A look back at Era 1
The yAxis story was split into four Eras. Era 1 runs from April 17th — July 17th. Era 2 will span July 18th — October 16th.
With just a few days until Era 2 begins, let’s reflect on the last few months.
Whilst the Canonical Vaults were still being developed, our primary aim was to establish the brand of yAxis, start a history of stewarding user funds, and growing the community base.
Three months has flown by! What went well, what didn’t? General commentary and statistics below.
On April 17th we switched from YAX to the ERC-677 YAXIS token. This was a major upgrade and competitive advantage. ERC-677 is an evolved token standard that amongst other things, allows us to perform a ‘transferAndCall’ function. This means we don’t need a prior transaction to approve staking.
We had an ambitious emission schedule to match our roadmap. From April 18th we started at a 1m token supply, and at the end of Era 1 we have roughly 2.5m tokens in circulation. To fuel this, rapid development and community growth was needed.
Our plan initially worked as the the high APY on offer brought a lot of new capital into the project, followed by TVL into the vault.
A downside of having a token swap was a group of pre-existing large (!) holders who used the Era 1 launch as a chance to exit, churning 35% of supply within a week. That knocked a lot of confidence in the market and had a domino effect on other holders.
Outside of that, the trends we’ve seen are that the majority of stakers are holding, compounding their stacks ever higher — whilst the majority of USD Vault users have been locking profits in.
Going into Era 2, we have some important decisions to make regarding future emission schedules. You can read more and contribute to that discussion over on the forum.
Before we launched Era 1, the Metavault secured just $2m TVL. USD vaults are highly competitive, and without emissions we didn’t have an attractive enough product at the time to lure users across.
What we delivered was a double-audited, secure and conservative product to safeguard funds. This is often underrated in the industry with a very risk-on DeFi environment. Chasing this user base is not sustainable however, so the strategy was and is to build towards a product that professional entities would feel comfortable depositing into.
yAxis has been successfully operating vaults for 9 months without any loss of funds.
As Era 1 began, we added tokens on top of the vault strategies, creating artificially high returns that brought in a peak of $250m TVL.
We’ve since seen TVL leave as the price came under pressure and APY dropped. It reinforces that we cannot maintain this user base long-term, those who constantly rotate capital into the newest farms with highest APYs.
To date, the TVL has bought back 22,700 YAXIS tokens.
Marketing / Awareness
The Era artwork, roadmap and vision performed strongly for us. We’ve received lots of positive feedback. Shout out to @ammytools who has been behind the art.
The team has focussed on Twitter and Discord. We’ve grown Twitter to 7008 followers, and Discord with 3370 members. In Era 2 we’re looking into Reddit as an additional channel for us.
We were fortunate to get picked up by a number of large crypto accounts on Twitter and Youtube which drove awareness for us in the early days. It’s also valuable to have the search results full of videos and posts.
The initial hurdle to overcome was the confusion over the YAX->YAXIS swap. We leveraged community button hunts to get added to all the major DeFi sites such as DeFi Pulse, CoinGecko, 1inch, Messari, Zapper, DeFi Llama etc.
The Winter Stash was a way to reward our stakers and help them build their stacks. We’ve added two tranches of tokens to both the Staking and Uniswap LP.
The Great Harvest was announced soon after the start of Era 1. It was essentially a huge airdrop to those staked through Era 1. After community feedback it evolved into a part drop, but mostly vested rewards through the gauges. This happens in August.
Ya Herd? The Weekly Yax.
We wanted a way to keep the communications high and interactive with the community. Every week, we host a podcast and live AMA session followed by a summarising blog post. We’ve covered many different topics over the months and its been a fun way to get to know each other.
To keep community engagement high, we presented a series of design contests to create NFTs, Hoodies and a physical yAxis coin!
Over the last few months, we’re fortunate to have had some excellent contributions. Notably the Dune Analytics dashboard and Staking calculator by @ sh4dow, and lately the ‘Paperhands’ tracker for the Great Harvest eligibility by @ Haradasiegel.
Crypto can be brutal going through such volatile market cycles. Soon after launch in late April, we saw a heavy market correction to Bitcoin/Ethereum which particularly affected DeFi.
Whilst in January ‘21 everyone and their dog quadrupled in price without discernible progress, in May most of DeFi took a 70–80% hit without cause.
The market continues to impact our token price and again highlights the importance to move away from our current reliance on emissions.
Gas Prices spiked and made it harder to compound rewards for a while until prices settled down.
The highest the team has been quoted to claim rewards is $163, against the lowest of just $1.87.
Harvests have similarly been expensive, with the highest being $2300 quoted (not actioned), to just $28 at its cheapest.
Next Up: Era 2
The launch of Era 2 presents a large upgrade to our product. The Canonical Vaults will give us a key advantage over the rest, especially the ability to offer BTC, LINK and ETH holders competitive yield without the need for mass emissions.
Currently, the biggest constraint to the growth of DeFi is qualified developers, and we‘re no different. Solidity is a niche language and DeFi a niche space. The team and community has so many ideas we’d love to pursue and hire for. Most developers are already busy with multiple projects, burnt out or simply rich & retired.
In Era 2 it’s a priority to expand our team with more developers. It’s a fast moving industry and we have to keep up the pace as we prepare for the next Era.
We want to take a critical look at our emissions schedule, and devise the best strategy for us that wont harm our token.
With our Canonical Vaults out, we can focus on onboarding capital and business development that will drive buybacks.
Our journey through the Eras has only just begun. It’s been a bumpy road in this uncertain market environment, but we can take a lot of positives from it.
Era 1 was a proving grounds for us. The goal was to set ourselves up for the future while developing the core product. We’ve certainly accomplished that.
Huge thank you to all the team that have worked tirelessly through the last few months. And another huge thank you to the yAxis community for all the support shown. We look forward to the next leg of the journey together.
@TransferAndCall, @MrMister, @Dogperrokukur, @Getgouda, @Waali, @Ae, @Coldsummer, @Bobby