BTSE AMA Highlights: A Conversation with SynFutures Partner Matt TFG on September 30, 2021

On September 30, 2021, SynFutures partner Matt TFG joined the BTSE Telegram community for an AMA.

SynFutures is a next-generation synthetic assets derivatives exchange focused on creating an open and trustless derivatives market by enabling trading on anything with a price feed. By cultivating a free market and maximizing the variety of tradable assets, SynFutures is lowering the barrier to entry in the derivatives market, creating a more equitable digital assets exchange market.

SynFutures’ next virtual meeting will take place on Oct 11th 2021, at 13:00 UTC with Layer 2 and will again feature some excellent speakers. For more information, please check out Twitter.

Also, tune in to the discussion on October 12th at 9 am (EST) over on the YouTube channel. SynFutures will be giving away 2000 NFTs valued at $50 each as airdrops for FutureX. Supply is limited and it’s first come first serve so make sure to hurry over to Gleam and enter!

Here are the highlights of the AMA in case you missed it.

• • •

Introduction

BTSE Moderator:

Please welcome @MattTFG in joining us today as the guest from SynFutures! Please take a moment and introduce yourself and the team.

Matt TFG:

Hi everyone, my name is Matt TFG, aka The Finance Guy. I am a partner and Chief Strategy Officer at SynFutures.

Prior to starting SynFutures, I established one of the world’s largest consortium blockchain-based cross-border trade finance platforms. And before that, I had many years of experience in trading and investment for investment banks and large multinational fintech companies. Other founding members come from various global financial institutions and blockchain technology companies such as Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Nomura Securities, Ant Financial, and Bitmain.

• • •

Overview of SynFutures

BTSE Moderator:

Please give us an intro of what SynFutures does.

Matt TFG:

SynFutures is a decentralized synthetic asset derivatives trading platform (i.e., derivatives DEX)

In Version 1, we launch an Ethereum-based futures market for a variety of assets, including Ethereum native, cross-chain, and off-chain real-world assets to be synthesized and freely traded against ERC 20 tokens as margin.

For more details, you can visit www.synfutures.com.

BTSE Moderator:

What is the main problem the team is trying to solve?

Matt TFG:

In many exchanges, users can only trade the pairs that have been already provided. Many long-tail assets are not available, especially in terms of perpetual and futures.

We want to provide all the traders a place to trade any asset they want at any time, in a DeFi way. The second part is about the quality of DeFi derivatives products. With solid financial engineering and tech capabilities, we believe that SynFutures can offer a better derivatives product in the DeFi world, as compared to the existing ones. For example, one clear comparison with Synthetix can be found here.

BTSE Moderator:

How is the team going about solving the problem?

Matt TFG:

SynFutures V1 already allows users to create their asset pairs in a permissionless way and take leveraged long or short positions based on anything such as BTC, altcoins, gold, hash rate, and real-world assets.

In June, we launched our SynFutures V1. It will shortly be upgraded as a “Beta.” Today it is live on four different networks, including Ethereum Mainnet, Arbitrum, Polygon, and BSC. You can already trade permissionlessly using SynFutures V1 on these networks. More to come!

The V1 info can be found here. Although, we will shortly have a Beta upgrade as well.

• • •

Investors & Partners

BTSE Moderator:

Please share with us your investors and partners.

Matt TFG:

In June, we had a Round A funding led by Polychain, joined by Pantera, Framework, Bybit, Wintermute, CMS, Woo, IOSG, and Finlink. Earlier this year, our seed round was supported by Dragonfly and Standard Crypto.

For detailed info on our latest round and strategic supporters, you can read more here.

• • •

Technical Aspects of SynFutures

BTSE Moderator:

Which chain are you building on, and can you share what sort of gas fees users are expected to pay? Any mitigation factor?

Matt TFG:

So far, we have supported the Ethereum mainnet, Polygon network, Arbitrum, and BSC network.

We believe that multichain deployment is the right strategy due to many factors such as user base, ecosystem resources, and of course, fees. In DeFi so far, there is a triangle balance among fee, stability, and decentralization. So as a trading platform, we try to strike a balance among these factors while keeping options open for future upgrades.

In our upcoming Beta version, we reduced the platform reserve fee from 5bps to 1bp to offer users a more efficient trading experience. We are also actively exploring additional networks, including Avalanche, Solana, and Optimism, etc. Improving user experience in the DeFi derivatives world is what we strive for.

• • •

What Sets SynFutures Apart?

BTSE Moderator:

There are a few decentralized derivatives platforms already on the market. In your view, what sets SynFutures apart?

