Dynamic Set Dollar Review: A More Reactive Algorithmic Stablecoin, with Dynamic Supply and Incentives.

Dynamic Set Dollar is an algorithmic stablecoin, with a fluctuating supply. It is NOT a rebase coin. Its balance does not change within a users wallet. DSD reaches stability by giving its users financial incentives, that encourage them to sell or burn tokens. This helps the $DSD price move towards its goal of $1. Devs call this mechanism, Voluntary Elastic Supply.

How the DSD supply changes:

  • If the price of DSD is above a dollar: new DSD tokens are minted. These new coins go to reward the stakers of the DAO, and providers to the liquidity pools. These new coins create sell pressure, moving the price downwards.
  • If the price of DSD is under $1: users are encouraged to burn their tokens in exchange for coupons. These coupons can be exchanged for a higher percentage of coins, once the price crosses back above $1.

The devs felt incentives were a better method of price control, compared to rebasing. Reducing a user’s balance, can give users a bad feeling. Rebasing also breaks the composability of defi, and the ERC-20 standard.

What is the difference between Empty Set Dollar (ESD) and Dynamic Set Dollar?

Dynamic Set Dollar is a fork of Empty Set Dollar (ESD). DSD fixes the issue of bot manipulation of the coupon and redemption system. It also shortens the epoch to 2 hours, making it more reactive to price fluctuations. The DSD changes include: epoch duration, rebase amount, supply/reward mechanisms, and coupon expiry.

Reaching Equilibrium: The 2 Phases of Dynamic Set Dollar

Dynamic Set Dollar goes through 2 different phases in order to reach its one dollar peg: Expansion and Contraction

The Expansion Phase

When the price of DSD is over a dollar, it enters an expansion phase. During this phase, the supply expands by a maximum of 10% each epoch (An epoch is 2 hours). The increased supply adds selling pressure to DSD, which coaxes the price downwards. The maximum amount the supply can expand is 35%.

The expanding supply goes to reward liquidity providers, and DAO stakers. 60% of rewards go to pay DAO stakers, 40% goes to liquidity providers. DAO bonders earn compounding rewards, liquidity providers rewards are non-compounding.

The Contraction Phase

When the price of DSD is under $1, it enters a contraction phase. During this phase, users are incentivized to burn their tokens. Reducing the DSD supply will move the price upward.

During the contraction phase, users can burn DSD tokens in exchange for coupons. These coupons guarantee premiums (currently 45%) on tokens. The coupons can be redeemed when the price crosses back over $1. The coupons expire after 360 epochs, which is around 30 days.

  • Once the price goes under $1, the Liquidity Provider rewards and DAO rewards stop.

How are Coupons Redeemed for a Premium?

The coupon system encourages users to burn DSD tokens, in exchange for coupons. This reduces the supply, leading to a price increase. The coupons can be redeemed for a premium when $DSD breaks $1. Currently coupons are worth 1.45 times the amount of tokens burned.

How DSD’s coupon system is different from ESD’s

The DSD fork altered the ESD coupon system. These changes help to reduce bot manipulation of coupon redemptions. It gives user incentives to buy coupons early, by creating a redemption penalty on coupons which are bought late. Users can still redeem coupons early, if they are willing to accept this penalty.

The chart below demonstrates the penalty:

DSD Statistics

Live statistics for the protocol can be found here.

Rewards: Liquidity Provider and DAO

Users can earn DSD rewards by staking. They can bond tokens to the DAO, or stake their liquidity pool tokens to earn rewards. Compounding interest is earned when bonding to the DAO, at a rate of 60%. Non-compounding rewards are earned by staking LP tokens. In both instances, the tokens are locked for 36 epochs.

My Conclusion on Dynamic Set Dollar

The Dynamic Set Dollar protocol offers two core features. First, it creates a price reactive algorithmic stablecoin that will hopefully maintain a stable value, in a very volatile market. Secondly, it provides financial opportunities for speculators, as $DSD fluctuates between its expansion and contraction phases.

I think DSD’s incentive system is more fair, than a rebasing system. An incentive system allows users to hold DSD, without taking on the risk of a negative rebase. Users can speculate with the coupon system to earn incentives, or choose not to. There is risk and reward in the incentive system, but it is totally voluntary.

The staking and coupon system offers ample opportunity for gains. But, users should have a strong grasp on DSD’s fundamentals before utilizing it. Holders can only earn rewards, when its price is above $1. This means its price will always be retreating towards its peg, as rewards are earned. They need to sure that their staking rewards will be greater than the loss of the coins value, as DSDs price descends. They also need to be wary of the unbonding period. They will not immediately dump their coins!

DSD offers important improvements to the Empty Set Dollar’s protocol. Its addition of a coupon redemption penalty, fixes the issue of front-running by bots. Its epoch time changes, make it more reactive to price fluctuations. The DSD and ESD protocols offer a new type of stablecoin. If the price of these coins eventually settle firmly at their $1 peg, it will make a nice addition to the current selection of non-collateralized stablecoins. But, it will take time to see if it can hit its target, and maintain a stable value.

If you liked this article, please follow me @defipicks

Linear Finance Review: Synthetic Assets, High Rewards, Cross-Chain

Linear Finance is a cross-chain synthetic assets exchange, with DAO governance. It will allow users to trade delta-one synthetic assets like gold, oil, and index funds. Linear’s devs hope to improve on design flaws that they perceived in the Synthetix project. They saw problems in areas like: the oracle price update speed, pledge ratio, tokenomics, transaction costs, rewards, speed, and multi-chain accessibility.

I think the standout feature for Linear will be interoperability. The team will start out by building on ETH and EVM compatible chains, like Binance Smart Chain (BSC). Then, it’ll expand to non-ETH compatible chains. These alternate chains can offer higher speeds, lower transaction costs, and greater accessibility.

Linear Finance is backed by noteable investors like: Alameda Research, Kinetic, and Hashed. (See the image below)

Important Links:

How Does Linear.Finance Work?

Linear Finance allows the minting and trading of synthetic assets. Each synthetic asset is over-collateralized, by lUSD stablecoins. This over-collateralization ensures the system will not break, even in times of heavy volatility or a black swan event.

