Proposal to use Sablier for streaming grants, airdrops, and vesting plans


I am opening a discussion about the prospect of using Sablier for distributing Optimism’s grants, airdrops, and vesting plans using token streams. Streaming provides a superior user experience for all parties.

What is Sablier?

Sablier is a token streaming protocol available on eight chains, including Optimism. It is the first of its kind to have ever been built in web3, tracing its origins back to 2019. Today, hundreds of organizations like ShapeShift, Nouns DAO, VitaDAO, and Reflexer use Sablier for vesting, payroll, airdrops, and more. In total, more than 40k Sablier streams have been created.

The Sablier protocol features a streaming model Lockup, in which the sender locks up a specified amount of ERC-20 tokens in a contract. The contract progressively allocates the funds to the designated recipient, who can access them as they become available over time. The streaming rate is influenced by various factors, including the start and end times, as well as the total amount of assets locked up.

Sablier on Optimism

We deployed Sablier V1 to Optimism in March 2022, and Sablier V2 in July 2023. Since then, these two deployments have processed >4,500 transactions.

Exactly Protocol is an Optimism-based lending protocol that has recently used Sablier for its airdrop with over 24k eligible recipients.We wrote a full case study about it on our blog.

What problems does token streaming solve?

Traditional grant payments and vesting plans suffer from three key problems.

  1. Payments need to be made manually over a long period of time, requiring ongoing efforts from the treasury management team. Conversely, Sablier streams only have to be set up once. You just have to provide the total duration of the stream (can be a month, a year, or even multiple years) and that’s it. There’s no further action needed from you again, ever, unless you want to cancel the stream.
  2. Discrete payments lack transparency because it’s hard to aggregate them. When the tokens are streamed, anyone can check the Sablier interfaces to monitor the status of a stream and all transactions associated to it.
  3. Since traditional vesting contracts have a predictable release schedule, the day on which a vesting period ends may be used as a Schelling point for speculators. Certain recipients may intend on dumping their tokens as soon as they receive them. With streams, recipients receive a fraction of the total payment every second and can thus withdraw a portion of funds at any time — in effect, this solves the dumping problem.

Why should Optimism use Sablier?

Sablier is entirely free to use, has no token, and is a proven solution with a TVL of $105M+ according to DefiLlama.

The features offered by Sablier are a great fit for the time-lock requirement of some OP grants:

  • End-to-end user experience: we offer a platform for both senders and recipients to monitor and manage their outgoing and incoming streams. Every stream is associated with a unique link, which makes it easy to share the status of a stream with other people.
  • Flexibility: the payment granularity can be continuous (every second), discrete (every day, every week, etc.), or even non-linear (exponential, logarithmic, etc.). Cliffs are supported. Advanced payment schemes, such as back-loaded vesting, can be created with LockupDynamic.
  • Batch: it is possible to create up to ~100 streams with one transaction.
  • Cancelability: streams can be either cancelable or non-cancelable. If cancelable, the sender can recover the unstreamed funds in case an employee/contributor leaves or if certain KPIs aren’t met while the stream is still running.
  • Transferability: every stream is wrapped in an NFT owned by the recipient. The NFTs are visually represented on-chain generated hourglass SVGs.
  • Flexibility: streams can by created via our interface, by manually calling our contracts], or via our Safe multisig app, making Sablier a great fit for any set up.


Sablier is a protocol that has stood the test of time and that can provide DAOs like yours with a great web3-native solution for paying out grants, airdrops, and vesting plans. We would love for you to become a Sablier user.

Thank you for considering us.


  • See all relevant links on Linktree
  • TVL of $105M+ according to DefiLlama across all versions of the Sablier protocol, as of August 18, 2023.
  • Security: two audits from Cantina, plus five other audits from individual auditors and other auditing firms. Sablier has been around since 2019 with 0 hacks and a cumulative TVL of over $1.5B. We obsess over testing and security, and value code consistency and best practices.
  • Fees: similar to Uniswap, there is a built-in protocol fee that is currently set to zero. We have no plans to adjust it any time soon, as we are focusing on growth and will be for a long while. If we ever do adjust the protocol fee, it will be applied only to new streams (the fee is paid when creating the stream), not the ones previously created.
  • Control: Sablier is a completely permissionless protocol for token streaming. There are some peripheral parameters that can be configured through a multisig, but the core part of the protocol is decentralized and non-upgradeable. Crucially, we have no access to user funds. See our governance page in the docs for more info.