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Deep Dive with Will Warren, Co-Founder 0x Project

Co-founder @0xProject

0x posted 9 months ago

with or if you'd like to join the discussion.
jonathanmarcus
Will 0x eventually support cross-chain atomic swaps? I think I heard you say cross-chain swaps are outside the scope of the 0x protocol. What would need to happen technically for 0x relayers to support trades with non ERC-20 tokens? Ledger support FTW!
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Will Warren
@jonathanmarcus Thanks for the question! 0x protocol likely won't support cross-chain atomic swaps any time soon. My guess is that cross-chain swaps will be costly (transactions on 2 different blockchains) and will not have a great trading UX. Instead, side chains or pegs will be used to move blockchain assets onto chains that can serve as a low-friction settlement layer. This will allow for things like ERC20 tokenized BTC and therefore BTC/ETH trading pairs on the Ethereum blockchain.

We do plan to make 0x protocol blockchain agnostic: 0x orders adhere to the same message format regardless of blockchain but we can swap out different blockchain backends for settlement. The blockchain we are most interested in supporting next is EtherMint, an EVM blockchain with Tendermint consensus that will be part of the Cosmos network and that supports 10-100x more tps than Ethereum.
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jonathanmarcus
@willwarren89 Thanks for such a clear and informative response, as always!
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Avichal Garg ⚡
How do you think about sharing liquidity across the 0x ecosystem (across relayers)?
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Will Warren
Thank you for the question @avichal! There are many interesting possibilities and challenges around liquidity sharing. To my knowledge, it has never been possible for orders to seamlessly flow through a global network of interconnected exchanges, marketplaces and dApps. I think these interconnections will act as a source of network effects around liquidity. On the other hand we have some technical challenges to work through (1) allowing relayers to share transaction fees in a trustless way and (2) experimenting with trade execution systems that prevent trade collisions.
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Linda Xie
What's the most surprising thing you learned while building 0x?
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Linda Xie
@willwarren89 I see how it is :)
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Erik Torenberg
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Vance Michael
What are your thoughts on the differences between cross-chain Oracles and Decentralized Exchanges that work across blockchains? Seems like both of these technologies solve similar problems, but have radically different use case and end users. As an example, I'd argue Oracles probably serve end-users that are trying to transform existing contracts into smart contracts and who value privacy/confidentiality, and DeX's serve as a means of asset exchange for a more general pop.
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ZINC
Will, what do you make of privacy preserving coins and blockchain applications, and do you see 0x as part of this trend?
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Will Warren
@_R_Block Privacy preserving crypto is the future. No one wants their personal bank account statements to be open to the public. It is still early for privacy in 0x protocol due to the tech stack we are building on but we are closely watching the developments that might make private trading possible. We will likely need access to new cryptographic primitives on Ethereum.
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jonathanmarcus
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Will Warren
@_R_Block @jonathanmarcus We are definitely interested in Keep. The technology looks promising and the team is great.
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Shape of my heart
@_R_Block @willwarren89 Also Nucypher
0
Zach Segal
Hey Will - thanks for being here! What improvements/changes to the Ethereum network are you excited about that will speed up transaction times for 0x relayers (i.e. waiting to wrap WETH), and lower fees for end users?
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Will Warren
@zosegal Proof of stake should speed up transaction times by cutting block times down to ~5 seconds from 15 seconds today. More than anything else, we need scaling to avoid network congestion and to keep transaction fees low.
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Michael Cohen
What kind of Dapps using 0x Protocol are you looking forward to be created?
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Will Warren
Thank you for the question @mcohen! I am excited to see mobile dApps using 0x protocol because some of the world's largest emerging economies rely on mobile devices for access to the internet. I'm looking forward to the tokenization of scarce digital goods such as video game items and being able to trade them with anyone in the world, which is one of the reasons why we are working so hard to support non-fungible tokens in version 2 of 0x protocol.

Side note: check out ERC821 (https://github.com/ethereum/EIPs/issues/821)
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jonathanmarcus
@mcohen @willwarren89 "Scarce digital goods such as video game items and being able to trade them with anyone in the world" seems like such a massive and interesting opportunity. I'm very excited that 0x is focused on supporting non-fungible goods. Wax and Dmarket are focused in this area too, albeit with very different and more confusing/complex technical implementations.
1
Sree
Which other blockchain projects you're fascinated with?
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Will Warren
Thank you for the questions. I need to leave for a meeting now, but will be back tonight to answer everything I didn't get to. Please feel free to include any additional questions in the meantime. :)
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Jon Grinnell
How might regulation affect decentralized exchanges using the 0x protocol?
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Will Warren
Thanks for the question @Jon_Grinnell! First, I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. The concept of a non-custodial exchange is new and it doesn't seem like there is an existing legal framework that applies well here. The good news is that relayers building on 0x have a strong incentive to get good legal counsel and to make sure they are operating legally because they are putting in tremendous effort/resources to build a sustainable business, have VC backing, etc.

Global peer-to-peer exchange can benefit the world in a number of ways, including subverting "bad" governments/economic policies. I hope that with proper education regulators are able to see the benefits (maybe just the less controversial ones) and regulate responsibly. It will be interesting to see what happens in China.

This is an interesting subject that deserves a full blog post.
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Lucas Pinelli
Has 0x considered partnering with Interoperability Alliance projects (AION, WanChain, ICON) to begin working on cross-chain strategies for asset exchange?
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Todd Goldberg
When do you think we'll see a standard defined for non-fungible assets? Right now it seems to be ERC721, but there's already several variants being developed in parallel. How do you envision 0x supporting these non-fungible assets?
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Will Warren
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Todd Goldberg
What do you think is needed for a DEX to gain modest traction vs. centralized equivalents? Do you think 2018 is the year a DEX will get there?

