2017 experienced the rapid growth of digital asset exchanges. As of August 1, 2018, there were 215 Exchanges listed on CoinMarketCap. Cryptocurrency exchanges fall into certain basic categories: they may have a regional or language emphasis for instance; or they may offer only crypto-to-crypto transfer; or they may provide crypto-to-fiat transfers. Listing and exchange fees from ICOs or IEOs that depend on exchanges to give liquidity to their investors have made these new exchanges very profitable. The leaders of this new industry quickly achieved substantial valuations and have been able to continue to command high listing fees.
First generation exchanges enabled holders of almost any new cryptocurrency to convert to Bitcoin or a limited number of other currencies. Users would then seek fiat liquidity via a specialized exchange. However, most new currencies are scattered across different exchanges with high variations in prices. The pairings for most currencies are limited and the exchange times are frequently very long, which creates further transaction risks and high costs. The other equally large problem is the “knowledge gap”: News and understanding of currencies is limited or gained at a slow pace. While crypto market growth and engagement have been rapid, the disorganized and often volatile marketplace acts as a disincentive for potential new actors.
Digital asset exchanges have opened the way for a potentially major disruption in the financial system by allowing a non-governmental form of payment and transfer. The blockchain may do for value what the Internet did for information. The Internet enabled permissionless storing, aggregation and exchange of information. Similarly, the blockchain enables permissionless storing, aggregation and exchange of value.
We are now in the first phase of a major change in the relationship between currencies, people, products and companies. Under traditional monetary systems, a fiat currency represents a standardized system of trade underwritten by the government. Throughout history, standardized currencies made commerce easier because they resolved the trust problems involved in individual transactions when nonstandard currencies (e.g. gold or silver) were used. They allowed people to bypass the costs of guaranteeing transfers of value and the friction that arose through the circulation of many smaller currencies. The fact that many disparate societies, isolated from each other, have realized the usefulness of this principle shows it to be a near universal feature of practical, everyday money.
A fiat currency that becomes a “standard” internationally is one whose solidity means it can be used as a guarantee and measuring instrument for others. In the postwar world, the US has been the largest beneficiary of an international standard currency emanating from one country. After many years, several European Union nations formed a currency union to replace their national fiats with a new standard. The Euro was born. The EU’s common currency promised to reduce trade barriers and transaction costs and increase economic growth.
The decade since the financial crisis of 2007 has caused many to seriously question the value of a standard currency or marketplace. The extended recession and financial distress of many European nations has been at the center of these concerns. Countries such as Greece, Spain and Ireland suffered severe recessions after the crisis and many blamed the Euro. Meanwhile, citizens in stronger economies such as Germany complained that they had to subsidize the reckless actions of smaller nations. Although the standard currency appeared to be more efficient, it did not incorporate the structures needed to make it work efficiently. The actual underlying costs of keeping an international standard currency were much higher than many anticipated. In sum, the intertwining of economies undermined the benefits from lower trade barriers and increased liquidity. Stronger regions had to subsidize weaker regions. At the same time, citizens of smaller countries also lamented their lack of control and influence within the common currency, the shortcomings of which were revealed after the crisis. Within Europe, Iceland, which was not in the single currency, was able to choose a sharper, shorter recession after revaluing its own fiat currency and applying other stringent measures.
Recent history shows that standard currencies produced by individual nations have limitations for the global marketplace. As the Chinese authorities seek to place the Renminbi into the “club” of international “reserve” currencies, it is striking to see how rapidly decentralized cryptocurrencies have taken center stage as the most radical alternative to the status quo. Nevertheless, while immense potential for a multitude of applications has been described, crypto is still waiting for a breakthrough moment that will see tokens become a part of the vocabulary of everyday life.
If the costs of exchanging currencies can be reduced and the benefits of customized currencies given leverage, the creation of targeted currencies that establish their own values can become the norm. The same issue that limits the value of currencies also applies to loyalty points systems. Currently loyalty systems must independently make deals with merchants to provide value outside of the Company. The rise of cryptocurrencies makes this a possibility. At present, wary investors see the increasing numbers of coins as a drawback. Within a coherent system of efficient exchanges there could be a fertile growth area with many more cryptocurrencies than currently exist, each given a realistic assessment for users and investors. Exchanges that support information flows to keep transaction costs between currencies at a minimum will constitute the next generation of exchanges. It will become possible to create a token based upon individuals or organizations of almost any size, with the possibility of proportional investment in any coin or token open to anyone else.
A significant aspect of this will be the creation of currencies that represent the value of prominent and influential people: KOLs. As creative individuals that already build value that is self-contained, their celebrity is the ideal support for this kind of personal currency. In a related way individual brands will be able (and will be incentivized) to create coins that lift their profile and allow consumers to interact with their brand in an unprecedented way. The value for brands, KOLs and individuals to create coins will in the future be too great to ignore. At present there is no single exchange seeking to target this attractive section of the marketplace.
An efficient cryptocurrency market also requires convenient and plentiful exchange into fiat currencies. A system where value can be easily captured within a cryptocurrency and monetized through the broader economy with fiat currency is the situation that every engaged actor wishes to encourage. At present the process of converting across fiat and crypto is laborious and often expensive.
Robin8 proposes to create the first exchange that will lead to rapid development of custom currencies that trade in an efficient system. It will consist of three components: 1) a crypto exchange with standard utility token pairings 2) integrated news and information sources to facilitate efficient trading and 3) a coin mining and ICO/IEO system to support new cryptocurrency integrated projects. It will also support social media integration to facilitate better information flows between market participants.
The PUT will be a core pairing in the exchange and the Robin8 profile management system will be integrated into creation of the new tokens. This will ensure a high trust system that will be part of the Robin8 ecosystem.
Robin8 is building a new exchange to deal with the issues of first generation exchanges and take advantage of the full potential of cryptocurrencies. The Exchange will support the creation and support of new cryptocurrencies at scale. It will also focus on creating a platform that will simplify making a new token (cryptocurrency) valuable. This includes integrated news feeds that can assist crypto buyers in making knowledgeable and timely decisions on buying and selling. It will also address one of the biggest sources of news for most people: Social Media. Just as the Robin8 Profile Utility Token (the PUT) seeks to give control of profiles back to the owners, Robin8X will introduce the KOL Token to interact with Blockchain technology to filter exchange news based on integrity and transparency. Robin8X will be the first to include integrated news and data feeds to improve customer value. Most importantly, Robin8X will integrate the ability for any person, brand or media outlet to access the full power of Blockchain and cryptocurrency. The obstacles to wider adoption will be removed and the latent power of cryptocurrencies will be unleashed!