Introducing APY.finance – Yield-farming Liquidity Aggregator – The Wealthfront for DeFi

Project Summary

APY.Finance automates yield farming to get users the best, risk-adjusted returns in DeFi. APY.Finance smart contracts continuously route user’s funds to the latest-and-greatest yield farming strategies. The project aims to democratize yield farming by making it accessible to the average user and not just the DeFi experts.

The project uses the technology previously developed by DALP, which won the second place at the HackMoney 2020 hackathon hosted by ETHGlobal.

Main Features of APY.Finance

APY.Finance is a liquidity aggregator with 3 main features:

  • Pooled liquidity: save gas fee by economies of scale
    • Funds are deposited to APY.Finance thus adding to the liquidity pool. APT tokens then represent an individual’s share of the pool. APY.Finance can achieve economies of scale by collectively routing funds together in a single transaction
    • Massive gas savings in excess of 99% are expected as the system’s TVL increases. This innovation alone could revolutionize the accessibility of yield farming. Added to user experience, token redemption can be applied anytime, allowing one to withdraw yield farming profits from the liquidity pool easily
  • Smart routing
    • After the initial deposit, APY.Finance will then automatically route funds to the most optimal yield farming strategies, optimized not only for profit but also risk level
    • In particular, capital is spread across multiple strategies, depending on each strategy’s risk score. Taking a risk-averse case as an example, a small proportion of capital is allocated into high-risk high-return pools, whereas the remaining capital is to be assigned to low risk pools
  • Community-owned
    • Security is APY.Finance’s primary concern so strategies will be rolled out carefully and slowly. At first, the platform will be run by DeFi experts that codify yield farming strategies and monitor for time-sensitive incidents 
    • Concurrently, a liquidity mining rewards program will run in order to get the APY token into the hands of real users. APY governance token holders will be able to propose and vote on easily verifiable changes to the DeFi landscape, such as strategy risk score changes or even yield allocation

APY token specifications are as follows:

  • Initial valuation / market cap (MC): $13.5M
  • Total supply (TS): 100M APY
  • Initial circulating supply (CS): 8M APY
  • Token distribution as illustrated (Figure 1)

APY token holders will be able to vote and change system-wide parameters such as fees, risk score, and rebalance thresholds. However, this is just the first of three distinct phases of the project’s roadmap and APY token functionality.

In the second stage, APY holders can propose changes to existing strategies simply by drag-and-drop, without the need for Solidity engineering knowledge.

In the final stage, APY token holders will be able to propose entirely new strategies and influence the deployment of billions of dollars into various DeFi protocols.

Figure 1. APY token distribution

APY.Finance Team

The founding members of APY.Finance are:

  • Will Shahda, CEO & Solidity engineer
    • Partner at Wired Capital which develops algorithmic cryptocurrency trading bots that use arbitrage strategies and machine learning techniques
    • After founding WP-Science, a small business developing, marketing, and distributing Wordpress plugins, Will wrote and audited Solidity smart contracts for companies such as Jarvis Network and Squarelink 
    • He organized and lead teams competing in blockchain hackathons, frequently placing and winning sponsorship prizes. Furthermore, Will handled Solidity development, project management, and pitch presentations for hackathon projects 
    • Prior to focusing on blockchain technology, Will led development and delivered flagship products for international brands including Kraft, Mondelēz International, Green Mountain Coffee and Spin Galactic international franchise when working for Blue World Inc and Arana Interactive
  • Chan-Ho Suh, Smart contract developer at APY.Finance
    • Backend developer with 6+ years of experience spanning across structured and unstructured environments, small and large teams, and rigorously tested production code and ad-hoc rapid application development.
    • Currently working as a smart contract developer at APY.Finance and Tech Lead for Capital One 
    • Prior to that, the Cornell alumnus was a senior software engineer for a loan syndication platform (LoanStreet Inc.), a quant developer leading development of the trading desk for volatility derivatives at MIO Partners, an application developer at JPMorgan Chase & Co and an electronic trading developer at Nomura
  • Jonathan Viray, Full stack engineer at APY.Finance
    • Jonathan is a self-taught freelance software developer and a licensed contract attorney
    • Jonathan served as an associate attorney for Zhang & Associates and Special Counsel, and as a contract attorney for Epiq and TransPerfect Legal Solutions. 
    • He used to work at the Earl Carl Institute for Legal and Social Policy and U.S. Attorney’s Office early in his career

APY.Finance advisors include:

  • Sunil Srivatsa, DeFi strategy advisor and co-founder of Urza DAO
    • 8 years of experience in Uber, Square, Cultivation Capital as a software engineer and analyst
  • Pascal Tallarida, advisor, founder of Jarvis
    • prop trader with 12 years of experience, founder and trainer at Diabolo Menthe Trading SAS

APY.Finance Ecosystem

Integral parts of the APY.Finance ecosystem are presented in Figure 2, namely the key investors and DeFi partners and networks. Each of these plays a significant role in the overall success of the APY.Finance platform.

Figure 2. APY.Finance ecosystem

APY.Finance’s DeFi industry network encompasses well-established brands such as Uniswap, Sushiswap, Balancer, Compound, Synthetix, Jarvis, PieDAO, 1inch, Yearn.finance, dY/dX, Aave, and Curve.

APY.Finance’s investors enable its long term vision to become reality. The key investors include Alameda Research, Arrington XRP Capital, Cluster Capital, CoinGecko, Genblock Capital, TRG Capital, The LAO, 12 Capital, and Vendetta Capital.

Comparable Projects

APY.Finance is one of the three most popular liquidity aggregators, including yearn.finance and Delphi from Akropolis. All three of them have already attracted funding into their pools prior to their IDO launches. Here APY stands out with the highest TVL prior to IDO/token issuance as compared to the other two, with around $34 million locked into the smart contract thus far. Meanwhile the APY range is similar across platforms as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3. APY.Finance versus Yearn.finance and Delphi

Upcoming News and Development Progress

APY.Finance Token Generation Event

Around 2.6M APY tokens will be available for sale on Balancer’s liquidity bootstrapping pool (LBP) on November 5, 2020 at 14:00 UTC.

The LBP will run for 48 hours on a fair Dutch auction format, ending on an exact block number to be announced.

The token will be released on a declining price mechanism, which effectively wipes out all front-running bot attempts. For instance, if a bot snips all APY tokens in the very first seconds, the changing pool weights will cause the APY token price to drop below the initial acquisition price as confirmed by the project’s CEO.

Such a mechanism and commitment will truly provide fair chances for those with real needs and interests in the token governance, rather than allow speculation and whale manipulation.

Token Release Schedule

APY.Finance has a fixed cap of 100M APY on total supply. The token release schedule has lengthy lock up terms, indicating long-term commitment from both the team and its investors:

  • Around 7.5M APY tokens in circulation at the IDO event
  • The team has adopted a 4-year vesting schedule (1-year cliff, 3-year linearly vested)
  • All seed and strategic investors are also aligned on a 1-year vesting schedule with 9c and 13.5c cost basis, respectively

Development Roadmap

Completed milestones and the plan for the rest of 2020:

  • Launch of the liquidity mining program with more than 1,500 unique addresses participating, locking a round of $40 million in liquidity mining smart contracts
  • Updates to the liquidity mining user interface to make it more intuitive
  • Preparation for IDO strategy
  • Alpha product development

Reasons to be Bullish

  • Impressive growth in the DeFi industry boosts project confidence:
    • DEX volume skyrocketed 80x from the beginning of this year until October
    • TVL in smart contracts for DeFi projects exceeds $12B at the time of writing, reaching the 20x YTD growth rate milestone
    • However, liquidity aggregator TVL market share is still only 8%, relatively small compared to DEX and lending protocols (Figure 4)
  • Green field in the liquidity aggregator niche – there is a small number of projects participating. Thus, APY.Finance has a higher chance to capture market share at this early stage
Figure 4. Yield farming market components and structure by TVL

Factors to Watch

  • Potential emergence of new liquidity aggregator projects with more competitive advantages, especially ones developed and supported by popular DEXs or pools like Uniswap, Curve.fi, etc. The development from Yearn.finance is also a factor to watch since they are currently the market leader in the liquidity aggregator niche market.
  • Annual percentage yield (APY) is the key reason that attracts individual investors (based on the CoinGecko survey), who tend not to be loyal to any platform unless it provides most benefits to them. The SushiSwap $800M liquidity “steal” from Uniswap always remains a practical case study for the DeFi industry.

Executive Summary

Projection Milestones

Note: This projection evaluation method considers both the APY token price and the APY circulating supply as variables. This is an accurate representation since both are subject to change over time.

  • At the time of writing, the circulating supply (CS) is 8M APY, and the market cap (MC) reaches $2M
  • Right after the IDO, we expect 25M APY tokens will be in circulation. Considering the price may rise modestly due to the current hype (x2-4), MC could be in the range of $12.5M to $25M
  • One year after the launch, when strategic and seed round investors’ tokens are fully released, APY CS will be around 68M APY. APY then has a chance to surpass FARM’s MC
  • At full token release, the CS will be 100M APY. APY token price may potentially reach $5 per token, giving it a circulating market cap in line with YFI’s MC and in the vicinity of $500M

Figure 5 presents the different possible scenarios determining the potential APY market cap and the associated return on investment (ROI) in the future.

Figure 5. Future APY market cap projection

Concluding Remarks

The APY.Finance’s advanced solution seems like a necessity if the yield farming industry is to grow and lead the DeFi adoption trend. The Kyros Research team is bullish on this project, and we believe that the crypto enthusiasts and investors alike will also be able to understand its potential. 

Taking into account APY.Finance’s favorable metrics versus comparable projects with a higher market cap (e.g. Yearn.finance), we would be extremely surprised to see this token stay under $0.5 at the IDO in the tail end of 2020.

Due to the volatile nature of the crypto markets, short term price estimates are difficult to establish. We, however, expect to see the APY token price soar to $2 – $2.5 in the mid-to-long term, giving it a circulating market cap in the vicinity of $170M. 

Even higher token price milestones are feasible in the long term, our most bullish prediction envisaging APY potentially reaching the Yearn.finance’s market cap in the future. Taking into account that the total market capitalization of the liquidity aggregator segment of the crypto market is relatively small compared to that of the DEX and lending segments, APY.Finance definitely has a promising future ahead.

Introducing Utrust – The Future of Online Payments is Here

Introducing Utrust - The Future of Online Payments is here

Project Summary

Main Features of Utrust

  1. Utrust is a seamless integration that gives e-commerce businesses the power to accept digital currencies – for cheaper yet faster transactions
  2. The cryptocurrency startup raised 21 million USD via an initial coin offering (ICO) in November 2017, peaked in terms of its market cap during the January 2018 bull season, but started gaining real world traction from the second half of 2018 with product launch
  3. Integrated with the world’s most prominent ecommerce platforms, connecting to millions of websites and over 300,000 merchants across the globe
  4. Potential market size by 2024
Introducing Utrust - The Future of Online Payments is here
Figure 1. Utrust’s SOM/SAM/TAM market size

At the time of writing, UTK token specifications are as follows:

  • Current market cap (MC): $59.2M
  • Circulating supply (CS): 450M UTK
  • Total supply (TS): 500M UTK
  • Token distribution as illustrated (Figure 2)
Introducing Utrust - The Future of Online Payments is here
Figure 2. UTK token distribution

Utrust Team

The founding members of Utrust are:

  • Nuno Correia, Co-founder and Chairman of the Board. Nuno also serves as the Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) of Utrust. The serial entrepreneur is a partner of the UK-based crypto portfolio management company Obvious Capital which caters to high net worth individuals and institutions. The MIT alumnus is also a former owner of 7camicie, a high-end Italian men’s designer brand, and co-founder of borNauthentiC, a creative fashion platform.
  • Filipe Castro is the second co-founder and Board member of Utrust. The MIT alumnus also takes leadership roles as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and is responsible for compliance & regulatory strategy. Filipe represents Utrust within the 500 Startups and Alchemist Accelerator programs. As a well-known blockchain speaker, Filipe has promoted blockchain technology and digital assets at several international conferences and events, while providing executive training programs about blockchain, regulatory framework, crypto assets, CBDCs and ICOs.
  • Sanja Kon, CEO of Utrust. Sanja was Head of Marketplaces and Large Enterprise Partnerships for PayPal in the United Kingdom. Before PayPal, Sanja worked as eBay Head of European Partnerships and Vodafone Salesforce Project Manager.
  • Artur Ferreira, Co-founder and CTO. Prior to Utrust, Artur grew and led several tech companies, namely Privus (a secure communications and privacy software) and Easypay (a single, secure, simple, standard open API to move money from any system to any system). Artur holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Science and Engineering.

