In which direction should DeFi develop in the next step?
The market is changing dramatically. The past few days have been like riding a roller coaster. But after several rounds of fluctuations, the DeFi segment in the stock market is still unabated. However, the hidden worries lurking under the surface are always existing.
Almost all resources in the DeFi ecology are on Ethereum. However, there are problems with the DeFi network built by Ethereum, such as the single system performance brought by the foreseeable homogeneous sharding in the future, high gas fee, low security, and low scalability, etc. These vulnerabilities make the many applications hard to use on the DeFi network, including high-frequency trading and the transaction matching modes (We use the Uniswap asset pool model today.)
The problem with ETH1.0 is that the performance is limited, and all the transactions are mixed without any organization. Although there is composability for the DeFi applications, the network needs to operate both DeFi applications and other transactions or DApps.
Network congestion and skyrocketing gas fees
As we all know, Ethereum relies on the consumption of GAS to run its economic operation. Every step of the chain requires the consumption of GAS. Bitcoin plummeted by almost 50% to $3,800, and ETH fell as much as 65.2% just on March 12 and 13, 2020. The plummet caused a run, the Ethereum miner fees that carried a large number of DeFi and DApps skyrocketed, and the network was also congested. The Ethereum GAS fee increased to 10 times of the usual, and the GAS fee was once as high as 1 ETH to successfully package transactions. After that, because the lending operations of DeFi applications require frequent interaction with contracts, the gas fees on Ethereum have also remained high.
Problems inherited from ERC20 tokens are affecting the DeFi products on Ethereum.
If you use Ethereum’s native token ETH, the operation is simple. As long as the ETH is transferred to the contract of the target DeFi application, the contract operation will be the same as when we use cash to invest in stocks or wealth management products. No other operations are required.
However, the operation of tokens minted using ERC20 contracts is very different from native ETH, regardless of whether the tokens minted by these ERC20 contracts are well-known. Before trading, the ERC20 contract first authorizes the DeFi platform’s contract to transfer a specified number of ERC20 tokens on the account, such as USDT, USDC, or WBTC. After approval, the DeFi contract is called to transfer money. The intuitive understanding is to avoid frequent password input in small transactions, we authorized Paypal to open a password-free payment, so that the payment can be directly deducted during consumption. It sounds convenient, but is it that good?
There is a crucial problem here: if the DeFi contract is malicious during the approval process, this DeFi contract has the right to transfer all the ERC20 tokens on our account to any account. It is similar to that we authorize Paypal to perform a password-free operation of the balance, but if a hacker attacked Paypal successfully, this hacker could transfer all our money to his account. Similar things have happened before.
There is a famous project called Bancor, which used to rely on the type of authorization contract for ERC20 processing. However, there was a bug in the contract that allowed the contract to transfer the tokens in the user’s wallet to any hacker designated address after the user was authorized, which caused a loss of almost 100,000 US dollars.
The loss was not so significant because it occurred in the early stage of DeFi development. If it happens today that the DeFi asset scale on Ethereum already reached hundreds of millions, it would cause severe damage to the entire Ethereum ecosystem and the development of DeFi.
Cold shard and hot shard
DeFi needs composability, convenience, and a stronger capability of anti-run. If the throughput is insufficient, sharding technology can be introduced, which is what ETH2.0 does. However, due to the combinability of DeFi, these applications tend to aggregate into one shard, which is prone to clustering effects. This will result in different shards gathering different contents. This is called hot shards and cold shards, which are analogous to different types of cities such as metropolises as New York and Tokyo, and other places like Kyoto and Alaska. Some places have become Wall Street, while other places may become scenic or living areas. Because of the aggregation of different functions, different shards will have different features.
It is quite unwise to develop algorithms to forcibly redistribute load balancing on shards. This is equivalent to using a simple system to determine the development of a complex system, much like a planned economy. However, we can design different features in advance to make them more capable to display their own features, just as humans transformed and utilized the natural resources based on their understanding of nature, thereby improving efficiency. That means, to set up some shards with different performance and even different consensus algorithms (e.g., the features of PoW and PoS are different).
Maybe there will be a major financial shard, like London, or two other special shards with their own features, like New York City and Chicago. Financial shards require high throughput and high cost. These are called hot shards, which carry large-value transactions, otherwise, the gas fee may be too high. Most people will live in the countryside, which means cold shards here. When you need the hot shard features, you don’t need to live in Manhattan, nor do you need to travel to Manhattan occasionally. Most of the time, you will live well on another shard. When one really needs to run on a DeFi shard, it only takes a few minutes of cross-shard transactions.
