Members of the cryptocurrency community interested in trading ERC-20 tokens are currently well served as there are a number of centralized and decentralized exchanges that facilitate the trading of Ethereum based tokens. Radar Relay is another decentralized option that allows for the trustless trading of ERC-20 tokens via the 0x Protocol.

By using Radar Relay, traders can send orders to the market and wait for them to be matched. Thus, bypassing all intermediaries, and trading directly from their wallets in a peer to peer fashion.

Radar Relay Review

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Radar Relay Overview

The team behind Radar Relay is based in Fort Collins, Colorado, in the United States and headed by CEO Alain Curtis. The company was founded in 2017 and the Radar Relay Beta App launched soon after in August 2017. Notable team members include CTO Mike Roth, CCO Brandon Arthur Roth (CCO), and COO Devin Eldridge.

The project has raised $13m in total after receiving $3m in December 2017 during a Seed funding round, and a further $10m during a Series A funding round in August 2018. Investors and supporters of the project include renowned blockchain venture funds such as Blockchain Capital, Batship Crazy Ventures, Breyer Capital, Digital Currency Group, Kindred Ventures, Notation Capital, Sparkland Capital, and Reciprocal Ventures.

Radar Relay operates as a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange platform that makes use of the 0x protocol to allow its users to trade Ethereum based tokens directly from Web3 or compatible hardware wallets. The platform also acts as an order relayer, operates an order book and relays orders between peers without holding its users’ assets in custody. Radar Relay competes with other decentralized or non custodial exchanges such as DDEX, ForkDelta, IDEX, Airswap, and Kyber Network.

Radar Relay Key Features

  • Functionality – Radar Relay uses a well designed interface that incorporates a variety of features expected of a next generation decentralized exchange. These include detailed charting options, an order book, a depth chart, and price and market trade charts. Radar Relay also provides access to their API which allows for trading bot and automated trade integration. While the off-chain order book linked to Ethereum smart contracts allows users to trade continuously without having to wait for transactions to mine.
  • Security –Radar Relay facilitates wallet to wallet trading and never takes custody of user tokens. In the case of a mishap, tokens stay accessible in user wallets, and there are no escrows or access restrictions. Users can trade via their Metamask or Trezor and Ledger wallets and aren’t required to create accounts, share personal information, or make deposits. The use of secure wallets and smart contracts helps to significantly reduce the number of failure points, and strengthen the platform’s resilience to malicious actors and hackers.
  • Trading Options – Radar Relay provides a good range of trading options and users have access to the fee free trading of over 190 coins as well as features such as limit and market orders, order sharing, and in app transfers. The option to short Ethereum on the platform also appeals to more experienced traders. The platform is also available in Chinese, Korean, Japanese, or Russian.
  • High Liquidity – The platform relays orders between peers while the 0x Protocol moves tokens between wallets. This allows for a high level of liquidity as relayers share order books, connect to each other, and create larger liquidity pools. As the 0x protocol handles order settlement, it leaves the relayers free to actively work together.
  • Customer Support – A support team is available to deal with any queries or issues, and users can submit support tickets on the Support The support section also has a detailed selection of FAQs and the team also provide a Learn resource page with links to more detailed explanations. The team can also be contacted via their Twitter account and Telegram group. In addition, there is also a good amount of information on the project contained in the 0x Reddit page.

How to Use Radar Relay

1) Open the App

When you first visit the site, you’ll see the green “Open App” tab at the top right of the screen. Clicking on this button will open up the trading platform in a new window.

2) Connect a Wallet

You’ll then be greeted by a pop up Set up Guide that that will give you the option to watch an “Overview” video, “Connect a Wallet”, “Wrap ETH”, or “Enable Trading”.

If you don’t see the Setup Guide, the main page also has a tab at the top right of the screen that allows users to connect a wallet.

You can then select a wallet to connect.

Logging in via Metamask is the simplest option, and after you log in your account will automatically connect to Radar Relay.

