New to Nash? Looking for an overview of our project and technology? This FAQ covers the basics and clears up some common misconceptions.
What exactly is Nash?
Nash is a fintech company focused on bridging the gap between crypto and local currencies. We offer market-leading rates for buying and selling cryptocurrency and support instant purchases. Funds go to directly a wallet only you control, secured by multi-party computation (MPC).
Later in 2021, Nash will be integrating national currency bank accounts directly into our platform, offering easy access to DeFi-powered earnings for new retail users, as well as a crypto debit card. Our goal is to make the transition between traditional and decentralized finance as seamless as possible, with the ability to access high-interest earnings as simple as depositing funds into a traditional savings account.
Nash’s cryptocurrency products never take control of your funds. The technical term for this is “non-custodial”, and it means Nash is considerably safer than other platforms. We let users invest in digital currencies, store them securely, trade on high-performance markets and make payments without giving up custody of their assets.
Nash operates the only Layer-2 exchange that supports native Bitcoin trading, cross-chain with Ethereum and NEO.
How do Nash’s purchase/sale fees compare to competitors?
Many competitors charge higher fees than Nash. They also hide extra costs by artificially marking up the price of crypto assets or charging an inflated “network fee”, above what is currently required for transactions on a particular blockchain network.
This disparity in fees is particularly apparent when you compare Nash’s fiat gateway for businesses with current competitors in the third-party fiat ramp space:
Nash also offers market-leading prices for retail users, who can compare our BTC and ETH rates with other leading providers on our homepage.
Users buying BTC, ETH, USDC and NEO for trading on our Layer-2 exchange pay a 0% fee and also avoid network fee costs, since assets are credited directly to a state channel. Withdrawing to an external wallet will incur a relatively high network fee, however.
Nash offers just 1% fees for all purchases sent to a user’s personal wallet, outside our Layer-2 network.
You can find information about trading fees on our Layer-2 exchange here.
What’s the difference between my personal wallet and my trading wallet?
Your personal wallet is your general-purpose crypto wallet. We recommend you send crypto purchases here.
Your trading wallet is part of Nash’s Layer-2 network, which enables our high-performance cryptocurrency exchange. National currency purchases and sales made using your trading wallet incur no fees and are available for BTC, ETH, NEO and USDC. However, if you wish to send funds from your trading wallet to an external address, you will have to withdraw to your personal wallet first, which can incur a high network fee.
Both your personal wallet and trading wallet are non-custodial and protected by multi-party computation.
What’s so special about API keys and user wallets on Nash?
Nash offers decentralized API keys based on secure multi-party computation (MPC). We are the first non-custodial cryptocurrency exchange to offer the kind of API keys institutional and algorithmic traders need. The result is an unparalleled security profile: for the first time in the trading industry, funds are not at risk even if both your and our servers are compromised!
On other decentralized exchanges, a single user private key controls all assets. No limits can be placed on transaction sizes and there can be no address whitelist. This is not acceptable for institutional traders.
Institutions employ many individual traders who interact with exchanges through APIs. Each trader is given an API key offering only partial access to the institution’s master account. Such a setup is easy to implement on a centralized exchange, but not on decentralized exchanges.
By splitting the generation of cryptographic signatures into two parts, Nash is able to enforce security policies like address whitelisting for individual API keys. You can read more about our solution here.
Our user wallets also function via our MPC API protocol, allowing for address whitelisting and transaction limits. This upgrade offers security on the level of hardware at no cost – and makes the Nash mobile app the safest way to connect to dapps.
What is Nash’s solution for merchants, Nash Link? What makes it attractive?
Nash Link makes it easy for merchants to accept cryptocurrency. At present, merchants are discouraged by the technical hurdle of integrating with blockchains and are concerned about the volatility of crypto assets (including potentially high transfer fees).
Nash solves the first of these problems by sparing merchants any blockchain integration. We receive digital assets from customers and convert these to USDC on our exchange. We then settle with the merchant directly in national currency. Getting set up is straightforward thanks to multiple plugins and integrations.
