fragments

Fragments aims to create a low-volatility cryptocurrency and platform. Find out how the system works today in our review.

What Is Fragments?

Fragments, found online at Fragments.org, wants to create a fair and stable money for the world. The goal is to create a stablecoin that’s superior to existing stablecoins on the market – like Tether.

The Fragments project emerged from stealth mode on March 19, 2018. The company has already raised $3 million in funding. Fragments is led by Pythagoras Pizza founder Evan Kuo, who originally proposed Fragments as a token for the gig economy. However, the project has since pivoted to create a stablecoin.

One of the unique things about Fragments is that it’s a stablecoin – although the value of the coin could increase over time. That may sound contradictory – so let’s take a closer look at how Fragments works.

How Does Fragments Work?

The Fragments protocol stabilizes price by moving volatility from unit price to unit count. That may sound complex – but it’s not as complex as you might think. When the price of the token goes up, the protocol will automatically issue a new cryptocurrency called “fragments”.

Some of those fragments will enter the wallets of existing users. A holder who purchased one token and never sold that token would find more tokens in their wallet over time – even if they never made later purchases.

Token emissions won’t be distributed exclusively to wallet holders. They will also go into two reserves, including one reserve that funds future development and another that buys Ether (ETH). The ETH reserve is used when the supply of tokens needs to contract because prices are falling.

This creates a unique system that encourages stability while also allowing holders to come out ahead. The value of a coin can never fall below zero – but there’s theoretically no limit to how much a coin could be worth.

Here’s how the Fragments website explains it:

  • Standard Model (Today’s System): You purchased 1 BTC for $1 USD five years ago and your 1 BTC is worth $10,000 now.
  • Stable Model (Fragments Model): You purchased 1 BTC at $1 USD five years ago, but today, you have 10,000 BTC with each unit worth $1.

As mentioned above, Fragments will stabilize purchasing power by increasing and decreasing the supply of the token in response to demand:

  • When the protocol needs to increase supply, it capitalizes a reserve and then splits, proportionally distributing tokens to wallets
  • When the protocol needs to decrease supply, the reserve automatically purchases tokens and removes them from the supply in exchange for bonds, which are the first in line to recapitalize the reserve under expansion

This leads to a system similar to Tether, where you have USD Tether and EUR Tether. Fragments will create USD Fragments, or USDF, among other assets.

It’s important to note that Fragments doesn’t like to use the term “stablecoin”, and the project doesn’t categorize itself as a stablecoin project. Instead, Fragments call the coin a “low-volatility cryptocurrency”.

Fragment coins are ERC20 tokens on the Ethereum blockchain. They’ll have an auditable reserve and an auditable supply policy.

Benefits Of Fragment

Fragment emphasizes all of the following benefits:

  • Spendable near-term storage, as $1 USD fragment is always worth approximately $1 USD
  • Holdable long-term storage, as holders are rewarded with increased reserves over time; the value of each token stays roughly the same, but you have a growing number of tokens
  • A splitting currency where inflation and deflation do not generate gains or losses for investors, but investors can experience increased or decreased purchasing power
  • Uncorrelated with major coins; in today’s cryptocurrency markets, coins tend to rise and fall simultaneously, but Fragments will be unrelated because traders retreat into stable currencies when cryptocurrency prices dip, adding diversity to the ecosystem and allowing traders to hedge

Use Cases For Fragments

Some of the use cases for Fragments include:

  • Serve as a medium of exchange, fulfilling the same needs Tether does today, allowing cryptocurrency users to easily transfer into a fiat-stabilized currency with an auditable on-chain reserve and supply policy
  • A hedge against other cryptocurrencies, allowing traders to retreat into a low-volatility cryptocurrency to avoid volatility
  • A stabilization service for developers, allowing developers to offer stable pricing for products and services online (instead of offering a service for 0.2 BTC today, only to have the price fluctuate wildly over time)

Fragment Asset Classes

Fragment plans to offer three asset classes, including a primary price targeted asset, a secondary asset used to support stability, and an independent collateral asset held in the Fragment reserve fund:

USD Fragments:

USD Fragments are price-targeted to the USD. When demand increases, the platform will stabilize price by distributing tokens to existing holders proportionally.

USD Fragment Bonds:

USD Fragment Bonds are a secondary asset used to support the stability of USD Fragments. Bonds aren’t price targeted. They’re primarily used by the Fragment reserve to facilitate contraction. Each bond allows the holder to receive a USD Fragment in the future in exchange for removing tokens from the current supply today.

Reserve Collateral Asset:

The Fragment reserve fund holds ETH in a dynamic buffer to programmatically purchase tokens and remove them from the supply in exchange for USD Fragment Bonds in times when contraction is required.

Who’s Behind Fragments?

Fragments was co-founded by Evan Kuo and Brandon Iles. Kuo is the founder of Pythagoras Pizza, a pizza-on-demand company based in San Francisco. Kuo first revealed he was working on the Fragments project back in September 2017, although they were originally envisioned as tokens for the gig economy. Now, the company has pivoted to offer a stablecoin.

Iles, meanwhile, previously worked as an engineer at Uber and as a member of Google’s Search team. The pair are assisted by Jessica Yen, who co-founded Pythagoras Pizza with Evan and currently works in Branding/Operations at Fragments.

Fragments Conclusion

Fragments aims to create a stablecoin – sorry, a “low volatility cryptocurrency” – that roughly tracks the price of the USD. Fragments will create a system similar to Tether by creating “USD Fragments”, or USDF. These assets will be ERC20 tokens on the Ethereum blockchain. Fragments will control the price by expanding or contracting the supply of tokens.

It’s a unique and well thought-out system that could change the way we approach stablecoins. The project came out of stealth mode on March 19, 2018. To learn more about Fragments and how it works, visit online today at Fragments.org.

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