KOMODO: Partnership with Travala.com and CoinCodeCap to deep dive into Komodo’s Codebase
Biweekly update 18th October — 1st November
Travala.com, the world’s leading cryptocurrency-friendly hotel booking service, is now accepting KMD as a form of payment. KMD joins an exclusive club of digital assets, including Bitcoin, Litecoin, and BNB. According to Kadan Stadelmann, Komodo’s CTO, the partnership with Travala.com is a testimony to the strength of Komodo and KMD as a digital asset. Travala.com connects travelers with one of the world’s largest selection of incredible places to stay, including everything from hostels, apartments, and hotels, to villas and 5-star luxury resorts.
CoinCodeCap that provides code analysis, reporting and API services for cryptocurrencies technology and development analyzed the Komodo project’s codebase using different development metrics. The purpose of this report is to explain Komodo’s progress from a pure development perspective. CoinCodeCap has analyzed Komodo’s codebase to understand its development efforts.
Finally, the article under the headline “Decentralized Exchanges: The Top 8 DEXs Compared” examines and compares the DEX protocols of 8 prominent projects: 0x, IDEX, Waves, Loopring, Kyber Network, Decred, Nash Exchange, and AtomicDEX. AtomicDEX is the only decentralized exchange that offers secure, cross-platform trading through atomic swap technology.
More to follow!
- CoinCodeCap has analyzed the @KomodoPlatform project’s codebase using different development metrics.
CoinCodeCap’s analysis only focused on development based on Github data, not on the technology. Komodo has 66 repositories, only 18 repositories were analyzed. CoinCodeCap team omitted the all forked repos (including Komodo’s main client), which were analyzed separately in the report.
Komodo team continue to add code/documentation at a decent pace. On average @KomodoPlatform team pushed 570 commits/month this year across 18 repositories.
The Komodo team took on average 1.55 days to merge a pull request, which shows an excellent development engagement.
The team also working on creating documentations around its different software projects.
Contributors to the Komodo project are pretty active and contribute every day of the week.
Komodo’s main client is forked from @ElectricCoinCo which in turn a fork of @bitcoincoreorg project. CoinCodeCap analyzed Komodo’s main client separately and the team thinks could use more contributors.
@KomodoPlatform is very good at the documentation but almost all the repositories are missing licenses and changelogs.
CoinCodeCap determined that the overall health of the Komodo project is good, and the project is putting sufficient effort into its development.
AtomicDEX is a non-custodial, atomic-swap-powered decentralized exchange. It’s the industry’s only true DEX and it’s now in a public beta phase, which means that anyone can download AtomicDEX and start making atomic swaps now.
Watch Komodo’s tutorial video on how to make an atomic swap with AtomicDEX.
Download AtomicDEX for Android on Google Play here.
Exchanges are a fat target for hackers, this is why decentralized exchanges offer a potential boon for those looking for additional security. BlockTV spoke with @KomodoPlatform about their latest product.
This article will examine and compare the DEX protocols of 8 prominent projects: 0x, IDEX, Waves, Loopring, Kyber Network, Decred, Nash Exchange, and AtomicDEX.
There are approximately one hundred decentralized exchange protocols in development or available for live trading. However, there are many projects calling themselves a decentralized exchange that is not actually decentralized.
With a decentralized exchange (DEX), your funds are always in your custody, thus eliminating the security issues that plague centralized exchanges. This means your funds are in your control and remain much more secure. Real decentralized exchanges must also be permissionless because, if a DEX requires users to receive permission, then there must some centralized entity controlling it.
Users never need to deposit or withdraw funds to trade on a true DEX. On top of that, DEXs provide better privacy, transparency, and censorship-resistance, and allow unlimited trading pairs using technologies like atomic swaps. With atomic swap technology, traders can make cross-chain exchanges between any two listed assets.
To see how the most prominent DEXs in the industry compare, let’s have a closer look at their underlying DEX protocols.
A Technical Comparison of Decentralized Exchanges
Let’s dive deep into the finer details of 8 major decentralized exchange protocols: 0x, IDEX, Waves, Loopring, Kyber Network, Decred, Nash Exchange, and AtomicDEX.
