Radix Podcast

Gnosis: the unsung titan of building crypto products with real usage

June 28, 2024


In this episode of the DeFi Download, Piers Ridyard is joined by Friederike Ernst, the co-founder of Gnosis and Gnosis Pay. Gnosis is a group of projects centred around the Gnosis token, with a mission to bring all financial rails on-chain. They started with the highly successful Gnosis Safe, a multi-signature wallet that has now been spun out as Safe, securing over $100 billion in crypto assets. Additionally, their decentralized exchange, CoW Swap, has achieved a remarkable total volume of $45 billion.

Friederike shares insights into these groundbreaking projects and discusses the future of decentralized finance. A physicist by training, she talks about the programmability of Ethereum that drew her into crypto technology, what prompted her to co-found Gnosis, and the strategies her team applies to expand distribution and adoption of their product and network.

Key takeaways:

  • Gnosis was founded to create decentralized payment solutions and other infrastructure that provide tangible value and improve user applications within the Web3 ecosystem.
  • Gnosis initially focused on developing internal-driven products such as Gnosis Safe, CoW Swap, MEV Blocker, and Gnosis Guild, building foundational blockchain infrastructure. They subsequently shifted to creating user-friendly applications like Metri and Gnosis Pay, aiming to offer a neobank-like experience to a wide audience new to blockchain.
  • Blockchain technology can revolutionize financial infrastructure by cutting intermediaries, lowering costs, and improving access, similarly to how VoIP transformed telecommunications.
  • Gnosis is a veteran in blockchain infrastructure with a strong emphasis on decentralization and scalability. Gnosis Chain, a decentralized Ethereum sister protocol boasting over 200,000 validators, offers robust security and scalability advantages over Ethereum's Layer 2 solutions, making it a promising choice for future-proof financial applications.
  • Circles is a blockchain-based UBI (Universal Basic Income) protocol operating on a decentralized web of trust. It combines Bitcoin's algorithmic money issuance with a focus on equitable distribution, unlike Bitcoin's concentration among a minority of the global population, which would exacerbate inequality if widely adopted today. Circles, in contrast, empowers local economies and fosters community-driven adoption over time.


  • 01:27 Friederike's journey from doctorate to DeFi
  • 05:14 From prediction markets to multi-sig wallets
  • 08:27 Keys to successful product development
  • 13:34 Building products, from MVP to customer delight
  • 15:41 Beyond a neobank-like experience
  • 24:01 How Gnosis could leapfrog financial infrastructure
  • 28:32 Towards a decentralized financial future
  • 30:04 Ensuring global distribution of Metri
  • 35:56 Introduction to Circles
  • 36:44 The drive behind Bitcoin and the case for UBI
  • 39:20 The Impact of Circles
  • 45:43 Key takeaways and finding more about Gnosis

Further resources