While 0x has established itself as part of the core infrastructure for building out Ethereum’s decentralized finance ecosystem, the utility of its native token ZRX is debatable. The 0x white paper outlined two core use cases of the ZRX token (1) governance and (2) transaction fees. The theory follows that because relayers built on ZRX have an interest in the development of the protocol, they will acquire ZRX to have some influence on its development. Relayers are middlemen who match buyers and sellers off the Ethereum blockchain, to avoid the costs and bloat associated with on-chain transactions.
In theory, relayers can also charge users transaction fees denominated in ZRX. But critically, relayers are not required to accept ZRX for transaction fees. And, because there has yet to be a formal governance feature implemented in the 0x protocol, the current and only use case for ZRX — beyond speculation — is to pay relayers to access their order books and trade.
So just how many relayers are using ZRX? Taking data from 0xtracker, we found the following:
- Of the top 10 relayers, by 24-hour volume, three (Radar Relay, LedgerDex, Bamboo Relay) exclusively accept ZRX for trading fees. These three relayers make up ~22% of the total relayer trading volume.
- The Ocean offers users the option to pay fees denominated in ZRX or the token they are trading in.
- DDEX, which makes up a whopping ~76% of the relayer trading volume, does not accept ZRX.
- Three relayers (Paradex, Tokenlon, Bamboo Relay) are currently offering fee-free transactions.