Utrust Ecosystem

Integral parts of the Utrust’s ecosystem are presented in Figure 3, namely the key investors, partnerships, networks, crypto wallets, and exchanges/liquidity providers for the UTK token. Each of these plays a significant role in the overall success of the Utrust platform.

Introducing Utrust - The Future of Online Payments is here
Figure 3. Utrust Ecosystem

A more exhaustive list of Utrust’s commercial partnerships includes:

  • Arms&McGregor: a Dubai luxury real estate service provider with over 44500 transactions completed between November 2018 and November 2019. Furthermore, November 2019 included $2.5bn worth of deals registered, in a year that had already registered $20.9bn in transactions. The partnership opens up the real estate industry worth a whopping $712 trillion globally
  • Uphold: is one of the premiere crypto-to-fiat processors, currently servicing 30 cryptocurrencies and 4 metals, in addition to 27 fiat currencies with bank connectivity in 35+ countries
  • Travala: Travel booking giant with 2,000,000+ properties within their service. Travala covers exactly 90,124 destinations in 230 countries and territories
  • Alternative Airlines: An IATA-accredited agency, Alternative Airlines was featured in the 2019 Sunday Times Fast Track Tech 100, which highlights the top 100 fastest growing technology companies, and was awarded Best Selling Travel Agent 2017. Thanks to the partnership, customers can now search and book flights on over 600 airlines and choose to pay in cryptocurrencies via Utrust
  • S.L.Benfica: The famous sporting club has a 115-year history and is recognized as one of the world’s most widely supported football clubs with over 230 thousand active members and 14 million supporters worldwide. With its strong global brand and loyal supporters, it is the perfect merchant for UTRUST’s journey towards mass adoption of crypto payments
  • Utrust’s merchant networks vary across several industries, from jewelry, perfume and IT products to digital agency service and music records

Utrust’s industry network encompasses the following well-established brands:

  • Alliance for Prosperity: Includes FinTech companies, and non-profit and humanitarian aid organizations, with prominent industry giants such as Andreessen Horowitz and Coinbase. Utrust’s role within the alliance is to ensure adoption and to make its technology available to everyone
  • WooCommerce: WordPress and its WooCommerce plugin serve 3.876.748 webstores. Over 30% of all online stores run on WordPress. 35% of the Internet is powered by WordPress. WooCommerce powers 22% of the world’s top 1 million ecommerce sites
  • Magento: Magento is the largest and the most important ecommerce platform in the world, and they are a part of the Adobe family. Boasting over 250.000 merchants worldwide, Magento represents about 12% of the marketplace and has handled $155 billion of gross merchandise volume in 2018

Utrust’s investors enable its long term vision to become reality. The key investors include:

  • Alchemist Accelerator, a San Francisco based venture-backed accelerator focused on the development of seed-stage ventures that monetize from enterprises (B2B). Alchemist Accelerator has invested in 508 deals and made 31 exits. Some of its notable portfolio companies include MightyHive, Byte Foods, and Stories. According to Crunchbase, CB Insights rated Alchemist as the top accelerator in 2016 with the total funding of its graduate startups close to $800 million
  • 500 Startups: a world renowned flagship accelerator present in over 75 countries with investments in more than 2,400 startups. Pitchbook recognizes it as the most active VC globally in exits and the most active global investor by VC deal count in 2019
  • Utrust raised a total of $21 million during their ICO in November 2017 with a public sale token price of $0.065. While the token reached its ATH in January 2018 and depreciated with the bear market thereafter, UTK token price is still at +100% vs the ICO price (x2)

UTK Token Ownership

Figure 4 shows changes in the proportion of UTK token holders, cruisers and traders. Hereby, holders are considered as the wallets that did not trigger any UTK token movements for more than 1 year, whereas cruisers and traders represent the wallets that hold the UTK token for 1-12 months and less than 1 month, respectively. 

For the last 12 months, we can observe the shift in UTK token distribution from long-term accounts to short-term accounts. In particular, around 1200 new cruiser accounts and 1500 new trader accounts have reduced the proportion of holders to nearly 76%, down from almost 89% one year ago.

The shift indicates a higher activity level of the Utrust community compared to the same period last year.

Introducing Utrust - The Future of Online Payments is here
Figure 4: UTK ownership by time hold (Data source: Intotheblock)

Comparable Projects

Crypto-to-fiat processing is no longer a green field since more and more payment processors are joining the market, a few of the prominent ones including Bitpay, Crypto.com and Swipe.

Compared to Paypal, the world leading payment processor with a market cap of over $195 billion, Utrust provides cheaper transaction fees and higher efficiency. Furthermore, Utrust has been continuously expanding its merchant network, with integrations to major e-commerce platforms like Woocommerce, Jumpseller, Opencart and Magento paving a pathway to mass adoption.

When compared to Swipe, Utrust provides slightly better fee rates for both its consumers and merchants while both companies provide support for 30+ cryptocurrencies. Furthermore, Utrust fosters a superior user experience with full customer protection including a dispute resolution mechanism akin to Paypal’s and performance-based rating of merchants which allows the consumers to opt for reputable brands.

Figure 5 summarizes the abovementioned differences and similarities between Utrust, Paypal and Swipe, highlighting the Utrust’s competitive edge in this niche. Thus, in the long term, one could expect a much higher market capitalization for Utrust considering the size of the market and the fact that both Paypal and Swipe have higher valuations at present.

Figure 5. Utrust versus Paypal and Swipe
* Update (21/10/2020): PayPal will accept crypto payment from early next year 2021, starting with BTC, ETH, LTC and BCH.

Upcoming News and Development Progress

Token Release Schedule

Utrust has a fixed cap of 500,000,000 UTK on total supply. Currently 90% of all UTK tokens have been distributed. The rest, 50 million UTK tokens, have been locked for 5 years at ICO (November 2017). Thus, as stated in the whitepaper, full distribution will take place in 2022.

Thus, as the crypto market and overall adoption grows, we may expect to reach a new market cap milestone in 2022 when the project unlocks all of its tokens. It is important to note that, unlike a lot of the low quality projects in the crypto space, Utrust is designed to thrive with the overall cryptocurrency adoption rather than as a single entity.

Development Roadmap

  1. Automation: Launched successfully
  2. A stable coin and new merchants: Onboarded USDT
  3. Staking, Cashback and Merchants Referral Program: Launched Utrust Wallet
  4. “Building 2021”: the final quarter of 2020 will be focused on reflecting on the previous quarter, growing the platform, building the ecosystem and adding more features to existing products
  5. Beyond 2020: Utrust prides itself in being a company with a clear vision for the future, and all the tools to ensure it happens. As we enter a decade where digital currencies will become mainstream, Utrust has every intention of being a leader in this revolution

Reasons to be Bullish

  • There exists a huge amount of potential for a blockchain-based payment processor to grow and compete with traditional giants like Paypal and Stripe, whose market capitalization exceeds $230 billion in total. Meanwhile, the total valuation of the top crypto-fiat payment processors including Crypto.com, Swipe and Utrust is just over $3 billion at the time of writing
  • The inevitable development and adoption of central bank digital currencies may foster cryptocurrency adoption as a whole. Until then, the abovementioned crypto-fiat payment processors will have a competitive advantage and traction associated with being the pioneers in the industry
  • During the first three quarters of 2020, Utrust has established more partnerships (18) than in any other period, since inception
  • Strong growth of the Utrust ecosystem and its global network of merchants will drive a higher total payment transaction value whereby the higher the transaction fee Utrust collects, the more UTK token will be bought back and burned permanently thus removing it from the total supply. This will only boost the UTK token price due to the supply and demand dynamics
  • Novel UTK token utilities such as cashback, loyalty reward, and coupon redemption, in addition to the current transaction fee payment utility, will help nurture a healthy ecosystem growth over the long term

Factors to Watch

  • Paypal’s potential adoption of cryptocurrency transactions is the top concern for Utrust
  • Possible exchange hacks such as the recent KuCoin incident may slow Utrust’s rise. Fortunately, Utrust team acted promptly and fully protected the token holders within two days by issuing a new UTK token equivalent while rendering the previous UTK token useless. Nonetheless, other crypto-to-fiat platforms got compromised in the past, for instance Eterbase – a European bank-grade digital asset exchange that allows SEPA payments in their users’ personal IBAN accounts.

Executive Summary

Projection Milestones

Note: This projection evaluation method considers both the UTK token price and the UTK circulating supply as variables. This is an accurate representation since both are subject to change over time.

Figure 6 presents the timeline for two possible scenarios determining the potential UTK market cap in the future:

  • Until 2021, projected circulating supply will stay around 450M UTK (90% of the total supply); UTK price can, at least, gain 50% (x1.5) and surpass Swipe’s current market cap
  • At full token release, the circulating supply will be 500M UTK; UTK token price may potentially reach new ATHs in range of $1.5, assuming adherence to the development roadmap
Introducing Utrust - The Future of Online Payments is here
Figure 6. UTK market cap projection for 2021-2022

Concluding Remarks

The Utrust’s innovative e-commerce solution seems like a necessity if the cryptocurrency mass adoption is to occur. The Kyros Research team is bullish on this project, and we believe that the crypto enthusiasts and investors alike will also be able to understand its potential. Taking into account Utrust’s favorable metrics versus comparable projects with a higher market cap (e.g. Swipe), we would be extremely surprised to see this token stay under $0.16 during the tail end of 2020.While short term price estimates are difficult to establish due to the volatility of the crypto markets, we expect to see the UTK token price soar to $0.3 – $0.4 in the mid-to-long term, giving it a circulating market cap in the vicinity of $180M. 

Even higher token price milestones are feasible in the long term, our most bullish prediction exceeding the previous ATH at full token release, with Utrust potentially becoming a $1B+ company thereafter. Taking into account the total market capitalization of Paypal and Stripe ($230B+), Utrust undoubtedly has plenty of room for growth.

Kyros Research’s Quarterly Report – Q3 2020

Kyros Research's Quarterly Report - Q3 2020

Overview of the Cryptocurrency Market

The cryptocurrency market has experienced growth during the third fiscal quarter of 2020 (Q3 2020). In particular, this growth can be characterized by two similar metrics, Quarter on Quarter (QoQ) and Year on Year (YoY), whereby QoQ is a measure of change between the fiscal quarter in question and the previous fiscal quarter, while YoY compares the fiscal quarter of one fiscal year with the same fiscal quarter of the previous fiscal year.