0x is a hybrid decentralized exchange model. The 0x website describes the project as “an open protocol that enables the peer-to-peer exchange of assets on the Ethereum blockchain.”
From a high level, 0x is a collection of smart contracts deployed on the Ethereum blockchain, which specify the order format and trade execution process. In simple terms, the protocol tells you what these smart contracts know and how to execute a trade using them.
On-chain order books are costly and slow, so 0x relies on a relayer model. In 0x’s lexicon, the Relayer is a process that hosts order books in a centralized database and matches orders between two traders. There are a number of Relayers to choose from — Radar Relay, ERC dEX, Paradex, DDEX, and more. In effect, these are the apps built atop the 0x protocol.
Let’s understand 0x architecture with an example. Bob creates an order using a Relayer GUI, which then goes to the relayer’s order book (centralized database). A relayer can share this with other Relayers so that more traders can see the order.
Now, Alice wants to accept Bob’s order. She executes the order using the Relayer’s GUI. Then, the relayer matches the request and sends it to a 0x smart contract to complete the order.
While creating/executing these orders, Bob and Alice allow 0x smart contracts to deduct the funds from their respective wallets. 0x smart contracts now verify the order and complete the token transfer on-chain.
The 0x protocol created the ZRX token, which is used to pay trading fees. So if you are using 0x Relayer, you need some ZRX tokens to make or take an order. The Relayer also collects some part of the fee to host order books.
The 0x protocol is one of the most widely-used decentralized exchange protocols in the industry today. Third-party projects can build atop the 0x protocol, meaning that a number of different DEXs and Relayers can all exist while sharing the same protocol and liquidity pool. This is a huge benefit to 0x.
However, the 0x protocol only works for Ether and assets issued on the Ethereum platform (ERC tokens). It is not compatible with Bitcoin protocol or the protocols of other blockchains, like EOS, Monero, Stellar, Cardano, NEO, or Tezos. This severely limits the utility of the 0x protocol and clearly prevents it from becoming an industry-wide solution.
Like the 0x protocol, IDEX only supports Ethereum ecosystem tokens. In fact, the IDEX website describes the project as “a decentralized exchange for trading Ethereum (ERC-20) tokens.”
To use IDEX, you need to deposit funds, but unlike centralized exchanges, smart contracts control funds (rather than one or several individuals). It makes IDEX more secure in comparison to centralized exchanges but it is far from being fully decentralized.
IDEX uses the Ethereum blockchain as a settlement layer, yet everything is first updated on its centralized database before being written onto the blockchain. Smart contacts control real funds, but the IDEX database controls how these funds are distributed.
This architecture helps IDEX to provide better UX, and that’s why IDEX has comparatively high liquidity. However, pushing every trade on the blockchain is costly, and having a centralized database creates a risk of censorship while also jeopardizing user privacy.
At the same time, the IDEX model eradicates the security problems of centralized fund storage, so it’s more secure than a CEX. They also have a utility token, called IDEX, which is used to secure the network on which IDEX runs.
Since IDEX only works with ETH and ERC-20 tokens, IDEX shares the same limitations as the 0x protocol. It may be a reasonably decentralized trading option for the Ethereum ecosystem, but IDEX is not an industry-wide solution.
Moreover, IDEX started enforcing user registration and KYC on the platform from August 2019. While the protocol itself is still somewhat decentralized, this creates a counterparty risk and raises questions about the future of the platform.
The Waves DEX was introduced by Waves project. Waves has its own blockchain and a token with the same name (WAVES) which is an integral part of its decentralized exchange platform.
All the fees are paid in the WAVES token, and you can create your own token by paying 1 WAVES, which automatically gets listed on the Waves DEX. Waves DEX has optional KYC but, if you want to make fiat on-ramps available, then KYC is mandatory.
While Waves’ order matching engine is open source, order matching is still centralized. The Waves DEX documentation admits the order book Matcher is “the only centralized design element of our DEX.”
