Balancer Grants: Wave 7 Final Report - see original post here
The Balancer Grants program was established in August 2021 after a community discussion which then evolved into a Service Provider beginning Wave 5 which we have continued on to complete Wave 7. This Wave ran from January-March 2023 with 70k BAL to be allocated to new grantees discussed on Balancer’s governance forum here and approve through subsequent snapshot vote here.
We approved 8 projects for a total of 40,895 BAL out of the 70k approved, assisted by an increasing BAL price and due diligence from the committee. We don’t seek to spend the full allocation if the teams applying do not warrant funding, we are more focused on the quality of the projects and their value to Balancer.
Successful projects from this wave covered automating governance processes, supporting ERC4626 standard, furthering adoption of bb-a-USD to popular custom pools, expanding veBAL liquid wrappers through Yearn’s yBAL and unique implementations building on Balancer tech.
How has the Grants SP been doing the last months, and where do we see ourselves going? Let’s find out below!
Looking back at Wave 7 and its goals
At the outset of Wave 7, we shared our focus was on projects (in no particular order) that:
- Make Balancer easier for future teams to build on by improving dev documentation, SDKs etc
- Develop new use cases and scale Boosted Pools
- Find and grow new use cases for soon to be released Managed Pools
- Expand to more ecosystems
- Leveraging the flexibility of Balancer’s AMM infrastructure to build out new custom pools implementations
We have succeeded in a few of these and also had teams that proposed quality projects outside of what we knew we wanted. We have added to our RFPs but we will always be open to new and unique ideas of how to improve and expand on Balancer’s flexible tech.
After receiving 77 applications, 8 projects have been approved for grants for a total of 40,895 BA. This total value approved is down 20% from Wave 6 in terms of BAL but 63% more applications partly through BAL going from $5.30 to ~$6.80. We hope to keep funding promising projects next quarter to continue expanding the ecosystem pending an approved SP proposal.
This wave, we have funded new projects automating governance processes, supporting ERC4626 standard, furthering adoption of bb-a-USD to popular custom pools, expanding veBAL liquid wrappers through Yearn’s yBAL and unique implementations building on Balancer tech. The goal is to create a sustainable feedback loop to grow Balancer across DeFi.
This focus will continue into the next wave of grants to be assessed by the committee.
New Grants this Wave
- Blockful — Wave 7
Blockful successfully completed their work creating an Aztec bridge for Balancer, however will not be implemented due to this being sunset by Aztec. The team produced excellent work and will be well positioned for further work with Balancer now having built an understanding of Balancer’s tech. From the team:
We managed to validate important Vault actions, such as: SWAPS, BATCHSWAPS, JOINS, EXITS.
We created the first example of Balancer’s vault interactions purely in Solidity language, matching Foundry’s environment.
We managed to go beyond the limitation of token swaps from the rollup perspective of a relation 2–1 into a N-N relation, where we can have multiple tokens in and out when using the convert function.
- Cosme Fulanito — Wave 7
Cosme is continuing to provide support to Balancer’s Spanish speaking community. Making Balancer’s tech more accessible to all is a key goal of the DAO and Cosme’s work exemplifies this. Grants is funding 4 months of support and translations.
- ERC4626 Alliance Funding — Wave 7
mStable is championing the ERC4626 standard for tokenized vaults which Balancer uses on Linear pools which are the basis of Boosted Pools. We join a number of other protocols assisting the funding of this alliance with the intent to encourage collaboration and further improvement of this standard.
- GammaSwap — Wave 7
GammaSwap will be supporting Balancer’s Weighted Pool’s with their volatility hedging model. This will give liquidity provider’s the flexibility to hedge against the market’s volatility in an oracle free and nuanced way.
GammaSwap has successfully written the smart contracts to support Balancer weighted pools through their platform. They have gone through weeks of audit and are in our final leg of the audit making changes regarding gas optimization. GammaSwap is also working on implementing the balancer weighted pools into our Beta Testnet. The expectation is to launch on beta testnet in the first week of April, and on mainnet in May.
