The end of 2020 has been an exciting time for the PoolTogether community! The V3 of the protocol launched 10 weeks ago and by all measures has wildly exceeded the V2 protocol. In just the first 10 weeks the protocol awarded over $44,000 in prizes and $16,000 in referral and deposit rewards. Currently 4,000 unique wallets hold deposits in the protocol saving over $2.6 million in value. This growth in unique users places PoolTogether among the most popular DeFi protocols in existence.
The most exciting aspect of the V3 launch has been the growth and active participation of the community. We’ve had robust debates on protocol changes, protocol votes have seen the highest participation levels across all DeFi protocols, weekly community calls have been highly attended, volunteers have translated the app into eight languages, physical Christmas cards were made, NFTs and more!
I’d specifically like to recognize and thank some of the most active community members: @nahbur, @rliriano, @pancake, @oops, @Torgin, @Pierrick, @mitto, @gabor, @qwercus! Without your help we would be lost!
Two of the most exciting things happened in the last two weeks of the year. The first was the launch of the Uni Token prize pool and the second was the usage of the Prize Pool Builder to create a community pool for Basis Cash. I want to unpack these two things has I think they are important for charting the course ahead.
UNI Prize Pool:
The no loss Uni Token prize pool is significant because 1) it departs from only having one single prize pool featured on the app and 2) it is the first no loss prize pool that uses a non-stablecoin asset for deposits 3) it is the first new prize pool chosen by the community vote.
The pool launched just 12 days ago and it’s been a huge success. With no marketing it already has 400 unique wallets with almost $1 million in value (~181,000 UNI) deposited. 49% of all wallets deposited do not hold tickets to the Dai pool. Meaning this prize pool is helping a new audience save money with the protocol.
Basis Cash Community Pool:
This is exciting for several reasons 1) it is the first large, no loss prize pool created using the prize pool builder. 2) it is the first prize pool utilizing the new “staking prize pool” design. 3) It is the first prize pool utilizing the “reference front-end” for people to join.
The community prize pool builder and reference front-end are still very early so the fact that the Basis community already finds them compelling enough to use is a positive signal. This is a first signal hinting at how PoolTogether can become a no loss gamification layer across all of DeFi.
These events point to a few learnings that I believe should anchor our protocol work to start 2021:
- There is strong demand for new no loss prize pools on the flagship application.
- There is demand for anyone to create a no loss prize pool using whatever deposit token they desire
Practically speaking this means starting 2021 by launching more prize pools. This is a place where the community is going to need to play a big role, specifically in 1) determining what prize pools should display on the flagship app (app.pooltogether.com), 2) managing those prize pools and 3) helping activate more community prize pools with the builder. I’m imagining a scenario similar to Uniswap.org in that anyone can come and create a new trading pair on Uniswap but only certain ones show by default on uniswap.org. In the same way, anyone can use the builder to create a new prize pool but only certain ones curated by the community will display on app.pooltogether.com
I’d be remiss to not at least mention the importance of scaling in 2021. We know high transaction fees make a large impact on protocol usage and beyond that are detrimental to goal of helping people save money.
Gas fees for using the protocol have gone down by about 33% even in just the last two weeks. However, it’s not good enough. Going into 2021 we are going to need to start working on scaling whether that happens through layer 2s on Ethereum, sidechains, or porting the protocol to other chains. Again, the community needs to play a big role here.
I couldn’t be more excited for 2021. 2020 was mostly a year of quiet building directed by the core team with the public action kicking off in the final 10 weeks. Now that the foundation is in place, I’m predicting 2021 will be a year of massive growth directed by the community.
When we step back, we remember we’re building a 10x better version of one of the most popular and helpful consumer financial products in the world (prize linked savings). I’m privileged to get to work on this with so many other amazing people from around the globe. All the pieces are in place for the protocol to flourish and help many people become financially healthy!