[READY][GF: Phase 1 Proposal] PayTrie - Stablecoin On/Off Ramp in Canada

Basic Details

Project name: PayTrie

Author name and contact info (please provide a reliable point of contact for the project.): Jason Tong - jason@paytrie.com

L2 recipient address: 0x5B5ECfc8122bA166b21d6Ea26268Ef97e09B2E9F

Which Voting Cycle are you applying for?:

Cycle 11: March 8, 2023

I confirm that I have read the landing pages for the Builders and Growth Experiments Sub-Committees and that I have determined my proposal is best suited to be reviewed by the Growth Experiments Sub-Committee: [Yes/No]:

Yes

I understand that Growth Experiments grants are subject to a “no sale rule,” as explained in this post , and I have read the terms of the rule: [Yes/No]:

Yes

Project Details

What are you building?:

PayTrie is a stablecoin on/off ramp serving users in Canada. We provide the quickest, easiest and cheapest way to buy/sell stablecoins. We currently support stablecoins on ERC-20, BEP-20, Polygon, Arbitrum and SportX networks. This is the first time that users can buy stablecoins in Canada directly on the network of their choice, without having to jump through hoops/bridging etc. We are looking to make on/off ramping stablecoins onto Optimism just as easy for Canadian users.

Why do you believe what you are building is going to succeed?:

PayTrie has successfully been operating in Canada over the past 3 years with the current business model. It is clear from the demand that we’re seeing on other stablecoins and networks, that users want an option to directly on-chain without having to jump through hoops. We are also the only option in Canada that does not custody users’ funds. We receive fiat and send out the stablecoins right away. We believe that this is the way that crypto should be bought and sold and we attract users who understand the importance of this.

How many users does your project have currently? Please include how you arrived at this estimate:

We are in the 5-figure range of users

How will receiving a grant enable you to further the mission of maximizing the number of users interacting with Optimism? Please include a step-by-step flow of how you imagine this grant can lead to a greater number of user interactions with Optimism:

An ecosystem is only as healthy as the on/off ramp solutions. This will allow Canadians to directly on-ramp onto Optimism and provide net-new liquidity to the network. This will also allow Optimism Developers to attract more Canadians, since devs will now have an easy solution for Canadians to on-ramp directly onto the Optimism L2. More devs = more users = more devs = more users, and the flywheel continues.

Tell us about the users you plan to target with this grant. Include any defining characteristics that will help you identify and target them.:

Our user base is more sophisticated and are more crypto-savvy types of users. We are not like other exchanges in Canada. We do not custody user’s funds. As such, the type of users end up being more crypto-savvy and care to understand the real use cases for crypto. This lends well to users who are looking for L2 solutions that solve real-world problems (versus users who are just buying and selling on an exchange).

How would these users interact with Optimism? For how long?:

Once they are on-ramped, they will continue to interact with Optimism for the foreseeable future. The toughest part is going from 0 to 1 (getting them in the ecosystem). We take care of that part, and the different apps and products on Optimism will take care of the rest. WIthout an on-ramp, apps on Optimism would not be able to exist.

Provide us with links to any of the following for the project:

Do you have any metrics on the project currently? (TVL, transactions, volume, unique addresses, etc. Optimism metrics preferred; please link to public sources such as Dune Analytics, etc.):

Our company started off as an on/off-ramp for stablecoins solely on the Ethereum network. We saw great traction but our users asked for options with lower gas fees. We expanded our offerings to include stablecoins on the BEP-20 network as well as stablecoins on the Polygon network. Since launching, we have on/off ramped 100M+ on BSC and $12M+ on Polygon. We have done all of this organically, without running any paid marketing. We look to take this success and replicate this on Optimism.

Who are your competitors, and are they on Optimism?:

Other exchanges in Canada (e.g. Newton, Shakepay). However, they are not a direct competitor because we are:

  1. Non-custodial.
  2. We only buy/sell stablecoins
  3. We support multiple networks and send funds directly on the users’ network of choice

Other exchanges might sell the OP token, but users will have a hard time getting the OP token off the exchange and actually interacting with the L2. We provide a solution that can get them directly on the L2.

Please link to code audits (if any): N/A

Team

Who are your founders?:

Kevin Zhang - Co-founder - A seasoned blockchain developer, and is the technical lead for Paytrie. Most recently, he served as a senior blockchain architect at ConsenSys where he led blockchain scaling for the firm. During his time at ConsenSys, Kevin built a number of proof of concepts for enterprise clients. Previous to ConsenSys, Kevin was the first technical staff on TD Bank’s blockchain team. Kevin also co-founded DFX Finance. Kevin graduated with an engineering degree from the University of Waterloo.

