HurricaneSwap AMA#1 Recap— Project Overview with Symington W. Smith

On September 29, 2021 @ 12:00 p.m. (PST), an AMA session was held in the Avalaunch Telegram with special guest Symington W. Smith, Founder of Hurricane Swap.

Below we present to you a recap of the AMA with questions and answers.

Dave Donnenfeld| Avalaunch

Today, we are fortunate enough to have the founder of this heavily anticipated project with us, Mr. Symington Smith. Symington, welcome to our active, vibrant and lovable Avalaunch community. @Symington_Smith How are you today?

Symington Smith| HurricaneSwap

Hey everyone!

I’m good. How are you doing today?

Thanks for having me here, it’s a pleasure to share the latest news about HurricaneSwap with you guys.

Dave Donnenfeld| Avalaunch

Good thank you. We have a lot of questions for you today so let’s not keep the good people waiting. It is definitely our pleasure to have you.

So let’s get right into it

For starters, please give us a bit of background on yourself. What did your career and education look like before crypto, and how did you end up focusing on blockchain technology?

Symington Smith| HurricaneSwap

I’m the founder of HurricaneSwap and also VP of the Beijing Chamber of Commerce in Thailand.

I’m half Chinese half Swiss, but actually I’m American.

I grew up in Beijing and that’s why I have lots of Chinese friends and business partners

And you can see some of the investors of HurricaneSwap are China-based.

I graduated from Peking University in 2018, and then I went to King’s College to study globalization and global affairs.

During my time in college, I started getting into Bitcoin and I found out there are so many captains of all kinds of industry holding Bitcoin and getting excited about the future of blockchain.

Then I realized I must dig into it.

So I joined the Oxford Blockchain Strategy Programme

I know it’s kind of nerdy

But I have no tech background, so the way I get into blockchain is, I learn.

Dave Donnenfeld| Avalaunch

Being nerdy has been a good thing for awhile.

That’s an impressive and varied background to be sure.

What is HurricaneSwap at the highest level and what problem is it solving? Why is now the moment in time to be building this protocol?

Symington Smith| HurricaneSwap

At the first glance, it seems like HurricaneSwap is solving the problem of cross-chain.

However, at its core, HurricaneSwap is actually solving the problem of the lack of high-quality assets on the Avalanche chain.

High-quality assets are rare and highly valuable to a newly developed chain.

On the one hand, the ecosystems of different chains are relatively independent

Even mutually exclusive sometimes.

On the other hand, there is not too much demand for technical innovations for DeFi.

At the beginning of DeFi, there were a lot of amazing innovations, such as lending, DEX, and yield farming.

However, recently, there’s no more phenomenon innovations like before.

This is completely normal.

In this case, I believe it is getting harder to find a unicorn project on a new chain.

When it comes to Avalanche, there’s an urgent need for high-quality assets, we can see how much effort they put into AVAX Eco.

As a DEX based on Avalanche, HurricaneSwap is designed to bring valuable assets from other chains to Avalanche.

When we started HurricaneSwap, we were actually worried. It seems like Ethereum will constantly dominate the blockchain world, and new chains developed by CEXs (like BSC and HECO) do not have a competitive edge except for lower gas fees.

However, in recent months, we have seen SOL, NEAR, MATIC, and most importantly, the rapid development of AVAX, which are all exciting news to us.

As long as there are more than one chain in the market, there will be demand for cross-chain transactions.

As long as there are more chains growing up, there will be more valuable assets

Then our competitive advantages will be maximized.

So now it’s time, it will be the perfect timing for HurricaneSwap to launch next month.

Dave Donnenfeld| Avalaunch

It would be appear at first glance to be a straight cross-chain play, but, like so many good blockchain endeavors, it’s more. Your points are noted and sound.

How long has the project been in development? Was there a long research and ideation phase before work began?

Symington Smith| HurricaneSwap

We got the idea of HurricaneSwap one year ago

And then our CTO, Hunter, started to crew a powerful team. They only took 4 months to finish the development of Roke Protocol, and completed HurricaneSwap V1 in June this year.

It didn’t take too long that we got the idea of building a cross-chain DEX on Avalanche.

Before beginning the process of ideation, it’s important for us to have a clear mandate for moving forward.

Me and Hunter, we know Avalanche at the very beginning

Avalanche is designed for DeFi, and it is powerful enough to provide us with the best development space.

