Fireblocks unveils Web3 engine to support DeFi, games and NFTs
Blockchain infrastructure provider Fireblocks has launched a suite of developer tools and a portal allowing customers to access cryptocurrency exchanges, NFT markets and other decentralized applications across multiple networks.
Revealed exclusively to Forbes, the features are part of the company’s new offering called Web3 Engine, which also includes custodial services, cash management, risk mitigation tools, and a tokenization mechanism to handle whitelisting, minting, the burning and transfer of NFTs. Additionally, it allows institutions to access platforms like OpenSea, Rarible, Uniswap, and dYdX directly from the Fireblocks console.
The company has already onboarded a few high profile customers for the service. Among them are Animoca Brands, Stardust, MoonPay, Xternity Games, Griffin Gaming, Wirex, Celsius and Utopia Labs.
“The goal is essentially to bring the entire security arsenal and capabilities that we’ve built to enable financial firms to operate with crypto to this new group of players,” says Michael Shaulov, CEO and co-founder of Fireblocks.
The New York-based startup serves around 1,200 institutions, including exchanges, banks, lending and trading desks, and hedge funds, helping them move, store, and issue cryptocurrencies. Fireblocks claims to have secured the transfer of over $2.5 trillion in digital assets.
But the scope of his services has increasingly extended beyond institutional custody. Last month, the company partnered with FIS, a $62 billion publicly traded fintech company that offers everything from payment services to wealth management, to provide the markets’ more than 6,000 customers financial institutions from FIS access to a full suite of crypto trading and lending services.
Around the same time, as part of its Web3 engine early access program, Fireblocks added support for decentralized finance applications (dapps) on the Terra blockchain. The network underpins the struggling stablecoin TerraUSD (UST) and its sister token LUNA, which both crashed to near $0 last week.
According to Shaulov, in less than a month, Fireblocks customers transferred approximately $3 billion in volume to the platform interacting with popular Terra applications such as the Anchor lending protocol, the staking platform Lido and the peer-to-peer exchange Astroport. But once the UST, designed to always be worth $1, lost its peg, Fireblocks saw mostly “transactional activity of a speculative nature as people tried to hedge or take advantage of the situation,” Shaulov says. He points out that ultimately Terra is just one of more than 35 networks supported by Fireblocks’ Web3 engine (others include popular networks like Ethereum, Solana, and Avalanche): “the goal of this offering is to provide cross-blockchain support”.
The engine is the latest product offering users gateways to easily interact with the $90 billion DeFi industry. Yesterday, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase introduced a similar capability for its retail users, allowing them to access Ethereum-based apps directly from the Coinbase app. This includes buying NFT on marketplaces like Coinbase NFT and OpenSea, trading on decentralized exchanges like Uniswap and Sushiswap, and borrowing and lending through DeFi platforms like Curve and Compound.