Depositing and withdrawing collateral on Vega: A question from testnet users

We’ve had a lot of great feedback about testnet so far, and lots of questions about how Vega will look in mainnet. I’ve picked out a question that we’ve received a few times in our onboarding sessions, and dug into the answer for both testnet and mainnet.

How do I deposit and withdraw collateral on Vega?

On Vega’s testnet, all the collateral in Vega is listed as VUSD or BTC. None if it is real collateral, it’s just representative ‘play money’ to use on testnet. For now, testnet users are given collateral, and the amount is reset with every network reset.

VUSD is a conceptual stablecoin that represents US Dollars (1 VUSD = 1 USD), and that symbolises the use of a USD-backed stablecoin. Its value in the testnet represents the USD value of collateral that is required/rewarded.

On mainnet, a trader will be able to deposit the settlement currency that is defined for the market they want to trade on. For example, if a market requires Ethereum but a trader only has Bitcoin, then the trader will need to convert enough Bitcoin into Ethereum to use as collateral.

Soon, participants will be able to deposit ERC-20 tokens onto the testnet, when we launch an Ethereum bridge contract that @danny is working on. Nodes will also run a watcher service that connects to Ethereum. It watches events going into that contract, and passes them to the validator that verifies and signs the transactions. Those are then sent to the Vega node, and once 2/3 or more of the nodes see that you have assets, your collateral will be available to use.

Withdrawing collateral will be the same process but in the opposite order. A participant requests a withdrawal of a certain amount of collateral, the nodes confirm the transaction is possible, you submit the withdrawal transaction to Ethereum, and the money leaves Vega.

That’s just a quick overview, and we’ll definitely share more about how this will work in documentation and in a blog post… maybe even two.

PS: You can still sign up to the testnet waiting list, if you haven’t yet.