Fordefi’s Trailblazing Year: Building For Success In Crypto’s Transformative Landscape

Read Time 4 mins | Written by: Josh Schwartz

Fordefi’s 2023 EOY Letter to the Crypto Community

As 2023 comes to a close, we'd like to extend our gratitude to our team, clients, partners, investors, families, and the community for their invaluable contributions to an incredible year here at Fordefi. 

The season finale for Crypto 2022 ended on a real cliffhanger: FTX falls, and the future of crypto and its legitimacy/adoption hangs in the balance. Would the industry survive? Who else would fall? How can we revisit the trust model and would traditional institutions see this as another reason to stand on the sidelines?

The 2023 season was a roller coaster but we once again witnessed the resilience of crypto. Bitcoin is up over 150% and ETFs seem set for approval. Solana is up over 700% and its ecosystem has become super active once again. More traditional firms have invested in Web3 adoption (shout out to one of our investors, Paypal, for the successful launch of their stablecoin - PYUSD). The commitment to decentralization was tested and refined. These trials forced the industry to innovate and adapt, ultimately reinforcing its dedication to the core principles for a more inclusive, transparent, and decentralized financial landscape. 

As we reflect on the past year, we can’t help but be thankful for the obstacles that transformed into opportunities for Fordefi as we launched our product into a market ripe with possibilities. 

Defining New Industry Standards for DeFi Wallets

When we first launched our core wallet platform in November of 2022, industry participants had endured staggering losses in both capital and trust. Helping to rebuild trust in DeFi was paramount. With this in mind, we introduced a first-of-its-kind wallet, uniting the security benefits of an institutional MPC wallet alongside enriched transaction data and policies, while enabling seamless cross-chain connectivity. 

This innovation eliminated the need for unreliable third-party wallets and established a new standard for user-first experiences without compromising security. With Fordefi, our clients found a solution that established a new precedent for DeFi transactions. One of the best compliments we get is when our clients connect us to their network and refer them to use Fordefi as well. As our wallet gained traction, we also recognized a unique opportunity to take the lead in DeFi by strengthening our commitment and developing integrations for both Solana and Cosmos. This positioned our wallet as the first institutional wallet to natively support both ecosystems. 

Novel technologies typically require time to build traction, however, what we experienced was an industry eagerly awaiting a wallet like ours. We’re proud to share that in our first year in production, Fordefi has on-boarded dozens of the largest and most active institutions transacting on-chain and has facilitated billions of dollars in transactions to date.

Onboarding The Next Billion Users to DeFi

We believe that the current Web3 landscape is just the beginning. However, as new institutions enter the space, concerns around security and custody are top of mind. Should an institution hold client funds altogether? What are the regulatory implications of holding client funds in DeFi? While centralized exchanges hold client funds, most of those assets are in cold storage. DeFi strategies require more assets to be held in hot wallets and a centralized model for this is concerning, especially in a post-FTX world.

So our next big step was to launch Fordefi Wallet-as-a-Service (WaaS). This allows companies of any size to seamlessly embed non-custodial end-user wallets into their applications, ensuring their customers have control over their digital assets. Widespread adoption of non-custodial end-user wallets will strengthen DeFi by empowering users with greater control over their digital assets. We’re excited to welcome exchanges, fintechs, Web3 companies, and brands, to build their applications with Fordefi WaaS.

Scaling Our Global Team

This has truly been a year of resilience. We want to express our gratitude and admiration to our employees in Israel and share our prayers for peace. At the same time, we also welcome our new employees based in Europe and Asia. We will continue expanding our team in 2024 to reach and service our growing list of clients. Stay tuned for more announcements!

Looking Forward to 2024

As Confucius said, “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” Crypto was once again tested in 2023 and has proven that it is here to stay. The industry is stronger than any one person or company and its resilience is a testament to the positive impact that crypto and Web3 can have on so many different industries. As we look ahead to 2024, we are super excited! Sure, we may have more volatility ahead—from ETF approval amidst the Bitcoin halving and from regulatory issues amidst a Presidential election. But, we expect to see many more institutions executing on their Web3 strategy and onboarding new users to crypto. As they do, we’re here at Fordefi, to help them with a secure and seamless Web3 experience. 

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Josh Schwartz

Josh Schwartz is Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Fordefi. Josh brings a unique background of leadership in both digital assets and traditional financial services. Previously, Josh served as Chief Operating Officer at Curv, the leading institutional MPC wallet (acquired by Paypal in 2021), as well as Vice President of Sales at BitGo where he built the global sales team, and prior to that held senior leadership roles at Bloomberg, Cantor Fitzgerald and Axiom Investment Advisors. Josh holds a B.S. in economics from Yeshiva University and an MBA from New York University.