TLDR: Now the network is live - go use it - good stuff is launching every week!
It has been an eventful month for me; not only has the Babylon network launched, but my second child was born just over a week after the Babylon network itself went live.
Anyone wondering where I have been hiding for the last few weeks, the answer is mostly somewhere involving nappies.
Taking some “time off” to reflect on the newborn Babylon network, as well as a newborn child, gave me some space to think about everything at a slightly more normal pace than that which crypto generally moves at.
Radix today now has fully working versions of things that most platforms are only just hacking together, including: smart contract accounts, delegated fees, intent-based transactions, transaction previews, built-in platform royalties, ledger-enforced smart contract security, a fully shardable state model, and the best smart contract programming experience bar none.
For me, Babylon was a critical inflection point. It was when Radix went from talking about having the best technology foundation in the industry to actually having the best technology foundation in the industry.
What is more, public decentralized networks aren’t companies. They are perpetual motion value machines. They are digital nations. Pre-and-post Babylon might feel like little actually happened at the surface, but it truly was a moment in which this project crossed a critical threshold.
The digital nation of Radix has just begun.
So, yay? Hooray for us? Not quite yet. Clearly, there is a bunch of work to do on everything from bug fixes and quality-of-life improvements to ecosystem TVL and liquidity.
Now the public network is live, the next steps are critical.
I split the next steps into three distinct phases. Each of these phases are what I believe needs to happen to make the next phase as successful as possible.
Phase 1: Critical Fixes, Community Testing & TVL Building
At the Babylon launch, the Radix Wallet failed to blow everyone's socks off. Even though I frickin’ love using it already (the speed is awesome, Radix Connect works like magic, and the transaction manifest is game-changing), I also acknowledge that it currently sits in between a desktop and mobile experience, which can be frustrating. There were several bugs that made getting started for some more difficult than ideal, and the current lack of raw seed phrase recovery and easy-to-access transaction history are amongst the two most commented-on missing “basic” features.
Fortunately, like the public network, a huge part of the heavy lift of getting a functional, secure wallet platform out there is done. From this point, everything is tractable, and the team is shipping and will continue shipping regular updates.
A big part of this transition to production software is that the development team is no longer working towards “big bang” releases. The promise to the community now is one of a continual stream of updates that are prioritized to get the largest volume of quality-of-life and feature updates out as quickly as possible as a total package.
That means not promising dates on specific features or milestones but running a proper agile process of prioritizations and sprints. A summary of this prioritized backlog plus milestones is kept regularly updated and can be found here.
Flexibility rather than date certainty is the most important thing here. That doesn’t mean that the team isn’t working like hell to get everything out as quickly as possible. However, it is critical that the team can react to market adoption, to user and dApp needs, and to move things around if necessary.
That said, I do want to confirm that we are committed to making sure that account recovery from a raw seed phrase or Ledger device, without access to a backup, is available by the end of this year. By that time we’ll also provide a way to access basic account transaction history information (including balance changes) on the Dashboard with one tap from the wallet. This will serve the core needs of TX history until we implement a more integrated history feature that takes full advantage of Radix’s unique transaction manifest capabilities.
Building new products is hard; the only real way to do it is to launch your product into the market and iterate from there. That is as true for the Radix ecosystem builders as anyone else.
Radix already has an incredible developer community; it is now going through its first phase of metamorphosis: developer community to dApp ecosystem.
That is going to be an awesome but also an occasionally painful journey. Some of what is produced by our new ecosystem will be amazing, some not so much.
It’s up to us, the Radix community, to find out which is which and support ecosystem builders - polished products don’t happen overnight, and they don’t happen in a vacuum.
If you haven’t already gone and used them, go use them. If you like them, go tell other Radix community people about it. If you don’t like them, go tell the teams what would make you use them more often. Check https://www.radixecosystem.com/ every week for new launches.
The most impactful thing the Radix community can do in this phase is to help make what is being launched get as good as possible as quickly as possible by using it - you are literally trailblazing the path for the first wave of new users coming to the platform after you.
This is also where the real alpha is going to be found, too - by going and actually using the dApps that are launching on Radix. Don’t rely on Twitter to tell you what is hot, go find it!
Community TVL Building
Now the Radix DeFi ecosystem is live, it is time for Radix to start climbing the rankings on DeFi Llama: https://defillama.com/chains
The best way you can help is to take your XRD, stake it to one of the excellent Radix community node runners (if you aren’t already), and then take your Liquid Staked Tokens (LSUs) and put them to work in the emerging Radix DeFi ecosystem.
