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The Loopring Protocol

The only decentralized shapeshifting protocol.

 I remember reading “What Is Loopring?” when it was first published by JP Buntinx on The Merkle, back on the 30th of September. Skimming over it, the tone seemed so enthusiastic that I didn’t bother finishing it; I assumed it was one of the publication’s sponsored pieces, and so I closed the tab and went back to staring at the Neo chart and hoping very hard that I’d called the bottom correctly a couple weeks earlier, on China FUD Day 2017 Pt. III.

I’d gone almost entirely into Neo that day, but I still held a tiny amount of other random bags.

One of those bags happened to be Loopring.

I didn’t have what I’d call a “great reason” for owning a Loopring bag at the time: Having been obsessed with reading everything on the Neo subreddit, I’d come across Da Hongfei’s advisory role on the project at some point — the same road that many have taken to Loopring, at this early stage in its story— and I bought a small amount on EtherDelta after the team had requested to be temporarily delisted from Binance.

To be honest, I knew nothing at all about the project; I bought it solely because the token’s value could not have possibly been under worse conditions at that time, and if it had any value at all, then the market had to be undervaluing it.

I called it a “lottery ticket” bag.

Skimming through Buntinx’s “What Is Loopring?” a couple weeks later, I didn’t see any evidence that my lottery ticket was a winner. The truth is, one of my biggest pet peeves in the crypto space is when a project’s whitepaper is filled with diagrams (or doodles) and generic looking equations that try to trick its readers into thinking that it’s perfectly fine that no actual code is being referenced. And, unfortunately, this is what I saw when I clicked on the whitepaper linked in the article.

Figure 1 from Loopring’s whitepaper.

The project’s promises were — to me — far too ambitious to not have any code included. The disappointing whitepaper, combined with the disappointment that I had for Loopring paying for a sponsored article, resulted in me forgetting about my lottery ticket.

Maybe it’d be worth something in a few years. Probably not, though…


Obviously, I’ve had a pretty significant change of heart toward Loopring since that first reading of Buntinx’s thoughts on the project. Mainly: When I went back and re-read the whitepaper, to see if I wanted to just go ahead and sell the tokens a month later, it was much, much different than it had been before. Not only was there code in this updated whitepaper, but the team had also been maintaining an extremely active GitHub.

And thus began the transition from my initial impressions of Loopring, to writing this article on why I’d gone all-in on it.


It wasn’t until earlier today — exactly two months after I’d first failed to finish reading it — that I revisited Buntinx’s analysis of Loopring. I randomly stumbled across it after googling “automated trading Loopring,” because I wanted to finally find out what that phrase meant, and “What Is Loopring?” turned up as an auxiliary search result.

And so I re-read it.

And then I realized that “What Is Loopring?” had never been a sponsored piece. At all.

I also realized that I’d been fairly thick-headed when skimming the article — and the original, early whitepaper—when they had both been initially published.

Buntinx had seen that the whitepaper wasn’t just vague techno-babble; it was, in fact, a brilliantly complex assembly of theorems and axioms, and other things that give me headaches, that constructed a methodology for decentralized trading that, while similar to some projects before it, was also a complete breakthrough into some all new — and very exciting — territory.

I realize, now, that looking at what impressed Buntinx about Loopring, beforeit had any code shared (or even a blockchain picked out), is an excellent way to describe what Loopring does for somebody who’s hearing about the project for the first time. To paraphrase (and summarize) the aspects that peaked Buntinx’s interests:

  • A decentralized protocol that offers automated trading.
  • Shared orders.
  • Partial fills.
  • Multiple tokens being traded in single orders.
  • No major problems with liquidity (ever!).
  • The ability to implement any exchange in the world into its order books.
  • Your funds never leave your wallet until your order has been filled
  • Compatibility with any blockchain in existence that makes use of smart contracts (*with custom work done for each blockchain pairing, of course*).

That’s quite the sales pitch.

In fact, Buntinx only had one big issue with Loopring, and it happened to be the same issue that I had with it:

“Although it remains to be seen if this will actually happen…

It is unclear if and when any blockchains will integrate this concept.”

To put it another way: His greatest concern was that it was too awesome to actually happen. And now: It’s happened, and we’ll soon be able to use the minimally viable product: The Loopr wallet (which, when you click on that link, will either be online with mock data, offline b/c they’re deploying an update, or online and serving actual, tradable orders from a relay).

How soon can I trade with Loopr?” you ask? According to the deadline on this milestone, Dec. 14th at the very latest. But! Last Friday, Daniel stated in the bi-weekly developers’ update that the MVP would be hitting in one to two weeks, because this dev team has a habit of outperforming their own deadlines (their roadmap is nearly finished— that’s crazy).


There’s some irony, here, in this story: While I was initially lukewarm toward Loopring, and then became 100% sold after digging around in their GitHub…

…. I assume that Buntinx’s excitement left the room when he did the same, because Buntinx is not a very big fan of Ethereum

In fact, based on that article, I think that I’ve perhaps given Buntinx a bit too much credit for being able to decipher/think critically about things…

Okay. Maybe way too much credit… Still, though: His Loopring summary game was on point on the 30th of September. And, who knows… maybe Loopring will be the project that finally warms him up to the ol’ dApp platform?

I plan on recording a screencast of Loopr being used for trading ASAP after it hits, and I’ll be posting that at Alexandria.io, which is a really awesome project running on the Florincoin* chain, and I highly recommend playing around with the beta publisher. It’s good to remember, sometimes, to take a little trading break, and to remember that blockchains are fun and awesome, and not just money.

*Please don’t buy** any Florincoin. I’ll still be all-in with Loopring for a while, and I want some cheap Florins later.

**Actually… in all seriousness, please don’t take any of this as real adviceNever buy anything because of some drivel I banged out on my keyboard. I’m an absolute moron, and a horrible example of a trader and/or investor with any wits about them.

For more information follow @joeykeeton on Medium.

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