A New Era of Optim

Optim Labs
4 min readMar 13, 2024

We’ve crystalized a cohesive vision for our future on Cardano.
And now our team is bringing it to life over the course of 2024.

If you’ve been around Cardano for a while, you will likely have come across our project. Terms such as ‘yield aggregator’, ‘yield products’, ‘Liquidity Bonds’, ‘OADA’, ‘Leviathan’, and others might sound familiar. Those who are into DeFi have probably seen our movement within the top 10 Cardano TVL on DeFi Llama. But what exactly is Optim?

Optim is an emerging ecosystem within Cardano with a focus on DeFi. We build both yield and scaling products. We’re currently building our next generation of interoperable yield products alongside our own L2-like infrastructure. OADA, our next yield product, will start on Cardano’s L1 then have its capabilities expanded when our L2 launches later in 2024. Liquidity Bonds, our first product, have provided a 50%+ increase over staking yield on 125M ADA in deposits since launch.

While we will remain focused on creating innovative DeFi products that enable people to earn yield on their digital assets, our next generation of yield products requires vastly improved infrastructure. We can’t wait or rely on others to provide this. As such, we’re building a faster, more interoperable execution layer that extends the capabilities of Cardano.

We’ve delivered innovation before, but this time we’ll do so on a more ambitious scale.

Optim’s Vision

We see Cardano as the most secure, decentralized settlement layer in all of crypto.

We envision it as the foundation of a performant modular stack that provides unmatched decentralization and security at the Layer 1, while allowing for fast execution within our Layer 2.

Combining a fast, DeFi focused execution layer with cutting edge data availability and the decentralization and security of Cardano’s deterministic environment will enable us to reach our full potential. Optim, along with other builders, will be able to release new DeFi primitives and capabilities that unlock the future of financial services in a secure and truly decentralized environment.

Upon this foundation Optim will deploy user friendly, advanced DeFi protocols with a focus on yield products. Our Liquidity Bonds have been a success and we’ll build upon that with the upcoming release of OADA in a few months. OADA will be a simpler, more scalable way to earn superior yield on ADA without having to hold or farm other tokens.

Yield Products

Our first yield product, Liquidity Bonds, is for lending and borrowing ADA staking rights. It runs entirely on Cardano’s main chain. Such a market for lending and borrowing of just staking rights was a product never before seen on Cardano or anywhere else in crypto. Since its inception, the staking rights to over 100M ADA have been lent at an average APY of 6%+. This ‘real yield’ is pure ADA, with no padded OPTIM token rewards. This is what we mean by creating new markets and opportunities for earning yield on digital assets.

Our second yield product, OADA, is a system for yield aggregation that enables users to earn passive ADA yield at scale. OADA will launch in mid Q2 of this year. We’re beginning our audit now and are looking forward to finally releasing non-custodial yield aggregation on Cardano. OADA will also serve as the gas token for our L2, as well as the trading pair denomination for our protocol owned liquidity. More information about OADA will be released soon, with an overview provided here: optim-labs.medium.com/optimada-oada-6dee65056ea4

Leviathan L2

The future is faster, more interoperable, and runs on Leviathan.

To build more advanced yield products and bring a better user experience to Cardano we need better infrastructure. We must build and deploy this ourselves if Optim and the Cardano ecosystem are to fully realize the next generation of DeFi products.

Without it we’ll continue to see iterative incremental improvements of already existing products, but are unlikely to see new primitives and a meaningful increase in ADA liquidity within the DeFi ecosystem which has not increased its TVL, as measured in ADA, for 6 months now.

With it we can power flash loans, perpetual futures, and more.

We expect others outside of Optim to use our innovative L2-like infrastructure to deploy applications of their own. For more information on Leviathan L2 check out the V1.0 of our whitepaper here: github.com/OptimFinance/public-documents/blob/main/leviathan_wp.pdf

In its current form, It’s a bit dense but worth a read. We’ll be updating it soon and plan to supplement it with explainer articles that delve deeper into its individual components, assumptions, and challenges.

An Exciting 2024

With renewed vigor, a clear direction, and a strong community behind us we will push the ecosystem forward together. True innovation in both Yield (OADA) and Scaling (Leviathan) will be realized in 2024. The time for DeFi 2.0 on Cardano is now. A New Era of Optim is here.