- Xave Finance — Wave 7
Xave Finance is well underway integrating BB-a-USD in the place of USDC in their custom FX pools built on Balancer. As part of a previous Balancer Grant, Xave Finance had developed and launched FX pools which paired non-USD backed stable coins (such as XSGD, XIDR, EURS, etc) against USDC to allow for FX trading through Balancer custom pools. They are now making the move to implement this using bb-a-USD BPT to align with Balancer’s priorities increasing capital efficiency and to increase adoption to corner the market of FX pools. You can read more about the specifics here.
The team has successfully launched the pools on a testnet and demo’d the functionality with an audit and FE integration next on the roadmap.
- Yearn Finance — Wave 7
Yearn’s veBAL voter contract has now been deployed and whitelisted by the Balancer community for locking 80BAL20WETH tokens. The yBAL codebase is currently being reviewed. We are optimistically aiming to launch by the end of April 2023.
- Other Grants
Balancer Docs — We awarded a grant for updating some of the Balancer documentation, however this project was discontinued with the work being undertaken by the Balancer team due to their current priorities.
Notional — A second grant was awarded to Notional to expand their boosted pool integrations being funded through their first grant. With the teams priorities shifting, this grant’s work has been delayed to next quarter. Funds have been committed to Wave 7, however we will announce next quarter with full details.
Finalized Grants this Wave
- Atlantis — Wave 1
Atlantis has completed Balancer’s scope of work in creating an open source custom built Balancer front end for the web3 developer community, creating the in game Balancer building, and incorporating quests to drive game play towards the Balancer ecosystem. The initial building and interfaces are shown by Atlantis team member CJ here.
- Future gaming interfaces can operate a simplified Balancer protocol front end, ie by self hosting, resulting in an interface that’s easy to use and integrate.
Atlantis is bringing improvements to Balancer and their game in 2023!
- Spatialized web3 social
- Perpetual gathering space for BAL community with easy, memorable link
- Gamified education about Balancer ecosystem
- More sign-in options, ie join as a guest or sign in with another social profile (like Twitter, Discord etc), vs only Metamask / WalletConnect
- Better hangout & events experience
- Atlantean characters in-game
- Multifarm Dashboard — Wave 5
Multifarm has partnered with Balancer to build a custom analytics dashboard around the new tokenomics -veBAL. We have been in close contact with the grants team all throughout our development. We have completed several milestones successfully. We designed the UX, built the Frontend and completed the Backend. We are now ironing out the last few kinks before shipping the dashboard. Upon completion, our dashboard will offer many new data points that cannot be found elsewhere.
This has been an incredible journey for us. veBAL is having great success and we are witnessing it first hand. Balancer Grants team is brilliant and we really enjoy working them. We are also really excited to ship the Dashboard and share our work with the community as we think it will provide a very critical infrastructure for Balancer. We hope that Balancer community also enjoys our work.
- Skytale — Wave 6
As announced in the previous report, Skytale has been working on the Balancer SDK to introduce two new features:
- Impermanent Loss Index: users of the SDK can now calculate the impermanent loss index for their investments from any date; moreover, they can now query their investment history for joining or exiting a pool to have a clear picture of the impermanent loss index extension.
- Claim Liquidity Incentive: users can now claim liquidity incentives directly from the SDK, as they can from the dashboard; the new feature allows users to claim either BAL incentives or Protocol revenue & veBAL incentives in both primary and level 2 networks.
We are proud of our contribution to these two new balancer SDK features, and we look forward to integrating them into the Skytale dashboard.
- Sturdy — Wave 6
Quantstamp’s audit of Sturdy’s integration with Balancer has been completed and made publicly available! Additionally, borrowers can now deposit Aura-staked BPTs (like wstETH/WETH) to lever up. For more info and to see other integrations check out app.study.finance.
- Xeonus — Wave 5
We could not be more impressed with the finalization of Xeonus’ grant building out his analytics site. We highly encourage all Balancer users to check it out:
A very productive month comes to a close with the launch of the Balancer Analytics Beta: https://balancer.defilytica.com/
The site now includes all features that I had envisioned for the grant and I am very happy how it turned out. You can now browse all relevant data such as protocol wide metrics, pool and token stats. I am also very happy how the new components like the DAO financial dashboard turned out. Those sites will provide the DAO and its users with the needed transparency in regards to operational costs. Furthermore, I explored novel optimization layers like subgraph caching solutions. They are not fully there yet for prime time but give a glimpse of what is possible in terms of creating a responsive and informative analytics site. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me for feature requests or bug reports as I will continue to improve the site for the months to come.
