Editor and writer at boxmining.com. Cryptocurrency enthusiast and total foodie
Project Serum is a brand new decentralized exchange (DEX) for the decentralized finance (DeFi) sphere from the same team that created FTX Exchange. It is said to test the boundaries of DEXs using a non-Ethereum blockchain.
Built on Solana, Serum was created to solve the centralized vulnerabilities existing in the current DeFi space in the same trustless and permissionless way that DEX traders are comfortable with. With that being said, Serum still needs to be tested with real users first. Although the team boasts that the DEX is already functional, it hasn’t been launched as of now. But we might see Serum go live sometime in the next couple of weeks.
What is Project Serum?
Dubbed to be the next frontier, Serum is claimed to be a “pure” form of DeFi that is built on the Solana blockchain and will run on a central limit order book that is fully trustless. This makes it highly scalable, cheap, and fast.
Serum is completely decentralized down to its seed protocol. It runs on a non-custodial exchange with cross-chain trading support and no KYC required. This will offer users the same UX level comparable or even better than what centralized exchanges can currently offer. With the price, speed, and usability that Serum has, there’s no reason that customers who are used to trading in centralized exchanges wouldn’t give it a chance.
Despite being native to Solana, Serum is designed to be completely interoperable with Ethereum and Bitcoin, a huge advantage when pitted against Binance DEX or other DeFi DEXs like Balancer and Uniswap. This gives them an edge since many traders are keen to trade other cryptocurrencies besides the ERC-20 tokens that most DeFi platforms currently offer.
With this in mind, there’s a chance that Serum could eclipse other DEXs in the crypto space when it launches. It has the convenience and familiarity that a centralized exchange can offer but in a non-custodial setup. Serum also offers incentives to node operators to participate in staking from a referral system with “leaders,” inflation, and trading fees.
Key features of Serum (Image credit: Project Serum)
Solana is the first-of-its-kind web-scale blockchain that can potentially reach 710,000 transactions per second (tps). This is possible with a verifiable delay function called SHA 256 hash chain that enables Optimistic Concurrency Control. At present, it can handle around 50,000 tps, which is exponentially faster than Ethereum’s 15 tps.
Ethereum dominates the crypto space today but in terms of scaling capabilities, Solana has something more lucrative to offer. This doesn’t make it better than Ethereum. But for now, it is more scalable. Compared to older blockchains, Solana can process transactions quickly at much lower costs. Its transaction throughput could rival even Visa. While other smart contract platforms are loud in terms of their blockchain scaling capabilities, very few have claimed to reach the level of throughput Solana claims to have achieved.
Solana has also partnered with other crypto giants like Terra, ChainLink, and many others.
The Team Behind Project Serum
Project Serum is coined to be the new DEX to be launched by FTX Exchange- a cryptocurrency exchange and derivatives platform. The founders of Project Serum are also behind FTX exchange and they have also partnered with titans in the industry who have successful projects including the founders of Multicoin Capital, TomoChain, Compound, and Kyber Network.
Serum ($SRM) Token
$SRM is Serum’s governance token based on the Solana blockchain but alternatively also has an Ethereum or ERC-20 version.
Around 10 billion SRM was minted as the maximum supply at inception; of which approximately 175m tokens will be circulating initially and will grow to 181 million tokens after the IEO (see below). This amount is then set to grow by around 15% annually. It gives holders governance power over the Serum ecosystem. While most components in Serum are deemed immutable, some parameters, like future fees, can be modified via SRM governance votes. The net prices are used to buy and burn the SRM tokens.
SRM can be staked and can also be utilized to pay for fees. This gives SRM holders as much as 50% discount on all trading costs. Also, 90% of all SRM tokens are designed for long-term hold or lock-ups. This is to ensure that the team is here for the long-term.
On 11th August 2020, Serum ($SRM) started trading on Binance, BitMax, FTX, Uniswap (v2), Balancer etc. Within the first 30 minutes, SRM prices shot up to $1.25. By morning of 12th August 2020, attempts were made to break the $2.00 threshold but were met with resistance. However, prices are consistently hovering well above $1.50. With Serum hopefully launching this year, we are interested to know where this will take $SRM.
Serum has cross-chain support which enables the trustless exchange of assets from different blockchains. This is a striking contrast to other protocols that would require trusted parties to permit cross-chain swaps. Serum opts to do this is in a fully decentralized way, using over 100 validators.
SerumBTC and Serum USD
Serum BTC is a wrapped utility token in which price is pegged or tied up with its underlying asset or BTC form. It’s also an entirely decentralized Solana-based BTC token.
Meanwhile, Serum USD is a decentralized wrapped stable coin which follows both ERC-20 and SPL tokenizations for USD and has no single point of failure.
DeFi, in essence, has become incredibly disruptive, challenging the status quo of money in our economy. But up until now, it has mostly served the appetites of yield farming speculators. Serum’s revolution is aimed to bridge the gap between professional traders and DeFi. Their cross-chain support, order books, scalability, and other features could serve as a dangle-the-carrot to professional traders so they would take business from centralized counterparts to DEXs. Overall, Serum is a very promising DEX and DeFi protocol. But we could only know what it’s truly capable of once it launches in the next few weeks.
Previously published at https://boxmining.com/serum-srm-first-look/
Angela Wang is the Editor and one of the writers at Boxmining.com. She also co-authors the weekly Boxmining.com newsletter which provides weekly recaps on the latest happenings in the cryptocurrency space and the upcoming trends to look out for.