Independent nodes can match orders to earn fees in Waves. These order-matching nodes match orders and sign them using their own private key. Mining nodes validate each Matcher’s signed transactions and send them to the Waves blockchain. At that point, the user account balances are changed according to the amount and price of the order and the trade is settled.
Waves DEX is a non-custodial exchange but it is centralized in several other respects.
Specifically, the order books and order matching processes are both centralized. This means that trades are not directly peer-to-peer. Instead, trades are made through a Matcher, an intermediary of sorts, are therefore not made on-chain. The Matcher makes the transfers on-chain before settling the swap between the two traders.
Anyone can set up a Matcher node so this process is not fully centralized but it is certainly not fully decentralized, either. It seems most accurate to call Waves a distributed exchange, rather than a decentralized exchange.
Loopring is not exactly a decentralized exchange. Rather, similar to the 0x project, it’s a modular protocol for building DEXs on multiple blockchains. The Loopring website simply calls it “the protocol for decentralized token exchange.”
Using a wallet interface (Metamask, for example) integrated with Loopring, you can create orders and sign them with your private key, which allows the Loopring protocol to withdraw funds at the time of trade execution. In other words, funds aren’t withdrawn until the order is matched, thus you have control of funds even after placing an order.
Relayers host order-books and look for orders to share with other relayers to pool liquidity. Loopring provides a consortium blockchain to enable liquidity sharing but it’s at each relayer’s discretion to use this blockchain, or whether to even share liquidity with other relayers at all.
Loopring enables something called the UniDirectional Order Model, which can match 16 trades at a time, in comparison to single buy/sell order matching like most other exchanges. Loopring calls it “order-ring.” These order-rings get processed by ring-miners through a resource-intensive process called ring-mining. The Loopring protocol incentivizes ring-miners and relayers for network participation.
When orders are matched, ring-miners sign the orders and send them to the Loopring protocol for settle transaction settlement. Loopring protocol smart contracts also verify different aspects of this order-ring and settle trades on-chain.
Loopring is currently available only for the Ethereum ecosystem, though it can also be implemented on any public blockchain with smart contract support. While this seems like a feature, it can also be a drawback, as it may result in users having to pay a number of gas fees in a number of different currencies just to complete a single trade.
This isn’t a flaw with the Loopring protocol as much as it is one of the limitations of smart contract platforms in general but, regardless of where the fault lies, it makes Loopring and other smart contract based DEX protocols somewhat inconvenient and costly. Loopring, like many other DEX protocols, is also limited to the Ethereum ecosystem, at the time of writing.
The Kyber Network website describes the project as an “on-chain liquidity protocol that aggregates liquidity from a wide range of reserves, powering instant and secure token exchange in any decentralized application.”
The Kyber protocol is a set of smart contracts that provide a decentralized method for performing on-chain token swaps. It doesn’t have order book functionality, so it is technically not an exchange (even if it’s possible to post limit orders). Rather, Kyber is a decentralized version of instant swap services like Shapeshift or Changelly.
In Kyber’s terminology, a reserve is simply someone who provides liquidity. By implementing the Reserve interface, the Reserve (liquidity provider) can register to the protocol’s smart contracts and offer its liquidity for takers (traders who accept existing trade offers) to buy.
For now, you need approval from Kyber team to become a Reserve, so it is not a permissionless system. In general, anything that is permissioned is not decentralized. If something is truly decentralized, then there is no authority to prevent people from using it.
The details on how Reserves determine the prices and manage their inventory is not dictated in the protocol and is entirely up to the Reserves themselves, as long as the implementation complies with the Reserve Interface. This can potentially lead to non-competitive markets.
Let’s understand Kyber with an example. Suppose you want DAI tokens in exchange for 1 Ether. First, the Kyber smart contract asks different reserves to get the best exchange price. Then, you’ll see the exchange rate and decide whether or not to go through with a swap. If you proceed, you will send 1 ETH to a Kyber smart contract. Once received, the reserve will do an on-chain exchange and your account will be credited with DAI.
