Relayer Report #21 — Veil Releases Augur Lite, 0x at ETH NY

The latest updates from the 0x ecosystem: 5/24/19

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It’s unofficially the one year anniversary of Relayer Report. I started writing this newsletter part-time from my college dorm room, and thankfully Will and Amir thought it was on brand enough to keep it going. We initially took inspiration from Eric Meltzer’s Proof of Work newsletter, but I’ve decided to condense the formatting a bit moving forward for the sake of brevity. Back in Relayer Report #1, all the relayers listed only dealt with listing ERC-20 tokens. If you look at the 0x Explore page now, there are prediction market relayers, NFT relayers, relayers inside wallets, relayers as a service, and much more. Our ecosystem is diversifying, so I will be dividing updates into ecosystem categories as opposed to by project.

Veil Releases Augur Lite

There is a company called Veil. And there is a company called Augur. One of the founders of Augur is Joey Krug, an advisor to 0x. Veil is built on top of 0x and Augur, and can be thought of as a new brand of relayer for prediction market shares. I interviewed Joey in RR#13, and interviewed Veil in RR#12. Augur has a UI and an app to download for people to interact with its markets, but these are a bit clunky, so teams like Veil hope to increase the number of people participating in prediction markets by offering a superior user experience. The top photo here is what an Augur market looks like, and the bottom is a Veil market.

Only vetted Augur markets show up on Veil, which is built like a matching relayer, enabling users to freely submit and cancel orders without incurring gas costs. This, combined with the fact that Veil structures their prediction market shares as 0x orders while Augur uses their own custom schema, means liquidity is not currently shared between Augur and Veil. Veil also offers instant settlement of markets, meaning users can redeem their winnings from a market for a 1% fee, while in Augur it currently takes 27 days for a market to fully resolve.

Though they do not share liquidity, Augur and Veil are very much in the same ecosystem, as Veil uses Augur for all the complicated smart contract logic. However, this changed when Veil announced it was forking Augur v1 and repurposing it as AugurLite, aka “Augur’s skinny cousin.” From the AugurLite GitHub:

The key value prop of AugurLite is that it is more modular: multiple oracle systems and denomination tokens are supported, as opposed to only using the Augur oracle system and only collateralizing markets in ETH. From Augur’s viewpoint, Veil is short term greedy rather than long, taking issue with the third party, centralized oracles and siloed liquidity that will result from the AugurLite fork.

From Veil’s point of view, they are doing what they need to do to build a better product now. As opposed to waiting until Augur V2 to support markets denominated in DAI, Veil can have its users bet on the 2020 elections in DAI right now (having long-running markets denominated in ETH isn’t optimal due to the volatility of ETH). The Veil team has also stated that it will move back to Augur when Augur V2 is ready, though this remains to be seen. Also, while some people have expressed concern that Veil brazenly forked Augur without undergoing a security audit, Veil has said they did undergo a third-party audit. More details can be found in Veil’s post about AugurLite and their rationale behind the fork.

How the relationship between Veil and Augur will play out is something I’ll be keeping an eye on. Both teams are smart, rational, and pushing the crypto space forward. It’s a real-life parable about the tensions between centralization and decentralization, protocol and application, and shared liquidity and siloed liquidity.

(Btw, this is just my perspective on the Augur Lite fork. I also found this post very helpful from Jeremy Batchelder when digging into the intricacies of Veil and Augur — thanks Jeremy).

Emoon’s ENS Marketplace

In addition to enabling ERC-721 support for 0x Instant, our one-click trade experience, Emoon announced an ENS marketplace service. The Ethereum Name Service is a way to map human-readable names to Ethereum addresses, a sort of DNS for Ethereum. ENS launched around 2 years ago, but they just completed a pretty significant upgrade that enables domain names to be registered faster, conforms the ENS asset type to the ERC-721 spec, and imposes an annual fee that users must pay to keep their ENS domain (only if it is longer than seven characters).

