The future of DeFi trading: Interview with Ran Yi
In our exploration of the NEAR developers’ landscape, we talked to Ran Yi, founder of Orderly Network. A decentralized trading infrastructure platform, Orderly Network was founded with a mission to create the most robust liquidity layer platform for any Decentralized Application (dApp) to use and build on.
Hi Ran – what is your background and how did you get into crypto?
I came from a traditional finance (TradFi) background and brought 14 years of experience in global asset management and seeding top quantitative funds.
After completing my BSc at Carnegie Mellon University and MBA at China Europe International Business School, I started my career with Freddie Mac from 2006 to 2008 as a Quant on the derivatives desk. One of the highlights of that career was witnessing, firsthand and from within the sector, events that led to the 2008 financial crisis.
Then I went on to work for 10 years in TradFi, within the asset management field. In 2017, I went into the field of cryptocurrency, rekindling with my friends from Carnegie Mellon, Jack Tan and Mark Pimentel, who started Kronos Research. I joined them as COO. I’d say that one of the reasons that I got into crypto is my big belief in decentralized finance (DeFi). I was responsible for Kronos’ and WOO Network’s (incubated by Kronos) push into DeFi, where I had the role of COO. From then, I founded Orderly Network in 2022.
DeFi and beyond
What prompted you to build a decentralized trading infrastructure platform?
Before telling more about Orderly Network, I want to highlight our goal of providing the most robust liquidity layer infrastructure for any dApp to utilize and build on. With the help of our incubators WOO Network and NEAR, we can leverage the knowledge and experience of both teams to achieve this vision.
One of the observations that prompted us to build Orderly Network, is the growing number of professional traders and market makers entering the DeFi space.
Centralized exchanges now are much better than four years ago when we first started Kronos, but decentralized infrastructure is still in the very early stages. AMMs are designed for retail traders and often don’t facilitate a more sophisticated trading strategy. Orderbook-style DEXs are in high demand, however, very few of them are currently able to provide the trading experience required, falling short on liquidity, speed of transactions, and cost of trading.
DYDX has done a great job. Kronos, our trading partner, trades on DYDX as one of the largest market makers. But DeFi infrastructure is still kind of missing key order book infrastructure.
Orderly Network can build this missing kind of multi-chain infrastructure for the future where there will be embedded liquidity and the apps can connect to that liquidity via order books within the shortest time possible, with the easiest experience, and then users on top should be able to trade just like they do on a centralized exchange.
Our overall thesis is that in the future DeFi is bigger than CeFi in the long run. This is because of its transparency, the web3 model of community governance, and its ability to provide benefits to stakeholders that create a much tighter network than a typical CeFi organization.
How can dApps utilize the Orderly Network?
As a decentralized infrastructure protocol, we offer frameworks in a series of products to break down the barrier of entry for building DeFi applications. We provide backend frameworks to builders so they can shift their focus to delivering a front end with a solid user experience. Orderly Network also cooperates with a wide array of world-class market makers to provide access to deep liquidity.
Developers will be able to tap into a long list of products when creating their decentralized applications. Whether they’re building a DEX, swaps, or an entirely new product, Orderly Network provides the tools necessary to power their DeFi platform.
Our permissionless infrastructure is available for all builders. Detailed information about client APIs is available in our . More guides and processes will be added as we continue to release the products listed on the Orderly roadmap.
Building on NEAR
How does Orderly Network leverage the NEAR ecosystem to solve the problems other on-chain derivative exchanges face?
We think that the on-chain trading experience has improved drastically in the last couple of years, but we still see some challenges that we could tackle. For example, DEX trading has high gas fees, commissions, and slippage; pro traders rarely trade on DeFi — they require fast and liquid markets, and there aren’t any white-labeling solutions for derivative DEXs.
To address these challenges, we plan to leverage the NEAR ecosystem. Orderly Network will be integrated with bridges such as Rainbow Bridge that will allow for smooth deposits/withdrawals from any layer one blockchain. The combination of orderbook efficiency and on-chain settlement allows Orderly Network to offer market-leading execution with low latency and minimal fees. Lastly, because we have cooperated with some of the largest market makers in the space, Orderly Network can launch with immediate access to deep liquidity.
Why did you choose to build on NEAR? What factors did you consider when evaluating the different blockchains?
NEAR is currently one of the most scalable, fast, and user-friendly Layer-1 blockchains in the space. This sort of technology is an ideal match for supporting an order book trading platform. As one of the fastest-growing L1s, the total number of transactions on the chain has skyrocketed, with 200 million total transactions reached and just crossed 20 million active wallets.
Users aside, NEAR is also gaining traction with developers. One of the reasons for this is that NEAR is Rust-compatible and the network is incredibly cheap. This is a prerequisite for any sort of on-chain derivatives platform.
Future plans for Orderly Network
What’s next for Orderly Network? Can you give us a glimpse into the next 12 months?
The year 2022 was a great start for us, having launched into the mainnet, among other achievements such as the recent funding and support from Laser Digital. The next stage of development is heading towards perpetual futures that will be available to builders in Q1 of 2023.
- Q1 2023: Perpetual trading and on-chain orderbook
- Q2 2023: Community pool, lending, borrowing, and swaps
- Q3 2023: Asset bridging and options
After the integrated support for additional wallets in the last quarter of 2022, we’ll be moving the orderbook infrastructure for DEX’s on-chain in Q1 2023. This is another step towards decentralization as we continue on our mission to empower the user through decentralized finance structures and applications.
We are currently in advanced talks with multiple DEX partners and will be onboarding projects from both within and outside of the NEAR ecosystem. Besides DEXs, we are engaging with wallets, GameFi projects, and NFT marketplaces to support their liquidity needs with our upcoming swap function that is due to be released in Q2 2023.
We’re also planning to support their traditional finance (TradFi) audiences with custodians and institutional players. This has significant relevance to the growth of DeFi by opening the door to solving some of the current problems of TradFi.