Development AMA: February 9th 2022

Hello, everyone. I’m Andrew and I’m the Marketing Manager for Orion Protocol! Before we jump into our AMA, let’s take a look at what we’ve achieved this month. It’s been an incredible month from both a development and awareness standpoint.

  • Launch of single network view - one single view of assets across chains
  • Launch of Orion Bridge V1 - the first peer to peer atomic swap bridge and the most secure bridge in market
  • Launch of Orion Bridge V2 - Orion Bridge has been integrated into Orion Terminal for near feeless trading of ERC20 assets
  • New assets to Orion Bridge - new assets have already been added (COMP and MATIC) with more to be added each week

We also deployed our governance staking lock up - with staking unlock fees to be distributed to stakers to increase the governance APR. we’ll touch more on that in the AMA (as well as governance fees - finally!).

From an awareness standpoint, we were featured in the likes of Yahoo, Yahoo Finance, MarketWatch, Business Today, Benzinga, and others - our Orion Bridge release was picked up and shared by 321 publications in total. Meanwhile: 
social dominance was up 439%, 
social volume was up 116%,
Bullish sentiment on social up 138%, 
Twitter volume up 120%,
And we became the top token on LunarCrush by Galaxy Score.

You all, as our community, play an integral role in this! the network effect is a powerful tool - we’ve seen many of you tweeting and sharing and appreciate each of you doing so. To those who aren’t yet, let’s remember how integral social sentiment is to the market, and how every tweet / post / share / video view counts!

So, on to our development AMA. remember, we’re answering your questions, so if you’d like us to discuss a certain topic - make sure to submit your questions ahead of the AMA! We’ve grouped these in to five sections:

  • Orion Bridge
  • New chain integrations
  • New assets + liquidity sources
  • Governance and staking
  • B2B solutions

Orion Bridge

A BIG HACKING INCIDENT happened with WORMHOLE BRIDGE resulting to loss of Funds($300Million).  So, can the ORION Community have assurance that it will not happen with your newly deployed product, ORION BRIDGE? It seems that it is not yet tested on a Massive Scale?

This is extremely important to highlight. Unlike other bridges that are susceptible to exploitation due to requiring minting and wrapping, Orion uses peer-to-peer atomic swap technology. Atomic swaps are automatic exchange contracts that allow two parties to immediately exchange two assets on different blockchains. On Orion Bridge, there's no wrapping or minting of assets - ever, so we aren't prone to exploitation like Multichain, Wormhole, and Qubit.  Instead, Orion Bridge enables immediate swapping of one L1 asset for another L1 asset. 

The atomic swap mechanism of Orion Bridge is based on HTLC (Hash-Time Locked Contracts). The output of a transaction on the bridge can only be spent by the receiver (broker) if the sender (user) tells them the secret, and only within a certain time fixed in the transaction. If this does not happen within the specified period of time, then the user will be able to send the transaction for withdrawal. The one who creates this contract creates a secret (without revealing it) and in the contract itself, only addresses A, B, hash H of the secret, and the period of time during which the contract can be “opened” using the secret are indicated. Users don’t lose ownership of their funds until they receive the corresponding asset on their chosen network. So, neither party can cheat at any stage of the transaction. 

Peer-to-peer enables true decentralization: the direct exchange of an asset between individual parties without the involvement of a central authority. Unlike other bridges dependent on centralized entities and validators and therefore prone to 51% attacks and other vulnerabilities, Orion Bridge uses atomic swap assets with only one counterparty - one of our growing network of brokers. As such, each user is an equivalent owner of and contributor to the bridge, and this will only improve with more users. With transactions recorded on every peer's network, it's computationally impractical to overwrite or falsify transactions.

Other bridges may currently offer more chains and assets, but leave their users vulnerable to loss and exploitation. What we are building lays the foundation for truly decentralized cross-chain trading, without compromising assets. As Orion Bridge grows to include more assets and chains, and as other bridges continue to succumb to exploitation, we plan to become the leading cross-chain bridge in market: eventually enabling users to trade any asset across any chain without limits, delays, refused orders, or exploits. 

Can you explain the meaning of crosschain liquidity and settlement?

The meaning is very simple - you can now use your BSC balance to trade on CEXes, which initially do not support withdrawing funds to BSC wallets. The launch of Kucoin on BSC (an exchange that does not currently support BSC) is another step in this direction. The idea is simple - client places order using his BSC balance, Aggregator routes his order on Kucoin, broker actually executes this order on Kucoin. At this moment the broker creates counter order from its balances, Aggregator creates the trade which changes client balance. Broker withdraws received assets from Kucoin to its BSC balance in batches. This is the crux of this task and we have successfully solved it and deployed it yesterday.


New chain integrations

What other blockchains can we expect to be added into the Orion ecosystem prior to the mainnet launch?
At the moment we are concentrating on the integration of Fantom - that is our priority and the team is working very well on this. We expect to complete the Fantom integration in the nearest future. There's no known barriers for now. Our current consideration is more focused on which assets we’ll be supporting from the Fantom chain.

Fantom and several others in the pipeline are Ethereum based blockchains and therefore EVM compatible, so our smart contracts and infrastructure of the base services can be deployed seamlessly. Beyond that we will be including our other chain partners such as Cardano, Avalanche, HECO, Polkadot, and Elrond. Integration with other EVM blockchains is more of a routine than a serious technical challenge. Non-EVM compatible chains are more difficult, but still in the works.