0x at ETH NY

0x was at ETH NY this past weekend, and you can find all the hackathon submissions in the 0x category here. Mine Auction was the team that won our $1,500 prize, and is a marketplace for trading staking contracts, meaning users can benefit from the passive income of staking without dealing with the hassle of setting up shop. Another cool hackathon project (shout out to Polezo for posting about it in his 0x weekly recap, and Steve for thinking of the same idea) is something called DeFisurance, a way to insure your deposit on DeFi protocols so users can be protected in case of a hack. The insurance takes the form of an Augur bet, with speculators / investors taking one side of the bet (Ex. Compound will not be hacked) and insurance recipients taking the other side.

Leonid Exit Interview

Leonid Logvinov, the second employee of 0x, is leaving to pursue law school. Leo will be greatly missed, but his presence will forever be felt by our codebase. I sat down with Leo to ask him the hard hitting questions.

How did you end up joining 0x?

I was working at another blockchain startup in Berlin. And had some issues with Truffle which brought me to their Gitter channel. I asked my questions, got my answers. And after a day or so — someone had the same questions about Truffle migrations. His nickname was @fberliner. I answered his questions and then DM’ed him. I tried to hire him for the company I was at, but was not successful. However, we ended up meeting, got some dinner and became friends. After a while — this guy (it was Fabio), started working at 0x, and invited me to join. I didn’t know a lot about the company at the time — but Fabio was a smart guy, so I decided to trust his judgement.

Why are you going from smart contracts to dumb contracts?

I’m not going from one to another. I’m going from one to both. I think you need to know your enemy ;) .

In addition to coding and law, I know you can free dive and ride motorcycles quite well. How does one learn the art of the Leonid?

One has good parents. I’ve had quite an amazing childhood. They’ve put a lot of time, effort and money to teach me all the stuff. I’ve tried a lot and most of the skills are transferable. Free-diving? Sure. But I’ve also done swimming for 6 years, spearfishing, water jumps, scuba diving, etc.

We will miss you Leo!!!!

Ecosystem

Launches

Microsponsors will be tokenizing ad slots as ERC-721s and selling these tokens via transparent auctions, seeking to directly connect content creators with advertisers. Microsponsors is being built because users’ personal data is being abused by advertisers, with the founder coming from a background in private search and ad-blocking at DuckDuckGo.

OC2 is one of the first decentralized exchanges based out of India, with a Lightning Network integration built in as well.

Fabrx launch the Fabrx Builder Platform, which enables anyone to seamlessly integrate web3 into their application. You can deploy and manage a 0x Relayer through the Fabrx API, so if interested get in touch with the team on Discord.

Bazaaar.io just launched, an NFT marketplace based out of Japan. Due to regulations out there, they are focusing on NFTs as these have less regulatory baggage in Japan.

Data

Craig from 0x Tracker has been a longtime community member, running his website showing all things 0x data out of Australia. He’s agreed to help out and dive deeper into data this month (4/20–5/19) — trading volume for 0x v2 has increased 61.74 percent from the previous month to $17,278,168.50. There have been 29,984 trades (an increase of 50.5% from the previous month) coming from 1,493 unique Ethereum addresses

Top maker addresses: 12345

Top taker addresses: 1, 2345

ERC-20 Order Books

Relayers that resemble traditional centralized exchanges in the assets they support.

  • Radar Relay and Bamboo Relay both integrated Fortmatic, an SDK that hoping to ease the on-boarding of new users to dapps. The Fortmatic flow resembles Stripe Checkout or Plaid, with the user inputting a phone number that is connected to a wallet. Here is a good overview of Fortmatic from the ETHDenver hackathon back in February

  • STAR BIT also added support for the KX 906 smart token cold wallet featuring multi-modal authentication, combining biometric info, a public key, and a private PIN

  • Bamboo Relay has been testing out our new coordinator model of relayer, which enables shared liquidity while also offering off chain cancellations for market makers. For all things Bamboo, read their newsletter

  • Ethfinex Introduced a super-simple, one-click, on-site wallet creationoption, with data kept in a browser’s local storage, and a decentralized OTC service, eliminating the need for escrow and reducing fees to 0.02%; they also awarded a 1.2 ETH bounty to a freelance developer for updating the Python client of Trustless to 0x v2

NFTs

These projects list both ERC-20 and ERC-721 assets, with a focus on the crypto collectibles and gaming space.

