PTBR-18: PoolTogether <> G9 Software Inc

PTBR 18: PoolTogether <> G9 Software Inc.

Start Date July 1st, 2024
Est. Timeline 3 months

Generation (G9) Software Inc. is a proud service provider to the PoolTogether protocol. In our previous budget request we helped relaunch PoolTogether V5 across major Ethereum L2s.

For this scope of work, we aim to build upon the new V5 deployment with new chains, vaults, partnerships, and marketing campaigns.

Scope of Work

Motivation

We launched PoolTogether V5. Now it’s time to build on it.

PoolTogether is live on Optimism, Base, Arbitrum, and will be deployed to Ethereum by the end of Q2. Each deployment can be permissionlessly extended by anyone.

However, in order for a fully decentralized and permissionless system to grow it must be easy and valuable for anyone to build on. We must continue to develop partnerships, improve tooling for builders, and design incentives such that the protocol is well positioned to grow and operate in perpetuity.

Goals

Our primary goal is protocol growth. We measure growth based on prize pool contributions (PPC) and total unique wallets (TUW). Our current PPC is ~$1000 USD per day, and we have ~1000 active accounts. Our goal is to 5x both of those numbers by the end of Q3 2024.

The prize pool contribution is the amount of Ether contributed to the prize pool in a given timeframe. This is a direct measure of the volume of funds flowing into prizes. For example, our current daily PPC is ~0.38 Ether, or approximately $1000 USD.

We can achieve high PPC with high TVL, high APR, or through other means such as vault boosts. Focusing on PPC allows us to find creative means to improve this metric rather than obsess over TVL.

Total unique wallets is also an important metric for us; it serves as a signal indicating the reach of the protocol. Historically, PoolTogether has had a high number of users with conservative balances of $100-$1000 USD. While it’s not our most important measure, it’s essential for us to track TUW for efforts such as partnerships.

Strategy

We believe we can achieve growth by working on three fronts: incentives, partnerships, and user experience.

Our PoolTogether flywheel thesis is that large prizes will attract deposits, which lead to larger prizes. However, this is a catch-22: we need deposits for prizes, but we need prizes to attract deposits. This tells us that incentives are required to bootstrap the protocol. We must continue to push for incentives and favour partners with incentives whenever possible. Fortunately, prize liquidity is sticky in V5, so even if mercenary capital leaves abruptly the grand prize will take months to disburse.

Strong partnerships are key to a successful protocol. We believe that building relationships with proactive partners will allow us to increase our profile and reach new communities. We can bring these communities more TVL in a fun, gamified package. Partners will unlock new abilities for us.

It’s important to make PoolTogether as easy to use as possible. This is a unique product, and V5 is significantly more powerful than prior versions. We need to lead and showcase what it can do. For users, we need to make our interface as intuitive and fun as possible. For builders we need to make integrations a snap. Simple ideas spread; and the more brain trust we have the stronger we will be.

Milestones and Deliverables

New Chains

We can reach new users, partners, and integrations by deploying to more chains. We will deploy PoolTogether to at least two new chains. We are currently evaluating a number of chains, and will prioritize them based on the potential for growth and partnerships. We need to be opportunistic!

Our short list of chains are:

  • Polygon
  • Gnosis
  • Scroll
  • zkSync
  • Blast
  • Zerion
  • Worldchain
  • Linea

Each new chain deployment will need to be bootstrapped, so we will be creating a separate budget for Ether to bootstrap prizes.

New Yield Sources

We will continue to research and add yield source integrations to the Vault Factory app, allowing anyone to safely and securely spin up new vaults with new yield sources. We will prioritize integrations that we deem to be the most impactful in terms of supported assets, incentives, and security stance.

We aim to execute on the highest impact partnerships and chains, while also supporting the overall ecosystem efforts (improving developer tooling, and docs, etc).

To achieve this we need to actively seek out and support the most impactful partnerships and new distribution channels.

And we need to make the builder experience as easy as possible; with great documentation, tooling, and playbooks describing what can be done with PoolTogether.

We need to do all this while maximizing the safety of the protocol.

NFT Sweepstakes

We will build a first-class NFT Sweepstakes feature. This feature will allow anyone to give NFT holders a chance to win prizes. Sweepstakes will allow people to use PoolTogether in a whole new way, and offers a rich new surface area to explore in terms of distribution.

We are running marketing campaigns that leverage an early version of sweepstakes with imToken and Exodus.

imToken Campaign Tweet

A first-class implementation will feature the ability to self-serve the integration and be accessible through the Cabana interface.

