🐋TELEGRAM AMA: Im Community & Portal Finance 🐋
⏰ AMA Timing : 30th June 2022 l 02:00 PM UTC
Venue For AMA : https://t.me/imcommunityitw

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Bà Tân | :
Today our guest is: @geoburke from Portal Finance.

Ahrix : Welcome @geoburke to the IM community.

Bà Tân | : Before the first, please introduce yourself a little bit: @geoburke���

George Burke : Hi, hold on a minute. Someone came to the door

George Burke : Need a few minutes

Bà Tân | : Guys, please take 1 minute to join https://t.me/portalgroupchat to prepare for session 3 of the AMA.

George Burke : OK I’m back

George Burke : Sorry!

Bà Tân | : No problem, sir���

George Burke : My name is George Burke, a co-founder at Portal. Our team started working on this since 2018 but I’ve been involved in bitcoin since early 2013. Always a believer in censorship resistant, egalitarian technologies.

I built a bitcoin/altcoin exchange in 2013 which was sold. I later went on to build the first bitcoin debit card in the US called FreshPay.

Prior to crypto, I launched the first “netflix for books” subscription club.

I also currently run the first-ever bitcoin meetup — Silicon Valley Bitcoin — SVBTC.org — first started by Roger Ver and Andreas Antonopolous.

Done

Bà Tân | : Thanks for the introduction.

Bà Tân | : Today’s AMA will have 3 session

Session 1: Project Introduction

Session 2: Question From Twitter (https://mobile.twitter.com/IM_Communityitw/status/1541766268369649665) (will choose 5 question)

Session 3: Free Asking (will choose 5 question) Held at the group https://t.me/portalgroupchat

Bà Tân | : Start session 1 AMA.

Bà Tân | : 1.Can you explain what is Portal and what makes the team started this project? @geoburke

George Burke : Our company Portal — https://portaldefi.com — recently announced an ~$8.5M raise to give birth to DeFi built on Bitcoin.

We believe financial applications should be built on the protocol that is most likely to become the base money layer. Portal makes DeFi unstoppable with anonymous, zero-knowledge swaps via the first true cross-chain DEX that’s genuinely trustless. Unlike Uniswap/others, Portal eliminates minting wrapped coins (ie wBTC, wETH) or risky staking with intermediaries. Trading across incompatible blockchains is now just 1-click, trustless and private.

Fabric protocol, our layer 2 & 3 technology powering Portal, enables building censorship-resistant communications, media and one-click cross-chain swaps, all on Bitcoin (along with all its security advantages).

Done

Bà Tân | : 2. Let’s talk about your partnerships and collaborations. How many projects have you collaborated with so far? Any interesting partnerships for the community to look forward to?

George Burke : Several blockchains are looking for bridges to swap between their token and bitcoin, but these don’t trustlessly exist (yet). We have a few blockchains wanting integration for near trustless swapping and bonding between their token and bitcoin (or other tokens of incompatible blockchains). This interoperability is the holy grail of the crypto space. Building support for all these blockchains and token issuers wanting to have a trustless onramp & offramp between their coin and BTC is a crucial component to widespread adoption. We could stop there, but we won’t.

First partner we can name is Aeternity…

…Another partnership is with Ankr.

Check it out: https://cryptoslate.com/press-releases/portal-and-ankr-announce-strategic-partnership-to-boost-defi-adoption/

…Then there’s Polygon working with us to provide trustless bridging for their native stablecoin: https://dailyhodl.com/2021/11/17/portal-and-polygon-enter-strategic-partnership-to-boost-bitcoin-usability-in-defi-ecosystem/

…And we just announced a partnership with Chainlink: https://cointelegraph.com/press-releases/portal-partners-with-chainlink-to-bring-trusted-data-onto-its-bitcoin-based-dex

But we’ll start more simply with swaps between BTC & ETH that are trustless, noncustodial, anonymous, and super fast.

Done

Bà Tân | : 3. Can you tell us a little bit about the team behind Portal? How big is it and how long have you worked together?

George Burke : Check out the capability and experience of our team:

I’m very proud of the allstars I get a chance to work alongside every day:

- Eric Martindale 11 years in Bitcoin, Head of Open Source at Blockstream and Engineering at BitPay, advisor to Lemniscap, and is the inventor of Fabric.

- Chandra Duggirala, Bitcoiner and M.D. turned entrepreneur, ran two 8-figure software businesses, and is the inventor of functional layer 2 cross-chain atomic swaps (he solved problems keeping Tier Nolan’s atomic swaps impractical until now).

