Ref Quarterly Update: Q3 2022

Ref Finance
7 min readOct 11, 2022

Introduction

DeFi survived the Summer of 2022. Phew.

While the heat wave was roasting the Northern Hemisphere, Ref discreetly celebrated the one-year anniversary of its main smart contract [1], on August 21st. Add to that NEARCON, NEAR Protocol’s flagship event in Lisbon, and DART, the NASA spacecraft that intentionally crashed into asteroid Dimorphos, and the saga was good enough for any crypto and sci-fi lovers.

Q3 was intense and hot! Ref kept delivering; veTokenomics, Concentrated Liquidity, Fiat on-ramp, Wallet Selector, etc.

Let’s dive into what happened in Q3 and what is next for 2022.

Six pillars

Repetition is the First Principle of All Learning — Robert F. Bruner [2]

Here is a reminder of our six pillars, as identified in our 2022 roadmap:

  • 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.

What we have committed to vs. delivered

The veTokenomics model allows the community to participate in the governance of the protocol and the allocation of liquidity incentives. It consists of a new Farming contract and a Vote-Escrowed Token (veToken) contract [3]. The new Farming contract was successfully deployed on August 1st.

By September 21st, the new contract already counted roughly 4,000 unique farmers. It’s worth noting that 74% of our farmers are single-farm farmers and 26% are multi-farm farmers.

Initially planned on the same date, the release of the veToken contract, although ready to be deployed, was pushed back to Q3 2022.

In the perspective of the veToken launch, it’s important to mention that the REF <> NEAR farm forms the biggest base, that is to say, a third of our farmers — data that gives the team confidence that the veToken, which can only be obtained by locking REF <> NEAR LP tokens, will be directly accessible to the biggest group of our Liquidity Providers. Moreover, Ref has already secured key partners for the veTokenomics launch, such as Woo, Octopus, and Pembrock, to name a few.

The testnet version of the Concentrated Liquidity feature was announced at NEARCON and released on September 12th. Concentrated liquidity, also referred to as Ref v2, is probably the biggest release of 2022, along with the veTokenomics. Directly inspired by Uniswap v3 and iZiSwap [4], the Rust implementation aims at improving liquidity utilisation (capital efficiency), which can be measured as the ratio Volume to TVL. Today, as a point of reference, Uniswap v3 accounts for more than 80% of the daily trading volume of the platform [5], and outperforms liquidity by a factor of two, compared to Binance and Coinbase (ETH/USD, ETH/BTC and ETH/mid-cap pairs) [6].

On average, non-rebalancing v3 positions outperform v2 positions by
around 54% in fee returns. — [7]

The mainnet release is planned for the end of October!

The Wallet Selector was deployed on September 7th. The NEAR Wallet Selector makes it easy for users to interact with Ref, by providing a unique point of interaction over various wallets within the NEAR ecosystem.

Transak, the fiat on-ramp solution, was live on September 22nd. Ref users can now buy NEAR tokens using Debit/Credit card, bank transfer, and Google/Apple pay, from more than 125 countries!

With a goal to fuel interoperability with other ecosystem dapps, Ref released on September 20th its new SDK. The new SDK provides a best-in-class tool to call Ref’s main functions, including Swap, and Add/Remove liquidity.

Ref Analytics got a fresh update on September 29th, promoting more transparency relating to the liquidity composition of the protocol. The Leaderboards section now supports the new farming contract, in addition to the old farming contract. Anyone can see the breakdown/structure of LPs and farmers, and download the entire list for a corresponding pool/farm.

The team is growing

The team welcomed San in July and Ray in September. As Lead BD, San is focused on partnerships and business development/relationship with existing and new project partners. Ray is a Research Analyst, and is focused on incentives optimisation (working directly with our partner Gauntlet) and on ecosystem research initiatives.

The team is now composed of sixteen 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
  • Fay: Researcher Analyst
  • Ray: Researcher Analyst
  • San: Lead BD

Market and Business Development updates

The Sweat Economy, a walk-to-earn solution and 2022 number one downloaded Health & Fitness App, successfully launched on Ref its SWEAT <> NEAR pool and incentive program on September 13th.

Ref is working closely with the Sweat team to ensure that millions of users can access to the NEAR DeFi ecosystem in a frictionless way.

Ser, wen auto-compounding on Ref? Pembrock, the first leveraged yield-farming application on NEAR Protocol went live on August 3rd. With already over $3M in TVL, Pembrock is also one of the most active contracts on NEAR [8].

Ref also partnered with Axelar to enable cross-chain trading on NEAR Protocol, unlocking greater interoperability and onboarding new users beyond our native ecosystem.

Looking ahead: Q4 2022

Full veTokenomics is happening. The veToken contract will be deployed in the last quarter of 2022.

As mentioned above, the mainnet version of Ref v2 (Concentrated Liquidity), will be released by the end of October!

The new SDK is being beefed up, with the extension of Ref v2. Moreover, the team is working on a Ref Widget, allowing any third party service to access our liquidity. Users of ecosystem dapps will have the ability to swap via the Widget, without the need to go to our app, thus improving the user experience.

Fiat on-ramp is just getting started. NearPay, the NEAR native crypto payment solution, which already has over 20,000 users, will follow Transak and be deployed by the end of October. Moonpay, the blue chip on-and-off-ramp solution will be next.

The Zap Function, or Zap Swap, can be described as the ability to add liquidity to any pool by directly swapping one token for LP tokens. As mentioned in our Q2 Report, Zaps are definitely on the roadmap for Q4. Zaps facilitate the user experience, one action vs. many to access any LP position. Zaps are proved to be working/useful.

The Ref ecosystem is growing. Fluxus, a yield-aggregator solution, is going live soon. OMOMO, Ref’s Hackathon winner at NEARCON, will deliver margin trading, using Ref as its liquidity backbone!

Finally, Fireblocks, which provides custody facility for thousands of institutional investors, will be live via Wallet Connect on Ref before the end of October, unlocking more institutional liquidity for the protocol. Bullish.

Conclusion

Q3 2022 could be defined as a plateau of consolidation and productivity for Ref. While our TVL consolidated over $200M, outperforming by 19 percentage points the TVL decreasing trend in the DeFi ecosystem over the same period [9], Ref laid the foundations for further adoption, by shipping two key components; veTokenomics and Concentrated Liquidity (Testnet).

Although the team is already working on the 2023 Roadmap, the finish line for 2022 is vibrant, with the full veTokenomics and Concentrated Liquidty on mainnet in sight.

Eventually, let’s not add the Tesla Optimus Robot public presentation of October in the next Quarterly Report, to make sure the ‘good’ sci-fi experience keeps going on…

By Didier, Product Manager

Acknowledgments

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

References

[1] Ref Exchange contract: v2.ref-finance.near

[2] Repetition is the First Principle of All Learning by Robert F. Bruner: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=224340

[3] Farming contract: boostfarm.ref-labs.near, Vote-Escrowed Token contract: ref-ve.ref-labs.near

[4]

[5] https://dune.com/mtitus6/Uniswap-V2V3-Comparison

[6] https://uniswap.org/blog/uniswap-v3-dominance

[7] https://uniswap.org/SuperiorReturnsForLiquidityProviders.pdf

[8] Pembrock contract: v1.pembrock.near

[9] https://defillama.com/

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.

Disclaimer

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.

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Ref Finance

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