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ApeX Pro x Chainstack: DAC and failsafe fund retrieval mechanism

Fostering reliability and trust in high-performance cross-chain trading with StarkEx

Our collaboration with Chainstack has been significant, fortifying ApeX Pro’s security and reliability while enhancing user trust. Chainstack’s role in the DAC service offers robust contingency measures and reaffirms user autonomy in transactions. We appreciate their commitment to our shared vision and are glad to have them on board.

Mariam I, Head of Marketing, ApeX Protocol

In the dynamic landscape of cryptocurrency trading, the hunt for speed, security, and efficiency is endless. As traders increasingly opt for decentralized platforms, offering them an optimized trading experience is imperative. This is where ApeX Pro stands as a beacon of innovation.

Here at Chainstack, we are fortunate to work closely with some of the most inventive companies in Web3 and the trading vertical is no exception. Our collaboration with decentralized derivatives trailblazer ApeX Pro proves just that.

Let’s explore in detail what ApeX Pro brings to the table and examine Chainstack’s role in making it happen:

What is ApeX Pro?

Set as a shining example in the vibrant world of decentralized finance, ApeX Pro presents a trading platform that is non-custodial in nature and brings forth permissionless cross-margined perpetual contracts to its community. The platform is built on the ethos of unlimited access to the perpetual swap market and adheres to a potent order book model, reinforcing speed, efficiency, and most importantly, a commitment to transparency in executed trades.

As an integral part of its financial toolset, ApeX Pro also extends staking and market-making products to its community. These avenues open up the possibility for users to generate passive income in USDC. The integration of these products into the platform’s ecosystem not only broadens the avenues for income generation but also embodies ApeX Pro’s commitment to creating real value for its users.

Building a multi-chain precision trading DEX

Beyond offering a selection of intuitive and transparent financial tools to the crypto community members from all backgrounds, the ApeX team stays committed to their vision of a responsive ecosystem. They foster an environment that encourages an influx of such users, enabling a seamless entry into the world of DeFi while facilitating their participation in decentralized trading. Here’s how they accomplish this:

  • Non-custodial trading: ApeX Pro’s non-custodial trading empowers its users to assume complete control over their assets throughout the entire transaction course. This mechanism liberates traders from reliance on a custodian, thus ensuring autonomy over their finances.
  • Private trading experience: Lacking KYC procedures allows ApeX Pro traders to uphold their privacy as they transact, which helps bolster the core ethos of blockchain technology, promoting transparency and fair trades.
  • Gatekeeper-free trading: The permissionless trading setup of ApeX Pro eradicates barriers and gatekeepers, meaning users can trade freely from any part of the world. This encourages global participation and evenly spread opportunities.
  • High-velocity transactions: Apex Pro features high transaction speeds, allowing for up to 10 trades and 1 000 order placements and cancellations per second, so traders can stay ahead of the market and capitalize on opportunities swiftly.
  • Robust privacy safeguards: By integrating zero-knowledge (ZK) proofs and Validium, ApeX Pro shields the transactions of its users from prying eyes, while ensuring the highest level of security for maximum trading confidence.
  • Generous incentive programs: ApeX Pro rewards traders via Staking, Market Making, and the Trade to Earn programs. Since last November, the year-long Trade to Earn campaign has been rewarding active traders with $190K worth of weekly rewards in $BANA for trading any market pair a week prior.
  • Trustless trading transparency: To enable autonomy and control during platform interactions, ApeX Pro makes it possible for users to authenticate their trades, and maintain an indisputable record of transactions.
  • Affordable fee structure: Traders can capitalize on the benefit of affordable trading with ApeX Pro, which features a minimal fee of 0.02% for makers and 0.05% for takers, so they can optimize their returns in a cost-efficient trading environment.

Reforming decentralized trading with StarkEx

To enact their grand vision of a multi-chain permissionless DEX engineered for high-performance trading, the ApeX team needed the appropriate architecture to support such an endeavor well. After evaluating the pros and cons of the available options, their search eventually led them to StarkEx.

