DeFi Tech, CeFi Speed: dYdX Touts New StarkWare Integration

The throughput solution comes as Ethereum gas fees hit historic highs.

Feb 24, 2021 at 3:01 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:16 p.m. UTC

Decentralized finance (DeFi) trading venue dYdX is now onboarding users to a new version of its platform built on StarkWare’s Cairo software.

Cross-margin perpetuals are now available to early signups at zero gas fees thanks to a proprietary implementation of the layer 2 solution. The exchange previously settled directly to the Ethereum mainnet, which has become more painful given a sustained rise in the cost of transaction fees.

A platform for cryptocurrency derivatives, dYdX lists both BTC/USD and ETH/USD perpetual contracts, lending, spot and margin trading. The platform has $250 million in total value locked (TVL), according to DeFi Pulse. It remains one of the more high-profile trading venues in the DeFi ecosystem, with notables Three Arrows Capital, DeFiance Capital and Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) participating in its Series B last month.

The StarkWare implementation relies on a cryptographic innovation to boost speeds by moving the heavy computation off-chain.

“ZK-Rollups offer high throughput, instant finality (no danger of trade rollbacks), self-custody,  and privacy, and are therefore well suited to the high-value exchange use case,” dYdX said in a statement.

The derivatives exchange will reduce minimum trade sizes and trading fees in light of the infrastructure upgrade, the firm added in a blog post

dYdX said it scoped out alternative options including other blockchains. The team also considered Optimistic Rollups, but found they were “not as battle-tested” as ZK-Rollups. Indeed, ZK-Rollups  have been on the market for at least a year by way of Matter Labs’ ZK-Sync and Loopring. DeFi exchange Synthetix, on the other hand, went with Optimism to transfer to Optimistic Rollups.

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