Nash also protects merchants from surprise fees and volatility by agreeing cash amounts with them in advance and managing associated risk ourselves. Merchants can simply specify their price and relax.
At the same time, Nash Link is able to offer a market-leading 0% fee for merchants.
You can read more about how Nash Link compares to traditional payments solutions here or test it out on the Nash swag store (sorry, no longer open)!
What does the Nash Exchange token (NEX) do?
NEX holders who stake their tokens are entitled to a proportionate share of Nash’s revenue, which increases if they lock their tokens for longer periods. The lowest share is 25% (locked for 1 month), the highest 75% (locked for 24 months). You can find more information on the dividend structure here.
The NEX token was created to raise funds for Nash while at the same time giving revenue from the exchange back to the cryptocurrency community.
Since NEX is a profit-sharing token, it must legally be regarded as a security. As such, we took the step of registering NEX officially in Europe. Investors in projects offering similar, unregistered tokens run the risk of losing money should securities laws be enforced. Investors in Nash are protected against this risk.
As NEX is the only fully compliant exchange token, it is currently the only way to invest in a compliant future for the cryptocurrency space.
Why isn’t NEX listed on Nash yet?
Since NEX is a registered security, we are not able to list it on our own exchange without obtaining the appropriate licenses. Acquiring these licenses is a long and costly process and may not be profitable for Nash in the near term. We are hence focusing on other business goals.
In the meantime, the NEX token is available on a number of secondary markets (see below).
Where can I purchase NEX tokens?
The easiest way to purchase NEX is directly within our mobile app, through our 1inch DEX integration.
We recommend trading of the NEX token on the Polygon blockchain, as the trading fees are lower and the liquidity is better than on Ethereum.
If you hold NEX on another chain than Polygon, you can convert your NEX tokens to the Polygon chain using this guide.
What is the difference between NEX on Ethereum and NEX on NEO?
NEX was originally a NEP-5 token on the NEO blockchain. To make the token more easily available, Nash created a bridge between the Ethereum and NEO chains, with the ability to swap NEP-5 NEX tokens for ERC-20 NEX tokens.
At present, it is only possible to stake NEX on NEO. If you have purchased NEX on Ethereum and wish to stake, you need to press the “convert” button within the Nash mobile app.
Learn more here.
Why is legal compliance important?
If digital assets are to become mainstream, and if the world is to profit from the security and efficiency benefits of blockchain, an environment of legal compliance is necessary. Businesses will not use these tools if they do not have legal safety. Nash takes these consequences seriously because we believe blockchain can help people around the world, empowering both investors and producers.
We facilitate the matching of trades, purchasing of cryptocurrency and distribution of staking dividends. This means we have legal obligations to meet, some of which require KYC checks.
EtherDelta is a good example of a decentralized platform facing legal consequences for its activities.
Why does Nash make me do KYC?
Nash offers trading without KYC up to a $5,000/day limit. As with other exchanges, KYC is only required if users wish to increase their daily trading volume. This is necessary to comply with global anti-money-laundering laws.
Moreover, no sensitive user identity documents are stored with Nash. Instead, these are held by our third-party KYC provider, who have many years of experience in the industry and an excellent reputation for security.
Nash is significantly more secure and transparent than centralized platforms, which also require KYC.
What is wrong with centralized exchanges? How is Nash’s Layer-2 exchange different?
There are three main problems with centralized exchanges:
Centralized custody of funds brings security risks. Since centralized exchanges concentrate user assets in one place, they represent a lucrative target for hackers. According to Forbes, hackers stole over $4 billion in cryptocurrency during 2019, up from $1.7 billion in 2018. With Nash, only users have access to their assets, which makes our system much more secure.
Centralized exchanges are also black boxes. It is not possible to know if an exchange is matching trades fairly. For example, front-running user trades is a straightforward possibility. Additional transparency concerns arise when the party with custody over assets is the party matching trades. In traditional finance, this is avoided. Stock exchanges like Nasdaq are non-custodial – just like Nash.
