Today is an exciting day as we have the pleasure of interviewing Alice, CEO and Co-Founder of ARX, a decentralized on/off-ramp without KYC. Together, we will be discussing what ARX is, how it works, who is the team behind it and how they came up with the idea. Let’s dive in!
[SurferInvestor] Could you please summarise briefly what ARX is about?
[Alice] ARX is a decentralized P2P on/off-ramping protocol that allows you to sell your crypto to fiat and buy crypto for fiat with no KYC requirements directly with your self-custodial web3 wallet.
[SurferInvestor] Could you please introduce the founding team? What is their background and what makes them the right team to run ARX?
[Alice] Our team has quite a wide experience with crypto and fintech in general.
[Alice] I am Alice – CEO of ARX. Before starting ARX I was working in the videogames industry before moving fully to crypto in 2020. Since then I have been closely working within the DeFi Algorithmic Trading space. We mainly ran arbitrage bots. However, it was quite tiresome and required to be 24/7 near the work machine. Moreover, I was excited to create something people would need and that would have a real use case, not just pure speculation.
[Alice] Our CTO Ivan has wide experience in crypto and web2 software engineering. He was working for a company specializing in advanced on-chain data analytics. Besides that, he had a chance to work at a fintech company. When we started working in crypto together in 2020, he quickly understood the real value of crypto but also didn’t like the speculation-based aspects and wanted to do something really useful that would utilize the power of DeFi.
[Alice] Our COO a.k.a OxRagnar has been mining cryptocurrencies since 2015 and then moved to the software development industry. In 2022 he did a full transition back to the web3.
[Alice] Our CFO a.k.a Noah was working for one of the largest stock brokers in Europe in the business development department. He has quite a broad experience with traditional stock markets and crypto markets. At ARX he is doing legal and compliance.
[SurferInvestor] How did the idea of ARX come to life?
[Alice] It was in May of 2022 when the Luna crash exposed the dark side of centralized entities. The crypto world crypto got into a crisis and major centralized platforms faced the consequences of their lack of transparency – especially the FTX case as we all know.
[Alice] This was when many people understood that DeFi is the way to go but there was a major unsolved problem – on/off-ramping. There was simply no way to on-ramp and off-ramp in a humane way yet trustless/decentralized at the same time. That’s what directed us to the idea of building this final piece of the puzzle for the DeFi 🙂
[Alice] We were in a bus with the CTO discussing those problems, and since we were users of P2P on/off-ramping ourselves we decided to build our own ideal way how we see it.
[SurferInvestor] What item in the roadmap gets you the most excited?
[Alice] Well, we have many interesting things there but I think the most exciting is the release with the codename “Tartarus” we are planning to work on in Q4 this year. The idea is to make it fully self-contained by the community to achieve the ultimate decentralization possible!
[Alice] In short, we will allow community members to host their own “Witness” nodes. At first, there will be only 1-5 nodes hosted by us and our partners, and as soon as Tartarus comes in – anyone in the community will be able to set up their own witness node and earn shares from successful transaction fees they are validating with their nodes.
[Alice] Witness nodes themselves are looking for a fiat transaction and signing a proof of completion using transaction data (like exact creation time and exact amount), then the smart contract verifies signatures and data. Witnesses are just validating, or maybe the better word is “confirming” the fact that the fiat transaction indeed occurred.
[SurferInvestor] What would you say to Mtpelerin customers? What are you doing differently?
[Alice] First of all, we should understand that MtPelerin is a centralized solution similar to MoonPay, meaning they are using their own liquidity and thus their jurisdictions and payment methods are limited.
[Alice] We believe that only P2P liquidity can allow a product to achieve the ultimate decentralization. This approach allows our market makers to operate worldwide and be scalable for different payment methods.
[Alice] That’s the key difference between ARX and MtPelerin, and we believe it is our advantage over such kinds of solutions.
[SurferInvestor] Could you give an example of a typical scam that could happen with your configuration?
[Alice] First of all, we have a hybrid system:
- We have an automated settlement system for payment methods that support official user API, and where a transaction can’t be reverted. Since this system is relying on official APIs, there is no way to even try to mischief the fiat transaction status. At this moment we have implemented only Wise (with the ability to proceed SEPA and SWIFT transactions besides Wise internal transactions) and Revolut (only internal transactions). This system doesn’t require counterparties to post collateral and requires only a market maker to provide his/her API key. More details can be found here: https://docs.arx.cash/how-does-it-work/automated-settlement
- Collateral-based settlement is only used for other payment methods which do not support official user API (for example Western Union or MoneyGram) and is designed in a way that removes any incentive for a potential fraudster to even try to scam. This system is more universal than automated settlement but is not as UX-friendly. The only risk with this system is that parties will stop acting rationally and start acting purely emotionally. To mitigate this risk we have designed a multi-layer security system. More details about the collateral-based settlement can be found here.
[Alice] In conclusion, we have designed a system that eliminates significant risks for a user to be scammed.
[SurferInvestor] How many people are on the team?
[Alice] We have 4 key people on the team: CEO, CTO, COO, and CFO, and a few enthusiasts inspired by the idea who are working closely with us, and we very much appreciate their effort! Shoutout to:
>> Meta Man
>> Equus October
[SurferInvestor] In an ideal world, how would ARX look in 5 years?
[Alice] We want to be the same for on/off-ramping what Uniswap became for in-crypto exchanges – solve one of the fundamental problems without sacrificing core decentralization values. Our final goal is to make crypto accessible to anyone in the world.
[SurferInvestor] For people who wanna jump in, how to get started?
[Alice] There are multiple ways how you guys can get started:
- If you want to dive into ARX design details you can check out our docs page here.
- If you have any specific questions – feel free to ask on our Discord server: here.
[Alice] Also would like to mention that we are actively looking for early market makers / P2P merchants, and if you are interested in getting in as a market maker and earning from it – feel free to fill out the application form!
[Alice] Are you a DAO member or do you have your own Web3 project and you want your community to be able to on/off-ramp in a decentralized manner with no KYC? You can reach out to us! We are offering our partners 30% of all fees generated from their community. Feel free to fill out the partnership application.
It was a pleasure to interview Alice, the passionate CEO and Co-Founder of ARX, a decentralized on/off-ramp without KYC. The team has a wide range of experience in the crypto and fintech industry which makes them well-equipped to tackle the problem of decentralized off/onramping. It is great to see that many smart builders (we interviewed Offramp.xyz’s founder some weeks ago) are tackling this challenge in order to make the crypto industry more accessible to everyone. We wish the ARX team all the best for the next steps and look forward to seeing their progress and testing the product!