[DRAFT] [GF: Phase 1] Liquity

  • Project Name: Liquity
  • Author Name: TokenBrice
  • Number of OP tokens requested: 500 000 OP
  • L2 Recipient Address: 0xd2D4e9024D8C90aB52032a9F1e0d92D4cE20191B

Relevant Usage Metrics

  • Number of LUSD on Optimism: 19,2 M, with 9,023 transfers and 91 holders.
  • On mainnet, Liquity has $394.95M of TVL (DeFiLlama).

Optimism alignment (up to 200-word explanation)

LUSD has been one of the first stablecoin to come to Optimism, thanks to Synthetix, which used a LUSD wrapper to stabilize sUSD on Optimism that absorbed close to 45M of LUSD on Optimism at some point, and still, has > 15M LUSD mobilized.

Thanks to the launch of Velodrome and the veVELO NFT airdrop Liquity received, a LUSD/USDC pool was created and voted on by the Liquity team. It now has over $1.2M of assets.

Finally, the cBridge added support for LUSD to enable fast withdrawal to mainnet.

While the Liquity protocol is not deployed on Optimism (mainnet only), LUSD, the stablecoin outputted by the protocol, has a solid and growing presence on the network. Along with sUSD, LUSD is one of the few stablecoins that is not centralized nor collateralized by centralized and censurable stablecoins.

More information about LUSD on Optimism is available here: https://www.liquity.org/blog/lusds-growing-usage-on-optimism

Proposal for token distribution (under 1000 words)

How will the OP tokens be distributed?

The OP tokens will be used to grow and sustain LUSD foothold on Optimism. They will help to attract attention and assets to new integrations and support their growth until a critical mass is reached:

  1. Liquidity bribes [40%] on Velodrome to grow LUSD/USDC liquidity (200k OP/year)
  2. Bridge incentives [30%] Incentives on cBridge or Hop to facilitate bridging LUSD back to mainnet (150k OP/year)
  3. Borrow incentives [20%] (Once live) potentially – borrower incentives for LUSD on Aave/Optimism (100k OP/year)
  4. Community/Ecosystem Grants [10%]: OP tokens will be distributed as grants to users and developers, building tools and partnerships to help the protocol grow its presence on Optimism. The grants will be paid out directly in OP. (50k OP)

How will this distribution incentivize usage and liquidity on Optimism?

Optimism direly needs credible stablecoins that are not subject to censorship. Indeed, Liquity is a top-tier Ethereum protocol and still the only protocol offering a stablecoin 100% powered by immutable smart contracts.

We believe that growing LUSD liquidity on the network is a net positive by itself, not only for Liquity but also for Optimism, as it diversifies the stablecoin offering and offers a credible hedge if regulation-related issues were to arise on a major centralized stablecoin.

Why add incentives to supply liquidity to bridges?

Right now, the only liquid bridge is the official one with the seven days withdrawal delay. Considering that LUSD can only be minted on mainnet by taking on some debt, we’re confident users would be more comfortable bridging their LUSD to Optimism if they know they can withdraw them quickly to repay some debt if needed.

Why will the incentivized users and liquidity remain after incentives dry up?

The low transaction fees on Optimism attract users who are concerned about the resilience of their stablecoin but not able to afford mainnet fees on L1 — LUSD on Optimism presents a credible offering to such profiles, currently filled by no other stablecoins.

Liquity has never relied on rewards for usage and still reached the top 20 Ethereum protocols in terms of TVL.

Over what period of time will the tokens be distributed?

Depending on the integrations obtained (LUSD on Aave/Optimism?), the budget asked for should sustain at least one year of incentives, potentially one year and a half.

Has your project previously received an OP token grant? If yes, what’s the status of these tokens?

Despite being the top stablecoin on Optimism supply-wise at the OP launch (~50M LUSD on Optimism then), Liquity has not received any OP grants so far. Moreover, LUSD was decisive in helping sUSD maintain its peg and reach the massive adoption it’s currently seeing on Optimism.

How much will your project match in co-incentives?

Liquity has been a supportive actor of the Optimism ecosystem since the Velodrome launch. However, the team usage of incentives is minimal: even the Curve mainnet pool is not incentivized but supported through gauge votes, just like the Velodrome pool. Ultimately, it’s up for discussion within the Liquity team (since the protocol has no DAO and no governance), but I’d like to manage expectations: it’s unlikely.