To encourage users to maintain the proper collateral for their synthetics, the project offers rewards. Exchange and inflation rewards can be earned, by maintaining a certain ratio of lUSD collateral to synths. This ratio is known as the p-ratio or pledge ratio. This helps to maintain the overall health of the system.

Within this system, Linear’s liquidity pool acts as the counter-party. This allows for almost unlimited liquidity, with zero slippage. Users can also earn $LINA rewards for contributing to the pool.

The project is now in its testing phase. Currently, users can only mint lUSD and stake. Soon, they will be able to buy synthetic assets, and trade them.

What is a Pledge Ratio?

The Pledge ratio (p-ratio) is the ratio between a user’s lUSD collateral, and their synthetic asset holdings. Over-pledging ensures that even in high volatility, the system will work. In order to receive $LINA exchange rewards, a user must have a p-ratio that hits a certain threshold. The starting p-ratio will be 600%, but this can be changed by the DAO.

How to Mint lUSD Stablecoins on the Buildr App

Users can mint lUSD stablecoins from $LINA tokens. This is done on the Buildr app. Soon, other collateral types will be accepted to mint lUSD. This will be in a ratio decided by users of the DAO (possibly a 80:20 ratio).

The Synthetic Assets Exchange

The exchange will allow the trading of liquids, aka synthetic assets. This includes: precious metals, stocks, cryptos, and commodities like gold. Any asset with a price feed can be added. The fee on every trade, is 0.25%. Fees are rewarded to users, if they have a pledge ratio above the set threshold. Rewarding users to maintain a certain p-ratio, helps ensure that the overall system wont fail due to insufficient collateral backing.

Using BAND Protocol to solve oracle front running

The project chose BAND as its oracle provider. It was chosen because of its near instant finality, and 2-3 sec block times. Devs believe that this will help to solve the oracle front-running problem, which is a type of arbitrage on the price feed delays.

Which Assets can be Traded?

Tradeable asset types will include: cryptocurrencies, commodities, and indicies. Users will vote in the DAO on the types of assets that will be included.

Staking and Rewards on the Platform

Users can earn three types of $LINA rewards on the platform: Transaction Fees, Inflationary Rewards, and Yield Farming Rewards.

  • The transaction fee of 0.25% is distributed to LINA stakers that have a pledge ratio above the threshold.
  • The inflation rate of the LINA token is set to 75%. It will reduce each week at a rate of 1.5%. Stakers can get these inflation rewards if their pledge ratio is above the threshold determined by the governance.
  • Users can yield farm by providing liquidity to the debt pools. Rewards are currently about 1% interest per day. This liquidity will help bootstrap the project.
  • Users can also earn $LINA rewards by creating and burning liquids.

DAO governance

Linear Finance uses DAO governance. $LINA holders can vote on variables like: pledge ratio, asset types, and the insurance fund. Any token holder can create proposals and vote.

$LINA Tokenomics

LINA has a max supply of 10 billion. Its circulating supply is 475 million. It has 75% inflation built-in to enhance user rewards. This will decrease by 1.5% weekly. This can be changed by the DAO.

The $LINA token is used for: staking, minting of synthetic assets, governance, and payments.

The Team

Linear’s team is well rounded. They have experience in crypto, exotic assets, and structured financial assets. Check out their Linkedin here.

My Conclusion on Linear Finance

I think Linear Finance is a solid, under-valued project. It has a strong team and noteable investors like Alameda Research. It will provide an avenue to trade synthetic assets on chains other than ETH, which is needed in crypto. It also seeks to improve on perceived flaws in the Synthetix design. The project’s tokenomics, low marketcap, high rewards, and current interest rate of about 1% daily, make it very enticing.

On the other hand, Synthetix is stiff competition. Its is very innovative. It will soon upgrade to V2, with layer 2 implementation. This will improve its speed, costs, and feature set. This might make some of Linear’s improvements, less dramatic. BUT, i feel that just bringing synths to BSC and other chains, is enough of a selling point. Its exchange will be utilized just due to this. It’s rewards, tokenomics, and growth potential are a bonus.

After launch, i hope that Linear Finance will differentiate itself. Offering a cross-chain product with design improvements, is great, but I would also like to see uniqueness after it is up and running. I want exotic assets, a multitude of inverse assets, traditional assets, and things i cant find elsewhere. Maybe diversity of assets is where Linear can begin to set itself apart. It would also be nice to see leveraged trading on the exchange.

The rewards and tokenomics are great. If Linear can fix certain pain-points, and offer interoperability, i think users will become active on the exchange. The project wouldn’t have high profile backers, if they didn’t think this was possible as well.

If you liked this article, please follow me @defipicks

Mstable Review: Tokenized Baskets, Yield, Capital Loss Protection

What is mStable?

mStable is a platform for users to mint a customizable stable-asset called mUSD. It can also perform no-slippage stablecoin swaps, and generate yield.

What is mUSD?

mUSD is a stable asset which offers high value stability, native yield, and protection from permanent capital loss. It is minted from a tokenized basket of base stable-coin assets. These base-assets can include: USDC, USDT, sUSD, TUSD, or DAI. Benefits of mUSD are: 1) a high native interest rate, 2) recollateralization mechanisms, 3) reduced centralization, 4) and community governance.

What is Meta ($MTA)?

Meta (MTA) is the second token in the mStable economy. It is used for user rewards, governance, and to help re-collateralize assets in-case of currency collapse of a stablecoin.

Important Links:

The 5 products: MINT, SAVE, EARn, SWAP, and REDEEM

How to MINT mUSD from Base Assets

The MINT feature allows users to create mUSD from base assets in a 1:1 ratio. Base assets can include: USDC, USDT, sUSD, TUSD, and DAI. Users earn MTA rewards for minting mUSD.

The image (below) shows how users can choose which stablecoins they want to mint, and the percentage they want allocated.

SAVE: How to generate Interest with mUSD

The SAVE feature lets users deposit mUSD, to earn a variable interest rate.



Interest is generated in 2 ways:

  1. mStable lends funds to protocols like Aave and Compound.
  2. mStable takes 0.06% fees on swaps.

Swap fees generate significant APY when swap amounts are high. (Notice image below, where the APY rocketed to 107% on a day, due to high swap activity.)

EARN: Provide Liquidity to earn rewards

EARN is mStable’s liquidity mining program.