3) Wrap ETH

After clicking “Next”, you’ll be prompted to wrap ETH.

Enter the amount of ETH you’d like to wrap, click on the green “Wrap” button, and then confirm the request in your Metamask account. When this is done you can click “Next”.

4) Make your Tokens Tradable

You must grant permission for the app to trade your tokens before the smart contracts can execute.

To do this, click on the green “Next” button and then confirm the request in your Metamask account.

Once this is done your tokens will be tradable and you can navigate the trading dashboard in order to trade your preferred tokens. You can also switch between the “Trade”, “Account”, and “Market” tabs in order to analyse trading volumes and your account activity and order progress.

Supported Currencies and Fees

As an Ethereum based exchange, Radar Relay specializes in ERC-20 tokens. There are over 190 coins listed and around 350 trading pairs with well established coins such as OMG, BAT, and REP all being supported. Popular tokens such as ICX, LINK, and MKR are also listed and trades on the platform are conducted via the base pairs of Wrapped Ethereum (WETH) and the DAI stablecoin and the vast majority of trading volume is currently accounted for by the WETH/DAI pairing.

Radar Relay currently operates as a fee free platform with users only being required to pay gas costs for transactions. However, the team have stated that they will announce when fees are turned on once again, as they originally announced plans to incorporate maker/taker fees of 0.45%/0.70% which were payable in ZRX tokens. These charges took place when orders were settled on the Ethereum blockchain; however, fees were halted in November 2017 and still haven’t returned to the platform.

Gas fees are generally low and remain adjustable; they are applied to the wrapping and unwrapping of ETH, the filling of an existing order, the cancelling of an order, and for transferring coins to and from your wallet.

What is Wrapped ETH (wETH)?

Ether or ETH is the native currency of the Ethereum blockchain; however the ERC-20 token standard was developed after the release of ETH and therefore, ETH doesn’t actually conform to the ERC-20 standard as it’s an older currency. This causes an issue when transferring tokens via smart contracts and trying to maintain a consistent record of token transfers across the Ethereum Network.

As a result, it’s necessary to “wrap” ETH and use wETH in order to trade ETH for other ERC-20 tokens on Radar Relay. The use of Ethereum smart contracts to conduct trades directly between users requires each user to have the same standardized format for every tradable token to help prevent tokens from getting lost in the process.

By wrapping ETH, users can trade directly with other ERC-20 tokens and the process simply involves trading ETH via a smart contract for an equal amount of wETH tokens. When you are ready to switch back to ETH you “unwrap” ETH by trading it for wETH once again.

The wrapping and unwrapping process simply involves trading in and out of the wETH token before and after you trade on Radar Relay.

How Does Radar Relay work?

Radar Relay acts as a relayer dApp (decentralized application) and makes use of the 0x open trading protocol. This helps to create a standardized system based on the Ethereum network and to facilitate trustless, peer to peer trading. Token owners trade directly with each other from their Ethereum wallets, and orders are cryptographically signed by the token owners to maintain security, and are only broadcast to the chain once all changes are final.

0x relayers share the same core infrastructure and mainly differ in their choice of User Interface (UI) and allow users to share liquidity information, find, place, and fill orders while the 0x trade protocol provides the tools needed to execute trades on the blockchain via smart contracts. This process allows multiple order books and token owners to interact to create a significantly larger liquidity pool.

How can I short Ethereum?

While best suited to more experienced traders, Radar Relay does allow users to trade short tokens such as Short Ethereum or sETH.  The sETH token was built on the dYdX protocol and represents a short position abstracted in an Ethereum token. The price of sETH increases as the price of ETH declines and users can trade short tokens directly from their wallets in exactly the same as all other ERC-20 tokens and this feature does away with much of the complexity surrounding shorting.

The entire process from creation to settlement takes place via decentralized technology and for a more detailed explanation on short tokens the team have created the Short Tokens educational site which contains information on token expiration dates, inverse price action, and asset redemption.