Finally, centralized exchanges obstruct the adoption of real blockchain solutions. One of the key properties of digital currencies like Bitcoin is that users are always in control of their funds. Centralized exchanges take custody of users’ assets to make trading coins much easier. Trading only happens in their internal database, rather than between real blockchains. However, by doing so, these exchanges undermine the purpose of blockchain technology. For people really to benefit from blockchain (examples here and here), it must be used as the basis of financial infrastructure. The solutions Nash is building work towards this goal, whereas centralized exchanges obstruct it.
You can read more about these issues in our article on cryptocurrency trading.
What about other decentralized exchanges?
Other attempts to build non-custodial, decentralized exchanges on the blockchain face the following problems:
How does Nash’s Layer-2 solution work?
Nash uses state channels across multiple blockchains, managed by an off-chain matching engine. This allows users to trade real (not wrapped) tokens at speeds that compete with centralized exchanges, offering genuine markets with order books. We focus on providing secure, compliant, high-performance markets.
When using a state channel, users deposit the funds they wish to make available into a smart contract (or, for Bitcoin, a Lightning-like system). This is designed to interact with an off-chain system, which keeps track of transactions between parties using secure cryptography and periodically writes balances back to the blockchain. Such a system allows many transactions to be processed rapidly before being written to the chain in a single update, thus overcoming the blockchain bottleneck.
Nash employs a fast off-chain matching engine that manages state channels across different blockchains. Users make trades and the matching engine updates their balances for each blockchain, which are periodically written to the chain itself. User balances can only be updated when they have provided cryptographic signatures for individual trades, so their funds are always under their control.
Our solution overcomes the speed and compatibility issues faced by other decentralized exchanges. At the same time, it offers us the flexibility to provide accessible user interfaces and revolutionary decentralized API keys.
What is the difference between a “non-custodial” exchange and a “decentralized exchange”? Is Nash fully decentralized?
Nash contains both decentralized and centralized elements. Our decentralized elements allow us to provide non-custodial trading with an unparalleled security profile – significantly better than that of today’s centralized exchanges. However, aspects of Nash are also centralized, like our matching engine and web/mobile clients.
Not all centralized elements are bad. In fact, they are important for performance, compliance and providing a smooth user experience. Traditional stock exchanges like Nasdaq are non-custodial. This is necessary to avoid transparency concerns when the party with custody over assets is the party matching trades. However, these traditional exchanges are not totally decentralized either. We already discussed the problems faced by decentralized blockchain solutions above.
Nash aims to drive blockchain adoption by making it easier for business and retail customers to interact with this technology. Our solutions are designed to overcome pain points within blockchain infrastructure so as to provide the key features required for wider adoption:
To this end, we have made some small sacrifices in decentralization. However, we have also taken steps to make these elements as secure and transparent as possible:
In both our vision and our technology, Nash is very far removed from today’s centralized cryptocurrency exchanges.
Why hasn’t Nash built a 100% decentralized, “serverless” solution?
Ideological proponents of “full decentralization” claim that other properties are even more important than those listed above, including absolute anonymity and the impossibility of shutting down server infrastructure.
We do not believe systems with such properties are practical at scale:
Nash is committed to blockchain as a tool for expanding economic freedom and encouraging growth. We support the goals of Bitcoin expressed in self-custody, borderless transfers and enforced protections against hyperinflation. Motivated by this vision, we are pursuing solutions we believe to be compatible with wide adoption.
How do I know the code that runs in my browser is the same audited code that appears on the Nash public GitHub?
Nash is concerned with achieving the wide adoption of blockchain technology. We hence strive to provide elegant web and mobile clients accessible to any potential user. To encourage both transparency and innovation, we have made the protocols used by these clients publicly available.
If you are afraid of malicious code, feel free to create your own client using our protocol – or simply interact with Nash via our TypeScript API. We may also eventually make it possible for the browser to check a hash of the frontend code to ensure it hasn’t been swapped, offering additional assurance to users.
If Nash is down, I can’t withdraw funds from the state channels! Isn’t it just like a centralized exchange?
