum, Polygon, Arbitrum, Optimism, BNB Chain and Avalanche, and liquidity pools and yield farms on all chains as well. We also created the world’s first onchain predictive tool to Discover tokens before they trend. So, we make participating in DeFi easy, fast, secure and rewarding, giving users the access to more than 20,000 tokens and ways to earn.
Our users include everyday retail users who value privacy and self-custody of their assets, while we also have ‘whales’ who trade and hold large amounts of cryptocurrency. As a decentralized exchange, all the projects that work with us are also users, conducting their swaps and hosting their liquidity on KyberSwap.
What’s KyberSwap backstory?
Originally KyberSwap was built as the user interface of Kyber Network’s protocol as one of the first DEXs in the world in 2017. Now KyberSwap has evolved to a DEX which focuses on user experience, offering the best rates to users, trading insights, risk management and multiple capital efficient liquidity protocols, all with zero additional or platform fees.
This transition was a natural decision since it coincided with our original goal, which was to create a DEX that benefited the people. The direction of the decentralized movement has taken over the past years has also proven that our concept & beliefs fit the overall market sentiment.
Many people in the crypto space believed in our vision, which helped us secure backing from top VCs. We were also fortunate enough to have had Vitalik Buterin as an advisor. These factors contributed to a very successful ICO, allowing us to raise $52M in funding.
Our founding team was made up of crypto/blockchain experts who were highly experienced in the Finance and Exchange industry and had been contributing to the space through academic papers, building open source tools, etc for over 5 years.
Essentially, our motivation for building KyberSwap was on the grounds of our belief that end users should have a secure platform to conduct trading loops safely and with the best UX possible.
What went into building the KyberSwap?
Back in 2017, it took us 6 months to release on mainnet. However since then, we have been going through a continuous development cycle with development env, staging evn on testnet and production env on mainnet for the past 5 years.
The crypto currency landscape evolved a lot in different perspectives
- Perspective of technology: The space has evolved to favour privacy, performance and user experience. At the same time, many tools have been developed to make developers as well as end users’ lives much easier. The progress of technology also gave birth to many news chains to give more options to users in the space.
- Perspective of crypto segmentation: DeFi and NFTs are two major segments in crypto space. While Defi is the fundamental part of crypto space, NFTs serves its very important purpose of steering the crypto space to become less finance-centric but more towards a human & cultural space.
- Perspective of security: However, the landscape hasn’t evolved too much regarding security. Hacks, unfortunately, were not a rare occurrence. There’s been a lack of development standards to raise the bar on security, and a lack of high quality auditors for smart contracts. Compared to how it was back in 2017, academic papers on security seem less geared towards the interests of the community.
With these in mind, we commit to several key features of KyberSwap:
- Providing the best aggregator technology in the space to give free optimal swapping solutions to users
- Huge data and machine learning are used to provide trading insights to users
- Highly capital efficiency protocols to give liquidity providers as many choices as possible as well as many opportunities to earn with our farming mechanisms.
We also ensure security in KyberSwap via the following:
- Regarding Insurance/Financial assurance for users:
- Kyber always commits to protect users as best as we can. The safety of our users’ funds has and will always be our highest priority.
- In cases where users happen to lose funds because of hacks, bugs, mistakes brought upon by poor UI, we do our best to compensate users as much as possible. This intention has already been proven by action in past incidents (Example)
- Kyber is actively looking for good insurance packages to offer our end users
- Our smart contracts are audited by Chainsecurity, one of the top audit teams and is available for public download here.
- Frontend hacks are unfortunately a trend now and it is one of the highest severity hacks out there for end users. However, the space lacks the security tools needed in order to protect the frontend. At Kyber, we invest a lot of effort in order to develop our own protection tools to protect users. For example, we developed a secret monitoring system to actively monitor our frontend 24/7 on many areas over the world to detect malicious script and notify our team & users immediately
- Our smart contracts are publicised and verified so users are free to run their own checks to ensure they are safe before interacting with KyberSwap
- Regarding Backend Infrastructure
- We adopt best practices from high security systems with a strong SRE team
- We conduct regular audits for our infrastructure with security experts
- Permission throughout our infra is strictly defined and managed using Google Cloud’s best practice
Of course, security concerns aside, we do have difficulties onboarding new users. One of the key reasons is due to limitations of blockchain itself. New users have difficulty learning and fully understanding the key basics such as crypto wallets, gas, on-chain transactions, how to read the block explorer, etc.
