[TFIP-8] TrueFi and Wallfacer in 2024

TL/DR

December 31, 2023 is the end of Wallfacer Labs’s initial engagement with TrueFi DAO.

This post is intended to open a discussion about ongoing priorities for the DAO and propose Wallfacer’s scope of work for the first half of 2024.


Background

Wallfacer Labs, started by several of the longest-tenured and most engaged TrueFi contributors, began our work in April 2023. Over the past 9 months, Wallfacer Labs has delivered tangible value to TrueFi by launching and supporting flagship products like asset vaults, advancing decentralization through governance improvements, and providing critical maintenance.

Wallfacer began its work with TrueFi by focusing on launching asset vaults which is now TrueFi’s flagship product for portfolio managers and RWA activity. After completing an audit with Chainsecurity in July, asset vaults moved from “beta” to fully live and today are used by Adapt3r Digital to manage US Treasuries on-chain.

We also completed all necessary development work on Index Vaults. Those are ready to go to audit, which we will do once we have a user ready to go live (similar to how we rolled out asset vaults alongside Adapt3r’s timeline).

In addition to this, we delivered a faster, simpler front end and advanced the decentralization and security of TrueFi, passing ownership of crucial functions to governance and implementing the canceller role, which can protect the DAO from governance attacks.

A more detailed overview and recap of our work from April 1, 2023 - today can be found below along with projected work for the remainder of our existing engagement.

Future

With foundational products built and launched, we look ahead to further utility and adoption.

We’re eager to expand TrueFi to new chains like Kinto in 2024, in addition to other L2s that may present unique opportunities. Ongoing maintenance, governance facilitation, and business development are critical too. Our broad scope as a trusted partner will provide the flexibility TrueFi needs to succeed in 2024.

This renewed engagement ensures TrueFi has our attention for critical initiatives in 2024. We are aligned on driving utility, adoption, and ultimately, value. Our experience makes us uniquely positioned to deliver.

We are available to support the DAO on larger scopes of work, on a more ad hoc basis, should they be presented.

Things that clearly fall into the new scope would include:

New initiatives:

  1. Chain expansions (Kinto being the concrete example, but broadly speaking we are open to launching TrueFi on any L2 where a clear opportunity is defined)

    • This includes expanding KYC whitelisting functionality to those new chains
  2. Integrate with additional KYC and institutional service partners

    • To date, TrueFi has relied on Archblock to support third-party manager KYC and other processes.
    • To expand TrueFi’s reach and audience, it is important for TrueFi to work with more partners beyond Archblock. This also helps to reduce TrueFi’s reliance on any one provider for off-chain services.
  3. Build a Conduit for TrueFi and MakerDAO

    • Conduits provide a standardized way for Maker subDAOs to provide liquidity to protocols, managing the movement of funds between them.
    • By building a conduit for TrueFi, managers can deploy on TrueFi and easily put forth a proposal to MakerDAO for providing liquidity to their vault

Ongoing support:

  1. Any and all governance facilitation (including writing code to move proposals on-chain)

  2. Continued support of asset vaults for Adapt3r and others

    • Our target for Adapt3r in the first half of 2024 is >40,000,000 in TVL.
    • We are working closely with one Layer 2 to have Adapt3r’s product included as collateral in their flagship stablecoin product
  3. Development of controllers / “hooks” for managers who want customization on top of TrueFi vaults

  4. Onboarding for new participants on TrueFi (Portfolio Managers, Line of Credit borrowers)

    • We have and will continue to be close partners to existing managers like Adapt3r and Kryptonim
  5. Technical support in assistance of lenders, borrowers, and PMs

  6. Business development support with DAOs and on-chain organizations

  7. Increase marketing presence and content

Duration

6 months, beginning Jan 1, 2024, and ending June 30, 2024.

Budget

100,000 USDC and 22,000,000 TRU, with 30% paid upfront and the remainder streamed over 6 months beginning on January 1, 2024.

Next Steps

This post requests comments and will remain open to comments for at least 2 weeks.

In that time, we encourage discussion about what the highest returning actions you think Wallfacer (or other/additional teams) could do for the DAO in 2024.

Following this feedback period, we will move the proposal to a TFIP on-chain vote.

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Allot of :fire: initiatives. I can feel the traction :+1:

  • Conduits provide a standardized way for Maker subDAOs to provide liquidity to protocols, managing the movement of funds between them.
  • By building a conduit for TrueFi, managers can deploy on TrueFi and easily put forth a proposal to MakerDAO for providing liquidity to their vault
    [/quote]

When the price of $TRU rises to heights much higher than my buy-in price, my ultimate objective is to become a lender in the TrueFi Protocol using the profits from the 2.2M $TRU invested. Will serve as my contribution to the Truefi Protocol.

