Answering the most common community questions on Alpha Mainnet.

Vega is an uncompromisingly decentralised derivatives DEX that runs on a purpose-built chain optimised for derivative trading. It allows for trading of derivative products with no gas fees and other features that make it the preferred place for serious and retail derivative traders alike.

Several cash-settled futures markets are now live, while spot and perpetual markets are currently being built for the Cosmic Elevator release of the protocol and beyond.

Alpha Mainnet is the first mainnet release of Vega Protocol with trading enabled. It is an extended test phase of the protocol while key features are built out for the Cosmic Elevator release, expected later in 2023.

Now that Alpha Mainnet is live:

  • Traders can now trade, without paying gas fees, and deploy a wide variety of strategies on a decentralised DEX with a full on-chain limit orderbook (LOB)
  • Market makers can allocate liquidity to existing markets in a live environment to kickstart trading and earn trading fees. Any network participant capable of market-making can contribute liquidity to existing markets, propose new markets, and earn rewards for doing so
  • Validators continue to receive delegation from token holders and secure the network by running nodes. They also receive a share of the trading fees that accrue from trading on the markets that the community creates
  • VEGA token stakers can continue to propose any market and discuss its creation through on-chain governance

To learn more, read this blog post.

Alpha Mainnet is the first mainnet release of Vega Protocol with trading enabled.

Its functionality is limited and riskier than networks that will follow it and involve regularly scheduled software upgrades and downtime. There will probably be some growing pains as the network is stress-tested and upgrades are rolled out.

Mainnet incidents: Vega publishes information about mainnet incidents and their resolutions on the blog.

Fairground is the official public testnet of Vega Protocol.

Releases from the roadmap are first tested internally and then publicly via Fairground incentives. These are time-sensitive network tests where the community helps to find bugs on the network and provide feedback on the latest features under development.

It also serves as a practice arena for individuals who wish to become familiar with Vega-related tasks. You can experiment with the UI/UX interface and scripts for executing various strategies.

Participate in incentives to earn rewards for helping to find bugs and battle harden Vega — here

See the GitHub Roadmap! This provides a view of the engineering team’s active development of feature sets that will likely eventually be deployed to mainnet if approved by the validators who secure the network.

Some features and incremental improvements, like small UX/UI changes, are not included here but are announced via the Tech Updates and Vega social channels.

VEGA is an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum mainnet that secures Vega’s proof of stake network. Unlike other Layer 1’s and decentralised derivative exchanges, VEGA is not used to transact on the network and trading does not incur gas. Trading fees are only incurred by price takers, incentivising more liquidity and market-making.

VEGA’s main functions on the Vega network are;

  1. Secure the proof of stake Vega blockchain and the Vega<>Ethereum (ERC20) bridge
  2. Make and vote on governance proposals to create and update markets, and manage the Vega protocol’s network parameters

Token holders benefit from rewards and a share of fee revenue if they stake and delegate their tokens.

To learn more, read the full blog post on the VEGA token.

Both validation of blocks and governance of the network need to be done by users with ‘skin in the game’. Thus, when staking, delegating, or voting on governance, it’s important that good actors benefit from choices that are positive for the network, and bad choices that are harmful to the network are economically disincentivised. This requires using a token that is directly associated with the network to tie in governance decisions and stakers/validators.

To learn more, read the full blog post on the VEGA token.

The economics of Vega token are simple. Vega token holders who stake their tokens to the Vega network and delegate to a good validator receive a portion of trading fees generated by use of the network.

The technical details can be found in the specs — here.

The team is working to revise the website and docs pages that will provide a simpler description of these mechanisms and will be published soon.

The Vega Protocol is an application-specific blockchain optimised for trading. It is a multi-year project to build and bootstrap its own ecosystem.

Nonetheless, Vega is adjacent to and collaborative with multiple other projects and their ecosystems, and all can be considered part of the larger “crypto” ecosystem. This includes oracle providers, token and stablecoin issuers, developers, trading firms and services.

