New forms of specialized blockchains are coming. Maybe not as fast as ETH-based altcoins, but they are clearly now hitting the market.
Why create a specialized blockchain, rather than a token based on an existing one? There are many reasons that include speed, security and the functionality of the blockchain for the industry it is built for. For example, in the future, an energy related blockchain might well be different from one in the financial space because of regulatory or other issues.
Rublix is a company on the edge of this new trend. The company is building a system where traders can have access to multiple real-time pricing data feeds, as well as sell their expertise to others who can benefit from it.
Here is how it works. Multiple data feeds are integrated into the blockchain and a consensus price is determined. Based on this information, experienced traders create “Blueprint” smart contract predictions that less sophisticated traders can purchase or “unlock,” using the RBLX token. The purchasers can act on the information and make a similar trade if they think the trader will continue to be correct. The trader is incentivized to provide high-quality predictions because if he is correct, he will receive the tokens as a reward, though if the trader is not correct, the RBLX tokens are returned to the purchaser based on the smart contract code.
We recently sat down with David Waslen, the CEO of Rublix to have a chat with him about the project as well as finding out his thoughts and insights.
David. Thanks for joining us today. Can you tell us more about yourself and Rublix?
Hi, thanks for having me! Sure, I was born and raised in Canada, now living in Singapore, and I have a background in finance and private equity. I went down the cryptocurrency rabbit hole a few years ago when I met my co-founder Pete and a few other early adopters in the blockchain space. Once I began learning about blockchain technology, I became obsessed! Pete and I came up with the idea for Rublix after working on a number of different projects together in the tech space. One thing led to another, and here we are. We started Rublix over a year ago and have been growing and building it ever since.
You are building a new blockchain, essentially, to streamline trading globally. What is the elevator pitch? And why did you take the plunge in building a new kind of blockchain?
We’re a bunch of finance, trading and programming geeks. And our goal is to build a blockchain that has trusted financial data posted on-chain for anyone to use, build on and create their own finance-related dApps. When researching which blockchain to build our Hedge platform on, we kept running into issues and decided that down the road we will create our own chain tailored to our needs and other finance related applications.
How did you come up with the idea and what was the thought process behind it?
We initially came up with the idea for our Hedge platform when we were doing some trading of our own – and friends and colleagues asked us if we could share our trading positions with them. So Pete, being an awesome trader and programmer, began building a website where he could post his trades so that anyone could copy his patterns. Then we thought, why don’t we go a few steps further and build a platform where any trader can post their predictions and use the blockchain to validate and verify their performance?
Our goal is to build a platform that creates transparency for users and accountability for traders. It’s far too easy to post fake information or manipulate performance metrics on the internet these days, but users on the Hedge platform can rest assured they’re paying for legitimate, trustworthy information because the blockchain makes it impossible for traders to misrepresent information or their level of past performance.
What is the biggest problem within the industry or do you think there is a gap in the market for Rublix to fill?
We are huge supporters of the whole ecosystem. Having said that, there are still a fair amount of bad actors and misleading information in the sector. We’re optimistic that self-regulation and the appropriate amount of centralized regulation will help keep the industry growing in the right direction. Things like bounties or rewards for people who catch scammers are such great concepts. The market moves so fast – and if we can get the incentives right – then a decentralized ecosystem has the power to be far more powerful and efficient than any centralized body could ever be.
What do you think is the biggest problem Rublix will solve and why is the problem important to solve?
Well obviously fake news and misinformation on the internet is a huge problem these days (especially in the financial sector) and we’re sick of online traders using misinformation to manipulate followers out of their hard-earned dollars just to boost their own rankings. We think the blockchain is the perfect way to bring trust back into the trader/follower relationship by providing transparency, immutability and timestamp. You can’t lie on the blockchain. So we’re starting with a focus on trading predictions and will build from there.
Why did you choose to use Ethereum as your blockchain of choice for the interim step?
Ethereum is a natural chain and token to begin with. It’s not too difficult to mint an ERC20 token and work within the solidity language. We know that there are some limitations of the Ethereum network, but they have some of the top minds in the industry working hard to improve their platform and build more products for the benefit of everyone.
