AirSwap, found online at AirSwap.io, is a new token exchange project built on Ethereum.
Find out how it works today in our review.
What is AirSwap?
AirSwap is a decentralized exchange designed from the ground-up with privacy and security in mind. The company aims to provide customers with global, peer-to-peer trading with no intermediaries and no trading fees (!).
The AirSwap token sale kicked off on October 10 and was originally scheduled to last until November 10, but sold out soon after launch.
The Hong Kong-based company is making headlines for partnering with former Fortress hedge fund manager Michael Novogratz, who agreed to join the board of advisors. The agreement was made on October 4, although the news wasn’t publicly revealed until October 16.
The advisor position follows Novogratz’s announced plan to launch a $500 million digital assets fund through his firm, Galaxy Investment Partners.
AirSwap is a joint venture with Consensys, best known for being one of the leading developers behind Ethereum.
Let’s take a closer look at how AirSwap works to see how they plan to differentiate themselves from other exchanges.
How Does AirSwap Work?
AirSwap is a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange that claims to put a bigger emphasis on privacy, security, and organizational transparency than other exchanges:
Secure: Decentralization helps protect you and your assets. While centralized exchanges are subject to attacks, AirSwap puts you in control of your assets. Few people recommend holding coins at a centralized exchange. AirSwap avoids that problem while still allowing you to enjoy the benefits of an exchange.
Private: Traditional exchanges act as an intermediary. They take a fee in exchange for facilitating a trade between two people. AirSwap, however, believes in peer-to-peer value transfer technology, and they’re developing “a globally accessible, friction-free value network, supporting private and secure exchange between peers,” with that goal in mind.
Fair: AirSwap was designed from the ground up with decentralization in mind. While existing exchanges suffer front-running and race conditions, AirSwap was built with fairness in mind.
The entire platform is built on the Swap protocol, which is a peer-to-peer protocol for trading Ethereum tokens.
You can read the Swap whitepaper here.
Essentially, Swap aims to offer a strong alternative to traditional cryptocurrency exchanges. The Swap protocol includes features for off-chain negotiation and on-chain settlement. Using the protocol, parties can signal to others their intent to trade tokens. Once connected, counterparties freely communicate prices and transmit orders amongst themselves. Throughout this process, parties can request prices from an independent third party oracle to verify accuracy.
Meanwhile, a smart contract is used to fill orders on the Ethereum blockchain.
Here’s how the developers describe Swap in the whitepaper:
“The Swap protocol serves a growing demand for a decentralized asset exchange on the Ethereum network. Blockchain-based order books, while novel and certainly within the ethos of our ecosystem, have limitations that we believe ultimately make it difficult for them to compete with currently available centralized solutions. Swap provides a method that is both decentralized and unaffected by these limitations.”
The end result of Swap’s protocol is that participants can gain access to liquidity in a scalable, private, and fair way without sacrificing access to great pricing. In other words, they can maintain ownership of their digital tokens while still accessing the liquidity of a high-volume cryptocurrency exchange.
The protocol and APIs are extensible as well, and the developers encourage the community to build applications on the platform.
The AirSwap Token Sale
The AirSwap ICO was scheduled for October 10 to November 10. However, the company quickly sold out of tokens early in the sale.
The token sale made headlines after an investor tried to purchase a large number of AirSwap tokens. The purchase didn’t go through because the tokens had already sold out. However, the buyer still had to pay the $80,000 transaction fee to the Ethereum network. The investor was attempting to send 1,700 Ether, worth about $574,000 at current exchange rates.
“The trade failed because the sale had already sold out,” AirSwap said in a statement, as reported by CNBC. “We appreciate such strong interest in our token launch, which included participation by over 9,400 token buyers representing 135 countries around the world.”
Who’s Behind AirSwap?
AirSwap is led by co-founders Michael Oved and Don Mosites. The company is based in Hong Kong. Oved is a veteran algorithm trader with experience at trading firm Virtu. He’s a graduate of Carnegie Mellon, originally from Los Angeles.
Don Mosites, meanwhile, is a serial entrepreneur, product designer, and full stack engineer with more than a decade of experience building products for Google, Zynga, and other companies. He’s also a Carnegie Mellon graduate.
In addition to former Wall Street hedge fund manager Michael Novogratz, the company’s advisors include Joseph Lubin (co-founder of Ethereum and founder/CEO of ConsenSys), Brock Pierce (Chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation, among other positions), George Mueller, and other major names from across the community.
AirSwap seem to have created a platform that does the impossible: the company allows traders to complete P2P trades in a secure environment, while still allowing traders to retain access to their cryptocurrencies throughout the transaction process. Basically, you get the benefits of a LocalBitcoins-style transaction (you retain ownership of your funds while still being able to participate in trading) with the benefits of a cryptocurrency exchange (you can access a large market of traders at fair prices).
Obviously, the AirSwap ICO was enormously successful, and the fact that the company brought former hedge fund manager Michael Novogratz on board is a big deal (although the company already has a number of high-profile advisors to its name). You can find out more about the company today at AirSwap.io.