Users can stake pool tokens from Uniswap, Curve, or Balancer, to earn MTA (Meta) rewards.

SWAP your stablecoins

The SWAP feature lets users trade base stable assets. Assets can be traded with zero slippage, regardless of size! This creates arbitrage opportunities.

The video below shows you how to find arbitrage opportunities in defi.

REDEEM: untokenize a basket of coins

The REDEEM function swaps mUSD for individual base-assets. These assets can be redeemed in any ratio, as long as they don’t go over the “max weight”. This would expose the network to more risk. The fee for redeeming mStable assets, goes to the stakers of mUSD.

mStable’s Constant Sum AMM (automatic market maker)

$MTA TOKEN Utility

The MTA token serves three purposes.

  1. its a safeguard against collapse of base-assets
  2. it is used for governance on the platform
  3. it rewards users for providing liquidity, creating mAssets, and engaging in governance.
  • How MTA protects against currency collapse

MTA is a safeguard, in case a stablecoin loses its peg. It can be minted and sold, to make up for losses in a currency collapse. MTA holders could be diluted if a currency collapses.

  • MTA is a governance token

MTA incentivizes governance. MTA holders must stake, to vote and earn interest. Governance is currently centralized, in the hands of the core team. It will soon be transitioned to the community under a DAO.

Users vote on: adding and removing assets, adding/removing collateral assets, the max weight of collateral assets, redemption fees, oracles, and upgradability.

  • MTA incentivizes liquidity

Liquidity is incentivized with MTA tokens. Users can stake LP tokens from Curve, Uniswap, or Balancer to earn rewards. This does come at the risk of impermanent loss.

$MTA Tokenomics

MTA’s max supply is 100 million. It is used for rewards, governance, and to re-collateralize assets in-case of currency collapse.

Below is the token allocation of MTA:

My Conclusion on mUSD and mStable

I think mUSD is a superior stablecoin. It offers 5 significant advantages over individual stable assets.

The advantages of mUSD include:

  1. Reduced vulnerability of currency collapse.
  2. Less centralization.
  3. A mechanism to re-collateralize in case a currency fails.
  4. Above average yield.
  5. Governance.

mUSD is extemely safe, and beneficial for holders. But, mUSD stakers do take on some risk. Stakers can be liquidated, if a base currency, like USDT collapses. mUSD stakers are rewarded with yield, for assuming this risk.

The platform also offers arbitrage opportunities. It provides zero-slippage stablecoin swaps. Periods of high swap volume can boost interest rewards to mUSD stakers. Arbitrage has caused liquidity issues for certain assets. But…devs say this is being addressed in a future update.

I’ve also read that a tokenized BTC basket might be coming in the future. This is a product i’m interested in. It would be very nice if a tokenized BTC basket could earn the native interest rate as well! That will make for a superior form of tokenized BTC.

Better stability, re-collateralization, and high interest rates make the platform’s tokenized baskets, preferable to holding the individual assets. I hope mStable’s roster grows to offer more types of tokenized products. I would love to see a tokenized defi index that earns interest 😉

If you liked this article, please follow me @defipicks

Barn Bridge Review: Fluctuation Derivatives, Yield Farming, Risk Management

BarnBridge tokenizes market fluctuations and risk exposure. It’s a new type of defi lego to create tradable tokens, that expose a user to more or less volatility in a market. It can reduce volatility for conservative investors, or increase it for traders. Its tokens open up new opportunities for risk management, speculation, and hedging. 

There is over 200 trillion in global debt. Bonds on corporate debt are now earning below 2% interest for the first time ever! This corporate debt might be coaxed into defi, if the yield and price fluctuations were less volatile. Barnbridge can reduce this volatility. It can even offer a stable yield rate, by consolidating the return from multiple protocols.

Important Barnbridge Links:

What are Tokenized Fluctuation Derivatives?

Barnbridge creates tokenized derivatives on market fluctuations. Examples of these markets could include: yield rates, price, prediction market odds, mortgage default rates, etc. These ERC-20 derivative tokens are separated into high, medium, and low risk/reward baskets, called tranches.

Barnbridge’s first derivative TOKENs

Barnbridge’s first two derivative tokens: Smart Yield Bonds and Smart Alpha Bonds.

Smart Yield Bonds

Smart yield bonds consolidate and tokenize yield from multiple defi protocols. The ERC-20 tokens can offer high risk/high yield, lower risk/lower yield, or stabilized yields.

The yield bonds are structured according to the image below:

Smart Alpha Bonds 

Smart Alpha Bonds tokenize price exposure. They can expose users to a high, medium, or low amount of price fluctuation. Higher risk price exposure gives higher returns, but also higher losses. 

  • Each token doesn’t have to be flat on the price exposure curve! For example, the first 10% of price exposure can have a different exposure curve than the second 10%. The second 10% can move the price up more/less up or down, than the first 10%.

Barnbridge also plans to develop more derivative products including: SMART Prediction Hedge, SMART Swaps, and a Market Driven Ratings Oracle

$BOND Tokenomics

$BOND is the native ERC-20 token of the protocol. Its total supply is 10,000,000. It is used for staking, governance, and incentives. $BOND’s fair release model was inspired by yEarn. It is distributed to the community by yield farming.

The 2.2 million $BOND tokens allocated to founders, seed investors, and advisors are vested, then released on a weekly basis over a two year period.

$BOND Yield Farming

The team will distribute the $BOND token fairly. It uses a Proof of Capital model to release the token as yield for liquidity providers. Barnbridge needed this liquidity to “structure”, then release its product. 

Below are the 2 liquidity pools available for farming:

  • USDC/DAI/sUSD Pool (#1) – Pool 1 is composed of stablecoins, so impermanent loss is not possible. 
  • USDC/BOND Uniswap Pool (#2) – Pool 2 may be less vulnerable to smart contract failure, as Uniswap smart contracts have been deployed and tested longer.

DAO Governance

Barnbridge started under a “launch DAO”, using the Aragon platform. (Access it here.) Soon it will soon be transitioned to the final Barnbridge DAO.