- Alexey Melnichenko, 6 years architecting token & exchange design, engineer at Phantom Cyber (acquired by Splunk), designed the exchange engine at Totle.

- Manoj Duggirala Led a 150-engineer team at Invensense, designed the Apple M7 co-processor in phones and watches, ex-IBM Almaden. Engineering at Stanford.

- George Burke, 9 years in bitcoin, 3 exits in peer-to-peer/community startups incl. early bitcoin exchange Crypto Street, created the first Bitcoin debit card, and runs the world’s oldest bitcoin meetup.

- Johnny Dilley, VP of Strategy & Product at Blockstream. Conceptualized Liquid sidechains. Early VC at Pantera. 9 years in Bitcoin.

- Jack Mills, Engineering Architect of Casper Labs / RChain, and previous Director of Enterprise Platforms at Intel. Engineering at Stanford.

- Anand Suresh — our latest hire — helped invent Shingled Magnetic Recording drives used by Seagate, and engineer at DFINITY launching the Internet Computer (ICP) mainnet.

Here’s how we came together.

Manoj, Chandra, and I had built previous 7-figure startups and wanted to solve problems in crypto. I knew the Fabric CEO Eric Martindale for many years as a friend in the bitcoin space. He was a bitcoin god. Early at a Blockstream and early at BitPay and was one of the few human beings to undestand Layer 2’s and sidechains. Eric was first a mentor and advisor to our team. Johnny and Alexey worked with him at Fabric. Later they joined us to build Portal…

Done

Bà Tân | : 4. The DeFi industry keeps changing and it’s instrumental for projects to keep adapting to such changes. What are your plans to sustain in such a volatile environment?

George Burke : I see many other chains dying off eventually, leaving only Bitcoin and some others. Sorry for the bad news, altcoiners. Bitcoin is king and in my opinion likely will always be.

The only failures I see come from nation-state attacks OR from internal bickering among core developers; NOT from competitve chains.

If this is true, it means we can AND SHOULD concentrate on building on bitcoin.

I believe the DeFi revolution — AKA immutable, self-executing financial contracts accessible to all — brings the world to play in a financial marketplace that previously only 1st world countries, large institutions had access to.

Portal is building the capability for this trillion dollar DeFi sector to exist on the most trusted chain in the world, Bitcoin.

When trillions of dollars of financial contracts are running on the Bitcoin chain, it creates an entire economy that politicians wouldn’t dare over-regulate for fear of collapse. DeFi, when finally applied to Bitcoin, is how we will protect Bitcoin from nation state attacks.

Done

Bà Tân | : 5. Did you face any challenges in the bear market? How do you plan to sustain and thrive through such market conditions?

George Burke : 1) If you’re talking about today’s price trend, anyone not experienced in Bitcoin might think the ecosystem is imploding… But having been in Bitcoin since 2013, I’ve seen even WORSE price collapses at least 3 times before. Price aside, the hash rate of the Bitcoin Network is the strongest it’s ever been. This is indicative of things not going away.

2) As a company & project, Portal is not experiencing hardship in any way. We had a large fundraise and have enough treasury to weather MANY bull/bear cycles ���

Done

Bà Tân | : End of session 1

Bà Tân | : We will move on to session 2.

Bà Tân | : Session 2: Question From Twitter (https://mobile.twitter.com/IM_Communityitw/status/1541766268369649665) (will choose 5 question)

Ready

Bà Tân | : Question1. Portal makes DeFi unstoppable with anonymous and knowledgeless exchanges via the first true cross-chain DEX that is genuinely trustworthy. So, how does Portal differ and benefit from other DEXs by eradicating the minting of wrapped coins or risky bets with intermediaries? @BanePapih.

George Burke : The problems of today’s DeFi and DEXs that we’re solving with Portal are:

1) High gas fees: we utilize layer 2 for cross-chain swaps by which nodes can communicate hundreds or thousands of messages/transactions prior to settling on the main chain.

2) Poor UX: We agree the user experience for DEX trading has been awful so far. We have a beautiful non-custodial wallet that is as easy to use as Coinbase but self-sovereign and trust-minimized, where you can store coins and trade from within the same interface. We’ve worked years on developing this.

3) Asset locking & asset replication: The wrapping and locking of funds onto other chains by these so-called “cross-chain” DEXes/Bridges are neither trustless nor decentralized, nor are they even cross-chain! BitGo custodies the majority of the billions of locked up BTC. As we saw with the $600M Axie/Ronin hack and the recent $100M Harmony One hack, these Bridges are honeypots waiting to happen. Atomic swaps solves this. Wrapping tokens becomes a thing of the past since coins of incompatible chains can be traded natively and without a risky middle-man. Each party’s funds are only locked during trade execution and not re-bonded or replicated onto other chains for eternity.

