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Introduction

Fragments is an algorithmic reserve and monetary supply policy for creating low volatility Ethereum Standard tokens, and our mission is to produce a fair and stable money for the world.

The protocol offers downside protection using a dynamic reserve, while maintaining upside interest through currency splits. Our first token will be the USD Fragment, a cryptocurrency targeted to the US dollar.

High level explanation

At a high level the Fragments protocol stabilizes price by moving volatility from unit price to unit count. Consider the following:

  1. >> STANDARD MODEL
    You purchased 1 BTC at $1, and today you have 1 BTC worth $10000.
  2. >> STABLE MODEL
    Now imagine an alternate world in which you again purchased 1 BTC at $1, but this time you have 10000 BTC each worth $1.

Our platform follows the second model. To stabilize purchasing power, we increase and decrease supply in response to demand.

  • When the protocol needs to increase supply, it capitalizes a reserve and then splits—proportionally distributing tokens to wallets.
  • When the protocol needs to decrease supply, the reserve automatically purchases tokens and removes them from supply in exchange for bonds—which are first in line to recapitalize the reserve under expansion.

1.Advantages

Fragments were designed to converge on the characteristics of Ideal Money, a theoretical solution to the conflict between short-term and long-term objectives when creating a world reserve currency. As a result, currencies adopting the Fragments protocol can store both near and long term value, making them suitable for both spending and holding.

Today, Bitcoin is perceived as a great long-term store of value because it can be expected to generally increase in value over long periods of time—and while fiat currencies like the USD are great for transactions, they generally lose value over time to inflation.

Unfortunately Bitcoin can’t be used as a transactional currency because it’s too volatile. The lack of near and midterm predictability has pressured early advocates like Stripe, Microsoft, and Steam to stop accepting it as payment—and many credit card companies have similarly ceased accepting bitcoin purchases.

Near term storage (spendable)

$1 USD Fragment is always worth roughly $1 USD.

Long term storage (holdable)

Unlike typical inflation policies, when the Fragments protocol increases supply in response to demand, it automatically distributes new supply to coin holders to balance the change in price. In the simplified case below, we show what happens as demand increases across 3 moments in time.

  1. >> TIME 1

       Market Cap: $1000, Supply: 1000 Tokens
       Alice has 1 Token worth $1 -> $1
  2. >> TIME 2 # Demand Doubles

       Market Cap: $2000, Supply: 1000 Tokens
       Alice has 1 Token worth $2 -> $2
  3. >> TIME 3 # Inflation Occurs

       Market Cap: $2000, Supply: 2000 Tokens
       Alice has 2 Tokens each worth $1 -> $2

A splitting currency

When inflation occurs between time 2 and time 3 Alice goes from having 1 token worth $2 to having 2 tokens each worth $1.

Here, the act of inflation is not generating any gains for Alice, but the increase in supply does not decrease the purchasing power of her balance—instead, when market caps increase, the currency splits.

In practice, to shield wallets from contraction we first capitalize a reserve and then split proportionally to wallets, check out the protocol page for details on how this works.

Uncorrellated with major coins

Currently, major cryptocurrencies are highly correlated, moving up and down together in price. This is a huge source of frustration for holders who feel no sense of control over when they can responsibly withdraw.

Another advantage of Fragments is they will move in a manner uncorrelated with major coins. When floating price currencies dip, traders retreat into stable currencies. In our case, this demand pressure triggers an increase in supply that is distributed to token-holders as a byproduct of stabilization.

This adds diversity to the ecosystem and makes for an interesting hedge against floating price cryptocurrencies.

2.What we mean by fair

Central banks commonly use inflation to safeguard stability, and we think they're doing the best they can. But the most exciting promise of blockchain infrastructure is the chance to do even better.

When central banks increase their money supply, they introduce new money into circulation—devaluing the currencies just as we do—but they don't distribute to holders of their currency. As a result, each time a central bank inflates, it diminishes the purchasing power of every currency holder's balance. Some economists call this type of inflation "taxation without representation."

