Sundae Swap an AMM (automated market maker) DEX building on Cardano released a long awaited paper updating and providing solutions to concurrency earlier this month. In the article the team details their development choices and how the team itself came to the conclusions they did, they showed their work and gave us a report card.
The concurrency talk started when a competing DEX ran a public test that didn’t go as planned. Many couldn’t submit transactions as needed, leading some to believe the overall model (eUtxo) was a major flaw and Defi can’t exist on such a platform. Sundae Swap helped to dispel the misunderstandings with the article mentioned above. Concurrency, in our case, refers to the obstacle that Cardano couldn’t process more than a few transactions at once.
Let’s do a thought experiment. Imagine this problem in real terms. You’re at a very busy local market trying to purchase an item. You notice only one lane is open and you’re last in line trying to submit your transaction to the cashier, this could take a while. Now imagine many lanes are open, traffic can flow much more freely. That’s a bird’s eye view of the problem many saw in the competitors public test. Many started to call concurrency a problem when it’s more or less just an obstacle to get over. No one really building on Cardano was blindsided by this, but due to the FUD, the community once again gets to show off its superior smart contract technology. Sundae Swap has taken full advantage of this, technically breaking down obstacles while being transparent to the community.
One of the solutions they detail is the concept of “Governed Scoopers.” A scooper in the Sundae Swap protocol are nodes builds and then submits transactions for all of the orders in the protocol. This process navigates around the concurrency obstacle making it possible for many users to submit transactions at the same time without failing. We all remember what uncle Ben taught us. “With great power comes great responsibility,” as scoopers do have a chance to act maliciously.
For example, scoopers could potentially front run trades, or try to drive up prices on an asset, then selling the top to make a profit. Promoting and incentivizing good behavior is what Sundae Swap seems to have done, for processing transactions. Scoopers will earn a reward for completing the job. They will be able to claim these rewards in the protocol and can have them locked for their unethical behavior.
Trust is really important and that’s why Sundae Swap is giving the first scoopers privilege to trusted SPOs (stake pool operator ). SPOs have been chosen, as of writing this article, a community wide vote has already taken place! Now that the vote is over and forty of the top SPOs are chosen (30 scooper,10 wait listed) Sundae Swap will issue a license on chain as a NFT. This NFT gives you the privilege to be a scooper. The NFT license will expire over a period of time and will need to be renewed in the future by asking the DAO ( Decentralized autonomous organization ). This is what makes the Scoopers governed by the community, all you need to do is hold Sundae tokens to vote.
Community chosen Scoopers:
Ten Stakepools are on the waitlist:
Find the official announcement of the winners here.
Centralized vs Decentralized
The answer to the question, is the solution centralized or decentralized? It’s both. In a youtube interview on the Caradno with Paul channel, Pi Lanningham, from Sundae Swap, talked about the relationship between the two. He describes in fact, centralization vs decentralization is a spectrum instead of black or white. While he admits “yes” this solution moves the needle a small amount towards centralization by giving some power to trusted parties to submit transactions. It’s also decentralized because first through community vote, then through the DAO, we the community pick who the trusted scoopers are. If a scooper is behaving badly we have the power to revoke their scooper and relicense it to a new trusted community member.
Many other projects through the years use “decentralization” as a buzzword. As described in the interview, decentralization is not “a magic thing you mix into make the protocol to make it better;” there are different reasons to use aspects of both centralization and decentralization.
Now onto the ISO. Everyones wants to know where and when to get their Sundae tokens. In interviews, the development team has said the ISO will go live when the DEX itself goes live. While no hard date was given for the DEX, Sundae Swap has handed code into an industry leading code auditing company Runtime Verification. With the PAB (Plutus application backend) set to come to main net this month it’s safe to say we should see the DEX live before the new year! The continued in depth communication between Sundae Swap and the community has been refreshing, criticism or praise its clear the team is listening.
Don’t forget to stake your ADA!