Hey @TokenBrice thanks for the proposal, a few things come to mind off the bat:

Bridge incentives Incentives on cBridge to facilitate bridging LUSD back to mainnet (100k OP/year)

  • from what we’ve seen so far, bridging incentives are not a sanctioned use of OP allocation in Gov fund Phase 1

Grants: OP tokens will be distributed as grants to users and developers, building tools and partnerships to help the protocol grow its presence on Optimism. (50-100K)

I am a bit curious for the plan around this, afaik Liquity does not have a DAO or governance or any plans for “protocol growth” which can be publicly contributed to. What are the specific ideas behind how this grant allocation will be utilized? How will Liquity decide on whether a grant is worthy of funding or not? Given that there isn’t really much that can be “built on top” aside from LUSD integration similar to how Synthetix did, what sort of “tools” and “partnerships” did you have in mind?


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Hello @millie and thanks for providing feedback this quickly!

1/ Usage of incentives

Your quote refers to Velodrome (=DEX / liquidity), but the text below mentions “bridging incentives”. Would you mind clarifying which one is not a sanctioned use of the OP allocation?

2/ Grants for projects building on top of Optimism/LUSD

Indeed, we’re talking here about integrations similar to what Synthetix did. To give you a more concrete example, we’ve been chatting with the CompliFi team lately who is considering launching an instance of their product (derivatives) on Optimism using LUSD as the base currency. That would be a prime target to receive such a grants.

Regarding the allocation decision, since Liquity has no governance nor DAO it will be the responsibility of the team indeed. Just like with our community grants though, we’ll make sure to establish clear guidelines on this front and provide transparency & reasoning for each decision. We’ll also implement a retroactive, result-based approach instead of a “pre-funding” of projects based on their intent.

If needs to be, additional details regarding the grants allocation framework can be included in the proposal.

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Yes sorry about that, I fixed the mis-quoted reply. Indeed meant to reference the part about bridging incentives.

No worries and thanks for clarifying this.

Would you mind sharing some context (links?) regarding why providing incentives to people supplying liquidity on bridges is not a sanctioned use?

We could drop this part and re-allocate it if needed. Yet it was quite useful, as withdrawing LUSD from Optimism to mainnet takes a week with the official bridge. Offering a faster option makes users more comfortable with the idea of bridging their LUSD from mainnet to Optimism, to begin with.

This is exactly what the cBridge enables, yet, the liquidity is quite unbalanced since users tend to do mainnet>Optimism with the official bridge and Optimism>mainnet with the cBridge: we end up with the bridge liquidity almost always heavily unbalanced to the Optimism side (as the mainnet LUSD are usually drained as soon as available).

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yeah I fully appreciate the obstacles related to liquidity with some bridges and personally not against the use of OP incentives to ensure there is a healthy balance in liquidity to enable cross chain arbitrage. I have noticed other delegates reacting adversely to the use of OP for that purpose however:

But you’ve actually answered my questions in regards to the proposal and I would vote YES to pass it in it’s current form.


Mhn, at first glance I’m having trouble understanding the thought process leading to this conclusion, but I’ll dive into the link you shared, thank you for that.

With the additional context provided above. I truly think that in that case incentivizing liquidity bridges would result in more confidence in LUSD on Optimism overall, and therefore more tokens bridged and activity there.

So I’ll see how the other delegate reacts to the bridging incentives component of the proposal and adjust if needed.

Thanks for your support!

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Yeah realistically a main bottleneck for many stablecoins is that specific issue. A lot of stablecoins like DAI,LUSD, etc are only minted on ETH mainnet and also need to be used for liquidations on mainnet. When a lot of that liquidity gets bottled up on L2, it creates a liquidity crunch on L1 (since L2<>L1 withdrawals take 7days) which becomes amplified at times of volatility when there are a some large liquidations that need to occur but liquidity is thin.

Having reliable bridge liquidity would increase the confidence of whales to bridge their LUSD over to Optimism long term, also it would stimulate volume and transaction activity from arbitrage flow between L1 and OP.


are you referring OP chain to main chain or vice-versa ?
Also, how are trying to handle farmers here, lets say I bridge X amount and bridge it back and repeat the same process again and again.

Echo of this, just to clarify:

@TokenBrice I’m assuming you plan to activate a Liquidity Mining program for LUSD providers on both sides of cBridge, correct?

On average, the proposal looks reasonable and we will give more feedback in the next few days.

I’ll need to double-check with the cBridge what they can do but ideally, it would be a liquidity mining campaign only for one side: people providing LUSD on mainnet (and therefore enabling fast withdrawal of others from Optimism)

The Optimism side doesn’t really need support since it’s getting filled naturally as people are fast-withdrawing.