The Barnbridge Team

The founders of Barnbridge have a history with crypto startups including: SingularDTV, Dharma Capital, and Gnosis. Its devs are part of the web 3 development company in Bucharest called Digital Mob

Conclusion on Barnbridge

I think the risk management tools offered by Barnbridge, will encourage new types of debt to enter our space. Defi can give exceptional APY’s on mortgage and corporate debt, but institutional investors might afraid of a risky, unproven protocol. Barnbridge can spreadout and stabilize this risk. Tools to mitigate the exposure, and steady interest rates, will allow conservative investors to slowly dip their toes in.

Barnbridge is a very unique product. There’s no comparable protocol in defi. Its derivative tokens offer new ways to speculate, manage risk, and hedge. The ERC-20 tokens will be used by both conservative and aggressive investors to give stability, or maximize gains.

I also think the team made a smart decision by going with DAO governance from the very start. The market highly values fairly run projects, like yEarn! Barnbridge has enthusiastic community support, with $400 million locked in now. I’m very curious to see which market types Barnbridge will tokenize next.

If you liked this article, please follow me @defipicks

Rio Chain and Mantra Dao Review: the Emerging Defi Ecosystem on Polkadot

Rio Chain is a well-funded substrate based blockchain. It will power a suite of cross-chain financial applications, in the Polkadot ecosystem. Rio plans to connect traditional banks with blockchain. Working directly with banks allows it to create secure custody services, interest bearing saving accounts, debit cards, and a fiat gateway into crypto. Rio is positioning itself to be a multi-chain Crypto.com!

The Rio team is based in Hong Kong. Its target market is China, USA and globally. Rio Chain is well funded, and was audited by Certik. Co-founder Calvin Ng, is also managing director at Plutus.vc, which is a $200 million dollar venture capital fund. Rio is supported by 12 venture capital companies, and has raised $15 million in private rounds.

Rio Chain’s Roadmap

Rio has 8 releases coming in Q4 2020, and into Q1 2021. They include: a wallet, dapp store, exchange, payment system, debit card, and fiat gateway. The Rio team also plans to create a stablecoin, and launch new defi applications on the chain.

  • Rio’s flagship dapp, Mantra Dao was launched in Q3.

Basics of the Rio Blockchain

Rio is an interoperable blockchain, built on Substrate. Its native token is called $RFUEL. RFUEL is used for transaction fees and rewards. Rio currently uses Proof-of-Authority (PoA) consensus, but will soon switch to Proof-of-Stake (POS). Rio is now a federated chain, but this will change in the future. A federated chain offers improved speed, TPS, privacy, and costs, but, it is more centralized. The Rio chain has reached up to 3000 TPS, with 2 second block times. The team plans to make Rio more decentralized, as the tech improves.

Here is a recent update about Rio’s progress:

Important Links:

Rio’s Cross-Chain Interoperability

Rio will use Polkadot for its interoperability. Until Polkadot is ready, Rio will use a “federation based cross-chain mechanism” to move assets to other chains. It will use a cold storage, multi-sig wallet for custody. Its Generic Asset Bridge, will power cross-chain transfers.

Tokenomics of $RFUEL

$RFUEL is Rio Chain’s native token used as gas for transactions. Rfuel requires a flat 0.1% transaction fee, instead of a variable fee. It is needed to conduct a transaction, or to execute a smart contract.

  • The Total supply of $RFUEL is 1 billion. 70% is allocated for rewards. 35% of the rewards will be distributed to those staking RFUEL and validating transactions on the network. (Here is the token emission schedule.) RFUEL has a circulating supply of 116 mil, putting it at a $10 million cap.
  • 80% of all transaction fees on the network, go to node operators. 20% of fees reward the dApp creators. They hope this economic incentive for dapp builders will encourage developers to build on Rio Chain.
  • Users are now able to stake RFUEL on Mantra Dao’s staking app to earn 50% APY rewards.

The RIO Wallet

The Rio Wallet will be released in Q4. It will be pre-loaded with $RFUEL, to use for transactions! It can hold ALL assets on RioChain, and on some other chains. At launch, Rio Wallet will hold Bitcoin (BTC), Tether (USDT), Rio Fuel (RFUEL), and BIT Token (BIT).

Mantra Dao: Rio Chain’s Flagship Dapp

Mantra DAO was incubated by Rio Chain. It offers borrowing, lending, staking, a savings pool, reputation mechanism called karma, and governance. Mantra sees itself as a community governed credit union.

  • Mantra has created partnerships with: Kira, Bonded Finance, TomoChain, and Kardia Chain.
  • Releases like: the Mantra Pool, their Proprietary Lending Protocol, and a Stablecoin are coming in Q4 2020, and Q1 2021.
  • Here are the latest blog updates on Mantra Dao.

Below is its roadmap:

My Conclusion on Rio Chain and Mantra Dao

I think Multi-chain defi will be a strong crypto narrative in 2021. A cross-chain environment, will invite in alot of value. Rio is also a strong candidate for one of 100 Polkadot parachain slots. It’s strong banking/institutional ties can be leveraged to provide financial services and custody, which can’t easily be replicated.

The $RFUEL token’s price has performed poorly so far. I believe this will reverse, as it hits major milestones in the next few months. It will release its mainnet, wallet, debit card, and fiat gateway in the next 3-6 months. Users can now stake $RFUEL on the Mantra Dao app to earn 50% interest. If $RFUEL can hit a $50 mil cap, like Mantra Dao, it would 5X from here. ($10 million circulating mcap)

Mantra Dao, RioChain’s first defi offering, ($OM) had a very successful launch, but has cooled off since. It just opened staking, and is now offering 88% APY rewards. This is attractive to those who know what is upcoming in the next few months. With important partnerships like: Kira, Bonded Finance, TomoChain, and Kardia Chain, it is positioning itself to be a major player in defi. Once it launches the Mantra Pool, Lending protocol, and stablecoin, investors will jump back on board. If $OM hits its previous high mcap of 50 mil., it will 3x from here.

Rio and Mantra Dao are huge, well funded projects, with powerful institutional connections. That is not forkable! The fact that it is multi-chain, means the value which could flow into it, could grow beyond chain specific protocols like Crypto.com. As multi-chain defi becomes a reality, Rio will be perfectly positioned at its forefront.

If you liked this article, follow me @defipicks

Pickle.Finance Review: Memes, Triple Dip Earnings, and Stablecoin Pegs

The food coin niche is a stale, oversaturated, and mostly rotten trend. BUT, I found nourishment in Pickle.Finance.