But the problem generated from this is that since each shard has its own features, it may cause the shards to be independent. What we need is that shards can be harmonious but keep their differences, that is, cross-sharding DeFi needs to be achieved . Today’s multi-chain heterogeneous technology can contribute to solving this problem. Only by solving these problems can more DeFi applications be stimulated.
In our opinion, a mature DeFi platform must have the following features:
Higher Efficiency: Have faster concurrent processing capabilities, i.e., high TPS.
Lower Gas Fee: Lower gas fee can stimulate the enthusiasm of DeFi users and even catalyze the development of high-frequency trading.
More Secure: There are fewer interactive processes in the contract, at least structurally to avoid the problems ERC20 caused due to the different permissions, which leads to complicated interactions and lengthens the operation chain and increases loopholes.
Easier to Use : Various multi-native tokens can be used to pay gas fees during transactions, and thus no need to use designated tokens to pay gas fees.
Easier Combination : It can support the combination of a wide range of contracts, including the combination of different consensus in the same chain, ledger structure, and other elements, and even cross chains, making DeFi a real “Lego”.
Multi-chain heterogeneous + DeFi, one unhindered currency is helping to reach the perfect
Multi-chain heterogeneity has formed “cities” and “villages”, and DeFi has become the financial center among the cities. Since we use cities for comparison, how can we avoid each city’s independent governance and link up the chains of urban interests to form a greater network? The answer is the same as in real life, that is, the so-called currency everywhere.
Ethereum also provides currency, but this currency is not only inefficient, but also indirectly causes security risks. If you want long-term development, such a design is unreasonable.
In the QuarkChain mainnet, multi-native tokens are our primary function for building the next generation of DeFi. Multi-native tokens have basically the same status as QKC in the QuarkChain system. They can call contracts, perform cross-chain operations, and pay gas fees under certain conditions. Native tokens can achieve all of QKC’s functions, including cross-chain transactions, except participating in QKC governance. Most of the non-native asset inconvenience problems faced by Defi can be solved. In the future contracts, the functions of native tokens will be exactly the same as QKC, with the last barrier to the application of multi-native tokens being removed. This also avoids the problem of reducing the security of the entire DeFi system due to the ERC20 token’s authority issue. Next, we will launch our DEX, and then users will have the true feeling of the unimpeded DeFi platform on QuarkChain. Thus, the last piece of the puzzle of multi-chain heterogeneous + DeFi + multi-native tokens has been fulfilled, which brings cost efficiency, user easiness, and security to a new level.
Ethereum’s performance and contract security restrictions have affected development. After our repeated introduction and numerous testing, the multi-native token function is ready to be officially delivered to the community. Soon, community members can mint their own tokens and use them to transfer funds (including cross-sharding), pay gas fees, directly call smart contracts, etc. In conjunction with the DEX that we will launch in the next step, users can actually experience the convenience and innovation brought by multi-native tokens to the blockchain system.
To verify the validity of this theory, we recently launched the Game of DeFi Campaign. In the last stage of the campaign, we launched a simple DEX application and a game: QSwap — the multi-native token version of Uniswap, and Element Miner — a fun mining trading game. This is the new value that DEX and game-based mining will be able to bring to DApp and DeFi applications based on the verification of multi-native tokens with the game format. Because the gas fee is low enough, every step of the operation will be on the chain to ensure security. Meantime, instead of ETH’s high gas fee, which made users either high-cost and low-efficiency, or low-cost and low-security, the multi-native token proves the real security and convenience.
Our Game of DeFi Campaign has already entered the final stage. There are still millions of QKC reward pools waiting for the users to share. Users can download QPocket wallet to participate in this event.
Phase III: King’s Landing — Dex and Liquidity Mining
In this phase, all the community members can have the experience to use our two new products:
QSwap: Multi-native token version Uniswap
Unlike Uniswap, which can only support ERC20 tokens, QSwap supports multi-native tokens. Thus, no extra pre-authorized approval is required in the process, and any multi-native token can be used to pay gas fee ( not only QKC ). Users will get a better experience and maintain more security by avoiding granting unlimited authorization. Moreover, there will be a much lower gas fee due to sharding technology provided by QuarkChain infrastructure.
Element Miner: Interesting mining and trading DApp game
The player’s goal is to collect 5 elements to join the reward pool. However, since these elements are reinforcing to each other (just like the mining throughputs from different projects are different), using QSwap will be the most efficient approach.
One last question: This DeFi campaign uses test tokens. What if the network uses tokens with real value?