Accompanying our recently conducted Community Booster Partnership with Polkadex, we organised an AMA (Ask Me Anything) in our Telegram channel with Vivek Prasanan, their Executive Director and Co-Founder. He introduced us to the concept, vision and future plans of Polkadex, a fully decentralised peer-to-peer orderbook-based cryptocurrency exchange.
We received overall positive feedback on this AMA and would like to summarise it, especially for everyone who couldn’t participate.
Polkamon: Can you please give a brief introduction of yourself and your team?
Vivek: My pleasure. I am Vivek, Executive Director and co-founder of Polkadex. I take care of mentorship, technical and marketing overview, legal and regulatory aspects of the project. We have two other co-founders Gautham and Deepansh. Gautham is the CEO of Polkadex. He also oversees the technical development and works hand in hand with the engineers at Polkadex. Deepansh handles Investor relations and partnerships and is responsible for the day-to-day operations.
Our core product is the Polkadex order book. It is a blend of the best features of centralised exchanges and decentralised exchanges. Thanks to unique architecture we can offer lightning-fast transactions, advanced trading features and great UI/UX as on CEXes and at the same time keep the exchange non-custodial. Moreover, Polkadex eliminates such issues of modern DEXes as front-running, price slippage, arbitraging and prohibitive transaction fees.
Polkamon: Awesome, looks like a great team! How did you guys come up with the idea of building Polkadex? What is your vision?
Vivek: It all started back in 2018 when Gautham and Deepansh worked on a consensus algorithm to scale transaction throughput on a distributed network. This attempt was part of their college project. They initially planned to develop this in a permissioned network, and we were looking to find a fair use case that was scalable. In 2019, I met them through a common friend, who suggested applying it on a decentralized exchange.
I was working on building one at the time and was struggling to find the right decentralized network. Sadly, my first attempt to make it on Bitshares did not succeed due to its centralized gateway structure for bringing in liquidity. These security issues came with an inflexible interface, asset collateralization where you hold smart contract keys to locked assets. It also did not satisfy the trader’s expectations when it came to the user interface and security. That’s when we came across Polkadot and Substrate Framework.
Whatever we were looking for, this framework had everything: a composable blockchain, not linked directly to the UI, gave us the freedom to create a highly user-friendly and easy-to-use design; and also allowed future upgrades to the consensus algorithm. What’s more, the trustless transfer of assets means, as an exchange, we don’t have to worry about the security of tokens in the exchange. That led us to rework our project idea and eventually we came up with the current vision of Polkadex. To put it simply, it is a decentralized mini Binance.
Polkamon: Decentralized mini Binance sounds very ambitious, that’s cool. But there are many DEXes out there now, how is Polkadex different?
Vivek: Yes, that’s what we ultimately want to build. The thing is Polkadex is not just a usual DEX with standard swap protocol utility. We feel that swap protocols are a compromise because of the inefficiencies of handling an order book on the blockchain. We are trying to offer to our users way more features and improve the DEX trading experience by putting together a mix of next-generation technologies.
We think of Polkadex as benefits of CEXes + benefits of DEXes — any possible disadvantages of both.
Polkadex order book provides high-frequency trading, institutional liquidity, fiat support, decentralized KYC, and all the sweet and fun features of CEXes like trading bots. At the same time, users’ funds are secured by native blockchain and TEE hardware and the custody of funds is not handed over to Polkadex or any other third parties.
Polkamon: Awesome, hopefully, it is all possible decentralized! Why did you choose the Polkadot network though? What are the key benefits?
Vivek: The only tricky part was bringing in institutional liquidity on the order book, but with decentralized KYC for them we solved that part as well. It’s the best we can achieve with the available framework we have. It will only get better from there!
Aiming high, we also had very high technical requirements that are difficult to find in a single network.
Ethereum network has major scalability issues and can’t handle the high volume of transactions that we envisioned for Polkadex. Other solutions such as NEO, TomoChain or Cardano also have limited scalability and interface development is not as great as we had in mind for Polkadex.
Polkadot, on the other hand, meets Polkadex’s requirements perfectly. Transactions are processed in a parallelized way the network is considerably faster than the competition. Polkadot can bring various tokens and blockchains together creating a vibrant ecosystem. This is definitely what Polkadex exchange requires.
