Initial thinking around token distribution

Hi, I’m FS. Happy to break the ice on this category topic. I read the announcement post and listened to a little bit of the launch party.

I read the conversation in Discord about tokenomics. Seems people are already thinking through how a token might function for Across, how a distribution could work, and so forth. I’m finding it hard to follow or feel organized so I wanted to start out over here.

I wanted to raise some very preliminary points around what purpose a token can serve in the future of Across. The way I’d like to start is by asking what things we think Across needs to succeed, and which of those a token can help with. I’m sure this isn’t the only starting point, but I’d personally find it useful.

I googled “main parts of a company” to find this short list:

strategy,
marketing,
finance,
human resources,
technology and equipment,
and operations.

Seems a token would be needed for almost all of these because there’s no other coordination tool. This would make it a DAO, which seems like the obvious way forward.

So we could progress by looking at those six categories above and asking how a token needs to be distributed to help achieve each. I think the biggest concern is making sure there are engineers.

I also wonder about something else, which is co-founders. Startsups typically have cofounders, but DAOs don’t - do we expect to have dedicated leaders with big shares of tokens?

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I think you have to give a large number of tokens to “leaders” otherwise how will they be alligned with long term growth (vested ofcourse)

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Do we have any existing token models in other ecosystems that we like?
I quite like Sushi’s system.

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I agree with you. Sushi is a nice model.

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I cannot agree more. Sushi has a great model

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What aspects of sushi’s system? The way it was initially distributed with vesting? The non-linear distribution schedule? xSUSHI?

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That’s a great idea. I agree with you

can’t agree more. maybe curve way, the longer you lock, the more bonus rewards you will get. in addition, the weighted voting power depends on the time you choose to lock. It seems a sustainable way

Hopefully we can find ways to reward those who are in it for the longterm and not going to dump tokens as soon as they get their hands on them. It would be cool to have an initial drop followed by a few rounds of KPI options to reward the most loyal.

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I think it’s great to introduce this topic like that

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Sushi and Curve are mentioned above as models to go by - I was not super familiar and came across this article which is helpful:

Note: I think “deep dive” is misleading and it is more “a short summary of how 10 of the top DAOs work” - but very informative nonetheless

There are a few characteristics between SUSHI, CRV and UMA that stand

  • Sushi uses Snapshot for voting — a decentralized and gasless voting dashboard.
  • CRV has voting weight issued to each user depends on the timelock implemented for the locked governance token
  • CRV has a lower limit on token holdings for proposal submission (2500 CRV)
  • UMA has a template for new proposals (UMIP) UMIPs/umip-template.md at master · UMAprotocol/UMIPs · GitHub

A few thoughts:
For sushi using Snapshot is really all that stands out as positive to me, but I’d love to see more information and have a broader discussion of which aspects people like. It just seems very “loose” to me from the summary I found above.

The concept of locking tokens for voting weight is really appealing - it mimics RSUs in a ways. Having the tokens locked for a period of time implies a commitment beyond short-term price action, and gives some kind of reassurance that you plan on staying involved for a period of time.

In terms of UMA/UMIPs - I love the structure here, having some templated way to submit proposals makes the proposals require a little more thought and coverage. As an engineer having scope that is very clearly defined is crucial for executing on that scope. A template won’t solve 100% of cases, but it will make the process a lot more clear.

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I agree with you and express my support

I’ve been reading the discord and one main point the team has expressed to be of major importance is obtaining and keeping customers early on, to generate revenue for the treasury. I’m not familiar with $sushi tokenomics, but does what $sushi do meet these objectives at the start?

If not, i would like to propose tokenomics that would fall under the strategy, marketing and operations parts of the DAO.

Lets say there IS an airdrop, how would you keep customers after? We could perhaps do the DYDX model where first attention is garnered with a small airdrop, and then they’re incentivized to try the bridge themselves whilst being paid to do so, just like in DYDX where they pay traders who trade on their platforms with the $DYDX token. Doesn’t have to be a large amount and can be just for a short amount of time, 1 month or so when most potential customers are now aware of it. “Paying you to bridge” is also great headlines for free publicity, I can envision bridgooors reading crypto newsletters to be attracted to such a heading. The cost of such marketing would be the cost of the airdrop, and the fees generated for the protocol at the start too. Basically similar to a startup where you spend first to earn later.

The product then markets itself, who would want to try another bridge whilst having one that tick all their boxes? And a lifetime customer is born. But of course to remain above the rest Across Protocol cannot fall behind, all we need to do is to ensure that the basics are first class.

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I completely agree here, imho the DYDX model fits perfectly for the Across token release. But I would make the initial (retro) airdrop quite substancial (just like DYDX), this creates a lot of publicity on CT. Also the approach of DYDX that you had to reach certain milestones imo is the way to go for the Across token release. For example users of other popular EVM bridges could get the airdrop if they would in a certain time span use the Across bridge with at least once, no min amount required, since Across has already a min because of Gas fees.

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Yeah, am a big fan of DYDX L2. Been using their platform since the early days… Was airdropped some tokens and as part of the requisite, had to trade on their L2… Grew to love it and today, it is my main Go-To perpetual trading platform. (ps. have not sold a single token as well as i see much growth potential being a user myself)

In summary, airdrop is like a marketing budget where you bring in targeted users. Have a good product that they can use and grow to love… So that the project can gain not only marketshare, but also mindshare.

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I found interesting the 03 model on BSC, where your funds needed to be unlocked, and the unlocked funds where faster the more liquidity provided. but this is not entirely applicable here. i still find their system lacking somehow.

This is quite good and I’m ok with it

you have my full support :handshake:

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You want to drop to actual users of bridge protocols, thats the real userbase and probably more dedicated to hold on and be active in a DAO structure imo, so you could look for Arbitrum/Optimism/Hop/x-pollinate/Across bridge users for instance and the discord community that is actively helping to construct the DAO transition. You could setup a point system, if you use more protocols you get a bigger piece of the pie or some sort. Then for the technical part i back the above ideas to look into the Sushi/Curve/Uma method, they are proven succesfull.

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Agreed!That`s a classic model.