DECODING MINDS – An Interview With Aniket Jindal, Co-Founder, Biconomy
We had an opportunity to interview Aniket Jindal, Co-Founder, Biconomy, and know about his vision and his company’s journey so far. Biconomy is a developer platform that empowers blockchain developers to enable a simplified transaction and onboarding experience for their Web3 project. Let’s dive into the interview question and answers we had with Aniket Jindal, Co-Founder, Biconomy.
Please tell us about yourself and your journey in the crypto industry so far?
I have been in the blockchain industry for half a decade now and have dabbled in multiple fields such as marketing, investments, and entrepreneurship. Before Starting Biconomy I was a part of Encrypted, a blockchain dedicated podcast, which was co-founded with Ahmed Al-Balaghi and is now being hosted by him and Nicholas Watson.
Living in China in 2016 and 2017, I started my career as an intern at Binance and my engagements with its founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao taught me a lot about blockchain technology. After I moved back to India in 2018, I decided to launch Biconomy in order to simplify the development and adoption of DApps by building an easy-to-use transaction infrastructure for DApps and Web 3.0 apps along with my colleagues, Sachin Tomar and Ahmed Al-Balaghi in 2019 and am the COO here.
What is Biconomy? What is its market scope?
Biconomy is on a mission to simplify web3.0 for the masses. Web3 Applications today face major roadblocks to user adoption. By making it easy for Dapps to solve critical user friction points on their applications, Biconomy helps in improving user adoption. We do this by providing platform and blockchain agnostic SDKs and APIs to enable use cases such as gasless transactions, gas payment in ERC20 tokens, instant cross-chain transfers & easy onboarding to scaling solutions.
We have built a multichain relayer infrastructure network and transaction platform. It aims to simplify not only the payment infrastructure layer but also governance, smart contracts, etc for developers. By enabling this, we reduce the friction between blockchain-based applications and end-users. Biconomy links users to a blockchain without requiring advanced technical knowledge, handling the unseen complexities in order for them to be able to perform transactions. Our relayer network is a collection of software development kits (SDKs) and APIs designed to make each blockchain application more accessible and understandable for everyone, regardless of their knowledge and experience. Biconomy can be integrated with dApps and digital wallets and is both platform and blockchain agnostic.
The market scope that we envision is that most consumer-focussed decentralized applications will leverage Biconomy to provide a seamless user experience. Thus, we aim to handle a large chunk of all blockchain transactions.
What is a Scalable Relayer Infrastructure?
In simple terms, a relayer ‘relays’ a transaction on behalf of someone else. So instead of interacting directly with the blockchain application, the user interacts with our relayer and then we complete the transaction for the user. Why? Because this way we handle the blockchain complexities on behalf of the user. The application can even sponsor the gas fees for the user using our relayer network. All the user needs to do is sign the transaction, & we take care of the rest. For example, paying gas fees or ensuring your transaction goes through & isn't stuck or failed, and making sure you don't overpay for gas, can get fairly frustrating. By leveraging our relayers, the dapp ensures that all their user's transactions are successful at an optimized gas price.
So to sum up, a relayer takes the input from the user and then completes the transaction on behalf of them so they don't have to deal with blockchain transaction complexities.
And this relayer network is scalable when it can handle thousands & even millions of transactions per second.
What are Meta Transactions?
As explained above, a relayer network handles a transaction on behalf of the user. Such a transaction is called a meta-transaction.
All ethereum transactions include gas fees for the transaction to go through. In the case of dApps, it becomes a prerequisite to have ERC20 tokens; this can be a tedious process for users and may prevent onboarding. Therefore, a third party (known as relayer) can send the user’s transactions and afford the gas fees themselves. In this process, the user signs messages containing information they would like to execute, and relayers then sign valid Ethereum transactions with the information and send them to the network whilst paying the gas fees themselves.
Are Gasless transactions actually a real thing?
Yes, gasless transactions are a reality and Biconomy’s SDK and APIs aim to achieve this through different approaches:
○ In some cases, the gas is sponsored by dapps to make the experience gasless for users. This means that end users can make transactions and interact with dApps without worrying about gas.
○ With Biconomy, users are able to do a transaction on the blockchain with a zero balance account. This means that there is no need to download any digital wallet or buy cryptocurrency from exchanges, making the experience simple for non-crypto savvy users.