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Do you believe it would be better for @WallfacerLabs to postpone the 2024 TrueFi “New Initiatives” until after the new Truefi board of directors has been selected so that they can possibly discuss potential ideas for the Truefi Protocol?

The Board should definitely work with Wallfacer and all other contributors to the TrueFi protocol, but it’s the $TRU token holders who ultimately control the treasury and product direction of the protocol. I don’t see an immediate governance need to delay this proposal in light of the board election.

Happy to hear other thoughts though.

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I would also encourage anyone running for a board seat to engage with this proposal either here in the forum or in discord.

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First, I’d like to applaud the forward steps Truefi & Wallfacer have accomplished through a very difficult bear market period. Post events like FTX, its always a challenge to to just keep one’s head down and keep grinding and building. Its been a pleasure as a current DAO Foundation Director to see this progress.

A couple of points I’d like to bring up for the benefit of the community:

  1. Lets go straight to the budget: is it better to be paid in dollar equivalents of TRU (subject to a maximum amount of TRU to be paid)? On one side, Wallfacer may end up being paid much more in a US Dollar amount is TRU goes up (which may be a great incentive tool), but on the other side, will Wallfacer be able to pass costs and risks (such as demotivated team) if the price of TRU goes down?

  2. Since the scope of expansion includes business development, will TRU be used as a direct incentive with partners that are made along the way?

  3. In terms of EVM compatible L1/L2 chain development, can you clarify for the community what chains are currently being planned for expansion? For example, in terms of USDC issuance onchain for example OP, Base, Polygon seem to be the most popular and I would assume is the easiest to path to finding capital partners who have funds already on such chains?

Also, since there have been budgets since September (or earlier) for Wallfacer, can you elaborate how does this 6 month budget compare to the Mar-Dec 2023 budget, and the one 6 month period before it?

Thanks again for putting this plan together in earnest!

SkyHopper

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Hello Wallfacer Labs Team,

First of all, I’d like to express my appreciation for the innovative strides and significant achievements Wallfacer Labs has made over the past year. The development and successful launch of asset vaults, along with your contributions to decentralization, are truly commendable.

I’m particularly intrigued by the concept of Index Vaults. However, I found the available documentation to be a bit sparse in detailing the broader vision and strategic goals of this initiative. Would it be possible for you to provide a high-level overview of the vision behind these Index Vaults? This would greatly help in understanding their intended impact and scope.

On the topic of TVL targets, aiming to exceed $40 million in the first half of 2024 is indeed an ambitious goal. I am curious about how these projections are distributed - are they focused primarily on the current adapters like T-bills and Kryptonim, or do they also include the anticipated contributions from the Index Vaults? Any insights into this would be valuable for understanding the expected growth trajectory.

I also have a question regarding the protocol fee structures. I understand that the Kryptonim vault operates with a 0.5% fee, while T-bills are at 0.2%. In light of this, could you elaborate on the fee structure planned for the Index Vaults? Understanding how these fees are structured would provide a clearer picture of the revenue potential and financial sustainability of these initiatives.

Finally, I hope to gain some insight into how the team plans to align the expected revenue with the proposed funding requirements. Are there any additional revenue streams or scaling strategies that Wallfacer Labs is considering to bridge the gap between the projected income from fees and the funding needs? This information would be crucial in comprehending the overall financial strategy of the project.

Thank you for fostering an environment of open communication and discussion. I eagerly await your thoughts and further developments in this exciting venture.

Best regards,
Ferengi

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Thanks for your comments @TheSkyHopper!

At current, the protocol holds ~$270k in stables. Our proposal seeks to balance our needs with the state of the protocol’s treasury. The mix of TRU and stables helps to cover some of our fixed costs while aligning our incentives.

We don’t deem downside risk to TRU price over the next 6 months as something that would jeopardize our long-term relationship with TrueFi.

We would like to implement something like this proposal that could help attract partners to TrueFi.

That said, we don’t have any plans to try and reimplement ‘liquidity mining’ like TrueFi has done in the past. Not strictly opposed though if someone had a productive proposal.

We are prioritizing networks where there is demonstrated interest from managers and lenders. We plan to launch on Kinto L2 because Adapt3r intends to deploy tfBILL there (link), and Kinto is specifically focused on attracting KYC/KYB’d institutional lenders. As you said, we also favor networks with native USDC as it makes for easier on/off-ramping for both lenders and borrowers. We are seeking out opportunities where lenders want to deploy capital on a specific network and/or where the network is willing to incentivize lenders on TrueFi.