Edit ~2h later: so yes indeed the cBridge can handle LM campaigns for LP on one side only. So LM only for users providing LUSD on the Ethereum side seems preferable, as it would help to solve the current unbalance issue.


Hey @TokenBrice thank you for the proposal.

A suggestion here to make it more readable would be to add the % of the allocation you would like to devote to each category.

Also why incentives to bridge back to mainnet? How is that supposed to help optimism growth?

Would you forward the OP directly for the development grants or would you first liquidate them for stables?

Most other protocol teams had some form of co-incentives so this would help your proposal if you guys manage to match it with something.


Adding it to the top post, thanks for the suggestion.

We discussed this topic a bit above in the post: essentially, right now, the only liquid bridge is the official one with the 7 days withdrawal delay. Considering LUSD can only be minted on mainnet by taking on some debt, we’re confident users would be more comfortable bridging their LUSD to Optimism if they know they can withdraw them quickly to repay some debt if needed.

They will be paid out as OP token, but that is a good point to clarify, I’ll update the opening post.

I understand, sadly the Liquity treasury is more limited than Optimism’s. I’ll still ask around and see if we can allocate some LQTY. Yet, even though Liquity is not contributing assets directly, Liquity has been decisive to Optimism’s success, as LUSD was the top stablecoin on Optimism for a while (before the OP token) and contributed to help stabilize sUSD on the network.

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Hey brice, I like what LUSD offers in terms of being backed by eth, it’s certainly a value add to the ecosystem. I understand the need for bridge incentives here and believe the allocation is reasonable. In its current form I think this proposal is good enough for me :+1:


Also why incentives to bridge back to mainnet? How is that supposed to help optimism growth?

We discussed this topic a bit above in the post: essentially, right now, the only liquid bridge is the official one with the 7 days withdrawal delay. Considering LUSD can only be minted on mainnet by taking on some debt, we’re confident users would be more comfortable bridging their LUSD to Optimism if they know they can withdraw them quickly to repay some debt if needed.

It’s worth mentioning that given LUSD’s liquidity on Mainnet it’s basically essential for there to be a fast bridge if this program were to go live. If a significant portion of the LUSD supply is on L2 and there is a period of sharp price volatility for ETH, liquidators may not be able to fully liquidate troves on L1 and the whole protocol would be at risk.

For context Synthetix had integrated an LUSD wrapper on Optimism for many months but had to eventually shut it down due to risk of cornering too much of the supply on L2 without fast bridging relief and risking the the possibility of Troves becoming under collateralized in a black swan event (or even just a market wide nuke like we saw in May and June).

cc @lefterisjp

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Thanks for the proposal @TokenBrice. Last time we reviewed Liquity, there was a huge 63.7% of the LQTY token reserved for team + insiders (reference from Liquity Medium article here) which raises concerns of centralization. Also increases risk of insiders making a nice buck when the lock-ups end. How do you see this?

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Hello @millie and @mm3729_PrimeRating, great questions! I’ll answer them in order.

This is a valid concern the team is not overlooking and partly why this proposal focuses a sizeable share of the OP budget on providing incentives for users providing LUSD liquidity to the mainnet bridge. We’re discussing with Hop protocol to examine how their solution might prove more efficient at ensuring balanced liquidity on both sides of the bridge at all times, although it comes with additional requirements. Finally, we’ve also slightly revised the budget to allocate more for the bridging incentives to ensure we have sufficient firepower if needed.

Since LQTY doesn’t have any governance capability, this is a non-issue, and there cannot be any centralization concerns stemming from this observation. I might also remind you that many of the protocols pleading for OP grants have a token with governance capability and similar ownership distribution, with a few actors able to be decisive in governance proposals. And to be sure we’re clear: this is not the case with Liquity since there is no governance.

The LQTY allocated to investors already unlocked last April, without any significant impact on LQTY’s price nor massive sell-off, demonstrating strong confidence of the investors that are not looking for a quick buck.

Meanwhile, the LQTY allocated to the team is under a 4 year vesting period, with no funds unlocked during the first year - meaning that team-owned LQTY barely started to unlock and won’t be fully liquid until 3 more years. Thus, a large share of the LQTY circulating today is made of the Community Allocation (mostly distributed to Stability Pool depositors), which was quite generous initially and progressively decreases.

I hope this post addresses your concerns, let me know if that is not the case.


I find this proposal reasonable, might need to be adjusted here and there, but most importantly is the message that Optimism can send to different ethereum-aligned communities by adopting/supporting (yet another) decentralized stablecoin.

howdy @TokenBrice , wanted to check your level of interest in proceeding here for this round

pinging @TokenBrice , new round coming up soon

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