BarterDEX | Atomic Swaps Made Easy

Every now and then, we are reminded of the harmful effects of centralised systems. Just recently, the CoinDash ICO was attacked with hackers changing the ICO address to their very own. The diverted address was able to steal $7 million in stolen Ether. Unfortunately, this was always going to be the case as centralised systems have been the norm from the beginning of the internet. In order to support and grow Bitcoin, the old systems, such as centralised exchanges and websites for ICOs, had to be used. This was due to the fact that there was no decentralised option yet and the masses, still accustomed to old methods, found it accessible. 

Cryptocurrency coders are now fighting back as just about everything under the sun is becoming decentralised. The one centralised system that has been attacked the most are, of course, centralised exchanges. Time and time again hackers have been able to access hot wallets through the backend of the website, hence, stealing users funds. Currently, there are solutions to this problem, however, they are limited in its ability. The NXT and WAVES exchanges are truly decentralised, but they lack the ability to trade outside their own blockchain. The way around this problem is the creation of gateways which allowed users to buy and sell “pegged tokens” that represent other cryptocurrencies 1:1. For example, WAVES have just released their Ethereum gateway, allowing users to trade a token, which is fully backed by Ethereum, on the WAVES platform.

The SuperNET team takes decentralised exchanges one step further, and it is the work of true marksmanship. The name is BarterDEX; deriving from the idea of exchanging goods and services without the need of a medium of exchange. As it stands, Bitcoin is still the undisputed medium of exchange in the crypto world because it was the first to market. SuperNET’s BarterDEX is aiming to flip this notion on its head with the use of atomic swaps.

Atomic swaps have been one of those concepts known about and successfully tried for years, however, developers have been unable to make it accessible to the public. In fact, developers who take on such technology are viewed as ambitious as the technology is so new and complex it is almost a leap of faith. SuperNET is not only ambitious but qualified for the job. Unlike centralised exchanges which use proxy tokens or pegged assets, atomic swaps bypass this process completely by trading directly with the source. Atomic swaps trade user to user, meaning there is no use for a medium of exchange like Bitcoin. For example, if one user has HUSH and another Komodo, the two can agree upon a price without moving through the Bitcoin token. As illustrated below.

  • Centralised Exchanges – HUSH → BTC → KOMODO
  • Atomic Swaps – HUSH → KOMODO

One might ask why this is such a big deal. Why don’t you just move through BTC? The easy answer is that setting up gateways for all cryptocurrencies is a nightmare because it requires it be maintained and monitored. That is where SuperNET’s Agama wallet comes into play.

The Agama wallet is designed to support multiple blockchains and assetchains, in order words, it is a wallet of wallets. Instead of creating a gateway for every coin in existence, SuperNET aims to simply add each coins wallet, one by one into the Agama software. Therefore, the need for maintenance is eliminated. Once added, that coin can trade with any other coin that is supported in the Agama wallet via atomic swaps. Furthermore, Agama will be supporting pegged fiat assets, meaning that all coins added can trade against popular fiat pairs such as USD, EURO and YUAN. Coins that show the most interest will be the first coins implemented.

BarterDEX development is going full steam ahead with some of cryptocurrencies greatest minds currently testing out the system. HUSH developer, Radix42, who currently has a contract with SuperNET to port existing infrastructure to other operating systems, stated that “the backend works, just right now it is linux, mac and win32 only. Coins that are 64-bit only need a 64-bit build of it, so I’m working on getting it building on win64. [After that] then we can bolt a GUI to it”.

Pushing home the point, SuperNET community manager, Audo states:

“The BarterDEX testing team is constantly doing successful atomic swaps. A week ago we reported that we had done over 100 swaps among ten different people. At the first stage, we tested the atomic swaps between Native Mode coins, which means each participant must have downloaded the full blockchain locally. The testing has been focused on the most crucial issues. There is still a lot of work to be done for sure. After the swaps work in Native Mode we can move to test the Basilisk Mode. That would allow the people to use BarterDEX without downloading any blockchain. To make the exchange process really convenient and easy to use we must get this part working.”

JL777, lead SuperNET developer, also wrote a report on the current status of Atomic Swaps named “Public BarterDEX Testing – We Are Making Regular Atomic Swaps”.

For advanced users, SuperNET is planning to implement some more cool features in the future, namely Liquidity Providers and the Money Multiplier. Liquidity Providers are essentially computer bots that constantly buy and sell in order to create liquidity for users. The Money Multiplier is also an intriguing feature for advanced traders that allows users to create multiple orders on the Agama exchange using the same coins. Once one order is processed, the other orders are removed.

Unknown to many users, SuperNET was one of the first teams to create a multi gateway system for the NXT blockchain, named MGW. The system worked well but required a high level of maintenance. MGW is still functional but is currently being phased out due to the new atomic swap technology. BarterDEX is going to be a traders dream with its decentralised nature and total freedom to trade infinite pairs; SuperNET is raising the bar for decentralised exchanges in the future. If you wish to help test BarterDEX, so go to slackinvite.supernet.org. If you would read the whitepaper (under the name EasyDEX which was recently changed), click here.