The biggest event in crypto this week ISN’T Coinbase’s IPO: Erik Voorhees

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ShapeShift CEO and crypto industry stalwart, Erik Voorhees, has suggested the launch of Thorchain is arguably the biggest event in crypto this week.

And considering all eyes in crypto are on the direct listing of major US exchange Coinbase on the Nasdaq on Wednesday — with a potential valuation of $140 billion according to the FTX derivatives exchange — that’s a pretty big claim.

Thorchain’s launch is scheduled for Tuesday, April 13, and will mark the first time that native crypto assets can be traded on a DEX across unique blockchains without bridging technology or wrapping tokens.

In an April 12 tweet, Voorhees asserted that the launch of a native cross-chain decentralized exchange (DEX) will tread new ground for crypto.

“Thorchain has no bridges. It has no wrapping. It is native assets, swapped across chains in a decentralized way, for the first time ever,” Voorhees exclaimed.

Thorchain will host launch party on social platform Clubhouse on Tuesday at 18.00 EST. The event will be attended by some of the biggest names in crypto, including Voorhees and several ShapeShift executives, Multicoin Capital managing partner Tushar Jain, Delphi Digital co-founder Yan Liberman, and several others.

The DEX will initially host pairings for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Binance Coin pairings, with plans to support other crypto assets in future.

Thorchain operates like other automated market makers such as Uniswap, but with the important distinction that it enables the trading and swapping of crypto assets from completely different blockchains and networks.

Thorchain is based on the Tendermint consensus protocol which is also associated with the Cosmos ecosystem. The exchange is backed by its native token RUNE, which acts as collateral to facilitate trades.

Assets are supported by the protocol when blockchains get added to Thorchain’s cross-chain network, called “chaosnet.” Chaosnet allows assets to be swapped without relying on third-party intermediaries such as the custodians of wrapped versions of BTC, for example.

To swap BTC for ETH, for example, the exchange would trade the BTC for RUNE, which is then swapped for ETH. This is all carried out at high speed to ensure the user is not impacted by the intermediary trade.

There has been increased demand for cross-chain solutions, especially from the DeFi sector. On April 8, Cointelegraph reported that cross-chain asset bridge and application hub ChainSwap had closed a $3-million strategic funding round led by Alameda Research.

Thorchain is also developing a native wallet called Asgard X which will be built to interact directly with the “chaosnet,” allowing the tokens of unique blockchains to be held by a single wallet.

The platform’s native token, RUNE, has been on fire recently, surging 13% over the past 24 hours to reach an all-time high of $12.65, according to Coingecko.