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Q&A with Radar Relay

Radar Relay will be answering questions on Friday, August 10th at 11:00AM PST.

Radar Relay facilitates wallet-to-wallet trading using an open order book. There are no accounts, no limits, and no deposits.

posted 2 months ago

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Matt Finestone
What is your plan to source or enhance liquidity? I suppose the open order book answers/outsources part of that question, but do you plan on doing anything specific; entice market makers, etc?
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Alan Curtis
@finestone_m

We’re a marketplace, which means we have to crack the code on supply and demand to scale. Some refer to this as the “chicken or egg problem” and find creative ways to bootstrap liquidity. There are some great examples in history to learn from...AirBNB and scraping Craigslist listings, OpenTable selling table management software to restaurants, or PayPal paying users to open accounts.

What’s often ignored in these company case studies is their focus on serving each side, unrelated and independent of the other. You may have heard the aphorism “come for the tool and stay for the network,” which means you have to focus on serving value to BOTH sides with useful tools and features BEFORE opening up a true marketplace.

At Radar we’ve taken these lessons to heart and we’re constantly working with users, both automated and retail, to understand what useful tools we can build. A few examples. For our automated traders we shipped a SDK and example bot to help get spun up trading on decentralized venues. For our retail users there are low hanging fruit changes like UI updates, but the tool that’s getting the most traction has been unexpected, it’s our token transfer functionality. Unlike MetaMask, using the in-app Radar wallet you can see your tokens and their values at a glance, as well as easily send them.

Of course, as a hedge, we are signing liquidity incentive agreements with market makers to ensure we get sufficient liquidity as soon as possible :)
2
soona
What's Radar Relay's origin story? And for those who might not know, can you clarify what a relayer is?
1
Alan Curtis
@soonaorlater

Rewind the tape a few crypto-years ago to the spring of 2017...

A few guys in Fort Collins, Colorado were spending nights and weekends thinking about hard problems that needed to be solved in the blockchain space. We talked a LOT about “soft landings” or creating products to ease the transition into the Token Economy. And yes, at one point, we considered a crypto hedge fund…

Although our vision (the why) was set from the beginning, it took a while to settle on our mission (the what), and we still didn’t have a strategy (the how). Finally, in July, one of our advisors got us connected to Will Warren and it was love at first whitepaper with the 0x Project. We had a strategy. Build a relayer. We all quit our day jobs and spent a month in my basement getting to testnet launch in September and mainnet in early October!

Along with the other dozen relayers and the 0x team, we’ve written quite a bit explaining and introducing relayers. You might check out this post: https://medium.com/radarrelay/category-design-d2dd57bab7df or here’s the TL;DR…

A relayer is a bulletin board. Like Craigslist, users post their inventory (in this case, tokens) and when users trade they meet on the blockchain (instead of a random parking lot). More technically, the order book is hosted off chain and the settlement happens on the Ethereum blockchain, from one wallet to another wallet, using 0x smart contracts.
0
soona
Before relayers, where were people posting orders to be filled?
0
Alan Curtis
@soonaorlater

After the 0x Protocol went live in August, there were a few weeks of time BEFORE Radar Relay hit the mainnet, but there was demand for trading, which pushed folks to Reddit and r/tokentrade to post signed 0x orders. But without the UI element, it never took off.

We tried to capitalize on unique ways of sharing orders with the launch of Radar Carrier, one of our lessen known products…

https://bit.ly/2P0xxcf
0
bZx - Margin. Decentralized.
What are RadarRelay's plans for future development? Will it eventually offer derivatives and options?
0
Alan Curtis
@b0xNet

Hey Kyle and team!

Radar is the parent company, the brand, and the launchpad where new products are incubated. Our first product, Radar Relay, was in beta October through June and we feel like we’re just getting started! We have a LOT of work to do. For example, we have users from over 150 countries, but just two community ambassadors on the team now. You can imagine the fire drill around here when we get support questions in a language no one here speaks!

