A more accountable Skip:Go

Yesterday, we announced that the Skip API will be renamed to Skip:Go. This is part of a much larger shift in the Skip organization that aligns our whole team around creating tools that empower sovereign communities. We’ll be sharing more about what that means soon, but today we’re excited to share that Skip:Go will undergo a complete overhaul to make it fully accountable to its users and integrators.

Accountability is something I’ve written about previously, but the Skip team is now committing that we will remain accountable. In order for our partners and community members to hold us to account, they must be able to understand the systems they rely on. This is why over the course of the next several months our team plans to open source the entire Skip:Go codebase, making it possible for anyone to add their own venues, routing algorithms, and eventually contribute to core software repositories.

This is no small task. Today Skip:Go supports over 120 chains spanning Cosmos, EVM, Solana, with more coming. We route over 25 different swap venues, 5 bridge architectures, and multiple VMs using numerous distinct routing algorithms. All told Skip:Go is over 150,000 lines of code across 5 different services.

The Skip team is in the process of refactoring, documenting, and generally rethinking what Skip:Go is, and the role it plays in the ecosystem. The Go service currently powers cross-chain routing for Keplr, Leap, Cosmostation, Astroport, dYdX, Stride, Initia, Noble, Neutron, DAODAO, and many, many others. We’re incredibly grateful to our partners for relying on our products. And even though Skip:Go never custodies funds, nor does the system provide trade execution, by suggesting routes we recognize that Skip:Go sits at a critical position in the transaction supply chain. Taking that role seriously means shining a light on how we work and how our systems function.

Why open source? Because community sovereignty means systems must not only remain legible, but legitimately directed by stakeholders. As a step in this direction we recently piloted the addition of third-party routing with our friends at Coinhall, who also themselves use the Skip:Go API. The first of many steps toward turning Go into a system owned and operated by the people who give it value, and who rely on the service it provides.

Today the core Skip:Go typescript library and Skip:Go widget are fully open source and have already benefited significantly from community contributions. As for Go’s backend systems, our first priority is making sure our team is no longer the bottleneck for integrating new bridges, DEXs, chains, and tokens by creating a streamlined process for this class of open source contributions. If you’re interested in making such a contribution we’d love to speak to potential design partners!

In the coming months, while our team progressively open sources the codebase, we will also begin to investigate how we can turn Skip:Go into a decentralized service. For us decentralization is a means, not an end. Our aim is to make Go more resilient, legible, and accessible to integrators, and more accountable to the stakeholders who use the system. If you rely on Skip:Go to exchange assets, or your application uses Go to move user assets, you should be able to depend on the system’s behavior and be assured that the service remains aligned with your interests, and the interests of your users.

We have a few ideas about how we might start to decentralize Skip:Go, but at this stage we honestly have more questions than answers. Right now our team is at the exploratory stage, investigating the appropriate shape for such a system and how it might provide the long-term assurances our community deserves. We do not yet know what available technologies will allow us to us deploy such a service without compromising execution quality or safety, but we’re excited to learn and collaborate with people who can help us get there.

Our intention with this post is to make it known to our integration partners and the wider community that our team has set this process in motion and that we can’t do this alone. We want to talk with stakeholders to understand what they need from an accountable Skip:Go, and invite discussions with technology partners who want to collaborate to help us make this possible.

If you’re interested in collaborating get in touch here: https://forms.gle/86xzffXfntK5gfPZ9

Skip:Go open source repositories