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About Orca (ORCA)
Orca is an AMM-powered decentralized exchange built on Solana. The protocol has a native token, ORCA, used to facilitate protocol governance and also to reward liquidity providers for sharing their funds with the network. Orca isn’t all that different from most DEXs, in that it sources funds from a global network of liquidity providers to facilitate fast, low-cost crypto trades. However, unlike many competitors, with their wonky, non-intuitive interfaces, Orca seeks to differentiate. They seek to do this through their streamlined user experience/intuitive trading tools.
Among them is Orca’s Fair Price Indicator which lets traders know that the price they are paying is within 1% of the prevailing market rate. Likewise, the platform’s Magic Bar is a search tool that allows users to find trading pairs simply by typing in a given token’s ticker symbol.
Within the platform, individual liquidity pools are referred to as Aquafarms.
Liquidity providers deposit funds into these pools to provide the liquidity necessary for other users to trade against. As compensation for their deposits, liquidity providers are granted a tokenized yield, as well as LP tokens that work as a digital receipt tracking the deposit.
According to Messari, liquidity providers can utilize their LP tokens within Orca’s so called “double dip pools” to earn an even greater yield on their assets. Moreover, the protocol holds weekly Aquafarm rotations that incentivize users to provide liquidity to certain pools.
Orca also supports another liquidity pool variation called a Whirlpool that concentrates user provided liquidity within a set price range, eliminating slippage costs.
Furthermore, the platform’s proprietary SDK provides a means by which other Solana-based applications can integrate with the exchange, building upon its various features. Per Messari, this framework could result in Orca becoming a core piece of middleware within the Solana ecosystem.
When was ORCA created and how much was it worth?
Orca is the brainchild of two blockchain engineers, Grace “Ori” Kwon and Yutaro Mori, who cofounded the protocol in 2021.
Kwon, a Stanford University graduate, previously worked as a software engineer at Coursera before pivoting to the blockchain space.
Mori, who’s listed as the architect of Orca’s core AMM, was previously employed by the Ethereum Foundation where he worked on layer-2 scaling solutions.
Per Messari, the pair had originally begun working together in 2020 with the intention of building a user-friendly interface for AAVE’s Etehreum-based lending market. However, due to Ethereum’s costly gas fee structure, the duo shifted to Solana. Within a matter of months, Kwon and Mori received a sizeable grant from the Solana Foundation to build Orca, which was (at the time) the platform’s first pure AMM-based DEX.
In September of 2021, Orca announced it received roughly $18 million in Series A funding from a cohort of backers, including Polychain and Placeholder.
Orca’s governance token, ORCA, was first disseminated to the public via airdrop in August of 2021.
Pricing data from CoinGecko demonstrates that ORCA initially began trading around $3.29 and largely rode a wave of positive momentum in the weeks following its initial launch before making a near parabolic move up to an all-time high of $20.33 in early October 2001. Despite a brief dip shortly thereafter, ORCA once again found momentum in November of 2021, hitting a local high of $18.79 in the process. The token’s price has since failed to reach those lofty heights, and as of late July 2022 it was under $1 having been subjected to downside volatility.
How is the price of ORCA determined?
ORCA is a deflationary asset with a hard cap of 100 million tokens. According to project documentation, roughly 20% of ORCA’s total supply was earmarked for the platform’s core development team and another 13% was allocated to various fundraising efforts. Moreover, some 66.1% of supply is set by be distributed via a series of community and liquidity incentives. A total of 5.25 million tokens were initially airdropped to various stakeholders on August 9, 2021.
As of late July 2022, there were 20.9 million ORCA tokens in circulation.
Why does ORCA have value?
“Orca differentiates itself by focusing on human-centered design and simplicity,” Messari explained. The platform also stands out as the first major Solana AMM to roll out concentrated liquidity, “improving on the capital efficiency and trade execution of the standard constant product market maker (CPMM),” Messari said.
Is ORCA secure?
Orca and its governance token are both native to the Solana blockchain which uses Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus to validate new transactions. While Solana’s security is generally considered robust, the project is one of the more centralized in the crypto space and has experienced several partial/full-service outages since September of 2021, Cointelegraph explained.
What are the main benefits of ORCA?
- Liquidity providers can earn a tokenized yield by depositing assets on the platform.
- Orca is equipped with a series of user-friendly tools including the Fair Price Indicator and Magic Bar.
- Orca’s user experience is among the most streamlined in the DeFi space.
What do critics say about ORCA?
That its price performance has been lackluster. The token is down nearly 80% in 2022, as of late July.
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