BarnBridge had a tumultuous year in 2022, marked by the departure of a few members of the founding team & the majority of the dev team in February, as well as the challenges of the brutal bear market including all of the centralized industry leaders going on a rug fest in the 2nd half of the year.
Despite these challenges, the BarnBridge team & community was able to regroup + make significant progress on several key projects, including the delivery of SMART Yield V2 & our launch of our newly retooled BarnBridge DAO on Arbitrum as the two biggest wins of 2022 but the groundwork we laid really set the stage for massive wins in 2023. There is so much more when you start to look under the hood.
Here’s a look back at some of the major developments of the past year:
- In early 2022, some of the original founders & most of the development team left the project. This was a significant blow, given their reputation in the Ethereum community. However, it’s important to recognize that their departure was due to philosophical differences and not any ethical issues. The protocols developed by the team have never lost user funds, and that is a testament to their skills. They built a wonderful foundation for BarnBridge to build on.
- The team was able to rebuild with some all-star hires, including the CTO of Q.xyz Labs Inc (one of the numerous development shops building on top of BarnBridge) Stu Hunter (who came over from JP Morgan) has been a key contributor to the development of the BarnBridge protocols.
- Pavlo and Vitalik just absolutely continue to crush out all of the UI. Stu makes hot fixes when people have complaints which is a completely fresh feeling from what we had before where everything including hot fixes happened in sprints. It’s just all hitting hard in terms of how fast we are moving at this point.
- We hired a full time Solidity dev (anon 1) who helped Fully (anon 2) finish out the DAO related stuff & worked a ton on the audits as well as the AMM related bug (which he found). He’s slowly been auditing our entire system. He’s a giga chad who came over from RomeDAO which didn’t fail they just voted to send all their money back to users as an OHM fork (they were trading at 50% of their stablecoin value in their DAO so someone did an old fashioned LBO). He’s been a blessing.
- More team building; we brought on Linum where Alberto has basically helped code everything on the interface front end as well as the Graph integrations on the back end. We lost one of the Solidity developers to Aave but we’ve since replaced them & are firing on all cylinders.
- The PLUG team delivered on the SMART Yield V2 project, which has been a key focus of the team in the latter half of 2022. While there is still work to be done to increase TVL, the team & much of the community is making progress on the AMM side & is confident that SMART Yield V2 will be a major growth driver for the project in 2023.
- We have a ton of new integrations coming that are already through audit. To clarify on the last bullet point.. some AMMs like Velodrome have higher originator yields than the current capital markets in DeFi. The higher the originator yield the better we do on auctions so this is a win for us in order to build a positive cash flow flywheel. We launched BBV2 with zero incentives outside of us needing to simulate the earned yield as if we weren’t at a sub 1% originator.. but no token incentives (something we can visit in 2023 with “profitable to the DAO” originators). BarnBridge V2 is just getting started. We’ve purposely put it on ice and opting for organic growth as we finalize the AMM/higher originator piece.
- We launched SYV2 (I think) in September with a soft launch. It feels like it really launched in October, when we hit 7 figures in TVL out of the gate & then doubled our TVL in the second epoch. We coded integrations to numerous AMMs that will launch and once we have originators over the 3–5% range, we can truly crank incentives knowing we have a sustainable product. The 2–3 month lag from October/November/now was annoying for me as well but it’s better we are safe and get it right.
- I think it’s important to note JUST HOW nice of a win getting 7 figs in TVL is in bear market hell. LUNA wiped out probably $60b in liquidity. FTX + Genesis + BlockFi etc probably knocked out another $40b. So $100b collectively potentially. People are legitimately broke & we still hit some successful metrics without even taking the governor off the sports car yet.
- The team has also made significant progress on the Metaversian Island project, an island in the Bahamas that only uses BarnBridges as roads, which will be a major focus in 2023. The team has been working on the design and development of the island, and is excited to bring this ambitious project to life. This part is a joke. :)
- The new BarnBridge DAO was launched in the second half of 2022 on Arbitrum, and has already made a significant impact on the project, at least in terms of long term planning. The DAO has provided a new level of transparency and accountability, and has empowered the community to make key decisions about the direction of the project. We have been doing this through multi-sigs (in the second half of 2022 while we moved DAO funds to Arbitrum after a mainnet vote appointing councils to transfer these funds) but the Arbitrum DAO will completely take over everything in Q1 2023.