Matt TFG:

1) List any assets within 30 seconds

Put simply, SynFutures is Uniswap for futures contracts: users can easily list their own futures contracts of arbitrary trading pairs with just a few clicks. There is no need to even go through a DAO or committee as other DEX do

2) Single-token LP

Users can use one token to provide liquidity to various asset pairs, whether large-cap cryptocurrencies, altcoins, traditional equities, gold, indices, or any other asset they desire. Typical LPs use USDC, USDT, ETH, WETH, WBTC, BUSD, etc., for their liquidity provision without exposing the underlying asset directional risk

3) Rigid risk management and safety

Backed by solid experience from the TradFi financial engineering and DeFi protocol safety, SynFutures has many risk management features (e.g., anti-flashloan attack, EMA smoothing method, etc.) and has gone through external code audits.

• • •

Upcoming Plans

BTSE Moderator:

Apart from derivatives trading, what other features do you have in your product suite?

Matt TFG:

We believe that SynFutures will be able to level the playing field for the average investor by cultivating a free and open market for derivatives trading, as well as a good testing ground for new tech solutions in blockchain.

Moving forward, we plan to roll out several exciting new products. Index futures, such as Hash Rate Futures, the world’s first fully decentralized hash rate derivative allowing users to hedge or trade on the mining difficulty of bitcoin.

V2 Shared margin futures, including perpetual futures and decentralized futures basis trading.

V3 Cross margin futures, including a one-click solution for hedging the “impermanent loss” risk for LP in a variety of DeFi AMM trading platforms.

Very interestingly, with the recent booming NFT market, we were able to introduce the world’s first NFT-based futures, with AMM-like continuous liquidity (rather than auction-based pricing).

BTSE Moderator:

Is SynFutures trading platform already live? And if not, is there any way for us to sign up for early access?

Matt TFG:

Yes, currently, users can sign up for early access on https://www.synfutures.com/. We are going to launch the Beta version this week.

BTSE Moderator:

Are there any plans for SynFutures to launch a token?

Matt TFG:

There is no official plan for token launch yet. Although we understand the high expectation from communities and supporters. Please stay tuned to our official channels for more updated info.

• • •

SynFutures’ pre-DAO Committee

BTSE Moderator:

Can you share what your pre-DAO committee is about and what that means?

Matt TFG:

Given that we are further decentralizing and transitioning into a DAO, we launched this pre-DAO committee. “FutureX.”

FutureX is our pre-DAO committee that precedes the development of a fully-fledged DAO that will eventually control and manage all SynFutures decisions and actions.

The transition to full community governance will be a step-by-step process and managed with a relentless focus on security. We aim to strike a balance between diversified ownership and efficiency in decision-making and execution. During the transition period, FutureX will serve to:

● Foster communication between community members, core contributors, investors, and partners

● Spark ideas for SynFutures’ development through sharing market insights

● Prepare and practice for SynFutures’ community governance process.

● Increase SynFutures’ brand awareness

BTSE Moderator:

Any new exciting partnerships, developments, or plans?

Matt TFG:

There are some highlights of FutureX’s first meet-up here.

As we are progressing in product launches (v2 and v3), we are also expanding the community and partnerships. We will continue to level the playing field for the average investor by improving our users’ capital efficiency, simplifying the UIUX.

We believe that DeFi will have 100 million users in 1 year. Therefore, there are vast opportunities, yet requiring a user-centric model, rather than purely tech. We look for more partners sharing the same vision to join us along this journey.

• • •

Community Questions

Jaden x 2000 (@jadenx2000):

Are you afraid someday there will be another project with more innovative technology that can replace your project?

Matt TFG:

I would be very happy if other projects were more technologically advanced than ours. However, this is also the way where we become more technologically advanced than the previous derivative projects. In fact, this innovative spirit is what makes the DeFi community strong and flourishing.

We are very actively looking for new projects in this area to develop and can work with them or even invest in them.

• • •

The First Human (@TheFirstHuman):

What are your plans on Global adoption? What is the next goal you want to achieve? Where will your main development market be?

Matt TFG:

We are global from Day 1. The first small goal we achieved was to have more than 10,000 users. We already passed that.

The next small goal to achieve is to have 1 million users. We look to achieve this in the next 6–12 months to grow together with the entire DeFi world.

• • •

LOLeannie (@LOLeannie):

Since NFTs are popular nowadays, is there a plan for NFT integration?

Matt TFG:

Yes. In fact, there are three plans.

1) On the marketing side, we have issued valuable NFTs to the communities supporters to reward their continued support

2) On the product side, we have launched the worlds’ first NFT-based futures www.NFTures.com

3) On the governance side, we are actively exploring new ways for NFTs to play together with future ERC20 gov tokens

• • •

Justin in the Lake (@luckyjust1n):

What will your eventual DAO look like? Will active users of your platform have a say in some of the governance proposals?

Matt TFG:

Given the large user base and active community support, our DAO will be very decentralized. Active users will definitely have a stronger say/vote in this process.

• • •

Sammy (@Bolia664):

How important is the community to you? How can we collaborate or help you with the project’s development?

Matt TFG:

Community is at the core of SynFutures. Besides making normal contributions, you can also sign up as an Ambassador here.

