Oxidizing Kraken | Kraken Blog

Simon Chemouil  –  Director of Engineering, Core Backend

For more than two years now, Kraken’s Core Backend team has been using Rust to modernize services originally written in PHP, while building new products, expanding the feature set and supporting the ever expanding increase in cryptocurrency trading activity.

Hi 👋! I’m Simon, the Director of Engineering at Kraken leading the Core Backend team.  I’d like to provide a retrospective of the Core Backend team’s usage of Rust the last two years and share our perspective building with it at scale. There are many great online resources explaining how Rust is different and why it is a great language. This is no such blog post, however. It is our hope that this article will be a helpful resource to companies considering building with Rust and to developers who want to invest the time learning the language.  Finally, this is also a massive thank you to all who helped make Rust possible, and a way for Kraken to contribute positively to this movement.

Rewriting Core Services

Often, building a solution from scratch to replace one problem leaves us with another. This is particularly common when the original developers are not part of the design and implementation of the new solution. Other times, the new solution is theoretically better, but takes too much time to be ready, slowing down progress on the system actively serving requests. While we can make sure to avoid these common pitfalls, it is important to challenge the need for a rewrite in the first place.

When Kraken was founded in 2011, PHP offered a mix of execution safety, speed and productivity. It is impressive to see how much functionality was built in the early days. However, Kraken has grown dramatically since, and it has become difficult to expand the PHP code base, share the know-how and make larger changes safely. These core services deal with distributed data storage, cryptography and information security considerations which are less…

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