GammaX, a Singapore-based company building a new high-performance hybrid crypto derivatives exchange, announced the closure of a $4 million seed round, backed by the likes of StarkWare, the developer of zero-knowledge proof technology, and liquidity provider Dexterity Capital.
Other investors in the round include Alphanonce, Cobo, Genesis Trading, Kyber, Ledger Prime, Matrixport, Profluent, Uncorrelated, and 01Node, GammaX said in an announcement shared with Decrypt.
“Our mission is to create the world’s fastest, most complete, easiest to use, and most responsive exchange available to traders,” Defi Das, the anonymous co-founder of GammaX, said in a statement. “In order to achieve that, we are blending the best aspects of both centralized and decentralized exchanges.”
Over the past months, GammaX has been interviewing “hundreds of traders around the world […] to learn what they want in a next-generation perpetual futures exchange,” said the GammaX co-founder.
“What we are hearing is that many of the exchanges available in our industry fall short in a variety of areas when it comes to a top-notch trader experience,” added DeFi Das.
More specifically, GammaX says that to achieve lower latency and better user experience, the platform’s order book and matching engine are kept off-chain, while settlement and custody of user funds are handled on-chain through smart contracts.
“Completely decentralized counterparts are still not able to serve a sufficient user experience for traders, because blockchain infrastructure is still in its maturing phase. Once blockchain infrastructure has caught up, we may revise this decision,” GammaX’s vice president of marketing James Ryan told Decrypt.
Fee-free trades with GammaX
Unlike many other decentralized exchanges built on Ethereum, GammaX is built on StarkWare’s layer-2 solution called StarkEx—a trading engine supporting a range of services, including derivatives trading.
Some examples of the applications deployed on StarkEx include dYdX, a popular margin trading platform that follows the order book model, NFT-centric projects Immutable and Sorare, as well as the spot decentralized exchange (DEX) DeversiFi.
GammaX says perpetual contracts trading requires rapid price feed updates amongst a variety of trading pairs. Gathering this info is impossible to scale on layer 1 in terms of speed and cost-effectiveness.
The StarkEx technology also brings other competitive advantages, such as an ability to keep the trades fee-free. The only time a user needs to pay transaction fees is when they make a deposit or withdraw funds from the GammaX smart contract.
According to Das DeFi, “Gamma symbolizes high-energy and speed in physics and also is used in options trading as a measure of acceleration, which is why we chose the name GammaX.”
“GammaX has an experienced, entrepreneurial team with a track record of bringing innovative products to market,” said StarkWare CEO and co-founder Uri Kolodny. “We look forward to working with them to usher in a new era of derivatives trading.”
GammaX beta launch
GammaX plans to open its testnet to beta testers over the next several weeks before launching on mainnet later this fall.
There will be only two trading pairs at the start—Bitcoin and Tether, and Ethereum and Tether—both tradeable with 20X leverage. GammaX is looking to expand the number of available pairs during the public testnet or mainnet release.
The same applies to the addition of new features: “This will be evaluated during the closed beta phase, where GammaX will work closely with traders to evaluate which features are most important to them and which features make their life much easier,” the project’s vice president of marketing James Ryan told Decrypt.
According to Ryan, “GammaX will be testing exotic derivatives, cross-collateral-margin, as well as intelligent liquidity algorithms to provide deep liquidity for a high number of trading pairs.”
In addition, similar to many other exchanges, GammaX is eyeing the launch of its own token with a rewards structure that, as the exchange says, will appeal to both beginner and advanced traders.
The incentives will include trading rewards, rewards for referrals, and the so-called “earn to learn” opportunities, a program focused on educating GammaX users and helping them master the nuances of crypto derivatives.