Relayer Report #3 - Paradex Acquired

The latest updates from the 0x Ecosystem: June 1st, 2018

Relayer Report #3 - Paradex Acquired

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I’m changing up the format a bit this week, having job opportunities as their own section. Also included in this Relayer Report is the Relayer Spotlight, which I’ll try and do every week, a deep dive into a 0x Relayer and what makes them unique. We’re starting out with a spotlight on The Ocean, recently rebranded from The Ocean X.

The big news of the past couple weeks is that Coinbase acquired Paradex (Huge congrats to Ron and the rest of the team) for an undisclosed amount. More in Forbes here, but the general idea is that Coinbase is branding their specialized trading exchange GDAX as Coinbase Pro, with Coinbase Pro continuing to cater to professional traders. Coinbase Pro will include the DEX abilities of Paradex as one of the services it offers. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong says this move reinforces "Coinbase’s commitment to investing in decentralized infrastructure and participating in the nascent world of wallet-to-wallet trading."

So what does all this mean?

First, this is a big moment that validates how necessary decentralized exchange is for the blockchain ecosystem. The centralized scale of Coinbase is far ahead of any DEX right now, but the Coinbases of the world are starting to realize the full potential of DEX. In March, Binance announced it would be creating its own in-house decentralized exchange as well. If Coinbase Pro attracts institutional investors like Coinbase hopes it will, DEX will become even further popularized to a new larger audience. 0x is looking forward to seeing and helping more relayers start up and grow exponentially across new use cases and geographies as this technology matures.

Second, the way Armstrong positions this acquisition is funny, because of he course he chooses the simplest phrases: “wallet-to-wallet trading.” For the mainstream community, “wallet-to-wallet” is a lot easier to swallow than “decentralized exchange,” and I imagine we will see other such simplifications as the masses are exposed to DEX.

Third, the folks at Token Economy brought up an interesting point in terms of how this acquisition could affect governance:

“Assuming Paradex continues to build on the protocol as part of Coinbase: if they start to funnel significant volumes through the platform, they presumably would want to ensure they have a say in how its smart contracts are upgraded going forward. And if Coinbase has a say, what's to stop other large exchanges to also secure their share of influence?”

Never a slow week in the crypto world.

Relayer Spotlight

Q&A with Monica from The Ocean

1. How is The Ocean different from other relayers?

Every design decision speaks to our overarching mission: To make digital currency and capital markets more liquid and inclusive. Our hybrid architecture affords the security of decentralized settlement, while reaping the execution, performance, and scalability benefits of an off-chain order book. To empower retail traders and institutions with a suite of financial products, we’re also taking a compliance-first approach. And finally, a rebrand to ‘The Ocean’ better reflects our simple end-game: deep liquidity across a sea of these assets.

2. Why did you guys get started? How were you introduced to 0x?

From Wall Street to game development to Grammy-winning pop rock music, it would be an understatement to say our team’s background is eclectic. What rallied us together, though, was our crypto expertise, our complementary skills, and the immense drive to rework how the current financial system operates. Even great ideas can be plagued by clunky processes and unintuitive interfaces, so we began to tinker on a frictionless trading platform. Work here and there turned into a full-time endeavor when the 0x whitepaper was released, paving the infrastructure for and kickstarting The Ocean.

3. What do you hope to accomplish by the end of the summer?

As we inch ever so close to launch, here are the top 3 things on our wishlist:

  • Launch this summer!

  • Build on top of 0x 2.0

  • Keep iterating to engineer the best UI/UX possible

4. What key decisions have you had to make that could have gone either way?

Considering the legal uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency in many parts of the world, we decided very early to define ourselves as a securities and derivatives law-compliant platform. We took a gamble to anticipate and adapt to regulations rather than act reactively, and so far, we’re extremely happy with this decision. Now, we’re working with a number of regulators in the U.S. and abroad to foster a deeper understanding of decentralized trading and collaboratively create a regulatory framework that’s sensible.  

