Nash, formerly known as Neon Exchange (NEX), hosted a “Quarterly Report” event on Friday, January 18th, 2019, to present its work over the last three months of 2018. The event was held in Amsterdam for an over-capacity crowd of more than 200 people, with a peak of over 500 additional viewers on the Youtube live stream.
Founder Fabio Canesin started off by outlining the mission of Nash: to offer distributed finance to a mass audience, in a way that is made “transparent through decentralization.” In short, Nash aims to enable investing, trading, and management of digital assets. Nash has a focus on compliance which Canesin claims is not “to be different,” but because the company believes it will be necessary to achieve its stated goal: to “empower more than one billion users” by 2030.
Nash believes that offering a “safe, user-friendly experience” is the path towards achieving its goals. Canesin noted Nash is building its products for both professional and retail investor groups, and expressed the need for the Nash platform to not only be safe, but make its users of all types feel safe.
Canesin defended a slower and more deliberate, perfection-oriented development process: “If you do it right, you do it just once,” adding that in distributed finance, “there is no second chance.”
Rebranding: NEX becomes Nash
What started as a renaming due to a legal case involving the NEX brand evolved into a full rebrand, to Nash. The “NEX” token will retain its ticker, now representing the name “Nash Exchange”. Chief designer Nathaniel Walpole was on hand to discuss the new logo and design philosophy, which is intended to imply “motion, speed, and approachability.”
Walpole also unveiled a new token icon for the project.
A detailed explanation of the rebrand and design choices can be found on Nash’s Medium post here.
Company and Community
Canesin then retook the stage to discuss the company’s expansion during the quarter, with a focus on backend work and security. He predicted that the company staffing would reach an equilibrium point during 2019.
Furthermore, Canesin mentioned that the new Nash website will debut at NEO’s second DevCon on February 17, 2019, along with the Nash launch program. The event will be live-streamed for anyone who is unable to attend.
Nash will present its next quarterly report in London, England, on April 27th, 2019.
Architecture and Security
With regards to the Nash matching engine, Canesin presented a backend system consisting of a “multi-chain state channel manager” using ECC-based authentication. According to Canesin, the Nash matching engine is unique because it is deterministic (a particular input will always generate a specific output regardless of the computing platform), making it suitable to run on widely distributed or decentralized systems.
The Nash matching engine, which Canesin claims is “mostly complete,” runs off-chain (a necessity for its deterministic design) and interacts with blockchains as a settlement layer for its completed trades.
The design of the Nash exchange allows users to always remain in control of their funds (via their private keys on the host blockchains). Unlike a bank or a centralized exchange, users may manually withdraw their funds from the Nash exchange at any time without consent.
Nash will launch its product “ready” for integration with its distributed and decentralized matching engine, which aims to come online requiring no change to the design of the Nash smart contracts.
Zero-Knowledge Key Management
Canesin claimed Nash will feature a “fully non-custodial” system using zero-knowledge proof to manage user keys without possessing knowledge of the keys themselves. The system is promised for launch during the Nash MVP with improvements planned thereafter.
Canesin introduced cross-chain trading on the Nash Exchange UI, explaining that many of the world’s highest volume cryptocurrency markets are cross-chain markets, and emphasized his ideal for these trades: “The way cross-chain should look like is as if there is no chain at all.”
Legal and Compliance
The team, who will announce the launch date at NEO DevCon, has confirmed support for the U.S amongst several other jurisdictions available for trading, with more to come. Additionally, Bitcoin trading will be live legally “in all markets” (pending funds management and exchange support).
Initially, Nash plans to offer ETH, NEO, and USDC markets, with the following trading pairs in all markets: NEO, GAS, ETC, USDC, BAT, OMG, 0X, PHX, NOS, AVA, GUARD, and LX.
USDC markets may not be available in the European Union at launch.
Overall, Nash aims to build a system that is “fast enough” to handle all the trading volume it can face, while giving its users the advantages of a “provably fair” matching engine as well as total control over their funds and withdrawals at all times.
With regards to Nash Exchange’s goal of building a decentralized financial system, Canesin pointed out that NEX was the first security token offering in Europe. He also reiterated they will be the first to deploy zero-knowledge key management and noted that “we have more firsts to come.”
Nash co-founders Fabian Wahle and Tom Saunders joined Canesin for a community question-and-answer session after the presentation.
The full Nash livestream can be viewed at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dt7I8p4iIn0
Nash intends to continue to hold quarterly report events in the future, each at a different location, representing a community invitation to interact with the developers and share feedback.