a kit

What is Checker?

Checker is a generic piece of software for creating robocoins on the Tezos blockchain. It is an open source project supported by Nomadic Labs, Tweag and TZ Connect Berlin.

A robocoin is a cryptographic token (or “coin”) that tracks an external measure of value, by using various feedback mechanisms to algorithmically control its supply. There is no widely accepted definition of the term, which has been created for the purpose of this document.

While it may have some similarities, Checker’s robocoin mechanism differs from the design of other coin systems which aim to track an external value (such as a currency). Coin designs such as those of the JPM and Facebook’s Libra relied on regulation by a central authority or administrator, which Checker does not require. The Dai stablecoin managed by the MakerDAO project decentralizes its governance, using voting to manage the financial risks of Dai and to ensure its stability: Checker does not require governance by decentralized voting either.

The Checker system eliminates governance by automating the regulation of the robocoin’s value. Specifically, Checker algorithmically controls the coin’s supply by creating incentives for creation and destruction, in order to maintain a smoothed drift of the value of the coin towards that of its external target measure.

Any number of Checker deployments can exist on a Tezos chain, each managing a separate robocoin which tracks a different external measure of value.

System overview of a Checker deployment


At its core, Checker is a single smart contract which is tied at build and deployment time to the following external contracts:

  1. An oracle contract that will be periodically queried for the value of its external target measure.

  2. An FA2 token contract which is used as collateral within Checker. Users transfer these tokens to Checker when creating burrows or depositing collateral and receive tokens when making withdrawals from their burrows.

  3. An FA2 token contract which is used in Checker’s CFMM.

  4. The new ctez system, which provides the ctez token: this token has a value which tracks that of Tez itself, but without affording the holder any baking rights. ctez is used in Checker’s CFMM for instances of Checker configured to use tez collateral.

A Checker deployment enables its users to mint and burn its robocoin: Checker manages peripheral “burrow” contracts on those users’ behalf, and places their collateral deposits there.

For users who wish to exchange the robocoin with other commodities, or who wish to provide liquidity for such exchanges, the deployment includes a CFMM (Constant Function Market Maker) facility. This allows an exchange between the robocoin and a single other FA2 token which can be configured at build time.

Finally, the deployment allows for liquidation of collateral tokens against which depositors have minted robocoins, to manage when relative prices changes render the collateral insufficient. A batched auction mechanism facilitates this liquidation.

The deployment adjusts the terms for minting, burning and collateralising its robocoin algorithmically based on its current market price and the target oracle feed, such that the price drifts towards the target.

An FA2 interface is provided for each deployment’s robocoin.

Configuring and building Checker for different use-cases

Checker uses a configuration file, checker.yaml, for building the contract for different use-cases TODO: Add reference to a config file doc section. While some configurations such as system constants do not cause structural differences in the Checker contract, other configurations such as the collateral type require slight structural variations.

Checker currently supports the following variations:

  1. Collateral type

    1. collateral_type=fa2 - In this case, the collateral type is an existing FA2 token and the CFMM is configured to use the same FA2 token.

    2. collateral_type=tez - A special case of (1). In this case Checker’s CFMM is required to use the wctez FA2 wrapper for ctez and the FA2 collateral contract must use the wtez FA2 wrapper for tez, both of which are included in the Checker repository.

  2. Drift derivative curve type

    1. curve_type=bang-bang - In this case, the drift derivative implementation uses a “bang-bang” curve which is discontinuous.

    2. curve_type=continuous - In this case, the drift derivative implementation uses a continuous curve.

  3. TODO: Oracle type (index vs. token-based)