Back in 2013 the world was a simpler place; the economy was slowly getting over its 2008 hangover, covid was still an itch in its father’s lab coat, and incalculable crypto wealth was mostly in the hands of a relatively small number of technological utopians and anti-establishment misfits. The masses were either not yet switched on, or still too young to use the internet, or both. Life was, to invoke the popular vernacular of the time, “meh”.

Fast forward to the present day and things aren’t quite so benign. Switch on any self-respecting news channel and you can watch a bunch of kids, who until recently were managing billions of dollars from a glamour pad in the Caribbean, turn on each other like a twisted episode of Celebrity Love Island as if it were a bonus chapter in Lord of the Flies.

We have had multiple market crashes, countless rug pulls, and a kaleidoscope of spectacular implosions. And to top it off, during the last decade, whilst you were busy getting turned-over by 20-somethings in Singapore with a talent for making wholesale fraud look sexy and sophisticated, a bunch of teenagers were making millions selling pictures of primates to you and your friends, only for said pictures to now be largely worthless.

The whole party has given rise to a culture of overpaid schillers and over-hyped altcoins promising insane and completely unrealistic returns, leaving us with a market that is dominated by an air of instant gratification and entitlement, where mobs of kids in crypto-pants spend all day bleating “When Moon?” on Twitter, or X, or whatever it’s called this week.

For those of us that are used to getting screwed in the traditional financial markets, the antics of some centralised crypto exchanges make their TradFi counterparts look like charitable outreach programs, and for those of us still pretending to know what we’re talking about, there are an array of increasingly complex DeFi platforms waiting to take our money, purporting to offer riskless credit facilities in a market with no legal framework, brilliant.

Despite all of this, in this writer’s humble opinion, the arguments for cryptocurrency and the financial inclusion of blockchain technology into the mainstream, still far outweigh the arguments against it. The bear market we have found ourselves in is proving to be a calming antidote to the hype and hubris of the preceding decade; we have a little breathing space to reflect, to build, and to figure out how to move forward in a more sustainable way. For lack of a better word, the market has become a bit boring, but a bit of boring might just be exactly what the market needs in order to enter into its next stage of growth and adoption.

If you’ve been wondering why the story so far has been absent of any marketing or shameless shilling, you’re in luck, because this is the part where I’m going to promote a rather boring piece of DeFi technology. Enter FWDX. FWDX is simple, easy to use, and decidedly unglamorous; it is to DeFi platforms, what toilet paper is to household products; it’s not going to revolutionise your life, but you know you’re going to need it at some point during the day.

If you don’t know what FWDX does, think of it as being the hideously deformed lovechild of a ménage à trois between a stock exchange, a clearing house, and the escrow account of a little-known, yet highly pretentious, Northern European law firm. But what does that mean?

FWDX is a swap platform, but with a key difference, you set the terms that you are prepared to swap at, and the rate of conversion does not change, so you can swap with zero price slippage. In essence it works in a similar way to that of an open interest orderbook on an old futures exchange; you simply state a fixed amount of one crypto asset that you are prepared to exchange for a fixed amount of another, and how long you are prepared to leave this offer open for. You then upload the assets you are selling into the FWDX smart contract and wait until the other side is matched by one or more other participants.

For price takers, this means that the liquidity available on FWDX is true liquidity, it’s up there in the smart contract waiting to be lifted, and not just a copy of a copy of a copy of an orderbook somewhere. In addition, because all of the open markets on FWDX are fully-funded, swaps can be considered as being pre-cleared, essentially bypassing the need for a centralised clearing house.

The basic swaps are just the beginning; the team are about to go live with fully funded option products and synthetic exposure options, as well as market infrastructure tools such as smart and secure OTC tools and “private exchange” rooms for limited audience trading. FWDX will also soon be going live with their “Alternative” markets, which will allow users to create swap markets in literally any token available on chains to which FWDX is integrated. Think free launchpad for meme coins, if you’re into that kind of thing.

To sweeten the deal, FWDX will be sharing at least half of their profits with their token holders via staking pools, and the best thing about this is that profits will be shared in USDC and not in some random platform token that has some convoluted excuse of value proposition.

To be honest, FWDX might just be a little early; the market is as dead as disco and there isn’t too much need for boring yet reliable swap platforms right now, but despite the current market malaise, FWDX continues to build for the future because the use case remains sound.

Mainstream crypto adoption is still inevitable, the ETFs will get approved, simplistic and less-clued-up investors will get more and more involved in the crypto markets, and when this all happens, we’re going to need something a little boring in our lives. In addition to this, it’s important that the underlying blockchain infrastructure is able to handle transactions at scale; that means being able to process high transaction volume at low cost, and reliably, maintaining a robust level of stability.

Choosing the right network is not an easy task; there are many networks out there with varying levels of speed, cost, and stability, and truth be told, it tends to be a trade-off between them. Some networks are fast and low cost but can be unreliable, whereas others are stable but can be buttock-clenchingly expensive places to transact.

At FWDX HQ, we are building for the future of crypto, so it was important to us that we partner with the right network that we feel will be able to provide us with a reliable and cost-effective environment in which to drive adoption and move forward at scale. This is why our partnership with Linea is vital to our growth; the masses are coming and when they do, they will expect the same performance from their financial applications as they are used to in the web2 world. Linea is one of the few networks that have cracked the code and figured out how to occupy that centre-space between speed, cost and stability. We also like the team at Linea a lot; they’re our kind of people, the exact kind of people who we will be inviting to our end of year fondue party.

In the meantime, you’ll find FWDX huddled at the back of the cupboard under the bathroom sink, nestled away next to the toilet paper, waiting for the inevitable and entirely predictable time of day when it will be needed more than any other item in the house.

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