Gravity Dex is one of the centrepieces of the Cosmos (ATOM) ecosystem.
Cosmos is a network of smart-contract blockchains linked together through hubs, such as the Cosmos hub. Communication between blockchains in the ecosystem is via the aptly named Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC) protocol. The protocol allows for transmission of both digital assets and data, so a decentralised cross-chain exchange - a.k.a Gravity Dex - is an obvious early use case.
Playing with Gravity
I accessed Gravity Dex through Emeris. This was initially slightly confusing to me as I had expected to be checking into something branded as The Gravity Dex, perhaps with astronauts floating off into space. However it seems that Gravity Dex is a protocol. Emeris is an interface. After a little research it looks like there could be many interfaces to the Gravity Dex.
Prior to accessing the site I transferred a small amount of ATOM to a new KEPLR wallet. I think it's always a good idea to start small when trying out new applications.
KEPLR is one of the recommended wallets for Cosmos and connecting to the app was no issue. However my wallet did notify me that I was enabling connection to a range of blockchains. I guess that this is necessary for a cross-chain Dex.
Initial impressions were that the interface is very clean and is generally intuitive to use. The first page (above - after the swap I made) is the portfolio page and shows the assets in my wallet. It also has a swap facility.
Other pages are:
- An Assets page, with a list of the assets handled by the app and the ability to send and receive those assets. Equivalent to the deposit and withdrawl page on a Cex.
- A liquidity pools page for all you farmers out there.
Swapping: Is that Akash AKT or Cosmos AKT?
My second moment of confusion came with the swap facility. I decided that I would swap a couple of ATOM (yes, 2!) for Akash (AKT) and stake the proceeds.
So the swap looks like this:
But is that what I want? The AKT are on Cosmos. Shouldn't they be on Akash?
I swapped anyway. $0.30 in total fees which, even with my minor-league $75 swap, is pretty good value! Slow mode took 30 seconds which I'm more than comfortable with. Then I went back to my KEPLR wallet to stake my AKT. And, of course, it did not work. I had no AKT.
Transferring: Cosmos AKT to Akash AKT
It's what I was expecting. Back I go to Emeris and dial up the assets page to send my Cosmos AKT to become Akash AKT on the Akash blockchain.
Another $0.19 in transaction fees, another 30 seconds, and I have my Akash on Akash.
Is it possible to do both these transactions at once? ATOM on Cosmos for AKT on Akash? I couldn't find a way but I'm sure it's in the works if it's not there already.
Back to KEPLR and my Akash are there for the staking. All done. Now I wait for the funds to roll in!
Thoughts on this cross-chain Dex
It's still very early. Emeris only launched in August. The app is in Beta.
But what is there is very clean, very quick, cheap, and pretty intuitive. At least once I got my head around the idea of the 2-dimensional nature of all tokens being represented on all blockchains.
The key point for me is that it all feels as easy and fast as transacting on a single blockchain.
There are currently only 14 assets on the app. I think that this is all the Cosmos ecosystem blockchains that are currently connected to the hub through IBC. Osmosis (a specialised DeFi blockchain on Cosmos) has the same assets.
The liquidity pool page needs work. There's only $40m in TVL currently and there are no APY quoted. How can I ape in to a pool if I don't know the APY? Again, this could be my misunderstanding but it certainly isn't clear. Osmosis also does much better here with a few hundred million in TVL.
Looking forward, for me the potential is huge. Currently the app has Cosmos blockchains and their tokens. However any external blockchain that implements the IBC communication protocol will also be able to link into this system.
The Gravity Bridge should be the first of these external links. This will be the IBC protocol implementation for Ethereum and potentially all EVM compatible blockchains - of which there are many. This could bring all ERC20 and BEP20 tokens into the Dex.
At that point, the days of centralised exchanges could well be numbered.
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