[READY][GF: Phase 1 Proposal] Velodrome Finance

Thank you kind ser! We may still make an adjustment or two so will circle back with you to re-approve if so. :slight_smile:

@GFXlabs @katie

So on the note of creating some sort of staging for the grant, we’ve got an idea for you that if successful could potentially serve a good model for future large grants as well.

Option 1:

  • Keep grant amount the same, but only deliver half the funds up front
  • Add requirement for a full report on efficacy at the 2.5 month mark to be submitted directly to governance
  • Upon delivery of that report, open a 2w window where anyone in governance can raise a proposal that upon two delegate approvals can proceed direct to snapshot to suspend further grant payments
  • If none are submitted, funding continues


  • Keep grant amount the same, but only deliver half the funds up front
  • Add requirement for a full report on efficacy at the 2.5 month mark to be submitted directly to governance
  • The committee overseeing defi grants is given is given an opportunity to approve or deny the next payment
  • Approval does not require a snapshot confirmation, but denying it does

Overall, what we’re trying to get at here is a way to limit the rather intensive work required with a full new grant application (we’ve spent a lot of time on this that might be better focused elsewhere :wink: ) while still giving governance the power to exercise more oversight.

It also has the benefit to conveying to partners a more sustained incentive plan is likely so they can plan accordingly, but makes clear to them what would result in it’s being not being continued.

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Even if the approach is novel and there’s maybe not an alternative model that feels more reasonable, then I was only pointing out that the provided data (in this case the percentages that justify the size of the grant) should still be looked at critically. The information in that section is skewed due to not all projects being in comparable stages of using their grants.

I am an Optimism user that wishes the best for the network. But you are right in the sense that I do have my concerns about the feasibility of Velodrome’s low-fee model for all pairs generating enough revenue to be sustainable in the long-term when extra incentives (such as OP grants) stop. In my opinion different assets with different volatilities and liquidities should have different fees to be serve the market. But this is not the point of this discussion, I just want the possibility for other models to also thrive on the network.

I have not objected the fact that the priority is on growing the entire ecosystem and attracting liquidity into the network. We all probably also agree that healthy competition between different projects only strengthens and livens the network. I believe this could be potentially hindered by one of the competitors receiving substantially larger grants in comparison.

Thank you for the thoughtful compromise. Speaking on behalf of myself, not Defi Committee A, I really like the first option you outlined. This is a great way to monitor grant performance and still include governance in the decision making process. This same model could also be used for projects requesting large grants in the future.

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The Velodrome team has masterfully and thoughtfully built out what has quickly become the lodestone of liquidity infrastructure on Optimism. In the face of monumental growth, they continue to demonstrate attention to the individual needs of dozens of disparate protocols on Optimism.

This proposal reflects their deep understanding of capital efficiency and cross-protocol dynamics as it relates to ecosystem growth.


I’m a delegate with enough voting power Delegate Commitments - #136 by jackanorak and i think this is ready for a vote

EDIT: not sure, this could be against the rules – we’ll find someone else


@Katie @mastermojo

We’ve added the section on staging the grant. Would you be willing to approve to move to the review phase?

I am an Optimism delegate [Delegate Commitments - #18 by katie] with sufficient voting power and I believe this proposal is ready to move to a vote.


I am one of the Synthetix Ambassadors and a member of the Defi Shadow Committee.

I am an Optimism delegate [Delegate Commitments - #65 by mastermojo ] with sufficient voting power, and I believe this proposal is ready to move to a vote.

Reposting encase I need to.


It sounds like we agree we’ve presented the most “reasonable” model for evaluating the relative grant sizes.

This presumes the impact of grants is cumulative, which is not something we’ve seen born out consistently in the data. If you have data that suggests they are, please share it. The data is not skewed, it presents the most comprehensive view of grants relative to KPIs to date and helps us in beginning to use a more consistent and quantitative approach when evaluating asks.

If any other DEX approaches governance with $6.5 million in co-incentives and a demonstrated track record of delivering 2x-3x return the investment of previous grants they should get grants that reflect that. If not, they should be lower proportionally to what they are offering and have demonstrated.