○ Biconomy also ensures that no transaction fails or gets stuck. Biconomy’s relayers handle the transaction management on behalf of the user to ensure all transactions are successful at the optimum gas usage. As we go ahead, we are confident that gasless transactions will become the norm. Most Dapps will offer gasless transactions & either sponsor the gas costs themselves or charge the users a subscription fee to cover the infrastructure costs.
As the usage of L2 increases and ETH 2.0 gets closer, we will see gas prices drop drastically. Thus, over the next few years, we will see multiple projects enable meta-transactions to sponsor all the gas fees for their users.
Netflix doesn't charge you an AWS (Amazon Web Services) fee for every video you watch, so why should dApps charge users a gas fee for every single interaction? Netflix rather has subscription plans, and its users don't have to go through a cumbersome process of paying fees every time. The future of web3 would be similar where users won’t even know what gas fee is!
Why do we need a relayer infrastructure network? Benefits of having one?
Web3 applications today face major roadblocks to user adoption in the form of difficult user onboarding & transaction experience. Almost every interaction with a Dapp is a complex transaction. Bottlenecks include gas fees, ETH-only payments, complicated onboarding processes, a requirement for proficiency in blockchain technicalities, pending/slow transactions, slow cross-chain experience, etc.
Biconomy allows decentralized applications to leverage its infrastructure to offer gas-less transactions to their end-users. It exists to provide developers a simple and customizable transaction journey and remove the complexities of interacting with blockchain technology for the end-user. It solves these challenges at the crypto transactional layer. Biconomy’s goal is to enhance both the developer and end-user experience.
Does Biconomy offer any SDK for integration and what is the difficulty curve?
Biconomy’s SDK Mexa can be integrated with dApps to enable gasless transactions without any change in the dApp’s smart contracts and just a few lines of code. You can use Mexa for your smart contracts in different ways that can be explored here.
The integration of our other modules - Forward, to enable gas payment in ERC20 tokens or stablecoins, & Hyphen, to enable instant cross-chain transfers & easy onboarding to L2s, - are also equally simple and developer-friendly.
How many networks are supported by Biconomy? How many more can we see in the future?
Biconomy is blockchain and platform agnostic.
Currently, we are live on Ethereum, Polygon (Matic), xDAI, Arbitrum, Binance Smart Chain, Edgeware, & Moonbeam. We have plans to go live in most chains and scaling solutions.
On the security side, how secure is using Biconomy?
Our relayer infrastructure is completely non-custodial. So we don't handle user's funds at any point. We have also regularly audited our code and products to make sure there are no loopholes.
What are the future plans of the company on the development side?
Biconomy believes in a multi-chain future where assets can be moved swiftly across ecosystems & all dapps are as simple to use as current applications. The core promise of Web 3 is seamless connectivity and is envisioned as a multi-chain, multi-layer world with high compatibility and interoperability. That is why we are building the multi-chain relayer infrastructure to power the web3 of the future. Going forward, this entire stack is going to be decentralized.
The last question will be, what do you think about the future of Blockchain Technology, DeFi, and NFT market and where do you see Biconomy in it?
As mentioned before, we believe the future of blockchain is in the Web3 ecosystem with seamless connectivity. A multi-chain, decentralized, and interoperable world that allows for smooth transfers of assets and ubiquity of dApps.
DeFi is revolutionizing the financial space. They are already a big part of our blockchain ecosystem and have garnered user attention and support. The concept of decentralized financial institutions seems promising and financial freedom is something to look forward to in the blockchain world.
Non-Fungible Tokens have another set of fans. They have found solid ground in popular culture in the fields of gaming, music, art, etc, and do not seem to be slowing down anytime soon. With innovations in the blockchain space, which is still considered to be nascent, these creations provide a digital future that is decentralized and democratic. This is a digital revolution that we hoped for post the pandemic which has changed the way we perceive our world.
Lastly, we see Biconomy at the core of this future, accelerating dApps user adoption, enabling multi-chain transactions, and working towards simplifying the user experience every day. As mentioned before, we envision that most Dapps, whether DeFi or NFTs or something else, are going to need a simpler & seamless transaction experience by leveraging our entire suite of products.
DECODING MINDS – a brand new series of interviews by Digital Notice to give you an insight into the projects straight from the Founders and the Team. Each article explores the real-world experiences and expertise of our guests to discuss their unique perspective on the project use cases, its challenges, its changes, and its prospects in the fiercely competitive world of Crypto and Blockchain.