POOL Staking Improvements

We will create a new staking section of the user interface that highlights the POOL vaults and communicates their unique value proposition. This will educate users on the utility of the POOL token.

The przPOOL vaults are currently being displayed like any other vault; but they operate in a very different way. The behaviour of the POOL vaults needs to be communicated more clearly to the end-user, so that they can see how the vaults behave reflexively to the prize volume. Doing this effectively will have a significant impact on the strength of POOL, as it helps people understand the benefits of staking their POOL

Apply for Grants

In Q2 Generation, in collaboration with Pooltime, submitted a grant application which led to the procurement of 120,000 OP tokens that will be used to incentivize vaults. We also collaborated with Sherlock and won a grant of 75,000 OP to fund an additional security audit. We see many opportunities across ARB, BASE, OP and other chains to secure incentives for the protocol.

We will continue to apply for grants to fund protocol improvements and incentives.

It’s important to note that G9 received grants that came to nearly our last budget. Our goal is to bring in more value for the protocol than we cost.

PoolTogether Classic

We will explore a streamlined interface that abstracts away all the complexity in Cabana and deliver to users the most simple and clear prize savings experience possible.

Documentation & Support

G9 will continue to improve the PoolTogether documentation, write tutorials, and provide support for PT builders in Discord.

Open Source SDKs and Development Tools

G9 will build open source SDKs and tools to make development easier. These deliverables will be largely driven by partner and builder needs, so that we can be adaptive about how we can improve tooling.

Hosting & Maintenance

We will also continue to host the Cabana suite of apps along with providing maintenance and making minor improvements. G9 will continue to host the Cabana suite so that builders have a no-code way to interact with vaults.

Budget

Description Cost
Operations $266,000 USD
Chain prize bootstrapping 8 Ether

I don’t know if reducing the time from 6 months to 3 months and cutting the amount in (roughly) half is really listening to the community. Hoping you just had an itchy submission finger.

Also… we’re still missing any proof that these metrics have any actual value…

Edit:
Maybe we adopt something more similar to what Optimism is doing. Through the RFC a lot was discussed around what could be of value and what isn’t. Perhaps we as a vocal community put together a list of things we would like to see, G9 (or anyone else) builds it and then we award funding retroactively as is the meta for independent builders in the space.

I’ll be voting against this PTBR.

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Something both you and @underthesea shared was that there were superfluous deliverables; i.e. the marketing and experiments. I eliminated those so that we can instead focus on building! That’s what we’re good at.

Prize Pool Contributions = prizes go up. I think it’s something we can all agree on; it seems you want some report that retroactively analyzes past deployments? That wouldn’t be a valuable use of time right now. We need to plan, take action, and measure the results.

This is not practical; you’ll lose the builders that PoolTogether currently has. No other professionals have stepped up; it would be a devastating blow to PoolTogether to lose G9.

The budget was halved to give governance an earlier check-in on how things are going; I think this is a critical distinction.

I also want to emphasize that we can change our deliverables based on what is needed by governance. If the community successfully coordinates a new set of deliverables, we’ll be happy to adapt.

At it’s core this budget extends G9’s building on PoolTogether; we have defined some general north stars, but we can be adaptive to what the community needs.

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Yes I agree that is the intention of the metrics. But if G9 is going to be utilizing these metrics to prove results, we need to see how these metrics work. We don’t have any indication that these metrics actually work other than hypotheticals. People didn’t just define Alpha, Beta, Sharpe Ratio and hope they worked after giving the definition, they provided data showing trends and that they actually mean something.

Duly noted, more to come.

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I don’t think lack of comments in a less than 24 hour period indicates consensus. Why does G9 always push so hard to get votes onchain after they have “revised” their scope…

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A PTBR is two things: deliverables and a budget. Based on the feedback:

  • I reduced the budget by eliminating items that people didn’t think valuable. This helps governance control spending by affording a quicker check-in on how things are going.
  • I made it clear (above) that we are happy to adjust deliverables based on the community needs. This flexibility affords the ability for the community to work with us to adjust deliverables.

I think this is the simplest next step. I’ve found that it’s much easier to propose a path forward, then make adjustments along the way.

We need to make payroll, so it’s important that gov knows that we are adaptable to the needs of the community but that we need to keep moving forward.

Consensus on our direction is a continuous process, because the landscape changes constantly with new information and partnerships. Some of the best insights have arisen from the council calls, where contributors gather to share updates and coordinate. I highly recommend that you join those calls if you want to participate more in-depth; they are open to anyone.

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Indeed, There are also times that things are discussed in the council channel for a few messages then pushed to a vote quickly.

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