Fabriik is hoping to create the spark that ignites Bitcoin's iPhone moment: A conversation with CTO Kevin Godfrey

Fabriik is hoping to create the spark that ignites Bitcoin's iPhone moment: A conversation with CTO Kevin Godfrey

March 8, 2021

These last few days have been big for Fabriik, and fortunately, we had the chance to talk to Kevin Godfrey, Fabriik’s chief information officer as well as its chief technology officer, to learn more.

Most of the world got its first glimpse of Fabriik’s product in action when ShuaCoin was created via Fabriik’s Simple Fabriik Protocol and opened the floodgates for the wave of tokenization that has hit Bitcoin SV.

The Bitcoin ecosystem had a ball when it came to creating and exchanging tokens, but it left me wondering if Fabriik was anticipating tokens to take off in such a major way and if token creation at the moment was a positive—regardless of the fact that a majority of the tokens did not have utility yet.

“I think the tokens are positive, because part of the problem we are trying to solve is that within the community there are assumptions about what people want to do with tokens and tokenization in general. It’s part of our belief that those assumptions are not entirely correct,” explained Godfrey.

“As we put tooling out there, people are going to do things that are interesting and surprising. The idea is, when we put the tooling out there, what the community and even the people from outside the community are going to develop is probably more interesting than anything else—that’s kind of our outlook on it right now.”

After the launch of Shua Coin—the first token on Fabriik’s SFP—people raced to launch SFP tokens of their own; however, most of these tokens do not quite have a purpose yet. But the fact that these tokens exist and that Fabriik was first to market with a solution begged a number of other questions, particularly because there are other token protocols from other service providers in the works. With all of the different token protocols on the way, we began to wonder what the interoperability between wallets and tokens would look like.

“We are collectively working with the other token providers on a set of protocols that will allow interoperability through any compliant wallet,” said Godfrey. “We have a vision, but that vision includes having interoperability. We are not backing any particular token protocol, we are very much approaching it as whatever fits the client or customer needs best…our overall plan is to incorporate as many [token protocols] as we can.”

That being said, Fabriik itself has more intricate and advanced iterations of SFP up their sleeves according to Godfrey:

“This [SFP] was our initial community release, where we have a working, small, but viable protocol, with limited utility,” he said.

“The idea behind that is, let’s see what people start making with it and what people start asking for, we already have a few things on our roadmap that have come from that. As far as a business model, we have a few different ideas, the most basic is a subscription model. There’s some more advanced ideas that we are developing as well, but they’re not quite ready for prime time yet.”

Tokens on Bitcoin is a huge step forward. However, I personally believe that more than tokens are needed for them to pick up traction. When we look at Ethereum, whose tokens have become popular, what helped them take off is that a marketplace exists where users can value and trade tokens, and in other cases, because companies successfully worked a token economy into their business blueprints.

We asked Godfrey if he sees something similar to a Uniswap being built on Bitcoin.

“I do think something like that [Uniswap] is coming—it depends on what your definition of soon is, but something like that is coming,” he said. “I think what’s preventing it from happening quickly is that one of the benefits of Ethereum is Solidity; having a single language for dealing with smart contracts and tokens on that chain. We are at the stage on the Bitcoin SV side where we don’t have unified language yet. I think we’ll end up with a series of languages or protocols that will get us there…we have to get past that barrier first, but there is a working group trying to make that happen.”

Rumors have been circulating that Fabriik was working on a marketplace where the tokens created through the protocol would trade, so I asked Godfrey whether this was true or not.

“You’re talking about our exchange,” said Godfrey. “We are aiming to launch that soon, starting with an exclusive early access campaign that aims to learn what traders want from an exchange so that we can deliver flawlessly on the most important parts.  We want the BSV, BTC and other digital asset communities to help shape our products.”

The road to adoption

Tokens, as well as the other products being launched by Fabriik, are giving more individuals incentive to build on and use Bitcoin. However, as we all know, BSV struggles with adoption outside of its core community. There is clearly a barrier to entry, whether it be legitimate or mental, that is preventing BSV from taking off.

“The barrier to entry for crypto is the complexity of understanding it,” said Godfrey. “If we can simplify it as a whole, that opens it up to everybody. However, the complexity of it is what attracts most of the community right now. A distributed immutable ledger is a simple concept, but the implementation of that is complex and I think that’s why people have such strong feelings about it.”

To tear down that barrier to entry, Godfrey believes we need to simplify elements of the blockchain, especially end-products. To make this case, Godfrey used an analogy—something he did throughout our conversation and something I believe he is very good at.

“Let’s use the analogy of cars,” he said, “mechanics care about a certain set of things, but everyone else wants the nice looking car that drives, is reliable, maybe some people care about it being electric or not, other people just want to be comfortable. I think we need to get it [bitcoin] to the car point where people say, hey I want this red SUV or blue sports car and the mechanics are the ones who still care about the tuning, the engine, and the under the hood, while the end-user cares about performance, and the look and the feel.”

Tokens were just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the products that Fabriik has in store for the future that will ultimately create the end-user experience that Godfrey mentions in his car analogy. The team at Fabriik has a lot in store for the world.

“The plan is to launch as much stuff as we can, so more improvements to our market system, the exchange, more and more features around that including, eventually, security tokens as well, money button wallets will continue to evolve and support tokenization and get interoperability.

A big part of the foundation is being able to safely custody assets for anybody. The exchange, an interoperable wallet and markets are also parts of that foundation. You really need all four to be able to provide a complete liquidity ecosystem, like the four wheels of a car. Most companies are still riding bikes.”

Our mission as a company is to evolve the very fabric of the global financial system, to create a new future of finance where everyone can thrive. It’s a long road to get there, but I think tokens are a major step on that path, and so I hope that again, the idea is, we have a vision but part of our vision is to release tools and platforms that other people can build on top of to surpass our vision.

We are not yet at our iPhone moment in the Bitcoin world. Apple didn’t invent smartphones, smartphones had been around; but prior to the iPhone most people were using a Blackberry or a Palm Pilot, and then the iPhone came along and everybody has an iPhone.

I feel like we are still in that blackberry/palm pilot stage, both were very successful businesses, but they are not Apple. What made it simple is the interface was consistent, simple, easy to use, there was no learning curve, so I’m hoping we are part of the iPhone moment for Bitcoin, I think that’s the next step, the internet has been around since the 60’s, but it wasn’t until the 90’s when the web was invented that everyone wanted to be online. I think we are right before that moment, but we’re excited and hopeful we’ll arrive there soon.”

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