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2020 in Review


2020 was a huge year for dYdX! We built and launched our first protocol for Perpetual Contracts, saw many thousands of new traders use dYdX, and increased our trade volume by 40x.

In the second half of 2020, we’ve been building a new product for Perpetual Contracts on Layer 2, powered by StarkWare’s Zero Knowledge Rollups.

A Year of Records

  • Total cumulative trade volume across Spot, Margin, and Perpetuals increased 40x reaching $2.5 billion in 2020, up from $63 million in 2019.

  • Over $1.9 billion in trade volume in Margin and Spot markets, and over $563 million in trade volume in Perpetual Contract markets since the new protocol was launched in April.

  • Volumes on our Perpetual Contracts grew as a percentage of total volume, accounting for 41% of total trading volume in December.

  • Over $17.4 billion in loans were originated from dYdX lending pools.

  • Unique wallets depositing funds into dYdX’s smart contracts increased by 4.8x from 8,000 to 38,588 wallets through December 31.

  • We hired 6 new team members, across Design, Engineering, and Growth.

These are important milestones for dYdX. Our decentralized exchange infrastructure combines non-custodial, on-chain settlement with an off-chain low-latency matching engine using order books. This allows us to deliver an institutional-grade, liquid, and low slippage trading experience for the DeFi world. Our products empower traders to better manage risk, more efficiently allocate capital, and express complex opinions on price & volatility.

Our goal is to become the largest & most technologically robust exchange — period. To do this we’re building a Layer 2 system with StarkWare enabling cross-margined Perpetuals, allowing for significant improvements to trading at scale. Our engineering teams are collaborating on a scaling solution based on StarkWare’s StarkEx scalability engine and our Perpetuals smart contracts.

The Layer 2 solution dramatically improves blockchain scalability by allowing any type of computation to move off-chain, while using the Ethereum blockchain as a public immutable commitment layer. StarkWare’s integration with dYdX combines STARK proofs for data integrity with on-chain data availability to ensure a fully non-custodial protocol.

Our new Perpetual Contracts will be ready soon. We are targeting an alpha launch in early February 2021 with a full production launch shortly thereafter. We are focused on delivering the best user experience and providing our traders with significantly lower gas costs, and in turn, lower trading fees. We will also be able to rapidly launch & spin up new trading pairs, allowing traders access to the exposure they want, when they want.

We see massive growth for Perpetual markets on decentralized exchanges, and we are hyper focused on being the market leader. Perpetuals are an exciting use case for blockchains, and we’re thrilled to be building a critical component of DeFi. We believe DEXs will continue to gain market share in relation to CEXs due to decreased switching costs, simple onboarding, better UI & UX, increased security guarantees, and more attractive trading products.

We’re excited about the future of finance and hope you will join us on our journey.

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