Symmetric, Balancer, and Celo

Based on the Symmetric on Gnosis forum thread, Symmetric is glad to see that Balancer is open to collaborating with Symmetric, and the feeling is mutual. We understand that a Balancer native team is working on deploying the Balancer protocol to Gnosis Chain. Despite our current V2 being live on Gnosis Chain, we think our team should focus our efforts on alternative chains, starting with Celo.

Deploy Balancer to Celo, managed by Symmetric

This proposal aims to expand the Balancer ecosystem to Celo, managed by Symmetric using a similar framework used by Beethoven and BalancerDAO for Optimism, where the Celo deployment will be plugged into the veBAL economy, and fees made on Celo will be split 50% / 50% between SymmetricDAO and BalancerDAO.

We hope this to be the first of multiple Balancer deployments managed by Symmetric and look forward to contributing to BalancerDAO in the long run.

Background:

Symmetric is a fork of Balancer that currently runs on the Celo and Gnosis Network. The project launched in 2021 and has since deployed a V1 and V2 fork of Balancer on both networks in addition to graduating from Celo Camp.

Symmetric approached BalancerDAO before launching V2, which did not result in an agreement. Symmetric has since shipped and operated their V2 on Gnosis and Celo in July, while BalancerDAO introduced the veBAL tokenomics, launched on Optimism in collaboration with Beethoven, and the bLabs team added a deployment to Gnosis to their roadmap.

Based on these changes, we think it’s the right moment to re-engage and find a mutually beneficial outcome.

Motivation

The Celo Ecosystem, despite relatively low usage, is seeing an increase in interest as the ReFi space native to the chain is growing fast, with projects such as Toucan protocol moving onto Celo recently. Another example is Uniswap moving to Celo with a $10M incentive package from the Celo Foundation’s DeFi for the People initiative focusing on Green Assets. Another significant point is that PrimeDAO is launching a ReFi Launchpad program on Celo in Q4 with $1M in funds available for project launches and liquidity rewards (bribes).

We believe we have the right knowledge, skillset, and network to successfully expand the Balancer protocol onto the Celo network and become one of the top three DEXs on Celo by the end of 2023.

Specification

If this vote successfully passes, the Celo deployment of Symmetric will be recognized as the official Balancer deployment on Celo and will be connected to the veBAL economy. The Symmetric team will coordinate with Balancer Labs as required to plug in to the veBAL system. This vote passing would enable veBAL voters to direct BAL emissions to Celo. Individual pools would still need to go through the usual gauge approval process.

7 Likes

Thank you all for being flexible. If this is the direction you desire then it is an option. I’m going to outline why I think this is not a good approach from your perspective and you should consider going a more traditional friendly fork route - we designate you our FF on Celo, you allocate some low single digit % of SYMM tokens to our treasury.

Reasons this proposal is not optimal for you:

Our smart contracts team is very busy. While adding Celo as a network to veBAL and deploying Balancer’s infrastructure there is not a huge time commitment, it is a commitment of precious resources. We wouldn’t be able to guarantee when it would all be done. After it is done you’ll operate under Balancer governance - meaning any action by the admin of Balancer on Celo would require an approved governance proposal by us.

You won’t be able to bribe veBAL from Celo, unless you can work with a partner to enable that functionality. Everything will have to be bridged to Ethereum and bribes deployed from there. The most recent Aura bribing round was a slightly negative ROI when excluding AURA rewards - meaning you get less $ in BAL rewards than you spent in $ bribing. This is likely to only get worse as L1 LP’s have the advantage of additional AURA rewards on top which is substantial. L2’s are at a big disadvantage in the bribe game here.

You might decide bribing is not a good idea and simply deploy SYMM or CELO rewards through traditional liquidity mining. Now you’re giving Balancer 50% of your fees but not using any BAL emissions - this is basically giving us money for free. Which I won’t argue with but seems dumb from your perspective.

Under BIP-19 fees earned by yield bearing core pools on Ethereum and all fees earned on Polygon & Arbitrum are distributed through bribes to voters. Even if you direct your entire 50% share of fees as bribes you’re still at a significant disadvantage in the bribe market against our other networks because Balancer is leeching 50% of your fees passively. Yes, CELO and Prime can print tokens to overcome this in the short term but that will dry up eventually.


You could avoid all of the above, avoid Balancer leeching 50% of your fees (50% of the benefit of CELO and Prime printing tokens for you), by simply going the traditional friendly fork route. We give you the FF designation on Celo, you give us some low single digit % of SYMM tokens, then you focus all of your efforts on accruing value to SYMM. This will allow you to grow a lot more in my view compared to Balancer acting as an anchor taking 50% of fees passively and you having to spend more and more money to secure emissions at a negative ROI.

5 Likes

Thanks @solarcurve , some really strong points here. The team and I are already talking and I appreciate your intimate knowledge of Balancer added to the discussion.

3 Likes

Hey all,

I’m happy to see this come about and have always enjoyed Symmetric’s work. @solarcurve’s comments (as always) gave me a lot of thoughts, which I’ve finally been able to formulate.

I think Solar’s arguments are correct - especially on the side of technical resource constraints and the additional friction of depending on Balancer governance for gauge activation.

Hence, I think the technical Friendly Fork without veBAL integration is the better option to explore further. Having the formal Friendly Fork blessing will help gain a foothold in the Celo network and any other network.

I’m curious to understand what (technical) advice and BizDev/Marketing support Friendly Forks are receiving now and vice-versa, how Friendly Forks could contribute best to BalancerDAO (any learnings from Beets worth sharing?).

SYMM Gauge
I believe there is merit in finding a way to connect Symmetric with veBAL and allow them and partners to Bribe value to Symmetric / Celo. I could see a set-up where Symmetric to establishes a Symmetric DAO-owned liquidity pool (SYMM <> BAL or SYMM <> USDC) on Balancer Mainnet and applies for this pool to receive a Gauge.

Thoughts on moving SYMM towards veSYMM
The bribing dynamics in Balancer/Beets have been exciting, and it could be one of the best ways to decentralize and optimize SYMM distribution (still about 20% of tokens to be distributed). I would argue for adopting a ve solution with a 20% cUSD (or CELO) / 80% SYMM pool to determine SYMM distribution on Celo.

Tokens to become a FF
I think it’s fair if SymmetricDAO distributes some SYMM tokens to BalancerDAO and Balancer Stakeholders to become a Friendly Fork. Recently, Symmetric started developing a version for KAVA after receiving a grant. I think the KAVA blessing (becoming the official Friendly Fork there) could also be discussed here.

In exchange for becoming the Friendly Fork on Celo and KAVA, I think SymmetricDAO should distribute something in the direction of ~3.5% of the tokens to BalancerDAO and ~1.5% to veBAL holders that engage with any of the two deployments by a given date.

Eager to hear thoughts from other BalancerDAO members - as I think finding an alignment with Symmetric is long overdue.

2 Likes

I think this makes sense to SYMM team and DAO, @LuukDAO . What do you think @solarcurve and others?

I think all sounds reasonable to me.

Hi all, Nikhil from the Celo Foundation here. Symmetric has been active in the Celo ecosystem engaging with different projects, especially many of the ReFi projects. This has great potential in supporting many ReFi use cases being built by the Celo ecosystem. Excited to see how this unfolds and moving forward, would love to explore how we can collaborate more with the Balancer community.