Yieldgate - development, badges and Drips integration research

Yieldgate Grant Application

  • Project Name: Yieldgate
  • Team Name: Yieldgate
  • Payment Address: 0xb7780258E0410E96E4fc35ebDcd75FAf7C0b39Cd
  • Level: :seedling: Seed

Project Description :page_facing_up:

This application follows our first, incorporating feedback provided by @bordumb.

Yieldgate is a platform to support projects and creators with yield. It’s the result of our team’s effort at ETHGlobal’s ETHAmsterdam 2022 Hackathon. The project became a finalist, winning the 1st prize from Aave, and receiving four more prizes from Coinbase, WalletConnect, Polygon, and ETHGlobal.

Supporters stake assets, creators claim the yield. Our long-term vision involves becoming the go-to platform for programmable yield, yield-gated content and no-loss payments, donations, investments (e.g. NFT minting), bug bounty pools, subscriptions, and DAOs.

Currently, Yieldgate is deployed on the Polygon Mumbai and Rinkeby testnets using Aave as the yield-generating protocol. Eventually, we’d like to offer an SDK and to develop integrations with a range of DeFi protocols and selected dapps (e.g. Radicle, Gitcoin, etc.). The Yieldgate code base is freely available under the MIT license.

Relevance to the Radicle ecosystem

We believe that Yieldgate can greatly benefit the Radicle ecosystem by providing additional income streams for open source projects on Radicle. We will develop multiple integrations with Radicle, starting with supporter badges within the context of this grant and deeper integrations, also regarding Drips, in follow-up grants and collaborations.

Scope

Within the scope of this grant we are going to

  • improve the Yieldgate Dapp from the Hackathon proof-of-concept to be more stable, complete and have a better and extended user experience,
  • implement a dynamic Yieldgate support badge that developers can embed in their READMEs and websites and
  • research and design a deep integration with Radicle Drips to allow developers to earn yield on DAI (or any asset that will be supported by a future version of the Drips protocol) sitting idle in the Drips network.

Team :busts_in_silhouette:

Contact

Legal Structure

  • Registered Address: NA
  • Registered Legal Entity: NA

We are not incorporated yet. The grant money will be partially used to fund operational costs and will otherwise be used to support the team members according to their contribution.

Team members

Our team has extensive experience in blockchain-related research, software development and entrepreneurship. It comprises experienced software developers and product managers with over 14 years of combined experience within the crypto space.

  • Sebastian Stammler (@seb, GitHub, LinkedIn): smart contract & back-end development

    Sebastian has studied mathematics at TU Darmstadt and the University of Cambridge and has subsequently worked as a mathematician in quantitative finance at Ernst & Young in Frankfurt, Germany. He then joined a software development startup for one year, finally starting a PhD in computer science at TU Darmstadt in the field of secure multi-party computation, which he is about to complete. Starting in late 2017, he gained his first blockchain venture building experiences during a startup accelerator program in Tel Aviv, Israel, together with Neal. Shortly afterwards, he joined the Perun research team (https://perun.network) at TU Darmstadt in 2018 to lead the development of the blockchain-agnostic state channels framework go-perun. He was a co-founder, Co-CEO and CTO of the resulting spin-off company PolyCrypt (https://polycry.pt), where he also lead the development of the Erdstall scaling network (https://erdstall.dev, initiated at ETHOnline 2020 as a finalist).

  • Dennis Zollmann (@zoma, GitHub, LinkedIn): full-stack development

    Dennis has studied computer science at Friedrich Schiller University of Jena. He has 8+ years of professional work experience as a Designer and Full-Stack Developer in the health industry. During the last 3 years he led a small team building the certified telemedical platform “arzt-direkt” (https://arzt-direkt.com) for video consultations between doctors and patients. After many years of keen interest he went full-time into web3 about 6 months ago and started developing a DeFi protocol about decentralized asset management (still in stealth mode as of today).

  • Neal Swaelens (@nealswa, LinkedIn): business development

    Neal studied at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management and HEC Paris after which he gained work experience in consulting, banking, and private equity. He had his first leap into crypto in 2017 when he co-founded a startup with Sebastian focused on research into how blockchain can be applied within the public industry. After this, he joined Santiment (https://santiment.net), one of the first crypto analytics firms as a product manager where he built Sansheets and acted as an intermediary between institutional investors and the Santiment dev team. Over the past 2.5 years, he moved to the other side of the table as an early-stage investor, investing in startups across Europe, Israel, and the U.S. first at Plug and Play Ventures (https://pnptc.com) and AMPLIFIER (https://amplifierlab.io), and now at Towards Net Zero (https://towardsnetzero.com).

