Previous Grant Work
Chaos Labs is a long-term dYdX contributor with a history of successfully delivering grants. This collaboration led to an engagement by the DGP with a contract to develop a comprehensive suite of tooling for V3, of which the $300K USD in question was part. This was previously answered here and here by the DGP. The scale of this project was significant, prompting us to allocate considerable resources, hire a dedicated team, and realign our operational roadmap to ensure its success. However, the strategic decision to build V4 on Cosmos necessitated a pause on this engagement midway.
Understanding that much of the technical and engineering efforts underway would no longer be relevant with V4, DGP requested we put the project on pause while exploring alternative productive scopes. Despite the substantial internal investments, resources, and commitments made, Chaos Labs decided to forego additional work from the agreement. This decision was made notwithstanding our early and robust deliverables, such as the Risk Portal, Asset Listing Portal, and preliminary research on Permissionless Market Listings, all of which showcased our dedication and pace of execution. We share this not in pursuit of empathy but for the sake of transparency. We fully recognize the inherent risks associated with investing in rapidly evolving and innovative ecosystems and continue to be proud contributors to dYdX. To be clear, the $300K USD expense from the V3 engagement is unrelated to our current or future v4 proposals.
However, it’s important to emphasize that despite the pause on the V3 project, the insights and research from the V3 work have not been in vain. They are now being redirected, where relevant, towards effective planning and ideation for V4. For example, our prior work on asset listing processes and portals is now informing our Permissionless Market Listings Framework, and our initial explorations into V3 Market Maker Incentive Distributions are significantly influencing our ideation for the proposed V4 Launch Incentives program.
Continuing this discussion, it’s clear there are many thoughtful ideas and valid points raised. If our grant application is approved, we’ll delve deeply into this research and return to the community with a well-thought-out, transparent approach to launching incentive rewards. As seen on this thread, we value community feedback and are keen on working together with community members. Here are some additional thoughts regarding the points that have been brought up.
Balancing Deposits, Governance, and Staking and Trading Volumes
Undoubtedly, trading volumes take precedence as a crucial metric among the four. This priority is mirrored in the allocation of incentives for each behavior. Acknowledging the formidable task of transitioning to V4 is imperative, especially with the shift to a new blockchain. Consequently, we emphasize not only the volume generation but also streamlining the initial steps (deposits) and ensuring the enduring vitality of volume through fostering a more committed and engaged user base (staking and governance).
Incentivizing deposits boosts liquidity, which is crucial for a thriving trading environment, especially from scratch. The overall incentives allocated to deposits will be smaller than the incentives for trading volumes, but at the same time, it’s an essential pillar as it is the first hurdle as users transition to or join dYdX V4. We believe early bridging and depositing of liquidity should be rewarded despite potential Sybil attacks, which we’re devising strategies to counter.
Incentivizing governance aims to foster community engagement. Early adopters and active members should be recognized, although the reward weightage here will be small due to the challenge of gauging quality participation.
Staking elevates network security and trims trading fees. The incentive weightage is minor, but it’s exciting to foresee the community leveraging staking to fortify the dYdX chain and discover new utilities for the dYdX token.
Encouraging Retail Participation vs. Market Maker Activity
Both streams of activity hold considerable importance for our project’s sustained success. It’s well-recognized that platforms attracting substantial retail activity tend to draw in market makers and sophisticated participants naturally. The enticing fee rebates for high-volume makers play a pivotal role in this dynamic. Notably, referencing Market Maker programs in CEXes highlights the significant retail volume they attract, against which the proposed maker rebates stand as highly competitive.
As a result, a substantial portion of our efforts is focused on identifying and rewarding retail flow, in contrast to the naturally occurring informed flow. While the UI vs. API approach is interesting, we acknowledge its susceptibility to manipulation. Therefore, we are implementing additional techniques to discern retail flow accurately. With the aid of a grant, we plan to leverage clustering and classification methods to categorize different flow types and fine-tune incentives accordingly.