Polkadot’s Substrate also allows us to add new features and constantly develop the Polkadex platform without going through complicated and lengthy processes including hard forks. As we plan to be a single solution for all the DeFi users’ and project teams’ needs, it is a crucial advantage for us.
Polkamon: That’s impressive! So what does the Polkadex team have coming up in the near future? Is there anything interesting coming?
Vivek: We have a lot planned for the community in the coming weeks and months. First of all, the launch of our final Testnet is in a few weeks from now and Mainnet in August/September. From the product perspective, we are going to have launches of additional features and demo days for them in between. Our IDO platform is also coming in a Testnet version soon.
From the business and marketing side, we are planning some interesting collaborations and events for the community to explain more about Polkadex and give back to our early supporters.
Q1: Hi Vivek, hope you are well. I have a few questions for you today. A question that immediately came to my mind as soon as the collaboration announcement was made, when will Polkadex list $PMON? Can you please elaborate on how the gamification of NTF’s will work on your platform? Will Polkadex offer a service to auction NFT’s? Would allowing users to put NTF’s on a tradable order book make any sense? For example, I could set a limit sell price for my highly coveted Polkamon within an order book?
Vivek: We will have separate collaboration efforts with all projects building on substrate to get listed on Polkadex without any friction. Definitely, PMON can be one of them. Also, all tokens will go through governance later on so anyone can list their tokens with enough support. It is not in the control of the developers. We develop what governance will vote for. Also, NFTs on an order book will definitely work if there is enough liquidity. And an order book can be boring without market making. These are some of the problems we will need to address before listing them.
Q2: Does Polkadex have a plan ready to go in order to help navigate a global economy and the various regulatory concerns that are sure to arise when operating in this environment?
Vivek: Exactly why we went behind decentralized KYC. We don’t want this to be another EtherDelta and abandon the project because of regulatory backlash. We need to give the community something to hold on to, and help the network function so that the apps we build can survive the test of regulatory policies.
Q3: Polkadex being built on substrate and being the only DEX having an order book, what other problems, (apart from gas fees, traffic, front running bots, etc) in the space does it want to find a solution to? And how is the team focused on competing or improving the experience of Polkadex compared to other orderbook-based DEXes?
Vivek: There are very few order book DEXes because people failed to build them on Ethereum. Layer 2 solutions are coming now, but building one natively on substrate can be cool because it is more efficient and the help of the Polkadot ecosystem can be a game-changer when you consider the amount of liquidity that will come to it through parachain. So let’s see. We will keep building and solving real-world problems rather than just building protocols. Most of the new projects are still focused on the protocol layer. We have an app on top of it which means we will have more engagement and participation from the community. We want to create an exchange that people will fall in love with.
Q4: As you said, Polkadex has many features which are similar to CEXes, so why should I use Polkadex but not CEXes? What are the advantages of Polkadex compared with CEXes?
Vivek: Basically, the first thing is enjoying all the liquidity coming in from Ethereum ecosystem and Polkadot ecosystem, two of the largest smart contract ecosystems you see today. So, liquidity is very good. Secondly, you place orders and go to sleep without worrying about moving your funds out. They still remain on the blockchain, safe as you left it there. Combine all of these features in a mobile app. That is even cooler. So, as I told you before, we are creating a CEX experience without losing custody of your funds. That itself is a huge use case for retail traders like you and me.
Q5: I would simply like to know what the transaction fees are expected to be on Polkadex. Could it be cheaper than for instance on Matic?
Vivek: Transaction fee on the orderbook and swap in Polkadex chain will be zero with the present architecture. The network pays validators through other transactions like balance transfers (like Bitcoin) and inflation/block reward.
Q6: What kind of utility will Polkadex bring to Polkamon?
Vivek: Polkamon can list its tokens and also use Polkadex to create an NFT marketplace if needed 😉
Q7: Can you tell us some of the features of the Polkadex? What are the ways to maintain the profit/revenue of the project? What is the revenue model? How to make investors and your project a win-win?
Vivek: There are two types of revenue: 1) Revenue for the network 2) Revenue for the app
Revenue for the network will come through block reward/NPOS inflation, network fees, other than swap transfer and order book since we are trying to make it feeless. This will pay validators/nominators/collators.
Revenue for the app will come primarily from trading fees, IDO listing fees etc.
