1inch’s main product is a DEX aggregator that works out the best crypto prices across decentralized exchanges.
The platform launched its governance token, 1INCH Exchange, in December 2020.
Decentralized exchanges (DEXs) are cryptocurrency exchanges that don’t require a third party to govern it all. The clue’s in the name, after all: on a decentralized exchange, there is no single company maintaining the order books, custodying funds or calling the shots. (Hypothetically, in principle, and often with some major caveats).
Anyone can trade on a decentralized exchange; traders need only connect their wallets, never giving up access to their funds or personal information to companies.
There are a few such exchanges, including Uniswap, SushiSwap, and PancakeSwap. But all of these exchanges, each of them relatively new and structured in different ways, sell cryptocurrencies for slightly different prices (incidentally, creating opportunities for arbitrage). So Ethereum might sell for a different amount on Uniswap than it does on 0x, not to mention that each platform may charge different fees.
If only there were some way to work out how to get the best price of a decentralized exchange! Thankfully, there is, and it’s called 1inch.
What is 1inch?
1inch is, first and foremost, a DEX aggregator. That means it scrapes a handful of decentralized exchanges for the cheapest prices and reroutes its customers’ trades between them to try and ensure that they’re getting the best prices.
As of June 2021, 1inch claims to offer users access to over 50 liquidity sources on Ethereum, 20 on Binance Smart Chain, and 8 on Polygon. The list of DEXs it draws on includes the likes of Uniswap, 0x and Balancer, as well as 1inch’s own liquidity protocol, formerly known as Mooniswap.
1inch was founded by Sergej Kunz and Anton Bukov in 2019 during ETHNewYork’s hackathon. Since then, 1inch has raised about $15 million in funding from companies such as Binance Labs, Galaxy Digital and Pantera Capital. As of June 2021, 1inch’s exchange trades about $250 million a day.
How does 1inch work?
Say that you want to buy some Wrapped Bitcoin (a synthetic version of Bitcoin) using Ethereum on a decentralized exchange. Look at different DEXes and you’ll find that the prices vary, as do the fees.
1inch’s algorithm finds the cheapest way to place that trade using all the different exchanges and liquidity protocols that can facilitate this trade.
The cheapest way to place this trade may involve swapping your Ethereum between several different protocols and for several different currencies before it arrives at Wrapped Bitcoin. The advantage of doing this is that it may mean you can buy Wrapped Bitcoin at a cheaper price.
What is 1INCH token?
On Christmas Day, 2020, 1inch launched its own cryptocurrency, 1INCH token. It’s a “governance token,” meaning that you can use it to vote on the way that the 1inch platform is run. 1inch called this “instant governance”.
1inch distributed a lot of tokens in an airdrop at the end of 2020. You could claim 1inch tokens by providing money to 1inch’s own liquidity protocol (then known as Mooniswap) or if you’ve used it before December 24, 2020.
1/ Delighted to announce that 1INCH Token is LIVE! 🌟