The last quarter of 2019 saw our trading platform minimum viable product (MVP) enjoy its first months of operations. During this time, Nash shipped dozens of variations and improvements. Our MVP platform offered invaluable insight in the form of metrics and frequent user surveys. These let us establish the roadmap of necessary technical developments and growth strategies for the first half of 2020.

Our main hypotheses regarding the provision of liquidity and our capacity to retain crypto users have been validated. The first was shown with the deployment of our cross-chain technology and successful liquidity provision on the NEO/ETH test market. The second was demonstrated with the introduction of our mobile app on Android and iOS, which contains features tailored to our established user profile.

Nash continued to take measures to increase our internal efficiency, enabling more productive development sprints. We have redesigned our engineering work process to enhance visibility and communication around ongoing work and have seen major improvements from initiative-based teams. The resulting productivity gains combined with optimizations in our operational expenses to allow us to lower our profitability turnpoint as we seek general availability (GA) during 2020.

Applied Research

Over the last quarter, the Applied Research team continued to work on our multi-party computation (MPC) cryptographic systems. The team’s principal focus was on implementing our protocols for MPC-based user wallets, which are set to be integrated into the web platform during Q1 2020. Our MPC technology is also being adapted for use in decentralized API keys, which are set to appear before user wallets and will make Nash the first non-custodial exchange to offer automatic trading.

Key achievements were:

  • Finalization of non-custodial API key specification. This allows users and liquidity providers to interact with Nash services with traditional API keys while maintaining non-custodial properties. It also allows users to specify limits on trading and withdrawal associated with specific keys.
  • Implementation of core MPC protocol library in Rust, as well as wrapper libraries for Elixir and JavaScript (WASM). These libraries will enable the non-custodial API key functionality and future enhanced account security.
  • Cross-platform MPC prototype. A fully implemented system in JavaScript, Elixir and Rust that generates keys, creates pre-signatures and completes signatures, then verifies results via MPC.
  • Performance optimization on MPC libraries to squeeze as much speed as we can from WASM implementation.
  • Implementation work on non-custodial API keys for Nash systems.

In addition, the team has performed exploratory research into protocols for decentralized lending and borrowing, providing more useful information for Nash products.

Security and DevOps

The SecDevOps team completed a number of important developments during the last quarter that have improved our security and optimized costs across infrastructure. These include:

  • Adding a security layer using Identity-Aware Proxy to our services.
  • Decreasing our CI/CD infrastructure cost by around 80% using ephemeral instances.
  • Deploying monitoring and alerting infrastructure to proactively hunt issues and resolve them as soon as possible.
  • Infrastructure work to support new blockchains, including Bitcoin.
  • Work on setting up the Nash Pay backend infrastructure.

The team has also been joined by one new engineer. With over fifteen years’ experience as both a systems administrator and systems engineer, they have most recently focused on micro-services architecture and cloud computing.

Settlement and Portfolio

The Settlement and Portfolio team, focused on blockchain integrations, shipped many important platform features during Q4 and laid the ground for significant upgrades during Q1. Key achievements were:

  • Upgrading the staking contract to enable the creation of unlimited stakes.
  • Improvements to blockchain monitoring and support tooling.
  • Addition of support for Bitcoin wallets.
  • Finalization of our protocol design for non-custodial Bitcoin trading.
  • Work on implementation of non-custodial Bitcoin trading.
  • Assistance with MPC protocol efforts in regards to blockchain.
  • Release and subsequent improvement of API clients for Python and TypeScript.
  • Initial planning and implementation of the address book feature.

The team is currently finishing implementation of non-custodial Bitcoin trading, which is set to arrive before the end of Q1.

Trading and Accounts

The Trading and Accounts team has dedicated this last quarter to consolidation. Our community provided extensive feedback regarding new features, issues and bugs, and the team has dedicated significant time to working on corresponding improvements. With production code running, the team was able to pinpoint different aspects of the application that could be improved in terms of stability and performance. Several changes were made to the initial application structure so we can have a cleaner app that is now easier to scale.

The team recently welcomed three new engineers with extensive JavaScript experience. Our first new engineer has worked as a JS developer for over five years, during which time they developed multiple mobile apps with many thousands of users. They are joined by another engineer with over ten years’ development experience, in particular focusing on Javascript, Node.js, React and GraphQL. Finally, our third new engineer has over six years’ experience in frontend development, working for major banks, as well as founding their own start-up.

Payments and Mobile

The Payments and Mobile team boasted a major success during the last quarter with the launch of our mobile wallet and portfolio app. The team also worked on significant upgrades to the app:

  • Major and minor improvements to the UI, including various bug fixes and increased user session time.
  • Addition of biometric login.
  • Payment-request deep link feature: besides the QR code and text details, payment requests will now include a URL that opens Nash Mobile if a user has it installed.

The team has various goals for Q1, both for Nash Mobile and other products:

  • Addition of an account creation flow to the mobile app.
  • Further integration of the mobile app with the web platform, implementing additional features.
  • Finishing integration with another EU-based currency partner, offering SEPA transfers.
  • Beginning work on Nash’s own fiat ramp.
  • Continued work on Nash Pay.

Marketing, Communications and Design

Design

During the last quarter, the design team worked on new features as well as improvements for both our web and mobile offerings. The mobile app saw continuous design updates that improve both UI and UX, and designs were begun for both mobile account creation and mobile trading.

Work on the web platform included:

  • Initial designs for our address book feature.
  • Initial designs for MPC-based user wallets.
  • Initial designs for Nash Pay.
  • Continuous iteration of the UI, most notably including a streamlined account creation flow allowing a user to skip both the seed phrase backup and 2FA stages.

Marketing and Communications

The Marketing and Communications team worked on various initiatives during Q4. Investor relations were served by our Q3 report event in Lisbon. Nash continued to demonstrate leadership through our sponsorship of the ACM Advances in Financial Technologies conference in October. Public relations efforts saw various press interviews with the Nash founders complemented by articles and YouTube appearances. The team also managed the conclusion of our first referral program and began empirical testing of possible advertising strategies. Product-related work included the addition of video walkthroughs to our support page and the completion of the German translation of our platform and website, which is currently awaiting implementation in Q1.

During Q1, the Markcomm team will be working on further campaigns, including increasing the involvement of the Nash Community.

Our support team continued to provide excellent service. 75% of tickets were solved in a single touch by our agents, who responded to web chats during work hours within 22 seconds. Users reported a 95% satisfaction rate with support. In addition, the support team has reported regularly to both designers and developers, pointing out bugs or possible UX improvements. Nash is hence able to prioritize work on exactly those issues that cause users most difficulty. This pragmatic approach allows the company to allocate resources in an efficient manner so as to achieve the most tangible benefits for our users.


You can watch our Q4 2019 report presentation, including an AMA with the Nash founders, here.