CowSwap Enables Complex Swaps With ‘Hooks’

Sophisticated Users Can Combine Transactions Like Swapping, Bridging and Staking

By: Owen Fernau Loading...

CowSwap Enables Complex Swaps With ‘Hooks’

The team behind CoW Swap, a decentralized exchange (DEX) aggregator which regularly processes over $1B in monthly trading volume, has launched Hooks — a feature that allows additional transactions to be processed immediately before or after a trade.

Instead of being limited to swapping between assets, sophisticated users can now chain together actions like swapping, bridging and staking, resulting in reduced transaction fees.

Alex Vinas, product marketing manager at CoW Swap, gave the example of a wallet which received an airdrop but didn’t have any ETH to pay for gas.

Using Hooks, a user could swap out of an airdropped token, trade enough of it to pay for gas, trade the remainder into another asset, and send that new asset to another address, Vinas said.

He cited another example of putting in a limit order to swap stablecoins into ETH at a given price and then buy a specific NFT.

The concept of “hooks,” or adding new functionality to what were previously simple token swaps, has been gaining traction. CoW Swap’s release is fully functional and comes less than a month after leading DEX Uniswap introduced its own concept of hooks.

Improving the Web3 User Experience

Hooks speak towards a more general trend in crypto of enabling more actions to happen with one click. The space has long struggled with clunky user experiences, so abstracting complexity away is part of a broader effort to make it easier to use blockchain technology.

Vinas said that, unlike Uniswap’s offering, CoW Swap’s hooks can be more broadly used. This is because CoW Swap is an aggregator, which allows its architecture to be built around different transactions, like bridging across blockchains, rather than additional transactions that are inherently linked to a Uniswap pool.

To be sure, CoW Swap’s hooks aren’t ready for mainstream users yet. “The first rollout is completely for developers or quite advanced users,” Vinas said.

To execute any additional transactions batched in with a swap, CoW Swap is leveraging its network of “solvers,” who, up to now, were solely tasked with finding the best prices for token swaps.

“CoW Swap runs auctions, and then whoever provides the best result for these auctions from the Solver competition, gets the right to settle the auction and wins the rewards,” Vinas explained. Solvers will now need to complete additional tasks in order to reap the rewards of a hook-enabled transaction.