• • •

Twitter Questions

Degree: How does SynFutures ensure the integrity of the pricing oracles used to ward off incidents such as the one that happened with the Pyth network?

Matt TFG:

The integrity of the pricing Oracle is always the most important part of a derivative exchange.

We have seen various incidents where the oracles have been attacked, affecting the actual price in the exchange. On the first day of design, we clearly described our financial risk management module as Oracle attack resistant.

One key difference is that while other exchanges use external oracles as the actual price, we use external articles only as settlement price for futures contracts true converged to spot upon maturity. In this way, the external Oracle does not affect future prices. Instead, the future prices are discovered by long and short traders with actual money. This price discovery is more effective and follows a similar design in the real world financial markets, where future exchanges have their own price discovery mechanism rather than relying on external Oracles or data sources.

• • •

Luffy ❀ ルフィ| 翔陽くん: How can the community contribute to SynFuturesDeFi progress? Do you have a Governance model? Are there any ambassadors or bug bounties or contests we can help with to enable further adoption?

Matt TFG:

We are community-driven from Day 1. At this moment, we have a small and active community of around 10,000 members in discord, 10,000 followers on Twitter, and about 5,000 members on telegram. Numbers are not exact.

At the same time, we have a very active ambassador program that started two months ago.

Currently, there are four levels of ambassadors, about 500–600 in total, with nationalities and geographies around the world. We also periodically run bug bounty programs. The most recent bug bounty program we ran was earlier this month, with a total budget of a couple of thousand USDC. And whenever we launch a new product, we always invite selected active community members to test out and participate in bug bounty programs.

We encourage all types of participation from the community, including participating in our events, registering as an ambassador, trading on our platform, and tuning in for the next FutureX.

• • •

Felipe Alves: What is the market for #SynFuturesDeFi? Who are the potential clients you’re concentrating on? What is #SynFuturesDeFi strategy or goal for attracting new users around the world, particularly in communities where people are unfamiliar with cryptocurrency and do not speak English?

Matt TFG:

We aim to democratize the derivatives market. Our clients are any potential users who would like to trade derivatives, including retail and institutions.

We realize that the larger demand for derivatives is actually on the retail side rather than institutions. This, on the surface, looks different from the traditional finance world, however entirely in line with what we see in the centralized exchanges.

We are positioned for such growth together with the DeFi market.

  1. We built an easy-to-use user interface, which is very rare in the world of DeFi.
  2. We are building a global community and global user base rather than focusing on a specific jurisdiction origin.
  3. On top of the English-centric content strategy today, we will shortly launch a couple of local language community channels in our Discord server with the help of our ambassador community.

If you are interested in becoming our local channel leader, please go and apply here.

• • •

Queen: Given your impression lineup of top-tier VCs and trading houses, would the platform’s focus be for retail or institutional players?

Matt TFG:

Our focus is on the real users. Some other projects are after computer-driven bots, while we believe that only real users have value and can support the long-term growth of a platform.

In fact, our strength and differentiation are in the long-tail assets. This is due to our native permissionlessness listing, where any user can list a new asset in 30 seconds.

This is the same as Uniswap. No need to go through any governance or team approvals. So far, we have not seen any other derivatives platform offering such a mechanism, enabling a large variety of selections across different networks.

We believe that more retail than institutional players are active in this specific targeted market. On the other hand, the VC and large institutions also support SynFutures in various ways, such as increasing the liquidity depth and coordination on design and development.

• • •

Cattus: DeFi Traders often get rekt and liquidated through sudden sharp spikes; how does SynFutures help protect traders?

Matt TFG:

Backed by solid experience from the TradFi financial engineering and DeFi protocol safety, SynFutures has many risk management features (e.g., anti-flashloan attack, EMA smoothing method, etc.) and has gone through external code audits.

Sharp spikes driven by flashloans in oracle prices have been known to cause unintended liquidations. In SynFutures’ design, we have built an anti-flashloan mechanism, where the price of underlying futures cannot move by a certain % in one block (a proxy of “very short period of time”). Also, the liquidation mark price is smoothed with the TWA method.

Three months since we launched, we have not had any flashloan-driven liquidations.

• • •

Community Engagement

BTSE Moderator:

Is there any way for the community to take a more active role in SynFutures?

Matt TFG:

Absolutely! We are constantly upgrading our community structure, Ambassador program, NFT program, and shortly will launch a community-driven academy.

Come and join our growing family!

BTSE Moderator:

What should the community anticipate in the near future?

Matt TFG:

Recently, we launched an NFT airdrop to the community. That’s a new way of receiving good engagement from active members. DeFinitely participate in it!

The Beta launch is coming soon, and v2 will shortly follow.

• • •

SynFutures on Social Media

Website: https://www.synfutures.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SynFuturesDeFi

Telegram: https://t.me/synfutures_DeFi

Discord: https://discord.com/invite/qMX2kcQk7A

Medium: https://medium.com/synfutures

Github: https://github.com/SynFutures

General inquiries: info@synfutures.com