Ishan Pandey: Hi Justin, welcome to our series “Behind the Startup.” Please tell us about yourself and the story behind Raze Network?
Justin Kellison: Sure. I am Justin Kellison. I have been a contributor in the crypto industry for around 4 years now and have worked with a few multi-million dollar DeFi projects. I have mostly worked on the marketing front and have created exposure and content for the projects I have managed.
I came into crypto in late 2017 and stayed throughout the bear market, learning and growing my network meanwhile. I came in touch with the Raze team through my network and joined them in this beautiful journey!
My focus here will be on growing and strengthening the RAZE community and create ELI5 content for them. The one most asked for.
Privacy is very important. You can’t have true crypto adoption if all your transactions are public on the blockchain ledger.
You won’t like your competitors to know about all your transactions in your professional life, plus not the investors because of potential FOMO/FUD. Similarly, you won’t like the whole world in your personal life knowing what you recently bought, what services you took, etc.
Unfortunately, everything is public on the blockchain, so there is no concept of privacy there.
This is the field Raze is working for, providing privacy to transactions where privacy is required. Because of our highly interoperable nature, we believe we will be able to provide privacy across all chains in the near future.
Ishan Pandey: Please tell us a little bit about how cross-chain privacy works?
Justin Kellison: Transfer of tokens via an anonymization mainly use three technical modules:
1. Mint: Converts any token into an anonymized version of itself.
2. Redeem: Converts the anonymized token back into its native form.
3. Transfer: Enables the anonymous transfer of the token, conceal the identity of both sender and receiver, and the amount being sent.
It is an easy process, but this way, all the transactions you do are anonymized and no one can track it.
All these services will be available on our layer-2 privacy-preserving network. This means we will be building our own privacy-focused ecosystem on our own layer-2 network! This is very important to ensure that there is financial privacy and security for users to ensure the fundamental right to privacy is upheld and this can be done through smart contracts.
Ishan Pandey: What is the Substrate-based smart contract module, and how does para-leasing on Polkadot work?
Justin Kellison: Our Substrate-based smart contract uses zkSNARKs algorithms and its modules (Mint, Transfer and Redeem).
These 3 modules help in preserving the privacy of the transactions, balances, and parties involved, as explained above.
Every selected parachain will get a leasing period, after which it will be churned out and others will jump in. That’s the approach Polkadot is taking.
Ishan Pandey: How does the secret DeFi bridgework? Further, what would be its impact on the industry?
Justin Kellison: Secret DeFi bridge simply means a layer-2 privacy solution that is built with RazeVM is compatible with all VM chains. This means the product can connect to Ethereum, Polkadot, IOST, Harmony, Binance Smart Chain etc, and mint private tokens from their ecosystem to our layer-2 privacy-preserving solution.
All this will be done privately, as the zkSNARKs algorithm will be used to mint these tokens.
This will significantly affect the DeFi industry, as it will be the first product that can provide privacy to so many chains and boost privacy assets liquidity by sourcing liquidity from all these chains. This is a one-of-a-kind product which the DeFi world will be seeing in action very soon.
Ishan Pandey: Polkadot’s ever-expanding ecosystem tackled scalability, interoperability, and security concerns. What measures can be adopted further to strengthen privacy and security within the DeFi space?
Justin Kellison: We need to understand that privacy is one of the fundamental pillars for the success of DeFi. All DeFi users should be able to use their preferred services in a completely private manner, with the VM integration. No need to move and try a separate app, just directly mint private tokens in 1:1 ratio directly from your preferred dApp (Ex: Uniswap, Compound, Phantasma, RioDeFi, MantraDAO etc.).
Very easy and simple process. Thus onboarding and adoption will be easy and immense, leading to the destruction of decentralization and privacy, which are the building blocks of DeFi.
Ishan Pandey: The industry’s growth has attracted a significant amount of traffic and users to the emerging cryptocurrency asset; however, as consumer knowledge grows, the “transparency” of most native blockchain networks has become a source of concern for market participants to the participation of regulators. How, according to you, has this affected the market and what is the solution to this issue?
Justin Kellison: Privacy is a growing concern. It’s not good or safe to share all your transactions with every person in the world. This is why a privacy protocol is necessary, which can anonymize the transaction enough to make the transfer secure from all threats and information leakage.
The solution is simple, and this is what we are working on. Whether you want to do staking, lending, pooling, leverage, or even NFT transactions, everything can be done through Raze Network. You will see our product in action this year only, with Testnet very-very soon. Stay tuned.
Ishan Pandey: Recently, a whopping $ 10 million was stolen by withdrawing a large sum of ETH tokens from the Rari Capital decentralized financial protocol. One of the most rampant problems that are way too common within the DeFi ecosystem is hacking. In this regard, please tell us what measures can be adopted by these platforms, from a cybersecurity standpoint, to reduce such breaches?
Justin Kellison: First of all, the code must be open-sourced for anyone to cross-check it, and bounties must be available for those who report bugs/issues. This is a great behaviour that will attract many developers, and incentives will encourage more bug reports/involvement from them.
Secondly, the code must be audited by reputable firms/third parties to check any critical issues from another set of eyes. These two are the basic steps every DeFi protocol should take. The next step could be partnering with insurance protocols to secure the community’s funds further.
Ishan Pandey: Vitalik Buterin has recently donated a billion dollars to help India fight Covid-19, which has devastated the country in its second wave. Do you think such donations, especially within the crypto space, will help in raising awareness within the traditional system?
Justin Kellison: Yes indeed. In my opinion, this was a good step. And such actions will bring more eyes to crypto and the DeFi ecosystem (as ETH has the most dApps atm). As people do a deep dive, they will understand why blockchain is important and how holding FIAT is ruining their future. I was hoping for more great outcomes from this selfless deed from Vitalik.
Ishan Pandey: According to you, what next trends are we going to witness in the digital assets industry?
Justin Kellison: More focus on the growing decentralized industry, shifting of liquidity from Cexes to Dexes, and ultimately on the privacy aspects. Having complete control over your assets is necessary, and keeping such info personal to you is your right. Soon the wider community will realize this, and protocols working on providing such services will see significant adoption.
I am looking forward to contributing towards that goal in the upcoming years!
The purpose of this article is to remove informational asymmetry existing today in our digital markets by performing due diligence by asking the right questions and equipping readers with better opinions to make informed decisions. The material does not constitute any investment, financial, or legal advice. Please do your research before investing in any digital assets or tokens, etc. The writer does not have any vested interest in the company. Ishan Pandey, legal researcher at Karm Legal Consultants.