Unizen, a centralized-decentralized (CeDeFi) exchange, announced Monday that it has secured a $200 million capital commitment from a new strategic partner, Global Emerging Markets (GEM).
Global Emerging Markets (GEM) is a $3.4 billion alternative investment group that offers various alternative investment management services focused on emerging markets across the globe.
The capital raised is not a funding round per se. Unizen described GEM’s $200 million as a “capital commitment – is milestone-based and performance-related commitments, which are subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions, to ensure the initial funding is well spent.
Unizen is promoting the new funding round as a major milestone in developing its trading ecosystem. The CeDeFi exchange said it would use the funding to accelerate the development of its trade aggregation system.
Unizen said it will use the funding to improve its ecosystem in order to improve the trading experience for retail and institutional players. In other words, the exchange will use the capital to market its products, grow its team, and accelerate its in-house aggregation system, which is designed to find the most efficient trade routes across different centralized and decentralized crypto exchanges, like Binance, Uniswap, and PancakeSwap.
Unizen is a smart exchange ecosystem that combines the features of both centralized and decentralized exchanges, creating a structure called “CeDeFi.”
Its platform is significantly useful to traders because it supports CeFi and DeFi apps on multiple blockchain networks, and so it aggregates trades across the entire crypto ecosystem at favourable rates compared to other exchanges.
Unizen is built on BNB Chain, the blockchain network of crypto exchange Binance. Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, Binance CEO, is regarded as the one who coined the term “CeDeFi” to refer to a system where users can gain access to the benefits of DeFi without directly interacting with DeFi protocols and the risks associated with such protocols.
Sean Noga, CEO of Unizen, talked about the funding: “We are proud to welcome GEM to the Unizen Ecosystem as a potent and strategically aligned growth partner that can support the rapid expansion of the Unizen platform, brand, and community.”
The firm behind Unizen is Zen Innovations Pte. Ltd., an exempt private company headquartered in Singapore.
Unizen is a smart exchange ecosystem that combines the best features of both centralized and decentralized exchanges, creating a structure coined “CeDeFi.”
In order to provide value as quickly as possible while ensuring future innovation—both from the Unizen team and third party partners—the platform is optimized as a modular build. The key focus areas for Unizen are high compliance and security, deep hybrid liquidity, and a user interface that gives sophisticated insight for professional traders yet is intuitive enough for newcomers. The Unizen ecosystem is designed for compatibility, ensuring that you can access a large variety of digital assets and exchanges without ever leaving the platform.
(Image source: Unizen.io)
Unizen’s Leadership Team
The company behind Unizen is Zen Innovations Pte. Ltd., headquartered in Singapore and incorporated as an Exempt Private Company Limited by Shares on 26 November 2020.
The leadership team brings with it decades of combined experience in crypto, blockchain, fund management, strategy, tech investing, software engineering, and successful start-ups. Sean Noga is the chief executive officer, running the operation from the headquarters in Singapore. He is also a managing Partner at the crypto VC and strategic advisory firm JUN Capital Management Ltd.
Designed for both professional and retail investors of any expertise level, trading crypto of all types and volume levels, Unizen has a number of key features aimed to equip traders of all skills and experience and provide a unified, intuitive, and efficient interface with the crypto marketplace.
The key feature of the Unizen ecosystem is the hybrid centralized/decentralized platform, CeDeFi. While competitors include centralized exchanges like KuCoin, along with DeFi aggregators like 1inch and Macha, Unizen truly provides a unique selling proposition in that it is specifically designed to interface with CeFi and DeFi applications on any network, and can aggregate trades across them. This is critical and especially exciting for crypto traders everywhere, as there includes additional risks to security, slippage, and asset availability since Unizen users have their trade products and exchanges available on the platform. This reduces the critical trade execution time, ensures audited products, and allows a single interface for trading—no leaving the platform required.
AI-Driven Smart Social Sentiment (SSS) Indicators
As trades are executed, a key unique feature provided by Unizen is the Smart Social Sentiment Indicator feed, enhanced by AI-driven algorithms. Leveraging their partnership with LunarCrush, proprietary data crawlers constantly search and aggregate sentiments about a given digital asset across a wide variety of social media outlets. This raw data is then processed through the AI algorithms and sentiments are able to be distilled. This information is provided to the user to help inform overall sentiment of the digital asset, which provides incredible insight to aid informed decision making of how best to act in regard to the asset.
ZCX and Multi-Asset Staking
Unizen has created its native token, ZCX as an exchange-based utility token. It is extremely versatile and robust in that it was created as an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain, but is also mirrored on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC). Further, it can use a number of supported bridges to convert it into BEP-20. Holders of ZCX can realize cross chain rewards because the ZCX staking platform is multi-asset. ZCX is protected from deflation because with each paid listing on the Unizen CEX module, the total supply of (1 billion) will be deflated and burned.
Staking is another area where Unizen is ahead of the curve. In order to maximize a diverse set of asset growth for its users, Unizen employs dynamic multi-asset staking on BSC. By staking, holders are rewarded with multi-asset returns, delivered automatically as part of the smart contract set up by the user when staking, in order to diversify and strengthen the reward value. Another benefit is distributing rewards, including vesting tokens, from various blockchain node projects to those who are staking. Stakers also have early access for the ZenX Labs incubator program, which will include exclusive sales (seed, IDO, etc.) proportional to the amount of value locked.
Unizen has developed a number of additional features for both users and partners alike. A highlight of these is a set of “altcoin tournaments”, whereby several different digital assets are entered into the competition to determine which can score highest against three key metrics. Provided by LunarCrush’s AI-driven algorithms, the metrics are: UNIZEN Twitter Indicator™, which aggregates the number of tweets, quoted retweets, retweets, replies, and favorites of each digital asset; UNIZEN Sentiment Indicator™, which aggregates the “bullish” sentiment connected to a given digital asset on Twitter; and the UNIZEN Smart Score™, which aggregates the social sentiment data and the scores of the first two metrics. The latest winner of this competition was the DAG Constellation Network.
Unizen is built around two key components:
The Unizen software team developed a critical set of modules that were built as a foundation for the platform, but also to allow evolution and growth of the platform without major renovation. The ecosystem was built with expansion, growth, and continuous improvements in mind. Key modules to date include the CEX module, which allows interaction with Binance shared liquidity, and allows upcoming projects to be listed ahead of their third-party module release.
By optimizing the use of APIs, Unizen is currently working with a number of partners in their design and development of third-party modules, enabled through a software development kit (SDK). Unizen has provided standardized guidelines and requirements to ensure that security standards and streamlined UIs are delivered to Unizen users.
Future plans and 2021 Roadmap
In early 2021 Unizen published a roadmap of key milestones they plan to achieve. To date, the team has been successful in making progress toward that goal. So far this year (at the time of writing) Unizen has secured Binance Cloud Services, completed those key modules that make up the foundational operating system, designed and built the “Dynamic Multi-Asset Staking” module, developed the ZenX Labs incubator program, and have achieved a wallet count of over 3,000.
Other milestones in 2021 that Unizen is working toward include releasing the first Unizen CEX module listings, successfully testing trade aggregation across modules, releasing the first third-party DeFi module, implementing the first social sentiment indicator metrics, onboarding additional third-party DeFi modules, providing SDK’s, and achieving DAO governance.
Unizen is a unique ecosystem that aims to be the first to solve the balance between centralized and decentralized exchanges, between proprietary software and a modular third party development, between traditional and innovative staking rewards, and has worked to build this balance into a stand-alone, one stop shop that interfaces with all exchanges and platforms. The key value adds are flexibility, compatibility, ease of use, and security.