- XS Finance — Wave 3
XS Finance has completed building out Time Weight Asset Market Manager (TWAMM) functionality for Balancer! The goal of TWAMM functionality is to execute large trades over a period of time in a way that reduces slippage and gas cost for the party executing a swap.
The code has undergone a manual review by Certora as part of the Balancer <> Certora Accelerator program with all issues fixed. The WETH/USDC pool is live and working well at https://app.longswap.xyz, while we look to deploy more pools. We’re also looking to out our numerical analysis on how our TWAMM works with various parameters.
Grantee Updates — Building
The program is proud to present our grantees and their updates in alphabetic order:
- Boot Finance — Wave 5
We have completed the implementation of CustomSwap smart contracts and deployed a swap factory to goerli. In addition to the smart contract code, the implementation includes HardHat tests and a deployment task. All code is available to the community via a publicly available GitHub repo: GitHub - bootfinance/balancer-v2-monorepo: Balancer V2 Monorepo
The code is in the custom-pool-tests branch. We will merge the branch back to the master after conducting additional testing with a front end that is yet to be implemented.
- Cron Finance — Wave 6
After completing the audit of our core contract earlier this month, we were invited to speak in a session hosted by Flashbots & Rook on the Numerical Analysis of a Non-Atomic Execution protocol. The presentation gave a background of TWAMM with select details on our optimizations and then proceeded to give an overview of the processes we employed to address numerical analysis considerations of our product.
Although it might seem heavyweight, it’s important to consider that TWAMM’s complexity exceeds that of most existing Constant Function Market Makers (CFMMs) and is also expected to execute significantly larger trades. The processes for numerical analysis included:
- Variable naming that differentiated representations from container sizes.
- Tags for unchecked sections, expected overflows, and expected underflows
Annotated system schematics created from the Solidity code illustrating:
- Data path widths and their propagated representations
- Revert and require checks
- Arithmetic operations
- Color-coded confidence in the analysis
- Focus area abstraction diagrams that helped guide general corrections (i.e. avoid token creation with operators that round up)
- Concrete case studies of intended applications and extrema
For more detailed info and to keep up to date with their progress, follow along with Cron Finance’s TWAMM reseearch blog — 0x70626a
- Dynamo — Wave 6
We are nearing the completion of the ERC-4626 vault development. The Euler exploit led us to take some extra time to implement additional safeguards that we will complete approximately by end of this week. Right now we are integrating the developed ERC-4626 with linear pools and wrap it within a composable stable pool. A mainnet fork of Ethereum showed already that we are able to extract yield in real time.
- Ithil — Wave 5
We are excited to provide an update on the progress of Ithil over the last quarter, as our team has made great strides toward the release of the testnet.
Over the past few months, our primary focus has been on developing and improving the code and the wizard council has been working tirelessly on several crucial tasks, including:
• Incorporating multi-loan LPing into Balancer pools
• Setting up math libraries to calculate the amount to withdraw when exiting a pool
• Designing the frontend to enable LPing into any Balancer pool with any combination of tokens
We are glad to announce that we have expanded our wizards headcount by hiring new members getting ready to launch. This expansion will allow us to prepare for a Q2 full of initiatives, starting with the presentation of a side project developed by Ithil labs.
Moreover, the testnet will be open to everyone and we will be offering whitelist slots and a chance to join the live version at launch to the most active users, contest winners, and Discord Acolytes.
If you’d like to stay up to date on the upcoming developments and learn more about the soon-to-be-released secret product, follow us on our main social media channels such as Twitter, Discord, and Medium.