- We launched an entirely new framework for our DAO that is extremely innovative. I don’t expect everyone to know how it works because we haven’t even voted on anything yet but it’s going to make us EXTREMELY nimble going forward. It’s a work of art and if the industry was paying attention I think they’d be astonished at the simplicity of it and how it works. We’ll find that out over the coming years.
- We moved our DAO to Arbitrum and their team has been AMAZING to work with. Week after week, month after month, Arbitrum continues to grow with no native token. We will have to look into ZKs as they continue to come out but our DAO is in a safe place. We don’t have to worry about dust anymore in the next bull market where ETH TXs/ETH price make it difficult for low # BOND holders to be involved in governance or, potentially, even get their funds stuck on main net at some point.
- I ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO BRIDGE THEIR BOND TO ARBITRUM AND STAKE ON THE NEW DAO: You can un-stake on V1. Then bridge your BOND on the official Arbitrum bridge. Then you stake on V2. Easy peasy.
- We do have one small vote we have to put in on main net but it’s housekeeping and I think a few of us have quorum since enough people have already moved to the Arbitrum DAO (there is really only dust on the old DAO). It’s a small bug from legacy contracts that we need to fix putting the multi-sig in charge of a few things so we can claim dust and ensure we can make actions on behalf of the new DAO on Arbitrum (if we need to).
- We introduced a new staking mechanism that will allow us to distribute DAO rewards more easily across any currency we want. This will be super useful when things begin to pick back up in DeFi and crypto. This is another building for the future piece that nobody would have noticed as of now but will make things drastically more nimble in the future.
- We completely rebuilt our AWS & back end infrastructure including a ton of the back end function on our servers. We retooled everything to the Graph (in order to further decentralize the project) & are running minimal infrastructure for SMART Alpha. This will allow us to fully sunset the V1 versions of the app in Q1 that should start saving us around $10k-$20k/month and extends our runway.
- We also moved a ton of our front end infrastructure to Fleek. This is paving the way to have a fully decentralized application that the DAO controls without having to rely on any singular parties on the core team to run functions for the DAO.
- In addition to these major projects, the team has also been working on a number of smaller initiatives, including partnerships, marketing efforts, and community building. The team is grateful for the support of the community, and is looking forward to continued growth and success in 2023. These partnership initiatives include the work we’ve been doing with the Olympus, Sushi, Arbitrum & Lido teams which are all still in motion.
- We are using the same governance system Olympus is putting in place and the process of working with them on our innovative governance systems has allowed us to grow a closer DAO to DAO partnership with them. This enabled us to do a FLEX loan program with them that allowed us to move the L1 liquidity to Balancer & pull some of our own funds from the liquidity pool. I think one of the action items for Q1 will be working with the OG Council, & Max to get our liquidity organized. This will include some of the market making stuff we have discussed in Discord.
- A major part of 2022 was ensuring we were a DAO that was built to last for the long haul with little reliance on any singular person or entity. At least 4–5 companies built on BarnBridge in 2022 & as that number grows with our success.. I (Tyler, personally) won’t need to be the bottleneck going forward. Naturally I want the DAO to decentralize away from me or I failed.. but don’t worry I’m not going anywhere.
- We’ve coded integrations into at least 4–5 new protocols for SYV2. These are going to start cranking out & will allow us to jumpstart the importance & efficacy of the councils we’ve started putting in place. We are working with Halborn on retainer as an auditing firm which we can probably slow down on after this month until FIAT II is done since we’ll have more than enough to work with because of our work in 2022.
- Speaking of FIAT.. let’s talk about the FIAT II founding team who are coming on as core contributors to BarnBridge. It’s no secret that Johannes (who coded SMART Exposure but didn’t come up with the concept so it’s not on him we are sunsetting it this year) is a giga chad developer. Nils is a PHD in math/financial systems (I’m not really sure what he studied.. he’s just really good at financial modeling). He can also code. Everyone in the industry should know Max Fiege at FIAT. We love him and are happy to have him back at BarnBridge.
- What FIAT II brings to the table is a year of additional experience/code/expertise that BarnBridge never had to pay for directly and what I think is the most innovative and game changing protocol we will seen in 2022/2023.. SMART Yield V2 + FIAT II.
