Ethereum’s second biggest token, with a market cap of $330 million, announced on Monday they have now launched a new protocol on mainnet.
“They describe it as an exchange with off-chain order relaying where relayers can create their own liquidity pools and charge transaction fees on volume. That is combined with on-chain settlement and publicly accessible smart contracts that any dApp can hook into.”
After going to their portal, you’re greeted with a pretty easy to follow tutorial. It tells you that first of all we need to convert some of our eth into weth, with weth being a tokenization wrap of eth so that smart contracts can more easily deal with it.
Interestingly there are now 876,608 weth, worth about $200 million, on the smart contract which has processed some 170,000 transactions.
Making this one of the most successful smart contract ever, but lets get back to 0x and to one of the first screen we see:
The process of weth-ing is fairly simple, just click and go as can be seen above with our testrun eth on MetaMask.
This takes a transaction, and that means going rate fees, with a second transaction then requiring an unlocking of weth.
At this point, we’d now expect something to happen, but we’re instead shown a number of brands we kind of have never heard of.
At this point you quickly realize this is actually a protocol, as in 0x doesn’t have a “product” itself, but only a framework to build “products” on top, with 0x being backend stuff. Later on it becomes obvious we did not even have to be at this portal from an end-users’ perspective.
So we naturally click on the relay with the biggest volumes, StarBitEx. We had never heard of it before, but the exchange looks cool:
As can be seen, this looks like a proper exchange, with order books, different trading pairs and so on. It also kind of has a market order functionality in that you just decide how much weth you want to spend and it automatically gives you a price.
Now where it says buy MKR, that was initially locked, so we had to transact again, making us wonder whether we were perhaps partly to blame for clogging up the eth network with what from an end users’ perspective looks like a pointless transaction.
It probably has something to do with security, and there we were met with quite a scary warning from MetaMask once we clicked buy MKR, with MKR chosen because they were on the news recently so easy choice for a very small testrun amount.
This is the scariest warning we’ve ever seen on MetaMask and naturally we use it quite a bit. Just as naturally, there was the initial temptation to ignore it and go ahead regardless, but even though these are testrun funds, we’d still like to keep them, so we clicked cancel.
We tried the second relay, DDEX, but MKR had zero liquidity on it and a spread of 12 eth. So we went to Paradex (featured image) and that looks pretty cool. Order books and all the rest, but it gave us that MetaMask warning again.
We could have spent some time to find out why this warning was given, but then it wouldn’t have been a testrun.
One thing that stands out, however, is why did we have to sign? We clicked buy, so that would have been a transaction, while this is asking us to sign.
As you may know, signing is a method by which you can confirm the ownership of an address only by having possession of the private key, but do so without revealing the private key.
There may be potential methods by which the website might learn your private key if the signing is not designed properly, but we did sign within the context of proving ownership and such warning wasn’t given.
Here however we’re not really signing within the above meaning. We’re making a proper transaction, but through what may be a convoluted means.
As a user, if MetaMask is telling us something is dangerous, then we’ll refrain from it. So that means in this case the dapp has failed.
Perhaps due to no fault of its own. Maybe this is just MetaMask, or maybe they just got unlucky, but a testrun is a testrun and those are the results.
Our rating of it would be 2 out of 5 if we have to pick a number. The exchanges seem cool, some of them have decent liquidity, but the on-boarding process is a bit lengthy. Converting to weth, unlocking weth, unlocking weth again, with each being a transaction which means some refreshing of etherscan.
The warning, of course, then disappoints. Without it, we may have given 4 out of 5 dependent on how the final transaction progressed.
That’s because much does run smoothly, navigation and so on is fairly fast, the exchanges do seem to have all the convenience of centralized exchanges, and the benefit of maintaining possession and control of your eth is considerable.
The warning, moreover, will probably soon be resolved, so this testrun may soon get out of date, but then that’s the joy of reporting on pioneering frontiers.