Governance isn’t here dole out equal grants to every project in a category, they are here to drive exponential ecosystem growth. We’ve shown we can do that. Other protocols have the same opportunity.

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Thanks for the really informative proposal. It’s clear the team translated the Grant from the Partner Fund into an awesome amount of growth.

To date, 47.7 million OP was distributed through grants, and 4 million OP is 1.72% of the entire Governance Fund. With that context, the amount is large.

That’s where I agree with this from @GFXlabs, although not with the solution they propose.

The revision with some of the grant amount unlocked later is a good improvement, but it’s not clear to me that Velodrome now needs more OP incentives than it received when it was getting started.

I would have the same hesitation if Aave drafted a proposal requesting more than the 5 million OP they received from the Partner Fund, despite their program’s massive success for the entire Optimism ecosystem.


Why is 1.72% of the entire Governance Fund too large in your mind? Of grantee protocols we represent protocols about 10% of TVL, 12% of volume, 16% of transactions, and 13% of users.

What feels like a appropriate ask to you?

The underlying value of the incentives is actually pretty much equal to the prior grant and is focused on extending the incentive programs that have driven a 2x-3x ROI, reduced ecosystem costs by 30%-70%, and onboarded 30 new protocols. It isn’t so much a question of “does Velodrome need the grant”, it is a matter of “does the ecosystem need to continue to grow at this pace and are incentives on Velodrome one of the best ways to do it?”

I think the answer to both of those questions is clearly yes.


Pablo from Angle Protocol here! Just want to praise the quality of the Velodrome team and say that they’ve literally been the facilitators of the growth of Angle on Optimism.

Goes without saying that I fully support this proposal


I am not one for long winded governance debates and even knowingly sat out on the Overtime discussion even though I sit on the Thales Council. To me, the less said the better and many people smarter than I am perfectly argued the details of that proposal for a successful outcome.

That being said, I feel compelled to point out this statement from Alex because I feel the Velodrome ROI is in a class of it’s own and I want voters to understand what’s at stake. I get the hesitance towards a relatively new bribing system that brands itself as a “public good”. However, the system is working and it’s currently providing multiple protocols the opportunity to have deep liquidity for a fraction of the cost elsewhere. An approved grant to velodrome is like granting the entire ecosystem imo… which is what we are set out to do.

Is the flywheel sustainable? Idk. But the potential reward (with data to back projections) certainly seems worth the risk. That’s why I feel the proposed staging option that Alex proposed (w/ Katie’s support) is the best way to go about this proposal.

My stance on this topic is only my personal opinion and does not reflect anyone else.


Hey there,

Personally I would like to see Velodrome survive without incentives.

My understanding is, the 1.5 Million allocation is for locked up velo. Which seems like the incentive is designed for buy pressure on your token ‘velo’. This is not what this fund is for and previous proposals were slammed for an incentive mechanism like this.

Do you agree that this incentive will directly increase the price of Velo?

Very well written proposal with substantial data to support the ask.

I think it goes without saying that Velodrome has been a critical contributor to Optimism’s growth. They seem to be continuously engaged with protocols not yet on Optimism, and are the only grant recipient I know of that have taken on the voluntary burden of being an unofficial ambassador for the ecosystem. I think this deserves recognition. Several of these protocols who moved to Optimism are posting in this thread in support of the proposal.

While this thread has clearly not avoided standard online forum shenanigans, I urge any voters to not miss the forest for the trees. At the current time Velodrome is the very definition of critical infrastructure to Optimism, and the way the $OP incentives flow, both from the prior grant and as proposed, support the whole ecosystem of participants.

I am in agreement with @ramblers99’s comments.

I believe the ask amount is appropriate and I like the two-phase compromise.


Glad to see this proposal from Velodrome Finance. Clearly one of the main contributors of growth for the Optimism ecosystem, which is demonstrated throughout different data points.
From the voice of a regular Optimism user, I would like to see this proposal move forward to a vote.

