Skip to content
A Decentralized Exchange Scaffold - launch a DEX in minutes
Branch: master
Clone or download
Latest commit 35d05f2 May 16, 2019


Hydro Protocol is an open source framework for building decentralized exchanges.

More detailed information can be found in our developer documentation.

Building on Hydro? Come chat with our team on our Hydro Relayer Slack Channel.

Standard DEX Scaffold

This repository provides a basic template for building a Decentralized Exchange (DEX) on the Ethereum blockchain. When you finish the steps outlined in this guide, you will have:

  • Setup a fully functioning DEX (or "Hydro Relayer") on your local server
  • Leveraged Hydro Protocol smart contracts on Ethereum to securely exchange tokens
  • Performed some trades on your DEX
  • Learned how to customize your DEX: change fees, add markets, etc.


It should take less than 10 minutes to get your DEX running.

Launching Your DEX


The only required software that you must have installed are docker and docker-compose.

If you don't already have them installed, you can follow this link to install them (free).

Initial Setup

  1. Clone this repo

    git clone
  2. Change your working directory

    cd hydro-scaffold-dex
  3. Build and launch your hydro relayer

    docker-compose pull && docker-compose up -d

    This step may takes a few minutes. When complete, it will start all necessary services.

    It will use ports 3000, 3001, 3002, 6379, 8043, and 8545 on your computer. Please make sure theses ports are available.

  4. Check out your relayer

    Open http://localhost:3000/ on your browser to see your exchange in action!

Testdrive Your DEX

Now that your DEX is up on your local server, let's try it out a bit.

  1. Connect a wallet

    You can connect to a wallet by clicking the button at right-top corner. We have already prepared an address for you.

    You can find it under the Browser Wallet type. The address is:

  • public key: 0x31ebd457b999bf99759602f5ece5aa5033cb56b3
  • private key: 0xb7a0c9d2786fc4dd080ea5d619d36771aeb0c8c26c290afd3451b92ba2b7bc2c
  1. Test out the trading flow

    You might have noticed that we setup a simple market making bot on the HOT-DAI market. Try to make some trades on this active market.

Configuring Your DEX

Our Hydro Scaffolds come with a powerful API and easy Command Line Interface (CLI) for configuring your DEX.

  1. Login to the CLI

     docker-compose exec admin sh
  2. View the CLI manual to see a list of functions you can perform

    See admin cli manual

  3. Try creating a new market

     hydro-dex-ctl market new HOT-WWW \
       --baseTokenAddress=0x4c4fa7e8ea4cfcfc93deae2c0cff142a1dd3a218 \
  • The base token is the first symbol (HOT above), the quote token is the second symbol (WWW above).

  • You could try this with different token symbols and contract addresses.

  • This creates a market with "default parameters" for fees, decimals, etc.

      hydro-dex-ctl market publish HOT-WWW
  • This makes the market viewable on the frontend

  1. Exit the CLI


    This will exit out of the CLI and go back to the original terminal.


You now have a fully functioning DEX on your local system, complete with a CLI for easy customization.

  1. Support Channels

    We're happy to help you through the setup process at anytime. Our Hydro Relayer Slack Channel is designed specifically for this. Come say hi and show off your DEX!

    Our team has thorough exchange experience and would be happy to talk over details of what it takes to operate a successful relayer.

  2. Deploying your DEX

    Check out our Developer Documentation or come chat with us on our slack.

Additional Info

Useful Docker Commands

  1. Display the status of all services running

     docker-compose ps

    This command displays the status of all services running in docker. It's helpful for troubleshooting and for understanding the combination of components that goes into running your DEX.

  2. Stopping your DEX

     docker-compose stop

    This command will stop all of the current services running in docker.

  3. Restarting your DEX

     docker-compose pull && docker-compose up -d

    The same command that you ran to start it the first time can be used for subsequent restarts. Always run the pull command first, as the docker-compose up command will not run without an image.

  4. View logs

     # view logs of the service that defined in docker-compose.yml services
     # e.g. view watcher log
     docker-compose logs --tail=20 -f watcher
     # e.g. view api log
     docker-compose logs --tail=20 -f api

    Much like the status, viewing the logs can give you an idea of the specific details involved in each service.

  5. Update this repo

    git pull origin master
  6. Completely clean the old state (data will be deleted)

    docker-compose down -v

What all comes in this Scaffold?

  • Frontend:
    • A Basic Exchange Web UI
  • Backend:
    • Http Server to serve API data
    • Websocket Server to handle keepalive connections and serve realtime data
    • Matching Engine to send matching orders to the hydro smart contracts
    • Blockchain Monitor to watch for transaction changes on the blockchain
  • PostgresSQL database
  • ganache-cli to run a local ethereum node and support for ropsten and mainnet


How to setup environment for local development

See setup dev env manual.


This project is licensed under the Apache 2.0 License - see the LICENSE file for details

You can’t perform that action at this time.