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ApeX logoApeX

  • Total value locked$21.94 M5.34%
  • Breakdown
  • Daily TPSNo data
  • 30D tx countNo data
  • TechnologyValidium
  • PurposeExchange




ApeX Pro is a non-custodial trading platform that delivers limitless cross-margined perpetual contracts trading.

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Risk analysis

Sequencer failureState validationData availabilityUpgradeabilityValidator failure

State validation

ZK proofs (ST)

ZK-STARKS are zero knowledge proofs that ensure state correctness.

Data availability


Proof construction relies fully on data that is NOT published on chain.



The code that secures the system can be changed arbitrarily and without notice.

Sequencer failure

Force trade/exit to L1

The user can force the sequencer to include a trade or withdrawal transaction by submitting a request through L1. The user is required to find a counterparty for the trade by out of system means. If the sequencer is down, the user can use the exit hatch to withdraw funds.

Validator failure

Escape hatch (MP)

Users are able to trustlessly exit their collateral by submitting a merkle proof of funds. Positions will be closed using average price from the last batch state update.


Validity proofs ensure state correctness

Each update to the system state must be accompanied by a ZK Proof that ensures that the new state was derived by correctly applying a series of valid user transactions to the previous state. Once the proof is processed on the Ethereum blockchain the L2 block is instantly finalized. The system state is represented using Merkle roots.

  1. Enforcing Consistency on the On-Chain State - StarkEx documentation

Zero knowledge STARK cryptography is used

Despite their production use ZK-STARKs proof systems are still relatively new, complex and they rely on the proper implementation of the polynomial constraints used to check validity of the Execution Trace.

  • Funds can be lost if the proof system is implemented incorrectly.

  1. STARK Core Engine Deep Dive

Data is not stored on chain

The transaction data is not recorded on the Ethereum main chain.

  • Funds can be lost if the external data becomes unavailable (CRITICAL).


The system has a centralized operator

The operator is the only entity that can propose blocks. A live and trustworthy operator is vital to the health of the system. Typically, the Operator is the hot wallet of the StarkEx service submitting state updates for which proofs have been already submitted and verified.

  • MEV can be extracted if the operator exploits their centralized position and frontruns user transactions.

  1. Operator - StarkEx documentation

Users can force exit the system

Force exit allows the users to escape censorship by withdrawing their funds. The system allows users to force the withdrawal of funds by submitting a request directly to the contract on-chain. The request must be served within a defined time period. If this does not happen, the system will halt regular operation and permit trustless withdrawal of funds. Perpetual positions can also be force closed before withdrawing, however this requires the user to find the counterparty for the trade themselves.

  • Users can be censored if the operator refuses to include their transactions. They can still exit the system.

  • Funds can be lost if the user is unable to find the counterparty for the force trade.

  1. Censorship Prevention - StarkEx documentation
  2. Forced Trade - StarkEx documentation


Regular exit

The user initiates the withdrawal by submitting a transaction on L2. When the block containing that transaction is proven the funds become available for withdrawal on L1. Finally the user submits an L1 transaction to claim the funds. This transaction does not require a merkle proof.

  1. Withdrawal - StarkEx documentation

Forced exit

If the user experiences censorship from the operator with regular exit they can submit their withdrawal requests directly on L1. The system is then obliged to service this request. Once the force operation is submitted if the request is serviced the operation follows the flow of a regular exit.

  1. Forced Operations - StarkEx documentation
  2. Forced Withdrawal - StarkEx documentation
  3. Full Withdrawal - StarkEx documentation

Emergency exit

If enough time passes and the forced exit is still ignored the user can put the system into a frozen state, disallowing further state updates. In that case everybody can withdraw by submitting a merkle proof of their funds with their L1 transaction.

  1. Forced Operations - StarkEx documentation
  2. Forced Withdrawal - StarkEx documentation
  3. Full Withdrawal - StarkEx documentation

Permissioned Addresses

The system uses the following set of permissioned addresses:

Governor 0xef75…1D55

Allowed to upgrade the implementation of the StarkPerpetual contract, potentially maliciously gaining control over the system or stealing funds.

Governance Multisig 0xC532…a7B6

Allowed to upgrade the implementation of the StarkPerpetual contract, potentially maliciously gaining control over the system or stealing funds.

MultiSig participants 0x22c8…84Fe0xef75…1D55

These addresses are the participants of the 2/2 ApeX MultiSig.

Operator 0x78e8…d4Fb

Allowed to update state of the system and verify DA proofs. When Operator is down the state cannot be updated.

Validity proof must be signed by at least 3 of these addresses to approve state update.

SHARP Verifier Governor 0x3DE5…F5C6

Can upgrade implementation of SHARP Verifier, potentially with code approving fraudulent state. Currently there is no delay before the upgrade, so the users will not have time to migrate.

Can approve fast withdrawal from the bridge. At least 2 signatures are needed in order for the withdrawal to be valid.

Smart Contracts

A diagram of the smart contract architecture
A diagram of the smart contract architecture

The system consists of the following smart contracts:

Main contract of ApeX exchange. Updates state and verifies its integrity using STARK Verifier. Allows users to deposit and withdraw tokens via normal and emergency modes. This contract stores the following tokens: USDC.

Committee 0x23Ca…94E4

Data Availability Committee (DAC) contract verifying data availability claim from DAC Members (via multisig check).

MultiSigPool 0xe95b…e9DE

Allows deposits in different tokens and swaps them to USDC. Allows fast withdrawals after the agreement of at least 2 designated signers.

Starkware SHARP verifier used collectively by StarkNet, Sorare, Immutable X and rhino.fi. It receives STARK proofs from the Prover attesting to the integrity of the Execution Trace of these four Programs including correctly computed L2 state root which is part of the Program Output.

The current deployment carries some associated risks:

  • Funds can be stolen if a contract receives a malicious code upgrade. There is no delay on code upgrades (CRITICAL).


ApeX Pro public beta launched

2022 Nov 21st

ApeX Pro beta is launched, with incentives program for users.

Learn more

ApeX Pro live on Mainnet

2022 Aug 31st

ApeX Pro, a non-custodial decentralized exchange is now live on Mainnet.

Learn more