Most significantly, Vega is connected to the Ethereum network and ecosystem via the Ethereum bridge, which currently supports the major EVM wallets. This means you can trade with supported Ethereum ERC-20 assets seamlessly on the Vega network.

The Vega Protocol is an application-specific blockchain optimised for trading. It is a multi-year project to build and bootstrap its own ecosystem.

Although it is built using the CometBFT (previously Tendermint) consensus layer, Vega does not use the Cosmos SDK or (currently) support IBC, so it is not integrated with the Cosmos ecosystem. Despite this, Vega ideologically aligns with Cosmos and the modular blockchain ecosystems and expects integrations to follow in time.

The Vega Protocol is an application-specific blockchain optimised for trading.

At present, Vega is connected to and integrated with the Ethereum network and ecosystem via the Ethereum bridge, the first and currently only asset bridge.

However, Vega was always designed to be chain agnostic, allowing for collateral to be bridged over from other chains and then securely used to trade on Vega. This means that development work on connecting with other chains can take place if the community or team deem it strategically optimal. Current development prioritises making Vega feature complete for the 3 major feature deployments in 2023. Future development will likely involve Vega integrating with other networks, especially as others grow to compete with Ethereum for liquidity.

Vega allows for permissionless market creation through community Governance.

There are 6 phases that a typical proposal goes through before being enacted. These are:

  1. Sense Check — bring your market proposal to the Governance Forums to check community sentiment
  2. Formalise — write up the JSON for the market you are trying to create
  3. Submit — once you have formalised your proposal and made any final amends, it is time to submit the proposal to the public chain using the APIs
  4. Vote — VEGA token holders will decide on whether the market proposal should be enacted
  5. Attract Liquidity — the market will need to attract enough liquidity to end the opening auction and begin trading
  6. Launch Market — as soon as the market has received enough committed liquidity, trading begins

Learn more about the market creation process — hereTake a deeper dive into the Docs — hereAdjust live markets and their parameters using the governance process — hereAnd finally, vote for governance proposals — here

Currently, Vega supports Open Oracle feeds or signed JSON messages for price data to settle a market. Most markets currently live are using the Coinbase Price Oracles. Efforts are currently underway to enable Ethereum price oracles, a pivotal development that will enable the Vega network to access a wide spectrum of data stored on the Ethereum blockchain.

To keep up to date and read more about this development work you can see the card on the engineering roadmap here, which includes a link to the full spec page.

Fees and rewards are configurable and can be set up and funded by anyone with a wallet on the Vega chain.

The Alpha Mainnet MVP release includes basic features for incentivising traders, market makers, and liquidity providers to begin bootstrapping the network so they can justify integrating their technology with Vega. These are somewhat configurable but also very limited.

Future releases will significantly improve the range and how configurable rewards and incentives are. This includes adding more rewards, different ways of dividing rewards between users, more configuration to rewards, team mechanics and gamification, the ability to use the on-chain treasury to allow some rewards to be entirely controlled through token holder governance, referral mechanics, volume discounts, and reward lockups/vesting, among other enhancements.

The first major upgrade to the current functionality is estimated to be deployed to mainnet in October. More details on the features including specifications, development progress, and the code itself can all be found on GitHub.

The protocol prevents any key wash trading with itself and the fees associated with doing so dissuade this sort of behaviour. Nonetheless, on a pseudonymous network, it is impossible to prevent wash trading between multiple keys operated by the same participant because there is no information about traders other than their pseudonymous public keys.

Measures used on CEXs such as banning or restricting keys/traders as a result of manual reviews are impossible. It is also impossible for any trader to have special fee schedules, prioritised or privileged access to Vega, etc. (as also happens on many crypto CEXs) and all traders are subject to the same rules, which are transparent, as the full source code of the protocol is public. There are no admin keys or centralised control points.

No one individual or entity runs Alpha Mainnet.

Decentralised validators, validate the network.

Data nodes, which provide APIs for using Vega’s Alpha Mainnet but don’t have any control over the network or produce blocks are run by validators and other community members (anyone may run a data node by following the steps linked here).

