Tezos Joins DeFi With Dexter Exchange

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In Brief
  • After over a year of development, Dexter, a Tezos-powered Decentralized Exchange has launched.

  • Like similar projects on Ethereum, the exchange offers incentivized liquidity and automatic market making.

  • The project's advantages over other AMMs are unclear, but developers do claim to be audited by reputable firms.

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After a long waiting period, Tezos decentralized exchange Dexter has finally launched. Whether it can differentiate itself from other alt-coin DEXs remains to be seen.

DeFi is no longer just for Ethereum. On September 30, 2020, camlCase, a product developer for Tezos, announced the launch of Dexter, a Decentralized Exchange for Tezos tokens.

Though the announcement comes amidst a DeFi frenzy, the product has been in the works for some time. The exchange was originally announced over a year ago on July 15, 2019.

Dexter’s Laboratory

Though the exchange’s interface is relatively straight forward, Dexter’s portal includes some documentation and explanation of the service.

According to camlCase, Thanos, Beacon (web wallets), and Magma (mobile wallet) should integrate seamlessly with Dexter. Dexter handles tokens adhering to FA1.2, a Tezos standard analogous to ERC-20 on Ethereum.

So far, the only cryptos available on Dexter are Tezos-wrapped bitcoin (tzBTC), Tezos-pegged dollar (USDtz), and Tezos (XTZ) itself. According to data on Dexter, the exchange only has 12,500 USDtz or 6,257 XTZ available on the server pools.

Dexter Interface | Source: Dexter

The rules of participation appear similar to other Automatic Market Makers like Uniswap. Users can swap tokens with a 0.3% maker fee, or they can provide liquidity to receive some of that fee.

Also similar to other newly-launched AMMs, Dexter offers incentivized liquidity. For now, liquidity providers will receive rewards from Happy Tezos, a bond-pool provider for Tezos holders.

This service already provides stakers with about a 5.5% annual percentage yield (APY) on their Tezos. For the time being, this service will also be extended to Dexter liquidity providers. This will be a separate payment from transaction fee rewards.

As far as security is concerned, camlCase says that Dexter’s code has been audited, and Nomadic Labs have verified the smart contracts.

Just Another Uniswap?

Though Dexter has been in development since 2019, a DEX such as this appears timely. DeFi has seen expansion to other blockchains in recent weeks, including several yield-farming decentralized exchanges for the Binance Smart Chain. Polkadot-powered DEXes are also in the works.

Indeed, Dexter appears to be little more than a Uniswap-like exchange, but for the Tezos blockchain. camlCase had no qualms about the comparison to Uniswap, stating on their blog:

Uniswap has shown that this model of DEX has enormous potential, but Dexter can only grow as part of an ecosystem.

The Tezos blockchain is a somewhat less visible big player in the alt-coin world. After a sharp drop at the end of December, it’s still the #18 largest-by-market cap crypto on Coingecko. The price has increased by 16% since Sep. 24, 2020, 7 days ago.

Tezos recently settled a class-action lawsuit for $25 million. The court found plaintiffs, who had lost money in Tezos’ ICO, deserving of financial compensation. With a market cap of $1.6 billion, according to coingecko, that suit was a hiccup Tezos can afford.


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Harry Leeds is a writer, editor, and journalist who spent much time in the former USSR covering food, cryptocurrencies, and healthcare. He also translates poetry and edits the literary magazine mumbermag.me.

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