  • Raúl R Pearson (@raulrpearson, GitHub, LinkedIn): front-end development

    Raúl studied electrical engineering at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid and got a master’s degree in modelling, simulation and control at Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia. He started his professional life in renewable energy, designing and implementing control systems and user interfaces for high power electronics devices, including a one-of-a-kind 2M€ low voltage ride through mobile laboratory commissioned by the China Electric Power Research Institute. Eventually he turned to web technologies, one of his life-long interests, and started a web consultancy company in 2018. For the last 4 years, he has been delivering clean, modern and performant React frontends for many clients.

Team Code Repos

ETHGlobal References

Deliverables :nut_and_bolt:

  • Total Estimated Duration: 3 months
  • FTE: 41 days
  • Total Costs: 49,200 USDC

The total duration, FTE and cost values are calculated as a sum of the values provided for each of the milestones. One FTE equals 1,200 USDC.

Although not stated explicitly, we plan to have code reviews and end-to-end tests written for all the features that will drive our site and app. We also expect to have to do some refactoring of the current codebase. This will add some extra workload, but we believe it will be the best way to lay down the strong foundation we’re looking for.

All our code will be released under a permissive FOSS license (currently MIT) and will be available on GitHub and on the Radicle network.

Milestone 1 - UX/UI research and redesign

  • Estimated Duration: 3 weeks
  • FTE: 9 days
  • Costs: 10,800 USDC

For our hackathon prototype we leaned into a use-case where creators can add markdown posts that get unlocked when supporters stake:

This created a dramatic effect that was great for the demo, but we don’t think that hosting content is the right thing moving forward, at least near-term. We want to provide as few constraints as possible on the value creation and delivery.

This means reworking the current user profiles to fit this new direction. Before we dive into coding, we want to take some time to do some UX research and user interviews which is what this milestone represents. The tangible outcome will be a new UI design specification including a set of wireframes to be implemented as milestone 2.

Milestone 2 - Implementation of UX/UI redesign

  • Estimated Duration: 4 weeks
  • FTE: 14 days
  • Costs: 16,800 USDC

Even though the conclusions from milestone 1 will inform the work to be done in this second milestone, we anticipate it will include the following:

  • Reworking the public profile page to remove the markdown posts and replacing that with a way for creators and project to show off what they do.
  • Creating a view for users to edit their public profile.
  • Extending the private profile interface to allow staking configuration to match the evolving capabilities of the Yieldgate smart contracts.
  • Extending the private profile interface so that users can manage their supported projects, total amount staked and other stats.

The outcome of this milestone will be the revamped user/project pages that we think will be complete enough to start providing value for creators once we deploy to mainnets.

Milestone 3 - One-click support with yield button/badge

  • Total Estimated Duration: 3 weeks
  • FTE: 10 days
  • Total Costs: 12,000 USDC

With a focus on FOSS developers and projects, we believe that creating a Shields-like Yieldgate supporter badge, that projects can embed into their READMEs or websites, is an easy first step to allow them to benefit from Yieldgate as a source for support.

We will develop an API to request a Yieldgate badge featuring texts like “Support me with yield” and dynamically created statistic like the total amount of staked assets or total generated yield. The statistics needs to be calculated in the back end and will probably use data from a Yieldgate subgraph on The Graph.

Furthermore, the private Yieldgate profile page will present HTML and Markdown boilerplate code ready for inclusion in websites and READMEs.

Milestone 4 - Yieldgate/Radicle Drips integration research

  • Total Estimated Duration: 2 weeks
  • FTE: 8 days
  • Total Costs: 9,600 USDC

In a previous conversation with @bordumb he suggested that Yieldgate presents a great opportunity to generate more value to the Drips network. Within this milestone, we will research how we can leverage and improve Yieldgate to integrate it with the Drips protocol.

Assets within the Drips network (currently only DAI) sit idle within developers’ wallets after being distributed by the Drips protocol. We believe that Yieldgate can be used to automatically generate yield on tokens that developers receive within the Drips network.

