Project name: Via Protocol
Author name and contact info (please provide a reliable point of contact for the project):
Matt | Via Protocol (Discord), Alpha_Omega_Cat (Telegram)
I understand that I will be required to provide additional KYC information to the Optimism Foundation to receive this grant: Yes
I understand that I will be expected to following the public grant reporting requirements outlined here: Yes
L2 recipient address: 0x1A27cdf069F2E8cc5b77b72BeA43851086aF5D83
Which Voting Cycle are you applying for?: 10
Which sub-committee should review your proposal? (Builders Grants, Growth Experiment Grants): Growth Experiment Grants
Project description (please explain how your project works): Via is a cross-chain liquidity aggregator that aims at solving much of the complexity of living in a multichain world by providing cheap, fast, and seamless any-to-any token swaps with a polished and intuitive interface with all info about built routes in one modal menu. Via Protocol is composed of two products: Via Router, Via SDK.
Via performs any-to-any swaps within 30 seconds after automatically scanning over 70 DEXs across 25 networks and 25 of the most popular cross-chain bridges. Unlike other aggregators, Via can automatically detect the fastest and cheapest swap routes, as well as let users sort swapping solutions by various criteria, including security. Finally, Via integrates Refuel for gas transfers across chains, which can further smoothen cross-chain operations.
Via has an SDK with plenty of ready-to-go and in-development phase integrations. Examples are Safe (ex-Gnosis Safe), Rubic, XY Finance, Rango, Pillar, Frontier, Trust Wallet, etc. Thanks to the Via SDK, these dApps enable their users to swap tokens effortlessly without having to use third-party solutions and interfaces.
Via Protocol is a cross-chain solution that stands out from the crowd thanks to the many measures taken to improve transparency and security. While Via’s security ultimately depends on the underlying bridges it carefully selects, there are some proactive measures that the team is taking to minimize risk for their users:
Active surveillance. Via employs watchdogs who monitor the transactions of all aggregated bridges and automatically disable those victims of hacks and those whose liquidity has dried up.
Track record. In the Via interface, users can see, for each swapping solution and related bridge, the success rate for the last ten transactions, as well as information about previous hacks or lack of liquidity.
Transparency. Via interface shows, for each available swapping solution and bridge, the degree of decentralization (fully centralized, semi-centralized, centralized), the number of audits that the bridge has undergone, and the presence of a centralized relayer in the route.
Smart sorting. All the security metrics that Via collects and displays are grouped together and used as criteria to filter among all available routing solutions, for an advanced sorting system that prioritizes security while guaranteeing a trouble-free user experience.
Discord/Discourse/Community: Via Protocol
Other relevant links (including any demos): Via Protocol · GitHub
Please link to any previous projects the team has meaningfully contributed to: Via team members have worked at or on some of these projects: Lido, zkSync, ClearPool, Polkadot, and Eywa.
Relevant usage metrics (TVL, transactions, volume, unique addresses, etc. Optimism metrics preferred; please link to public sources such as Dune Analytics, etc.): Metabase
Only Optimism Stats: November → January
16,000 Unique Optimism Users → 30,000
32,000 Optimism txs → 100,000
$158,000,000 Optimism Total Volume → 440,000,000
All Stats (all networks):
~50,000 Unique Users → >80,000
~100,000 Tx → 300,000
Bridges supported: 25
Networks / Chains: 25
DEXs: 70 → 72
Providers: 5 → 6
Competitors, peers, or similar projects (please link): LiFi, Socket, Rango.
Is/will this project be open sourced?: Yes
Optimism native?: No
Date of deployment/expected deployment on Optimism: 9/1/2021
What is the problem statement this proposal hopes to solve for the Optimism ecosystem?: Despite its exceptional technical performance, Optimism still lacks behind some L2s and other scaling solutions for the number of users, transaction volumes, and TVL. Of course, those numbers are steadily growing, but we think the root cause of this is the lack of an easy, fast, and cheap swapping solution between Optimism and other blockchains. Via can help Optimism reach mass adoption faster by providing a user-friendly entry point.
How does your proposal offer a value proposition solving the above problem?: Thanks to its suite of cross-chain solutions, Via Protocol can support Optimism’s push to mass adoption by making it easy for individual users and dApps to connect to Optimism and its vibrant ecosystem:
Router. Since Optimism is already supported by the router, Via is already contributing to providing a top-notch swapping solution for individual users who want to access, and interact with, the Optimism ecosystem.