The PICKLE project offers “triple dip” interest, but at a higher risk. Its code has yet to be audited. It has some innovative ideas, an engaged community, cool memes, and a great locked value to market-cap ratio.

What is Pickle Finance?

Pickle.finance is a yield farming protocol that benefits defi. It helps stablecoins maintain their $1 pegs.

It does this by giving higher APY incentivization to stablecoin pools which are below their peg. This encourages users to migrate to the highest APY pools. It has a 1-click swap feature, allowing funds to easily shift between pools, saving on gas fees.

Important Links:

With Pickle, users can triple dip in rewards, by first staking Uniswap LP tokens in pJars and Farms. Here’s how:

  1. Users stake Uniswap pTokens to earn 26% APY (varies) in pJars (pJars are similar to yearn vaults). The pJar also compounds UNI rewards by automatically selling and re-investing it. You don’t have to pay gas fees to harvest/sell your UNI tokens.

2. Next, they can stake pUNI pool tokens (from pJars) to earn an additional 10.3%. This allows them to earn interest, plus $PICKLE tokens. A new governance proposal (PIP-8) will allow users to stake $PICKLE to earn additional revenue as well!

Users can earn Triple dip rewards, while still earning LP rewards on Uniswap!

So, How is Interest Generated on Pickle.Finance?

Interest is earned in jars (like “vaults”) via strategies like arbitrage and flash loans. It works similarly to Yearn Finance.

Additionally, the pickle jar automatically sells and re-invests the farmed UNI tokens. The earnings are put into the pickle jar. This causes the pool to grow, and pTokens to gain value. There is a .5% fee to exit pools, which goes to buy/burn PICKLE tokens.

The PICKLE token

PICKLE had a fair token launch. The token is distributed through liquidity mining. Its supply is currently at 756,291. It has inflation, but the emission was just reduced. No money went to VCs, pre-mine, or an ICO. The devs take a percentage as a development fund. They also take 2% of all coins minted. Users can mine PICKLE by contributing liquidity, or purchasing it on Uniswap.

After a recent governance vote the supply is being distributed at only 1 PICKLE per block! They are even going to cap the inflation rate.

The proposal PIP-5 just passed. It will further reduce emissions to 1.5 million after 2 years. The token will be bought and burned, which could even make it deflationary. The funds to buy and burn PICKLE are generated from the withdrawal fees from pickle jars.

Proposal PIP-8 just passed. It incentivizes users to hold the PICKLE token. Users can stake it to earn a share of the jar profits. The “majority of withdrawal fees from the PickleJars would be diverted to the Treasury“.

Pickle’s Governance

The $PICKLE token allows users to participate in governance. Governance participants receive a 3% share in governance fee and 0.5% of withdrawal fees. View governance proposals here.

PICKLE has an active, engaged community. PICKLE uses quadratic voting, which was endorsed by Vitalik.

Are there Risks using Pickle.Finance?

The main risks of using Pickle.finance are smart contract failure, or hacking. The protocol hasn’t been audited for security flaws, but was constructed in a drag and drop way, from pre-written smart contracts. I personally do invest in higher risk projects, but i only use a small amount of funds that i have allocated for that.

Conclusion on Pickle. Finance

PICKLE brings innovation to yield farming. It helps maintain stablecoin pegs. It has an engaged community, which steers the project in the direction of higher value for $PICKLE token holders. If the community keeps the tokenomics in check, demand for $PICKLE will grow.

Unlike most food tokens, there is a utility for the $PICKLE governance token. It will soon generate rewards from a portion of pJar profits. Emissions will be reduced, to the point it might become deflationary. The $PICKLE token’s value should grow over time. Pickle delivers ripe APY returns, while most food tokens are just empty calories. Its low market-cap to value locked ratio makes it very attractive to investors.

If you liked this article, follow me @defipicks

5 Upcoming Polkadot Projects with Unreleased Tokens

Below, I’ll discuss 5 upcoming Polkadot projects. All of these projects have tokens, which haven’t yet been released as of Sept 23.

The tokens are: POLS, PSWAP, ACA, GLMR, and BOND.

*Note – I’m not saying to buy these tokens, or giving financial advice. This is just a place to start your research.

PolkaStarter

PolkaStarter (POLS)- Polkastarter is an upcoming cross-chain DEX and auction project. It has a governance model, dutch and sealed bid auctions, closed password protected pools, as well as fixed and dynamic swaps. It is a place to launch new tokens, in an optionally KYC compliant environment.

The POLS token will be listed on Uniswap at the end of September! (check the telegram here) The plans are to launch the product on ETH 2020 Q4, then on Polkadot in Q1 of 2021. They also have a new partnership with Mantra DAO.

POLS Tokenomics – The total supply of POLS is 100,000,000, with an initial Uniswap listing price of $0.05 cents. (This price would put it a fully diluted cap of $5 mil.) POLS is a utility token which is used for governance and transaction fees. Pool creators will need to hold POLS.

Below is the token allocation and release schedule:

  • Here is the Litepaper
  • Here is the Twitter
  • Here is the Telegram

The Teamthe team is small, but public with a history of successful crypto and internet projects.

PolkaSwap

PolkaSwap is an interoperable AMM DEX, like Uniswap. It has the ability to list and exchange tokens on other chains like DOT, ETH, and BTC. Its native token is PSWAP. PSWAP will not be sold in an ICO or private sale.

Tokenomics of PSWAP – The PSWAP token can be earned by providing liquidity. It is a deflationary token. Trading fees of 0.3% on Polkaswap are used to buy and burn PSWAP. PSWAP is used to reward liquidity providers. Rewards start at 100% of burned trading fees, but reduce down to 35% of burned fees after 5 years.

The XOR token (SORA network) is also used in the ecosystem. It is used for gas and liquidity provision. PolkaSwap is an app in the SORA network.

The image below shows how PSWAP with fit into the SORA network:

Acala Network

Acala Network is a cross-chain stablecoin and defi platform. It allows users to lend, borrow, trade, and govern. It is similar to MakerDAO, offering multi-collateral CDP’s. Collateral can be from Polkadot, or other chains connected to Polkadot. ACA is the native token of Acala. The ACA token is not yet available for sale, check the telegram group for details.

