1INCH token is a utility token issued by a leading DEX aggregator and decentralized exchange with the same name created on the Ethereum blockchain. The project based in Stuttgart, Germany, was founded on May 20, 2019. Connecting a big number of centralized and decentralized platforms for minimizing slippage, the company released the Automated Market Maker Mooniswap. The token was released in 2019 at the ETHGlobal hackathon by the cofounder of the company Sergey Kunz who previously worked at Porsche as a software engineer.
When the decentralized exchange 1inch released its cryptocurrency, some tokens were distributed among traders. More than 200 people received tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars as gifts.
The founders of the system are developers who looked for their proprietary trading strategy as they were not satisfied with what they saw on the market. They didn’t like the exhausting process of a search for the best price on DEX platforms before the choice of the right trading ground. Therefore, they decided to devise an elegant algorithm for the search of the best trading prices to optimize the trade, and finally developed the 1Inch platform.
The platform pursues the goal of offering better returns that becomes possible thanks to captured profit usually obtained by arbitrageurs. The token was developed to deliver network security, provide a permissionless interaction with the protocols, and to earn funds to grow the ecosystem. It’s also used as a perfect incentive to take part in governance of specific functionalities of the network.
The token architecture is quite sophisticated. The platform employs the proprietary API technology that helps to determine the most optimal routes for a token swap. Being a cutting-edge discovery, the 1inch Pathfinder algorithm delivers the best possible swap prices that traders can find on the market. The algorithm can split between different protocols within the shortest possible time. 21 protocols are supported at the time of writing as all ERC20 tokens can be swapped between each other.
The launch of the 1INCH token turns 1inch Network into the DAO-governed network. The design of the platform was made to adopt protocol changes fast to fit the market that evolves with incredible speed. An instant governance feature was employed by the platform letting the members of the community vote for certain changes in the protocol settings under the DAO model providing transparency, user-friendliness, and efficiency. In this way, instant governance delivers the participation of token holders in the activities of the network.
Native tokens are required for voting. The token holders can vote on the settings of the Spread Surplus pool accumulating what is left of swap transactions. This is the difference between prices when the initial price changes at the moment when transactions are conducted. There is a special pool for such accumulated funds, so the proceeds are swapped for 1Inch and then can be returned to the participants in case they are claimed. If it doesn’t happen these assets are distributed to the referrers.
In January 2021, the platform launched a new liquidity mining program with five pools such as ETH-1INCH, ETH-DAI, ETH-USDC, ETH-USDT, ETH-WBTC. According to it, 1% of the 1INCH token supply was equally distributed among liquidity providers to these pools. The launch of the program occurred simultaneously with the release of the upgraded 1INCH Liquidity Protocol.
The token 1INCH was not devised to be an investment tool but an instrument for the development of a decentralized permissionless network. The project managed to raise 2.8 million USD during the first investment round in August 2020. There were two rounds of the ICO in 2020 (the second round took place in December) when the project received funding in the amount of 14,8 million USD from top institutional investors Pantera Capital and Binance Labs. Other supporters of the project include such companies as The Spartan Group, Spark Capital, ParaFi Capital, gumi Cryptos, Republic Labs, Nima Capital, Blockchain Capital, LAUNCHub Ventures, and angel investors Alexander Pack, Kain Warwick, and Josh Hannah.
Tokens were distributed in the following way: 30% of tokens were allocated for the security of the network with a 4-year vesting schedule, 22.5% were given to the main team of developers and future employees with a 4-year vesting plan, 21% with 4-year vesting were provided for the growth of the ecosystem including research work, development of the community and yield farming. 19.5% of tokens were delivered to investors and shareholders with a 2.5-year vesting plan. Finally, 5% and 2% of tokens were allocated to advisors and liquidity providers correspondingly. If the vesting schedule for advisors lasts 4 years, liquidity providers get the digital assets on conditions of 1-year vesting.
During the process of coin distribution, the right to collect the reward in cryptocurrency was granted to traders who met one of the following conditions: they made at least one trade before September 15, 2020, at least four transactions, or transactions for a total amount of at least 20 USD.
The exact amount of airdrop per user was not disclosed. The size depended on how long ago traders began to provide liquidity to the platform. It is known that one customer received a reward in the amount of almost 10 million tokens. According to the exchange rate at the time of writing, the amount exceeds 25 million USD. 3 members of the community received over a million tokens (more than 3 million USD at the time of writing).
The leading trading platforms enlisted 1inch tokens after the airdrop procedure. Such trading platforms as OKEx, FTX, Binance, Huobi, Poloniex, and many others added the token to their lists. The token price increased immediately after that.
The CTO of the project is Anton Bukov, who previously worked at NEAR protocol as a smart-contract developer. He is also a co-founder of the project with Sergey Kunz mentioned above. They got acquainted in 2017 when Anton was captivated by work over smart contracts. Sergey invited Anton to co-host his YouTube channel CryptoManiacs created with the focus on live security audits of smart contracts. Their video streams were often used by the beginning developers as tutorials for writing their first smart contracts.