In a previous article, we took a deep dive into Vertex, a decentralised exchange on Arbitrum offering a suite of DeFi products. If you would like to know more about Vertex then check this article, but here’s a quick TL;DR.
Vertex is a VERTically integrated EXchange on Arbitrum. The vertical integration means that it offers a suite of products to make it a one-stop solution for all your DeFi needs. The purpose behind Vertex is to have the smooth user experience of a centralised exchange combined with the transparency and self-custody offered by a decentralised exchange. They offer derivatives, spot markets, and money markets.
This article will be more of a user guide, showing you how to use the Vertex product and its various features.
Let’s start with the initial steps that any user would take to use Vertex. However, before getting into that, it is important to know that at the time of writing, Vertex is currently deployed on testnet. They are waiting for their community to first test out the product and make the appropriate changes before launching on Ethereum mainnet.
With that in mind, let’s begin.
Getting your money onto vertex is a 4-step process:
1. Get ETH on Goerli Testnet
2. Bridge Goerli ETH to Arbitrum Goerli
3. Mint USDC on Vertex Faucet
4. Deposit minted USDC on Vertex
The Goerli testnet is a testing network. Teams use it to test out their applications before deploying them on the mainnet.
To get your ETH on the Goerli testnet you first need an Alchemy account. If you don’t have one then don’t fret, just click this link to create an account, it’s super easy.
Next, you need to make sure you have the “Goerli Test Network” added to your Metamask. If you do not have it, go to “Advanced Settings”, scroll down to “Show test networks” and turn it on, Goerli should show up when you click “Add Network” on your Metamask Wallet.
Settings > Advanced > Toggle on “Show test networks”
Settings > Networks > Select “Goerli test network” > Click “Add a network”
Now that you have Goerli added, go to the Goerli Faucet, paste your address, and click “Send Me ETH” to get some free Goerli ETH for gas. Make sure you log into your Alchemy account before proceeding.
Now let’s get to step 2 “Bridge Goerli ETH to Arbitrum Goerli”
Once you have your Goerli ETH go to the Arbitrum bridge. Once here, connect your wallet and select Arbitrum Goerli as the destination chain, i.e. “From: Goerli” and “To: Arbitrum Goerli”.
Once this is done, enter the amount you want to bridge. If you have 0.1 ETH, then bridge over 0.09 and leave over 0.01 for gas fees.
Confirm the transaction and then it shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes for it to complete.
ETH Goerli L1 Transaction: https://goerli.etherscan.io/tx/0x11f17a6c3a424ce48ed7cfcb6b0cc9859234e5554c08140ac5c06cbb14ae8c52
Arbitrum Goreli L2 Transaction: https://goerli.arbiscan.io/tx/0x1e7984d616151c7ccdd7b7bc71586bb16d26bbb1acc9b81b0f0c130465402829
Once this is done, go to the Vertex protocol website and switch your wallet network to Arbitrum Goerli. You will be automatically prompted to add the network in case you don’t have it already.
Once connected it’s time to move to step 3 and start using the Vertex protocol.
Once you’re on Vertex, go to the Vertex Faucet, this is where you can mint USDC which will allow you to use the platform and all its different features.
You will see this purple button saying “Mint Tokens”, click on it and approve the transaction to get your 100 USDC.
Once you have your testnet USDC, we can move to step 4 which is depositing your tokens into Vertex and using them.
Head to the “Portfolio Overview” section where you will see a deposit action on the right side of your screen. Enter the amount you desire to deposit and confirm it. The amount should show up in your portfolio balance and you are now ready to use Vertex.
If you would like a video walkthrough then check out this video.
Before getting into the details of how to navigate the website and use its different features, it’s important to clarify that the process mentioned above is simply for the testnet. When mainnet arrives you will simply have to directly connect your wallet to use the platform.
When you first enter the Vertex app the first thing that you will be met with is the account overview page which looks a bit like this.
At the top of the screen, you can navigate between Portfolio, Spot, and Perpetuals.
So let’s go over what you can do on each of these 3 pages.
The Portfolio page lets you manage everything to do with your Vertex account. On the left of the screen is the side navigation bar and on the right of the screen is the right-side panel.
The side navigation bar has the following features:
· Overview – a complete picture of your account, balances, and positions.
· Assets & Liabilities – view and manage assets (deposits) and liabilities (borrows).
· Perp Positions – view and close perp positions.
· Open orders – view and cancel your open orders for spot and perpetuals.
· History – deposit, withdraw, and trade history.
· Faucet – mint USDC and wBTC to deposit into Vertex for trading.
The right-side panel is simply a quick way for you to withdraw and deposit assets.
The page for Spot and Perpetuals is very similar, it looks like this.
On the left side of the page, you have:
- Account – deposit, withdraw and view account details. The details can be closed using the down arrow.