Q8: Even with a superior product, it can be difficult to pry users away from their current go-to exchange. People are creatures of habit. This Polkamon collaboration is a great step to spread awareness, but what kind of bonus incentives can we expect at launch to make the switch worthwhile?
Vivek: We have certain marketing strategies planned for viral participation which will be revealed in due course. Initially, users are driven by incentives rather than the product itself, so our strategies initially will be aligned towards that. Once he is in, it is up to the product to keep them.
Q9: Do you plan to release on KUSAMA as well as Polkadot? Will you run a Crowdloan to apply for the Parachain slot?
Vivek: Kusama and Polkadot strategies are dynamic based on the auction time and how it plays out. We have very established projects there, in the frontline, to win these auctions. We will wait and watch the action first and then create our funding strategy for parachain. Since there is a lot of uncertainty around dates of parachain going live, (I just got out of a conference that discussed the same thing — benefits of going solo first and then parachain) there many established projects now planning to roll out their mainnet as a solochain and then look at the auction cycle and plan their strategy. So, if we become paranoid about parachain all the time (which surprisingly people are), we need to understand that parachain is just one connection to the Polkadot liquidity system. The core of your logic is in your chain, so there is a lot more to build and perfect on your own chain before you bridge the connection. Even if we don’t get the slot in the first auction due to the waiting list, we have plans to bridge liquidity through other sources which will bootstrap liquidity, and get the exchange going without issues until we get connected. We will first launch testnet and then connect to rococo and make sure things are working as we want before planning whether to go on Kusama or DOT.
Q10: Is Polkadex audited by any Company to Prove Security?
Vivek: Of course, every single line is audited. It is essential before we can get it connected to other audited chains. They wouldn’t allow us to connect otherwise 🙂 Since it is the internet of blockchains, it is important who you get connected to!
Q11: Regarding your roadmap, how do you see Polkadex in the long term? How will Polkadex stand out to other DEX riding this Polkadot hype wave? And what impact will Polkadex have on other DEXes as in what features does Polkadex have that the other DEXes are not doing?
Vivek: Our project is just 6 months old, but I see some projects 2–3 years old even now without a working product. One thing I am sure of is that we will be launching a working product this year itself, thanks to much of the protocol layer already built, audited and ready to use. Mainnet is planned for August but if there is a security audit delay that depends on an external team, it may get pushed by a month or two at the most.
Q12: Why do you think the $PDEX token is necessary for your project? What is the main role of $PDEX in your project? What are the benefits of holding $PDEX in the long term?
Vivek: On a primary level, without PDEX feeless swap logic won’t work and the network will not be secure. There are a ton of other use cases which you can read about if you go to docs.polkadex.trade.
Q13: Binance Smart Chain blockchain has high transaction speed and cheap gas fees. Are you planning to launch your mainnet or switch to other blockchains in the future? Do you have a Token Burning plan to increase Token value and attract Investors to invest?
Vivek: Polkadex doesn’t need to always burn tokens manually to increase value as Binance do. Blockchain maintains a fixed supply and burns only to keep the supply constant. The velocity of tokens will naturally increase demand and the simulations we have run is very promising.
Community Booster Partnership Winners
To reward the Polkamon & Polkadex communities for their amazing engagement during the AMA, Vivek was asked to select two best questions:
Q13: Trần Jem
As a part of our Polkadex Community Booster Partnership celebration, we also held a Twitter contest for best video, image or meme creation to celebrate our new Partnership. The three lucky winners were:
1. David Sesto @dsesto94 and his video of the amazing handmade artwork about Polkamon and Polkadex
2. Ani ani @falllmoonrod and her entertaining meme
3. @Flying_Bonfire and his video (unfortunately not available anymore at the time of writing)
We contacted all five winners and sent them the magnificent Polkadex Unikles — an NFT that enables the owner to claim their share of the $10.000 $PDEX Partnership Pool.
Polkamon are exquisitely animated digital collectibles created using blockchain technology. Each Polkamon is backed by a truly unique NFT that is indistinguishable from any other NFT and can be unpacked with $PMON tokens, the native ERC-20 and BEP-20 token on the Polkamon platform. Each collectible is inimitable, authentic and differs in rarity. The Polkamon NFT collection can easily be integrated into modern games, art and other blockchain connected products.