Henry Chan - Co-founder - Henry Chan serves as the operations and compliance lead for Paytrie. Henry most recently served as the Regional Director for ConsenSys Toronto. While at ConsenSys, Henry helped build out the WeiFund platform which launched the world’s first security token offering. Prior to ConsenSys, Henry co-founded Deloitte’s blockchain practice in Canada. Henry also Co-Founded DFX Finance. Henry graduated with an engineering degree from the University of Waterloo.

What makes your team well-suited to carry out the project described in this proposal?

We have successfully executed on this plan for other networks. We know that we can implement the same plan for Optimism.

Is this your first Web3 project?:

No

If not, what else have you built? (Share links, Github repository, or any other useful information.):

Grant Request

What is the size of the grant request? (250k OP max):

50000 OP

How do you justify the size of the grant?:

Similar grant to other networks that we worked with in the past

Roadmap and Distribution Plan

Describe in discrete steps how you will successfully implement your grant plan:

Once the grant is provided, PayTrie will allocate resources to start integrating Optimism on our platform. Our goal is to allow users to buy USDC on Optimism. Once this step is completed, we will start to market this to our existing users and to new users in Canada.

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. Distribution should not include the sale of any tokens by the grantee or the use of tokens for compensation, protocol expenses, etc. See the no sale rule here ):

PayTrie charges a low 0.6% flat fee per transaction. On a $1000 transaction, the fee would be $6. If we receive a grant, PayTrie could provide a fee refund for anybody who on-ramps USDC onto Optimism and would bring their effective fee to 0%. This will mean that users will be able to on-ramp directly onto Optimism for no fees. This will reduce the friction further and allow for higher volumes being on-ramped onto Optimism.

Over what period of time will the tokens be distributed for each initiative?:

We are looking to run this fee subsidy for the next 3-6 months.

Please provide benchmark milestones for this project. These milestones should guide the Optimism community on the progress of your project throughout your work on the project. Do not use distribution of the grant itself as a milestone:

Milestone 1 - PayTrie starts building & integrating to allow for buying/selling USDC on Optimism
Milestone 1A: - Verify PayTrie’s operational status

Milestone 2 (2-3 weeks) - PayTrie launches USDC on Optimism
Milestone 2A - Verify PayTrie’s operation status. If PayTrie ceases operations, additional grant funds should be returned to the foundation

Milestone 3 (3-6 months) - $5M of net-new funds on-ramped onto Optimism through PayTrie
Milestone 3A - Verify PayTrie’s operation status. If PayTrie ceases operations, additional grant funds should be returned to the foundation

Please define critical milestones for this project. Critical milestones are meant to show good-faith efforts to accomplish the project. Non-completion of these milestones could lead to revocation of remaining grant rewards. Do not use distribution of the grant itself as a milestone:

Critical Milestone 1 (Initial) - PayTrie starts building & integrating to allow for buying/selling USDC on Optimism. At this point the initial 40% is unlocked upfront.
Critical Milestone 2 (2-3 weeks) - PayTrie launches USDC on Optimism
Critical Milestone 3 (6 months) - $5M of net-new funds on-ramped onto Optimism through PayTrie. Our proposal would be to unlock 100% of the rest of the 60% according to the portion of net-new funds on-ramped. Given 50,000 tokens as the grant, 30,000 tokens would be available for distribution at Critical Milestone 3. If PayTrie hits $5M of net-new funds at the 6 month mark, then 100% of the 30,000 tokens would be distributed and made available for the next round of subsidies. If for example, only $4M of net-new funds have been on-ramped at the 6 month mark, then it would be 80% of the 30,000 tokens = 24,000 tokens would be distributed.

If the OP tokens are for direct distribution to users, why will incentivized users and liquidity on Optimism remain after incentives dry up?:

Once users are on-ramped, they are more likely to stay within the ecosystem. Once that initial friction is resolved, a user will be familiar with Optimism and continue to use the network. As more Canadians start using Optimism, they will also tell their friends and PayTrie will be there to on-ramp them.

PayTrie will also continue to market the availability of USDC on Optimism to our existing users. These are power users who are early adopters of Ethereum, Polygon and other networks. They will be able to learn the benefits of Optimism and choose to on-ramp onto Optimism.

Please provide any additional information that will facilitate accountability (smart contracts addresses relevant to the proposal, relevant organizational wallet addresses, etc.):

N/A

Optimism Relationship

Does your project solve a problem for the Optimism ecosystem? If so how?:

Yes, this solves the most important problem of getting users in the ecosystem. Without net-new funds/users coming into the ecosystem, there won’t be any real growth.