We're in no position to criticize how central banks act, as engineers we're pragmatic and technology driven—but we do see an incredible opportunity to create a more ideal money.

3.Use cases

USD Fragments can serve as a medium of exchange, a hedge against other cryptocurrencies, and a service for utility token developers.

  • A replacement for tether

    USD Fragments can be used to fulfill the same needs Tether does today, with an auditable on-chain reserve and supply policy.

  • A hedge against other cryptocurrencies

    When floating price currencies dip, traders retreat into stable currencies. In our case, this demand pressure triggers an increase in supply that is maximally distributed to coin-holders as a byproduct of stabilization.

  • A stabilization service for developers

    Developers creating utility tokens are eager to take advantage of the network effects inherent in floating price tokens. But beyond using tokens to represent the value of a network, developers also use tokens to denominate value (ie: 1GB of storage token). The Fragments platform will be offered as a service, allowing developers to easily develop functional utility tokens that retain network effects.

Comparison table

To date, there aren't any currencies suitable for both spending and holding. To help communicate this, we've broadened the comparison to include fiat and floating price currencies, in addition to stable coins. Check out the table below:

CurrencySpendableHoldable
Fragments11
Fiat10
Tether10
BaseCoin10
Maker Dao10
BTC01
ETH01
LTC01
Floating Price Tokens01

Please have a look at the advantages section to see what we mean by holdable. Generally what we mean is, assuming they succeed—fiat and nearly all fiat pegged currencies, are great short-term stores of value, but poor long-term stores of value—and the opposite can be said of floating price currencies.

Team

The Fragments team is located in San Francisco, CA.

Evan Kuo - Engineer / Product
Evan is an entrepreneur and math lover. He was previously the CEO of Pythagoras Pizza, and has extensive experience developing predictive auction products and working with venture capital. Evan holds a BS from UC Berkeley, where he studied a mix of ME & CS with research focused in Robotics.

Brandon Iles - Engineer / Architecture
Brandon spent over 5 years in Google's Search Ranking and Machine Intelligence groups and later worked in Uber's Ranking and Relevance team. He loves the intersection of Systems, Data, and Intelligence. He holds a BS and MS in Computer Science from Rice University.

Ahmed Naguib Aly - Engineer / Backend
Previously at Google, Ahmed spent over five years as a Software Engineer in the Search Indexing and Search Ranking groups. His passion for coding and algorithms began with competitive programming in high school and holds a Bronze Medal in the International Olympiad in Informatics. Ahmed has a BS in Computer Engineering from AAST in Alexandria, Egypt.

Aditya Sarawgi - Engineer / Backend
Previously at Uber, Aditya began developing the end-to-end surge pricing system and later started the places search project with autocomplete, destination prediction, and current location prediction. Eventually he moved into advanced technology research to generalize Uber's multi-modal robotic perception networks. Aditya has an MS in CS from Stony Brook and a BE in Eletronics and Telecom from the University of Mumbai.

Nithin Krishna - Engineer / Backend
Previously at USC, Nithin was a research engineer at the IRDS/IMSC labs where he worked on applying machine learning to big data problems like traffic prediction, recommender systems, content analysis and text mining. His Master's thesis was focused on developing novel algorithms to protect user friendships from location data. Nithin holds an MS Research degree in Computer Science, from USC.

Jessica Yen - Branding / Operations
Jessica formerly co-founded Pythagoras Pizza and loves working at the intersection of technology and the humanities. She holds an MFA in creative writing and a BA from UCLA.


 

Advisory board

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank our tremendously helpful advisory board. Each of these people have already gone above & beyond the call of duty—as thought partners and as friends.

  • Joey Krug
    Pantera Capital, Augur
  • Noah Jessop
    Founder Collective, MIT
  • Michael Karnjanaprakorn
    Turing Capital, Skillshare
  • Paul Veradittakit
    Pantera Capital
  • Sam Lessin
    Fin, The Information, Facebook

Investors


True Ventures
Pantera Capital
Founder Collective
Slow Ventures
FBG Capital