- Kassandra Finance — Wave 6
Over the last month, Kassandra team has started running user testing sessions with a few community members, and we’ve gathered a lot of meaningful feedback from it! The following month should be the last month of development, as we’re doing the final tweaks on the manager screens, finally allowing users to seamlessly rebalance, remove, and add tokens to their portfolios and receive rewards incurred from deposit and management fees. We hope next month update to be the last one, as we deliver a whole interface for users to create and control Balancer Managed Pools.
The Symmetric Dev team has created basic controllers and have started testing basic functionality. We are updating logic within the created controllers to match GoodDollar’s needs for a reserve token based on BPT. Next we will run some live testing on Celo network and hope to have some results next update.
- Nicolas M — Back up UI for Balancer — Wave 5
During this wave, the development of the minimal UI continued. The swap screen has been finalized. The investment one is still in progress. Built with the generalised join/exit functions of the SDK, this screen will allow joining a pool with any underlying token. Development is expected to be completed in April.
- Notional Finance — Wave 5
Notional Finance has been hard at work to deploy their Notional V3 contracts before the end of March. This has taken high prioirity in their pipeline and address feedback from their audit and immunefi in order to streamline the launch process which is now underway. The leveraged vaults for Balancer are ready in terms of smart contracts and their back end, and after completing, testing, and deploying their front end work Notional expects to launch their leveraged stable coin vaults in just a few more weeks.
- RealEstate.Exchange — Wave 3
We are just now applying for a securities dealer license in Denmark so we can launch before summer. Also for the AMM securities trading marketplace we are applying to be part of EU’s DLT regime sandbox (with Balancer and hopefully the Danish FSA)
We launched a online course in collaborating with DigiShares on the Udemy platform: https://www.udemy.com/course/tokenization-of-real-world-assets-on-the-blockchain/
- Valory / Autonolas — Wave 5
With the support of the Balancer Grants DAO, we have successfully reached the first milestone of our grant by developing and implementing Smart Managed Pools (SMPs). SMPs have now operated successfully on both mainnet and Goerli, showcasing the potential of autonomous fund management. Our team has made significant progress, completing approximately 3/4 of the full grant project, blocked only by some technical snags with the Managed Pools contracts. As we near completion, we’re excited about the innovative solutions and applications that SMPs will enable within the crypto ecosystem. We extend our sincere gratitude to the Balancer Grants DAO and Balancer DAO for their unwavering support and collaboration throughout this journey.
Grants Program Expenses
After receiving 77 applications, 8 projects have been approved for grants for a total of 40,895 BAL. This total value approved is down 20% from Wave 6 in terms of BAL but 63% more applications partly through BAL going from $5.30 to ~$6.80 BAL/USD.
The grants treasury is in a good position due to the increase in BAL price and top up for Fjord rev share agreement from a previous funding proposal. We have some exposure to grants awarded in USD equivalent, however major grants have generally been approved with an agreed BAL/USD rate to limit the treasury risk.
We were below budget for committee payments with most grantees being quite self sufficient requiring minimal assistance coordination. We also came in below our budget for design and subscriptions using the opportunity to cover some subscriptions for a year vs monthly, these additional funds have contributed to offseting next wave’s budget.
With BalancerDAO having moved to a Service Provider structure, we have published our proposal to the Balancer Forum for Q2 budget approval awaiting a snapshot vote to begin next week. Due to rise in BAL price since previous funding proposal, no funds are requested to top up the treasury (currently 65,469 BAL uncommitted) for 55,719 BAL to future grantees and 9,750 BAL for committee/support.
If approved, we will use the existing BAL to continue to fund more projects that will expand the Balancer ecosystem. As always, we welcome comments and recommendations from the community on how to better develop the Balancer grants program.
Round Up Event
6th April @ 11am EST we will host a Round Up on Discord where our grantees can give a short update and we will end with a Q&A. You are all welcome to join us!
Wave 7 has ended, but grants will continue. Apply now!
If you are interested in supporting the development of the Balancer Ecosystem or want to build on top of the Balancer Protocol, this is your chance! Get started by filling in the Grants Application form. You can also check out our RFP page for inspiration! We also have an application guide for what we’re looking for in a grant submission here.
For further questions about how the Grants SP works, check out the grants page, follow us on Twitter, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.