Project Serum has attracted considerable traction and built a passionate and excited ecosystem while generating >$5.5B in trading volume since its inception in September 2020.
Serum has accomplished important milestones in less than a year. The Serum DEX has proven its capability not only as a fast, cheap and intuitive exchange, but also as a keystone financial primitive powering an entire ecosystem of financial and other real-world services.
Serum DEX’s on-chain central limit order book and matching engine provides liquidity and price-time-priority matching to traders and composing projects. Protocol fees flow back to Serum and accrue as value to SRM holders. Because DeFi allows for these partner projects to also compose with each other, the resultant synergistic value positions Serum as (1) the go-to trading portal and financial ecosystem for the wider Solana environment and (2) the candidate for an on-chain ecosystem capable of servicing 1 billion users and $10 trillion of on-chain value — a symbolic and ambitious milestone.
Serum’s ultimate milestone has never changed. On the other hand, the means towards reaching this goal have shifted. These changes are in response to feedback from users, institutional clients, and ecosystem partners trading, composing or indirectly integrating with Serum’s CLOB. Such changes are natural for a young ecosystem and blockchain.
Below is an overview of Serum’s progress in the past year followed by the new roadmap milestones. These milestones may once again change in order to better accommodate Serum’s ecosystem projects and meet the needs of the DeFi and ‘real-world’ communities.
- SRM was launched in August of 2020 on major exchanges.
- The on-chain DEX proved capable of ultra fast settlement, extremely cheap gas fees, and spot trading.
- Major market makers have provided liquidity since day one.
- Solana cross-chain bridge: Wormhole — bi-directional bridge between SPL and ETH, support for Terra to follow.
- An active wallet ecosystem emerged thanks to concentrated efforts on sollet.io wallet and, more recently, Phantom wallet (inspired by the former).
A diverse GUI ecosystem also emerged. In the spirit of DeFi, participants are invited to compose with Serum DEX and host their own GUIs along with specialized ancillary features to create an enriched trading experience. Bonfida is a prime example.
The EcoSerum Grants program was initiated to incentivize and incubate promising projects which are building on Serum or otherwise contribute to the ecosystem, development of the DEX, and the Serum and Solana communities.
To further attract and inspire developers to build on Serum, a number of public resources were set up in the Project Serum GitHub repository, including:
- Anchor, a framework for Solana’s Sealevel runtime which provides several convenient developer tools which create a much easier experience for new builders on Serum.
- A list of popularly requested Project Ideas with accompanying bounties.
- Serum Swap as a codebase for others to build on.
Phase Three — Where Serum is Now
Serum is a proven exchange and liquidity provider for a dApp ecosystem that benefits from the on-chain CLOB and matching engine. We are currently on Serum DEX V3, launched in the beginning of March, which greatly reduces dependency on the request queue and ensures that the order books are always up to date.
For the past year, those working with Serum have also released:
- A new Serum Swap program that is built directly on the Serum orderbook (and is not an AMM). The program is an educational resource and starting point for people who want to write Solana programs to compose with Serum DEX.
- A staking program accessible via web page where users can stake SRM on-chain for yield (locked and unlocked).
- A multisig which will be used to govern program and IDL upgrades for Serum Programs, including the multisig itself.
- Improvements to the sollet.io wallet, including a new sollet.io Chrome extension. The Swap (or ‘convert’) feature was added to sollet.io, allowing users to swap directly on Serum DEX. Developers can also host the Swap and receive a portion of all fees.
- TradingView charts were added on dex.projectserum.com to create a more immersive and intuitive trading experience.
- $5.51B of volume since inception
- Regular $100M+ in daily volume
- 969 Serum V3 markets as of June
- Serum books are as thick or thicker than Binance or Huobi
Our ultimate vision for Serum hasn’t changed: we want to gear DeFi up for mainstream adoption by building the infrastructure needed to support trillion dollar industries with billions of users. We still have a ways to go, but for reasons you are probably well aware of: Serum remains a primary contender for the ecosystem most likely to achieve this.
What do we need to get there? Over this last year, we’ve been blown away by the growth and achievements of the Solana and Serum communities. Going forward, we want to double down on empowering projects and teams involved in the Serum ecosystem to do as much as they can.
In many industries, the idea that collaboration between participants will propel their space forward can feel like an empty aphorism. In ours, however, it’s clearly true. Projects can see huge gains by sharing CLOB-based liquidity, by building and composing on the same shared programs, and by developing the decentralized services we suspect will be necessary for future projects, including those we haven’t thought of yet.
To that end, we are partnering with other ecosystem participants to roll out DEX upgrades, introduce new financial primitives to the Serum ecosystem, and reduce the barrier to entry for getting a Serum project up and running.
Here they are:
Direct Serum DEX upgrades:
- Options for reduced fees; to be used in, for instance, stablecoin <> stablecoin markets: available for teams that are building stableswap protocols that compose with Serum
- Permissioned markets: the ability to restrict which accounts can trade on a market
- Automatic settlement using associated token accounts
Derivatives on Serum:
- Perpetual future products: 2022Q1–2022Q2
- Borrow-lending, with support for a wide swath of collateral tokens: 2021Q4–2022Q1
- Spot margin: 2022Q1–2022Q2
- Decentralized cranking coordination so that new projects can avail of existing crank services
- Fully decentralized Serum buy and burn
- Scaling up grantmaking
- Decentralizing the grantmaking progress
Institutional access, liquidity providing:
- Building out standardized API interfaces to the Serum DEX and projects in the Serum Ecosystem, supporting REST, websocket, and FIX access
- Onboarding CeFi partners
- Market maker incentive programs, including for use by new projects composing with existing markets
- Optimizing RPC server performance for common DEX operations