With Q3 2020 in mind, the total cryptocurrency market cap has grown 31.8% QoQ and 57.8% YoY, demonstrating a bullish trend over the last 12 months (Figure 1). The trend has primarily been due to the emerging “hot” trends in the crypto space, namely the decentralized finance (DeFi) yield farming and the decentralized exchange (DEX) protocols such as Uniswap. Following the Black Thursday crash in Q1 2020, the market has recovered on the third Bitcoin halving’s wings and the boom of the DeFi yield farming and DEXs.

On the other hand, there is no clear trend identified in the total trading volume over the last 12 months. Nonetheless, there have been some spikes and dips around critical events, as depicted in Figure 1.

Kyros Research's Quarterly Report - Q3 2020
Figure 1: Cryptocurrency market capitalization and trading volume over the last 12 months

In order to delve deeper into the dynamics of the cryptocurrency space, the market share associated with Bitcoin and Ethereum may be analyzed over the last 12 months, as presented in Figure 2.

In this period, BTC dominance has been reducing with the rise of DeFi, mostly associated with the ETH network. Evidently, in Q3 2020, the ETH market cap eclipsed 10% of the total cryptocurrency market cap, reaching the 2020 high of 13.2% in September with the corresponding growth of 23.2% QoQ and 40% YoY. Meanwhile, BTC has been losing its dominance, down from over 67% in Q3 2019 to below 59% in Q3 2020.

 

Dominance growthETHBTC
QoQ23.2%-9.5%
YoY40.0%-12.7%
Kyros Research's Quarterly Report - Q3 2020
Figure 2: Cryptocurrency market share associated with Bitcoin and Ethereum from Q3 2019 until Q3 2020

Cryptocurrency versus Stocks and Gold

Taking into consideration that Bitcoin has long been considered a store of value and “digital gold,” it is natural to compare the digital asset class with physical gold. For completion, the S&P 500 stock index is also included in Figure 3, whereby YoY returns for the three types of assets are presented for the last four fiscal quarters.

Notably, cryptocurrency has outperformed gold and S&P 500, with a return of nearly 2x that of gold and 6x that of the S&P 500 index. Despite its high volatility, cryptocurrency is still the asset class with the best returns within the relevant timeframe.

Kyros Research's Quarterly Report - Q3 2020
Figure 3: Cryptocurrency asset class’ YoY performance in comparison to that of gold and the S&P 500 index

Interestingly, crypto is increasingly correlated to gold and S&P 500, as shown in Figure 4. This trend started in Q1 2020 when the COVID-19 breakout led to another world economic crisis. Gradually, this trend has become more evident through Q2 and Q3, with the Pearson correlation coefficient approaching 0.9 towards the end of Q3. The high level of correlation between crypto, gold, and S&P 500 is expected to continue while the world searches for a viable COVID-19 vaccine for mass adoption, which is expected to arise during 2021, causing the economy to rebound.

Kyros Research's Quarterly Report - Q3 2020
Figure 4: Correlation between cryptocurrency and gold, and cryptocurrency and S&P500

Overall DeFi Market

The advent of DeFi has resulted in skyrocketing of the Total Value Locked (TVL), representing the amount of currently staked assets within the sector (Figure 5).

Kyros Research's Quarterly Report - Q3 2020
Figure 5: DeFi Total Value Locked in 2020

Figure 5 highlights the total TVL taken on the first day of each month of 2020 to date, demonstrating exponential growth. It is important to note that the TVL value is by no means meant to represent the number of outstanding loans, but rather the total amount of underlying supply being secured by DeFi as a whole.

The main components of DeFi include smart contracts, lending protocols, decentralized applications (dApps), digital currencies, decentralized exchanges, and more. Among these, the DEX sector has been a late bloomer, with its TVL rapidly increasing only since August. With that said, DEX has caught up with the lending trend to form the two main foundations of DeFi.

DeFi Yield Farming

DEXs, based on the Automated Market Maker (AMM) model, has proven to be one of the most impactful DeFi innovations. Among these, the most popular platform today is Uniswap.

In early September, Sushiswap protocol was introduced, realigning incentives for network participants by utilizing revenue sharing and community-driven network effects on the popular AMM model. Thereby, fueled by the favorable SUSHI tokenomics with existing AMM advantages, Sushiswap successfully took $800M in liquidity from Uniswap during its migration.

However, Uniswap responded soon after by rolling out the UNI token in order to beat the competition, while Sushiswap lost early momentum due to the drama associated with its founder, “Chef Nomi.” The order is now set again with Uniswap, Curve Finance, Balancer, and Sushiswap, leading the DEX sector in terms of the TVL (Figure 6).

Kyros Research's Quarterly Report - Q3 2020
Figure 6: Top DEXs in terms of the TVL

Decentralized Exchanges (DEXs)

The DEX sector has experienced rapid growth with trading volume more than doubling every month since June 2020 (Figure 7). In particular, in June, aggregate monthly DEX volume was $1.6B, skyrocketing to $4.3B in July, $11.6B in August, and $23.6B in September.

Such parabolic growth may lead to a trillion-dollar market projection in just a few years; however, there are no certainties. Several factors have to be monitored and evaluated continuously in order to achieve sustainable growth in the DEX sector, namely the smart contract audit quality, sustainable tokenomics, level of decentralization, etc.

Kyros Research's Quarterly Report - Q3 2020
Figure 7: Aggregate monthly DEX volume

In terms of the Uniswap protocol’s dominance, several observations can be made:

  • Uniswap dominance increased from 58% to 65% in August – September
  • Uniswap – Sushiswap battle only increased the prominence of Uniswap
  • Curve captured 22.2% of the market, rising from 16.1% in August
  • The AMM model with token incentivization continues to dominate

Future DEX trends will include new participants and novel infrastructures:

  • The DEX market has a relatively low barrier of entry (compared to CEX) and fosters a healthier ecosystem which welcomes innovative projects such as Serum
  • Built on a high-performance blockchain, Serum has already reported $50M in a volume less than two weeks after launch
  • A DEX “war” on different blockchains can be anticipated, opening up more facilities for end-users

Critical Events

  • Yield farming rollercoaster – Sushiswap incident triggered by “Chef Nomi” cashing out his entire SUSHI holding to ETH, only a few weeks after the DEX historically took $800M of liquidity from its precedent (Uniswap)
  • Kucoin, a well-known centralized exchange, has been hacked. $150M worth of funds has been compromised by a hacker who, as reported by Coindesk, “obtained the private keys to the exchange’s hot wallets.” The exchange is still investigating the incident at the time of writing while announcing that all the stolen customers’ funds will be fully covered
  • CFTC charges BitMEX for illegal activities and anti-money laundering violations. The announcement was made on October 1st.

Expert Commentary (1): When do you envisage the mass adoption of DeFi will happen?

Kyros Research's Quarterly Report - Q3 2020Dr. Long Vuong, Founder & CEO of TomoChain:

“As with any new industry, proof of convenience & time are two crucial factors in deciding its faith. DeFi mass adoption is surely not an exception. DeFi blew up in the last year and a half and has been accepted by more and more banking systems & integrated into different businesses worldwide. The goal is for users to use DeFi products without knowing there is (the) blockchain technology behind it, and eventually turn these financial primitives into a new common financial method. Though I don’t have a specific time, I believe the future does look bright for DeFi mass adoption, especially with the continuous effort for better solutions from many projects.”

Kyros Research's Quarterly Report - Q3 2020Thanh Le, Founder of Coin98:

“I think we might see the DeFi tipping point somewhere in the next 24 months (minimum). 

DeFi can’t go to mass adoption with a very low speed and high gas fees blockchain platform. To get there, the relevant blockchain platforms need to solve the scalability problem first. There are many teams who are working on these solutions currently, e.g., Solana, Polkadot, Ethereum L2…If these solutions become viable over the next 12 months, this will provide a broad foundation for any DeFi applications to be built on top of it, bringing the same user experience as other centralized FinTech applications.

The use case of current DeFi applications is still very limited when compared to traditional banking services. There are a lot of teams who are working on building more innovative protocols for DeFi, e.g., interest rate swap, credits, on-chain futures trading and other derivative protocols.

The benefits that DeFi brings to the end-users are still very limited when compared to traditional services. As long as DeFi protocols can solve the same problem as other centralized finance apps, but in a better and simpler way, users will start to use DeFi more because it will bring more benefit to them.”

Kyros Research's Quarterly Report - Q3 2020Ryan Tian, Co-founder of FinNexus:

“I believe decentralized finance is by far the greatest application of the blockchain technology, and it will come to mass adoption, and accomplish even more than what (the) internet did to transform and upgrade traditional finance. But, there are some problems that need to be solved before that, like gas fees, efficiency, cross-chain applications, protocol securities, enrichment of the ecosystem. I am expecting the mass adoption will be achieved in 3 years.”

Kyros Research's Quarterly Report - Q3 2020Rachid Ajaja, Founder & CEO of AllianceBlock:

“Mass adoption of DeFi will happen once institutional enter to it, and to do so, compliance and regulation need to be taken into account. Being able to do so will bridge the two worlds and will bring mass adoption. User experience is also very important, i.e., the simpler the way we deal with the application, the better are the chances to increase adoption. People do not need to know what a public key or a private key is – they connect with an identifier, and that is it; this is also an important point.”

Expert Commentary (2): How will the yield farming trend evolve in 2020/2021?

Kyros Research's Quarterly Report - Q3 2020Dr. Long Vuong, Founder & CEO of TomoChain:

“The idea of yield farming is to attract liquidity. By locking users’ liquidity into the farming pools, we allow new financial instruments to be built on top of them. People are attracted to yield farming because of the high ROI rate it generates, multiplied even by hundreds, and will continue to follow this type of investment in the long run. As more and more projects come up with their own yield farming protocols, including TomoChain with LuaSwap, users are going to be exposed to a variety of services with different rates and features. Thus, choices are plenty for yield farming to evolve even more in the coming year.”

Kyros Research's Quarterly Report - Q3 2020Thanh Le, Founder of Coin98:

“There will be more sources of yield, mainly coming from derivative protocols, e.g., options trading, futures trading, synthetic assets, lending, borrowing, etc.

Ethereum is the mainland of DeFi in 2018-2020, but starting from Q4, 2020, we might see other blockchain platforms building more yield farming products on their chains, resulting in multichain yield farming.

Farming is unlimited, but user capital is limited. It’s hard to manage the funds efficiently by doing it manually. Users will need a machine to help them manage their funds. Yield farming aggregator is that machine, and we can expect to see the rise of different versions of yield farming aggregators. yEarn is one of the very well-known names in this space.

Finally, more capital will enter into DeFi. More innovation protocols -> More yield farming options -> More yield -> More funding.”

Kyros Research's Quarterly Report - Q3 2020Ryan Tian, Co-founder of FinNexus:

“Yield farming is one of the most interesting creations of DeFi, and I believe it will continue to be an important mechanism to reward the early participants and make token distributions. Yield farming will continue to evolve. It will be more connected to the DeFi business model. Projects purely for farming will be gone. Also, the balance between high APY and the market dumping pressure will be considered. Super crazy APY will disappear from the market. Yield farming is going to be more like the seasoning, not the main course, in most DeFi projects. It can spice up the excitement, but will be less likely to play the main role. Plus, the farming mechanisms and gains will be more flexible, and some may even call it Game-fi.”

Kyros Research's Quarterly Report - Q3 2020Rachid Ajaja, Founder & CEO of AllianceBlock:

“In my opinion, we will see the creation of derivative products on the yield farming since they can bring more investors, but also products that will, for example, hedge against the gas increase, which will have an impact on the amount of users. Multichain farming is the next step also.

