The first decentralized Forex market: ForDEX

Geminon
4 min readFeb 19, 2023

One of the four innovations Geminon has created in the last year is a fully decentralized exchange of stablecoins from different countries (ForDEX).

The mechanism created by Geminon is completely different from stablecoin exchanges (StableSwaps) like Curve:

  • StableSwaps are designed to trade two assets whose exchange price remains constant, usually USD-pegged stablecoins. On the other hand, ForDEX allows you to exchange currencies of different denominations, whose relative price is variable.
  • They are based on liquidity pools, while ForDEX does not need them: it provides infinite liquidity thanks to its algorithmic design.
  • StableSwaps have a limited ability to keep the swap price stable. If the asset balances of the pool stray too far from the breakeven point, they experience exponential price changes. The Geminon system has no such limitations.

Paradigm shift

One of the reasons that decentralized Forex markets have not been developed sooner is the monopoly held by stablecoins based on the US dollar. It was not until very recently that other alternatives, almost exclusively based on the euro, have begun to appear.

This situation of dominance of the USD as a reference stablecoin in the blockchain could change soon due to several factors:

  • Changes in the geopolitical order: the dollar is losing its status as the world’s reserve currency due to several factors. More and more countries are willing to use other alternatives for international payments.
  • Unfavorable regulation: the US government is adopting a hostile policy towards the crypto ecosystem. These actions will most likely drive adoption of non-dollar stablecoins.
  • Business adoption: In order for digital currency payments to be adopted by merchants in all countries, it is necessary that the different fiat currencies of those countries have representation in the form of a decentralized stablecoin.

At Geminon we are aware of this paradigm shift and for this reason we are beginning to create an ecosystem of stablecoins from all countries. Our deflationary currencies (USDI and EURI) have already been joined by versions of the dollar (USDG), euro (EURG), Chinese yuan renminbi (CNYG) and Japanese yen (JPYG), to which we will soon add others such as the Swiss franc, the pound sterling or the Indian rupee, to name just a few.

Geminon will thus become the first protocol to create a complete decentralized Forex market that is also interoperable on multiple blockchains.

Technical barriers

The main reason that decentralized stablecoins other than USD have not been developed sooner is the technical complexity of doing it securely.

Since, until very recently, the only centralized stablecoins in existence were pegged to the dollar, there was no price reference within the blockchain nor arbitrage possibility to maintain a peg to a currency other than the USD.

For this reason, in order to build decentralized stablecoins other than USD, it is necessary to use an external oracle (e.g. Chainlink) to obtain real-time prices of the fiat currencies that you want to replicate. However, due to the intrinsic characteristics of blockchain technology, there is a delay between the moment the price is observed in the market (real world) and the moment the data is written to the blockchain. The total time that this process lasts can be more than a minute in some networks.

Due to the delay with which the oracle reflects prices within the blockchain, it is theoretically possible for an attacker to make a risk-free profit by trading an asset whose price is set using this oracle. For this, it would only be necessary to observe the price of the asset in the real world, which would allow knowing in advance how its price will change on the blockchain in the immediate future (temporary arbitrage).

Therefore, the key to the creation of Geminon’s decentralized Forex market has been the development of an advanced security system that prevents this type of attack from being carried out. To find out more about how this system works, it is advisable to consult the technical documentation of the protocol:

Recap

Stablecoins are one of the three primitives on which the entire DeFi ecosystem is based, and probably the most important in terms of the adoption of this technology on a large scale. At Geminon we also believe that in order for such adoption to take place in the current context, there must be other stable currencies other than the dollar, as well as decentralized markets in which they can be exchanged without restrictions.

It is very likely that in some time we will begin to see different projects offering these alternatives appear on the market. For this reason, at Geminon we wanted to get ahead and be the first to do so.

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