I know there are some great ones being built on 0x right now.
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Will Warren
@Todd-Goldberg Another centralized exchange getting hacked would probably do the trick (I don't want this to happen). Regulators shutting down centralized crypto exchanges will also drive mass migration to decentralized exchanges (thanks China).

Other than these catastrophic failure modes, we need blockchain scalability solutions that provide orders of magnitude increases in transaction throughput. We need more education around private key management. We need adoption of hardware wallets.
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Zach Segal
When do you think we'll start to see token abstraction become a trend in crypto? What important things need to happen before token abstraction realistically becomes possible?
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Will Warren
Thanks for the questions @zosegal! Simple applications of token abstraction like making payments denominated in any token are technically possible today but are only economical for liquid tokens. We will probably see things like token abstraction for payments get traction once a greater selection of ERC20 tokens become liquid on 0x relayers.
2
Stanley
1. I love your teams transparency. Which other projects are you seeing with that level of transparency.
2. Which other crypto projects are you excited about?
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Martin Skakala
Hi Will thanks for being here!

What do you believe could be the biggest bottleneck for 0x in the next 6-12 months?
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Toby Downton
Hey Will,

There's one topic people keep mentioning as being really important that I can't get my head round - building decentralised fiat -> crypto on-ramps.

How would a company build such an on-ramp? What would the process look like from a consumer perspective? Would love to know more!

Thanks
2
avinash kondagunta
How can relayers differentiate themselves over other relayers on the 0x protocol? If multiple relayers are broadcasting the same set of orders, will it be just about who has a bigger customer base?
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Will Warren
Great question @akondagunta. In my view, the number of tokens on the Ethereum blockchain is going to trend towards infinite and that relayers will differentiate themselves by locking down niche markets. In a world where there are practically infinite tokens, traders will form into groups around the niche markets that they are interested in and the associated marketplace will be tailored to that user base. The group forming behavior could be similar to Reddit with subreddits, where traders subscribe to different markets based upon their particular interests but each subreddit is a different relayer.

I have more thoughts on this that I will write up in a blog post.
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Adam Tyree Finch
Any updates on your research to support ERC-721, non-fungible assets with V2 of the protocol?

As I recall you and the team weren't sure if that token standard was mature enough to be included yet, but it's no doubt a very exciting prospect for the future of decentralized trading so I'm curious if you'd be willing to share what you've learned so far.
2
Adam Tyree Finch
Any reaction to Buterin's blog post on Blockchain Governance? I'm sure you've probably seen it already but here's the link for other readers anyway:

http://vitalik.ca/general/2017/12/17/voting.html

In particular, I'm especially curious to how you might encourage token holders to vote, because as VB notes participation on other governance chains has not been particularly robust.

For what it's worth, I'm personally pretty confident that projects who actually use the 0x protocol will vote, but I know you want regular users who trade to vote for their interests as well (you said as much in a comment on reddit). Will the upcoming whitepaper include any strategies on how to encourage participation among token holders? Do you have any other early insights you can share about the comms strategy you're developing for the voting process?
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soona
How did you get started in blockchain?
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암호화폐 공부방
What is ultimate goal for 0x? How is it close?
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암호화폐 공부방
When 0x governance detail relaese? What 0x governance update means to people who hold some ZRX?
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Phil Bonello
Love the 0x project. How do you see the value of 0x token evolving as the platform becomes more popular? Specifically I am concerned by the possibility of decreasing price with increasing velocity and thus less incentive to update the protocol.
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Eric Nguyen
What are your thoughts about the evolution of utility tokens, ICOs and the transition to security tokens and what impact will this have on 0x roadmap and supporting exchanges? Spencer Noon and Ran Neuner had interesting comments about SEC regulation at some point only allowing regulated exchanges to buy/sell security tokens. Corollary: What do you see happening as Cryptoassets become more mainstream as an asset class and more SEC regulation comes into play to protect investors? Understood that decentralized exchanges and the underlying protocols are in a gray area today, but 0x is US-Based as are some of the relayers, is there's a possibility the same US/SEC regulatory requirements that apply to ATS/ECN systems or some similar form could be applied to the space?
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Praveen
Hi Will, I'm curious to know what you find to be the biggest challenges when building a broad protocol for decentralized exchange. Is it more so the scalability, building a framework for liquidity sharing, the underlying limitations of Ethereum itself or something completely different?
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암호화폐 공부방
Do you want more DEXs on 0x? How will be competetion between DEXs on 0x?
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암호화폐 공부방
If you could go back the day when you create 0x, what would you do differently? (Thank you for 0x and answer!)
1
암호화폐 공부방
Who is the best advisor for 0x? Why? (Hint : one of 0x advisors might watch this. Be careful to answer! haha)
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Erik Torenberg
What have you changed your mind about in the space in the last 3 months?
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Erik Torenberg
What's something you believe in crypto that few people agree with you on?
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soona
What's one of the more interesting dApps currently using the 0x protocol?
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Erik Torenberg
What do you think is the biggest existential threat to Bitcoin? Curious of your views on either a technical level, or a non technical level.
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Chris Bobik
Are there any plans to update the protocol to incentivize liquidity sharing across relayers and exchanges?
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Hassan Ahmed
Will - thanks for the important work your team is doing. How are you guys able to ship code so fast and consistently compared to all the other (even good) projects out there? Is it a function of intense focus, culture, talent?
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