This is still a new field and very interesting; we need to keep a close look as something new can happen every day. Now we have a CORE that includes several different approaches, and we see a very high interest in this model. Exciting time :)”

Kyros Research's Quarterly Report - Q3 2020

 

FinNexus Insights – Infographics on The “Hidden Gem” in DeFi Options

FinNexus is the next-generation open finance hub, connecting assets, users, blockchains and service providers together. To realize this goal, the team behind the project is building a decentralized protocol for options trading and offering DeFi options liquidity mining to earn its native FNX token.

Through the following series of illustrative infographics, Kyros Ventures will introduce you to everything you need to know on the FinNexus project, from its fundamentals and the many use cases of the FNX token to FinNexus’s applications in DeFi and a quick comparison with other rising crypto options protocol to further demonstrate the innovations and growth potential that FinNexus possesses. Without further ado, let’s dive right in!


Infographic #1: Overview of FinNexus



Infographic #2: The FNX token and its DeFi use cases



Infographic #3: How to mine FNX and FinNexus’s Options competitors


Introducing TomoChain – Scalable PoS Voting Blockchain with Product Lines Focusing on Real-World Usage

Project Summary

Main Features of TomoChain

  1. TomoChain is an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatible blockchain with Proof-of-Stake voting (PoSV) incentivizing TOMO holders to play an active role in staking while voting for validators; key performance metrics include 2000 transactions per second (TPS) and a 2-second block time
  2. TOMO token is the native asset of TomoChain utilized for network gas fees covering asset transfers, on-chain actions, and the deployment of smart contracts
  3. Different inbuilt protocols, namely TomoX, TomoP and TomoZ. TomoX represents the decentralized exchange protocol, TomoP the dedicated privacy protocol, whereas TomoZ is a unique token standard (TRC-21) used for transaction fees
  4. Products such as:
  • TomoWallet – a convenient and secure wallet for TOMO holders
  • TomoMaster – TOMO staking platform with 150 masternodes
  • TomoScan – BlockExplorer for the TomoChain blockchain
  • TomoDEX – the fastest decentralized exchange for trading directly from the wallet
  • TomoBridge – a cross-chain swapping bridge for connecting TomoChain with other blockchains
  • TomoRelayer – a dashboard to register and launch a DEX
  • TomoIssuer – a dashboard on the TomoZ protocol for issuing TRC21 tokens
  • TomoStats – a dashboard for the TomoChain network status
  • TomoStatus – TomoChain system monitoring dashboard

Above mentioned features are summarized in Figure 1 below, whereby the whole TomoChain “planet” can be visualized.

Introducing TomoChain - Scalable PoS Voting Blockchain with Product Lines Focusing on Real-World Usage
Figure 1. TomoChain planet visualization including the core blockchain metrics, different inbuilt protocols and products

At the time of writing, TOMO token specifications are as follows:

  • Current market cap (MC): $57.9M
  • Circulating supply (CS): 74M TOMO
  • Total supply (TS): 100M TOMO
  • Token distribution as illustrated (Figure 2)
  • 150 masternodes worldwide
  • 55% total supply staked in 2019
Introducing TomoChain - Scalable PoS Voting Blockchain with Product Lines Focusing on Real-World Usage
Figure 2. TOMO token distribution

TomoChain Team

The founding members of TomoChain are:

Long Vuong – Co-founder & CEO of TomoChain and TomoChain project lead, co-founder and the former project lead of the prominent NEM (New Economy Movement) blockchain. Long holds a PhD in economics from the University of Massachusetts.

Le Ho – Co-founder & CFO, a CFA charter holder and a licensed fund manager in Vietnam with 10+ years of experience in investment and finance. Le is a Former Senior Investment Manager at BVIM and the Director of the Investment Banking Division at HSC securities company.

Son Nguyen – Co-founder & CTO, an experienced and accomplished engineer working in the IT field, former ToMoApp Director of Engineering, and the founder of the Blockchain Developer group with more than 800 active members. Son holds a Master’s degree in Engineering from the Hanoi University of Technology.

TomoChain Ecosystem

Integral parts of the TomoChain’s ecosystem are presented in Figure 3, namely the key partnerships, crypto wallets, and exchanges/liquidity providers for the TOMO token. Each of these plays a significant role in the overall success of the TomoChain platform.

Introducing TomoChain - Scalable PoS Voting Blockchain with Product Lines Focusing on Real-World Usage
Figure 3. TomoChain ecosystem

A more exhaustive list of TomoChain’s commercial partnerships and dApps includes:

  • Lition: a public-private blockchain infrastructure that is legally compliant with the GDPR. The solution is co-innovated with SAP, the world’s leading business software company
  • Triip: a decentralized travel application (dApp) with Triip Protocol issued on the TomoChain blockchain
  • Mantra DAO: a DeFi Platform serving as a masternode operator for TomoChain
  • Coin98: a universal crypto mobile app powered by the TomoChain token “C98” which has accrued over 100K users. C98 is used to purchase products, play games, and can be redeemed in exchange for services
  • Alternative Investment and Security Exchange (AIS): the first cryptocurrency exchange from Mongolia. AIS’ exchange token will be issued via TomoChain
  • BitOrb: a crypto derivatives exchange issuing its exchange token on TomoChain
  • TomoMaster: a staking governance dApp of TomoChain, which facilitates voting/staking by using Ledger, TomoWallet, Metamask, and TrustWallet
  • TomoSwap: a decentralized exchange platform on TomoChain with the mission of increasing liquidity and usability for TomoChain based projects (powered by the Kyber Network Protocol)
  • TomoPool: a service for users wishing to maximize their staking yield by mutualizing tokens to create a staking pool for TomoChain
  • MaxBet: a transparent gambling game on TomoChain
  • TomoStats: a dashboard showing on-chain metrics for the TomoChain network
  • TomoWallet: the TomoChain’s official mobile wallet

Further partners and investors include:

  • International partners – ChainLink, Morpheus Labs, Terra, Shift.network, Axel Infinity, Contentos, Movie Bloc, and Mantra DAO
  • Vietnamese partners – CMC, Savvycom, Vnext, Senpoint, FuniX, and the Hanoi University
  • Private sale investors – 1kx, Hashed, Signum Capital/HyperChain, One Block Capital, Coefficient Ventures, GBIC, Connect Capital, NGC Ventures

Comparable Projects

When evaluating TomoChain, similar blockchain projects should be considered in order to establish a comparative evaluation. Among these, Algorand seems to be the most closely related to TomoChain due to the similarities between the two projects in terms of their tokenomics/distribution and the stage of development.

Figure 4 summarizes and compares main metrics of Ethereum, Algorand and TomoChain blockchains with the emphasis on transactions per second, transaction fees, number of validators and the fully diluted market cap.

Introducing TomoChain - Scalable PoS Voting Blockchain with Product Lines Focusing on Real-World Usage
Figure 4. Ethereum versus Algorand versus TomoChain with the emphasis on transactions per second, transaction fees, number of validators, and the fully diluted market cap

In terms of the consensus algorithm, Algorand employs a pure Proof-of-Stake (PPoS) protocol built on the Byzantine consensus whereby each user’s influence on the choice of a new block is proportional to his/her stake in the system. On the other hand, TomoChain uses an innovative consensus method called Proof-of-Stake Voting (PoSV) which provides an incentive to all TOMO holders to play an active part in staking across a network consisting of 150 masternodes.

TomoChain demonstrates superior performance with 2000 TPS vs 1000 TPS of Algorand, block time of 2s vs 4.3s and comparable transaction fees in the range of $0.001. Both projects have an active community and dedicated developers, with TomoChain eclipsing Algorand when it comes to GitHub activity over the last 12 months. Nonetheless, Algorand has a considerably larger fully diluted market cap (38.96x) which demonstrates the potential for TOMO token’s price appreciation.

Upcoming News and Development Progress

Token Release Schedule

TomoChain has a fixed cap of 100,000,000 TOMO on total supply. The tokens belonging to the team and the treasury tokens will be fully released in June 2022, while the full token supply will be unlocked in 2026 upon the completion of the release process for the mining rewards. Any potential surges in supply are scheduled appropriately as depicted in Figure 5, which is important considering the circumstances under which the team’s tokens and the treasury tokens will be unlocked at the same time.

Introducing TomoChain - Scalable PoS Voting Blockchain with Product Lines Focusing on Real-World Usage
Figure 5. TOMO token release schedule representing the number and the breakdown of all TOMO tokens that are to be released into circulation on a monthly basis

Development Roadmap

As per the TomoChain’s official development roadmap, several updates have been completed during 2020, while further updates are expected toward the tail end of the year.

In particular, TomoScan – v1.6.0 has been released on January 5, 2020, while TomoMaster – v2.0.0 came out a day later, on January 6, introducing several API updates. Further completed updates include TomoIssuer – v1.0.0, Relayer Management – v1.2.0, TomoX-SDK – v1.2.0, and TomoChain – v2.2.0.

Upcoming updates include TomoScan – v1.8.0 (0% complete), TomoChain – v2.3.0 (25% complete), and TomoX-SDK- UI – v.1.2.0 (65% complete). The latter was scheduled for Aug 15, 2020, but has evidently been delayed.

Further milestones are expected to be achieved on TomoDEX with the upcoming listing of new Defi tokens. The growth in the daily trading volume on TomoDEX has been excellent YTD with “hot” DeFi tokens (i.e., SRM, FTT, YFI) resulting in a tripled daily trading volume in under 3 months (approximately $150k -> $500k).

The latest update is from TomoBridge, a cross-chain swapping bridge that realizes TomoChain’s vision to expand its utility to other blockchains such as Ethereum and Binance Chain. TOMOE, the 1:1 equivalent TOMO token on Ethereum, will be listed on Uniswap, the most prominent DEX.

Reasons to be Bullish

  • The main reason to be bullish is the recent announcement of the LuaSwap yield farming protocol. Hereby, the “farming” of the TomoChain’s ERC-20 token (TOMOE) will commence on Monday (September 28, 2020) with the LUA tokens being “harvested”. Thereby, TomoChain joins force with Binance and NEO to realize the potential of the lucrative DeFi yield farming (Figure 6).
  • Notably, LuaSwap will kickstart with an 8-week hyperinflation period, block rewards with a x128 multiplier in the first two weeks (halved every week afterward), yet keep a fair launch with no seed investment, founder’s fees, or pre-mine
  • Enterprise partnerships such as Chainlink, Terra, AIS, and BitOrb accelerate the adoption of TomoChain products and, ultimately, TOMO token
  • Novel DeFi apps built on top of the TomoChain blockchain or development of yield farming on TomoChain can drive the TOMO token price “to the moon”
  • DEX industry growth drives TomoDEX (32x growth rate YTD)
Introducing TomoChain - Scalable PoS Voting Blockchain with Product Lines Focusing on Real-World Usage
Figure 6: LuaSwap highlighted against Uniswap, BurgerSwap and Flamingo

Factors to Watch

  • There is always a possibility of the sudden rise of higher-performing blockchain infrastructures with a faster transaction speed and lower transaction fees, thereby fiercer competition.
  • Changes in key personnel may slow down the development
  • Upcoming updates scheduled for late 2020 are running at a risk of being delayed (refer to the “Development roadmap” subsection)

Executive Summary

Projection Milestones

Note: This projection evaluation method considers both the TOMO token price and the TOMO circulating supply as variables. This is an accurate representation since both are subject to change over time.