This has two benefits for the user: firstly, it gives you access to earning staking rewards for securing the Radix network, and secondly, it can provide you with fees directly from whatever dApp you put LSUs to work within.
It also has a very important benefit for the Radix ecosystem: it increases the TVL of the Radix Ecosystem on DeFi Llama and directly helps with the visibility of the Radix ecosystem. Every dollar’s worth of LSU provided by the community as liquidity in a Radix dApp increases the reported TVL of the Radix Network.
Disclaimer: none of this is financial advice. Any of these actions will put your tokens at risk, and you could lose everything you put in. Make sure you always do your own research and only put in what you can afford to lose.
Phase 2: Liquidity & TVL Building
External Liquidity & Total Value Locked
By Phase 2, the biggest kinks and issues should have been worked out, and the dApps should now really start hitting their stride. Updates to the Wallet, Dashboard, and Scrypto documentation have been steadily pushed out week-on-week and are feeling nice and polished.
We have a thriving ecosystem of the first Radix dApps, TVL has been growing steadily, and the community builders have a nice amount of testing under their belts. We have an enthusiastic user base of early adopters who are very familiar with the Radix wallet and the ecosystem dApps and can signpost and guide Radix newbies in the community channels.
Not only that, but Instabridge will have been live for a few months as well. On the condition that Instabridge continues to function satisfactorily (all bridges have inherent risk, so it is important to roll out their use carefully), from this phase onwards, there will be the first programs for incentivizing liquidity on ecosystem DEXs focusing on liquidity paired with XRD.
This program will likely focus on one or more of the key pairs that matter for traded liquidity of the XRD, namely USDC, ETH, BTC, and USDT, but will be subject to change as we will be watching the rollout of the dApps launching on Radix over Phase 1 to work through strategies that work well for everyone.
This strategy will add to the TVL increase during the first phase and should aim to push Radix into the Top 30 ecosystems by TVL.
It is also super important that the type of TVL becomes more balanced than *just* LSU-based TVL. Can Radix get into the top 30 with just LSUs? Almost certainly, yep. But if it is only XRD-based, that doesn’t give much meat for people external to the Radix community to get excited about.
Ranking is important, but ranking with liquidity that can be traded using familiar assets, like USDC, USDT, BTC, and ETH, is also critical. Hence, the importance of liquidity in bridged assets.
Phase 3: Institutional Liquidity, Cross-Crypto dApp Traction
By the start of Phase 3, the Radix ecosystem has been live for a long enough time to have created a respectable track record. The TVL and liquidity of the Radix ecosystem are looking very healthy. The first trustless bridges should either be integrated or well on their way to integrating.
Not just the ease of use but the security of the Radix Engine and Scrypto should now be proven out in production, not just in theory. There is now the foundational history of hack and bug resilience, and with each passing month, an increasing degree of confidence can be earned by the Radix Network and the dApps built on top of it.
In addition, the first killer dApps will start to emerge. Great killer dApps on Radix will combine the things that are successful on other ledgers with the specific advantages that the Radix Wallet, Scrypto, Transaction Manifest, and Radix Engine all give to both the developers and the users.
There will be more significant announcements about this towards the end of Phase 2. For now, just know, we do not plan to leave anything to chance.
This phase will make the Radix Network increasingly appealing to institutional capital. The combination of dApp innovation made possible by the full Radix stack for DeFi, the Radix security model, and the Radix platform will make for an increasingly strong argument to bring larger amounts of capital into the Radix ecosystem.
Depending on the health of the TVL, liquidity, and dApps on the Radix network, the first large stablecoin issuer can also start the process of properly investigating integrating the Radix network.
This phase will continue to increase the TVL and liquidity of the Radix ecosystem, as well as drive the traded volume of the Radix token as it increasingly represents access to the burgeoning Radix ecosystem.
The target for Phase 3 is to lay the groundwork that ensures Radix can climb into Top 20 ecosystems by TVL within 6 months of the end of Phase 3. With all the advantages provided by the Radix technology stack, well-targeted marketing, and with the will and engagement of the Radix community and beyond, this is very achievable.
Conclusions and Notes
Ecosystems don’t just happen; they take hard work, and they require a community of users, builders, and hustlers behind them.
We built this platform to change the world, not just to be a vaguely interesting footnote. We built this platform for you - the builders and the users.
Let’s together show the world why Radix is different from everything else and, more than that, why it is worth paying attention to.
Piers Ridyard - CEO, RDX Works