I like to speak about interesting, and sometimes complex and hard to grasp, areas of crypto and DeFi whilst using specific projects as examples; as a writer, it helps show the reader a new technical or financial concept with the protocol as a living reference.
So with this article, I want to partly address the current beaten-down landscape of decentralised reserve currencies/OHM forks/(3, 3), and contrast it to a unique, new style of decentralised treasury emerging from TridentDAO.
*For full disclosure, I will be acting as an advisor for TridentDAO: I have seen the potential this protocol has, and from talking to their team (a lot…) I think we can steer this project to greatness*
The Current Landscape -
After the past year, we have definitely reached peak saturation with any useless and/or directionless decentralised reserve currencies (the keywords are useless and directionless here). There are a few outliers that have done okay within their respective ecosystems, but almost all have converged to zero. Some of the project treasuries have been used to develop other newer projects - a development I like to see, but these are very few and far between.
For example, Magnet DAO (Avalanche) has since gone on to bootstrap the development of Vector Finance - a much needed additional layer on top of Platypus Finance - and my anecdotes end there, unfortunately. There are murmurs of future developments from the ohm-fork crowd, but I’ll believe it when I see it.
We have seen the whole cycle of projects financially bootstrapping through bonding current successful tokens, and we can safely list a few lessons learned:
- The higher the emissions, the quicker it dies (obviously).
- Project/token utility is a MUST
- Bonding is by far the most effective treasury bootstrapping mechanism in DeFi
- Treasuries can be used for good (if the team is legit)
- People don’t understand basic supply and demand…
- People get angry when price-go-down…
- People need to educate themselves more…
Very few projects in this realm have direction. Roadmaps can often be a meme but at the same time, if teams deliver on their promises, regardless of how ridiculous they are, it is super bullish. People who talk game and don’t get anything done don’t deserve your hard-earned cash; back legit teams and you will be rewarded.
For a treasury to be sustainable, in the very early days, it must be fed. How do you encourage the treasury to build up? High bonding discount, high-yet-sustainable APYs and an active team/community. I sometimes have no idea what certain OHM forks think they are playing at with their bonding mechanism, risk-free value and longevity (runway).
People need to buy into the vision. People aren’t going to bond, particularly for 5-days (which some people think is a long term hold in crypto) if there are no certainties at the end of the week about the short and long term direction of the project/token. Degens will snipe the token listing and use it for a quick trade, or instead rinse the high APY for a few days/hours before dumping.
The only way to stop this?... Apes need to be too scared to sell early based on the project's potential - if your project is a cash grab, then you will not survive using the bonded treasury dynamic, simple…
Once a treasury is built and generates a sufficient roadmap runway, these projects can tailor their bonding/minting discounts based on how they want to proceed. By continuing to build protocol-owned liquidity (POL), they gain discounted gas fees for their home chain, plus liquidity strength in a stablecoin (preferably decentralised).
Using Trident DAO launching on Harmony as an example, their bonding would be PSI-ONE and PSI-FRAX. This draws in deep liquidity for the protocol, earning them a steady stream of passive incooooooom whenever their project's token is traded. Another important aspect of POL is that this liquidity helps with slippage and price impact if those paper-handed individuals decide to sell while favouring those who want to buy.
Likewise, there can also be some whale-inspired fuckery that occurs when you own all the liquidity: you start deep, enable people to enter with low slippage, remove some of the liquidity to encourage larger price swings, then re-add liquidity to stabilise the price once you are comfortable - I’m not saying this is best practice but this happens, a lot.
The most important aspect is, as usual, the community… Olympus, Wonderland, Hector, Invictus and (unfortunately) Snowbank all have/had a very strong community at their core.
Memes, shit posting, threads, articles, active Discord and Telegram, Twitter Spaces, AMAs, community calls and contributions are all structurally important for the success of any project. This is particularly crucial for a protocol that relies on a strong (3, 3) group hodl concept from game theory. So, if you are part of a project, do your bit and don’t be passive: any contribution is welcomed.
