DeFi for People, with Grace Kwan of Orca DEX


DeFi for People, with Grace Kwan of Orca DEX

Orca DEX is one of the leading DEX on Solana. Their success can be traced to their engineering and their human-centered design. In this episode of the Metaverse Podcast, host Jamie Burke speaks with Grace Kwan, Co-Founder of Orca DEX, to learn more.

Posted by DeFi for People, with Grace Kwan of Orca DEX - June 2022


DeFi for People, with Grace Kwan of Orca DEX Outlier Ventures

  • Studied Computer Science at Stanford
  • Did her Masters at Stanford as well
  • Her career has always been treading the line between engineering and design
  • Moonlights as a food writer

Her Op-Ed On CoinDesk

💡 Grace recently published her Op-Ed How Human-Centered Design Can Fix Crypto Payments on CoinDesk.

  • The concept was about improving the payment experience in crypto through human-centered design
  • When she was first exposed to the crypto space, she was shocked at how far behind the space felt compared to Web2 products

Origin Story Of Orca DEX

  • It came from her co-founder, Yutaro, and herself just hacking on side projects on Ethereum
  • When DeFi summer started, gas fees started to get more expensive
  • Solana caught their eye as a potential layer 1 to build on

Building On Solana

DeFi for People, with Grace Kwan of Orca DEX Outlier Ventures

  • Has been an incredibly positive experience
  • Solana is built by people who have experience building battle-tested real products

Solana is very much focused on solving real problems on the technology level, but then also things like Solana pay, starting to think more about everyday problems. So that’s an ethos that I can really buy into as someone who’s motivation really comes from building things that people are going to use on a practical basis.

– Grace Kwan

Orca DEX

DeFi for People, with Grace Kwan of Orca DEX Outlier Ventures

  • The leading DEX on the Solana blockchain
  • Their first offering was called Standard Pools, which are constant product pools
  • More recently, they released Whirlpools, which are concentrated liquidity pools

Once you get water swirling around and concentrated, it’s a whirlpool.

– Grace Kwan

  • They provide better prices for traders and earn higher fees if LPs concentrate their liquidity in the right price range
  • Solana enables high performance, efficient liquidity provision with affordable gas fees

How Does The Tech Stack Influence What She Does As A Founder/Builder?

  • They are focused on abstracting the complexity away
  • Has received a lot of praise for their SDK engineers
  • They look very carefully at the constraints of the blockchain and design with those constraints in mind

Their Governance Platform

  • Recently launched their governance platform
  • Bug bounty proposal from the community has recently passed

Current State Of The DeFi Industry Post-Terra

  • Was a lot of fun
  • DeFi is cyclical — the crash happened before and will happen again

When everyone was freaking out last week, I felt a little bit weird, because I really wasn’t freaking out at all. Like, yeah, things have crashed, a lot of people probably aren’t too surprised that a bubble will eventually burst, right?

– Grace Kwan

  • In a bull market, a lot of people make extreme claims about what their protocols can do
  • In crypto winter, protocols are put to the test
  • For DeFi to become the financial infrastructure for the world, it has to be stress tested and battle tested

Her Advice To Someone Who’s Just Starting Out As A Founder

  • A lot of founders focus on a problem to solve
  • However, there might not be a strong enough need for there to be product-market fit
  • A lot of people do not take the time to size the market or understand things like switching costs when it comes to acquiring users

DeFi for People, with Grace Kwan of Orca DEX Outlier Ventures

This podcast summary was prepared by The Reading Ape in collaboration with Outlier Ventures. The Reading Ape is a humble servant of the written word.

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