Figure 7 presents the timeline for three possible scenarios determining the potential TOMO market cap in the future:

  • By Q1 2021, projected CS will be around 80.5M TOMO (80.5% of total supply); TOMO price can potentially x1.5-3 (+50-200%) with the advent of yield farming
  • By Q1 2022, projected CS will be around 89.5M TOMO (89.5% of total supply); TOMO price can x5-10 and surpass Algorand’s current market cap
  • At full token release, CS will be 100M TOMO (100% of total supply); TOMO price may potentially reach new ATHs in the x20-30 range ($15-25 token price) assuming adherence to the development roadmap.
Introducing TomoChain - Scalable PoS Voting Blockchain with Product Lines Focusing on Real-World Usage
Figure 7. TOMO market cap projection for 2021-2026

Concluding Remarks

The TomoChain platform has caught the eye of the Kyros Research team. We are bullish on this project and believe that the investors will also be able to see its potential. Taking into account the TomoChain’s favorable metrics versus comparable projects with a higher market cap (e.g. Algorand), we would be extremely surprised to see this token stay under $1 during the tail end of 2020.

While short term price estimates are difficult to establish due to the volatility of the crypto markets, we expect to see the TOMO token price soar to an ATH of $3-4 in the mid-to-long term, giving it a circulating market cap in the vicinity of $300M. Even higher token price milestones are feasible in the long term, with our most bullish prediction approaching $25 at full token release.

Introducing Akropolis – Decentralized And Autonomous Community Economies

Introducing Akropolis - Decentralized And Autonomous Community Economies

Project Summary

  1. Akropolis is a modular framework for for-profit DAOs, i.e., DeFi dApps and pension funds
  2. The first two use cases: Delphi (a DeFi gateway) and Sparta (under-collateralized loan access)
  3. Backed by NueValue Capital and Kenetic Capital, public sales on Huobi Prime Offering 
  4. Excellent security practice with smart contracts audited by Certik and MixBytes
  5. Proven transparency standard with Disclosure Verifications Badge from Messari

AKRO Token Specifications

At the time of writing, AKRO token specifications are as following:

  • Current market cap (MC): $50.3M
  • Circulating supply (CS): 1.996 billion AKRO
  • Total supply (TS): 4 billion AKRO
  • Token distribution, as shown in Figure 1.
Introducing Akropolis - Decentralized And Autonomous Community Economies
Figure 1: AKRO Token Distribution

Token Holder Rights

  • Staking

Accrue value from a claim on fees, staking rewards, and better AKRO liquidity on DEXes, gaining a pro-rata share of ADEL to align incentives.

  • Governance

Ability to control the economics and all critical parameters of the entire protocol like lending fee, spread on future yield products.

Investors

  • Messari reported that two early-stage VCs, NueValue Capital and Kenetic, funded Akropolis on the pre-sale stage. 
  • In July 2019, Huobi hosted a Prime Offering – IEO for AKRO public sale.
  • Before that, a private ICO is reported to take place in late 2017.

Partners

  • Akropolis has a close relationship with Web3 Foundation (W3F) and its flagship blockchain – Polkadot, and one of Web3 Foundation’s advisor is Ana, Akropolis’s CEO. Akropolis won a grant from W3F while contributing towards Polkadot’s development on several open-source projects (PolkaHub). We can expect AKRO products will launch on Polkadot in the future.
  • Akropolis also builds a solid foundation with notable projects, i.e., Polkadot, Maker DAO, Chainlink, and POA. On the application layer, there are Delphi, Sparta, Wyre, and Zerion. Such a strong network of industry partners can support Akropolis’s initial launch and grow hacking effectively. 
  • Akropolis also pays extensive attention to platform security, compliance, and transparency. The project established partnerships with Certik, MixBytes for smart contract audit, Aurum for legal consulting, and Messari and Xangle for transparent project report.
  • A Coinbase Ventures-backed platform, FalconX, became the exclusive market maker and liquidity provider to support the Delphi launch and Akropolis growth in general.
Introducing Akropolis - Decentralized And Autonomous Community Economies
Figure 2: Akropolis Ecosystem

Team & Advisors

  • Ana Andrianova is CEO & Founder of Akropolis, also a Web3 Foundation advisor, a regulated investment manager, a board member of a regulated private equity fund, and an ex-Lehman Brothers. Her intensive experience in financial investment includes USD3.5B in transactions and advice on $300M+ of private equity and credit transactions. 
  • Kate Kurbanova – Co-Founder, Operations & People, was the second hire of the $15M-ICO project – Cindicator, also co-authored the project’s whitepaper and tokenomics, and later contributed as a Head of Analytics. At Akropolis, she is leading the operations and customer development. Kate holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science.
  • Alex Maz – Technology Lead with a strong foundation in Blockchain Architecture, Product Strategy, Polkadot/Substrate, Solidity, and WASM. Alex is a Blockchain Developer since 2012, an open Source contributor, and author of 16 scientific publications and 10 commercial implementations, and also a Ph.D. candidate in Machine Learning.
  • Development team leads have intensive experience in Solidity, Audit, and Frontend with several commercial implementations.
  • Five advisors of Akropolis are experts in their areas, including Smart Contract development and security auditor, Actuary and Quantitative software development, asset management, and pension scheme, from fundraising, venture capital to communication, and operation.

Comparable Projects

Maker DAO (MRK)

Similarities: Ethereum-based projects that focus on DeFi with Lending & Saving products. Both projects follow the good practice of smart contract security.

Differences: 

  • To support DeFi, Maker DAO issues stablecoin, while Akropolis targets building a modular and scalable framework for DeFi dApps to operate (Figure 3)
  • Maker DAO – Oasis requires over collateral (150%) vs. under collateral (50%) in Akropolis – Sparta. Thus, the same amount of collateral on Sparta generates triple the capital as of Oasis. In other words, Akropolis’s users will have much more accessibility to their needed money.
  • Akropolis introduced a long-term investment portfolio feature in Delphi, serving diversified risk flavor of the user.

Maker’s fully diluted market cap is roughly $512M. If Akropolis reaches that market cap at full distribution, the price of AKRO will reach $0.128 mark – x5.1.

Introducing Akropolis - Decentralized And Autonomous Community Economies
Figure 3: Akropolis Architecture

Aave (LEND)

Similarities: Ethereum-based projects that focus on DeFi lending and borrowing. Both projects follow the excellent practice of smart contract security.

Differences: 

  • Aave is an open-source money market protocol that has many innovations such as Flash Loans, stable rates, and recently, Credit Delegation. On the other hand, Akropolis has been building not only its signature modular OS for dApps developer but also introducing very first applications. Its goal is to become a decentralized bank, a pension fund for its users.
  • Aave can compete with Akropolis on under collateralized loan segment with the innovative Flash Loan product (0 collateral). However, the product targets for arbitrage and rebalance activities, instead of serving a sustainable need for under-collateralized loans.

Aave’s fully diluted market cap is around $971M. If Akropolis reaches that market cap at full distribution, the price of AKRO will be about $0.243 – 9.6x.

Comparison Table

At the moment, Akropolis is under the product development phase yet shown a positive sign of adoption even with its Beta launch, as compared to the two older projects, i.e., Maker (since 2015) & Aave (since 2017). There are high potentials for the project to grow when considering key on-chain specifications, as depicted in Figure 4.

Introducing Akropolis - Decentralized And Autonomous Community Economies
Figure 4: On-chain Comparison Table Between Maker DAO, Aave, and Akropolis

Upcoming News

Development Process

As mentioned above, Delphi and Sparta are crucial for Akropolis since they are the very first use cases of the protocol, showcasing more complete components in Akropolis architecture.

  • Sparta v2.0 mainnet / Delphi v1.0 launch – Aug 2020. The latest updates on more stablecoin support, including USDT, USDC, and RSV, and Sparta Pool UI/UX enhancement.
  • Delphi v2.0 launch – Oct 2020. For Delphi, the team is working on adding its contracts to the Nexus Mutual platform for insurance staking. Meanwhile, the Certik audit completed on Delphi smart contract recently, and two more auditors will review the codes before its mainnet launch.

AKRO Token Release Schedule

By Q3 2022, Akropolis will have a full token released to the market at a max cap of 4 billion AKRO, from nearly 2 billion AKRO at the time of writing (Figure 5). The project token release plan is well-structured with a steady curve, preventing any possible supply shocks that can drive the market sentiment negatively. 

The 2-year token release plan also allows Akropolis’s team to develop their technology and expand the ecosystem as their roadmap. The long-term lock shows that the team, advisors, and partners are all committed to their end goals, not short-term profit.

Introducing Akropolis - Decentralized And Autonomous Community Economies
Figure 5: AKRO Token Release Schedule

Optimistic Reasoning

  • DeFi market has reached $16B in market cap, showing upside potential for all players, veteran teams, or just a-few-week-launched projects like Sushi. AKRO targets the unserved market with under-collateralized loans that are 3x more accessible than existing products. In other words, Akropolis will serve the mass audience who need the loan rather than speculators.
  • As DeFi grows to the mainstream and has enormous potential to transform traditional finance, Akropolis’s total serviceable market now worth $32 trillion of global pension funds.
  • The ability to operate on both Ethereum and Polkadot is the most important advantage for Akropolis to stand out and boost its adoption faster than any other project. The Ethereum-based protocol makes this possible by creating PolkaHub – a Web3Foundation-granted project. Polkadot just hit the top 5 recently with over $4 billion in market cap.
  • In partnership with top-notch smart contract auditors like Certik (Figure 6) and MixBytes, Akropolis builds up community confidence through excellent security practice. Its Sparta project is in the top 4 highest scores of an Audit list by DeFi Safety. Such a high confidence level can attract more teams to build on top of Akropolis. Ultimately, it will boost the utility of AKRO and ADEL tokens.
Introducing Akropolis - Decentralized And Autonomous Community Economies
Figure 6: Certik verification on Akropolis project

Pessimistic Reasoning

  • Fierce competition from other DeFi projects, especially newly-born yield farming projects that can draw huge attention. If Akropolis cannot catch up with that speed, the chances are that they will miss the trend and become a follower.
  • Akropolis’s competitor launch of under-collateralize loans and long-term investment portfolio can hit its market share hard. Thus the company must watch closely to its competitor move and any newly launch DeFi initiatives.

Executive Summary – Pricing Estimates 

Comparable Milestones

  • Maker’s fully diluted market cap is roughly $512M. If Akropolis reaches that market cap at full distribution, the price of AKRO will reach $0.128 mark – x5.1.
  • Aave’s fully diluted market cap is around $971M. If Akropolis reaches that market cap at full distribution, the price of AKRO will be about $0.243 – x9.6.
  • Condition: full distribution of 4B AKRO to the circulating supply, excluding the amount of burnt tokens.

Projection Milestones

Both AKRO token price and AKRO token circulating supply are subject to change over time. Figure 7 visualizes how the AKRO market cap could be, having three scenarios below:

  1. AKRO is at $0.0252, total circulating supply (CS) of 1.996 billion AKRO, $50.3M market cap
  2. By Q3 2021, Akropolis total circulating supply (CS) reaches 3 billion AKRO
  3. By Q3 2022, Akropolis total circulating supply (CS) reaches a max cap of 4 billion AKRO.
Introducing Akropolis - Decentralized And Autonomous Community Economies
Figure 7: AKRO Market Cap Projection

Introducing UpBots – All-In-One Trading Ecosystem For The Modern Trader

What is UpBots

UpBots is an all-in-one platform that allows users to apply algorithmic bots, copy trade influential traders, earn badges and rewards, and many more. The UpBots platform, in partnership with Dex.ag will also seek to be an aggregator for both Decentralized and Centralized Exchanges. UpBot’s mission is to take over retail trading from exchanges, acting as a layer 2 on top of the backend infrastructure built by existing exchanges.

