Interview - Cardano DeFi #005: SundaeSwap

Written interviews with DeFi projects on the Cardano blockchain.
Link to post on my Medium

This week’s Cardano DeFi project is the sweetest automated market maker DEX on Cardano, which was actually the first and had been building ever since: SundaeSwap.

The previous guest was an oracle solution, which gathers data and presents it in the correct format through a decentralized network of operators.

This initiative is a point of reference for Decentralized Finance (DeFi) on Cardano and every week or two we will invite someone to answer some questions and give us an update directly from within the Cardano community.

Hey, glad to have you here. Please introduce your team, where are you from, what are your backgrounds?

Hi; My name is Pi, and I’m the CTO at SundaeSwap. We’re an automated market maker DEX on Cardano. We were one of the first to launch, and have been running for a year and a half now.

I’ve got a very long background in software development: I’ve been programming since I was 9, got my Masters in Mathematics from NYU, and have worked at NYU, ADP, and Attentive. We’ve got a wide breadth of experience on the team as well.

What is SundaeSwap and how do you differ from the many other DeFi protocols out there?

SundaeSwap is an automated market maker DEX; We were the first AMM DEX on Cardano, and we’ve consistently pushed the boundaries of Cardano: we were in the trenches before smart contracts on Cardano launched, figuring out how to build our own PAB.

We pushed the limits of Cardano, stress testing the ecosystem and helping a lot of infrastructure improve with our launch; and we were the first people in the world to demonstrate a real world dApp running end-to-end on Hydra.

SundaeSwap was among the first DEXs to be launched on Cardano though it lost dominance to other protocols, why do you think that is? And what is your strategy going forward to regain it?

Honestly, our launch was very rough on us as a team. There was an intense amount of pressure on us to launch, and in some ways we were seen as the team that had to “prove” to the world that DeFi was possible on Cardano. When that launch was rocky, because of growing pains in scaling the Cardano blockchain, the community backlash hit us pretty hard. Plus, being a US company, our hands are tied in a lot of uncomfortable ways that other projects in the space don’t have to deal with.

Since then we’ve been quietly building for a long-term future in the background; You’ve seen some of our R&D work with Hydra, we just launched our completely revamped v2 UI, and we’ve got a new set of contracts in the works. We’ve built a governance portal and offer that as a service to other projects.

I’m a lot less “cut-throat competitive” than you’ll see elsewhere in the space, and I think it’s fantastic that other protocols are out there being successful. Obviously it would be great if SundaeSwap regained its place at number one, and I’ll be working my ass off to get there, but I’m also not going to lose a lot of sleep over it. My team and I are going to build the best product we can, and we’ll judge ourselves against what we know we’re capable of.

What is Hydra and how are you implementing it in your DEX? What are the tradeoffs of using it?

Hydra is one of the several layer two scaling solutions for Cardano. It allows a small number of people to create their own “pocket universe” version of Cardano and then transact and reach consensus among themselves very very quickly without having to broadcast those transactions to everyone in the world. It’s great for Privacy and Scalability, in the right contexts.

Hydra does this, though, by limiting the participants. It really shines when you have 2–10 people doing business together and are always online, which isn’t the case with the DEX. Last year we showed off a demo of our DEX running end to end on Hydra. This demo was one artifact of our research and development efforts, and was really cool, but we tried to emphasize at the time that it wasn’t a great solution on it’s own for a DEX, because a DEX wants to facilitate offline trades for thousands of people, who can’t all participate in the Hydra head.

Instead, what we’re researching is a protocol that we’ve been calling Gummiworm. This seeks to combine the ideas behind Hydra, and the great engineering work that the Hydra team has done, with a different custody model. A hybrid solution, if you will. We haven’t released a lot of details on it, and as with any R&D effort, progress has been a little slow (especially with us focusing on the launch of our v2 UI), but it’s definitely shaping up to be a really exciting protocol. We’ll have more details to announce when we’re ready.

Amazing. Any closing thoughts? Where can people learn more about SundaeSwap?

The best place to get involved is in our Discord, our Twitter, and our governance forum. We’re really excited to be a part of the Cardano community, and have some really exciting developments brewing for you all!

Disclaimer: The opinions and views of the people interviewed are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Cardano Foundation or IOG. Moreover, this content is for educational purposes, it doesn’t constitute financial advice.


Hey if its worth anything keep pushing. i am proud of you guys as a whole. the first few days when Sundae launched was hectic for everyone. But way to stay with it and recoup the confidence with the community! we still have a ways to go! keep working hard guys! looking forward to watching you guys grow confidently1

1 Like