Will the ORN token be available on the Fantom blockchain? If so, can we stake ORN on the Fantom blockchain?

Yes! We are exploring this as part of the integration.

What are the advantages from implementing a layer 2 like Matic/Polygon?

L2 is primarily intended to reduce fees, which are currently extremely high on Ethereum. However, we are working to achieve this by other means (Orion Bridge) and L2 solutions have a number of drawbacks (for example, withdrawing tokens from Tier 2 bridges can take up to a week). We continue to explore L2 solutions like Polygon and will keep our community updated.


New Assets + Liquidity Sources

What is involved in adding new assets to the terminal and what are the targets for new asset and chain integrations (e.g. 10 new assets per week and 1 new chain per month)? If the process is streamlined, can we expect an increase in the speed of integrations?

We don’t have a “public” target number as this depends on a number of factors. Our latest CEX integration will bring dozens of new assets to the terminal (plus liquidity for existing assets). Ascendex integration is completed and its in the final stage of testing. We are going to release this in the nearest future. Meanwhile, we added two new assets to the bridge yesterday, and will continue to add assets weekly.

Could you give an update on the integration of DEX's?

This is our priority task, but we’re going to release VOBs (virtual orderbooks) first. These are close to deployment, and one of the hardest things to work on to date. Via Virtual Orderbooks, we can ‘populate’ orderbooks by liquidity from complex swaps for better price and negative spread. 

For example, the ORN - ETH orderbooks could show orders from ETH - LINK (or any other asset) by the complex swap of ORN - LINK - ETH. 

From the user point of view, virtual levels of liquidity will be no different than ordinary ones, but will increase the volume of liquidity on the pairs, reduce the spread to negative, and simplify the tracking of arbitrage. 

Uniswap V2 integration has not been so simple - as Boris said it’s less about the integration itself - but the homogenization of orderbooks alongside centralized orderbooks. Virtual Orderbooks also will more effectively enable us to aggregate orderbooks of swap pools, hence why we are deploying this first. after we complete it, we will be able to integrate other Uniswap forks quickly and almost for free.



Governance + Staking

Are the staking fees that are collected, distributed directly to the holders or does this even happen on a special day?
As the market increasingly moves towards the veNomics model of incentivizing and rewarding long-term staking, we will be launching a progressive staking scheme - incentivizing long term staking with higher APRs. In the meantime, governance APR will be increased as of next week. The ORN collected from stake unlock fees and governance pool fees will be added to governance APR weekly.

For full transparency, could u explain what happened with the Governance Vote, ORN tokens and early investors?
Orion began its transition towards becoming a DAO, a decentralized autonomous organization to enable ORN holders to determine the future of Orion and govern the protocol through voting by stakers. The end result meant that the community voted in favour of removing bonus tokens amounting to 6.9 million ORN (7%) which was permanently removed from the total supply. This event was the first of several governance voting procedures that will be in place.


B2B solutions

What will be next B2B Solution you aim to launch?

We have several solutions in the works right now: 

  • The Wallet Swap SDK, which we have spoken about quite extensively, is awaiting the Fantom integration into Orion Terminal. This will serve as the infrastructure to bring Orion liquidity to millions of wallet users.
  • The Whitelabel DEX has been built and created for a major centralized exchange and is ready for launch (in line with the CEX’s launch plans). We are however going to continually update the interface inline with the new terminal redesign, so the Whitelabel DEX is not only unique and powerful in its offering (decentralized access to a CEX’s liquidity), but with an incredible UI/UX.
  • Another solution we have not yet shared (but is close to deployment) is Orion Widget, which will enable sites (like Coin Market Cap and Coin Gecko) to allow trading directly from their site.



Other Questions

Smart contracts are susceptible to attacks & projects fall victim to these exploitations, costing users money & project discrediting. How reliable/secure is your project? Have u tested it well enough to withstand attacks?

Orion uses secure smart contracts to carry our trades through our decentralized brokerage. We are repeatedly audited by the industry standard of CertiK, both on the Terminal itself, staking and everything connected to Orion. This ensures Orion is safe to use in all circumstances. Orion is one of the highest CertiK security audited projects with a score of 96 out of 100.

Why is the project not open source and findable on GitHub?

Although Orion will be entirely open source, we have private GitHub repositories for the time being while we work on new solutions yet to be released. What we are building and deploying (decentralizing centralized liquidity, atomic swap bridge, virtual orderbooks, and more) is all proprietary technology unique to us. We do not want to share the complete inner workings of all of this until our solution is more established in market.

When can end-users expect the release of Orion's mobile app and what kind of features can we look forward to?

Before deploying a mobile app, we are updating and optimizing the terminal itself. This is currently being redesigned by Helios, and we plan to start implementation of the new design this week! Once this has been deployed, we can finalize and launch our mobile app.


So that's it from all of us for this Dev AMA - I'd like to thank Denis for coming on and answering all of your different questions. We're working on some amazing stuff during the week, both in different content that we're putting out, the developers, and all the work they're making behind the scenes. 

And keep an eye out this week for more information on next steps towards main net staking. Thanks again for joining us and we'll see you next time.


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