Close, but no cigar. For now.
The Switcheo team has been working exceedingly hard the past 2 months after launching our V2.0 release.
While we have not released many development updates this quarter, that definitely does not imply that we have not been making strong progress.
Rather, we have expanded our scope-of-work slightly to ensure that our Ethereum and Qtum launch will have a meaningful impact. These unannounced improvements and additions to our roadmap will allow us to do a perfect launch while maintaining our much-touted usability.
To be transparent, I would like to inform our community ahead of time that we won’t be going live with Callisto in September. While there is still some time left in this quarter, we currently foresee that the much awaited update will be pushed back.
Here’s some of the things we have left to do.
- Complete 3rd party audits — We made some late changes to our EVM contracts to ensure transaction re-playability (idempotence), so that trade transactions (state transitions) can be broadcasted out-of-order or repeated safely. This reduces the chance that trades have to be rolled-back due to incorrect finality assumptions that we experienced with NEO (for e.g due to unexpected fork). This meant that our audit process was started slightly late, and they will most likely not be completed in September.
- Understand Qtum more — Our experience with less mature blockchains has taught us that we need to spend more time researching the characteristics of these blockchain before we have the confidence to allow on-chain trading. At this point, this is unfortunately not yet complete for the Qtum blockchain.
- Polish Exchange Interface — We are putting the finishing touches on the recently announced exchange interface, which was originally not on our roadmap. While the main additions are almost complete, there is still some work left for the improved mobile interface, which we cannot yet launch without.
- Finalize Websocket API — As some of our API competition developers have discovered, we have been using an unpublished websocket API internally. We’ve been pushing to transition critical portions of our exchange to rely fully on this API, and have been working on ensuring that the synchronization mechanism is perfect. By ensuring this works perfectly now rather than later, we can be sure that our APIs will scale very robustly when we launch Callisto.
Marketing & Partnerships
- Website Refresh — We’ve observed that our current landing page is ineffective at converting new traders. We want to improve that together with our Callisto launch. A branding improvement is also scheduled for the final quarter, after the Callisto update.
- Partner Tokens — In order to generate significant volume and liquidity immediately, we have been picking specific tokens that we feel would be the best to launch with. On top of that, we have been looking for tokens that can do co-marketing in order to extend our reach into the Ethereum / Qtum community, and we want some additional time for this. This lead time would also be needed to spread the message and garner more audience / traders.
- Trading Competitions — In line with the previous point, we want to introduce trading incentives from the get-go. We need a little more time to ensure that we have a sufficient schedule such that this will be a sustained campaign rather than a one-time effort.
- Improve Fee / Discounts Model — We’re finalizing some changes with our fee structure and discount model which are being made in line with increase network costs on Ethereum, Qtum and NEO. We’ll be announcing these changes next week, together with our token usage report for the quarter. We are confident that these changes will also improve our token economics significantly in the short-to-medium term.
I would like to reiterate that we do not foresee an extended beta period as we are confident of our existing backend architecture and infrastructure. Once the outstanding items are complete, we will conduct a short closed beta test to double-check our load capability and usability, before doing a public release.
Cross-Chain Vision & Tokenomics
Our cross-chain vision and long-term tokenomics have been in discussion for awhile internally. I think now is a good time to give a quick glimpse at some of what we’ve been planning.
At this point, the engineering team has concluded that to provide a truly trustless cross-chain exchange, we will have to move forward with building our own specialized blockchain for this purpose. This “DEX chain” will also make use of public validators which have to stake native tokens.
An additional side-effect of moving in this direction is that order transactions can now be fully trustless as they are checked by validator nodes (i.e. not possible for Switcheo to do a trade withholding or front-running “attack”). By re-decentralizing every component of the exchange, it will allow us to realign with our original vision.
We’re excited to release more information, but we want to craft a strong economic model for the new blockchain, and ensure legislative compliance before announcing anything more officially.
Soon after the Callisto launch, I’ll be sharing more on the technical architecture of this endeavour, and the technologies we’ll be using to build it.