FOXChain: ShapeShift Partners with Coinbase Cloud

ShapeShift DAO is officially beginning to work on FOXChain with the collaborative support of Coinbase Cloud. FOXChain will be a data availability network using Tendermint consensus with the goal of hosting blockchain data in a decentralized manner. This partnership originated from a proposal by Coinbase Cloud offering expertise in designing, building, and ecosystem development when launching FOXChain. Successfully launching networks can be a difficult task and is made easier by collaborating with reliable partners ─ such as Coinbase Cloud

With technological and regulatory advancements accelerating the pace of institutional adoption of crypto, the increasing prevalence of proof-of-stake based blockchains — which are now powering a combined market cap of over $200 billion in assets — presents a novel opportunity for institutions and DAOs alike to grow and expand value-added services to their customers such as FOXChain.

What is FOXChain?

FOXChain will be a Cosmos SDK-based blockchain data availability network using Tendermint consensus with the objective of completely decentralizing blockchain data. It is a purpose-built blockchain designed to store metadata for every blockchain supported by ShapeShift. Borrowing many established mechanisms from THORChain's architecture, some of the most significant benefits of FOXChain are the incentives offered to anyone hosting blockchain data. Decentralizing blockchain data is vital to enable ShapeShift's mission to become completely decentralized, i.e., ShapeShift's UI will be supported entirely via FOXChain as a back-end.

Although the FOX Token was first launched on Ethereum, ShapeShift sees a future where FOX Tokens can float freely between chains without having a concept of "nativity." For example, if you want access to Uniswap, you will move your FOX to Ethereum mainnet, and if you wish to access native ShapeShift staking, you will move your FOX to FOXChain. There will be no cost for anyone to use the FOXChain network.

FOXChain will incentivize operators to run blockchain nodes and manage the Unchained abstraction layer. ShapeShift would no longer be the centralized host of its data; instead it will allow anyone to host pieces of blockchain data and contribute to a decentralized system. Operators running blockchain nodes will list them in FOXChain to earn passive income, and users can find and connect to them via FOXChain. In addition, any user will have the option to delegate their FOX Tokens to validators running these blockchain nodes that they believe are best serving the community and ecosystem. When launched, FOXChain plans to have Query and Transact available for users, supporting 25+ protocols to build and scale cross-chain applications seamlessly. A Coinbase Cloud branded validator will be available to the community in addition to white-label validators that can run independently to participate in the network - learn more about FOXChain here.

Benefits of FOXChain

The most significant benefit of FOXChain is that it will allow for incentivized, decentralized, indexed node data. Almost all interfaces connect to some form of centralized node data which means there is a robust global use case for FOXChain. Decentralizing node data that powers these different interfaces is crucial if we ever want any truly decentralized interface. The interface users see when using ShapeShift will be fully decentralized 一 nobody can shut it down or regulate it because there is no centralized service that has the power to do so. The resiliency and independence of FOXChain is arguably the most significant benefit to the average user. 

The secondary benefit is that users can help secure and validate the network and support nodes by staking their FOX Tokens through validators while earning FOX rewards. The network will be decentralized and not dependent on any particular nodes, which means a centralized entity is not stopped from running a singular or even multiple nodes. However, anyone can replace them at any time, and therefore, FOXChain is not dependent on any centralized entity. 

What is Coinbase Cloud?

Coinbase Cloud is the Coinbase software arm formed after the Coinbase acquisition of Bison trails in early 2021. Like you would think of the relationship between AWS and Amazon, the same idea extends to Coinbase Cloud and Coinbase. Coinbase Cloud provides non-native companies and entities with the tools to participate in proof-of-stake blockchains easily. They are an enterprise-grade infrastructure platform as a service provider to the space's top custodians, exchanges, and providers. They offer multi-cloud, multi-region, and redundant blockchain infrastructure for read/write and participation nodes across various protocols. Whether a crypto app or a staking-as-a-service business, builders can get started quickly with the APIs and infrastructure that power Coinbase — read more about Coinbase Cloud here

ShapeShift's Partnership with Coinbase Cloud

Having supported many successful projects and protocols such as Evmos, Solana, Eth2, Terra, and more, Coinbase Cloud brings deep expertise in blockchain infrastructure. During this partnership to develop FOXChain, Coinbase Cloud will provide technical design and operational support in addition to assistance with testnet and mainnet rollout, amongst many other items outlined in the proposal.

To broadly summarize the proposal, Coinbase Cloud would provide technical and protocol expertise to help establish the highest quality infrastructure operations, which would include:

  • Node architecture design, key management, testnet/mainnet rollout.
  • Protocol design, support on token economics, governance design, penalty, and slashing parameters.
  • A comprehensive cross-functional team to enable best practices in design, build, ecosystem development, GTM, and overall positioning. 
  • Running a validator on FOXChain.
  • Build and maintain white-label nodes. 
  • Focus on maintaining chain uptime and infrastructure.

Coinbase Cloud is a perfect partner to help build the future of web3 with secure and reliable blockchain infrastructure. 

True Decentralization

Through the revolutionary FOXChain architecture, ShapeShift will provide incentivized full nodes for any market participant. The creation of FOXChain marks a big step forward in the evolution of true decentralization across Web3 platforms and protocols alike. By decentralizing our back-end, we will solve a problem that most of the Web3 industry faces: reliance on centralized infrastructure. The passing of this proposal marks the first successful on-chain governance between a centralized Web3 entity ー Coinbase Cloud ー and a decentralized entity ー ShapeShift DAO. The partnership with ShapeShift and Coinbase Cloud is a big step toward building trust and collaboration between DAOs and centralized companies. 

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