Galia Benartzi, Co-Founder, Bancor spoke exclusively to CryptoNewsZ and discussed the Bancor Protocol and her incredible journey in the cryptocurrency world.
Galia has more than a decade of experience in building software startups. In 2005, she co-founded Mytopia, now a leading social and mobile games studio and served as the Director of Business Development and Marketing. She is also the Co-Founder and CEO of Particle Code Inc., an open and extendable cross-platform SDK. Galia is a founding member of Powder Mountain, permanent home of the Summit community in Eden, Utah, and creator of the Eden2Zion Reality trips by the Schusterman Foundation.
Galia co-founded Bancor in 2017 which raised $153 million through its ICO. Bancor is the Technical Innovation, which is fueling the Token Revolution. Bancor reimagines the way value can be created and transferred.
Galia holds a postgraduate degree in International Relations and International Economics with a specialization in Energy Policy from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University. She lives in Tel Aviv.
CryptoNewsZ: Thank you for joining us. Please tell us about yourself. What is your major role in the company?
As co-founder and head of business development at Bancor, my primary role is to encourage the adoption of the protocol – whether that is by crypto networks, online communities or local economies – as well as expanding awareness for community currencies worldwide.
On any given day I may meet with a blockchain team that is looking to implement the protocol, a hardware maker that wants to build automated token conversions into their device, or an NGO that is exploring new methods of deploying humanitarian aid via blockchain technologies. Galia Benartzi
CryptoNewsZ: Please share something about your previous experiences.
I grew up first generation in Silicon Valley and moved to my parents’ native Israel in high school, then back again, and finally returned to Tel Aviv as an “adult”(ish) when I worked for Founders Fund and focused on investments in Israeli technologies.
Around this time, my team and I began experimenting with local currency pilots to model, build, and test software for community currencies.
Each community currency was successful at first, but usage eventually tapered off, because the currencies were not usable outside the communities that launched them. This liquidity barrier is exactly what we’re aiming to solve with the Bancor Protocol. New and niche currencies uniformly suffer from a barrier to liquidity, leaving holders stuck, and discouraging adoption. So how do we ensure constant liquidity for currencies, no matter their trade volume?
CryptoNewsZ: What is the Bancor Protocol?
The Bancor Protocol solves the problem of illiquidity in both the crypto and community currency world using automated market makers on the blockchain, called Bancor relays.
Relays perform on-chain pricing and conversions between any integrated token in the network, with predetermined and foreseeable terms.
Traditional exchanges work by matching buy and sell orders in a bid/ask system using order books or a matching engine to fulfill trades. When there are enough buyers and sellers of a token, this system generally works well; however, it assumes a given level of volume and interest in a token. If a token has low volume at any time, it not only becomes difficult to buy or sell, but individual transactions can cause unpredictable price swings, reducing a token’s usability and adoption.
Because relays don’t rely on matching buyers and sellers, and instead use on-chain “reserves” as always-available liquidity pools, they have the potential to remove a token’s dependency on trade volume and ensure constant liquidity for tokens. Even low-volume tokens can offer frictionless conversions for their users — in their earliest days or during periods of decreased volume.
Two years after launching, Bancor has been used by millions of users to convert and contribute liquidity to tokens. With over $1.5 billion in token conversions processed, and more than $11 million in ERC20 and EOS-based tokens currently staked to the network by 150+ liquidity providers, the Bancor ecosystem is just getting started.
CryptoNewsZ: How is the Bancor Network just like a vending machine for tokens?
Each relay in the Bancor Network serves as an on-chain liquidity pool which receives and dispenses tokens at algorithmically-calculated rates. Since there is no order book involved, and no one on the other side of trade except a smart contract with code, users can know exactly how much of token they’ll receive prior to submitting their order.
BNT (Bancor’s Network Token) is the common token within each liquidity pool through which conversions are processed. For instance, a conversion from DAI to BAX would convert DAI for BNT and then BNT for BAX — with the user experience being an instant, on-chain conversion from DAI to BAX.
Using BNT as a common token in every liquidity pool allows users to perform instant token-to-token conversions without a counterparty — including cross-blockchain conversions.
With Bancor, the instant and automated dispensing of tokens (without order-matching), the predictability of what a user receives, and the fact that a person is trading with a machine (i.e., a smart contract), rather than with another person, resembles the experience of using a vending machine.
CryptoNewsZ: Who do you see as your peers in the cryptocurrency world?
Bancor has been compared to decentralized exchanges, but in reality, it is fundamentally different, since Bancor does not rely on order-matching to perform token conversions. That said, a host of new projects in the DeFi space have begun utilizing automated market makers and “peer-to-contract” functionality. We were thrilled to pioneer this model more than two years ago, and it is hugely validating to see the world awakening to the power of automated liquidity. Galia Benartzi
CryptoNewsZ: Tell us about the Bancor crypto wallet and how it is different from others?
The Bancor wallet is a non-custodial wallet that acts as an interface to the Bancor Protocol. Users can manage 500+ ERC20 & EOS tokens in the wallet and perform conversions between ERC20 and EOS tokens in a single click across 10,500+ token pairs.
The wallet utilizes Bancor’s cross-chain bridge, BancorX, to perform an instant non-custodial conversion between EOS and Ethereum-based tokens. In addition, users of the wallet receive a free EOS account, enough EOS resources (RAM, CPU & NET) to get started, and you can manage EOS resources directly from the wallet.
Bancor charges no fees for transfers in and out of the wallet or for its built-in token conversions. New users can sign up via SMS, Telegram or FB Messenger and easily import their ERC20 and EOS tokens.
As per Bancor’s roadmap, dApp browser is scheduled to be launched. When? What are the next goals for the end of this year?
Stay tuned for Bancor’s dApp browser :)
During the second half of 2019, Bancor’s core developers remain fully focused on increasing access to Bancor’s automated liquidity and creating new incentives for network participants – from liquidity providers and token holders to tokenized ecosystems and developers.
CryptoNewsZ: How do you define great leadership?
Great leadership empowers others to excel. It is humble, always learning, and accountable. I find the best way to lead is to be the person you encourage others to be. Your example is, ultimately, your leadership.
CryptoNewsZ: If you get a chance to change one thing about the company, what would it be?
I would always add more women :) We have an incredible team at Bancor, and I’m proud and honored to say that over half of our executive leadership is female. It’s always more fun and balanced when men and women are collaborating around great products and culture. Galia Benartzi
CryptoNewsZ: What according to you, are the most significant benefits of blockchain?
Blockchain allows us to change how money works. Money is currently the operating system for our collective human coordination, and if the software is eating the world, money is eating our souls. The existing, low-tech, centralized and scarce nature of money is now hindering us from expressing our potential, rather than aiding us (which is why, presumably, we INVENTED it in the first place.) It’s time to re-make money. Galia Benartzi