Balancer Maxis end-Q1 2024 Update

March marked a big and busy month for the entire ecosystem. Metrics improved across the board and the Maxis played a pivotal role in connecting partners and pushing forward our impactful initiatives. By providing partner support, working on improving core infrastructure and working on making key metrics easier to understand, we are on a bright track and are looking forward to contributing to Balancer v2’s and v3’s success for Q2 and beyond!

As stated in previous reports, the Maxis have been focusing on four initiatives in Q1. For reference, please review BIP-514. Let’s dive into the initiatives and the corresponding achievements since the last report from mid-quarter

Initiative 1: Growth beyond Mainnet

The Maxis have successfully shipped and managed the distribution of ARB rewards from the ARB STIP program which concluded March 22nd. Overall, the execution of the STIP program based on our performance-based approach showed strengths of Balancer tech combined with our efforts to execute meaningful incentive programs. We took great learnings from this initiative and will continue to improve the mechanics for any potential program execution on another chain. You can read more about the final distribution in the final STIP report

The Maxis furthermore took the initiative to handle the migration of rETH pools based on a low severity issue on the rETH rate provider which can be referenced here.

An additional grant of 100k MATIC was arranged with Polygon in order to further support liquidity growth on zkEVM.

A working group was setup with folks from Avalanche to explore using Balancer Weighted Pools to create an incentivized index pool for their supported culture coins.

A good deal of time has been spent over the last month working with Chainlink and various LST and LRT partners to try to figure out an easier/faster way to bridge exchange rates to other chains in order to enable Balancer Stableswaps. It is not hard to see that Balancer’s interest-bearing stableswap tech is far more efficient than most other options, but the time constraints, potential costs and cognitive efforts required to deal with bridging rates makes the BD process harder. The net result of this work has been far better coordination between all parties when setting up Chainlink feeds, and some workstreams looking into how CCIP could be used to enable some cross -chain rates to be more quickly provisioned and cost-effectively operated.

Initiative 2: Redesign of the Gauge Framework v1

This initiative was mainly concluded at the end of February as per the full report giving a deep overview of our decision process. We took further steps to improve the overall partner experience as this was one of the main take-aways for this initiative:

  • We worked together with the marketing and integration teams to make sure we will provide a strong and easy to understand partner pack as well as easier workflows for onboarding
  • With v3 most of the partner onboarding and gauge creation should become more permissionless
  • Overall, we improved core-pool and gauge performance significantly with providing in-depth insights with our newest historical core pool dashboard
  • We have the automatic detection of stale gauges to kill on our backlog and want to complete this task in Q2.

Initiative 3: Support Balancer v3 Design

The Balancer Maxis are involved in all strategic meetings and decision making processes surrounding the design and execution of v3. @mikeB is advising in product strategy and making sure key partners can leverage exciting features of v3. @Xeonus is focusing on consistent data across v2 and v3 deployments, an overall data architecture framework as well as deep testing of the v3 UI. As mentioned above for initiative 2, we are also working towards creating meaningful use-cases / showcases so partners can leverage the best version of Balancer for their product.

Initiative 4: Automation ownership transfer & on-chain automation improvements

In the middle of Q1, we had the challenge of filling in the gap of @Shakotan offboarding. Luckily, we managed to coordinate the onboarding of OpenZeppelin Defender and found a talented engineer to support us in migrating to the latest version. The Maxis are now in full control of OZ defender and are in the process of migrating all mission-critical infrastructure to OZ v2, which is overall great news!

In general, the Maxis also focused their efforts on streamlining the fee sweep automation, coordinating improvements with Mimic (our fee sweep partner). Additionally, we are working on automating core pool identification and want to make sure it is as robust as possible before moving from governance to automation as a primary form of determining core pools…

As always, we are continuously improving our multisig-reporting so we make sure all on-chain executions are easily reproducible.

You can follow our on-chain mgmt and general development process in our repositories

To summarize, here are more granular updates from February to March:

  • Multisig Management

    • [BIP-558] Increase BD vlAURA Allocation: modification of vlAura voting to BD discretion
    • [BIP-551] Claim and Relock Balancer DAO’s AURA / vlAURA: increasing of vlAura locked position for the DAO
    • [BIP-552] Authorize Mimic Smart Vaults V3 on Arbitrum, Polygon and Gnosis
    • [BIP-556] Fund Maxi Gas Station For DAO Operations
  • Governance

    • Writing of the quarterly financial report for Q1
    • Regular meetings with Karpatkey on Treasury management and strategies
    • Migration of rETH pools
    • Funding of Balancer operations through separate BIP as gas funds were going low based on increased on-chain activity
  • Ecosystem

  • DAO Dev Work

    • Improvements to Fjord revenue share dashboard
    • Overhaul of Balancer analytics, including core pool metrics
    • Continued work on a holistic fee view
    • Advising in new backend API design for v3
    • Improvements to fee sweeper logic
    • Automation of vlAura voting (WIP)
    • Provisioning of code base for counting points based on LP positions
    • Setting up OZ defender migration and new repository
  • User / project support

    • Onboarding of TRI-LRT pool
    • Coordinating issues with reporting of APRs and token pricing
    • Continued user and partners support
    • Increased security measures against “support ticket” scams
    • Tokens and pool UI whitelisting