Prior to AirSwap’s public sale on Oct. 10 (or yesterday), many interested in the decentralized exchange (DEX) space have questioned the redundancy of AirSwap in favor of 0x, which conducted its successful sale back in August. After some research, the two protocols seem to complement each other in the same space because they approach decentralized exchange from opposite ends of the spectrum. Their design differences will initially cater to separate niches in the same market, but their subsequent participation in community efforts is what ultimately determines the leader.
Before we get into the details, here’s a table illustrating their initial strategies to the market:Table compiled from 0x whitepaper, 0x online FAQ, AirSwap whitepaper, and AirSwap blogpost. Order Book vs. Indexer
To facilitate token exchanges, 0x uses order books to keep track of orders, which are left unsigned by makers until takers complete them. The order books can be private or public, and traders can choose the order books they wish to trade on. Because the orders involve no additional step to finalize, 0x’s approach favors speed and can accommodate automated trading. Further, even faster speed can be accomplished if the selected order book supports Centralized Matching, automatically matching orders with identical counterparts.
In contrast, traders on AirSwap use Indexer to solicit token exchanges. Makers and takers post their “intent to trade” for specific tokens, without specifying their desired exchange rate. When a match for a token-pair exchange is identified, AirSwap then pushes both parties to negotiate via its Peer protocol for an agreed-upon exchange rate . If an agreement is unlikely, counterparties can query an Oracle protocol for “a fair price suggestion.” The specifics on how this protocol can deliver “a fair price suggestion” is unclear at this point.
It is worth noting that the AirSwap team advertises its Indexer a...