0x Protocol is a specialized software project designed to specifically make it easier for ERC20 tokens to be traded across the Ethereum cryptocurrency network in an open and permissionless manner. Using 0x Protocol provides advantages in that it reduces blockchain bloat and in its open source nature, which makes it ideal for decentralized apps (Dapps) that require exchange functionality.
0x Protocol is the brainchild of a team of developers, spearheaded by co-founders Will Warren and Amir Bandeali. Warren, a former graduate research assistant at Los Alamos National Laboratories, was one time pursuing his Ph.D. in structural engineering from UC San Diego before shifting gears; Bandeali, is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has been active in the fintech sector since graduation, most recently as a fixed income trader for DRW.
0x Protocol also has some heavy-hitters from the world of cryptocurrency acting as advisors. Three of these individuals include Fred Ehrsam, founder of Coinbase; Olaf Carlson-Wee, Coinbase’s first hire; and Linda Xie, former Coinbase PM.
About 0x Protocol
0x Protocol is an open-source approach to exchanges across the Ethereum blockchain in that it facilitates order relays off the chain and then settles them on the chain, cutting out extraneous multiple transfers that would otherwise add to bloat on the Ethereum ledger. The protocol provides avenues for free transfers between known parties and also provides infrastructure for a relay network, offering opportunities for individuals operating an 0x relay node to collect small fees for facilitating exchanges.
The protocol makes use of a modular system of smart contracts, designed to allow parts of the system to be upgraded piecemeal without affecting the functionality of the entire protocol. This ostensibly allows different ERC20 currencies to be added or removed from the protocol as needed, or for the smart contract governing the exchange of a particular currency to be upgraded or modified, all without necessitating the entire protocol being taken offline.
The opportunity presented by 0x Protocol is ideal for anyone who is a blockchain developer, specifically one that works with the Ethereum blockchain. With the prevalence and proliferation of Ethereum-based ERC20 tokens, demand for the ability to to transfer between these tokens will soon be at a premium; using 0x as a tool, either on its own or as an open source API in a third-party app, could result in high levels of popularity for any tool developed around the protocol.
However, if you’re looking for a straightforward investment opportunity, you’re going to be disappointed – 0x Protocol is open source, which means it can be used by anyone for free. Better to keep an eye on a company that decides to use the protocol and invest in that company instead.
The 0x Protocol Verdict
0x Protocol is highly niche in that it’s not a product or service, it’s not a new mineable cryptocurrency, and it’s not even an ICO – it’s a piece of software that’s being designed to make Ethereum-based digital tokens more easily exchanged. With the rampant growth of blockchains – and the constant need to find ways to increase scalability to avoid the same expensive slowdowns that the Bitcoin blockchain is already showing – learning more about 0x Protocol is likely a good idea if you’re involved in blockchain development.
However, if you’re just a run-of-the-mill blockchain enthusiast or a cryptocurrency speculator, the specifics of how 0x Protocol works are unlikely to thrill you to any degree. The best we can tell you is to look products in the future that adopt 0x Protocol as part of their API, as these dapps will likely be well-received because of their ease of use.