Here’s a blog post about what Acala’s accomplished in September.

  • Here is the whitepaper
  • Here is the telegram
  • Here is the twitter

ACA tokenomics – The ACA token serves three purposes in the ecosystem. It is a utility token paying for transaction fees, stability fees, and penalty fees. It is also for governance, and for a contingency solution in case there was a collapse of a collateral asset.

Acala uses the Homa protocol, which lets users trade staked assets as l- assets, or “locked” assets.

Moonbeam Network

Moonbeam is an Ethereum compatible smart contract parachain on Polkadot. It is being developed by Purestake. It offers support for many types of Solidity based smart contracts. It allows developers to use tools like Truffle or Metamask. Glimmer (GLMR) is its native token.

The goal is to launch Q2 2021 on Polkadot, and on Kusama Q4 of 2020.

Important Links:

GLMR tokenomics – GLMR is a utility token which is used to pay for smart contract execution, smart contract storage, transaction fees, on-chain governance, and cross-chain messaging. The plans for the token sale haven’t been announced yet, no info yet about supply.

Bondly Finance

Bondly.Finance is an ecosystem of defi products. It’ll start out with three projects: Bondswap, Bond Dex, and Bond Protect. The apps will allow peer to peer trading via chat apps, (as seen with wechat), a DEX, and escrow services.

The native token is $BOND. Note that there are multiple projects with the $BOND ticker!

Important Links:

Below are the three dapps in the ecosystem:

BONDSWAP (BSWAP)

Bondswap is similar to Binance OTC trading portal. Trading is done directly on-chain, via chat apps.

BSWAP allows you to:

  • sell low liquidity tokens with no slippage
  • sell NFTs, domains, artwork
  • buy crypto with a credit card
  • send a link to a buyer through a chat app

BOND DEX

Bond Dex is a cross-chain dex built around liquidity pools. Liquidity Providers can earn rewards for providing funds (similarly to uniswap). It also has a price matching engine. The BOND token serves as a reward.

BOND PROTECT (BPROTECT)

Bprotect is an escrow service. It allows peer-to-peer transactions with escrow. It protects buyers and sellers from fraud. It also allows for subscriptions, or recurrent payments.

BOND Tokenomics – The BOND token is a utility token which can be used for collateral in the marketplace, liquidity rewards, and more.

The team is experienced with other crypto projects under their belt.

If you liked this article, please follow me @defipicks

Geeq Review: Proof of Honesty, Infinitely Scalable, High TPS

GEEQ is a platform of independent, interoperable blockchains. It uses a unique consensus mechanism called Proof of Honesty (POH). POH allows users to determine whether a node follows certain rules, and is behaving honestly. It requires less validators, but still maintains a high level of security. POH is 99% Byzantine Fault Tolerant, and is invulnerable to 51% attacks!

The Geeq platform consists of multiple independent blockchains. This architecture allows for unlimited scalability, high tps, high security, and real decentralization.

Other important features:

  • Transaction costs of around 1/100th of a cent!
  • Each chain can run on a different ruleset. A chain can even run Solidity!
  • Upgradeability
  • Separation of validation and application layers.
  • An innovative token design allows the $GEEQ token price to steadily grow with adoption, instead of wildly fluctuating.

Here are some important links:

What is Proof of Honesty (POH)?

Proof of Honesty is a unique consensus protocol. It provides high security, with low computational resources. POH requires that a node proves its honesty, before a transfer is made. A POH network only requires one honest node to function. This is what is meant by 99% Byzantine Fault Tolerance.

How Can a Node Verify its Honesty?

A node shows it is truthful, by creating records to show it follows certain rules. If a ledger follows these rules, it is considered honest. A user can verify this within the client software, before a transfer is made.

Geeq Separates Validation and Application Layers for Better Security

Geeqchains runs validation and application layers on separate chains.

The validation layer does not contain smart contracts. Its simplicity minimizes the attack surface. The validation layer only does token transfers, and fee payments.

The application layer allows business logic, smart contracts, native tokens, dapps, and specialized data. Each chain can run a different ruleset. A Geeqchain can even run Solidity and Ethereum smart contracts!

How Nodes Police Each Other

Nodes can police and audit each other. They do this using a system called the Catastrophic Dissent Mechanism (CDM). Nodes can earn the Good Behavior Bond (GBB), if they are catch another node being dishonest.

Standout Features of GEEQ

Upgradability without Hardforks – Hardforks are disruptive. Geeq allows for a more elegant way to upgrade. A new chain can be created to replace, or fix the old chain. Users have the option to migrate to the new chain, or stay with the old one.

Very High Security – Geeq’s central focus is security. The network has 99% BFT. This makes it resistant to 51% attacks, and takeover from state or high resource actors.

Other security features:

  • Separate validation and application layers.
  • Nodes can audit each other to win the node’s collateral, or Good Behavior Bond.
  • A final layer of security called Edge Security, verifies a node’s honesty via user client software. High security is one of the main focuses of the GEEQ blockchain.

Interoperability – the separation of the validation and application layers, allows GEEQ tokens to move across chains with different rulesets. Geeqchains can even be configured to run Solidity and Etherum smart contracts.

MicroPayments – Micropayments are possible on Geeqchains, as transfer costs are reduced to around 1/100th of a cent. This opens up new use cases like streaming payments, and IOT.

Multi-Chain Architecture – Geeq’s architecture consists of interoperable chains. This allows higher throughput, parallel processing, and improved scaling.

High Transaction Per Second (TPS) – Each Geeqchain can do 40 – 200 TPS. Transactions can also be done in parallel. So, the maximum TPS depends on the number of chains in the network (200 x N). Tests have done around 1000 transactions per second.

Stabilized Token – Geeq has a stabilized token. This is NOT the same as a stablecoin. It means that the token was designed to gain value, as the network increases in usage. $GEEQ’s price fluctuations are less dramatic.

Hub and Spoke Node Structure – Geeq uses a “hub and spoke” structure, instead of a gossip node structure. This is more efficient and cost effective for notifying nodes of transactions.

Geeq’s Highly Skilled Team

Geeq has a strong team, with a proven business history. The team is skilled in business, finance, and machine learning. Their goal is to make connections in the banking sector.

