Category Design

One of the challenges of the cryptocurrency ecosystem is explaining new business models and new business categories. Traditionally, novel categories form when bundling or unbundling and one “category king” tends to accrue outsized value AFTER they’ve framed the problem and offered the singular solution.

At Radar Relay, we are focused on changing the way exchange happens, and in the process, creating an entirely new category, the relayer. While the incumbents (centralized exchanges) trade billions in daily volume, we have successfully unbundled their business by decoupling liquidity from order books.

A relayer is a bulletin board. Like Craigslist, users post their inventory (in this case, tokens) and when users trade they meet on the blockchain (instead of a random parking lot). More technically, the order book is hosted off chain and the settlement happens on the Ethereum blockchain, from one wallet to another wallet, using 0x smart contracts

New categories cause cognitive dissonance (AirBNB: a stranger is going to sleep on my couch?) and friction (Keurig: I have to buy pods every batch?), which means relayers will take time and thoughtful category design to “cross the chasm.”

Sounds complicated? Confused? We are working hard to speed up adoption by:

  1. Educating users on distinctions between exchanges to ease cognitive dissonance. Exchanges are middlemen and they take custody of funds, we do not.
  2. Leaning into the friction and owning the user experience. Wrapping Ethereum and allowing tokens are just two more opportunities to help define our category.

The rapid growth of the relayer ecosystem over the last six months has been driven by you, the user, frustrated by the status quo of exchanges and looking for a new home, a new category. To keep growing and “cross the chasm” we need your help. Come and kick the tires on Radar, get involved in the 0x GitHub, or at least join our Telegram and help us design this category.