Also, with the team as a part of the community, you best know (even at a pseudo level) who you are backing. Don’t back little b*tches and with regards to Snowbank, don’t give them a second chance. There are legit teams with your best interest at heart out there - support them when you find them.
With all these keynotes in mind, I want to talk about TridentDAO, which I believe is going to get it right. In fact, I believe they are answering all my concerns about the current landscape…
TridentDAO is a decentralised reserved currency project built on Harmony. By now I think everyone in DeFi is reasonably well versed in how this will work, which is great, we are evolving *as one*.
PSI will be the native token that can be purchased at a discounted price through a bonding mechanism. From what I understand, FRAX-PSI, ONE-PSI, FRAX AND ONE will be taken in by the treasury to release PSI to those who bond.
Treasury and Plans -
Monolith, the young prodigy who is spearheading TridentDAO (no pun intended), has a strong gaming background and is seeking to play on the GameFi narrative that the Harmony blockchain cemented through projects like DeFi Kingdoms. Immediately from our conversation, there is a vision of how the treasury funds can be utilised to expand on this idea of what an OHM fork can be.
Using bonded treasury funds to create a GameFi experience on top of a decentralised reserve currency resonates with an already active community participating in the ecosystem. Obviously out of the gates it is going to be a work in progress, and the team not only understands this but uses it as their domain.
So yes - TridentDAO is an OHM fork. However, unlike the vast majority of OHM forks, there is a direct vision already being implemented, which I find refreshing.
From the get-go, TridentDAOs gamified bonding mechanism will be implemented - no bonding unless you beat the boss…. Yup, you heard that right. And special incentives for the first 100 bonders to beat the Kracken (who kicked my ass for the last 48 hours… The initial bonding game is great - pretty tough for a boomer like me but I will beat that bastard, eventually)
Go check it out here at https://trident.game/#/game
After… as always…
This appeal to gamers shakes out the plebs who bond for a discount with no immediate or long term interest in the project, and only in it for price action - there are plenty of projects out there for people paper hand, but this ain’t one of those. The bonding game is just a small taste of what is yet to come.
A PvP game is scheduled to be released in the first month with what they describe as risk-to-earn… Why? Well, the team isn't happy with the current play-to-earn model and thinks it is flawed and a new model they have created will be much more sustainable.
Additionally, the game will be free to play, and the no-barrier-to-entry is essential to the team ethos. A lot of GameFi projects out there are very whale-friendly and exclusionary to the smaller fish. Atlantis is for everyone.
A lot of the GameFi projects can be categorised as labour-intensive yield farming but in this new GameFi iteration, players can challenge others or even spectate and wager PSI on PvP games to earn additional PSI. A small portion of the wager will be taken and burnt, pushing the project towards linear deflation with network effects.
The game itself is going to be a duel/fencing game, with multiple options to attack, along with full UI; you can walk around and talk to all the NPCs and explore the game etc.
For a full game mechanics breakdown head to: https://medium.com/@Trident_GameFi/economic-policy-and-roadmap-elaborated-96aa209c0ae5
The Tidemaster will help you stake your PSI tokens… how cool is this haha.
Free NFTS?! -
Yes, the team will be giving away cosmetic NFTs for the in-play characters, this will be hosted on Ethereum as this is the motherland of NFTs. I'm under the impression the NFTs won't give any specific benefits to the characters - again playing on the idea that the team don’t want whales to monopolies the game, and it’s strictly cosmetic.
5% royalty for secondary sales will occur, 2.5% going to the treasury and 2.5% will go to the team wallet. I think this is fair and they probably could have taken more if I am honest - all the developments have been released for nearly a whole year sans VC funding, and the DAO won’t have to sell their PSI tokens thanks to this royalty. I like it.
But, it won’t always be PvP, the foundations of a 2-D PvE game are already in the works. Monolith has created the characters, written the dialogue/storyline, and all the NPCs have their own thing going on.
Wen and Y, DEX?