Tokenomics of GEEQ

GEEQ is a utility token. It is used to pay validators and for virtual machine services on the network. The value of the token is stabilized. As network usage grows, the value of the GEEQ token will grow with it.

$GEEQ’s total supply is 100,000,000. Its market-cap is around 3 million. It is held in just over 1300 wallets. Below is its token allocation.

Conclusion of GEEQ

GEEQ is unique. It addresses many problems facing blockchain. Its multi-chain architecture and POH consensus tackle scaling, upgradability, fees, security, and interoperability problems.

Geeq has a strong focus on security. The team wasn’t satisfied with the security of POW or POS. This is why they created POH consensus. They also separated the validation, and application layers for extra security. This separation also allows chains to have different rulesets for applications, but still accept transfers through the validation layer.

Geeq has high TPS and low costs. The multi-chain environment allows transactions to run in parallel. TPS will scale as the network grows. The low cost per transaction opens up new use cases like: streaming video payments and IOT.

GEEQ is an excellent project, but it hasn’t yet received much attention. Only 1300 wallet addresses hold the token. I think that once GEEQ has some applications running on-chain, it will gain more notice. GEEQ token holders will be rewarded as the network becomes utilized. The token price was designed to increase in value, as the network grows.

If you liked the article, please follow me @defipicks

Cartesi Review: Layer 2 Scaling, Linux Bridge, Decentralized Games

Cartesi is a layer two scaling and development platform. It serves as a bridge between Linux and blockchain. Blockchain software, in comparison to Linux, is very rudimentary. It doesn’t even have the concept of a file! Cartesi allows devs to take advantage of 50+ years of Linux software tools. It can help developers build and scale the next generation of blockchain killer apps.

Cartesi allows apps to run “heavy computation”, inside a Cartesi node. This isn’t possible to do on-chain. The computation done in a Cartesi node, is also verifiable and reproducible. This provides decentralization, with the security guarantees of the blockchain. Local consensus can be achieved inside a node, with any dispute being settled on the main-chain.

To demonstrate this tech, Cartesi has created a tower defense game called Creepts. The game uses fully decentralized logic. This makes the outcome of the game, provably fair. The team is experimenting with gaming, but Cartesi has many use-cases. This includes: defi, logistics, and A.I. marketplaces.

  • The Cartesi project has been in development, since 2018. Notable investors include Sergei Popov, who is a co-founder of IOTA. It’s goal is to enable development of scalable, cost-efficient dapps, with high levels of computation and security. It is also interoperable with other blockchains.

Here are some important links:

Creating Off-Chain Local Consensus in a Cartesi Node

Blockchains are very slow, because multiple machines must reach consensus. Global consensus is both time consuming and expensive. It makes scaling difficult. BUT, a decentralized app only needs to achieve local consensus, in most instances. Cartesi splits up the vital on-chain processes, from the less vital processes, which are run in the Cartesi VM. Local consensus can be used for the majority of computation. This increases speed, and reduces the costs.

Does Cartesi work with other Layer 2 Scaling Types?

Cartesi is complimentary to both ETH 2.0, and other L2 scaling types. Other compatible scaling projects include: Plasma (OmiseGo), State Channels (Celer Network), ZK-Proofs (Loopring), and Side-Chains (xDai). The other layer 2 projects can “specify full Cartesi computations within their transactions.”

Decentralized, Fair Gaming with Cartesi

Decentralized gaming has two approaches. The first uses blockchain to interact with NFTs. The second has fully decentralized gaming logic, which offers a provably fair game. This type is good for tournaments, ensuring no one can cheat. Games with decentralized logic can verify scores, with no central authority. This type of game is also open-source. This allows them to be forked, and governed like a DAO.

Cartesi’s first game, Creepts is built on decentralized Linux. This allows for complex, fair games, with high on-chain security. Creepts uses heavy computation, which wouldn’t be capable of running on-chain. The game is fast and inexpensive, because it runs on layer 2.

The Cartesi CORe: Cartesi Nodes, Cartesi Machines, and the Data Ledger

Cartesi uses a hybrid on/off-chain approach. Most computation is done off-chain, with vital aspects like payments being done on-chain. Below, i’ll explain the components of the system…

What is a Cartesi Node?

A Cartesi node holds the off-chain components of an app. The node is composed of both hardware and software. Users must interact with these nodes to run an app. Each node contains a Cartesi Machine, which is a VM running distributed Linux. The decentralized logic is run and replicated in the VM.

What is a Cartesi Machine?

A Cartesi Machine, is the virtual machine (VM) inside of a node. It hosts a decentralized version of Linux. All computation that is done inside the Cartesi VM, is verifiable and reproducible. The core splits computation into that which needs to be reproducible, and that which doesn’t. Dividing the computation, brings the performance in line with traditional speed and storage capacity of modern systems.

How the Data Ledger solves the Data Availability Problem

Layer 2 projects have a data availability problem. This occurs if one of the parties goes off-line during a transaction. This is fixed with a POS side-chain, called the Data Ledger. The data ledger is also used for “short term storage, garbage collection, sharding, off-chain emulated computations, and localized consensus.”

What are Possible Use Cases of Cartesi?

Cartesi is capable of building scaleable apps, running Linux, and using high amounts of computation. Cartesi’s uses extend beyond gaming. It has utilities in: defi, marketplaces, outsourcing, logistics, and even scientific research. It can improve the performance of any type of app.

The Tokenomics of $CTSI

$CTSI is Cartesi’s native token. It is used to reward node operators and to pay to store data on the data ledger. It’s staked as collateral, in the proof-of-stake side chain. Block producers receive CTSI rewards, and fees from the data ledger. Staked CTSI collateral is slashed, if a node operator behaves dishonestly.

Here’s a full explanation of the token’s utility, when i asked in the Telegram group:

CTSI has a total supply of 1 billion tokens. 250 million tokens are reserved for miners of the POS algorithm. There are a series of time-locked accounts, which will release coins over time.

This article discusses the CTSI macro-economy and staking. CTSI mining is coming in Q4 of 2020.

My Conclusion on Cartesi

Layer two scaling projects are in demand. Ethereum 2.0 will take 2 more years. The Cartesi project can provide a fix for Ethereum’s scalability issue. On top of scaling, the project allows developers to build with Linux. They can use higher amounts of computation, while maintaining high security. This will drive the creation of next generation killer blockchain dapps.

