Fragmentation of Distributed Exchanges
8 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2019 Last revised: 7 Nov 2019
Date Written: October 24, 2019
Distributed securities exchanges may become de facto fragmented if they span geographical regions with asymmetric computer infrastructure. First, we build an economic model of a decentralized exchange with two miner clusters, standing in for compact areas of economic activity (e.g., cities). "Local" miners in the area with relatively higher trading activity only join a decentralized exchange if they enjoy a large speed advantage over "long-distance" competitors. This is due to a transfer of economic value across miners, specifically from high- to low-activity clusters. Second, we estimate the speed advantage of "local" over "long-distance" miners in a series of Monte Carlo experiments over a two-cluster, unstructured peer-to-peer network simulated in C. We find that the speed advantage increases in the level of infrastructure asymmetry between clusters. Cross-region DEX blockchains are feasible as long as the asymmetry levels in trading activity and infrastructure availability across regions are positively correlated.
Keywords: distributed exchange, fragmentation, P2P network, Monte Carlo simulation, financial markets
JEL Classification: G10, G14, G19, C15
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation