Crossing the Rubicon: July Monthly Update
Trading Contests, Layer 2 Developments, App Upgrades, and more in this month's update from the Rubicon team
July is over and we are now well into the Summer of Scaling™. Ethereum continues to scale, our team is making great development strides, and we had our first community events with two testnet trading contests! Let’s recap a busy month.
Testnet Trading Contests Recap
These contests were essentially hour-long simulations of Rubicon being live on mainnet, giving our team a great chance to stress test our app, monitor Rubicon Pools in production, and have a fun time chatting in our Discord with community members. On top of that, we got to reward the top traders in the Rubicon community with some USDC prizes. We got real feedback on our app, and community members walked away with USDC. Win-win!
It’s not very often that you can make real profits by trading on a test network. We had quite a few traders who took the contests very seriously, trying to maximize their PnL during the one-hour event. We also had quite a few traders who were simply there to have fun and spent the hour pumping and dumping tokens on our testnet to see if they could hit it out of the park. The optimal strategy seemed to be somewhere in the middle, as the top traders had to avoid losing it all in our very volatile testnet markets.
Learning from Users
Going into July, our team had the MVP of both our app and our protocol fully built. We decided to host these trading contests to get real-time user feedback and stress test our current production stack to prepare for launch. The team learned a lot during these contests, and the user recommendations and feature requests drove much of our development during the past month. We are convinced that talking to users is the best way to improve the Rubicon experience, and we take their feedback very seriously. Here’s just one example of how we react to user feedback.
Canceling Limit Orders
During the second contest, it became clear that a big pain point for traders was that they could not find where they could cancel an outstanding limit order in the app. We had multiple traders complain about this in Discord during the contest, and it was the most mentioned area of improvement in our post-contest feedback form. For context, you can cancel limit orders on the History page of our app. Our team thought this made sense, but it was clear that users did not agree! So the next day we immediately set out to find a better place for canceling limit orders in our app.
This example displays our commitment to being user-centric with our decision-making. At the end of the day, we are building for our users, not ourselves, so we have to let them decide what is best!
Making limit order canceling easier was just one of the dozens of great suggestions we got during the trading contests. Our team was so excited to see our community come together and make Rubicon better.
While Optimistic Ethereum is in its final rounds of testing before open mainnet, we continue to iterate and improve Rubicon across all fronts. We are overhauling almost every aspect of our app; our goal is still to be the smoothest trading experience in DeFi when we are live on Optimism. For our team, this means improving price charts, iterating the Portfolio view, and simplifying our transaction and onboarding flow.
It is no simple task to migrate new users to a layer 2 network, but we do our best to hold users’ hands through the process. We love watching layer 2 UX improve as a whole, with teams like Hop and Movr pushing the space forward with their cross-layer bridging and communication protocols. Using a fast bridge means you can skip the 1-week withdrawal delay on Optimism’s layer 2 by paying a small fee to a liquidity provider. And using a cross-layer communication protocol means you could trade on Rubicon on Optimism with assets on a completely different network. 🤯
On the protocol front, the contests were great simulations for Rubicon Pools. The random incoming order flow from the contest gave us great data, and we got to watch as our in-house trading strategy produced positive returns during the second contest! We will continue to tune our strategies and are excited to start working with external strategists. If you have some experience with quantitative trading, drop by and say hello in our Discord, we would love to show you how to borrow liquidity from Pools for your trading strategies!
We are now in the process of finalizing the protocol to exact OVM specifications. This means gas optimization work on our contracts as well as building and implementing what we believe is the first (?) OVM-compatible standard for transparent upgradeable proxies. The Rubicon protocol is fully ready to deploy on Optimism, and our team continues to use the data we collected during the contests to improve the performance of our contracts.
Rubicon is Live on Optimism Kovan!
The Rubicon app is live on Optimism’s Kovan test network. Anyone can connect their wallet and trade testnet markets, provide liquidity to Rubicon Pools, and get a feel for layer 2 trading. Once we are live on Optimism, Rubicon users will get the full experience of instant transactions and low fees, all with Ethereum’s level of security.
Head to app.rubicon.finance today and let us know in Discord how we can improve the trading experience! We would love your feedback.
Looking Towards Launch
Optimism is still finalizing the specifications of Optimistic Ethereum, giving us the opportunity to continue improving before we launch. We cannot give specific details right now, but we are optimistic that Rubicon’s Optimism launch will be soon™! As soon as we can give more exact dates we will, but until then keep an eye on official Rubicon channels like our Twitter and Telegram where we will announce launch details.
Reminder: Go to our website and join the waitlist to get early access to Rubicon’s Optimism launch!
Join the Rubicon Community
You can follow Rubicon on Twitter, check out our blog, and join our Discord and Telegram where you can drop in and chat with the team! And if you are inclined to check out the Rubicon protocol yourself, you can review all of our contracts on our Github. You can also reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alea iacta est.