Ref Quarterly Update: Q2 2022

Ref Finance
7 min readJul 14, 2022


Q2 was wild. $NEAR price decreased by 73% while the DeFi Pulse Index, $DPI, plunged 63% [1].

We have learned, once again, that biggy overleveraged crypto positions are as contagious as Covid when they turn sour. Yes, (crypto) History repeats itself, but so is DeFi’s resilience in the face of adversity: 2018 crypto bear market, 2021 pandemic market crash, and now 2022.

Sir Adams summarized it all [2].

Not every candle was red. Ref’s TVL grew 45%, from $120M to $175M in Q2, reaching its ATH at $277M on the 3rd of June. Sitting in the top 20 of the famous Defi Llama Dexes TVL Rankings [3], Ref is now consolidating its position in the market.

Let us dive into what happened in Q2 and what is next for 2022.

Six pillars

The six pillars, identified in our 2022 roadmap, can be seen as our beacon while we navigate a typical Turner’s extreme weather at sea. Here is a fresh reminder:

  • The Future is Decentralised: Promote further decentralisation
  • The Double B: Deliver Better prices and Better liquidity utilisation
  • Money, Money, Money: Provide LPs with the tooling to maximise profits while mitigating risks (i.e. auto-compounding)
  • Better Experience: Improve user experience
  • Knowledge is power: Encourage transparency and data-driven decisions
  • Bridge Them All: Reduce the gap with other chain communities

In addition to Security, which is transversal to the above pillars.

Dutch Boats in a Gale (‘The Bridgewater Sea Piece’) — Joseph Mallord William Turner [4]

What we have committed to vs. delivered

Deployed on May 19, the liquidity aggregation feature [5] was the last feature of our initial Q1 2022 Roadmap, to be shipped. The recent TVL growth of DODO and Synapse on Aurora, respectively +769% and +4,293% over the last 7 days, might give to the team a clear indication about which DEXes will be added soon to the multi-chain router, in addition to Tri Solaris.

The initial plan for Q2 2022 was shaken up. Designed early April, a new veToken model was not only added to the Roadmap but also prioritised as a key delivery for our users.

The veToken is a major release and comes along with a new farming contract and a brand-new user interface. Already deployed on Testnet, the new feature is currenlty being battle-tested by the team and the community. The deployment on Mainnet is planned for early August.

The Referendum feature, which is the ability for the community to vote on governance proposals, has been merged with the veToken release, as well as the New Farming Upgrade.

Five new stable pools have been added in April and May:

  • stNEAR / LINEAR <> NEAR on the 15th of June
  • cUSD <> USN on the 25th of May
  • HBTC <> WBTC on the 13th of May
  • USN <> USDT on the 29th of April

Stable pools that today account for more than 80% of Ref’s TVL! Not initially planned in the 2022 Roadmap, the team has managed to design an innovative swap solution for yield-bearing tokens (i.e. stNEAR) called the rated pool.

Other key updates

Security was a major stream in Q2. Ref completed its first audit on the 2nd of June. The team also worked closely with DeFi Safety in order to successfully complete our first independent Process Quality Review, in which Ref scores 85%! Finally, Ref went live on Immunefi on the 17th of May, having now a clear bug bounty program on Web3’s leading bug bounty platform.

End of April, the team added to the interface the possibility for users to buy and sell $USN, the new NEAR-native stablecoin, using directly the USN contract.

Following feedback from the community, we had two backlog reviews, which took place on the 25th of April and on the 23rd of June. These improvements, already deployed, include:

  • New xREF container and data
  • Token price banner
  • Transaction viewer reviewed with Nearblocks: Swap confirmation and Recent Activity

Eventually, the Japanese and Korean translations were rolled out on the 16th and 24th of April. Again, special kudos to our Sir Harry on the translation work stream!

The team is growing

The team welcomed ZQ and Dom early June. Dom is a Senior DevOps and is focused on the app performance (Ref indexer service). ZQ is a Senior Fullstack Dev and is involved in many areas, including Ref Analytics.

