We’d like to start by thanking everyone in the Optim and Cardano community for their full support, participation, and contributions to our project thus far. Community collaboration and growth are at the core of our values, as we aim to provide products that enable anyone to earn the best yields on their assets in an intuitive and accessible way. A thoughtful and participatory process will help evolve our offerings over time as possibilities expand along with the Cardano network.
We look forward to regularly sharing our progress, providing updates, and engaging more with the Cardano and broader DeFi community moving forward.
As the growth of Cardano continues with the expanded utility of smart contracts there will inevitably be growing pains, FUD, delays, incremental improvements, innovation, and eventual functionality beyond what many believe possible. Building and shaping Optim along with the Cardano community throughout this process enables us to best serve our users and provides the foundation upon which we will provide more equitable and efficient systems.
Optim’s work on automated asset management can be thought of as two parallel streams. The ‘first stream’ consists of products we are building today for release in the coming months. These products focus on optimizations and functionality that add value to the Cardano community in the near-term, not bound by any current on-chain limitations or congestion. The ‘second stream’ is primarily infrastructure and DeFi products that we will begin to deploy in Q3 as the ecosystem grows and allows for more complex and interdependent protocols.
Our ‘first stream’ products for Q2 release focus on stand-alone functionality and don’t require or plug into other protocols in the ecosystem. An example is our ISO Lending Bond Market, whereby users can gain increased exposure to ISOs by taking out loans to increase the amount of ADA they can stake thus earning more protocol governance tokens (DANA, MAL, etc.). We’ll release more information on this product in the coming weeks providing details and clarity on the structure, implementation, and release timeline.
Optim is also working on a staking product that will allow users to retain delegation power over their ADA while entering it into smart contracts and bridging to other chains. We envision many interesting use cases and will release more information as we gain clarity on its implementation over the course of development. It is possible Optim Labs will release the stADA product as a separate protocol to streamline and expand the user experience beyond what would be possible inside the Optim application.
Additionally, Optim is working on building core infrastructure necessary for the deployment of more advanced yield generation strategies that we plan to deploy in Q3 and beyond. One such piece of infrastructure is our Non-Interactive Calls between protocols that allow for one protocol to call into another protocol, without requiring a protocol operator to take custody of user funds. At all times, funds are under smart contracts, not third parties. This will enable the composability aka ‘money legos’ that is seen across DeFi ecosystems on other L1s. While this is not a consumer facing product, it is of paramount importance for Optim and the greater Cardano ecosystem. We will release a whitepaper on this in the near future as we’re currently working with other projects on refining details, initiating testing, and updating the spec.
Our ‘second stream’ of products more directly serve our mission of optimizing yield across the Cardano DeFi ecosystem. These include vaults that deploy strategies with user assets ranging from simple auto-compounding to more complex multi-step strategies that will enable optimized yields through automated multi-step functions. Optim will also offer internal lending pools that can be utilized for leveraged yield farming and entering into strategies with. Due to the many unknown factors that will impact strategy development — APYs, incentive structures, liquidity pools, launch dates — we are focused on building the infrastructure necessary to run strategies once the ecosystem allows. Beyond ‘non-interactive calls’ we are working on building vault infrastructure that include programmable escrows for running strategies as well as trading bots for execution.
While we plan on having the necessary infrastructure ready to deploy our ‘second stream’ of products, a few things must occur before Optim can offer these to the public. First, we need more DeFi protocols to launch. Yield aggregators perform best when deployed in a robust DeFi ecosystem that enables multi-step yield strategies leveraged across a network of protocols. Additionally, we need ledger level improvements in the form of CIPs 30–33.
These CIPs will allow for a lighter smart contract footprints in transactions allowing for more transactions per block, increasing throughput and reducing congestion. Once these occur, Optim can execute efficient liquidations for leveraged yield farming on DEXs. We also anticipate many other DeFi protocols launching which we can begin plugging into for more complex yield strategies. These changes will likely take place in July of this year during the next hard fork combinator event. Optim is working closely with other protocols to ensure smooth integrations of our core products once this happens.
For the past few months, we’ve been busy building in the background, growing our team, and iterating on products and infrastructure that will add value to the community as Cardano scales through 2022 and beyond. We’re excited to continue innovating and look forward to releasing products for Cardano’s DeFi ecosystem in the coming months. Optim appreciates the level of support we’ve received from the community at large and will continue to provide updates and solicit feedback.