We also have work to do on adding more nuanced financial instruments. We’ve been following projects like yours, dYdX, Lendroid, Dharma, EthLend, etc. to understand the tech, regulatory strategy, and most importantly, how our users will engage.
1
Trivial.co
Wrapping ETH is just about as horrible a user experience as I can imagine for people new to DEXs. How do you plan to abstract this process in the future?
0
Alan Curtis
@trivial_co

New products and new categories mandate new user actions. You can imagine the headache when Netscape introduced the address bar, refresh, back button, etc.

It’s our role to be a steward for this new category and abstract away as much of the complexity of new user actions as possible. And, yes, wrapping ETH is not simple. However, the concept of wrapping is likely here to stay, so we’re laser focused on education. We’ve created an entire educational site https://weth.io/ to help our users get started.

Moving forward, V2 of the 0x protocol (coming soon!) will allow for forwarding contracts where users can buy tokens directly with ETH - it’s wrapped and the tokens are bought in one transaction. You can read more here: https://bit.ly/2k3mZuy
1
Dani Grant
Curious how you think about exchanges as a dev tool.

Do you think it will turn out to be the case that developers and users use different tokens — e.g. users pay dapps in ETH and dapp developers pay for backend services in FileCoin, ComputeCoin, and CacheCoin?

How do you think dapp backends will automatically swap to the tokens that they need on the fly?
0
Alan Curtis
@thedanigrant

Hey Dani, congrats on the Middleman launch!

Before Stripe, handling online payments was a headache. Stripe abstracted away the complexity of payment gateways, and now in just minutes a software developer can grab an API key, paste a few lines of code, and be open for business.

Similar to the pre-Stripe world, using a token-first dApp is a complex user experience involving purchasing a specific token on a trading venue, maintaining custody, and returning to the dApp for use. You can imagine how frustrating this is for dApp developers looking to provide a managed and frictionless user experience, but stuck without the tooling to abstract away the complexity!

In the long term, if you believe, like we do, that anything that can be tokenized will be tokenized, there will be infinite token-first dApps, but users will not want to hold or manage the token inventory risk. Instead, users will show up at a dApp and pay with any token they want (likely a stablecoin) and developers will access a global liquidity pool to meet their demands and be paid in the token their cryptoeconomic model needs.

We’ll rip a page out of Stripe’s playbook and build an elegant API to implement token processing so dApps can be open for business to any user by implementing “on the fly” market price token buys.
0
Dave Goldblatt
What real world use cases do you envision becoming popular on Radar Relay?
0
Alan Curtis
@Dave-Goldblatt

Right now, thousands of people in over 150 countries are using Radar Relay for https://wallet2wallet.io/ trading over 175 tokens to ETH or DAI. Moving forward, we’re so excited to implement token processing, which we talked through in the question with Dani. But we’re just getting started and we have plenty more products and pipes to build for security tokens, collectibles, and currencies!

You might be interested in reading more on the path to the token economy here: https://bit.ly/2B1yGx2
0
D1️⃣2️⃣
Any plans for a mobile app? Or will I be able to connect via toshi,imtoken ect ? Thx
0
Alan Curtis
@dbrizzy80 Hey! Thanks for all your support! Hope you’re doing well :)

We’ve had mockups and a mobile plan for a while now! But, we’ve been taking our time working with users and dApp browsers to understand what the optimal user experience looks like. In fact, we were awarded a $250k grant (https://bit.ly/2nunu2C) from the State of Colorado to focus on bringing Radar Relay to mobile!

In the meantime, you should check out what our friends at https://mobidex.io/ are up to.
0
Romane Geraci
In the future, do you think everyone will be using DEXs? Or both DEXs and centralized exchanges? Thanks!
0
Alan Curtis
@Romane-Geraci

We need both! Depending on your timeline, we might have a few other venues in the mix too ;)

Over time, centralized exchanges will morph into brokerages. They excel at managing banking relationships and complex money transmission licensures. Think of them as the “on ramps” and “off ramps” to the super highways that are forming. Of course, other traditional brokerages may lean in and eat up some of their market share.

Think of decentralized trading venues or relayers as the super highways where orders flow without borders, between peers, between dApps, etc. We don’t touch the fiat to crypto user journey and we depend on our friends running the brokerages to do that!