Done

Bà Tân | : Question2. I read that Portal Finance is already close to making its public offering at Republic, which is great, but when is the launch planned for? Is the team willing to wait for the market to stabilize to avoid launching in a scenario of uncertainty? @Sadhow_1

George Burke : Sure, first some background: On the regulatory front, we have been seeing SEC lawsuits to various token projects for raising on an unregistered security; potentially fraud. This can be as little as a fine of millions or as bad as going to jail. Any issuer who promises an investor tokens is irrepairably tethering the network token to the fundraise and will forever make that token a security. We will see any tokens deemed securities to be banned from trading on non-brokerage exchanges (which is pretty much all of them).

Instead, Portal’s fundraise happening NEXT WEEK — through a compliant securities offering on the best lauchpad in the world, REPUBLIC — is specifically designed to preserve the non-security nature of a digital asset that runs on the decentralized network, and therefore is never sold, given away, airdropped, etc. This way it can always be as freely transferrable as BTC itself. For more info on this, see the writeup we did on this compliant fundraise model here: https://blog.portaldefi.com/no-ico . Compound and Chia used a similar mechanism.

If you wish to participate, you’ll need to first register for the whitelist here: https://go.portaldefi.com/whitelist

You’ll also need to have an active and KYC’d account on Republic.com (http://republic.com/). They’ll make the announcement of launch only to registered users.

To make this easy, we wrote a blog post to outline the steps to participation here: https://medium.com/portal-finance/steps-to-get-involved-in-the-portal-republic-sale-13819fdef6c8

Regarding product, we’re aiming for beta before the end of the year

Done

Bà Tân | : Question3. Bitcoin is the iconic decentralized financial network, but it has problems with its scalability and TPS number. Does this affect the ecosystem that the Portal has built on Bitcoin? How do you solve this current problem and execute your activities and transactions effectively? @shihadk6785

George Burke : I disagre with the premise of this question. The Bitcoin Network is QUITE scalable with utilization of LAYER 2 applications.

We’re building ON BITCOIN through use of the Fabric Protocol…

FABRIC is the protocol for peer to peer message passing and contracting using bitcoin as the security layer. All of the layered networks built using Fabric can use portal to exchange into Bitcoin and other assets. It is a natural fit for what we are doing. Portal improves Fabric protocol and Fabric is needed for Portal.

What Eric invented for Fabric is the protocol built ON BITCOIN for peer-to-peer message passing and contracting using bitcoin as the security layer. All of the layered networks and DAPPs built using Fabric can utilize Portal to exchange into Bitcoin and other assets. It is a natural fit to have our teams unified and aligned.

Done

Bà Tân | : Question4.Because the Portal is an open platform, interoperability may be achieved without the requirement to wrap or connect assets in the same chain. The portal does not impose restrictions on communication across chains. What functions do the portals serve? What benefits does it offer? @imwiiw27 (https://twitter.com/imwiiw27)

George Burke : To answer this, you need to know what Portal is and its underlying technology, Fabric. — https://fabric.pub

1) Fabric is the protocol, built ON BITCOIN, for peer-to-peer message passing and contracting using bitcoin as the security layer. All of the layered networks built using Fabric can use portal to exchange into Bitcoin and other assets. It is a natural fit to have the team unified and aligned.

2) Portal, built on Fabric, is enabling atomic swaps for coins across incompatible blockchains; trust-minimized trading using the security model of bitcoin.

3) Here’s what’s so exciting and unique about atomic swaps:

Atomic transaction means either the entire cross chain contract (typically updating of both ledgers) happens all in one piece. For example, if you “atomic swap” your Bitcoin with someone’s ETH, either you get their money and they get yours, or nothing happens. It provides guarantees of a secure execution of an exchange without a trusted third party.

To fix the problems that have made layer 1 “tier nolan” atomic swaps impractical until today — such as miner front-running, long transaction times, lockup griefing, and all-or-nothing order execution, first we are utilizing Layer 2 for fast communication and coordination, including the ability to recompose orders into smaller chunks to create execution that is fungible, and therefore scalable. It’s done through the Fabric protocol (the protocol we use to build p2p ZK circuits for FHE), has been used to build peer to peer communication and other apps. We utilize Fabric like a Lightning Network that is purpose-built for trading.

Second, we invented zero-knowledge swaps at a layer 3. How can a decentralized exchange layer be truly censorship-resistant if traders are known and addresses can be traced? So, Fabric technology enables ZK circuit creation which, when implemented, opens the door to a whole host of new methods of obfuscating transactions without losing verifiability. With regards to revenue, all facilitators get paid based on the value of trades they facilitate. Our revenue is tied to the growth of the network and userbase. We are seeing a lot of interest from users and we expect it to only go higher.