This proposal’s monthly value is ~50% of the 2023 budget’s monthly value (using the TRU avg. price since Apr 1). This reflects our narrower scope of work for 2024 vs. 2023 and acknowledges that Wallfacer will spend some time on its own projects in addition to TrueFi.

Thank you :pray:

On Index Vaults, the vision is for TrueFi to provide investors with the best comprehensive products for their portfolio. Index Vaults enable composability where managers (or smart contracts as manager) can build strategies on top of individual TrueFi vaults and/or DeFi ERC-4626 vaults. To share some ideas, Index Vaults can enable:

  1. Managers to run a diversified credit strategy on TrueFi, allocating USDC across tfBILL, delta-neutral crypto pools, and asset-backed RWA pools
  2. RWA funds can build an index vault on top of tfBILL and other underlying credit deals, using tfBILL as a cash sweep for idle funds
  3. A DeFi/RWA hybrid yield fund could allocate USDC across tfBILL and Aave v3, Yearn USDC, or other DeFi vaults to enable both T-bill exposure and instant liquidity for investors

These types of options expand the audience for TrueFi, giving lenders the option to deploy passively into an index, or to choose specific underlying TrueFi vault(s) that suit their needs. The core idea for Index Vaults is for them to attract more TVL to underlying TrueFi vaults, so in our view, they should not take protocol fees (no double charging) on top of those paid in underlying vaults. Protocol fees should ultimately be decided by governance when the first one is deployed.

For the TVL goal of $40mm – Adapt3r has the potential to reach this target on its own in a good scenario, and we expect new credit strategies to emerge in 2024. In addition to supporting their deployment on Kinto, we will support Adapt3r by building a conduit to MakerDAO and integrations with other DAOs that could enable more capital to flow into tfBILL. With regards to other credit strategies, we have kept ties with MM firms and credit scoring solutions and are cautiously optimistic that delta-neutral crypto lending activity could return to TrueFi if market conditions continue to improve.

Regarding TrueFi’s funding needs and financial stability, the TrueFi treasury has control of ~247mm TRU today on top of ~$270k in stables. As mentioned above, we support using this TRU to onboard partners and to work on sustainable fee models in parallel. Looking to the future, we’ve proposed a scaled protocol fee and performance fees on junior capital that you can read about here.

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TL;DR:

WF Labs has requested comments on this proposal in order to “encourage discussion about what [are] the highest returning actions [for the DAO]”. In that spirit, we would suggest the “highest returning action” with the lowest effort is to simply structure the proposed engagement a bit more carefully.

This step may be taken regardless of the content of the proposed statement of work. Such a structure could look like the following: WF Labs includes clear milestones and deliverables. A portion of the fee is reserved and paid only upon performance to help manage and hedge the counter-party risk of the DAO. The new BoD could be in charge of evaluating performance and payment of the performance based milestones at their regular meeting upon submission of the invoice from WF. The DAO may still provide WF a portion of the fee as an ongoing stream to support WF operations.

In an arrangement like this, risk/reward is mutually balanced, and requires parties to come to agreement on the work to be done, in advance of initiation. This clarity is beneficial to all parties involved.

Initiative Questions

L2 Expansion
What metrics are you using to define “a clear opportunity”? It seems like the absence of PMF on mainnet is unlikely to be remedied by simply expanding. Something like MakerDAO, which has good PMF and signififcant liquidity to seed L2 expansions makes sense to expand. How will an L2 strategy address TrueFi’s lack of core PMF?

Conduit Proposal
What is the reasoning behind building a Maker SubDAO conduit, considering MakerDAO itself has not finalized the conduit architecture and there is no clear understanding of how these will be governed?

Ongoing Support
Is it possible to please partition the cost of existing support from the cost of new product development/initiatives?

This would help TRU holders get clarity into the cost structure and breakdown in the absence of the usual % time and headcount allocations. If WF can provide this, we can weigh the various initiatives and determine what scope of work makes sense for WF to provide concrete deliverables.

Integrate with additional KYC and institutional service partners
Which partners? How does this KYC differ from the existing solution? If this is delivered successfully what will the final product look like? Are we talking about 1 KYC provider, 10 KYC providers, etc. ? What market segments do each serve if any are particular, what are the technical and non technical tasks required for these integrations? How are we quantifying ROI? Number of new partners KYC’d on these novel integrations, etc?

Performance-Based Funding
MakerDAO and other large DAOs are now moving towards new performance based funding models in order to avoid disproportionate leverage by the vendor and unilateral risk on the DAO (DAO either gets the work or not, on time or not, but always loses the full fee).

