⛓️Intent-Centric RFQ Architecture


What are Intents?

Intents are a signed set of declarative constraints created by a User that express their desired outcome for a transaction. This approach differs from how Users typically interact with EVM-based blockchain networks in which they must create transactions that specify the exact execution-path they would like a transaction to undergo. An intent essentially allows a User to specify ‘how’ a transaction should occur, rather than ‘what’ each step of a transaction should be.

In intent-based architecture, specialized third-parties (often referred to as Solvers or Executors) review intents in a ‘Intent-Pool’. They then compete with each other to return optimized execution paths based on the intent. The optimized execution path can occur between different networks and protocols that the solvers/executors have access to.

Why are Intents a Game-Changer for Users?

Intents transform DeFi from an imperative model in which each step of a transaction must be specified by the User to a declarative model in which the User’s desired outcome is used to create optimized solutions. This paradigm shift yields several key benefits:

Liquidity Unification

Sophisticated Solvers are not confined to a single blockchain network, Layer Two, or Rollup. But rather, they are able to source liquidity and efficient transaction execution wherever it may exist. This enables transactions to be created where the liquidity exists and increases the amount of liquidity transactions have access to.


Solvers are competing against each other for incentives and fees to return the optimal execution path to Users. This creates a natural marketplace for efficient solutions to be returned. Additionally, enabling a decentralized solver network offers a significant improvement over centralized aggregators in which only a single-entity is responsible for constantly integrating new networks/liquidity sources across blockchain networks. The natural competition between solvers ensure that they are constantly adding new liquidity sources and return unique solutions.

Cadence's Approach to Intent-Based Architecture

Cadence is developing a novel Intent-Based architecture solution that builds upon open source research in the Intents space. Here are our core components:

Cadence Intent-Pooling Engine (IPE)

The Cadence IPE is a hybrid-permissionless Intent-Pool that Solvers are able to utilize to access recently propagated Intents. Solvers must stake tokens in order to become a whitelisted Solver in this execution network. Requiring Solvers to stake tokens mitigates DoS attack vectors that are common among permissionless intent pools. This creates a game-theoretical model in which Solver’s are incentivized to provide optimal solutions and not act nefariously (i.e. Provide poorly optimized solutions to seek MEV, DoS attack the IPE, etc.).

Proof-of-Lock Protocol

Solver’s are constantly competing against each other to find optimal execution paths for User’s Intents. Once the optimal intent is found, it is verified by Cadence smart contracts. The User’s funds are then locked on the native chain they initiated the trade with and the Solver is able to execute the position on behalf of the User’s Account Abstraction (ERC-4377) based wallet (More information on this in the ‘Account Abstraction’ section of the technical documentation). Once the transaction is successfully executed on behalf of the User, the Solver is able to provide a proof that they created the position and redeem the User’s locked funds that are owed to them. These locked funds will include the initial collateral the Solver utilized on the User’s behalf as well as agreed upon fees the solver is owed.

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