Done

Bà Tân | : Question5. How will the data be stored in the system? What security measures does #PortalFinance (https://twitter.com/hashtag/PortalFinance?src=hashtag_click) have in place to ensure that users’s assets are secure? Have you already secured agreements or partnership with banks/credit card companies, and filed for licenses with regulators? @XacKhong

George Burke : I already mentioned partnerships. How about security:

1) Building a secure layer 1 system is incredibly hard. We don’t want to do that; Fabric uses the layer 1 system that already exists and therefore we use Bitcoin as OUR layer 1.

In Portal’s DEX, the contracts don’t depend on anything other than the trading pairs’ native chains… say BTC<>ETH. We are harnessing the security already built into Bitcoin and into Ethereum; the atomic swap contracts are minimal. Independently audited and tested to the max by a truly decentralized network before going live over the course of the past 5 years.

Unlike wrappers and bridges, these coins are not re-bonded into Portal and are not honeypots. The community treasury does not contain exposed user’s funds. The exposure is limited only to the token which is being traded — NOT what is bonded. This is the main difference between the Portal project and other so-called false “cross-chain DEX” projects. The flaw in bonding/wrapping is double the exposure for a breach in security; be it theft, risk, hacking. It’s like making a duplicate -or a triplicate- of your house key. The Portal project is designed to protect your key- the reliance on simple and native atomic swaps means there isn’t anything to expose. This is possible through the use of Fabric Protocol technology, which is an internet built on the layer 1 blockchain of bitcoin — the timechain itself.

2) Bitcoin provides the security; no need to implement a new system and attempt to garner superior adoption. Bitcoin is the most decentralized and secure system and we think it is the monetary layer. If you want to build functionality, financial contracts, and beyond, it makes sense to build it on top of the monetary layer vs any other layer. More importantly, layers of functionality enable bitcoin to capture the value, but not the risk of a failure of a layer 2 system.

Done

Bà Tân | : Congratulations to the winners of session 2.

@BanePapih

@Sadhow_1

@shihadk6785

@imwiiw27

@XacKhong

Bà Tân | : Alright, Session 2 has finished perfectly. Appreciate your detailed responses @geoburke ���

Bà Tân | : End of session 2

Bà Tân | : We’ll move on to session 3

Bà Tân | : Session 3: Free Asking (will choose 5 question) Held at the group https://t.me/portalgroupchat

George Burke : We have enough questiuons. Please mute the channel

George Burke : Now

Bà Tân | : Please choose the best 5 questions and answer it for session 3, Thank you���

George Burke : Please mute the channel NOW

George Burke : Good grief. This is insane. MANY MANY QUESTIONS. Sorry I can only get to 5

Q1. Since NFT is popular nowadays, is there a plan for NFT integration?S

George Burke : Yes, NFTs are hot!

I already see incompatible siloes being problematic because an NFT on one chain cannot be accessed through smart contracts on another chain.

Since Portal is all about cross-chain, trustless interoperability, I can see a future where we may be able to bridge the gaps between siloed NFT platforms. I also see a future where a single NFT can be bonded with several FUNGIBLE tokens being minted for fractionated ownership. Fabric’s technology would enable Portal to build both of these awesome NFT-features… HOWEVER, our roadmap is community driven and they will be the ones to direct the development team down that path. We shall see!

Q2. What is your main focus right now, are you focusing on community or market / exchange or products and how can we enjoy?

George Burke : Security is the top priority; but by solving Security, we’re also solving Product.

Today’s DEXs and Bridges have been security nightmares.

The wrapping and locking of funds onto other chains by these so-called “cross-chain” DEXes/Bridges are neither trustless nor decentralized, nor are they even cross-chain! BitGo custodies the majority of the billions of locked up BTC. As we saw with the $600M Axie Infinity/Ronin hack and the recent $100M Harmony One hack, these Bridges are honeypots waiting to happen. Atomic swaps solves this. Wrapping tokens becomes a thing of the past since coins of incompatible chains can be traded natively and without a risky middle-man. Each party’s funds are only locked during trade execution and not re-bonded or replicated onto other chains for eternity.

Q3. I am interested to invest in your project. When and where can I buy your tokens? Is it already listed exchanges?