- Olympus dropped some really cool stuff in 2022. They’re one of the teams (like Sushi) who I just see grinding through the bear and some of their community is just so ecstatic about FIAT II. BarnBridge V2 + FIAT II is going to be a banger in my opinion. We will continue to build partnerships with Olympus, Sushi, Arbitrum, Velodrome, Aura, & Lido being at the top of the list of groups we are actively working with on where we are going in 2023 and 2024.
- We completely rebuilt and launched our entire website with a new design around the new protocol. Obviously people care less about this piece but I think the new branding is fire.
- I wrote this ad hoc but if you look at the absolute beast mode we accomplished in the 2nd half of 2022 & you factor in that we basically doubled our team in December with the addition of the FIAT founders + their team. It’s simply HUGE with the Q team, FIAT team, Alberto still cranking at Linum, Zach, Fully, and PLUG. We should just rename it all to ChadBridge as Max has been calling it.
- Another important development in 2022 was the growth of the BarnBridge community. The team has worked hard to build a strong, supportive community, and it’s been great to see this effort pay off with the growth of the Discord and Twitter. The team is committed to continuing to engage with and support the community in the coming year. It’s my hope that it all starts merging together & community & team member starts to mean almost the same thing. In other words, I’m just a community member of the BarnBridge DAO. That’s a huge W. It’s my solid belief that you find the true believers in bears & those people are showing up now when few people are paying attention. That certainly keeps me going.
- FIAT team will get a lot more active in Discord and on Twitter. We can go back to much more front facing updates when people get more active in DeFi again. Right now, they’re heads down on housekeeping but they’re doing A TON behind the scenes. That will start to trickle in to being things that are more front facing so it’s no longer me bumping each week in Discord or on Twitter with my abysmal updates. Max has said he wants to start being a lot more engaged with all of that. I think community management + comms hasn’t been my strong suit. I think BarnBridge has done a good job but Tyler Ward (me) hasn’t done a great job there.
- Okay, okay, and to round this off I have to add that I’ve been doing A TON of institutional biz dev with Christian both for Q but through that mechanism it’s opened a ton of doors for BarnBridge. That was sort of the point of Q was that we needed a company in place that was building ON TOP of BarnBridge that doesn’t actually own or control the protocol. This is a massive difference to how many groups started with companies/foundations and moved to being DAOs. We were the first to go “DAO first” and it’s been a journey.
- We need to get higher originators in place & likely a few ETH/stETH pools for things but we have money on the sidelines waiting to deploy in BBV2 and FIAT but all of this is going to start coming together. Nobody has really seen any of this because it’s me & a small team networking behind the scenes + people were getting SLAMMED on the fund/capital side at the end of 2022. But one of the reasons that FIAT merged with us is because it’s all real and there is meat on the bones in terms of our institutional B/D. Once some of this starts hitting it will be like a ghetto game of dominoes where you also have to pick up the pieces here and there to reflick the domino because.. Well because it’s still crypto lol.
- Finally, it’s worth noting that 2022 was a challenging year in the crypto market, with the bull run leading to increased competition and pressure on projects.. fizzling out.. and resulting in increased financial & regulatory pressure on projects. Despite these challenges, the BarnBridge team remained focused on delivering value to users and building a sustainable, long-term project.
In summary, 2022 was a year of significant progress and growth for BarnBridge. The team made significant strides on key projects, including SMART Yield V2, the BarnBridge DAO, and our development of the Metaversian Island (LOL, again JK).
Along the way, BarnBridge has continued to build a strong and supportive community. When I got involved in Synthetix nobody was paying attention to it. I hope some people look upon BarnBridge and their active commitment to pushing it forward as I do for being a small piece of why Synthetix is what it is. I’m certainly not saying they couldn’t have done it without me.. but I do feel like I helped along the way and I have a great sense of pride in that.
The team & our community are excited to continue our momentum in 2023, & are committed to delivering value to users & building a sustainable, long-term project.
Buckle up! We’re not out of this crypto bear yet but we’re prepared, capitalized, and re-tooled for success in spite of whatever 2023 brings us.
Source : [The Official BarnBridge 2022 Recap](medium.com/barnbridge/the-official-barnbridge-2022-recap-110b57bb15d7) by Tyler Scott Ward - BarnBridge by Tyler Scott Ward / January 30, 2023