- Trading console – starting with the choice to buy or sell, the rest of the left side of the page has to do with placing trades (which is covered later on).
- Market – here you will find what market you’re trading and the page is displaying details for. This will also be where you can select different markets. However, there will only be 1 spot and 1 perp market during the testnet.
- Orderbook – the depth of different bids and asks for the selected market.
In the middle & right side of the page, you have:
- Market info & chart – here you will find a price chart and the current market stats such as price, change, and volume. Perps will also have an oracle price, interest, and expected funding rate.
- Spot or Perpetuals tables – easily manage your account without leaving the trading pages. Find your balances (or positions for perps), open orders, and trade history as it relates to either spot or perpetuals.
- Market trades – the history of all executed trades within the current market.
Now that you’re comfortable with the interface, let’s move on to actually using the protocol.
Deposits & Withdrawals
The first thing you need to do is deposit your money on the protocol to use it.
One way to do it is to use the right-side panel mentioned above. There is an option for a quick deposit which you can click on. The other way to do it is from your trading screen.
On the top left of your trading screen, you should see two options that say “deposit” and “withdraw”. Click on deposit.
Then choose the asset you want to deposit. The number on the right shows you how much you have available in your wallet to deposit, so you can decide how much ever you want from that amount.
You can either manually enter the amount or use the shortcut below which shows 4 different percentage options.
After this, if the deposit is deemed valid, then the “Deposit” button will be clickable after which you just have to approve the transaction in your wallet. Once done, the money should be in your Vertex account.
Now once you’re done with your activities on the platform and you want to withdraw, the process is similar, select the asset, choose the amount, and click withdraw. However, an added feature here stems from the fact that Vertex has an integrated money market.
You can toggle on the “borrow assets” tab and withdraw assets that you don’t have.
If you have wBTC on Vertex but don’t wish to sell it, you can easily borrow USDC against it to use elsewhere. This will of course impact your margin usage and the risk of liquidation for your account.
It is important to note that for one, Vertex is non-custodial so you have complete control over your funds at all times, Vertex has no access to them. Secondly, after successful deposits and withdrawals it can often take up to a few minutes for the front end to update the amounts, so don’t be scared if there are small delays.
Now let’s move on to the fun part. The trading.
So let’s start with placing a trade.
You will see this familiar interface (if you have traded before) when you try to place a trade. Left is the spot market and right is the perp market
You then pick your side of the trade. So, for spot it’s either Buy or Sell and for perps it’s either Long or Short. You must also pick the type of order, i.e. Market or Limit. With market orders, you have IOC (immediate or cancel) wherein basically if the market order only partially gets filled the rest gets cancelled.
You then enter the amount, i.e. the size of the trade. After this, you click either the green or red button to execute the trade. If there is any issue in execution you will be notified.
Here I’ve placed a Limit Buy order for wBTC at $17,500.
So now let’s get onto closing trades.
Let’s start with limit orders. If you placed a limit order that you later changed your mind about, simply go to the “open orders” tab and click on cancel which will be all the way on the right of the screen, under the “Actions” tab.
Now let’s get to closing a perp trade.
In the positions table on the perp trading page, your open position will be displayed. To close the entire position simply go to the far right of your screen where you will see a close option. Click it and your position will be closed.
If you want to close only a portion of your position, there are currently no shortcuts, they will be added later. You will have to scale out manually.
So, for example, if you are 10 ETH long and want to scale out 50% of your position, simply open a 5 ETH short and 50% will be closed.
This summarises the gist of using the Vertex protocol. However, since it’s still in testnet, you could play a role in helping make the product even better by giving your feedback to the team after using it.
How to give feedback
Vertex will be using HelloNext to process your feedback. To give feedback you can go here.
There are two main types of feedback to give. Bugs & Feature Requests. Bugs refer to any issues you encountered while using the protocol such as lags or errors and feature requests refer to you suggesting new potential features that you think would help make the protocol better.
Apart from this, you can also hop into the discord if you want to ask questions or have a more direct conversation with one of the team members.
Hopefully, this guide helps you traverse through Vertex with ease. Test it out, give your feedback, and then get ready for mainnet. Watch this space.
As I was exploring Vertex for this user guide, the UI & UX really impressed me. I’m immersed in DeFi protocols all day long, and most of them have outdated UI and clunky UX, that isn’t the case here. The devs have really lived up to their word and are determined to provide a CEX-like experience with Vertex. As such, I’d highly recommend you give it a try and experience it for yourself, trust me, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. What’s more, is that these are testnet funds, doesn’t matter what you do with them. Go blow up your account.
This article was written by the fantastic LeftsideEmiri… we are very lucky to have such a brilliant mind, writing pieces such as this at blocmates. He also has his own substack which I encourage you all to go read. His latest post was incredible.