Is Radar Relay Safe?

Radar Relay doesn’t actually move your assets, and simply broadcasts orders to the market, and finds people with orders that match yours. Any subsequent trades are conducted by token holders via smart contracts with the transactions being cryptographically signed once all the details are finalized. Users’ assets stay in their wallets and even if the site went down, they would still hold onto their funds.

The platform also incorporates Metamask and the Trezor and Ledger Nano hardware wallets, and this helps to ensure the highest levels of security as these wallets allow users to trade without having to reveal their private keys. This also helps to lessen the effectiveness of URL hijacking, or domain name service provider attacks as there is no requirement to manually enter your private keys when using the app.

Radar Relay aims to transform each user into their own cryptocurrency exchange and do away with various centralized points of failure by cutting out any unnecessary middlemen and intermediaries which also helps to eliminate counterparty risk.

Pros

  • Non custodial – Radar Relay does not hold onto your funds and doesn’t require its users to open an account, share any personal information, or make a deposit in order to trade. Users can access the site and simply integrate an already existing wallet.
  • Wide range of tokens– The platform currently supports 190 coins and 349 trading pairs, and presents a good range of options for anyone looking to trade ERC-20 tokens.
  • Low-cost trading – Trading only incurs gas fees which go to miners on the Ethereum network. This compares well to the majority of other exchanges.
  • Strong backing – Radar Relay is well supported by a number of influential blockchain venture funds and raised capital via private investment rounds. This allows the team to operate with a significant amount of fiat and to not have to worry about the diminishing value of Ethereum, thus safeguarding the short to medium term life of the project.

Cons

  • Only ERC-20 tokens – Users are restricted to trading ERC-20 tokens against WETH/DAI and there’s no possibility to trade popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, XRP, Litecoin, or Monero.
  • Slight learning curve – The process of wrapping ETH is new to most people and not everyone has a MetaMask or Ledger wallet when starting out.
  • Low liquidity on certain tokens – Trading volumes and liquidity on certain trading pairs may be significantly lower than those on centralized exchanges.
  • No trading custom tokens by contract address – Users are unable to add custom tokens and must wait for the team to list tokens on the platform.

Conclusion

Radar Relay is an Ethereum dApp that allows users to trade ERC-20 tokens directly from their wallets. The service doesn’t require users to give up their private keys, or provide any personal information, and only requires users to connect via Metamask or a compatible hardware wallet. The platform is fee free and offers a wide range of Ethereum based tokens, and therefore suits anyone interested in trading ERC-20 tokens.

New users may take some time to get used to the site and going through the process of wrapping ETH in order to make trades. They may also be unfamiliar with using Metamask or Trezor and Ledger wallets; however, the Radar Relay team provides enough guides and resources to help people navigate the process.

The platform also competes with a number of decentralised exchanges that serve the Ethereum network and users can choose between IDEX, ForkDelta, Paradex, Kyber Network and Ethfinex. Radar Relay offers a good choice of coins and has a modern, innovative UI which should appeal to traders of all levels, while the ability to short ETH and engage with more complex financial instruments should help to attract more experienced traders.

Radar Relay is a good option for anyone looking to trade ERC-20 tokens directly from their wallet, and benefit from the security that comes with using the Metamask browser extension or Ledger and Trezor hardware wallets. While it may have a slight learning curve for complete beginners, the platform represents a good way to get acquainted with peer to peer trading and the mechanics of exchanging digital assets on the Ethereum network.

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Radar Relay

8.4

Ease of Use

8.0/10

Reputation

9.0/10

Fees

9.0/10

Customer Support

8.0/10

Payment Methods

8.0/10

Pros

  • Non Custodial
  • Wide range of tokens
  • Low-cost trading
  • Strong backing

Cons

  • Only ERC-20 tokens
  • Slight learning curve
  • Low liquidity on certain tokens
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Posted by Eugene Kem

Rational economist with a passion for the transformative potential of digital currencies.


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