OpenANX, a project for a semi-decentralized exchange, co-ordinated by ANX International which powers one of the longest running bitcoin trading platform ANXPRO, has raised more than $16 million worth of assets in the first day of its ICO.
Hugh Madden, technical director for openANX, said he was happy with the number of participants, before further stating that “backers are helping us build the technology needed to secure users’ digital assets with transparency and decentralization at the forefront.”
The project is somewhat complex, aiming to provide a decentralized exchange, but not a completely decentralized one because certain functions need centralized components to attract traders, they say.
They are to use gateways for fiat pairs that turn dollars or pounds into tokens you can exchange into eth or btc after potentially going through KYC, with further mechanisms to provide liquidity.
The decentralized aspect here appears to be that instead of the exchange holding both fiat and crypto, they hold only one of the assets, thus potentially reducing counterparty risks when trading.
It’s not clear whether such gateways and centralized components are also required when trading is limited to digital currencies only, such as bitcoin to eth or vice versa. Because although for fiat such gateways would be necessary to turn them into tokens, the service would probably not be needed for eth/btc pairs.
In any event, they appear to be going for a hybrid. “The current market system of centralized exchanges and decentralized platforms is inherently flawed,” they say. “What is needed is an evolutionary system, one that combines the relative merits of both approaches,” they argue, before further stating:
“Such a system would use a system of collateral to provide measured security and safety of funds for all users, while providing transparency for all parties. By providing a clear method of evaluating risk, it would open new markets for both credit and services that would benefit the community.”
It seems like an interesting, albeit somewhat complex, idea, but whether it works in practice remains to be seen as the exchanges market is fairly competitive, with few succeeding to gain any significant liquidity, thus attracting traders.
However, some see a decentralized exchange that functions well as the holy grail in this space. Towards that end, a hybrid first step might be the way to go, so we’ll see how the project develops.