Why? Velodrome would survive just fine without incentives. It is the rate of ecosystem growth that would suffer. The cost of liquidity incentives would increase, putting strain on ecosystem treasuries. Projects would need to increase the rate at which they are spending their granted OP to close the gap, depleting governance funds faster and increasing OP sell pressure. And it’d make it harder for new projects to bootstrap and onboard, slowing the growth in economic activity and losing builders to other networks.

It would also put Governance in an awkward position where it is directing millions in incentives to multi-chain DEXs worth billions of dollars that are offering somewhere between $0 to a few hundred thousand in co-incentives, while passing on their only homegrown public good DEX’s offer to pump another $6.5mm in stimulus into the ecosystem.

According to the data shared by the Foundation on the Governance Grants to date, Velodrome actually attracted more TVL growth ($66mm) than all the governance grants combined ($60mm). Velodrome did this with a grant of 3mm in OP compared to the 40mm OP distributed by governance. You are essentially suggesting ending the most successful ecosystem growth program funded to date.

You are referring to the “lock bonus” here. The purpose of it is made explicit in the proposal, namely to lower barriers of entry for protocols seeking to invest and build in the Optimism ecosystem.

From the proposal:

To onboard new protocols to the Optimism ecosystem during uncertain times and in the face of competing incentives, we must ensure that they are able to bootstrap their liquidity in the most cost-effective method possible. At the same time, these incentives should be paired with mechanisms that require protocols to meaningfully invest in the ecosystem for the long term and thus discourage mercenary and exploitative behaviors.

Incentivizing the acquisition and locking of veVELO is an ideal strategy in this regard, as it requires a multi-year lock of capital in the ecosystem to receive the lock bonus and access Velodrome’s voting and revenue generation capabilities. It is to our knowledge the only currently running incentive program that requires the locking of capital in the Optimism ecosystem. Incentivizing locking lowers the underlying costs of building an initial veVELO position (by an average of ~25% ) while simultaneously giving any protocol the power to direct emissions and attract liquidity for the long term.

Whereas other incentives programs, particularly proposed by DEXs, focus on direct rewards to liquidity providers who have demonstrated a willingness to quickly exit ecosystems when they taper, this locking incentive requires protocols to lock their investment into ecosystem for four years to access the bonus. Indeed, it has already helped lead to $11.2mm (70% of all supply) being locked in the ecosystem for an average of 3.6 years, a feat we have not seen repeated by any other ecosystem incentive program and that isn’t currently possible for protocols like Curve who require you stake on mainnet.

These locked positions further increase the capital efficiency of their incentive programs, reduce the need for protocols to rely on external incentives (such as OP) long term, and actually drive revenue back to them (at a pace of over $10M a year returned to lockers atm).

If there are indeed second order positive effects on token price, it only would only serve to accelerate a flywheel designed to support the ecosystem: further lowering costs, deepening liquidity, increasing volume, attracting users, delivering more revenue to protocols.

In short, the more protocols locking value into the ecosystem the better off the ecosystem will be.

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I think it would be helpful to evaluate what Velodrome’s “competitors” have received vs. what Velodrome has received. That could help people put in perspective the ask.

I don’t have a complete list, but this is what I came up with off the top of my head. Can (edit) if needed.

Uniswap - 1m OP - Partner Fund
xToken/Gamma/Uni v3 Staker - 1m OP - Governance Fund
Revert - 240k OP - Governance Fund

Curve - 1m OP
Arrakis - 500k OP

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Thanks for the response @alexcutlerdoteth
this wall of text as a response is not necessary

I take it this was the response for my Question

I feel I should ask it again… but I digress It is Obviously going to have a direct impact on the price of your token.

I fear Velo would end up relying too heavily on this Fund creating an even bigger problem in the future. whereby without additional funding would lead to a collapse that would hurt the whole Optimism ecosystem, effectively holding us ransom. In my view this is not sustainable growth

Definition of sustainable growth
refers to “the maximum growth rate that a company can sustain without having to increase financial leverage.”

This is my point we can’t be expected to " pump another $Xmm in stimulus into the ecosystem" every time the incentives dry up It’s just not sustainable…

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