The team at UpBots is well familiar with the retail trading landscape. Having formed 4C trading, one of the largest bot trading platforms, Benjamin Duval and Julien Quertain have embarked on a more ambitious mission – to create the ultimate destination for retail trading.

The native token of the UpBots platform – UBXT – is a utility token and will have a myriad of use cases such as:

  • Buy and Burn of up to 15% net revenue
  • Purchases of Bots and Algorithms
  • Subscriptions to KOL Copy trading
  • Purchases of Educational Content
  • Staking

UpBots Token Distribution

UpBots has a total fixed supply of 500M UBXT. UBXT allocated to FTX IEO includes in 23% of its token supply as Token Sale. Figure 1 below illustrates UBXT token distribution.

Introducing UpBots - All-In-One Trading Ecosystem For The Modern Trader
Figure 1: UBXT Token Distribution

Partners & Investors

UpBots established a strategic partnership with Alameda Research, alongside other investment funds such as CMS, Taureon, and several angel investors. Those investors funded $1.1M in the latest round, altogether with $500,000 from previous private round this March, to sum up $1.6M investment capital for the Swiss startup. Investors from both rounds have accumulated UBXT at $0.01, which is expected to be the token’s price floor.

Prior to the launch, UpBots has connected to some crucial joints that allow the project to scale up quickly and capture market share. Having a partnership with DEX.ag, Reserve, and HXRO, UpBots targets to go DeFi and to provide derivatives products right from the start. The project also established its footprint on several most popular exchanges like FTX, BitFinex, OKEX, KRAKEN, IDEX, and Binance (Figure 2). Also, UpBots is a part of the Solfin ecosystem alongside 4C-trading, high-performing bots signal channels and an active online community of 600+ customers, 10 000+ members, and 10+ strategic partners.

With existing connections, we expect a high readiness level of the UpBots product at its foundation, which allows the team to focus on adoption to lead a new retail trading trend.

Introducing UpBots - All-In-One Trading Ecosystem For The Modern Trader
Figure 2: UpBots Ecosystem

Comparable Projects

UpBots token versus Exchange Tokens (BNB/FTT/HT/OKB)

UpBots token works in ways similar to exchange tokens with the Buy and Burn and Utility models.

Theoretically, UpBots will earn a referral fee of 30-40% per exchange. The advantage of UBXT over exchange tokens, in this case, is that it can combine exchanges and be operating on many exchanges.

Consider the case where UpBots manages to be the provider for 5% of exchange volume for each exchange. Combining this across 10-20 exchanges, the UBXT token becomes nearly as valuable as other exchange tokens on just the Buy and Burn model alone. These exchange tokens have fully diluted valuations that are in excess of 1 Billion. Given the fully diluted market cap of UBXT will be between $5 – 10M at launch, this leaves an upside of close to 100x, not even factoring in the other avenues of utility.

Comparison Table

Among bot trading service provider and social trading platform, UpBots stands out for a more innovative and functional product. UpBots product is superior in many aspects, even when comparing with a 20M+ monthly traffic exchange, Etoro. Figure 3 demonstrates the vital advantages of UpBots in comparison with its competitors.

UpBots’ advantages over these competitors are:

  • DEX trading and staking right from UpBots
  • Blockchain transparency for fee and transaction payments
  • Exchange token incentive for trading and staking.
Introducing UpBots - All-In-One Trading Ecosystem For The Modern Trader
Figure 3: UpBots in comparison with Competitors

Upcoming News

Development progress

Some of the notable milestones for UpBots in 2020 are the Public Sale, version 1.0 launch, FINMA license application, and integration to critical partners like DEX.ag, BrainFeed. Crucial plan for the first half of 2021 includes DeFi integration and mobile app launch, while UpBots focus to add Forex and commodities and cross-market trades in the second half. Figure 4 lists out crucial milestones UpBots need to achieve for 2020 and 2021 in order to realize market leader target.

Introducing UpBots - All-In-One Trading Ecosystem For The Modern Trader
Figure 4: UpBots Roadmap

UBXT Token Burning Schedule

The burning activity for UBXT token will start as soon as Q1 2021, with 15% of the platform’s net income to be used to burn an equivalent amount of UBXT token. The ratio for the next phase is 10% for Q1 2022, 5% for Q1 2023, and 2% for 2024 (Figure 5). Burning token events will boost UBXT demand for the next four years.

We highly appreciate tokenomics with a burning schedule that stick to future revenue/income. Such a burning model shows the creator’s long-term commitment toward future adoption and success of the project, not for short-term profit.

Introducing UpBots - All-In-One Trading Ecosystem For The Modern Trader
Figure 5: Adoption/Income relationship on UBXT

Reasons to be Optimistic

  • FTX has chosen UpBots to be one of its first IEOs. FTX and Alameda Research are well known for backing great projects and have a good history with investments and IEOs.
  • The UpBots mission is a highly optimistic one. If they are to succeed, this could revolutionize the way retail trades. If this leads to a new wave of retail trading platforms, the UBXT token should be one of the strongest, given its market leader status
  • The UpBots market cap is minuscule compared to comparable projects – a success for UpBots would lead to huge token appreciation. This is drastically different from other tokens that already have larger valuations where the upside is quite small.

Factors to Watch

  • The UpBots platform is yet to have any real users. Whilst the idea is one of prominence, the success of the platform, and hence the success of the token relies on users using the platform.
  • The date of launch is expected in December; markets can be volatile with investors not wanting to hold tokens for too long. Having a late launch could have investors not wanting to purchase the token until the launch date with others potentially selling at that time.

Executive Summary

The UpBots platform and UBXT token have definitely captured the imagination of the Kyros team. We are extremely bullish on the product and think that investors will be able to see the potential in this as well. The IEO on FTX and future FTX listing make us even more excited for the future.

With extremely favorable tokenomics, we’d be very surprised to see this token at under $0.05 within the first week of listing. A realistic short term price target would be $0.1 to $0.15, giving it a circulating market cap of $10M – $15M. The Kyros team will be hoping to accumulate cheaply on UBXT before the big listing on FTX. The success of the UpBots platform in December could see this token rise to the vicinity of $0.5 – our most bullish estimation.

Introducing Hedget Protocol – Building A Decentralized Options Trading Platform

Executive Summary

  • Hedget provides a decentralized protocol as a solution for an options trading platform, aiming to solve an increasing need for hedging products in the $16B DeFi market.
  • Hedget is built on top of Ethereum with Chromia’s robust features added to achieve high performance and low transaction fees.
  • 50% of the total token supply is locked for liquidity mining rebate for the options’ writer for the first 3-4 years, targeting a healthy ecosystem growth.
  • Governing HGET DAO and platform protection are two main goals of the HGET token.
  • Hedget is seed funded in a $500,000 round led by two active veteran crypto VCs, namely FBG Capital and NGC Ventures, which previously invested in FTX, Cartesi, CoinFLEX, and AVA Labs. It also welcomed Chromia as a partner and investor. The project will launch another auction round on FTX – leading derivatives exchange well-known for Serum’s IEO (30x at ATH).
  • Hedget project launch will benefit from exponential market growth in DeFi, DEX, and Options derivatives recently.
  • The world top crypto exchanges have branched into options; however, less competition exists in the DEX field at the moment.
  • Comparison with similar projects and relative valuation methods are inputs for Hedget’s market cap projection.

Hedget Protocol

Product

– Highlights

Hedget provides a decentralized Options Trading Platform that allows users to hedge the risk for their crypto holdings as well as their debt positions on other lending protocols such as Compound and Aave. Hedget aims to solve an increasing DeFi market’s need for hedging products. At the time of writing, the total market cap of DeFi has reached $16 billion (DeFi Market Cap [1]).

  • Decentralized protocol – non-custodial
  • High performance – built on top of Ethereum and Chromia
  • Low fees – 50% of tokens locked for liquidity mining rebate

Figure 1 below demonstrates the Hedget options’ mechanism. Hedget customers can buy or sell options to hedge risk corresponding to their needs. The manner in which options work will be discussed in detail later in this paper through a case study.

Introducing The Hedget Protocol - Building A Decentralized Options Trading Platform
Figure 1: Hedget Options Process

– Architecture

Hedget architecture introduces an effective design to achieve decentralization, high performance, and excellent user experience. On the one hand, token storage is non-custodial, which means only the user has control of his/her funds, whether deposit, withdrawal, or transfer. On the other hand, Chromia Layer 2 features enable higher performance and lower transaction costs, facilitating a better user experience suitable for trading activities while maintaining settlement on Ethereum (Figure 2).

Introducing The Hedget Protocol - Building A Decentralized Options Trading Platform
Figure 2: Hedget Architecture
  • Ethereum smart contract handles ETH & ERC-20 token deposits and withdrawals, while also implementing the physical settlement.
  • Chromia-based blockchain (dApp) handles trades and tracks ownership of contracts. It facilitates communication necessary to perform settlement through Ethereum smart contracts.
  • The client-side wallet and trading user interface take commands from the user and carry them out using Ethereum smart contracts and Chromia dApp.

In short, Hedget will operate in a fully decentralized manner and will have all of the great benefits of centralized exchanges, including a user-friendly UI, single sign-on (SSO), the ability to query transactions, etc.

– Options Explained

With this, we discuss how options work by providing a short case study of Alice, who wants to hedge her locked ETH from price downturn risk. Alice’s hedging process has  three phases:

  • Phase 1: Alice has locked 1 ETH at $300 per ETH for one month on a lending protocol, and she wants to hedge the risk of ETH’s price downturn.
  • Phase 2: Alice finds a 1-month Put option on Hedget for the corresponding amount of ETH she has locked, depositing 1 ETH as collateral.
  • Phase 3: Alice pays the seller a $30 premium fee for the Put option. In other words, she buys a right to sell ETH at $330, and that right lasts for one month (expiry period) from the date of purchase. Her profit and loss (PnL) line is illustrated in Figure 3.
Introducing The Hedget Protocol - Building A Decentralized Options Trading Platform
Figure 3: Hedging with Put Options

The possible scenarios are as follows:

  1. The price of ETH goes below $300: Alice will have a loss in her locked ETH but gain the same amount when she exercises her Put option.
  2. The price of ETH goes above $330: Alice will accept a maximum loss of $30 by not exercising the Put option, yet making $30+ profit with a higher value of her locked ETH.
  3. The price of ETH varies in the range $300 – $330: Alice will always gain a total profit of $30 from exercising her Put option and a higher value of her locked ETH.

The case study above outlines how options can allow one to eliminate price fluctuation risk, either to lock profit or to control the desired loss level proactively.

Token Utility

The HGET token is a native utility and governance token of the Hedget platform. The token will be issued on the Ethereum network as an ERC-20 contract and will also be present on a Chromia sidechain. HGET token will have two primary functions:

  • HGET DAO governance: To determine fund setup, transaction fees, assets reserves, general functions, and features of the platform. 
  • Platform protection: To prevent spamming of orders, which can lead to API overloads and order book manipulations. Specifically, a certain amount of HGET tokens will need to be staked. The greater the activity, the more tokens have to be staked.

HGET Tokenomics

According to the project’s whitepaper [2], there will be 10M HGET tokens minted at the launch of the network. The protocol has a fixed token supply. The token distribution is depicted in Figure 4.