This layer 2 scalability engine developed by StarkWare features support for large-scale applications, self-custody, fast withdrawals, multi-asset trading, real-time oracle price feeds, and Validium. In turn, this made it the perfect choice to realize the ApeX team’s vision of exceptional trading performance, robust liquidity, market depth, and transparency during interactions.

ApeX Pro effectively leverages StarkEx ZK proofs and Validium in validating batches of non-custodial transactions. Not only does this greatly improve trading efficiency but also elevates user experiences and engagement. And to help ApeX get the absolute max from their StarkEx integration, our team at Chainstack stepped up to the challenge.

Establishing a StarkEx Data Availability Committee

For us at Chainstack, it was an absolute honor to partner with ApeX Pro on their mission to integrate StarkEx. To help accomplish this, our collaboration focused on running a Data Availability Committee (DAC) service for their StarkEx instance.

The DAC allows users to bypass reliance on StarkEx Operators in servicing withdrawal requests in case of emergency. In such instances, the Application Smart Contract (ASC) halts new state updates and allows only direct user withdrawals with valid Merkle proof for the latest state.

As a member of the ApeX Pro DAC, Chainstack plays a critical role in ensuring the transparency, security, and reliability of the platform’s operations. Under normal conditions, our responsibilities include:

  • Receiving each state transition, computing the new state, and signing the commitment to the new state.
  • Maintaining a private and secure copy of this off-chain data.
  • Verifying the acceptance of a STARK proof based on a corresponding state commitment.

In a highly unlikely but emergency scenario, if ApeX Pro is unable to service withdrawal requests, Chainstack steps in to help their users regain access to their funds without having to trust the platform’s ability to do so. Specifically, in such cases, our team would take the following course of action:

  1. Make our secure copy of the off-chain data publicly available. This would enable users to access the Merkle path linked to their accounts.
  2. Facilitate users in retrieving their funds directly from the ASC using the provided Merkle path.

Overall in essence, Chainstack provides a failsafe mechanism and an additional layer of trust and security for ApeX Pro users, offering a path to retrieve their funds even in the case of the platform missing or being unable to do so.

Resolution summary

  1. Enhanced transparency and security: Our collaboration with ApeX Pro, integrating StarkEx and running the DAC service, has amplified user trust in the platform by offering a failsafe mechanism for fund retrieval.
  2. Reliability assurance: As a DAC member, Chainstack ensures consistent and secure operation of the ApeX Pro platform under normal circumstances, managing state transitions, maintaining off-chain data, and verifying STARK proof acceptances.
  3. Robust contingency measures: In emergency scenarios where withdrawal requests cannot be serviced by ApeX Pro, Chainstack steps in to make off-chain data publicly available, facilitating direct fund retrieval by users from the ASC using the Merkle path linked to their accounts.
  4. Reinforced user autonomy: Our role as a DAC member allows ApeX Pro users to bypass reliance on platform operators in emergencies, ensuring a seamless and trustworthy transaction process, and reaffirming our shared commitment to offering reliable and transparent solutions.

Bringing it all together

Navigating the rapidly-evolving landscape of cryptocurrency trading demands a relentless pursuit of speed, security, and efficiency. Decentralized platforms like ApeX Pro stand at the forefront of these advancements, aspiring to provide an optimized trading experience for their users. By partnering with ApeX Pro, contributing to their integration of StarkEx, and establishing a DAC, we are proud to play an integral part in this forward-thinking initiative.

Our shared efforts have yielded notable improvement in transparency, security, and overall reliability of the ApeX Pro platform. As a member of the DAC, we ensure the efficient operation of the platform under regular conditions and provide robust contingency measures to deal with any emergencies. In doing so, we strengthen the autonomy of ApeX Pro users, allowing them to bypass platform reliance, thus asserting our mutual commitment to reliable, user-centric solutions.

The integration of StarkEx into ApeX Pro’s infrastructure and the formation of the DAC are pivotal steps toward a future of frictionless, autonomous, and secure decentralized trading. With these developments, ApeX Pro fortifies its position as a beacon of innovation across the DeFi vertical, with Chainstack by its side, providing robust infrastructure and exceptional support. Together, we look forward to continuing our journey in fostering the progress of the blockchain landscape.

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