But for Token A →Token B swaps (where neither Token A nor Token B is Ether), Kyber uses Ether as a proxy token internally (TokenA →Ether→TokenB).
Kyber presents a unique DEX protocol. While Kyber has plans to enable P2P trading for different smart-contract blockchains in the future, it is currently limited to the Ethereum network and ERC tokens. Like other token exchanges, this severely limits the potential of the protocol.
The Nash Exchange is a decentralized exchange project that describes itself as “a fast and user-friendly non-custodial exchange.” Launched recently, on August 24, 2019, the Nash Exchange is yet another hybrid DEX with off-chain order matching and trade settlement through a series of smart contracts.
The Nash team says the off-chain order matching engine is “the heart of Nash,” but also notes that “it is not a blockchain” and that the “order matching engine is a distributed system, designed to run initially with five nodes.”
There is no information available about becoming a part of this distributed order matching system or how to add a node to the engine. Thus it appears that all 5 order matching nodes are currently run by the Nash team, which means the system doesn’t seem very distributed at all.
The Nash website says that the protocol “is constructed with a view to upgrading to a fully decentralized system in the future,” but no details are offered about how and when the order matching engine will become decentralized.
To make trades on Nash Exchange, users must first lock their funds into smart contract. The Nash team states that users are “free to withdraw their funds from our trading smart contracts at any time.”
After funds are locked into a smart contract, the off-chain order matching engine relays data between the smart contracts and the relevant blockchain networks. Once on order is matched, users must sign off on the trade again before it is settled. Then the funds are exchanged and automatically transferred back into the user’s wallet.
The Nash Exchange is compatible with more than one protocol, a significant advantage over all of the decentralized exchanges covered thus far. Nash supports Ethereum ecosystem assets and NEO-based assets.
However, Nash is not currently compatible with the Bitcoin protocol, so many major digital currencies — BTC, LTC, BCH, DASH, ZEC, etc. — are not supported. This dampens Nash’s ability to gain widespread usage throughout the industry. Further, Nash exchange requires KYC and notes that “Nash aims to be maximally compliant.” While regulatory compliance is important, forcing users to undergo an intensive registration and KYC process is not indicative of decentralization.
The Decred project website describes Decred as an autonomous digital currency that strives “to solve blockchain governance.” On July 31, 2019, Decred has also entered the DEX space with the release of the specifications for a DEX protocol. The official Decred Twitter account stated that the “Decred DEX will be permissionless. It will be non-custodial, peer-to-peer using Atomic Swaps.” It also added that the Decred DEX “will have no trading fees, no intermediary coins or tokens.”
Since the Decred DEX is only at the specification stage, without an alpha product to test, it’s difficult to assess some of these bold claims. From the information that is available, a few things are apparent.
First, to Decred’s credit, their DEX protocol does appear to use rudimentary atomic swap technology. It’s a rudimentary atomic swap implementation because it seems that users must run full-seed nodes of both of blockchains involved in the swap (of both the asset they are holding and the one they hope to receive).
Nonetheless, using atomic swap technology does mean that Decred’s protocol will be non-custodial, fully peer-to-peer, and asset-agnostic. These characteristics, right off the bat, satisfy 3 out of the 4 core requirements of a true DEX.
However, there are several obvious issues with the Decred protocol.
For one, the protocol only supports UTXO-based assets. Whereas most hybrid DEX protocols only support Ether and ERC tokens, limiting their capabilities, the Decred DEX falls on the opposite side of the fence but runs into the same problem — only supporting UTXO coins excludes support for the Ethereum ecosystem, as well as a number of other prominent blockchain protocols and platforms.
Second, the claim that Decred “will have no trading fees” is dubious for several reasons. For starters, the Decred DEX white paper states:
“The DEX collects no trading fees. … Instead, a one-time fee is collected by the pool during registration. Registration fees discourage certain spam attacks, enable punitive actions when conduct rules are violated, and help to cover DEX operating expenses. Registration fees will be configurable by the exchange operator.”