5. What has been your biggest surprise since starting the relayer journey?

Definitely how inclusive and collaborative the 0x ecosystem is. It’s always a pleasure to work together with peers with a stake in continuously improving and raising the bar. It’s that multi-perspective dialogue that drives innovation, and The Ocean is extremely proud to be part of the conversation.

Ecosystem Updates

Hydro Protocol/DDEX (Bowen):

  • Completed update here; Hydro Protocol token listed on Bancor

  • Ranks #2 on Etherscan’s DEX tracker

  • Launched UI 2.0 and Japanese Trade Interface

OpenRelay (Greg):

  • Preparing for a perfectly cromulent OpenRelay beta launch, will announce on @open_relay sometime in the next 2 weeks, so follow us and stay tuned

  • Conducting high-volume testing of production backend services

  • Implementing fixes and enhancements to increase stability and reduce latency at scale in advance of beta launch

Instex (Tim):

ERCdEX (Lindsey):

Radar Relay (Joe):

Ethfinex (Chris):

  • Launched our referral program. Refer new users to the Ethfinex exchange and begin earning 24% of their trading fees. Find more info on our blog and in our FAQ

  • First community listing vote closes closes on 29th May. Four tokens with the most votes will be listed on the exchange

  • Between 15 April and 14 May, we grew active users grew by 56.8%

Amadeus (Talita):

  • Amadeus launched the Beta Version of the API including Quote Provider Strategy. Feel free to test our Demo and send us any suggestions

  • Meeting with Cubo, one of the biggest start-up accelerators in Brazil, to present the Business Plan

  • MVP for mainnet under development to be launched in the third quarter 2018

Shark Relay (Suchit):

Paradex (Katrina):

The Ocean (Monica):

Job Openings

Community Manager / Korean Community Manager / Japanese Community Manger @ DDEX

Community Ambassador (Native Chinese / Japanese) / Full-Stack Engineer / Product Designer / QA Engineer @ RadarRelay

Blockchain Engineer / Graphics Designer @ Shark Relay

Links

Dextracker / Orderbooks (Etherscan):

Great resource from Etherscan. Dextracker shows updates from all the DEXs real time. Orderbooks helps scan many different DEXs to see if you’re getting the best rate. Very neat!

Decentralizing the Minting of Non-Fungible Tokens (Brian Flynn):

This post looks into how to decentralize NFT based projects. All the features of CryptoKitties, for example, are controlled by the company - what if instead many artists and specialists could come together and be incentivized to create a project with a shared vision? Brian here is a huge NFT believer and has a weekly post called NSFW (Not-so-fungible-weekly) - cool stuff.

How a Billionaire Crypto King Built the No. 1 Exchange in Just 8 Months (Bloomberg):

This piece was published at the end of March, but it’s a must read, detailing the rise of Binance. I listened to the Epicenter podcast about Binance last week and their story and speed of growth is insane. Binance also announced in March it would be creating its own in-house decentralized exchange. I wonder if Coinbase’s acquisition is a response to this.

Watch Out Crypto Exchanges, Decentralization Is Coming (Coindesk):

Another good recap and comparison of centralized vs decentralized exchanges. The lack of interoperability will remain a challenge for DEXs though: “inter-chain trading (i.e. BTC to ETH) makes up 98% of all cryptocurrency trading, as per coinmarketcap.com, 2018. This doesn't bode well for DEX's which depend on a single chain for trading.”

Fun Stuff:

A bunch of crucial bugs were found before the EOS launch. While the tech may have some problems, I was looking into the EOS branding and it’s insanely sleek. Eos in Greek mythology is the goddess of the dawn. And most importantly, the EOS logo (left) really looks a lot like the symbol for the EDM band Odesza (right). EOS is winning the millennial Instagram influencer fight.

Reading list for me this week: new Aragon whitepaper, ZeppelinOS whitepaper.

Binaural recordings - listen to this, close your eyes, and you will completely feel like you are in a barber shop, all due to sound. Who needs VR or AR?