I want to open this post by saying that I am not a blockchain developer in any capacity so everything I say from here onwards could be 100% wrong and ridiculous. If this is the case, I encourage anyone that is more knowledgeable to let me know where my mistakes lay, and what things I am not thinking correctly. I hope that at the very least this can ignite some more ideas on how to approach the DLLR/Zero situation.
It seems to me the problem with the Zero protocol is that the demand for opening an LOC will always be higher than the demand for holding the stablecoin it produces. A 0% interest on BTC has almost infinite demand (as Zero shown, Bitcoin backed stable coins, not so much for now).
Like the team has explained very well, this is a two sided market, some people want cheap loans, other want a stablecoin, there is a clear imbalance in this marker which resulted in the halt of the Zero protocol. So far we’ve addressed this imbalance by rising the origination fee of the LOCs from the original 0.5% to 99%. This successfully manages to lower the newly minted DLLR, but does very little to incentivize its adoption. It does help the peg hold closer o $1, but we are operating under the assumption that people will flock to DLLR as they see that the peg is stable and therefore adoption will happen.
We can look at DOC here, this token has been successfully doing this very thing for a long time. With a very active LATAM community, and a team that is based in Argentina (the place where it is needed the most) and yet the number of DOCs in circulation are relatively similar to DLLR (if our assumptions are correct, why is DOC not being adopted in larger numbers?).
I’ve hosted a Spaces on Tuesday with the two main co founders of the Money on Chain protocol (that issues DOC), Manu Ferrari and Max Carjuzaa. One of the things that they told me that surprised me was that they were saying how they overestimated the demand for DOC. The protocol still has enough liquidity to function and be reliable. But it was designed by allowing users to mint DOC and these DOCs give benefits to the liquidity providers that hold Bpro (their other main token).
Meaning that the system, again, provides no inherent benefit to the Stablecoin holders. It is expected that people will find a decentralized Bitcoin backed stablecoin inherently desirable. And while some people do, turns out, not that many, compared to the people who want to hold Bpro in Money on Chain, or the ones who want a Zero Line of Credit in Sovryn.
I see a fundamental problem with this model. And. it is my belief that this need to be changed for us to see larger adoption.
We should create a system where the incentives are the opposite. People want cheap loans, we know this, zero has proven this. However, not that many want to hold Bitcoin backed stable coins… So, why not make the side of the equation that is easier to grow, subsidize the side that it is harder to grow? (easy to get people to open LOC, hard to get DLLR holders, therefore LOC’s should incentivize DLLR adoption).
Right now the only subsidies that DLLR gets are from the Sovryn protocol’s own token emissions. This is not sustainable long term. We are hoping that demand will naturally and organically grow. This could happen or maybe it does not in time.
We know that people will open a 0% interest loan with a 5% origination fee (we’ve seen this). I would argue, if this is true, people would also be open to pay a 2% interest on a loan with say 0.5% origination fee paid to stakers (like we used to have in the beginnings of Zero). Why not then pay this interest to DLLR holders and make it a stablecoin backed by bitcoin that generates a 2% yield just by holding it?
We still get a valuable product on one end with a very cheap 2% interest (though admittedly not AS good as a 0% one, but yet desirable), and we get a much better product for stablecoin holders. Effectively even the balance and reward for all actors of the equation accordingly (this is the meat of the issue, DLLR holders are not getting as much value out of the protocol as LOC holders who never wanted to hold DLLR and sold as soon as they minted them).
These rewards can be given out in RBTC, creating the only bitcoin backed stablecoin with passive sats earning mechanics. By all means an amazing product! and a 2% flat, consistent and reliable, very cheap and competitive lending product on the other end.
Moreover we would now actually have a reason for people to put DOC into Mynt (which right ow there isn’t much incentive), in order to earn some interest. If this happens though, the rewards would dilute (as there would be more DLLR issued than the ones created through the LOCs who are paying the interest rate). We could let this happen and let the market adjust naturally. But this could put us again in a position where DLLR holders are not incentivized enough to hold as much as people borrow. Creating another imbalance.
Another way to go would be to automatically set so that this 2% in sats, automatically are used to buy DLLR from the AMM pool, and rewards are distributed in DLLR to DLLR holders.
The prospect of having a stablecoin that pays automatically in more stablecoins is still a very good one (even if it is just 2%), moreover this means there would be constant buying pressure in the AMM pool, helping the peg remain strong. If this buying pressure would take the price of DLLR above $1 then we would need a system that instead of using the RBTC from the LOCs to buy and distribute DLLR, it should instead mint DOC in Money on Chain for $1, use Mynt to convert it into DLLR and sell it in the AMM pool for a profit until the value goes back to $1. This would create more revenue that can be distributed to DLLR holders. In addition, all this trading will also increase revenue for SOV stakers and activity in the dapp. Ideally all would happen automatically, though I don’t know how difficult this would be to set up.
Again, I am not a technical person so I can be way, way off here, and if so I encourage anyone that knows more than me to tell me why this is not a good idea.
I understand that this means changing a lot of what Zero is and was supposed to be. I simply don’t see that the demand for DLLR can grow as high as to sustain the demand for 0% interest rate loans. I really like the idea, but unless there is a true incentive for people to adopt the stablecoin, it will be very difficult to achieve a balance between the two sides of the market.
I think ultimately, a 0% loan may in fact be “too good to be true”, as its demand is almost infinite and we may never find enough people who would like to simply hold DLLR to make it sustainable. In fact in talking about Zero to many people outside the Sovryn and the Rootstock bubble, many times I heard that people where very suspicious of a 0% interest, and they told me that they would prefer to pay at least “some” interest, if that could make the protocol more secure and reliable.
Once again I urge the community to look at DOC. It does what DLLR promises, holds the peg 100% of the time, completely backed by Bitcoin, secure and decentralized as can be. The team is based in Argentina, in the middle of one of the regions of the world that needs this kinds of stablecoins the most. And they can’t get more adoption than what DLLR has right now. I have no doubt that these stablecoins will grow in popularity in the future, I just think that it would take a long time. We need to create the incentives for people to adopt them, just being decentralized and backed by bitcoin might not be enough for the time being. And a 0% interest lending protocol, might be too ambitious, as it transfers the cost to the DLLR holders without enough benefits to balance it.
With a little tweak I think we can still get a good lending protocol, solid reliable and extremely competitive, and the best stablecoin anyone can ever have. Backed by bitcoin, decentralized and with passive income attached to it.
I hope this at the very least can generate some new discussions and ideas for the community.
Stay Sovryn everyone!