Panda Product Pod Proposal

Summary

This proposal asks to establish the Panda Product Pod as a localized product pod for the Gro DAO. This proposal will be open for comments over the next 3 days. If no substantial changes are required, it will then be open for voting for another 5 days. In case this version of the proposal is rejected, we’ll collaborate with the community on both discord/forum to collect feedback and adjust the proposal accordingly.

Mandate

I propose forming the Panda Product Pod as a way to streamline DAO product development. As previous participants in the Groda product pod, we believe that creating more localized product pods will better achieve the DAO’s mission to enable more people to participate in DeFi.

The Panda Product Pod’s objectives are to:

  • Create, open-source, and maintain reusable building block modules that can be utilized by Gro and others in the ecosystem to build better dApp experiences

Specifically, the pod has 3 main areas where it believes that it can create meaningful differentiation for the Gro DAO and attract more usage: Cross chain liquidity, strategy creation, and data aggregation

Accordingly, the Panda Product Pod will:

  • launch a Deposit Relayer that allows users to deposit assets on a chain with cheaper gas fees and have those assets bridged to Ethereum to be utilized by the Gro Protocol and other future products released by DAO contributors. This enables smaller capital contributions and a wider user base for Gro.
  • explore strategies that enable Gro to access cross-chain yield opportunities, enabling users to deposit into a Gro vault on any chain and generate yield from multiple other chains.
  • Create and maintain additional vault strategies on Ethereum for Gro. The strategies used to generate yield for Gro have remained stagnant for some time. Adding additional strategies can increase yields and diversify risks, thereby increasing interest in the protocol.
  • Explore the DAO’s interest in creating open source modules that allow protocols to gather and utilize on-chain data more effectively. Some examples here include getting granular position data, supporting debt/collateral data and generating alerts against liquidations, multi-node infrastructure, and yield opportunity crawler (to find and monitor more strategies that can be incorporated into the vault strategies). Much of these tools could be utilized by the Risk pod to better conduct risk management.

This proposal would have the Groda pod maintain focus on G^2 version of the protocol during UTC+0 working hours, while enabling a separate stream of product innovation during UTC+8 hours with the new Panda Product Pod.

Composition

Following the framework suggested in this post, the Panda Product Pod will include individual contributors alike who participate in engineering, product design, and product management. It would include existing contributors who work on both a full-time and part-time basis.

6 contributors would form the initial Panda Product Pod:

  • BL (backend & smart contracts)
    • Smart Contract development for Gro
    • Smart contract and backend development for Huma and Tokenpad
    • 15+ years of leading complex engineering projects e.g. built adtech data platform that processed 5 PB/month
  • LH (backend)
    • Backend Systems for Gro
    • Backend for Havefund, a Zero Knowledge Lending protocol
    • Built automation systems for systems that processed $500M/yr
  • WW (backend)
    • Smart Contract Developer for Gro
    • Wrote smart contracts for Havefund
    • Advised on automated systems and tooling for Rain, a web3 corporate card startup
  • Kwww (product manager)
    • Worked on the original Gro risk and tranching mechanics
    • Researched and developed DeFi yield strategies for Gro and Capstack
    • Previous experience in both fintech and quantitative finance
  • VW (fullstack)
    • Build the backend for Tokenpad: DeFi protocol data processing, integration with on-chain data sources, wallet management
  • YQ (designer)
    • Main designer for Tokenpad and Upmarket

The contributors have experience building products and tooling across multiple DeFi protocols on multiple chains (Ethereum, Avalanche, Polygon, Optimism, and Arbitrum) and will utilize their collective experiences to lower the barrier to utilizing the Gro protocol.

The Panda Product Pod expects to collaborate with the Groda Product Pod on an opportunistic basis to share ideas that may be relevant to each others’ work. The expectation however is that each individual product pod is tasked with launching their own products.

The contributors also expect to work with the Risk Pod to evaluate and adjust strategies as needed prior to and post-deployment. As more strategies are added, the Risk Pod’s role in activating and deactivating strategies will become more pivotal to ensure sufficiently attractive yield and risk protection.

Budget

For the next 6 months, I propose a budget of 270,000 USDC + 150,000 GRO that will be transferred to the Panda Product Pod operational wallet if approved. The operational wallet will be a 3-of-5 multisig wallet with 2 Panda Product Pod, 3 People Pod contributors

  • Full-time contributors: 218,000 USDC + 150,000 GRO over 6 months
  • Part-time contributors: up to 52,000 USDC over 6 months (as needed)
  • This covers the contributors named above and includes the facilitator compensation. Victor and Yan are expected to be part-time contributors on an as needed basis since most of the proposed mandate focuses on tooling that does not require UI and front-end engineering work
  • Audit services: 30,000 USDC over 6 months, any unused to be returned to Treasury

Only the audit services spending of 30,000 USDC would be up to the discretion of the Panda Product Pod signer. This spending is only expected to occur after the completion and integration of the Deposit Relayer.

The full-time contributor cost will require at least 1 signer from the People Pod for payment – this cost should by default be paid out unless the pod acts maliciously, goes missing, or otherwise goes off-path.

Its address and signers will be published once set up for transparency.

Actual spend will be reconciled with the budget at the end of the 6-month period i.e. end of July 2023. Any unspent budget will be returned to the DAO treasury after the reconciliation.

Since we are splitting part of the current Groda Product Pod out to form this new product pod, we would expect that the Groda Product Pod’s expenditures will not fully reach the 486,000 USDC allocated for the 6 month period ending March 2023 outlined in vote 20.

Reporting

Panda Product Pod will update the DAO on its progress regularly through the community channels such as Community Forum, Discord, and Telegram.