The team is now composed of thirteen fulltime members!

  • Marco: Lead Backend Dev
  • Joe: Lead Frontend Dev
  • Gordon: Senior Backend Dev
  • ZQ: Senior Fullstack Dev
  • Dom: DevOps
  • Max: Fullstack Dev
  • Nature: Backend Dev
  • Willa: Lead QA Engineer
  • Amy: QA Engineer
  • Mency: Designer & UX
  • Didier: Product Lead
  • Harry: Project Assistant Manager
  • Fauve: Marketing Lead

Market and Business Development updates

ve$RUST stroke again. With the launch of $USN at the end of April, Ref positioned itself as the place of choice for trading $USN. Today, with $150M+ in TVL, the USN <> USDT pool is now one of the largest stable pools within the entire DeFi ecosystem.

With already 40,000+ on-chain transfers since its inception, $USN is just warming up.

Note also that we had a wave of whitelisted tokens in Q2, almost twice as many as in Q1.

Looking ahead: H2 2022

There is no doubt, the veToken will be our flagship release in Q3.

Auto-compounding on top of Ref farms will be live soon, thanks to Pembrock Finance. Fluxus is also positioning itself as a yield-aggregator solution on the NEAR protocol.

The Zap Function, which provides the ability to add liquidity by directly swapping one token for LP Tokens, will be one of our priorities. A Zap Swap is very useful, because it facilitates the user experience by having access to any LP positions via one action, instead of three today.

In our goal to facilitate the user experience, we are currently working with Transak, a leading fiat-to-crypto payment gateway. Ref users will be able to buy $NEAR via cards, bank transfers and other payment methods in 125+ countries.

Following feedback from the community, we are also working on the integrations of other wallets, such as Trust, Leap or My Near Wallet. But, the biggest being the Wallet Selector [6], which is a solution that will help Dapps to interact with EVM-compatible wallets, such as…MetaMask. You know, this tiny wallet that now has over 30 million monthly active users [7]. Moreover and following feedback from the Marma J Foundation, the team will focus on improving the experience for Ledger users.

The Ref Software Development Kit (Ref SDK) is definitely on the road for 2022. As written previously, the team wants the right tools to help creators build on top of Ref!

Ref has also started to work with Gauntlet, a financial modelling platform that will optimise our spending related to $REF liquidity incentives.


The Ref DAO celebrated its one-year anniversary on the 30th of June [8]. What could have we found as a better transition point? Point that separates the past, the achievements, the challenges and difficulties, from the future, the ambition, and the uncertainties.

Very exciting things are coming in the second half of 2022, including the veToken model and the potential integration with top orderbook-based DEXes, to deepen and spread our liquidity across the ecosystem.

While a second independent audit is currently being led by BlockSec [9], we keep working on improving our internal processes to make sure we are meeting the best-in-class standards in our segment.

Wen top 10 DEX?

By Didier, Product Manager


Again, I would like to give a big thanks to the community and DAO members who have helped!











About Ref Finance

Ref Finance is a community-led, multi-purpose DeFi platform built on NEAR Protocol.

Ref takes full advantage of NEAR’s low fees, one-to-two second finality, and WebAssembly-based runtime (hello, Rust smart contracts!).

In addition to the advantages of being built on top of NEAR, Ref Finance provides:

  • Multiple pools in one contract
  • Atomic transactions
  • Customisable pool fee

For more information, please refer to our documentation.


Ref Finance does not endorse or promote any of the projects, platforms or cryptocurrencies mentioned in this blogpost. Any descriptions of functionality and services provided are for information only. Ref Finance is not responsible for any loss of funds or other damages caused as a result of using the projects, platforms or cryptocurrencies described above.



Ref Finance

Ref Finance is the starting point to the NEAR Ecosystem with a leading AMM & a synchronous #DeFi Shard.