Also, we noticed transactions on Avalanche are very active.

However, according to comparative data of X chain and C chain, the number of users participating in the Avalanche ecosystem is far fewer than holding or trading $AVAX.

That means a large number of users have recognized the value of Avalanche, but they never get involved in the Avalanche ecosystem.

And that’s the moment we realize that there’s a huge opportunity to build a cross-chain swap on Avalanche.

Dave Donnenfeld| Avalaunch

You mentioned Hunter so maybe it’s a good segue to tell us a little bit about the core team and how it came together.

Symington Smith| HurricaneSwap

As you can see, there are 4 members in our core team

Hunter is our CTO and he is also the first author of Roke Protocol, which is the most innovative part of HurricaneSwap.

James is pretty experienced in crypto investment, beside that, he is also good at marketing and IMC, so he’s leading our marketing team.

Ted is co-founder and chief Architect of Ava Labs, it’s an honor that he could be our chief adviser and he really gives us lots of support and help.

Actually, Ted and Hunter, they are friends in high school, they are both from Chengdu.

James is my classmate in Peking University, we have been friends for seven years.

So basically, we all know each other very well and I think the relationship between us is pretty solid.

Dave Donnenfeld| Avalaunch

Well as a half Chinese, half Swiss American who grew up in Bejing, I’m sure your friends come from far and wide.

It’s a great ensemble cast for the project. I assume there are multiple approaches to solving the problem of cross-chain liquidity. Why is HurricaneSwap’s current architecture the optimal solution?

Symington Smith| HurricaneSwap

Yes, I agree with you, there are many solutions of cross-chain liquidity, like cross-chain bridge.

Actually, the cross-chain bridge was designed to be a low-frequency tool, like WBTC or RenBTC.

Technically, it is quite difficult to develop a cross-chain bridge.

Also it’s hard to earn profit as a cross-chain bridge, because users will not trade if the transaction fee is too high; whereas when the transaction fee gets too low, the mechanism of Nodes would fail which would lower transaction efficiency and raise slippage.

In the case of most cross-chain swap, they actually develop a cross-chain bridge and then find out it’s hard to make a profit, so they decide to make it as a swap.

However, they barely know about trading so they can’t give users a good trading experience.

HurricaneSwap is different.

We are designed with true needs and always thinking from user-side. For example:

What do LPs need?

Higher profit, fewer steps, and absolute security.

What do users need?

More choices of high-quality assets, lower slippage, and absolute security as well.

HurricaneSwap takes each and every single one of the needs into account, and does not compromise on any of them, which makes HurricaneSwap a unique swap comparing with others.

Dave Donnenfeld| Avalaunch

The dilemmas, the trade-offs, having to optimize for varying agendas i.e. the things that people don’t see until you’re underway.

Symington Smith| HurricaneSwap


Dave Donnenfeld| Avalaunch

Although you broached it earlier, maybe you can say a little more on why you decided to build HurricaneSwap on Avalanche?

Symington Smith| HurricaneSwap

Like I was saying, I think Avalanche has so much potential

It’s designed for DeFi, it’s powerful to build, the transactions on it are pretty active.

And most importantly, we see the gap between X chain and C chain, it is a huge opportunity.

What HurricaneSwap aims to do is attract more $AVAX holders and traders to participate in the Avalanche ecosystem

We can benefit Avalanche and create more value by providing more diverse cross-chain assets.

So it’s beyond “we chose Avalanche”, it’s more like, we need each other.

Dave Donnenfeld| Avalaunch

This kind of struck me earlier. People are active on the network but not yet engaged due to the lack of quality assets. It’s the hidden thrust behind Hurricane Swap.

On another note, I could not help but notice that one of your advisors is Ted Yin, the chief Protocol Architect & Co-Founder at Ava Labs. How has he helped bring the vision of HurricaneSwap into reality?

Symington Smith| HurricaneSwap

I believe everyone here is familiar with Ted

Besides being the Chief Protocol Architect and co-founder of Ava Labs, he is also the first author of HotStuff.

HotStuff is revolutionary when it comes to protocol, and not to mention the breakthroughs of Ava Labs, about which Hunter might have more to say.

Maybe you can ask him about this in the next AMA.🤓

For me personally, I believe the biggest help from Ted is actually in making the idea of HurricaneSwap come true.

