Radix [ /rædɪks/ ] (Abbreviation: $XRD; sign: √ ) is a full-stack, decentralized finance (DeFi) layer-1 (L1) protocol founded by Dan Hughes.
An associated cryptocurrency was launched in November 2020 as a price-vested ERC-20 token ($eXRD) on the Ethereum network. $eXRD was superseded by native $XRD in July 2021 with the launch of Radix’s Olympia Mainnet. A two-way, 1-1 exchange between $eXRD and $XRD exists on Bitfinex.
$XRD is the Radix network’s main unit of account, medium of exchange and store of value, as well as being used to incentivize network security and pay transaction fees.
Radix has been designed to address the requirements of DeFi, including fast consensus, decentralized applications, & atomic composability.
- Development History
- Olympia (superseded)
- Alexandria (live)
- Babylon (July 31, 2023)
- Xi’an (2024)
- State Model
- Software Stack
- Token Economics
- US Citizens
- Decentralized Exchanges
- External Links
State Model (current)
Delegated Proof of Stake
Radix Engine v2
1.4m (2019/08, Tempo)
√ 2.9bn (2023/05/15)
Radix has adopted an incremental release strategy, building its platform from the ground up rather than copying existing approaches. This strategy allowed the team to test each level of functionality in a live environment while maintaining compatibility with future developments.
Since the Radix Production Network (RPN) naming convention was dropped, all releases are named after wonders of the ancient world, expanded beyond the traditional Seven Wonders to include Xi’an, a city in China where the Terracotta Army was found.
A test on a 2019 implementation called Tempo achieved over 1.4m tps on 1187 nodes.
From the Xi’an release, scheduled for 2024, Radix will use a fixed shard space of 2^256 shards, with responsibility over the shard space orchestrated by ‘shard groups’ of validators, allowing transaction throughput to scale linearly with the number of nodes.
Tests using Radix’s Cassandra cross-shard, atomically composable testnet and the Cerberus consensus mechanism have shown promise in being able to host and serve website data as well as ledger state:
“There’s a possibility that in some circumstances the actual content retrieval could maybe even outperform traditional centralized web servers because it’s automatically distributed; it’s load balanced.” - Dan Hughes, YouTube
Main article: Radix Mainnet (Olympia)
Olympia was the first Radix Mainnet. It was released on the 28th of July, 2021 and was the first implementation of the Radix Engine execution environment, the Cerberus consensus protocol (unsharded), and the native $XRD token.
Main article: Radix Developer Environment (Alexandria)
This was a major upgrade that occurred during December 2021 that provided preliminary tools for building blueprints and components using the Scrypto language.
Babylon (July 31, 2023)
Main article: Radix Mainnet (Babylon)
The Babylon release will debut blueprints and components / smart contracts, allowing true decentralized apps (’dApps’) on Radix. It is also expected to include staking changes and validator management improvements, among other updates.
Main article: Radix Mainnet (Xi’an)
This upgrade will add the fully sharded Cerberus consensus mechanism allowing for linear scaling over time.
Radix is a permissionless network of nodes that maintains a pre-sharded structure of 2^256 substates. Changes to those substates (i.e. transactions) are validated by dynamically assigned nodes and signed with a cryptographic hash.
Main article: Delegated Proof of Stake
Radix nodes are instances of the radixnode software. The recommended method to run a node is via the radixnode CLI tool, which may be run on any Linux or Ubuntu system.
The validator set is currently limited to 100 for the Alexandria release but will eventually support an unlimited number of validator nodes upon the release of Xi’an.
- Cerberus - Consensus Protocol
- Radix Engine - Application / Execution Environment
- Scrypto - Programming Language
- radixnode - Networking
Radix's token issuance was in two distinct stages:
- e-Radix, an ERC20 token (ticker: $EXRD) on the Ethereum network. This commenced on the 17th November 2020 and is now closed.
- Radix Public Network 1 (RPN1), where the unlocked $EXRD erc20 tokens are burned in exchange for native $XRD tokens on the Radix network.
Stage 2 added 5.19bn $XRD followed by a 300m yearly emission up to a maximum of 12bn emitted over a 40 year period. There will be an additional 2.4bn fixed allocation to a Stable Coin Reserve.
