Automated order books eliminate DeFi costs and match CEX capability

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by Sarah Jansen

DeFi may eliminate the middleman, but this was often at the expense of costly transactions and reduced functionality.

The decentralized finance (DeFi) industry continues to reach unprecedented highs, with daily volume of transactions increasing on a regular basis. Unfortunately, in spite of the billions of funds currently being crossed back and forth, decentralized exchanges (DEXs) are filled with apparent and invisible costs that are a hindrance to market activity.

Consequently, the future of DeFi requires eliminating the high transaction costs and limited functionality often associated with traditional DEXs. Among them is slippage, the price difference between a cryptocurrency’s quote price and the trader’s actual paid price. This is in addition to limited liquidity, expensive gas costs, lack of control over execution price, and the risk of front-running, which is done by malicious traders placing a transaction ahead of a trader based on insider knowledge of their future trade. Solving these concerns means DeFi could achieve parity to centralized exchanges (CEX), while removing the need for middlemen.

For example, with regards to the order book functionality: centralized trading platforms typically sort limit orders by price, from the highest to the lowest. The order book of BTC/USD trades, to name an example pair, will contain all the purchase and sale orders that have been placed on the exchange at different (limit) prices.

At the top of the book, users can find the highest bid for BTC, and at the bottom, the lowest ask prices; the middle of the book, where bids are closer to asks, will help determine the point at which a new market order will be executed. Slippage occurs when a market trade is larger than the amount available at the first level of the order book, or also when the bid and ask prices change before the exchange can execute the market order. Slippage essentially means the trader pays more than expected for their order.

Currently, all DEXs on DeFi only support market or spot orders, meaning when a trader swaps, they are at the mercy of market conditions, a factor completely out of their control. In DeFi, this concern is increasingly prominent given the sometimes extreme volatility in the market.

To mitigate the impact of volatility, investors using centralized exchanges will often execute a limit order, where the required target price is pre-set as a condition for the trade. The larger the size, the greater the benefit of a limit order compared to a market order. Unfortunately, executing a trade of this type was previously not possible in a decentralized environment.

From human-driven to automated

DeFi platforms currently offer primarily market order functionality, without order books or limit order capability. Much to users’ surprise, “limit orders” offered by DeFi platforms are simply executed as delayed market orders, with all the associated costs and implied inefficiency. Whereas limit orders are the pillar of centralized exchanges, attracting significant human work to enter and execute them, they have been missing in decentralized exchanges.

The appeal of DeFi is to democratize market-making on the blockchain so that any user can provide their own liquidity and let anyone else submit a buy or sell order through automated smart contract-operated trading networks, which ensure any trader can participate fairly. However, letting traders specify their target price while avoiding slippage and other costs has been a challenge in DeFi until now. 

Try as they might, DeFi platforms have typically only provided basic automation through smart contracts.  DEXs line up buy and sell orders, match and resolve trades, only failing to deliver on the experience users have come to expect on a centralized exchange when it comes to liquidity. Therefore, if DeFi ever wants to rise as the alternative to traditional finance, a solution that involves instantaneous order books is needed.

Removing DeFi trading costs for good

By using a DeFi order book, which is fully automated and decentralized, traders can finally avoid the costs of transacting on traditional DEXs. With their patent-pending solution, CivTrade provides a service that enables anyone to access the benefits of DeFi while maintaining equivalence to the functionality found on centralized exchanges like Binance while also boasting zero price impact, zero fees and even paying traders earnings while their order is open.

Using the CivTrade DApp, investors can not only execute market orders but also limit orders at their preferred target price, without any slippage, liquidity fees or other negative price impacts previously found on other DeFi platforms.

This solution supports over 4,000 tokens on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain and 1,000 on Polygon (MATIC), and eight wallet providers; whatever their preferred pair or price, traders have complete confidence that each trade is centered at the exact target price thanks to CivTrade’s implementation using a one-sided liquidity pool for each transaction. This not only eliminates costs but also pays liquidity fees to traders. As a result of the carefully crafted system design, the DApp already has $10 million traded, including an average gain of $1,820 per transaction compared to using a centralized exchange or other DeFi platforms. 

In the words of the Civilization team, “DeFi is the future, and CivTrade permanently removes the need for any market-making or OTC desks. By automating the order matching process with a scalable, anonymous solution at zero cost for traders, CivTrade marks the turning point wherein DeFi anyone can finally achieve anything a trading centralized exchange used to offer, but better, faster and cheaper.”

The team has since introduced CivTrade ProView, with the ability to turn DEX data into actionable insights, in what the team can only describe as an engineering “mini-miracle.” With ProView, users can unlock the benefits of an automated order book, interactive charts and order execution on the live page.

CivTrade is only the first of the products planned by Civilization. Future projects include CivFarm and CivFund, both of which will further improve the accessibility of DeFi.

Learn more about Civilization

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