According to lead developer Katerina Troshina, the Digitex Trading Battle has been both “extremely interesting” and “extremely helpful” for the developers. In this article, we find out exactly what the series of battles helped the team discover and how they put the information to good use working on the exchange. Check it out.
The First Real Test of the Digitex Exchange
Katerina explains that from a developer standpoint, the daily battles were absolutely vital. They were the “first real test of the new Digitex exchange engine and infrastructure.” She says that during the battles, the developers were able to identify and fix “a number of tricky issues” which will also be added to future risk management scenarios.
Of course, let’s not forget that the original intention of the Trading Battle was that only real people would be participating for prizes. Katerina admits, “We did understand that bots would come at some point, but did not expect it would happen that soon. Our understanding was that bots mostly used UI scripting and simplest strategies of buying and selling at the current price to boost the trading amount.”
The API Specs Will Be Out Very Soon
It turns out that the high use of bots in the battles was not such a bad thing after all. In fact, it’s led to the API being sped up! It will be ready in time for the mainnet launch. Katerina says, “We did intend to publish the API and libraries at some point in the future. However, due to the wide use of bots in the trading battles, we decided to publish API and access libraries before the mainnet launch… Expect the API specification, C#, and Python connectors soon!”
Not only that but the trading battles really served to show us just how much volume the exchange can handle. On some days, there were more than 22 billion traded contracts in a 24 hour period, with a notional value of $147 billion! These are figures that even some of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges could only dream of.
Uncovering the Cheating Strategies
When it came to uncovering the cheaters, their strategies were pretty sophisticated. Katerina says, “One of the cheating strategies was to funnel funds from one account to the trading account. The donor trading account opened a position against the trading account and closed it with loss to the donor account and profit to the trading account. This strategy manifested itself with huge losses to the donor account.”
The developers did try to fix this situation by implementing a loss limit. They added the rule that if the realized PnL dropped below -100K, the trader would be denied placing new orders until funding. However, as Katerina admits, “Apparently, this did not help much.”
As you all know, we would have liked to have improved the battle to limit the involvement of bots, but we decided that the system had been stress-tested enough and it was better to dedicate all resources to the mainnet.
“We discussed other anti-bot measures like not counting orders closed with zero profit, or incurring rate limit on traders, or even applying machine learning models,” Katerina says. “But we didn’t come to any conclusion.”
We know that the battle was far from perfect and it’s a shame that we had to end the prize-giving due to the extensive bot trading and self-referrers. But, for development purposes, the battles were invaluable. As Katerina remarks, “Daily trading battles were very helpful as we had stress testing for the system. Stress testing found and allowed us to find local scenarios of negative trader’s balance and other bugs in the engine that were hard to identify by testing.” Thanks to the battle, she says, “All bugs were fixed.”
Wrapping It Up
Have you tried your hand at trading on the beta yet? If you haven’t checked in for a while, be sure that you do–we’ll be delivering new updates of the user interface starting next month and surprising you with cool new features every week! We’re excited for March so we can see users start testing the new UI features.
In fact, tonight we’re planning to start with a few small updates, so log in at some point over the weekend to check them out! If you’re expecting major changes though, please give us another two weeks, as we’ll be gradually releasing more and more updates. Two months to go until the mainnet launch!