Jane Street and Hudson River Trading among the investors, with Dexterity Capital and Hack VC leading the capital raise
SINGAPORE, April 26, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Vertex Protocol (Vertex), a decentralized FX protocol for multi-currency spot and derivatives trading, announced today that it has raised $8.5 million in a seed funding round, ahead of its planned launch in Summer 2022.
Investors in the seed round included many of the top quantitative trading firms in both traditional and digital finance. Hack VC, the $200M crypto seed fund led by Alex Pack and Ed Roman, and the venture arm of Dexterity Capital, one of the world’s largest crypto-native proprietary trading firms by volume, led the raise. Additional investors include Jane Street and Hudson River Trading as well as, GSR, Huobi, Collab+Currency, JST Capital, Big Brain and Lunatic Capital. As part of their investment, Dexterity Capital and a number of other trading firms will also become strategic partners to Vertex, advising on tokenomics, market structure and providing high-frequency trading resources.
Vertex aims to address a growing need for multi-currency DeFi applications and on-chain FX trading. Currently, the vast majority of DeFi liquidity is concentrated in US-Dollar denominated stablecoins. While non-USD stablecoins exist, the absence of a viable protocol to trade between various fiat-linked tokens has kept their liquidity thin, limiting adoption and utility. Traders looking to hedge currency risk between USD-denominated DeFi investments and their local currencies have few options.
Building at the intersection of the $5 trillion-dollar FX market and cryptocurrency derivatives, Vertex has developed the first facility for stablecoin perpetual swaps to trade on Terra. Vertex will offer a range of leveraged FX products, based around Terra’s stablecoins, enabling crypto-natives to trade, pool, borrow and lend currencies via stablecoins in a similar fashion to their TradFi counterparts.
Vertex is built on the Terra blockchain, leveraging the blockchain’s growing DeFi market share and suite of decentralized stablecoins. Terra’s high throughput and low-fee architecture enable seamless cross-border value exchange anywhere, making it an ideal ecosystem for an emerging multi-currency stablecoin protocol.
Vertex recently completed its Testnet phase, with participation from over 75,000 individual users. Capital from the fundraise will be used to scale the protocol’s technological and operational footprint ahead of its Mainnet launch.
Michael Safai, Managing Partner at Dexterity Capital, said: “What Vertex is developing will be highly useful for DeFi participants, especially as global currency volatility persists. As one of the largest liquidity providers in crypto, we recognize the potential of this protocol to contribute towards a vibrant market for investors worldwide. We believe these products have a place in many DeFi portfolios, which is why we’re taking an approach to investment that will help ensure liquidity and growth for Vertex far beyond launch.”
Alex Pack, Managing Partner at Hack VC, commented: “I’ve been fortunate to invest in many projects that have contributed to the maturation of crypto. Vertex’s innovative approach to a novel challenge has the potential to vastly improve how investors protect the value of their DeFi investments. It will be exciting to see how these products help our market continue to grow and take its place in the future of finance.”
A Unique Framework
Vertex is the first trading protocol on Terra to couple an on-chain orderbook with the automated market maker (AMM) framework that operates as a decentralized venue. The orderbook technology enables users to place limit or market orders and find the best price across multiple pools of liquidity. This hybrid framework helps improve execution quality above and beyond the AMM model.
Vertex also stands out for its ability to combine a number of facilities in one venue enabling traders to take positions and hedge in a more capital-efficient manner. The protocol will offer a broad range of capabilities to users via its perpetual swaps offering and a borrowing and lending facility that enables flexible collateral options as well as the ability to conveniently leverage spot.
Perpetual swaps have become highly popular among crypto-native investors in recent years, with daily volumes regularly exceeding $100 billion. The aim of Vertex’s FX offering is to enable non-USD based traders to hedge the currency risk associated with staking yields and other DeFi-related investments.
Alwin Peng, Co-Founder, Vertex said: “We are excited to partner with some of the top trading firms in the space alongside VC partners with deep knowledge in scaling new protocols. The capital and expertise provided will help propel our team forward and put Vertex at the forefront of multi-ccy defi innovation.”
About Vertex Protocol
Vertex Protocol was established by a team of Traders and Engineers with a track record of business building in both TradFi and DeFi markets. They saw the latent market need for users outside of US markets to interact with DeFi in a more flexible way and decided to leverage the growing ecosystem on the Terra blockchain to bring a trading protocol to market. Today they are excited to be at the forefront of smart contract and market innovation for Terra and to help partner with some of the most exciting names in Crypto to build a DeFi protocol that works for all users.
About Dexterity Capital
Dexterity Capital supports the growth of the digital asset ecosystem through trading and liquidity provision. The firm’s trading business is among the largest in the cryptocurrency market, with over $1.25 trillion in volume in 2021, spanning across dozens of exchanges. Its market-making business, DC Liquidity, takes a holistic approach to liquidity provision and capital markets support, providing new and emerging projects with the tools, networks and expert counsel to facilitate healthy, active market activity.
About Hack VC
Hack VC is a $200M crypto seed fund led by Alex Pack (prev co-founder Dragonfly Capital) and Ed Roman (founder, Hack VC). Backers include Fidelity, Temasek, Sequoia, and many more. Hack VC also organizes Hack Summit, the world’s largest remote conference for open-source developers, and Hack Jobs, a job board for engineers looking to dive into web3. The team is known for their early involvement in DeFi projects such as Compound, UMA, Maker, PERP, 1inch.
For Vertex: conor(at)vertexprotocol(dot)com
Public Docs: https://vertex-protocol.gitbook.io/vertex-protocol/getting-started/vertex-overview
Conor Mcnamee, Vertex Protocol, 9054655059, [email protected]
SOURCE Vertex Protocol