Ethereum is a trailblazer in the cryptoeconomy right now because it empowers not only decentralized finance, but also decentralized culture. This dynamic has paved the way for subprojects to experiment at the crossroads of finance and culture in ways that were never previously possible.
Among these interesting efforts has been Fuse, a protocol that’s focused on powering microeconomies atop Ethereum.
As such, in today’s post we’ll be exploring what Fuse is: how it works, why it matters, and where the project is at in the cryptoeconomy presently. Who knows what happens next, but Fuse may be a project to watch accordingly.
What Is Fuse?
“Fuse enables businesses and communities around the world to unleash the power of mobile payments,” the project’s FAQ explains.
In short, then, Fuse provides open-source, non-custodial infrastructure for brands and online communities to upgrade “into thriving micro-economies by providing them the tools to build and maintain their own custom-branded mobile wallet and currency.”
This kind of thrust pushes right into Ethereum’s culture sector, which has proven red-hot lately on the heels of recent considerable advances around the platform’s DAO, personal token, and NFT arenas.
Fuse’s 3 Core Elements
The Fuse project has three main pillars: Fuse Wallet, Fuse Studio, and Fuse Chain.
The first product is a “cross-platform mobile wallet” that’s designed to cater to “both crypto and fiat currencies.” This wallet is key, as it helps users interact with the Fuse ecosystem at-large.
Then there comes the Fuse Studio, which functions as a streamlined self-service contract that gives businesses the ability to “create their own custom-branded currency and wallet in a few simple steps.”
Lastly, there’s the Fuse Chain, a Distributed Proof of Stake (DPoS) blockchain that’s pegged to and interoperable with Etheruem, meaning tokens can move easily between the Fuse Chain and Ethereum. In extension, the project’s builders have explained:
“User data in the Fuse network is stored by the users on their devices and they decide who to share it with using standard Web 3.0 interfaces. The users can join communities and community contracts define their data and governance policies.”
History of the Project
Created by Mark Smargon and Tal Beja in 2019, Fuse is headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel.
The umbrella operation, Fuse.io, is a fintech firm that aims to facilitate retail payments on the blockchain without ceding any ground when it comes to user experience (UX). As the project has noted before:
“The company is leveraging Decentralized Finance (DeFi) infrastructure to create a platform for entrepreneurs and allow them to turn existing communities into thriving micro-economies. The Fuse studio allows easy launch and operation of new economies with access to a plugin store that allows them to launch new features and integrate services. In Jan 1, 2019 Fuse.io raised an undisclosed amount / Pre Seed from the Blockchain Founders Fund.”
The Fuse Pitch
One of Fuse’s biggest selling points, like other decentralized solutions, is that it has no central authority or intermediaries.
Indeed, courtesy of Fuse’s DPoS blockchain, the team has explained:
On Fuse, there is no central authority or intermediary. No one but the user holds their funds. Verified by Fuse’s DPos blockchain there is no need for trust in a 3rd party. And since there’s no 3rd party involved looking to earn money, fees on the Fuse network are extremely low. 1 cent USD per transaction at most as opposed to the 2-5% fees that many payment systems charge.
Additionally many payment systems like PayPal do not allow for any customization. You need to use their platform with the predefined framework they built for you.
Projects of Note on Fuse
To date, Fuse has helped facilitate the launch of more than a few microeconomies. Three such projects that have been involved with Fuse so far include Wikibank.eu, GoodDollar, and Elrond. Let’s briefly survey each.
First up is Wikibank.eu, which is an app that delivers “transaction free donations to at-risk
communities.” Simply put, this service lets you pre-purchase products like fruit, vegetables, and other produce from local shops in disadvantaged neighborhoods.
Next is GoodDollar, a project that’s focused on generating a universal basic income (UBI) program through the Fuse Network and delivers this UBI straight to users phones, all for free.
Lastly there’s Elrond, a blockchain platform that’s honed on building a “new internet economy.” As such, Elrond’s assets are now available on Fuse, meaning these assets can be used more extensively and customizably for payments, incentives, and other things like loyalty projects.
“The Elrond infrastructure and Fuse network and UX complement each other to form a powerful set of payment instruments,” Fuse CEO Mark Smargon has previously said.
Inside the FUSE Token
FUSE is the native currency of the Fuse Network. Accordingly, anyone who secures the network by serving as a validator is rewarded in FUSE tokens.
This structure helps to align incentives within the Fuse ecosystem, insofar as Fuse rewards motivate users to secure the network, the project has explained in their docs:
“Fuse token is required to be paid to the network to approve transactions. The Fuse network is using the token to create circulation between users that look to validate transactions on the network and validators who invest computing resources and maintain it. Every block created on the Fuse chain is creating new Fuse tokens rewarded to the validators. This creates a 5% yearly inflation rate of Fuse tokens in circulation.”
An Evolution of Bitcoin’s Colored Coins
Bitcoin is the OG in the cryptoeconomy, and the protocol’s community has put forth lots of novel innovations. One of these was colored coins.
What is a colored coin? It’s a feature of a decentralized platform that lets its users roll and distribute their own tokens however they want to. Such tokens can be used to manage community media like songs, movies, e-books, and more.
Yet colored coins never really gained traction on Bitcoin. And that’s where Fuse comes in: with more time and experience under its belt, Fuse is aiming to become a more optimized and premier platform for new colored coins, i.e. community tokens.
Easy Token Creation
One of the most salient value propositions of the Fuse Network is how easy it is to use the project to create your own token.
Indeed, when using Fuse Studio creating a token is as easy as clicking a single button. Of course, creators will want to carefully consider the best ways to distribute their tokens, but Fuse makes the actual logistics of the process very simple.
The “Veiled Crypto” Approach
Fuse wants to win over mainstream users. Alas, the project’s taking a “Veiled Crypto” approach to winning new users. What’s this mean?
In short, this campaign is about abstracting away the complicated UX aspects of crypto in favor of delivering a fiat-centric, familiar experience for everyday users. So Fuse’s backend will all be powered by crypto infrastructure, while its frontend will be similar to many mainstream finance apps.
One of the biggest threads in the Ethereum ecosystem this year has been the rise of Ethereum’s culture scene. To this end, Fuse is arriving at a ripe time.
Folks are going to want to roll their own tokens for years to come for a variety of reasons. That much is clear. Accordingly, Fuse offers something interesting: the ability to create your token however you want to.