There is a demand for CTSI tokens within the ecosystem. I do have some concerns about the high token supply. But, as you can see in the graphic above, the majority is for mining rewards, to support the foundation, and to fund future growth of the project.

The team and founder Erick DeMoura is capable and experienced. He has an association with IOTA, which will help gain connections with other major blockchain projects.

I think Cartesi’s tech is a critical puzzle piece in our decentralized economy. It will produce better apps, which will help speed growth of the entire ecosystem.

If you liked this article, please follow me on @defipicks

Akropolis Review: For Profit Daos, Capital Pools, and Under-collateralized Lending

AkropolisOS is a framework to create financial DAOs, dapps, and protocols. It’s a smart contract toolkit to build community driven financial services, with no central counter-party. It helps users work together to earn, save, invest, and lend. It can even provide under-collateralized loans! This is very unique in defi, which tends to focus on over-collateralized loans.

This project allows users to create and control pools of capital, under DAO governance. These pools of money can be configured into: pension funds, savings accounts, insurance accounts, group investments, or community lending pools. DAO members receive incentives for providing pool liquidity, for staking to fund loans, and voting. Groups of DAOs can even organize into Guilds.

Originally Akropolis was started to create a distributed savings/pension fund, but it has morphed far beyond that. Its overall goal is to replace many banking services, using the model of “coops or mutuals”. This creates a more fair type of banking system, and removes predatory middlemen. Users are always in full control of their funds. They can “rage quit” the DAO at any time.

  • Akropolis lunched its mainnet in June, 2020. There are major updates coming, including: liquidity mining, a rebalancing module, and Opyn support. The roadmap can be seen here.

Important Akropolis links:

A Tale of Two Capital Pools: Sparta and Delphi

The Akropolis team has seeded the first two defi products into the AkropolisOS ecosystem: The Sparta and Delphi pools.

1) The Sparta Pool: This is a community owned capital pool. It is used to issue under-collateralized loans, save money, or farm yield for a co-op. It can be thought of as a community bank, run by DAO governance.

2) The Delphi Pool: This pool helps members dollar cost average (DCA) into BTC and ETH. It lets them earn interest via defi protocols (Compound, Aave, dYdX, etc.) and participate in liquidity mining. Members can also farm governance tokens like COMP, BAL, and MTA. Here is a prototype of the Delphi pool.

$ADEL is a recently launched governance token for the Delphi pools. It is earned by contributing liquidity, and by actively governing the pool. In addition to being a a part of governance, “ADEL will also have a shared claim on any future fees of Delphi.” 

Below is the Delphi UI Alpha.

Pool Growth and Liquidity Incentivization

Both pools are designed to offer incentives for: early pool membership, capital growth, participation in lending, and voting. Users can buy into a pool, by purchasing pool tokens (pTokens). pTokens are priced according to a bonding curve. The bonding curve allows early adopters to cash out at a higher price, if the liquidity increases.

Undercollateralized Loans via Staking

I think a stand out feature of Akropolis, is its ability to give under-collateralized loans. This sets it apart in the defi landscape.

Members can get an undercollateralized loan, by requesting it from the pool. The borrower must provide 50% of the collateral themselves. The remaining 50%, must be staked by other DAO members. Members use on-chain social reputation, along with identity metrics, and 3rd party credit scoring to assess risk of the borrower.

Staking on a loan application creates a credit scoring system, used to evaluate the loan’s risk.

(The image below shows how loans work in the DAO)

Pensify: The On-Chain Pension Fund

Pensify was created in an Akropolis hackathon. Its a pension dapp, that allows its members to farm yield. It offers flash loan arbitrage, yield rebalancing, and increases its token’s value, with the bonding curve.

When a member retires, they can withdrawal their pension funds based on the plan they chose. (Below is a screenshot from the UI.)

Tokenomics

There are 4 tokens used in the Akropolis economy: AKRO (governance token/liquidity incentive), pTokens (pool token), ADEL (governance of Delphi pools/ liquidity incentive), and DAI (to fund loans).

The total supply of AKRO is 4,000,000,000. AKRO is used for network governance, and liquidity incentivization. AKRO holders can vote on pool parameters like: the bonding curve, and the loan collateralization rate.

AKRO tokens are deflationary. AKRO is bought and burned, when there is a gain between pToken entry and exit on the bonding curve.

AKRO’s allocation is shown below:

ADEL is a newly added governance token for Delphi pools. A fixed supply of 60,000,000 will be minted and distributed over 6 months. It can be mined by adding liquidity to these pools.

pTokens represent a user’s share in a capital pool. Its price is based on the bonding curve, which rises as more tokens are minted. The pToken’s value is tied to the amount of capital in a pool.

DAI is used to fund loans.

Whats Coming Soon for Akropolis?

Akropolis has many new features coming like: gasless transactions (using GSN), insurance options via Nexus Mutual and Opyn, automatic rebalancing (RAY, Curve), and liquidity mining. Governance improvements and new tokenomics, are also being tested.

The team is addressing interoperability with Polkadot, by launching their own parachain.

My Conclusion on Akropolis

I think DAO governance can fix the problems created by the centralized control of our banking system. Akropolis’ DAO controlled capital pools, can build a more fair system. It removes middlemen, and gives the voice back to consumers.

Akropolis gives multiple incentives to users, for contributing to the network. Members can earn two governance tokens (AKRO and ADEL) for providing liquidity. Early pool members can also profit off the bonding curve, if liquidity grows. They can also stake on a loan, to earn interest.

It’s exciting to consider the possibilities of these DAO managed pools. I can see them being utilized in: group investments of non-crypto assets, DAO betting (harnessing the wisdom of the group), and as a way for non-savvy traders to pool with more experienced traders. I think community banking and savings just scratches the surface.

The Akropolis team seems to be smart, capable, and experienced. They have backgrounds in fund management, insurance, pensions, and previous blockchain startups.

Akropolis is early in its development, but its community is already growing. Members have built dapps including: Pensify and Cash Flow Financing. AkropolisOS seems like a financial swiss army knife. It’s a springboard to launch hundreds of user-controlled banking products.

If you liked this review, please follow me @defipicks