The outcome of this milestone will be

  • a clear specification on how the Yieldgate protocol can be used to automatically generate yield on assets sitting idle within the Drips network and
  • a plan on how to extend the UI of Yieldgate to integrate with Drips, that is, offer functionality specific to the Drips protocol on Yieldgate profiles.

Future Plans

We’ve kept the scope of this grant constrained but we hope it will serve as the start of further collaboration between Yieldgate and Radicle. We’ve got many ideas on how to move forward and are open to exploring these with the Radicle community:

  • Improving and extending integration with Radicle: as mentioned in our introduction, we see a lot of potential in our yield-based support mechanism and we want to be close to where value is being created and exchanged. The button/badge suggested in milestone 3 would be a start but we’d also like to follow-up milestone 4 with work that opens up yield-generation to funds flowing through the Radicle Drips protocol.
  • Better discovery mechanism: once someone has become a supporter for a project or cause, we believe that having a good discovery feature will drive engagement and will maximize the opportunities for more projects and supporters to connect. We can also explore ways in which a better discovery experience in Yieldgate leads to higher visibility of Radicle projects and community.
  • Documentation and FAQ: we’ll strive to build an intuitive UX but, as we onboard more users and add more features, we’ll need to improve how we provide support.
  • More staking options: we want to integrate with more yield protocols (currently using Aave) and offer a more configurable setup of staking pool and parameters.

We want to build Yieldgate into something sustainable. In parallel to this grant application we’re exploring several other routes to monetize and decentralize the platform over time. We are determined and confident that we’ll be able to bootstrap our development to the mainnet launch.

Additional Information :heavy_plus_sign:

During the ETHGlobal Amsterdam hackathon we got to meet some of the Radicle team. In the week after the hackathon we directly hopped on a call together with Kai, Lukas, and Bordumb. We were very happy to learn that there was a lot of common ground in vision on both the web3 ecosystem and for what we’re building. They also encouraged us to apply for the grant.

We hope this grant will kick off a long-term synergistic relationship between Radicle and Yieldgate. As mentioned in the Project Goals section, we anticipate to submit a second grant in the future and develop rich integrations with Radicle.

Other sources of funding: we have recently been awarded a grant by Aave to support the further development of the Yieldgate smart contracts, improve the testing infrastructure and extend the Yieldgate protocol with parameters such as minimum staking time and amounts. The Aave grant is a perfect complement to this grant’s scope and it will further accelerate the probability of success of the Yieldgate project.


Thanks for taking the time to review our application and please do let us know if you have any questions.

3 Likes

Hi @raulrpearson

Thanks a bunch for posting this.
Also thanks to Dennis who met up to chat in Paris.

Unfortunately, I was not able to get enough consensus that would make me confident to start a vote on this.

Personally speaking:
I think YieldGate has the opportunity to solve the problem of idle capital. Capital that sits around doing nothing can - and likely will - grow exponentially. The opportunity cost of not putting that capital to work is a great problem to solve and I imagine it will happen with Drips funds that are passively sitting around. So at some point, I’d definitely like to solve this.

In thinking through this with other team members:
The first 3 milestones are still too far removed from Radicle to make sense.

There are 2 reasons for this:

  1. It would set an odd precedent if we funded other teams’ work that has little to do with our ecosystem. We don’t want to set that precedent. This is the first time we’ve seen a grant that looks this promising - we love the main idea behind it - but don’t want to fund the work in milestones 1-3.
  2. Milestones 1-3 are sort fundamental work for your platform. It is a strong signal if a team is willing to invest their own time/funds in creating those initial building blocks. Where it makes sense for us to come in is when there is some direct integration work, such as that found in milestone 4 and onwards.

These were the main blockers to get consensus. And I agree with them myself. So for now, I cannot start a vote.

I think that by the time you guys can get past milestones 1-3, we’d be in a good position to fund milestone 4 and onwards.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Hey @bordumb,

Thanks for your detailed feedback! We’re sad to hear that our application couldn’t make it in its current form, but we understand.

But then, we’re also very happy to hear that you see the potential of how Yieldgate can improve the Drips network! We’ll definitely be back soon once we’ve made some progress on the frontend and are ready to submit the Drips research as a new grant proposal.

Regarding the new proposal, don’t you think that milestone 3 (badge for embedding into READMEs and websites) is relevant enough to Radicle so that we could keep it in the proposal?

Thanks,
Sebastian