Why will this solution be a source of growth for the Optimism ecosystem?:

On-ramping is the only real source of growth for any ecosystem. As such, having an on/off ramp in Canada will make this ecosystem healthier.

Is your project Optimism Native?:

Yes, once we integrate with Optimism, we will be sending the stablecoins directly on the L2. The user will then be able to interact with Optimism natively.

Confirmations

I understand that I will be required to provide additional KYC information to the Optimism Foundation to receive this grant: [Yes/No]:

Yes

I understand that I will be expected to following the public grant reporting requirements outlined here: [Yes/No]:

Yes

2 Likes

Thank you for submitting this grant application! Throughout the application process, this forum thread will be one of the official means of communication. Please be sure to monitor it for updates over the course of the review period.

2 Likes

Question: How has CSA Staff Notice 21-332 affected Paytrie? Is your platform captured under that new requirement, and if so, do you anticipate continuing to operate under the PRU guidelines?

CC: @jasonpaytrie

Thanks for your question!

This is something that’s affecting the whole industry in Canada and we are continuing to engage with our principle regulator as needed and will continue with day-to-day operations.

Here’s an article for reference on what the overall industry is working towards: Crypto industry pushes back on stricter stablecoin rules | Financial Post

1 Like

Hello this is Doug from grants council, please note that while grant evaluations are being completed, the grant distribution process will proceed as follows:

If your grant plan is approved, you will receive 40% of the total funding. However, in order to receive the remaining funds, it is crucial that you meet certain critical milestones. We recommend that you carefully review your milestones and ensure that they are easily verifiable. In addition, if applicable, please be ready to provide documentation that demonstrates that the milestones have been met. This will help avoid any delays in disbursing the remaining funds.

If you feel confident that your milestones are achievable and verifiable, then no further action is required at this time.

I would like to request that you add a milestone to verify Paytrie’s operational status before any additional grant funding is received. This is necessary to ensure the ongoing functionality of Paytrie and the proper utilization of grant funds, given the legal implications of the CSA staff notice 21-332. in this milestone it should be included that if Paytrie ceases operations additional grant funds should be returned to the foundation.

@MoneyManDoug thanks for the additional clarity here. I just added this as part of each milestone as Milestone 1A, 2A and 3A. 1A would just be a check to verify operational status. 2A and 3A are both checks of operation status but includes a stipulation if PayTrie ceases operations, additional funds will be returned to the foundation.

2 Likes

The development of Stablecoin protocols, in my opinion, is a key moment for the development of the Optimism ecosystem

What are the expected outcomes and benefits of the fee subsidy program in the next 3-6 months?

Hey congratulations on your grant thus far, needed a bit more clarity on your critical milestones as of now you have these selected “critical Milestone 1 - PayTrie starts building & integrating to allow for buying/selling USDC on Optimism
critical Milestone 2 (2-3 weeks) - PayTrie launches USDC on Optimism” you already have these in your benchmarks so you should select new critical’s, please also add correlated dates to the critical’s and benchmarks keep in mind the critical milestones act as a trigger for unlocking the remaining 60% of your grant while the initial 40% is unlocked upfront.

1 Like

I updated our critical milestones to correlate with the unlocking of the rest of the 60% here. Let me know if this makes sense. If not, I can adjust. Thanks again for your feedback throughout this process!

Critical Milestone 1 (Initial) - PayTrie starts building & integrating to allow for buying/selling USDC on Optimism. At this point the initial 40% is unlocked upfront.
Critical Milestone 2 (2-3 weeks) - PayTrie launches USDC on Optimism
Critical Milestone 3 (6 months) - $5M of net-new funds on-ramped onto Optimism through PayTrie. Our proposal would be to unlock 100% of the rest of the 60% according to the portion of net-new funds on-ramped. Given 50,000 tokens as the grant, 30,000 tokens would be available for distribution at Critical Milestone 3. If PayTrie hits $5M of net-new funds at the 6 month mark, then 100% of the 30,000 tokens would be distributed and made available for the next round of subsidies. If for example, only $4M of net-new funds have been on-ramped at the 6 month mark, then it would be 80% of the 30,000 tokens = 24,000 tokens would be distributed.

1 Like

A quick update here. We launched the ability for users to buy and sell USDC on Optimism on May 31.

We have seen a modest uptick of on-ramping with our existing users and have on-ramped net new ~24k USDC so far on Optimism.

Our first OP distribution is upcoming at the end of the month.

We are working on a new incentive program to incentivize our existing users to refer other potential OP users to sign up to our platform and transact.

Optimism Launch (1)

Is there an avenue to get co-marketing support (e.g. Tweets/Discord from OP official accounts) to let Canadians know about our new on-ramping solution?

1 Like