  • 10% of the tokens will be reserved for the team and advisors; these tokens will be unlocked every month for two years.
  • 13% of all tokens will be sold, including 8.77% of the tokens for private sale to be unlocked after public sales end; 4.23% of the tokens are to be distributed to users and investors during the public sale. 
  • 7% of the tokens will be used for DEX liquidity and trading (such as Uniswap), trading competitions, drops, and other activities to kickstart the usage of Hedget protocol.
  • 19% of the tokens will be locked in the reserve fund until two years after the platform is live, and Hedget DAO will determine the usage of these tokens.
  • 1% of the tokens are allocated to a liquidity round with Alameda Research [3].
  • 50% of the total token supply is locked for liquidity mining rebate for the options’ writer for the first 3-4 years, unlocked on a daily basis when the platform goes live.
Introducing The Hedget Protocol - Building A Decentralized Options Trading Platform
Figure 4: HGET Tokenomics

Partners & Investors

The four main partners and investors of Hedget are Chromia, Alameda Research, FBG Capital, and NGC Ventures [4]. Each of these entities can unlock the project’s full potential by providing relevant and valuable resources in different aspects. 

For instance, Chromia is an excellent match for Ethereum’s Layer 2 solution; Alameda Research-backed platform, FTX, is a leading derivatives exchange that launched the Serum DEX project not too long ago. Crypto investment funds FBG Capital and NGC Ventures were also involved in a $500,000 seed round [5] in early August. Both of these VCs have closed derivatives exchange deals (e.g., FTX, CoinFLEX) in their portfolio that includes a total of 47 projects. Thus, having been involved in similar deals in the past, Hedget’s investors also bring their experience and network to the table.

Chromia

Hedget protocol adds in support on Layer 2 of the current Ethereum chain to enable faster and cheaper transactions thanks to the robust features of Chromia. Its design will allocate settlements to the Ethereum chain while all trading will be performed on Chromia. Hence, Chromia is essentially the L2 for Ethereum used to minimize the transaction fees on the network.

Alameda Research

The news of the FTX auction round of HGET [6] is a great boost toward the project’s reputation and the crypto community’s awareness of Hedget. The Alameda Research-backed platform is well-known for innovative derivatives products and has now become an increasingly popular exchange for high returns on IEO projects. Its first project, Serum, returned 15x on the first listing day after the IEO.

FBG Capital

FBG Capital is a digital asset management firm in the blockchain-based capital market. According to Crunchbase [7], the firm has made 34 early-stage investments in several companies in highly related fields, including a regulated market maker, a derivatives exchange, a dApps platform, a public blockchain, etc. FBG Capital is expected to boost Hedget similarly to FTX. 

FBG Capital’s notable portfolio projects include:

  • Cartesi – Private round sole investor – $500,000 – April 2019 [8], was featured in Binance Launchpad [9] in April 2020.
  • FTX – Seed round co-investor – $8M – August 2019 [10].

NGC Ventures

NGC Ventures is one of the largest and most active institutional investors in the cryptocurrency space. Crunchbase [11] reported that NGC Ventures had completed 13 deals in the fields of fiat-to-crypto solutions, DEX protocol, derivatives exchange, etc. NGC Ventures is expected to be a useful resource for Hedget since the VC firm has worked with and built a good number of exchange-related ventures. 

NGC Ventures’ notable portfolio projects include:

  • AVA Labs – ICO Co-Lead Investor – $12M – August 2020 [12].
  • CoinFLEX – a physically delivered crypto futures exchange – Venture round – $10M – August 2019 [13].

Industry Outlook

Market Overview

In general, the Hedget project benefits from the robust growth of DeFi, DEX, and options derivatives markets.

– DeFi

As mentioned in the beginning, the total market capitalization of all DeFi projects has reached $16 billion. The DeFi market’s boom is proven by the skyrocketing Total Value Locked (TVL) metric. At the start of 2020, the TVL in the DeFi sector was $675 million, according to DeFi Pulse [14]. In just eight months, that number has now surpassed the $7 billion mark, or a 10x growth rate year-to-date, and is still rising (Figure 5). The growth also means that billions of dollars’ worth of those locked tokens need to be protected from market fluctuation and downside risk, realizing an exponential growth in demand for derivatives products.

Introducing The Hedget Protocol - Building A Decentralized Options Trading Platform
Figure 5: DeFi Growth Year-to-Date

– DEXs

The success of DeFi has an immense contribution from the decentralized exchange (DEX) field. Similar to the growth pattern of DeFi, DEX witnessed a boom in July and August volume (32x growth rate year-to-date) corresponding to the DeFi hype in these months (Figure 6). 

Introducing The Hedget Protocol - Building A Decentralized Options Trading Platform
Figure 6: DEX Monthly Growth 2019-2020, adapted from Dune Analytics [15]

The total volume of July and August (2020) alone has exceeded the total volume of the previous 18-month period. As long as DeFi remains a hot topic, the trend is expected to continue.

– Options Derivatives

CoinDesk [16] reported that options had outpaced futures and swaps in crypto derivatives trading as the fastest growing crypto derivative product. As shown in Figure 7, the Bitcoin Options to Futures and Swaps ratio on daily open interest has tripled since the beginning of the year, marking increasingly high interest in the product as more and more exchanges are willing to step into the green field.

Introducing The Hedget Protocol - Building A Decentralized Options Trading Platform
Figure 7: Bitcoin Options to Futures & Swap Daily Open Interest ratio

Competitors

Leading crypto derivatives exchanges have been introducing options for nearly a year; however, less competition exists in the DEX field.

– CEX

FTX, Huobi, Binance, and OKEX have options trading on their platforms. CoinDesk [17] reported that Deribit has been dominant in the Bitcoin options field with an 88% market share. The five leading crypto exchanges (CEX) have launched their options products, marking a healthy growth for the crypto derivatives market as it became more mature and more reflective of the traditional market.

– DEX

Serum, the first IEO on FTX, focuses on derivatives DEX; Synthetix Binary Options will be launched this quarter [18]; MCDEX has a total value locked almost reaching $12M [19] and a market cap of $6.8M [20]; OPYN has grown its cumulative volume to over $30M six months after launch [21].

Options versus Futures

– The Potential of Crypto Options

Compared to futures in the early days, there is a lot of room for growth in crypto options. As detailed in the Deribit report [22], the firm expects the options market to reach 5% of the futures volume in 2020-2021, from the current 2% level. The projection is derived from an expectation that options will follow the trend of the future and skyrocket starting from the third year (Figure 8).

Introducing The Hedget Protocol - Building A Decentralized Options Trading Platform
Figure 8: BitMEX Perpetual Swap vs. Deribit Options

– Traditional Market Perspective

Deribit report also mentioned that options trading volumes are 7–8x that of futures in traditional financial exchanges. The ratio is remarkable when we consider crypto options is less than 2% of spot futures. The low current ratio suggests that crypto derivatives markets may follow a similar pattern resulting in the growth of crypto options’ volume.

Metrics of Similar Projects

Serum’s Metrics

Serum aims to be the world’s first completely on-chain cryptocurrency ecosystem with a trustless trading experience through the Serum protocol built on top of the Solana blockchain. The project shares a similar goal with Hedget, which also develops a decentralized protocol but on top of the Ethereum blockchain.

Project Serum [23] reported that before the public sales, the final price of the seed round was roughly $80k per MSRM for roughly 4% of the total supply, raising a total of $20M at a fully diluted post-valuation of $500M. The project’s market cap is around $100M at the time of writing.

MCDEX’s Metrics 

MCDEX can be considered as the closest valuation example when analyzing Hedget due to a high degree of similarity in their business models and tokenomics. MCDEX is a fully-decentralized crypto trading platform powered by the Mai Protocol smart contracts, which are also deployed on the Ethereum blockchain. The exchange native token – MCB, listed on Poloniex [24], has the utility of liquidity mining, protocol governance, staking, and so on, similar to the HGET token.

As a result of this, we use Price-to-Book (P/B) value to project the market cap of the HGET token from the P/B ratio of the MCB token. In this paper, we take the “Market Cap” to represent the Price factor, and the “Total value locked” represents the Book value factor, considering parallel concepts in traditional finance and crypto. At the time of writing, MCDEX has $12M TVL on its platform, with a market cap of $6.8M. Therefore, MCB’s Price-to-Book ratio is 0.57, with the market cap representing the Price and TVL the Book value.

Hedget’s Metrics & Market Cap Projection

The fully diluted market cap of HGET can be estimated at around $5.7M before its public sales and liquidity round, relatively small compared to the Serum project at a similar fundraising phase. This estimate is based on the $500,000 raised for 8.77% of the total HGET supply during the latest private sales round. 

The market caps of SRM and MCB tokens can be used as the milestones for HGET public sales, and a relative valuation methodology is appropriate in this case thanks to a considerable similarity between MCB and HGET tokenomics (Figure 9). 

By default, Hedget locks 50% of its tokens for liquidity mining, 20% for Reserve Fund, and 10% for its team with a 2-year vetting schedule. Based on information from FTX’s announcement [25], we project that the circulating supply of HGET will be 2,000,000 HGET after public sales.

  1. Assuming all auction tokens are allocated at the minimum price of $1, the projected project’s market cap will be $2M. 
  2. From a relative valuation (RV) perspective, we consider the total token value locked by Hedget to project its market cap via the Price-to-Book method.
  • Assuming the rest of HGET tokens is locked (80%), we have $8M in TVL at $1 per HGET
  • Assuming HGET has the same P/B ratio as MCB (0.57 as calculated above), its market cap is around $4.57M.
Introducing The Hedget Protocol - Building A Decentralized Options Trading Platform
Figure 9: HGET’s Market Cap (MC) Projection

References

  1. Total Market Cap, DeFi Market Cap, viewed 1 Sep 2020, <https://defimarketcap.io>
  2. Token Distribution, Hedget Whitepaper, viewed 1 Sep 2020, <https://www.hedget.com/papers/hedget_whitepaper_eng.pdf>
  3. How to Participate in the Hedget IEO, FTX, viewed 1 Sep 2020, <https://help.ftx.com/hc/en-us/articles/360048927331>
  4. Hedget, viewed 1 Sep 2020, <https://www.hedget.com>
  5. Seed Round – Hedget, Crunchbase, viewed 1 Sep 2020,  <https://www.crunchbase.com/funding_round/hedget-seed–15a833fe>
  6. How to Participate in the Hedget IEO, FTX, viewed 1 Sep 2020, <https://help.ftx.com/hc/en-us/articles/360048927331>
  7. FBG Capital, Crunchbase, viewed 1 Sep 2020, <https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/fbg-capital/recent_investments>
  8. Venture Round – Cartesi, Crunchbase, viewed 1 Sep 2020, <https://www.crunchbase.com/funding_round/cartesi-series-unknown–85e59e5c>
  9. Binance Launchpad, Binance, viewed 1 Sep 2020, <https://launchpad.binance.com
  10. Seed Round – FTX Exchange, Crunchbase, viewed 1 Sep 2020, <https://www.crunchbase.com/funding_round/ftx-exchange-seed–9894efed>
  11. NGC Ventures, Crunchbase, viewed 1 Sep 2020, <https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/ngc-ventures/recent_investments>
  12. Initial Coin Offering – AVA Labs, Crunchbase, viewed 1 Sep 2020, <https://www.crunchbase.com/funding_round/ava-labs-initial-coin-offering–0f92ed48>
  13. Venture Round – CoinFLEX, Crunchbase, viewed 1 Sep 2020, <https://www.crunchbase.com/funding_round/coinflex-series-unknown–6361b63a>
  14. Total Value Locked (USD) in DeFi, DeFi Pulse, viewed 1 Sep 2020, <https://defipulse.com/>
  15. DEX metrics, Dune Analytics, viewed 1 Sep 2020, <https://explore.duneanalytics.com/public/dashboards/c87JEtVi2GlyIZHQOR02NsfyJV48eaKEQSiKplJ7>
  16. Bitcoin options growth outpaces futures swaps, CoinDesk, viewed 1 Sep 2020, <https://www.coindesk.com>
  17. Deribit Bitcoin options traded biggest day, CoinDesk, viewed 1 Sep 2020, <https://www.coindesk.com>
  18. Product roadmap update, Synthetix, viewed 1 Sep 2020, <https://blog.synthetix.io>
  19. Total Value Locked (USD) in MCDEX, DeFi Pulse, viewed 1 Sep 2020, <https://defipulse.com/mcdex>
  20. MCDex (MCB), CoinGecko, viewed 1 Sep 2020, <https://www.coingecko.com/en/coins/mcdex>
  21. OPYN: Notional Volume Graph, Dune Analytics, viewed 1 Sep 2020, <https://explore.duneanalytics.com/dashboard/opyn_3>
  22. Why crypto options explaining growth and anticipating trillions, Deribit,  viewed 1 Sep 2020, <https://insights.deribit.com/market-research/>
  23. Pre Sales, Project Serum, viewed 1 Sep 2020, <https://projectserum.com/srm-faq>
  24. MCDEX is now listed on Poloniex, The Poloniex Blog, viewed 1 Sep 2020, <https://medium.com/poloniex>
  25. How to Participate in the Hedget IEO, FTX, viewed 1 Sep 2020, <https://help.ftx.com/hc/en-us/articles/360048927331>

