Blockchain startup Vega has launched the testnet for its protocol, which allows parties to build trading products on a decentralized network. 

Over the last two years, Vega has been “working on building a protocol that allows people to deploy and run networks that can trade decentralized derivatives effectively,” Vega co-founder Barney Mannerings told Cointelegraph in an interview.

Vega received over $5 million during its 2019 funding round, seeing investments from players such as Pantera Capital and Ripple’s Xpring.

Vega opens its test network

Vega has launched a testnet for this software, offering partners and investors the opportunity for involvement before opening the offering to the entire community, Mannerings said. He added:

“Over the next few weeks and months we’re going to allow people to start using that test network to understand how that protocol works and to give us feedback on what’s been built, and that’s effectively part of a roadmap that leads up eventually to the release of a production-ready version of that software.”

The protocol allows folks to build trading products

Vega has its own blockchain, tailored for markets and trading products, offering participants the chance to launch trading products on something other than the currently-available broad spectrum blockchains.

Current blockchain’s such as Ethereum are not specifically made to host trading markets built on top of them. Vega’s blockchain specifically caters to this niche, according to Mannerings.

Vega’s solution is similar to Amazon’s AWS, but not really

Vega’s offering is essentially infrastructure software, Mannerings explained, although it is different than what Amazon Web Services, or AWS and others are doing in their brick and mortar-type offerings.

“AWS is operated by Amazon, whereas what we’re building is kind of like the node software that can be used to run that blockchain, but once it hits the production environment, that won’t be operated by us,” Mannerings said. “It will be operated by the participants and the people who want to use it.”

Mannerings continued, pointing to one similarity with AWS. “Once people deploy this and start to use it, they will be able to create and trade on derivatives markets in whatever they want,” he said.

Vega’s co-founder likened the operation to infrastructure software that allows easy access for entities to build trading products and markets. “That’s sort of a bit like how AWS enables people to create web applications or databases without having to know as much about the underlying hardware,” he explained. Mannerings again, however, specified the difference that Vega is not running the servers and data centers behind the operation.

Vega aims for its software to be an open network similar to Bitcoin or Ethereum, allowing interested parties to build on it, although the software is not open-source quite yet.

Decentralized finance, or DeFi, has gained prominence in the market over the last few years, with projects such as Celsius offering participants access to crypto-based loans, away from centralization. Vega adds to the DeFi space, offering another way people can engage in alternative finance.