The project team’s role is to contribute to the development of the project.

Neither the project team nor any paid contributor to the Vega project runs any of the validators on the network. Nor do they control the bridge connecting the Ethereum blockchain to the Vega network. There are no admin keys or backdoors to either.

The only way the team can make changes is via the publicly available code. Validators and anyone else can inspect and suggest changes to the code. Validators may decide not to accept and deploy any change (in part or in full) and can fork the code or choose to deploy an unofficial release not made by the project team.

To see a full list of validators head to this page and to understand more about how the network is operated you can check out the docs here.

It’s important to ensure the Vega project is recognised within the wider crypto ecosystem, that the software and what has been built is visible, and that Vega’s ideology and values are understood.

These things happen through speaking at events, interviews and podcasts, partnerships and through through PR.

Vega Protocol is not a DAO. The Vega network is decentralised and the source code is publicly viewable. It (the mainnet) exists through community token holders, validators, and liquidity providers independently participating in the network that has been built.

Contributors provided funds to Gobalsky Labs to build the software for the Network. The purpose of the entity is not to be a profit-making entity and as a consequence does not profit from the network. It doesn’t stake tokens or receive income from the Vega network, including fees, or from conducting any other activities on chain.

Most of the project’s funds go toward developing and testing the Vega software, and related activities like documentation. What is shared is published on the blog and can also be found in other FAQ answers.

Whilst there are currently no community-managed funds or treasury, this will likely change in some way once the on-chain governance features to support it are delivered in October.

Overall Vega token emissions do not occur on an algorithmic emissions schedule controlled by the protocol. Instead, tokens are issued based on the needs and strategy of the project, which are not set in stone and are subject to change over time.

Detailed information about actual and currently planned emissions of all types is not currently published, however, information about the unlocking curve of vesting tokens can be found on the Governance site, and more details about specific emissions curves such as for staking can be found on the Vega blog.

The best way to get started with the Vega network is to first download and install a Vega wallet. There are (currently) 3 different types of Vega wallet:

  • Recommended: The browser wallet — Vega’s newest and in active development browser extension wallet, a more user-friendly option
  • The desktop wallet — a UI based local wallet application, stable and feature-complete
  • The CLI wallet — command line based, experimental features and best suited for developers

Once your wallet of choice is downloaded and installed, you can head to console.vega.xyz and access the IPFS instance of the Vega Trading Console. After connecting your Vega wallet, this will then allow you to connect a standard EVM wallet (like Metamask) and also to start depositing assets from Ethereum.

To understand more about this process -

Read this thread — hereCheck out the Docs — hereTake a look at the Vega LinkTree — here

The Vega+ Ambassador Program is the inner circle of the Vega Community, created so keen members can better support the wider community by working closely with the core team. Ambassadors belong to different teams depending on where their specialities lie.

Read the Vega+ V2 — Applications Open blog post to learn more Then apply — here*applications will be reviewed until September 10th 2023 **exceptional candidates will be taken after this date on an ad-hoc basis

If you are technical and would like to build on top of Vega Protocol, you can join Vega Builders Club — a group of builders, developers and hobbyists coming together to build and maintain projects on top of the Vega Protocol.

You can sign up for Vega Builders Club here and find out about current Builders Club projects by visiting the Builders Club HQ.

To make changes to the live Vega network or a live market on the Vega network, you must go through the governance protocol outlined here, this allows anyone to suggest changes to be made through a governance proposal, which is then voted on by VEGA token holders.

For direct protocol level or UI feedback, you can discuss that in GitHub discussions here, or if you are particularly skilled you may open a PR on the public Vega repos listed here.

Feedback 💡

If you have direct protocol or UI feedback this can be added to GitHub Discussions here, or for market-by-market/parameter changes, perhaps check out the governance process outlined here. For more general organisational questions, like the ones above, you are more than welcome to join the Vega Protocol Discord server and ask in the general channel. Moreover, if you think a point is missing from this FAQ feel free to suggest it here.