Yes, the platform will slowly develop into a one-stop-shop for DeFi. Remember when I said it is vital to have utility and an actual roadmap? Well, the team understands this and has already put the plans in place to put their protocol owned liquidity to use on their own DEX.
It will be interesting to see this play out as the network effects of the game grow as more and more users head to the DEX to trade PSI and other tokens, resulting in further PSI being bought on the market and burnt. Interesting…
PSI token inflationary though?
Well friends, yes but also no. This is the part where you pay attention to the utility of the PSI token: All in-game mechanics lead to deflationary pressures on the PSI token, which is great and very much needed.
So, what happens when the project goes cross-chain? More specifically, to Avalanche… even more specifically, to its own subnet?
Well, you see, Axie fucked up really with their SLP token which should have been the gas token on the ronin network. Trident won’t make this mistake. PSI, can, should and will be used as the gas token on its own subnet - now we are talking!
This is the first real use case for a project that utilises bonding and inflation that I have seen, and it makes an awful lot of sense… I believe we will see a lot of other GameFi projects go down this route soon too.
So, I suppose the meta would be to bond/stake and forget about it to own all the PSI shekels of the game and be a ruler in Atlantis once the AVAX subnet is live.
From being a long-term lurker in their Discord it is kind of obvious that there is a super-strong foundation here. The memes, profile pictures, gifs, sticker sets and exclusive language are all nods to the fact that people are on board here, myself included. This act of togetherness in these protocols is very, very important (it's a game), and the way a GameFi community interacts with each other is a sign of the longevity of the project itself.
I’m going to pick up some PSI through WL. I am also going to feed the bonding machine with the most favourable discount to increase the treasury. When I take a position in a project I will do everything in my power to help the team out with advice, education and just general shit posting.
I encourage everyone to do the same for their respective investments - there are a lot of people who just sit on the sidelines and passively expect riches and rewards to come their way. Funnily enough, these are also the same kind of people who get really aggressive in Telegram and Discord groups when their investment doesn’t go as planned… NGMI.
I expect the APY to be great but I don’t necessarily anticipate it to be anything like Galaxy Goggle or a case of “APY too Big” and this isn’t what I’d be looking to invest in. I want longevity, a sustainable runway and a fat treasury.
Stake it till we make it.
So, the TLDR is: Trident is going to be risk-to-earn GameFi with DeFi as the underlying layer. Keep a close eye on the developments as and when they happen. Jump into their Discord and you will be the first to hear - I may or may not have heard that their plans are not just restricted to the game and building a treasury. I could be wrong here so take what I say with a pinch of salt as always because I am literally an idiot.
Final Thoughts -
I think it is great when founders reach out and explain what they are working on, I much prefer it to a cold DM with lots of emojis asking me if I can shill their project for a whitelist. This isn’t how I work and never will be. It's not worth putting my name and people who follow the blocmates community at risk.
As a side note, I was kind of blown away that the team members are younger than myself and are building something so cool. I can’t even imagine what I was up to at their age, probably drunk in a pub somewhere in the North East of England.
I have tried and tested so so so so so so so many OHM forks; a lot of money was made and a lot of money lost too. I think Trident has something good here, hence me covering it and jumping on as an advisor. They address the current issues with a lot of the cash grabs that typically position a project to move forward and succeed. Bonding/minting is a supercharged way for global fundraising. The DAO on top of that is the finishing touch.
As always don’t take this as financial advice, I am just writing this to let people know what I am doing and my thoughts on the current landscape.
Also please don’t take this as an article encouraging you to invest in something if you 1. Don’t believe in it, 2. Don’t understand the mechanics and 3. Want to use me and the team as an excuse if anything goes wrong. You are only as good as your own investment decisions.
TridentDAO Resources -
Synapse : https://synapseprotocol.com/
Harmony One : https://bridge.harmony.one/tokens
blocmates links -
Personal telegram - @blocmates
blocmates - https://www.patreon.com/blocmates
Personal Discord - blocmates#0001