George Burke : We cannot discuss tokens or token price. Why? On the regulatory front, we have been seeing SEC lawsuits to various token projects for raising on an unregistered security; potentially fraud. This can be as little as a fine of millions or as bad as going to jail. Any issuer who promises an investor tokens is irrepairably tethering the network token to the fundraise and will forever make that token a security. We will see any tokens deemed securities to be banned from trading on non-brokerage exchanges (which is pretty much all of them).

Instead, Portal’s fundraise happening NEXT WEEK — through a compliant securities offering on the best lauchpad in the world, Republic — is specifically designed to preserve the non-security nature of a digital asset that runs on the decentralized network, and therefore is never sold, given away, airdropped, etc. This way it can always be as freely transferrable as BTC itself. For more info on this, see the writeup we did on this compliant fundraise model here: https://blog.portaldefi.com/no-ico . Compound and Chia used a similar mechanism.

If you wish to participate, you’ll need to first register for the whitelist here: https://go.portaldefi.com/whitelist

You’ll also need to have an active and KYC’d account on Republic.com (http://republic.com/). They’ll make the announcement of launch only to registered users.

To make this easy, we wrote a blog post to outline the steps to participation here: https://medium.com/portal-finance/steps-to-get-involved-in-the-portal-republic-sale-13819fdef6c8

Q4. How strong is your team? Many projects starts with good impression and later abandoned the project. What makes your project different than others?

George Burke : Check out the capability and experience of our team:

I’m very proud of the allstars I get a chance to work alongside every day:

- Eric Martindale 11 years in Bitcoin, Head of Open Source at Blockstream and Engineering at BitPay, advisor to Lemniscap, and is the inventor of Fabric.

- Chandra Duggirala, Bitcoiner and M.D. turned entrepreneur, ran two 8-figure software businesses, and is the inventor of functional layer 2 cross-chain atomic swaps (he solved problems keeping Tier Nolan’s atomic swaps impractical until now).

- Alexey Melnichenko, 6 years architecting token & exchange design, engineer at Phantom Cyber (acquired by Splunk), designed the exchange engine at Totle.

- Manoj Duggirala Led a 150-engineer team at Invensense, designed the Apple M7 co-processor in phones and watches, ex-IBM Almaden. Engineering at Stanford.

- George Burke, 9 years in bitcoin, 3 exits in peer-to-peer/community startups incl. early bitcoin exchange Crypto Street, created the first Bitcoin debit card, and runs the world’s oldest bitcoin meetup.

- Johnny Dilley, VP of Strategy & Product at Blockstream. Conceptualized Liquid sidechains. Early VC at Pantera. 9 years in Bitcoin.

- Jack Mills, Engineering Architect of Casper Labs / RChain, and previous Director of Enterprise Platforms at Intel. Engineering at Stanford.

- Anand Suresh — our latest hire — helped invent Shingled Magnetic Recording drives used by Seagate, and engineer at DFINITY launching the Internet Computer (ICP) mainnet.

Here’s how we came together.

Manoj, Chandra, and I had built previous 7-figure startups and wanted to solve problems in crypto. I knew the Fabric CEO Eric Martindale for many years as a friend in the bitcoin space. He was a bitcoin god. Early at a Blockstream and early at BitPay and was one of the few human beings to undestand Layer 2’s and sidechains. Eric was first a mentor and advisor to our team. Johnny and Alexey worked with him at Fabric. Later they joined us to build Portal…

A big strength is the motivation every member of our team has — to provide the best ecosystem for Bitcoin to succeed.

The motive behind Portal is expression of self-sovereignty. Portal is to cryptotrading what Tor is to p2p communication. Portal is an unstoppable p2p exchange.

For Bitcoin to become money, we need a censorship resistant, peer to peer trading system that crosses blockchains. That’s why we are building DeFi using cross chain atomic swaps. Bitcoin is strengthened by building many layers of functionality.

Q5. Most investors focus only on the short-term price instead of the real value of the project. Can you tell about the long-term benefits for investors in the project?

George Burke : Convincing investors to invest is not our primary objective. Obviously it is a great side effect of our efforts, however we are not in the business of soliciting investors. We are more concerned with developing a product that the community trusts, uses, and, most importantly, embraces. Portal the network doesn’t depend on us, and is not controlled by us — the ultimate security. You want p2p systems to be secure against any 1 point of failure. The participants in the Portal network make or break the system- not us. Once it is live, because the community is the wind in the sales, the decentralized community has complete authority over the network. Our roadmap is community driven and they will be the ones to direct the development team down that path. I’m excited to see what you — Portal’s community — wants to be built!

George Burke : OK thank you everyone from Im Community for participating in today’s AMA. Quite an impressive amount of questions from you all!

George Burke : Please enjoy your day and look forward to next week on Republic

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