No, Nash is not like a centralized exchange. If a centralized exchange is down, it is still in control of your funds. Those funds are still vulnerable to hackers. By contrast, Nash cannot do anything with funds at rest in your personal wallet or the trading contract – whether it is online or not!
We recognize that it may be inconvenient for some users when Nash enters maintenance. Not only have we updated our maintenance procedures to keep funds functionality online, but we will also be releasing an offline tool to enable manual withdrawal from our smart contracts for non-technical users.
How can Nash achieve significant volume on the Layer-2 exchange with relatively few trading pairs?
Nash already supports Bitcoin and Ethereum trading against a stablecoin, by far the most popular choices for traders. Since the majority of cryptocurrency trading volume is focused on these pairs, they are sufficient for Nash to cater to a large number of traders.
When will Nash be adding more trading pairs to the Layer-2 exchange?
Nash has no plans to expand pairs on the Layer-2 exchange. Because of our non-custodial architecture, new blockchains must be integrated manually – we can’t just get by with a wallet. Moreover, providing liquidity on Layer-2 markets requires that real capital be kept in state channels at all times. Nash cannot provide liquidity by doing paper-trading with a smaller amount of capital like a centralized exchange. As such, we are focusing our Layer-2 product on a small number of frequently traded pairs.
Nash is constantly adding new coins to our Layer-1 national currency markets. Integrating new coins into Layer-1 is significantly simpler and does not present the same challenges regarding liquidity. By the end of 2021 we aim to support at least 10 of the top 20 cryptocurrencies by market cap.
Why doesn’t Nash have USDT base pairs?
At present, Nash prefers to offer only USDC markets owing to the coin’s stronger focus on compliance. It is possible that we may add USDT base pairs in future.
When I account for transfer fees into and out of the exchange, doesn’t trading on Nash become expensive?
Transfers fees on Nash are lower than the withdrawal fees required by most centralized exchanges.
It is also worth noting that the “Maximum network fee” in the transfers window only shows the maximum possible fee that will be charged for a transfer. In reality, these fees are much lower than the theoretical maximum. To improve user experience, we hope to add a more accurate estimate of fees in future.
If you are transferring funds to Nash from an external wallet, you may also consider using your Nash personal account as your main cryptocurrency wallet. It is a secure storage solution and offers convenient funds management tools for multiple blockchains. This will reduce the number of transfers required to trade.
We are constantly working to keep fee costs for our state channels as low as possible – and it may also be technically possible in future to deposit to state channels from external wallets.
How do I know the volume on Nash is real, rather than bots?
All volume on Nash is real.
Bots are real users who make real trades. Algorithmic trading represents a huge amount of cryptocurrency trading activity. For this reason, it was crucial for Nash to provide MPC-based API keys as soon as possible. We are already in a position to market Nash to firms that carry out automated trading on the basis of our unique security profile.
At the moment, there are a number of bots being run on Nash by liquidity providers and investment funds who are partnered with Nash, often carrying out arbitrage between exchanges. The trades they make are very real and are intended to generate profit, as well as provide liquidity on Nash.
Is Nash based on the NEO blockchain?
Nash is not based on the NEO blockchain. Although the Nash Exchange token (NEX) was originally a NEP-5 token, it now also exists on Ethereum. Nash itself is independent of any blockchain. Our matching engine is off-chain and manages state channels across a number of chains.
When will Nash integrate with hardware wallets?
Hardware wallets are an excellent solution for secure long-term storage. However, they are expensive and still too complicated for first-time users.
At Nash, we focus on providing the simplest possible solutions to encourage wide adoption of blockchain technology. Our first priority has been to design a funds management system that is secure, easy to use and accessible to anyone. Our user wallets function via our MPC API protocol, allowing for address whitelisting and transaction limits. This upgrade offers security on the level of hardware at no cost – and makes the Nash mobile app the safest way to connect to dapps.
For users who still prefer hardware wallets as their primary storage solution, Nash may in future release specialized apps to make those devices compatible with our platform.
You can stay up to date with Nash by following our Twitter and Instagram. We also encourage all Nash Exchange token (NEX) holders to join our community platform, where they can talk directly with the team and receive reliable answers to questions.