Introducing Solana – Web-Scale Blockchain For Fast, Secure, Scalable Decentralized Applications And Marketplaces

Project Summary

  1. Lightning-fast blockchain without sharding (Figure 1)
  2. Proven top-performance blockchain with eight-core innovations 
  3. Trusted by crypto giants and enterprises like Chainlink, Terra, and KIN Foundation
  4. Backed by a world-class network of investors and validators
Introducing Solana - Web-Scale Blockchain For Fast, Secure, Scalable Decentralized Applications And Marketplaces
Figure 1: Solana’s transaction speed in comparison with top Internet firms and blockchain projects

At the time of writing, SOL token specifications are as following:

  • Current market cap (MC): $96.5M
  • Circulating supply (CS): 33.6M SOL
  • Total supply (TS): 488.6M SOL
  • Token distribution as illustrated in Figure 2 
Introducing Solana - Web-Scale Blockchain For Fast, Secure, Scalable Decentralized Applications And Marketplaces
Figure 2: SOL token distribution

Team

Key founding members:

  • Anatoly Yakovenko, Co-founder and CEO, is the creator of Solana. He led the development of operating systems at Qualcomm, distributed systems at Mesosphere, and compression at Dropbox. He also holds five patents for Solana (1), Dropbox (1), and Qualcomm (3).
  • Raj Gokal, Co-founder and COO of Solana, is a veteran entrepreneur with 10+ years in product management and finance. Raj served as Director of Project Management at Omada Health. During that time, the company grew tenfold and completed a $48M Series C round.
  • Greg Fitzgerald is Co-founder and CTO of Solana. Greg spent 11 years at Qualcomm, where he contributed to the development of their LLVM toolchain and led the web and messaging infrastructure team.
  • Eric Williams (Ph.D.) is co-founder and Heads data science & token economics. The Berkeley alumni received his Ph.D. from Columbia while Higgs-hunting at CERN. He completed a postdoc at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and led data science at Omada Health.
  • The team also has personals with managerial experience in cryptocurrency trading. This resource can effectively growth-hack relevant ecosystem projects like Serum.

Comparable Projects

Solana vs. Ethereum

Similarities: Both Ethereum and Solana are public blockchains with similar native token economics.
Differences:

  • Solana is better performant with higher TPS and lower transaction fee
  • Solana is built mainly on RUST, the second-fastest-growing programming language, while also supporting migration with the Solana compiler
  • Solana can scale without sharding, while Ethereum 2.0 needs it
  • Solana will launch POS mainnet (Q3/2020) sooner than Ethereum 2.0 (expected 2021).
Ethereum still has more considerable development resources with nine different teams working on ETH 2.0, shown by higher GitHub commit activity (25.7k vs. 9.6k of Solana).
Ethereum’s market cap is around $42B, according to CoinGecko, at the time of writing. If Solana reaches that market cap at full distribution, the price of SOL will get the $80 mark.

Solana vs. EOS

Similarities: 

  • Public blockchain, dPOS consensus algorithm
  • EOS has 0 transaction fee, while Solana’s fee is $0.00001 as an incentive for validators
  • Solana developers can easily migrate their applications from other major WASM chains like Dfinity, EOS, Polkadot, and Ethereum 2.0. EOSIO.EVM serves a similar purpose.
Differences:

  • Solana added POH to achieve breakthrough performance metrics
  • Solana has a higher number of validators (130+ vs. 21 on EOS)
  • Solana is a better performant (Higher TPS: 50k vs. 1k on EOS) 
  • Solana has a higher number of GitHub commit activity (9.6k vs. 5.5k of EOS).
EOS mainnet was already launched from 2018, with over 500 dApps as of Sep 06 (dApp Radar).
EOS’s market cap is around $2.6B, according to CoinGecko, at the time of writing. If Solana reaches that market cap at full distribution, the price of SOL will be $5.6.

Comparison Table

Figure 3 demonstrates the vital differences/advantages of Solana in comparison with Ethereum and EOS at the time of writing.

Introducing Solana - Web-Scale Blockchain For Fast, Secure, Scalable Decentralized Applications And Marketplaces
Figure 3: Solana in comparison with Ethereum and EOS

Upcoming News 

Development Progress

  • Mainnet

After running on Beta for six months, Solana’s official mainnet launch, scheduled in Q3 2020, is the most expected and most important event for the project since inception.

  • Integration of USDT

Most recently, Tether, the company behind the world’s most prominent stablecoins USDT, announced that Tether (USDT) would be the first stablecoin to launch on Solana. Solana is the eighth and latest blockchain that USDT supports as its partner recognizes for being “the fastest-growing blockchain for both market capitalization and use.” We expect USDT trading available on Solana as soon as the mainnet launches, releasing the billions of dollar daily volume beast from Ethereum’s slow and costly transactions cage.

  • Ecosystem build-up

Besides USDT, the team continues to focus on its key project, Serum, while supporting migration from existing partners (Stardust) and new applications/initiatives building on top of Solana blockchain.

  • Serum Project

Solana’s partnership with FTX in the Serum project has stunned the crypto world for its ultimate goal of building the world’s first completely decentralized derivatives exchange. Within a couple of weeks, the duo creators have launched Serum live to make an official debut to $34B 12-month volume market. Soon, we can expect Solana to contribute toward Serum’s ecosystem development by introducing more DeFi components into the platform, from yield farming to Swipe integration. Ultimately, the growth of the Serum project will push the expansion of Solana as its very first blockchain use case. 

SOL Token Release Schedule

Solana Foundation will unlock the majority of SOL tokens by Jan 7, 2021, pumping its circulating supply to approximately 457M SOL. The circulating supply includes a monthly unlock of 8M SOL for community growth initiatives (details in the monthly Transparency Report). We must closely watch this event and Solana team execution. The event causes a massive surge in unlocked token supply in such a short period (one month), from 14.8% to 93.6% of Total Initial Supply, as depicted in Figure 4.

Introducing Solana - Web-Scale Blockchain For Fast, Secure, Scalable Decentralized Applications And Marketplaces
Figure 4: SOL Token Release Schedule – Binance Research

Optimistic Reasoning

  • Sustainable ecosystem growth, having more and more business partnerships with industry giants (Chainlink – March 2020, Terra – April 2020,  Kin – June 2020, Serum – July 2020, and so on), is a driving force toward the Solana market cap surge (Figure 5).

    The more projects joining Solana’s ecosystem, the higher demand for SOL token since these projects have to build on top of the Solana blockchain. We can project SOL demand from observing what happened with Ethereum when ICO and DeFi trends boomed. Take the Serum project as an example. In case the project successfully achieves its targets, we can expect a skyrocketing amount of Solana on-chain transactions. Hence increasing transaction fee inflow is a healthy income source for the platform.
  • Solana, as a multi-round funded startup, has proven its progress and value, captured by world-class tech VCs like 500 Startups, Multicoin Capital, NGC Ventures, and primarily Foundation Capital and Slow Ventures (Crunchbase). The two prominent VCs have successfully grown and exited several deals in the technology industry, notably named Twitter, Uber, and Netflix. We can expect Solana to benefit a similar way from such a valuable network of investors. Milestone: raised 20M Series A in July 2019. 
  • Strong growth in the validator network when continuing partnering with top-notch staking services providers like BisonTrails, Certus.One, stake.fish, IRISnet, and many others. Solana team has successfully boosted its validator network, from 50 to 130+ in under six months. If the team can carry on this momentum, we project a larger amount of token to be staked by incoming validators, thereby an upward drive toward the token price.
Introducing Solana - Web-Scale Blockchain For Fast, Secure, Scalable Decentralized Applications And Marketplaces
Figure 5: Solana Ecosystem

Pessimistic Reasoning

  • The total unlocked supply will be around 457.4M SOL (93.6% of the total initial supply) by Jan 7, 2021 (Solana transparency report). If Solana’s team cannot facilitate a smooth token release/unlock schedule, there’ll be a sudden surplus of token supply. Such an event will cause immense downward pressure on the token price and, more likely, a price shock to bring SOL price back to equilibrium.
  • Chance of missing a crucial deadline of the mainnet launch since the team used to deliver a late release of Incentivized Testnet on Q3/2019.
  • Loss/Change in crucial personnel may cause delayed delivery of the roadmap, thus negative market sentiments.

Executive Summary – Pricing Estimates 

Comparable Milestones

  • If Solana reaches the EOS market cap of $2.75B, the price of SOL will be above $5.6 – 2x the current price.
  • If Solana reaches the Ethereum market cap of $39.4B, the price of SOL will be around $78.4 – 28x the current price.
  • Condition: full distribution of 488.6M SOL to the circulating supply, excluding the number of burnt tokens.

Past Round Valuation Milestones

Assuming that all investments are token sales (not equity), or Solana’s investors value SOL token entirely upon their funding amounts, we can estimate SOL market cap valuation from the last round as Figure 6.

Introducing Solana - Web-Scale Blockchain For Fast, Secure, Scalable Decentralized Applications And Marketplaces
Figure 6: Solana’s last round valuation milestones

At a market cap of $96.5M, SOL token is currently undervalued as compared with the valuation of the last four rounds.

Projection Milestones

Approach: Both SOL token price and SOL token circulating supply are variables.

Both SOL token price and SOL token circulating supply are subjects to change over time. Thus Figure 7 visualizes in three scenarios how the SOL market cap could be:

  • By Q4 2020, CS will be around 48.3M SOL; then SOL price can x1.5 (before mainnet)
  • By Q2 2021, CS will be around 459.9M SOL (94.1% of total supply), then SOL price can 2x
  • From 2023, CS will reach an initial supply cap at 488.6M SOL (assuming no burning), SOL price has chances to get higher milestones (Figure 7)
Introducing Solana - Web-Scale Blockchain For Fast, Secure, Scalable Decentralized Applications And Marketplaces
Figure 7: SOL Market Cap Projection