Towards 2020. – Switcheo – Medium

Towards 2020.

Go to the profile of Ivan PoonIvan Poon

Happy New Year Everyone! Today I would like to share Switcheo’s outlook for the year.

We are proud of what have accomplished in 2018 — by being the first DEX on NEO, integrating with all leading mobile wallets, launching multiple UI upgrades, and introducing world-class API developer tools — and we intend to accomplish even more in 2019.

Do check out this amazing infographic from the marketing team if you missed it over the holidays!

This year, new blockchain networks will be integrated and we will be delivering innovative exchange features at an even faster rate, with the same high quality you have come to expect from the Switcheo team.

While marketing dollars are less effective in a bearish market, we will be continuing our efforts through creative, low-cost-high-impact means. We also will continue educating the wider community on the various types of decentralized exchanges, while dispelling common misconceptions through proof-by-example. Introducing a referral program that works well for a DEX is another priority for the team.

On the engineering end, we remain focused on building a liquid and trustless architecture that is welcoming to fresh eyes, in preparation for the next wave of users.

Here’s what’s coming in Q1 2019:

In January, we will continue to press on with adding fiat gateways. While we had a last-minute delay due to some uncontrollable externalities, we have quickly found several alternatives, and we hope to share some good news on this soon.

Besides that, we are working hard to onboard third-party liquidity providers, and are actively pursuing additional ways to improve liquidity. This month, we have already launched a maker rebate program as our first such initiative — so do remember to share the word!

The month of January will be spent mainly buidling features, but we are also getting closer to launching some new exchange features. Read on for more insight into their concept and implementation details, as well as for some elaboration on their purpose.

Switcheo Login

On the UX front, we are working on to provide users with a semi-custodial wallet through an email login option. This is progressing well, and we should be able to reveal something complete in a month’s time.

The traditional strategy for connecting new users to a DEX is to either, i) force users to directly learn about and manage their own private keys (potentially causing loss of funds because new users may not know the full implications of their actions or inactions), or ii) making users adopt one of the several wallet options, which can become a source of confusion, and is a barrier-to-entry as access becomes a more complex, multi-step process.

This feature simplifies the process by allowing the user to interact with the exchange as if it was a centralized exchange — without needing to care about technicalities such as wallets and private keys, or having to manage funds between their wallet and the exchange smart contract. Our solution provides this option without the exchange taking custody of your funds at any point in time — you retain ownership always.

The login process will allow us to gradually introduce Distributed Ledger Technologies to new users without compromising their security. Once they have gained familiarity and are comfortable, they are able to switch to using their own wallets and keys at a later time.

While this feature will be more complex than what some other DEXs have done due to our multi-chain architecture, we believe this innovation is worth the engineering cost. This sort of paradigm is extremely important if we are to hope that the adoption of cryptocurrency will become truly mainstream.

Atomic Swap

On the cross-chain front, we are currently refining our atomic swap architecture. We are now looking at allowing multiple modes of operation with varying degrees of trustlessness.

On one end, we will allow users to execute cross-chain trades with instant execution confirmation, at the cost of having to trust that Switcheo guarantees that the order maker’s trade will be executed. For normal trades, this risk is minimal, as it only exposes funds for that single trade, against the counter-party (which would only be Switcheo Exchange at the start).

For users willing to wait for 1–3 blocks to be mined, fully trustless atomic swaps will be available as well.

NEO V3

We expect to launch a 3rd version of our NEO smart contract in late February. Users of our current contract should not need to worry about this. Announcements will be made well ahead of time, and the move should be painless as our current contract supports cancellations and withdrawals on behalf of users upon termination of the exchange contract.

While relaunching the order book is still not ideal, there are a whole host of improvements and features the V3 contract will bring:

  • Parallel and priority withdrawals
  • Faster NEP-5 withdrawals
  • Increased security through usage of Stack Isolation
  • Support for non-standard NEP-5 tokens
  • Allow N-to-1 swap to enable exchanging of dust balances for SWTH
  • Consistent offer hashing to allow for better 3rd party explorer support
  • Addition of contract extensions so as to not require restarting of order book when new features are required
  • Enable maker fees for some cases
  • Allow fully trustless cross-chain burning of SWTH
  • Faster cross-chain swaps
  • GAS usage optimizations

You can follow the development here.

Mystery Feature!

We have another unannounced feature which we hope will improve Switcheo’s overall trade volume.

This feature is scheduled to launch mid-February.

New Blockchains Networks

On the blockchain integration front, we are looking at only those which do not already have a DEX market. Our Qtum V1 market is being developed in parallel with our other projects, and it should appear in our wallet manager soon. Additionally, we are in talks with two shortlisted blockchain networks to be integrated. However, we will reveal this at a later date once this has been set in stone.

Q2 & Onwards

While we have a host of features that we have lined up for the rest of the year, we will make our roadmap public on a quarterly basis, which fits the current dynamic market better. This will give us flexibility to add to or reschedule our goals to take advantage of changing conditions.

The Switcheo Vision

Like many others, we have observed that the cryptocurrency ecosystem ironically lacks trust. In particular, many centralized cryptocurrency exchanges have been marring the industry with dubious practices such as reporting fake volumes and charging listing fees based on that, among many other sketchy tactics.

In fact, many exchanges turn out to be outright scams on the customer. It is hard to find out which trading venue is really legitimate and has actual liquidity. This requires a large amount of user research and remains the primary roadblock to mainstream adoption.

This is why transparency is extremely important to us, and having a decentralized trading engine where trades are matched and executed on a side-chain, remains our core goal this year. In the short term, a transparent explorer for DEX trades, allowing the community to view actual trades on the blockchain, is a project we are championing as well.

I hope that at the end of this year, we will see not just exchanges, but the entire decentralized finance ecosystem at a whole new level in terms of transparency, scalability, and usability. I have already begun seeing the seeds of a new finance market for the people being laid out, and the whole team at Switcheo is extremely excited to be a part of it.