If we’re directionally correct in our vision the token economy will be here before we know it. As you journey across this wild and beautiful Web3 frontier you’ll be using decentralized venues without realizing it! For some crystal ball gazing check out our work at: https://relayer.network/
0
Sam Campbell
What most excites you about the decentralized exchange future? What blockchain-native exchange applications do you see evolving that weren't possible before?
0
Alan Curtis
@campbellcapital

We run an exercise internally we use for brainstorming and R&D called “Crypto 2050” which allows us to live in the future and try to work backwards. It’s a lot of fun, but for your own safety and productivity, only run it after work and in front of a whiteboard!

This is going to be a bit heady and there aren’t specific apps, but here’s are some things that get me excited...

Peers, whether human or computer, exchange tokens for their time and attention without constraint
An automated supply chain moves value around the world, cross-border, without a hitch
A bloated payments company is replaced by a connected wallet
A developing country finds stability as a new generation of leaders with economic security rise to the occasion
1
Erik Torenberg
What’s the biggest misconception people have about decentralized exchanges?
0
Alan Curtis
@eriktorenberg

The biggest misconception is that decentralized exchange is a noun. It’s not. It’s a verb.

When we group all different venues (Radar Relay, AirSwap, Kyber, etc) into one group it’s counterproductive and confusing for users, regulators, and token issuers.

We’re very purposeful and disciplined about differentiating relayers as a category because they are fundamentally different. With a relayer, your funds live in your own wallet, not in a custodied smart contract or exchange. Even more importantly, a software company like Radar Relay doesn’t meet the regulatory definition of an exchange! You can read more about the act of category design here: https://medium.com/radarrelay/category-design-d2dd57bab7df
1
Erik Torenberg
What’s the bull case for radar relay? Bear case?
0
Alan Curtis
@eriktorenberg

People tend to overestimate the impact of technology in the short term and underestimate it in the long term. We are long term thinkers. Radar will be an enduring, multi-generational company, with many products and use cases.

The bull case is that a global decentralized liquidity pool powers the token economy. We’ve uncovered participatory price discovery, a new normal where access is evenly distributed, and Radar Relay is there to capture some of the value.

I’ve invited some other folks on my team to help with the bear case because I struggle with thinking this way! Here are some crowdsourced answers :)

Company fails from normal startup risks (team, runway, execution, timing)
Relayers as a category fail to get widespread adoption based on regulatory action
Ethereum and other blockchains fail to meet scaling requirements to maintain global liquidity pool
0
Jordi Morris
Why the pair DAI/WETH is always available whereas the reverse is so tricky to find and right now after the last update I can't even find it?

nowadays, people think in terms of eth/dai not the other way around. In order to encode an order you have to go and calculate the price somewhere else
0
Alan Curtis
@JordiMorris1

On our side, wETH/DAI and DAI/wETH are all one orderbook. When we released the update (https://bit.ly/2nsiCe9) for the new Marketplace Selector we saw the DAI/wETH version surface due to our algorithms. We recognize most people think in wETH/DAI terms (think ETH-USD) so we’re in the process of getting that fixed as soon as possible! In the meantime, if you have specific support questions you can hop into our Telegram (https://t.me/Radar_Relay) or email us directly at [email protected]radarrelay.com
0
Fletcher Richman
Hey Alan!

I know you guys are based in Colorado along with a bunch of other great Crypto companies (ShapeShift, Zcash, etc). It feels like the center of gravity for the industry is not necessarily in Silicon Valley. How important do you think where you locate your headquarters is, and why is Colorado the right place for Radar?
0
Alan Curtis
@fletchrichman

Finally, a question to brag about Colorado! Thanks Fletcher!

You’re right, in the crypto space cities like Berlin and Seoul are stretching the center of gravity. Historically, talent has been evenly distributed, but access has not. Now, in an industry focused on decentralization and ubiquity of access, companies can be built in places other than Silicon Valley with talent from all over the globe.

Colorado is a state of transplants. People move here for the quality of life, economy, and yes, skiing. However, Colorado is uniquely qualified to become a crypto hub because of the our vibrant telecommunications industry, forward thinking government, and access to 20+ federal labs with a multibillion dollar research footprint!

We’re fortunate the state of Colorado has already begun to support Radar with the award of a $250k grant (https://bit.ly/2nunu2C) and we're excited to keep our headquarters here!
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