In addition, there will be a quarterly report to summarize progress achieved and high-level plans for the next 3 months on the Community Forum. The second quarterly progress report will coincide with the 6-monthly budget report outlining actual spend and proposing budget for the next 6 months.

1 Like

Since this was posted on a Friday, the community discussion will extend to Wed, Feb 1st

Re the strategies that enable Gro to access cross-chain yield opportunities - are there any particular chains that will be initially explored?

We have seen good opportunities on Optimism and Arbitrum relatively consistently so those will be first order priorities. We also have opportunistically pursued opportunities on Avalanche and BSC, but APYs on those chains are a bit more volatile and require some active management to turn on/off allocation towards

This will be updated to 2 from panda prod, 2 from people pod, 1 from groda pod

Hey @cryptomac appreciate the proposal

I like the focus on cross chain opportunity, especially if Gro were to have a competitive product. I do think the ultimate goal for Gro is to simplify and systematize yield strategies generation and rebalances as much as possible. We are certainly interested to collaborate with you guys on that through the FiRST pod, going cross chain into a long tail of liquidity pools does bring unique challenges and introduce more risks to the protocol.

Discussions about scope here:

  • Where do you think will be the initial focus: Deposit relayer or cross chain strategy?
  • X-chain transactions are not trivial to develop. I’d argue bridges in general are the biggest SC vulnerability in '22. Are you looking to rely on a platform or roll your own tech stack?
  • do you see overlap on Groda’s development ie. on G2 protocol itself, or do you see the development happening on the perepheral, as an extension to the protocol ie. in a strategy module

Love the cyberpunk panda

1 Like

I think it makes sense for the pod will focus on the deposit relayer first since it can attract capital from other chains, which may be faster to deliver. cross chain strategies likely will require us to build on top of the deposit relayer and also require a longer proving period before being production ready.

x-chain messaging protocols like connext still have some risk to them, however, since we are using them as a transitory service, it’s not likely that a large % of vault funds will be in transit and stuck precisely at the moment an exploit occurs. I think most losses from bridging services in 2022 occurred from users who deposited capital to earn bridging fees

There is some overlap in the sense that at some point we would want to integrate modules built by Panda pod i.e. deposit relayer into the G2 protocol, so I would expect there to be coordination necessary to make that happen.

2 Likes

The Purple Pandas have proven themselves capable builders and I think it would be great to have them continue contributing to the DAO.

I’m excited about the prospect of the deposit relayer which can enable Gro (and other Ethereum sources of yield) to become more accessible for smaller wallets who don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on gas. This type of approach is enabled by G^2 now that the withdrawal fees will be removed.

I think there could also be some interesting collaborations on the onchain data side as per the 4th point.

:purple_heart::panda_face:

Hi Gromies,

I agree with all the above. However, I would have loved to see a product which makes Gro more like a platform that can be utilized by other platforms in their strategies. Call is Gro as a Service. This would hopefully generate consistent revenue to make sure Gro survives any other bearwinters in the future.

1 Like

Thanks for the feedback.

GaaS is a good idea! Are you thinking to have other yield protocols or funds to use gro to execute their yield strategies or create multiple vaults outside of stablecoins? Both would require these high-level features:

  • strategy definition protocol, G^2 is a good first step
  • deployed across chains
  • cross chain strategy execution
  • multi-token & multi-strategy support not just stablecoins

If gro can support multiple strategies across chains easily, then we can list multiple vaults like yearn. At which point, we can consider “liquidity gauges” tokenomics that curve started now adopted by yearn.

The proposed roadmap items for the panda pod will take us in that direction.

Going cross-chain/L2 is one of the top 5 priorities for Gro going forward in my mind (along with composability, security/risk reduction, external integrations, and core product innovation). I am very much in support of this.

I agree that aiming initially for Arbitrum and Optimism makes sense. I do also wonder if there is value in planning for an early launch on a new rollup to gain some first-mover advantage, such as on zkSync 2.0 or Scroll. If that were to happen on either, I assume it would begin first with a deposit relayer and then cross-chain strategies sometime in the future, ideally after strategies are deployed natively on zkSync 2.0 by Yearn and others which may take a while. I suspect we won’t see zkSync 2.0’s launch until after eip-4844 and it will be throttled initially, but having Gro as an early dApp (even if just a deposit relayer) on a budding rollup would be very cool. I’d be happy to help spread awareness about any of these deployments across various channels.

Based on @cryptomac’s comments above, I am fantasizing about multi-token support and if there is product-market fit potential for Gro to support strategies for native tokens on these rollups (STARK, OP, Arbitrum, zkSync, and Scroll’s possible tokens, etc.) and/or LSDs. But that is perhaps looking very far ahead and would involve lots of tradeoffs and development.

As mentioned by @exa256.eth, I think some great topics for the Panda & Groda Product Pods to simplify for the community in an upcoming call would be:

  • differences between G2, the deposit relayer, and cross-chain strategies
  • similarities or overlap between them, including people involved
  • what the ideal finished version of these will be like and how/why they envision people using these instead of competing products
  • rough timelines for each of these

Along with some published analysis from the FiRST Pod, maybe to be covered in a future call.

Regarding cross-chain strategies, it does bring to mind the old adage “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link”. Of course this is oversimplified and there are ways to distribute and reduce the risk (a core tenet of Gro itself), but I would be curious to know the reasoning behind using Connext as a messaging protocol compared to other options. Is it for a technical reason, is it based on a risk assessment, partnership, or something else? I don’t have strong opinions on Connext either way - just would like to know more behind that decision.

Thanks for the proposal!

1 Like

One thing to clarify about the budget, the total USDC will consist of 270k (resource cost) + 30k (audit cost) = 300k total. Any amount not used will be returned to the DAO treasury.