Another reason we believe is due to the limitation of our product. KyberSwap is currently only available on the desktop, we hope to launch a mobile app version to make it easier for new users to onboard with us.
What’s your business model?
KyberSwap is both a DEX and a DEX Aggregator. Add to that the fact that KyberSwap is present on 12 chains and counting, we have a lot of competitors. As a DEX Aggregator, our major competitors are - 1inch, Paraswap, 0x / Matcha and Dodo. As a DEX, we compete with a plethora of DEXes like Uniswap, SushiSwap, PancakeSwap, TraderJoe etc. The list is endless.
And so we differentiate ourselves from our competitors in the following ways:
- KyberSwap is the only DEX Aggregator to be present on 12 EVM chains.
- KyberSwap will be expanding our Aggregator to a non-EVM chain in Solana - the first one to do so (alpha). With our Dynamic Trade Routing technology, we are optimistic that we can over time provide the best rates on Solana
- We believe that KyberSwap provides an unparalleled user experience not just against our competitors, but in all of DeGi. UX is essential to the success of our industry and we absolutely do not take it lightly.
- We have built 2 industry-leading liquidity protocols in KyberSwap centered around high capital efficiency - Classic and Elastic. Depending on the user case, projects / retail users can provide liquidity to one of the 2 permissionless protocols. Elastic for example betters even Uniswap v3 with auto-compunding of trading fees and anti-sniping attacks
- KyberSwap has created one of the first ‘Discover’ tools that provides traders with insights on what tokens could be trending soon, before the rest of the market gets wind of it. This is built on our innovative AI prediction model.
Regarding target markets, we welcome both users who are new to DeFi as well as more experienced DeFi users. We built KyberSwap’s UI to be user friendly and simple to use. We also have onsite tutorials and pro trader tools such as Pro Live Chart for technical analysis, Dynamic Trade Routing, which splits trades across DEXs to ensure best returns and Discover, DeFi’s first intuitive tool which filters out the top 50 tokens in DeFi before they trend.
What’s your position on the regulatory landscape today?
We believe regulation with the goal to eliminate terrorism, money laundering and protect users, while maintaining industry innovation and user freedoms, is the right approach, and requires continual discussion between regulators, the industry, and the market.
What are your goals for the future?
Simply put, KyberSwap aims to be the most used exchange in the world. Within the next few years, you will be able to see our daily user and trading volume numbers bring us within the top 3 of all decentralized exchanges. In order to achieve this, we have a very strong focus on user benefit - ensuring our product provides the absolute best swap rates, as well as a seamless, secure and reliable user experience.
As a team, we always do what is right, not what is easy. This means to continue making decisions with our values to earn the trust and respect of our users and the industry, even more so during trying times like market downturns and volatility.
To accomplish the goals we’ve set out to achieve, there are clear work plans to enhance our product experience, product offerings, and further build and enhance deep and lasting ecosystem partnerships. For example, you would see KyberSwap now and in the future working with key partners like Lido Finance, BENQI, Yeti Finance, QiDao, Polygon Chain and Avalanche Chain to provide exciting campaigns with user benefits to the market.
What are your future thoughts for the DeFi market?
We believe the future of the DeFi market will get back to fundamentals, with less focus on marketing tricks. Protocols which show efficiency and good performance will be the ones that last and users will typically stick with a few top DEXs that help them manage the best opportunity to make money in the market.
In addition, I think Layer2 privacy focused exchanges will be a big thing as more and more serious traders need a fair and protected trading environment. They don’t want their trading history, portfolio and trading strategies being exposed to the whole world or the exchange providers like Cexes.
Beside exchanges, lending protocols, portfolio managements, decentralized funds, insurance will be the focus and help form a very healthy finance ecosystem.
Where can we go to learn more?
KyberSwap Docs: http://docs.kyberswap.com/