A closer look at the EtherDelta spinoff
I recently came across a surprising statistic — ForkDelta, the forked version of decentralized exchange EtherDelta, is quietly doing 1 million dollars per day(!) in daily trading volume. While that number is quite small in the context of global trading volumes for crypto, there’s a story here that is worth talking about.
But first, some history. It all started last December, when things over at EtherDelta started to get real bizarre even by crypto standards. Here’s a brief timeline of events:
- Mid December: EtherDelta is quietly sold to new investors
- December 21: EtherDelta gets hacked and user funds are stolen
- December 30: EtherDelta announces a bizarre ICO that looks like a scam
As you might have guessed, it wasn’t very long after this that the trust between EtherDelta and its users was completely destroyed. Just 5 days the ICO announcement, Reddit user u/freeatnet notified the community that he was creating ForkDelta:
And thus the ForkDelta era began!
More like “Fork” Delta (for now)
If you look at the ForkDelta website today, you’ll see that its user experience closely resembles the old EtherDelta website. This is because the ForkDelta development team mostly copied the old EtherDelta codebase (which was publicly available on GitHub) to create its own exchange.
What’s most surprising though (and something that doesn’t appear to be common knowledge) is that the old EtherDelta smart contract is still being used at the moment, which means ForkDelta users are still paying trading fees to EtherDelta! I would have thought that it would been trivial to swap out the smart contract’s beneficiary wallet, but that is apparently not the case — the EtherDelta team (whoever they are) continues to take a .3% cut from all trades!
When is a new smart contract getting deployed that no longer pays fees to EtherDelta? According to the ForkDelta developer roadmap, it’s not slated until Q3 2018:
That’s quite a ways away, but with a small developer team that is self-funded and running only on donations, there doesn’t appear to be a faster way.
All things considered, I’m seriously impressed by the ForkDelta team’s efforts to create a community-owned decentralized exchange that is transparent with its users. They clearly have their work cut out for them to be a successful standalone dapp, but I’ll be watching closely to see if they can do it and I wish them the best of luck. If they can pull it off, it will be one of the earliest examples of a successful dapp fork in the young history of crypto!