Ted is an expert of protocol for sure, but the best of him is that he is always receptive to new ideas.

When we first came up with the idea of HurricaneSwap and told him, he was so supportive, and joined us as an advisor right away.

But recently we realized that he actually started the development of Avalanche Bridge at that time.

That means they already had the solution of cross-chain, but Ted still encouraged us to develop HurricaneSwap. That means a lot to me.

Besides supporting us on the technical side, Ted was also referring investors to us during our private fundraising, like A&T.

So basically Ted is not only an advisor to us, but also a very good friend who is always being supportive.

Dave Donnenfeld| Avalaunch

He sounds pretty invaluable especially when it comes to taking an idea and putting the proverbial meat on the bone.

How do you view other DEXs built natively on Avalanche? How might HurricaneSwap work to elevate the entire ecosystem, instead of competing with it?

Symington Smith| HurricaneSwap

A few years ago, there was no such thing as DEXs nor cross-chain swap.

But there is always demand for “cross-market” trading.

For example, you can trade both stocks and bitcoin on Robinhood. It’s actually a kind of “cross-chain”.

At present, AMM brings more possibilities for cross-chain trading.

For example, let’s suppose you are a professional trader, you know the price correlation between U.S. dollar and bitcoin, you also know the price correlation between U.S dollar and gold.

Then theoretically you already know the price correlation between bitcoin and gold, then maybe you want to short gold with Bitcoin or whatever. But you can’t trade like that actually.

It’s impossible in the traditional market due to the regulation, different pricing arrangements and of course the liquidity.

However, in the case of AMM, technically speaking, you can trade bitcoin/gold directly.

Imagine that, how cool it is!

As for me, I don’t think we are competing with other DEXs on Avalanche.

Dave Donnenfeld| Avalaunch

Now that would be an awesome pair for Peter Schiff.

Symington Smith| HurricaneSwap


Dave Donnenfeld| Avalaunch

Didn’t mean to interrupt you but thought I’d take a potshot at Schiff.

Symington Smith| HurricaneSwap

I get it, no worries.

At this point, the most important thing is to boost the ecosystem together.

Dave Donnenfeld| Avalaunch

Agreed. I think people overplay the element of competition when you have a space with such vast potential. You put a restaurant in the middle of nowhere and no one comes. You put 20 of them, even in a remote place and suddenly you have a destination.

In what ways is HurricaneSwap designed to support the HCT token holder? What is its utility?

Symington Smith| HurricaneSwap

Here you can see the tokenomics of HCT.

As the native token of HurricaneSwap, $HCT represents holders’ many rights.

First of all, the right to vote. HurricaneSwap is a community-driven project, after we launch the mainnet, $HCT holders are expected to participate in project governance, including token listing, marketing plan, community development and so on.

More importantly, users need to burn $HCT to vote. Based on the experience of CEXs, that kind of listing activity could burn hundreds of millions of tokens.

Further, we see $HCT holders like our shareholders, so we will reward users who hold and stake $HCT with 1‰ of our transaction fee profit.

That’s a lot.

And there are two more special parts about our rewards mechanism.

First, the reward will be issued every day, so the price fluctuation of $HCT wouldn’t affect users’ benefits.

Second, the reward will be issued in $AVAX, which means we will buy $AVAX in the secondary market and reward it to $HCT holders.

In future, we will explore more $HCT application scenarios, and you can stay tuned to our website for more information:

Dave Donnenfeld| Avalaunch

At this stage, what can you tell us about your business development? Are you actively seeking collaborations with other projects and protocols? Is this something that HurrucanSwap benefits from?

Symington Smith| HurricaneSwap

At this stage, we just finished the testnet promotion of HurricaneSwap V1, there were almost 200K addresses in our testnet

This number is amazing as there were around 130K addresses altogether in Avalanche testnet at the beginning.

Meanwhile, we have already completed the development of V2. PeckShield is doing the security audit, we also invited some white-hat hackers to help us to test.

So I think the most important thing right now is making sure HurricaneSwap V2 could launch on time, it’s scheduled on 10/10.

Once the mainnet is live, if everything goes well, we will establish more business partners.

And we will definitely look for business partnership opportunities in AVAX Eco at the first stage.

You see, Avalaunch is one of our investors, Mark helps us to get in touch with lots of influencers and introduce HurricaneSwap to so many AVAX users.

