Welcome to Hourglass.

What is Hourglass?

Hourglass is a decentralized protocol that facilitates large, cheap, chain-agnostic swaps. Our novel design consists of a pool-less liquidity solution built around smart contract order books that we call Minute Markets. These innovations provide best-in-class fees and security: Hourglass charges just 1 bp (0.01%) per swap and makes pool hacks - the largest risk factor of today's bridges - impossible.

Switching from USDC on Ethereum to USDT on Arbitrum—or from BEP20-BUSD to Polygon-DAI—can be done in a single transaction. Swaps currently take 5 minutes and we're working on making these even faster.

To run the protocol, Hourglass organizes transactions into different "epochs." Within these epochs, matched orders are bundled and relayed through a cross-chain messaging system. The corresponding funds are then disbursed to the appropriate wallet addresses on the destination chain. Bundling orders reduces gas costs and simplifies the escrow process.

Why Hourglass?

Best-in-class Security: Today’s leading bridges rely on massive liquidity pools that are a honeypot for hackers. To date, $2.8bn has been lost in bridge hacks. We believe liquidity pools are an inherently risky design choice, so we did away with them entirely. :-)

Instead, Hourglass uses on chain order books to match demand to our off chain liquidity providers. As a result, there is simply less to lose in any hack or exploit. This benefits traders and liquidity providers alike: with Hourglass, you only have to trust the security of one trade at a time.

Best-in-class Fees: Forgoing pools also leads to greatly improved capital efficiency, the most important metric of any value transfer protocol. You could simplify this to having less overhead, akin to Amazon’s distributed warehouses costing far less than Barnes & Noble’s expensive retail locations. This Hourglass to charges just 1 bp per swap - in many instances, 90%+ cheaper than other bridges.

Modularity: Hourglass is designed to be a plug and play liquidity solution. You can pair Hourglass with any price oracle to manage swaps between any assets on any EVM chain. The future of blockchain architecture is one of modularity, and we envision Hourglass as the liquidity layer for any bridging stack.

We believe that Hourglass’ best-in-class security and fees, combined with its flexibility as a plug and play liquidity solution, position it as the ideal product for an intents-based DeFi future where the blockchain liquidity experience exists behind the scenes smoothly and easily, like water.

For more information, check out the official dapp.

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