  • GU Decks made individual card pages more user friendly, in addition to some backend improvements. Though Gods Unchained cards are still not tradeable, people have been listing lots of cards on GU Decks. If you have 51.5 ETH, you could buy Tyet, Heir to the Sky

  • BoxSwap launched an NFT newsletter, with a great writeup around Cheese Wizards. They also have a trivia night in their Discord every Thursday at 10AM and 10PM EST, which I’ll be attending

  • Two interesting NFT related possible additions to 0x v3: property based orders that enable 0x orders to be made for arbitrary properties of NFTs, and the static call asset proxy, a way to ensure the state of NFTs

  • I always love Brian Flynn’s NFT newsletter, and he had a post about how Nike patented the word CryptoKicks

  • SuperRare, which enables rare digital art to be bought and sold using 0x, had a post titled Expanding the SuperRare Vision, digging into not only how the team wants to be a marketplace for art, but also how they’d like to be a platform to collect and display it

Prediction Markets

Companies built on Augur and 0x, utilizing Augur for prediction market capabilities and 0x for moving trades off chain.

  • Veil’s 2020 election campaign is something I’ll definitely be watching — right now it looks like Biden and Sanders are in the lead for who will get the Democratic nominee, but Andrew Yang has 11% of the vote too

  • BlitzPredict has tons of sports and eSports betting up, and I like perusing their leaderboards to see what they’re betting on. LaJeesh_Picks has 49 wins and 23 losses in baseball, I nominate him as the new Augur oracle

  • Video from the MultiCoin summit that digs into the Augur ecosystem

Portals

Projects that feature relayer functionality as part of a suite of other services, like DeFi integrations and wallet capabilities.

  • imToken launched a redesign of their Tokenlon relayer, available as a beta in the imToken wallet. imToken also included the very cool feature of being able to buy assets from other blockchains in the app, like ATOM from the Cosmos chain. The user performs a normal trade on 0x, but instead of the purchased token, the user receives a virtual token: vATOM. The machine then watches for the ERC-20 transaction and sends the ATOM or EOS on its native chain. At every step, the transaction is verifiable, unlike a custodial model like wBTC

  • Ambo has been developing a new privacy architecture for its wallet app, working on solutions for keystore management, gas relaying and addresses. Ambo’s focus is on UX, trying to make crypto as easy as possible for the average person, meaning problems like gas relaying and keystore management are top of mind

  • Compound v2 has been released, announcing integrations with popular wallets like Coinbase wallet in addition to 0x ecosystem company Zerion

Infrastructure

These companies provide valuable services to the 0x ecosystem, but may not have exchange functionality or an order book.

  • OpenRelay now supports websockets, and is gearing up for a pretty cool release in the next few weeks

Links

Antonio from dYdX had a great post highlighting the decentralized lending landscape. Antonio makes the case that dYdX differentiates itself from the rest of the projects listed by offering the ability to trade assets in addition to its borrowing capabilities.

A really easy to understand explainer article about Augur.

Binance DEX, its ambitions and challenges. Ethfinex and Bitfinex are also working on an IEO (Initial Exchange Offering) platform, and Blockchain Capital has some research on the phenomenon.

Coinbase Pro listed the ETH / DAI pair, then changed their mind.

Facebook plans to launch GlobalCoin.

Interesting article from A16Z’s Benedict Evans on our reliance on Mechanical Turks.

List of all EIPs that are in the process of getting finalized.

US intelligence looking into “superforecasters.”

Fun Stuff

1999 interview with balding Elon Musk.

Normal human, if you’re not Superhuman.

Why is this so funny.

Really enjoying the book How the Internet Happened suggested to me by our recruiter Zack.

This 6 part interview of famed Bay Area rapper Andre Nickatina is probably the most impactful thing I’ve watched this month.

A freaking tune from Japanese house producer Shinichiro Yokota.

I’ve really enjoyed the subreddit r/freefolk for my dose of Game of Thrones memez.

Much love,

Rahul

Questions, comments, or suggestions? Message me on Twitter

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