What is Orca? (ORCA)
Summary of Orca
- Orca represents a user-friendly, Solana-based exchange AMM and cryptocurrency price aggregator with a strong environmental culture.
- The platform’s unique features include a Fair Price Indicator which verifies prices within 1% of CoinGecko’s rates, a ‘Your Tokens’ panel that clearly displays user balances and a Magic Bar to help identify existing trading pairs.
- Solana’s growing popularity, along with Orca’s ease of use, have the potential to propel participation on the protocol in the nearterm.
Orca is an Automated Market Maker (AMM) based decentralized exchange (DEX) built on top of the Solana blockchain.
Taking full advantage of Solana’s quick transactions and low fees, Orca was among the first AMMs launched on the Proof of Stake (PoS) platform. With its intuitive interface, Orca offers a user-friendly place to exchange cryptocurrencies on Solana.
Orca uses an ongoing feedback loop to listen to the concerns of users and updates its protocol around this feedback. Orca has thus created an intuitive DEX that provides a simple yet powerful experience for novice and experienced traders alike.
The governance token, ORCA, is the native cryptocurrency of the Orca decentralized exchange and is linked to the trading activity of the DEX itself.
Who created Orca?
Founded in 2021, Orca was co-founded by Yaturo Mori, aka rawfalafel, and Grace Kwan, aka Ori, and built on Solana to reduce the friction of high fees often associated with transactions in Ethereum based applications.
Mori is a software engineer heavily involved in cryptography and economics, while Kwan operates as a software engineer and interaction designer.
The Orca platform was funded through a grant awarded by the Solana Foundation and originally launched without a native token. The governance token was adopted in August, 2021, and has since accelerated the value and adoption of the Orca DEX.
The ORCA token was released with a retroactive distribution, meaning past users of the platform were rewarded with ORCA tokens. Upon its launch, the largest portion of these rewards, totaling 4 million ORCA, was given to its liquidity providers. 1 million ORCA was distributed to traders and 250,000 were allocated to advisors.
How Does Orca Work?
Orca functions by offering participants a way to swap tokens and earn a share of trading fees via the platform’s trading pools, known as aquafarms. This approach to pooling asset liquidity which can then be used for trading was first popularized by decentralized exchanges on the Ethereum network such as Uniswap. While the basic functions of Orca may seem similar to other exchanges found within the Solana ecosystem, a few key features set this AMM apart from its closest competitors.
In keeping with the founder’s trader-focused design goals, Orca’s interface incorporates a Fair Price Indicator. This feature helps traders verify that the price of a crypto currency is within 1% of CoinGecko’s aggregated list of prices across exchanges. This allows Orca traders to have a more complete overview of the cryptocurrency market while still utilizing a single trading interface.
Further, the platform offers a unique panel that clearly displays user balances - without the need to open a separate browser extension.
Another intuitive feature of the Orca platform is the user-friendly Magic Bar, a simple search feature allowing users to type the tickers of their desired tokens before easily finding the existing trading pairs.
Why does ORCA have value?
As DeFi platforms continue to expand, rapid innovation has helped boost participation in the space. The utility of the Orca platform, together with its ease of use, has accelerated recent platform activity.
It’s important to note that the value of the ORCA token is tied directly to the trading activity of the platform through the Orca Treasury, a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) used to support the growth of the Orca protocol.
The total supply of ORCA is set at 100 million tokens and Orca distributes tokens to liquidity providers. These market participants are rewarded for allocating their cryptocurrencies to the liquidity pools of the decentralized exchange, in a practice commonly referred to as yield farming. The careful release and distribution of newly minted tokens is done through a process called emission rates and individual emission rates from specific aquafarms are adjusted every two weeks. This consistent adjustment helps Orca protocol direct liquidity to the aquafarms that need it most.
Finally, Orca’s governance token, ORCA, allows participants to have a direct say in decisions made by the company. As an example, holders of ORCA recently cast votes to help direct the platform’s charitable donations.
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Why buy ORCA?
Orca protocol’s low gas fees and fast transactions may interest investors looking to diversify their crypto portfolio into a decentralized financial exchange (DEX).
Environmentally conscious consumers may also be attracted to the platform’s dedication to green initiatives. With charitable donations at the forefront of Orca’s ethos, generous contributions are consistently awarded to charitable organizations addressing climate change issues.
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