The global cryptocurrency market has witnessed remarkable growth in the past year, buoyed by increased institutional participation and millions of new retail users joining the fold. Aurox is a project that has significantly benefited from the recent market growth, enlarging the user base for its crypto trading terminal from less than one thousand to over 51,000 traders.
Coming off the back of a CoinMarketCap Earn listing and a period where the project’s token has gained more prominence, we caught up with Aurox CEO Giorgi Khazaradze. In this interview, he shares insights regarding the project’s background, upcoming developments, and where he sees the company within the next half decade.
A little bit of background on Aurox
Giorgi told us that “the company was started by three co-founders who have been working together since they were in high school (ninth-grade), and a bunch of other businesses before moving on to bigger industries over time.”
Back in 2016, Giorgi first bought cryptocurrency on Bittrex following a recommendation by one of his partners, and soon enough the friends “were taking some profits from other companies and investing in crypto.”
He continued, “We were having problems with trading cryptocurrencies. It was very difficult to trade. There were data issues, the UIs for many exchanges were very light and there were bare minimums of what was required to be a very successful trader. With all the problems that we were having, we saw an opportunity as entrepreneurs to create a product that we as traders could use and be proud of.”
“In 2017, we started developing the terminal. Then we were mainly developing in the background, although we had some beta and alpha releases just to get some users on the platform to test out the product and report any issues.”
“In September 2020, we had the main unveiling of the terminal and the product. Since then we’ve grown significantly from a few hundred users to over 51,000 registered users at this point. It’s been a parabolic rise in the past couple of months.”
Aurox Lend is one of the most anticipated products in the Aurox roadmap. Giorgi explained what makes it different from lending protocols like Compound and Aave
Existing lending protocols compel users to deposit an amount higher than they want to borrow. This requirement makes the protocol default-proof since it can liquidate the user in the event of a price decrease that takes the asset to the threshold of the borrowed amount. This approach is standard within DeFi, but Giorgi is confident that the Aurox Lend protocol is introducing something out of the box.
“On-chain analysis reveals that up to 90% of funds from lending protocols go directly to exchanges. People are using them to trade but they have this multi-step process in order to utilize those funds. On top of that, they have to deposit 100% of collateral to use it.”
“The goal [with Aurox Lend] is to simplify that process. by offering an on-chain lending protocol where lenders are protected because it’s on-chain and there’s collateral there. And then having a more streamlined process where traders can borrow and execute trades from the lending protocol immediately.”
It’s a win-win situation as lenders get high interest rates and protection from losing their funds because it’s done on-chain while traders have one process where borrowing and trading is an immediate step. This opens up the door to multiple things like leveraged trading and shorting the market.
Aurox Lend “simplifies the process and gives a new use case for lending protocols, and that can deliver a lot of volume. The more traders use funds from the protocol, the higher the interest rate, and the higher the number of lenders.”
When quizzed regarding a possible launch date, Giorgi said, “It’s going to be very soon. We’re currently in mid-development, working on a few smart contracts that revolve around the lending protocol. What we’re trying to do is create a visual UI that we can release as an update and from there show the users how the entire process will work.”
He notes that with development there’s always something unexpected that comes up, making it difficult to give an exact timeframe. However, “there’s going to be a lot of information coming out in the next three months relating to the lending protocol, the cross-chain development, Aurox functionalities and a lot more,” he concluded on the subject.
Does Aurox Lend plan to integrate with other chains to make fees cheaper for users?
“We’re always going to support the Ethereum network, independent of any other chain. It has a higher reach than anywhere else. So, it will always be at the forefront,” Giorgi said, before going on to highlight new developments such as “ZK-Rollups and Starkware that make it more affordable for people to trade,” as well as Ethereum 2.0 which is scheduled to launch early next year, and possibly around the same period that Aurox Lend will go live.
He was hesitant to disclose the exact solution they’ll be implementing, but noted that the product “will in a way be available across chains.”
“The initial release may be on the Ethereum chain, but within the next 30 days, it’s going to be on multiple other chains at the same time, all EVM-compatible and the contract will be developed to be a cross-chain type of network. Although our focus will be mainly on Ethereum. It will also be available on other chains.”
Giorgi is also bullish about Ethereum overcoming its fee challenges really soon, especially with many scaling solutions in the works.
“I don’t think gas fees will be a problem very soon. There are many products being put out by other companies that we’ll utilize. We’re constantly researching these even during development and we will be utilizing them in order to make the process simpler and cheaper for our users.”
When will Aurox begin to offer URUS rewards for bURUS liquidity providers?
“We’ve completed the contracts and they’re being audited right now. I don’t have a timeline. The contracts were sent last week and include provisions for liquidity mining and staking on the Binance Chain. I’m almost certain it will likely be before the end of the year if the current audit goes as well as the earlier ones.”
He shed some more light regarding the smart contract development process: “We will be redeploying the new v2 of the Ethereum contracts for staking and liquidity mining, while at the same time deploying them on the Binance Chain.”.
“There were some modifications to our contracts on the Ethereum chain and these are necessary for us to move forward with the lending protocol. Changes were made to allow us to basically incorporate them into our upcoming products. They were necessary and we added Binance Chain liquidity mining and staking to the original plan because users were requesting it.”
When will Aurox get a Tier-1 exchange listing?
Giorgi expressed optimism that the project will secure “a tier-2 listing before the end of the year.” However, “a tier-1 listing is up in the air,” he said.” We’ve done everything possible. We’ve made the connections, spoken to a lot of people and we’re just waiting for everything to fall in line.”
Where do you see Aurox in five years?
“We’ve been getting a lot more eyes on our company with the recent growth. Our cost of acquisition is low and there are many ideas for the platform and there are many unique functionalities that we want to integrate.”
“I’m pretty sure that within the next few years, we’ll be able to capture a very big audience of users. If we keep growing at the current pace, in five years I’d imagine that almost every single cryptocurrency trader would at least use our platform once, if not on a daily basis. Aurox will be the de-facto trading terminal for cryptocurrency.”
“We really love our community and they’ve been very supportive. With their support, we’ve been able to grow this far. If there’s anything, I’d love to shout out to the community for helping us through the growth phases and helping us through their suggestions and feedback. We’re very proud of our user base and how active and helpful they’ve been to our company’s success.”