And JD Gagnon, co-founder of BENQI, he invested in us as well. Also Pangolin, we talked to them at the very beginning and we both agree that there should be more cooperation between us.

Dave Donnenfeld| Avalaunch

This is very impressive stuff. Shoutout to @dubpluris As you noted earlier, you and Avalanche need each other.

You just answered that. Mea culpa.

Your mainnet is currently set for October 10th, shortly after the Avaluanch IDO. What part of the roadmap does that deployment represent? What can we expect as a user in 3, 6, and 12 months?

Symington Smith| HurricaneSwap

I’m proud to say, so far, everything is on schedule.

Speaking of future plans, I think the most important thing for us, or any cross-chain swap, is to continuously expand to new chains and new assets.

Within the unique design of HurricaneStation, we could build our station on each chain rapidly .

Furthermore, HurricaneSwap is a community-driven project, so we will definitely make it DAO.

It won’t be easy to achieve decentralization, but we will try our best. After we launch the mainnet, we will announce plans about DAO very soon.

Besides, our tech and product team are so creative, so I believe you will see more trading features and new functions on HurricaneSwap, like vault on HurricaneStation, we already have plans on that.

Dave Donnenfeld| Avalaunch

This migration is never easy but you’ll have such a framework in place, hopefully it will continue to run elegantly.

To keep a theme alive here — how does HurricaneSwap benefit the entire Avalanche ecosystem?

Symington Smith| HurricaneSwap

First of all, we believe in Avalanche.

That’s the most important thing.

Because of that, benefiting Avalanche is our first priority.

Actually the whole design of HurricaneSwap is to benefit Avalanche

We aim to bring more valuable assets to Avalanche. That’s what Avalanche needs most at this point.

Besides, I have lived in China for many years, so I’m quite resourceful in China.

I can see that Avalanche attach great importance to China market and the whole Asia market, so I hope I can help them to expand into new markets in Asia. Let more people know about Avalanche.

Dave Donnenfeld| Avalaunch

Final question before moving on to the Twitter questions — You alluded to it earlier with the vault so maybe you can expound a bit more. HurricaneSwap also sets out to offer a suite of DeFi tools beyond a DEX. What does the long-term vision of HurricaneSwap offer to its users?

Symington Smith| HurricaneSwap

Now we define ourselves as the 1st liquidity cross-chain DEX based on Avalanche.

The mission of HurricaneSwap is to provide users with a high-performance, low slippage, low-cost and seamless cross-chain trading experience.

I would not overstate our vision, because trading itself is awesome and should be respected.

We will just stick with the product and satisfy all kinds of needs from users

Speaking of vault, I cant tell more details actually 🤭 But you should be suprised.

Dave Donnenfeld| Avalaunch

Your core competency certainly fills a massive need. Now, moving on to the Twitter questions. Much of this has been covered already but feel free to expound upon as you see fit.

From @JaysonHinrichs1 Staking is the new trend. What staking options are available for $HCT token? Are there any incentives for staking? What are the various ways to earn $HCT token and are there any limits to amount of $HCT I can earn?

Symington Smith| HurricaneSwap

There are many options available on the Farm.

I can’t tell you the specific options at present, because there might be some changes during the test time.

Once we launch the mainnet, you can see it on our website:

Like I mentioned, we will reward staking users not only $HCT, but also $AVAX as a share bonus.

You can get $HCT from staking for sure, meanwhile we will have all kinds of trading activities after mainnet launched, so you can get extra $HCT as reward.

There’s no limit to how much you can earn, but you should follow the rules of activity.

Dave Donnenfeld| Avalaunch

@amiich_ I’m curious about the team’s record. I think it is important to invest on a project who has a reliable workers. Do the team already worked on something related to crypto industry and how many of you in your team?

Symington Smith| HurricaneSwap

All members from our team are experienced in crypto before. As you can see, Roke Protocol is our original development and so far everything in the developing process is on schedule.

That’s because our tech and product team are mostly from CEXs and crypto wallet.

And members of our marketing team used to work for crypto funds, media and community.

So you can see there are more than 42K people in HurricaneSwap TG group, and 45K followers on Twitter. It only takes us 2 month to get there.

Thanks to our wonderful marketing team, now we have a strong community and everything is organic.

Dave Donnenfeld| Avalaunch

There was a lot of visibility for the project dating back and the amount of testers you attracted is testimony.

