On February 6, 2017, Raiden published a Medium article highlighting several new developments important to the future of the network and success of the Ethereum ecosystem as a whole. While Raiden has worked tirelessly to produce proofs of concept on a regular basis, they admittedly still have issues to resolve, such as creating the Raiden Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for an easy install version of the network. By creating a “boxed” version, Raiden can provide users a minimal effort onboarding process as well as an improved UI (user interface) for enhanced usability, key handling, and channel opening.
A Decentralized Exchange
Solving what is known as the custodian issue, raidEX is a fully interoperable and decentralized exchange that leverages synergies with tokens and apps in the Ethereum ecosystem.
The raidEX website states:
“While there are already decentralized exchanges, they are built on the blockchain and inherit the performance restrictions of global consensus systems, i.e. especially latency and limited transaction throughput, which result in low liquidity for these exchanges. These prevent them from being anywhere near practical for real world usage.”
According to Raiden, industry interest in raidEX, as well as their Raiden token transfer, has been tremendous, with implications extending into the crypto space and beyond. The network’s ability to perform atomic token swaps allows assets to be tokenized and exchanged where the trade is the settlement. This key feature of Ethereum, integrated into Raiden’s protocols, allows for more trust in the ecosystem – which equates to more value.
Included in Raiden’s roadmap for 2017 is their goal to achieve an ERC20 token transfer live network, which will allow Raiden to handle ERC20 tokens across multiple interfaces, wallets, and exchanges between other Dapps. According to Raiden, if this milestone is completed, it “will crucially improve scalability, finality, and privacy for the Ethereum blockchain.”
With ERC20 tokens able to be transferred through Raiden’s network, micropayments and other transactions (such as peer-to-peer payments) can be instantly executed off-chain, costing users 0 gas while providing the security and transparency associated with Ethereum. Similar to how State Channels operate, Raiden transactions would operate by sending messages in which the smart contracts are programmed to understand, interpret, and act on messages sent back and forth, such as “I want to buy a soda for $2,” or “I want to rent this TV channel for one hour for $5.” Participants of the transactions each provide a digital signature to the message/discussion, making them impossible to refute later on.
While there is much Raiden seeks to improve and develop further, the collective vision is to achieve generalization within the network known as Raiden 2.0. This initiative aims to “generalize privacy, low latency, and scalability properties of Raiden to applications beyond token transfers.”
What the design of this generalization will look like is still unknown, however, “the goal is to provide the tools to allow for broad industry adoption of the Ethereum blockchain.”
Use cases for Raiden’s network can be seen in Raiden’s IoT demo video to better understand how high-speed asset transfers on Ethereum function, as well as other benefits of Raiden’s technology.