- Arbitrum’s Nitro update has resulted in increased activity on the Ethereum Layer 2 solution.
- While Arbitrum does not yet have its own token, two of its native protocols could act as substitutes for traders seeking exposure.
- GMX is a decentralized futures exchange and Dopex a decentralized options exchange. Their governance tokens of both accrue fees generated by the protocols.
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GMX and Dopex, two of the best protocols on Arbitrum, can offer traders the opportunity to gain exposure to the Layer 2 solution while waiting for it to launch its native token.
Nitro update successful
Arbitrum’s launch of Nitro was a success, the metrics on the chain seem to indicate. Daily transactions have rose to new all-time highs (beating the records of September 2021 and July 2022 and recording 318,777 transactions yesterday), new addresses are in progress created at about three times the pace it was before the upgrade and the Layer 2 solution is stamping roughly double the daily rates of its competitor Optimism.
Arbitrum does not currently have a native token. However, market participants can pursue two avenues to gain exposure to the growth of the network: GMX and Dopex.
GMX is a decentralized exchange of perpetual futures which allows its users to trade without authorization with up to 30x leverage. The platform is native to Arbitrum and already is generate averages around $ 400,000 in daily fees, making it one of the highest-revenue crypto protocols behind Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, Aave, Uniswap, and Synthetix.
The protocol has two tokens, GMX and GLP. GMX is the utility and governance token of the exchange and GLP is the liquidity provision token. GMX accrues 30% of the commissions generated by the protocol. The token price has reached up a new high of around $ 50.2 from Arbitrum’s Nitro update; it had previously reached a low of around $ 12.3 in early June.
GLP, on the other hand, accrues 70% of the commissions generated by the trading protocol and is currently priced at $ 0.91. GLP is automatically wagered upon purchase, which means it is only obtainable on the GMX protocol itself. Although the token gives higher rewards than GMX, GLP holders act as the counterparty to traders with leverage on the exchange; therefore, the performance of the GLP token depends on market conditions and the execution of the trader.
Since the GMX exchange is one of the largest native applications on Arbitrum itself, GMX and GLP tokens can act as a proxy for exposure to the growth of the Arbitrum network. The GMX token in particular has proven sensitive to previous Arbitrum updates. On the day of Nitro’s launch, the coin jumped from $ 44 to $ 51, but when the Arbitrum Odyssey was temporarily postponedit fell from $ 18.7 to $ 15.2.
Dopex is a decentralized options trading. Like GMX, the protocol uses liquidity pools to allow traders to buy or sell option contracts for digital assets in an unauthorized manner. And just like GMX, Dopex has two tokens: DPX and rDPX.
DPX is the utility and governance token of the protocol. It has a total fixed supply of 500,000 tokens, of which around 60% are already in circulation and emissions are expected to end in early 2026. DPX is currently appreciated about $ 419; it reached a low of around $ 113 in June. It’s still down 89.7% from its previous all-time high of $ 4,222.
DPX also accrues commissions from Dopex. Commissions are generated from purchases of options, swaps and exercises; 70% of these go to Dopex liquidity providers and 15% to DPX stakers. rDPX is a multipurpose token that can be used to increase commission-generated rewards.
Data from DeFiLlama indicate that Dopex went from $ 154 million in value locked in the protocol to about $ 29 million, while GMX it’s at more than $ 369 million and growing. The metric can often be unreliable, but in this case it indicates that Dopex doesn’t currently enjoy the same kind of momentum as futures trading. The DPX token also doesn’t seem as sensitive to changes in the Arbitrum ecosystem as GMX, for example, it didn’t react to the Nitro update.
Waiting for the referee
GMX and Dopex aren’t Arbitrum’s only native projects (stablecoin broadcaster Vesta Finance has also adopted Layer 2 as its main home, as well as few others). But they are the biggest, the most famous and the most innovative of the group: this means that their token prices will continue to appreciate if the growth of Arbitrum continues.
It is worth mentioning that only Arbitrum’s competitor, Optimism launched by plane its native token months after market participants took the time to test its platform. The Optimism airdrop was notable as it heavily rewarded users who interacted with multiple facets of the ecosystem, such as using bridges or donating to Gitcoin. If Arbitrum were to take a similar course of action with their own token, familiarizing yourself with the best Layer 2 protocols could yield benefits.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned ETH and several other cryptocurrencies. The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and does not constitute financial advice.