Percentage / Exc. Network Emissions
12.5% / 25%
Stable Coin Reserve
10% / 20%
10% / 20%
8.95% / 17.9%
2.675% / 5.35%
2.5% / 5%
2.5% / 5%
0.8% / 1.6%
0.04% / 0.08%
100% / 100%
Object Computing, Noether
Saul Klein, co-founder of LocalGlobe invested $1 million in Radix DLT in 2018.
For an existing competitor to convert to our data structure while retaining their existing user base and contracts, they would need to perform a complex and risky migration. This would involve transitioning all existing contracts, user accounts, and balances to the new data structure while ensuring security and compatibility. It is not impossible, but it would require significant effort, time, and resources to achieve.
Additionally, adopting the Cerberus consensus algorithm and other Radix-specific innovations might not be straightforward for existing competitors, as these technologies are designed and optimized specifically for the Radix platform. Competitors would need to adapt and integrate these components into their existing systems, which could be a complex and time-consuming process.
Moreover, a crucial aspect of a successful migration would be maintaining trust within their community. The platform's users, developers, and investors would need to be convinced that the migration would result in improved performance and security, without introducing new risks or issues. This could be a challenging task, as any major change in a platform's architecture is likely to be met with skepticism and concerns.
In conclusion, while it is theoretically possible for an existing competitor to adopt Radix's technology, the process would be complex, risky, and time-consuming. It would involve not only migrating to a new data structure and integrating Radix-specific innovations but also maintaining trust within the platform's community throughout the transition.
Any Ethereum account may "stake" (deposit) 32 ETH to become a validator. At the end of each "epoch" (32 block slots, each lasting 12 seconds), each validator is pseudorandomly assigned to one of the slots of the epoch after the next, either as the block proposer or as an attester. The block proposer creates a block that is intended to become the new "head" (latest block) of the blockchain, and the attesters attest to which block is at the head of the chain. If a validator makes self-contradicting proposals or attestations, or if it is inactive, it loses a portion of its stake. It may add to its stake at any time. A validator's attestation is given a weight equal to its stake or 32, whichever is less. According to the Ethereum protocol, the blockchain with the highest accumulated weight of attestations is the canonical chain. Validators are rewarded for proposing and attesting to blocks that become part of the canonical chain.
Cardano has improved upon Ethereum's limitations by parallelizing simple unrelated token transactions. However, Radix's Scrypto language will make it easier for developers to take advantage of this capability.
Main article: Solana
Solana is a blockchain platform that prioritizes security and scalability over decentralization, but has experienced frequent downtime and has been caught lying and committing fraud on several occasions. Solana's reputation continues to become more tarnished every time the network fails, and its design trade-offs put everyone at risk. The platform has a history of deceptive practices around figures used to evaluate cryptocurrencies, such as Total Value Locked (TVL) and Transactions Per Second (TPS).
As of mid-2023, Radix has not yet been listed on Coinbase. Coinbase requires a Rosetta API interface before adding a new DLT. Radix's new gateway/core API provides basic Rosetta functionality, but more work is needed for full compatibility. No timeline or priority for this enhancement has been disclosed.
While the Instabridge itself is free, there is a small amount of Ethereum gas required to remove eXRD from the Ethereum network.
Radix is actively working on obtaining appropriate licenses to offer more on-ramps to XRD via Instabridge, which is also undergoing a user interface improvement. KYC will still be required for these on-ramps as all legitimate ways of entering or leaving the crypto market will require KYC.
For issues related to Instabridge, users should contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Instabridge may perform a manual verification process before completing a transfer, which can be slow or delayed, particularly over weekends.
The safest method for US citizens to acquire XRD is to purchase eXRD from a decentralized exchange (DEX) like Uniswap or DeFi Plaza and use Instabridge, which requires KYC/AML compliance. Rumors suggest the next version of Instabridge may support XRD on-ramps, but no official information or ETA is available.
US exchanges are on the roadmap for Radix, although details cannot be revealed due to a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). In the meantime, users in the US can acquire XRD via Instabridge, which requires Know Your Customer (KYC) verification.
Radix supports decentralized exchanges (DEXs) and aims to comply with regulatory requirements, including those set by FinCEN (US regulatory body). The platform is designed to address the legal implications and challenges faced by DEXs under US law, ensuring a secure and compliant environment for users.
OciSwap is a decentralized exchange operating on the Radix mainnet with XRD and Radix-alts. It currently relies on a centralized component, which will be replaced by smart contracts in the Babylon release, allowing for complete decentralization.