Router SDK. By integrating the SDK directly, Optimism can further push adoption by being a great tool for integration into your dApp for a better UX
Why will this solution be a source of growth for the Optimism ecosystem?: Overall, Via can help Optimism’s push for mass adoption by providing cheap, fast, and intuitive swapping solutions from any chain with any token, thus ensuring a superior user experience and lowering barriers to entry in the Optimism ecosystem for any user and dApp in a short time. Thanks to its SDK, Via is uniquely well-positioned to connect OP to other protocols and dApps directly, making the onboarding of users even faster.
Has your project previously applied for an OP grant?: No
Number of OP tokens requested: 250000
Did the project apply for or receive OP tokens through the Foundation Partner Fund?: No
If OP tokens were requested from the Foundation Partner Fund, what was the amount?: No
How much will your project match in co-incentives? (not required but recommended, when applicable): Via will start our own campaign and will add ~20% of the requested money in USDC. And an additional 10% to 90% of the value of the rewards to users for initiative number two.
How will the OP tokens be distributed? (please include % allocated to different initiatives such as user rewards/marketing/liquidity mining. Please also include a justification as to why each of these initiatives align with the problem statement this proposal is solving.): Via will distribute 100% of the incentives to users. All incentives will be airdropped at the end of each month, and will be distributed through the following two initiatives:
1- 30% (75,000 $OP) - Swap Gas refunds for trades on Via router, for as long as there is money.
2- 70% (175,000 $OP) - Long-term stimulation for users to bridge to Optimism. Will be only available for bridging to Optimism ETH, Stable Coins, or OP (should be discussed).
Over what period of time will the tokens be distributed for each initiative? Shorter timelines are preferable to longer timelines. Shorter timelines (on the order of weeks) allow teams to quickly demonstrate achievement of milestones, better facilitating additional grants via subsequent proposals: 1 - Based on the number of swaps on the Router, and will be distributed every month at the end of the month, ~28-30th. It will last as long as OP incentives are available.
2 - Will be released at the same time as initiative number 1, and will last as long as OP incentives are available.
Please clearly define the milestones you expect to achieve in order to receive milestone based installments. Please consider how each milestone relates to incentivizing sustainable usage and liquidity on Optimism. Progress towards each milestone must be trackable:
#1 Gas Refunds
Amount of Gas Refunds (users): >50,000
#2 Long-Term Plan
Users bridged: 50,000
Volume of bridged asset: 50,000,000
Number of new users tried/ used/ deposited on Optimism: 25K
Connect our SDK to at least 3 projects and bridge them to OP
Why will incentivized users and liquidity on Optimism remain after incentives dry up?: ‘Come for the incentive. Stay for the network.’ This is what we think will happen. Thanks to Optimism’s grants, Via will be able to attract a lot of new users to Optimism and the amazing projects in its vibrant ecosystem, as the incentives it provides will let users try Optimism nearly for free. Optimism offers a fast-pace growing ecosystem of apps, most of which are already tested and trusted on Ethereum, for a fraction of the fees. All this, while inheriting the security of Ethereum itself. Via, for its part, provides users with the best routes in terms of speed, fees, and security. Also, Optimism can be used in Advanced Routes as a cheap and high-liquidity transit to other chains (this function is currently available only on Polygon and BNB). According to our data and research, providing an easy onboarding is effective in driving stable adoption, and these are some of the projects that users became accustomed to use after trying them through Via suite of products: Stargate, Aave aUSDC, Pika v2 and v3, SNX Pools and Dept, Rubicon, Uniswap pools (USDC-DAI), Clipper Exchange Pool, Across Protocol Pool, Velodrome Pool, Sonne, Quiotix.
Once discovered the endless possibilities of Optimism, and supported by Via’s suite of swapping tools, users will choose to stay.
Please provide any additional information that will facilitate accountability (smart contracts addresses relevant to the proposal, relevant organizational wallet addresses, etc.): We don’t have smart contracts live on router
Confirm you have read and agree to the Eligibility Restrictions (here): I have read the Eligibility Restrictions and agree to abide by their conditions