Where we’ve been, and where we’re heading
Loopring’s mission has always been to empower the individual. Whether by delivering non-custodial consumer facing products that could do no evil, or building the underlying infrastructure and protocols that make such products possible. ‘Be your own bank’ is more than a meme for us. We’ve built the tools that allow our users to live in a parallel financial world while never sacrificing self-sovereignty and security. From when we were an orderbook DEX protocol on Ethereum Layer 1, through our evolution on Layer 2, this has always been our goal.
Recap on how we got here
In 2017, we started out as an open protocol allowing anyone to build orderbook DEXs on Ethereum, with an innovative combinatorial “order ring” settlement mechanism. Two years in, it was clear that L1 was not the most conducive environment for CLOB trading — especially with extra matching logic. To survive during crypto winter, we needed to find a better way to scale and do so quickly. Thankfully, we found zk-SNARKS, a form of zero-knowledge cryptography that could be the answer.
Zcash pioneered the use of SNARKs for on-chain privacy whereas others like Barry Whitehat were coming up with something called a rollup to help scale Ethereum. Amazed by this potential to scale Loopring, we took a massive leap and built the first ever rollup on Ethereum — a zkRollup. We’ve never looked back.
Three years later, with over 130k L2 accounts created, $5 billion volume traded and 40k smart wallets deployed, we believe we have begun to create compelling value for our users, and the Ethereum community at large. Loopring quickly turned into a thriving ecosystem where Ethereans could access a low fee, high speed, and secure execution environment. From the start we supported orderbook trading, then AMMs, followed by payments (thanks to a suggestion by Vitalik), and now NFTs.
Getting to this point has required a ton of patience and buy-in from our team and Loopring community. It took years of engineering effort to abstract away the difficulties of onboarding, reduce batching costs, and improve the products that sit atop this protocol.
To get this compression machine off the ground, we needed to build every component ourselves. Loopring is many things:
- an open source zkRollup protocol
- a relayer that handles all the off-chain duties that make a zkRollup run
- a highly performant non-custodial exchange
- and a Smart Wallet (protocol and mobile application) with L2 baked in for great usability
Together these components are what make Loopring, Loopring.
We are the only project in town that’s crazy enough to have built the entire stack. We’ve done all this work to custom fit and optimize our Loopring applications, serve our community, and we believe this is a competitive advantage. This is what makes Loopring special and an entirely different beast.
What is Loopring?
“What Loopring Is and Isn’t” has not changed.
The one thing that has changed, is that certain projects are now building on Loopring because we have optimized for specific applications. The NFT experience, for example, had previously been riddled with unnecessary expenses and cumbersome UX. Loopring’s innovations in this domain, including our novel counterfactual NFTs, have attracted exciting projects to Loopring, like NFT.Gamestop.com.
A reaffirmation of our goals
Loopring’s goal is to increase financial freedom and self-sovereignty. We believe the best way to achieve this is to build products and protocols that make Ethereum easy to use — and that has brought us to ZK technology. We are focused on our application-specific zkRollup for high security, high throughput, and low fees, and our user-facing products like the multi-purposed web app, and the mobile smart contract wallet for removing the complexities of self-custody.
Loopring is a one-stop-shop that serves the needs of Ethereans and those seeking to participate in a parallel and open financial system. By providing access to DeFi, payments, token swaps, and NFT minting & trading all in a single product, Loopring will capture crypto natives as well as those that have yet to enter Web3.
After 4.5 years of R&D, building and iterating Ethereum’s longest running rollup, the experience gets better by the day. There are more and more bridges connecting to Loopring, greater access to exciting DeFi yield, and soon, reduced barriers for creators building digital token stores. Now with an NFT foundation laid, the Loopring ecosystem is well set up for gaming, art, and collectibles to explode.
Opening and optimizing L2 on mobile
The Loopring Wallet is more than just a mobile wallet, it is a gateway to Loopring L2 services. Currently, EOA wallet users (Metamask, Rainbow, etc.) can only access Loopring via the web app (loopring.io) and they’ve been missing out on the extra features that our mobile app offers. Soon, the Loopring Wallet mobile app will open its doors and allow this large group of existing-wallet users to connect and access Loopring directly from their mobile device.
Open sourcing NFT marketplace
In the coming months we will be providing open-source code to an upcoming NFT marketplace on Loopring. This will make it easier for anyone to build their own NFT marketplace. Teams will be able to fork the code, add their own UI and specialized focus to their NFT trading platform. We will give builders the best tools available on L2 to power this decentralized economy.
Leveling up L2 DeFi
Moving forward, Loopring will integrate more DeFi products onto L2, enabling greater access to investment opportunities from across the Ethereum ecosystem. Loopring Earn will broaden the scope of what can be accessed and traded trustlessly on Loopring, while maintaining the low-fee benefits of L2.
Loopring has a bright future as a highly optimized application-specific rollup, with user-facing products living atop — all in the name of empowering users. Given we believe in a multi-rollup future, however, where there will be many L2s providing value on Ethereum, we will ensure that our products have the best possible functionality by living on the best possible networks. As such, we may deploy Loopring products to multiple rollups, as is necessary to provide the greatest experience to users.
We will continue to build global, consumer-grade, inclusive DeFi and NFT applications and offer what traditional fintech giants can’t (or won’t). We won’t stop until we bring Ethereum to the masses.
We’re thankful to have such a devoted community and team. Our hunger and curiosity has helped us discover DEX trading protocols, zkRollups, and social recovery wallets. We will continue to evolve and grow as we have done since day one.
Loopring is an Ethereum Layer 2 zkRollup protocol for scalable, secure DeFi and NFT applications. Loopring builds non-custodial, high-performance products atop our L2, including the Loopring Wallet — a mobile Ethereum smart wallet, and the Loopring L2 web app — an L2 orderbook and AMM DEX. To learn more, follow us on Medium or see Loopring.org.