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How Swype wins
An article laced with hopium
Web2 was built off the backs of giants. Microsoft, Apple, and IBM pioneered the original versions of the consumer operating systems, allowing for new abstractions like the internet to be built on the top. Because of the hard work of a few who debugged assembly code, we got beautiful programming languages - C, Python, Rust.
The moment the rapid growth of the internet & computing began, was when the original primitives were solid, stable, and mostly bug free - allowing for developers to build vertically. This led to the birth of generation defining companies - Google, Facebook, Amazon.
We think crypto is here today.
Most primitives already exist, and most protocols are battle tested enough to handle billions of dollars in volume a day. The next generation defining companies will be ones building vertically - atop the hard work of a few giants (Satoshi, Back, Vitalik) bringing together all the protocols under a single, open sourced hood.
A single multi-currency wallet where you can directly interact with any major protocol, all from one place is the way we get crypto to become a larger and larger portion of your networth - allowing you to slowly exit the corrupt, slow, inflationary fiat system.
Here’s 3 things we want to do extremely well @ Swype to realize this goal
Our first outside hire was a 20 year old designer, who had a low Y intercept, but a very high gradient. In other words, no qualifications, but an incredible learning rate.
With him at the helm of our design, we want to do to crypto what Apple did to DoS with the first versions of Macintosh. Crypto is at the DoS stage today. The ones that make it easy to interact with complex contracts will win. Consumers are never going to be impressed by decentralization alone - it must be coupled with ease of use.
A hard to use decentralized product will always lose to a well-oiled centralized one. But an easy to use decentralized product will crush a centralized counter part.
For instance, here’s an example of how to use a layer 2 on ethereum currently
And here’s how all of that is currently abstracted away on Swype
Plug into meat space, without the drawbacks
Currently, to buy milk with ETH - I’d have to send some to an exchange, liquidate it, and wire the money to my bank account.
Swype took this and made it one step simpler - you could just liquidate it on the spot, without the exchange & wire.
This isn’t good enough.
There are still two problems to this approach.
Every liquidation is considered a taxable event
You are potentially selling an appreciating asset, when you could just use your depreciating fiat.
Here’s how Swype hits both these birds with a single stone
When you want to spend $$ at the point of sale, Swype will provide a crypto backed loan in a stable coin. (DAI, USDC). You can live completely off crypto, and borrow against your assets without any custodian.
A contract running on Ethereum locks your crypto assets in escrow, giving you digital dollars to spend in return
When ready to receive your escrowed assets back - send the digital dollars back to the contract - unlocking the crypto asset back to your wallet.
This results in no tax implications whatsoever.
A liability can never be taxed. You can hold crypto assets, but still spend dollars against them, without ever needing to go back to fiat and incur capital gains.
This is a contrarian decision to some. Why would open sourcing your core product ever be smart? Couldn’t your competitors just fork your work, and build competing versions?
Yes & No.
Open sourcing your work results in a fire under your ass. You have to commit, perform, and stay ahead of the game at all times. It gives you no opportunity to rest on your laurels, because as soon as your pace slows - a fork catches up and wins.
The SEC chairman Gensler said it best - finance is built off trust. The only way we win trust is through transparency, and there’s nothing more transparent than open sourcing your work.
Open sourcing your work results in more security. Not less. Under the watchful public eye, most whitehats can post a PR, and fix breaking bugs that your developers may miss.
Swype will open source our core client within a few months.
I’ve personally written 80% of the codebase, and I’m not ready to expose how ugly my code is yet. I’m not a bad engineer - just messy.
Beating the big banks
Our vision for the future of Swype centers around becoming a counter weight to the corrupt legacy financial institutions.
To get there however, requires strong economic incentives, and a breakdown of trust in central authorities. Fortunately, the latter is already happening, and is going to be impossible to stop.
As for the former, if you could go back to 2012, convert 100% of your networth into a crypto asset, and then use a product like Swype to interact with the ecosystem, and pay your bills, you would.
When the world realizes this is all possible, without ever giving up on custody of their hard earned money, or touching fiat that devalues at 5.5% a year - Swype will win. Until then, back 2 building.