So, even if it is true that there are no trading fees, users must pay a one-time registration fee. If users must pay a fee to use it, the DEX is clearly permissioned and thus not decentralized. Plus, the registration fee may or may not be a substantial sum. It isn’t yet clear how much the fee will be and it seems the exchange operators will get to set their fees independently.
Moreover, the claim that there will be no trading fees is still suspect because someone needs to run the order matching nodes that broadcast buy and sell orders and connect peers that have agreed upon a specific swap.
If there are no trading fees to collect, then there is no incentive for users to set up their own order matching nodes. And if there are no users setting up order matching nodes, that means the Decred team would need to set up, manage, and maintain all the order matching nodes themselves, which makes the entire system quite centralized.
The Decred DEX specification is relatively new so it’s probably best to wait on passing a final judgment. As things stand now, the Decred DEX shows a lot of promise and is pursuing the right technology — i.e., atomic swaps — but there is still a lot of room for improvement in both the technology and the fee structure.
AtomicDEX is a third-generation decentralized exchange, developed by the Komodo Platform team. The AtomicDEX website states that it’s a “mobile-native asset-agnostic atomic swap DEX.”
Komodo, the team that developed the AtomicDEX, is widely recognized as the industry leader in atomic swaps. An article published on Forbes magazine called Komodo “an atomic swap early adopter.” Binance Academy states that “the first peer to peer atomic swaps started to take place in 2014” and links to a discussion on an old NXT forum in which Komodo’s Lead Dev James ‘jl777’ Lee describes one of the very first atomic swap protocols.
In fact, Komodo’s atomic swap protocol idea is an extension of Tier Nolan’s atomic swap idea proposed in 2013. AtomicDEX is the third-generation of Komodo’s DEX technology. The first generation being the Multi-Gateway proxy token DEX, built on NXT, and the second generation being BarterDEX, an early atomic swap DEX that is now retired in favor of AtomicDEX.
Today, AtomicDEX uses a state-of-the-art networking layer known as Market maker 2.0. Market Maker 2.0 allows AtomicDEX to provide non-custodial, secure, and fully peer-to-peer trading of digital assets. It also enables cross-chain and cross-platform atomic swap protocol that executes swaps on-chain, even when facilitating swaps between assets of two different protocols. Traders can swap from ETH or ERC tokens to BTC or other UTXO-based assets.
AtomicDEX also offers an open API, to which any existing exchange, wallet provider, or blockchain project can integrate. It is an open source and permissionless protocol that offers a shared liquidity pool to create a network effect and maximize benefits for each adopter. Read more about AtomicDEX API here and check out the AtomicDEX documentation to learn more.
In short, AtomicDEX is the only DEX on the market that meets all 4 of the core DEX requirements. It is the only decentralized exchange that offers secure, cross-platform trading through atomic swap technology.
Partnerships and team members
Travala.com, the world’s leading cryptocurrency-friendly hotel booking service, announced that they are now accepting KMD as a form of payment. KMD joins an exclusive club of digital assets, including Bitcoin, Litecoin, and BNB.
Travala.com connects travelers with one of the world’s largest selection of incredible places to stay, including everything from hostels, apartments, and hotels, to villas and 5-star luxury resorts. The Travala.com platform currently offers 1,654,357 properties, covering 90,124 destinations in 230 countries and territories, and with prices up to 40% cheaper than mainstream travel booking platforms. Travelers can use 20 different cryptocurrencies to pay on the website, including KMD.
Komodo is an open, composable multi-chain platform. With blockchain development roots going back to 2014, Komodo is consistently recognized as a pioneer in the blockchain space. Today, Komodo focuses on providing business-friendly blockchain solutions that are secure, scalable, interoperable, and adaptable. KMD is the most trusted and most used coin of the Komodo ecosystem. It is secured by Bitcoin itself, and it has fast transaction times and low fees, making it ideal to use for payments.
Social media metrics
The charts above illustrate a decline in the number of both Telegram followers and Reddit subscribers. In general, Komodo experiences an average level of social activity.
The graph above shows the dynamics of changes in the number of Komodo Reddit subscribers, Twitter followers, and Facebook likes. The information is taken from Coingecko.com.