David Angliss, an analyst with Australia’s leading cryptocurrency investment firm, Apollo Capital, shares the fund’s weekly take on what’s happening in the fast-changing and volatile cryptocurrency space.

Uniswap has taken the cryptocurrency world by storm since its launch nearly three years ago when it comes to spot trading, handling nearly US$300 billion in trading volume.

Apollo Capital has been searching for a next-generation decentralised platform that could handle leveraged trading, and has been investing in a number of them including leveraged exchanges  Tracer DAO, Dydx and Perpetual Protocol, as well as pre-IPO trading platform PrePO and NFT loan protocol Maverick Finance.

This week’s coin is another such play: Thales, which is building a binary options trading platform using the Synthetix ecosystem.

Apollo and Canadian venture capital fund Framework Ventures last week were the lead participants in a US$2.5 million seed round for Thales, named after an ancient Greek thinker who was the first known person to exercise an options contract.

“So essentially binary’s like a yes or no (proposition) — will the price be above this or not,” David Angliss explains.

“Binary options we use to go or short on on specific outcomes on price dates.”

Thales is actually looking to eventually expand into sports betting, which is quite similar, but will initially launch with support for 60 market types: cryptocurrencies, equities, commodities, FX and index products.

Thales will be using Chainlink oracles (data feeds) to integrate real-world information into its system.

A threat to FTX?

Centralised exchanges like Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX, along with Binance, Deribit and Bybit, have dominated derivatives trading in cryptocurrency markets.

“He’s like the options, derivatives genius,” Angliss says of Bankman-Fried, a crypto-billionaire.

“They haven’t really had any competition from the decentralised equivalents coming to market, but that’s pretty quickly changing with all these derivatives projects coming out.”

Thales hasn’t launched its coin yet but will have an ERC-20 governance token.

Angliss says that in traditional financial markets, the volume transacted on derivatives markets dwarf those of the underlying assets (like the S&P500.

“So if defi goes in the same direction as traditional finance, then all these premier decentralised exchanges and platforms that are offering this should eventually go ballistic,” he says.

Sythetix on Optimism

Meanwhile Thales’ partner Synthetix had a strong couple of days last week after announcing it would be launching on Ethereum scaling solution Optimism on July 26.

The platform’s Australian founder, Sydney-based Kain Warwick, called it “one of the most important milestones in the history of the project”.

Decentralised exchange Uniswap had a limited “alpha” launch on Optimism last week and users have reported far cheaper and faster transactions for the small number of supported assets at the moment.

Synthetix allows for the creation of “synthetic assets” that track the value of real-world assets, like national currencies, commodities, equities and index funds.

Apollo is bullish on both Optimism and Arbitrum, its layer-2 competitor, Angliss says.

The views, information, or opinions expressed in the interview in this article are solely those of the interviewee and do not represent the views of Stockhead.

Stockhead has not provided, endorsed or otherwise assumed responsibility for any financial product advice contained in this article.