@wannkid How does hurricane swap fit in the $avax ecosystem with power houses like
@pangolindex and @traderjoe_xyz already there as well as strengthening @LydiaFinance
(with 2 bridges!)

Symington Smith| HurricaneSwap

HurricaneSwap is different from any other DEXs or cross-chain DEXs. That’s the key point.

I could say, the Roke Protocol and LP-bridge mechanism are highly experimental and forward-looking.

Besides, like I was saying, we are not competitors as we have a common goal to make AVAX Eco more prosperous.

Dave Donnenfeld| Avalaunch

@Kirillova9Vika What kind of partnerships with different projects/platforms/protocols can we expect from HurricaneSwap in the future? Could you give us some examples of how other projects can leverage HurricaneSwap ?

Symington Smith| HurricaneSwap

I already talked about our plan of business partnership in Question 10 at the previous session.

But I can share a list of all investors and partners that we are working with.

Dave Donnenfeld| Avalaunch

Last one from Twitter — @zotov_mitya Does HurricaneSwap use a vesting period system to avoid dumpers?

Symington Smith| HurricaneSwap

I think the best way to avoid dumpers is continuously increase the value and application scenarios of $HCT.

Generally speaking, the rewards of holding $HCT are quite generous, you can earn extra $HCT by staking and meanwhile you can get $AVAX as dividend.

So it’s a better choice to hold $HCT rather than dump it.

Thanks for all the question from Twitter.

Dave Donnenfeld| Avalaunch

Thank you for everything so far. We’re going to unmute the chat and allow community members to ask a few questions. Please choose five that sing to you.

Symington Smith| HurricaneSwap

Thank you all for the questions!

Avijit Sengupta

Is your project is global? Do you plan to develop more in some areas where english is not basic language?

Symington Smith| HurricaneSwap

Yes, HurricaneSwap is global because we are a DEX, there should be no country limit.

And we do have plans to develop more countries which don’t speak English. Like Vietnam, Korea, and also Turkey, Indonesia and so on. They have much potential.

Since we launched testnet, we could see there are over 100K users from 160+ countries and regions participate in HurricaneSwap.

So we realized that it’s not enough to do English promotion only.

Then we started to work with community ambassadors, they come from different countries but they know HurricaneSwap pretty well and they could promote HurricaneSwap in their own language to their own people.

Will Smith

From where you get your project name? What is the main motivation behind your project? do you have any story to share?

Symington Smith| HurricaneSwap

Hurricane means a storm.We’d like to make it become a true storm in the crypto market.

Besides, we use “Hurricane” because both “Hurricane” and “Avalanche” are natural disasters.😅

Fox H

How do you think the future development potential of the Avalanche network will be compared to Ethereum, BSC or Solana?

Symington Smith| HurricaneSwap

I think Avalanche is advanced comparing with other networks, that’s why we chose to build on Avalanche.

Although Ethereum and BSC have more or less first-mover advantages, I always believe that transactions tend to migrate from chains with higher fees and slower speeds to chains with lower fees and faster speeds.

I think it is inevitable for various transaction-related applications to migrate from the Ethereum and BSC to Avalanche. So it’s not about Avalanche taking over Ethereum or others, it is more about each chain giving full play to their strengths.

Nguyễn Tony

Security and anonymity are always prioritized by BlockChain projects in the development of project platforms and technologies. So, does you have any technological solutions or plans to enhance user trust in these issues?

Symington Smith| HurricaneSwap

I agree with you, security is always the first rule, especially speaking of DEXs.

We have seriously considered about security at the very beginning. That’ why we create a new mechanism to make cross-chain transaction.

Also, you could check the security audit report if you’re interested:

Not Me

Are you plan any Exchange for token listing?
Please tell some details about the Listing?

Symington Smith| HurricaneSwap

We haven’t make any official announcement of listing yet, but you can actually see the listing plan from our IEO partnership

Also, there are some CEXs in our investors list.

I think that’s all for today

Dave Donnenfeld| Avalaunch

Symington, thank you very much for your time today. As informed as I was, I learned something and am really coming to appreciate the vision behing HurricaneSwap. It’s robust and indeed more than what it appears to be at first pass. I think our community is lucky to have the opportunity to participate in the sale and I look forward to the technical deep dive tomorrow. Thank you again.

Symington Smith| HurricaneSwap

Thank you again for having me!

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