In the whitepaper, you talk a great deal about the difference between your proof of authority approach vs. proof of stake. What is the kind of one-liner elevator pitch people should remember about this technical issue?
Proof-of-Authority is like using your own “reputation” or “name” as collateral for validating transactions. Proof-of-Stake is using “tokens” or “value” as collateral for validating transactions. We are using a hybrid of both that will provide the security and trust elements of a robust blockchain without the energy intensiveness and scalability challenges of a Proof-of-Work model.
Regulation-wise, what are the toughest challenges you will have to overcome? And from where?
We established our company headquarters in Singapore partly for regulatory reasons as well as strategic. The space is moving so quickly and it’s hard for any regulators to keep up since everything is so frictionless and international. We will always do the right thing and abide by regulations but we also have a business to build and want to be domiciled in jurisdictions that are accommodating to entrepreneurship and blockchain technology.
What are the services you plan to offer that excite you the most?
We are extremely excited about Hedge. Whenever we talk to people and explain how it works, everyone says, “Oh wow, I would use that!” Whether it’s an experienced technical trader or someone that wants to learn about cryptos. We are so excited about where we can take Hedge and how useful the platform will be – in the financial space and beyond!
What has been your happiest moment so far working on Rublix? On the flip side, what has been the most painful, or perhaps the most regretful decision you’ve made with Rublix?
Working with our amazing team has been the best part. Our team is hilarious, hard-working, from all different backgrounds, and is genuinely a group of great people. When we get things accomplished on a weekly basis, it’s so fun to celebrate with them and share the little wins together.
On the flip side, of course, we’ve made some mistakes – as every startup does – but we don’t really have any regrets. We’re just trying really, really hard to build something truly innovative, so when we make mistakes, of course, it stings, but if you’re not making any mistakes then you’re not taking enough action. I’m proud of everything we’ve done so far and can’t thank our team enough for all their hard work.
What is the indicator you are looking for to tell you that you have begun to achieve your mission?
A billion dollar market cap?! Haha I don’t know. But probably a billion dollar market cap.
Tell us more about the RBLX token. What are the selling points and what does it do in the system?
On the Hedge platform, RBLX tokens will be used by traders as an ante to stake their Blueprint predictions. And the users on the platform will use the token to purchase or unlock the Blueprints. The trader gets the tokens back that he staked, and the tokens from the users, if their Blueprint was correct. And they will lose the stake if they get the prediction incorrect, and the users’ tokens will be returned to them as well.
The tokens will also be used for staking in our blockchain to become a validator. And we have other uses for the token down the road that we’re working on in the background as well.
What do you think is the biggest challenge or obstacle RBLX will face? How do you plan to tackle that challenge?
There are technical challenges and there are market adoption challenges. We think we’ve got the goods to tackle both, but getting our name out to the masses amongst a very crowded crypto sector will be no easy feat. We have a super creative and talented marketing team, but we’re always open to partnerships and cross-promotion with groups that have similar visions as us.
Moving on to more personal stuff, what does a typical day in your life look like?
Wake up. Check a slurry of messages that came in from other timezones while I was asleep. Catch up with my team in Canada at the end of their day. Grind through my task list for the day. If I’m lucky get a work out in. Catch up with my team in the evenings once they get up. Get to bed by 1am or 2am. Repeat.
Can you express one personal opinion of yours about the blockchain? It doesn’t matter if it’s negative or positive, we just want to hear your thoughts on it.
I’m all-in on blockchain. At the most basic level of transferring currencies to anyone in the world – it’s extremely efficient from a time and cost perspective, cuts out unnecessary middlemen and is completely trustless. Then you go into greater detail of smart contracts and other applications that this technology can be used for and it’s mind-blowing. There are going to be adoptions that come from these years we’re in right now that will change the way the world operates forever.
Finally, what other personal goals (besides your career) do you have in life? Is there anything else in life you want to achieve?
Well, I’m expecting my first child in a month! So I definitely have a goal of being a great father. I have a wonderful and extremely supportive wife and was fortunate to grow up in a very loving and supportive family. I want to make sure our kids get to experience that as well.
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