In order to better structure risk/rewards, deliverables may be agreed upon in advance, and at least some portion of the fee is assigned as a performance incentive to paid only upon completion of predetermined milestones against a specific timeline. Is this something WF has considered? Why or why not?

It seems this is something TRU holders may want to consider a more professional format in order to hedge the significant retainer ~1mm, of which 30% is paid in advance, without a clear definition of how to measure success. Without a clear agreement upfront, it is possible the DAO feels WF failed to meet its expectations. In the absence of clarity, there is the opportunity for conflict and confusion. This issue is reflected in the recent trend regarding “Ecosystem Agreements” which help to manage performance of ecosystem actors using basic deal structuring and financial controls in the absence of traditional agreements.

Current TrueFI Strategy
Wallfacer seems to be the best informed regarding current strategic direction and product development.

Could you help the community (and us) understand the current high level strategic initiatives of TrueFi?

Are we able to tie this proposed statement of work to these initiatives and operationalize them to KPIs in order to understand what you intend to do and how we can agree on success? This would make it rather simple to evaluate the relative ROI of each proposed initiative and seems like a good starting point before putting the budget to a vote.

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In theory, I’d believe that Wallfacer Labs project/budget request can be split into multiple sections with each one section with some comments (or a change in plans) and being voted upon. If some areas are rejected by vote, then freed up time from Wallfacer can be used towards other project proposals. (I’m not necessarily a 100% plan of this since this kind of pick and choose and negotiate pattern has clearly bogged down the US Congress for decades).

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This is definitely one way forward. If I were a board member, whatever funding/ procurement solution/format we landed on, I would hope it would have the two following characteristics:

Transparency. The ability to understand how many resources were allocated and to where. Without transparency I would be unable to understand the cost benefit or relative ROI of any given initiative.

Empirically Grounded. The ability to observe and measure the fulfillment of promises made in exchange for the resources. Without agreed upon metrics to measure, the spend essentially falls into a black hole of “trust” which temporarily works, until there is some miscommunication that turns into conflict. It is easy to avoid, and is in essence, the foundation of an agreement.

Graduating from Flat Fee. Flat fee funding arrangements are great in that they are simple to enact and always of benefit to the vendor (by virtue of being a black box). They are not so great for the funder, who floats all the risk and has no true understanding of the cost of value of the services being rendered. Without understanding resource allocation the org can not make better predictions or update its predictions with the latest prior because it is not provided the necessary information, despite bearing all the risk.

MakerDAO is moving to make all funding arrangements transparent and well structured as this opacity of flat fee arrangements has limited their ROI on budget spend. Since there is in essence only 1 major funding arrangement for TrueDAO (this proposal), perhaps it makes sense to take a bit of time and get the transparency and auditability of the arrangement up to spec. It only has to be set up once the right way and may be replicated with each subsequent SOWs to yield 100x ROI on the time spent.

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Would be great if Wallfacer would be able to address this questions regarding the content of their proposal and how it relates to the current strategy of the DAO, specifically how the structure of funding proposal is connected to performance and in turn the currently contemplated strategy.

For consideration of the community, the previous funding proposal HERE contained clear task delineation with some light analysis to determine relative priority.

Is there a work stream breakdown that evaluates the performance of these tasks? I saw a general recap, but I did not see it compared against the prior framework Wallfacer opted to used.

Have we abandoned the project management framework? If not, is there a similar breakdown for this current funding proposal? Is that associated with deliverables or is there a resource breakdown for the funding arrangement?

In order to maintain the “D” in DAO, these management and funding frameworks need to be transparent to the extent possible. This enables us token holders to engage and collectively determine the path in an open forum, with the necessary information.

@ryan.rodenbaugh @WallfacerLabs @TheSkyHopper @michael.bland @ferengi @tylerw

Thank you @Sanctus for sharing your perspectives on the proposal. We appreciate you taking the time to provide feedback.

Our goal is to establish a framework that encourages open dialogue while still allowing room for flexibility as priorities shift.

Re: your questions on strategic objectives, we have chosen to prioritize building for ecosystems putting significant capital towards credit and RWAs

  • L2s like Kinto and Mantle have put forth programs and ecosystem funds focused on putting capital into RWAs and credit.
  • MakerDAO has been one of the largest funders of on-chain RWA activity to date. While the Conduit model is not yet formalized, we aim to solve problems for the Maker ecosystem and integrate TrueFi as we previously worked towards with the D3M before that structure was deprioritized.
  • Aave (GHO) and Frax, for example, are ecosystem opportunities that we are also following.

This is our thinking behind the strategic initiatives we’ve proposed, but ultimately, we will follow input from TRU holders. We reiterate @michael.bland’s comment from above:

it’s the $TRU token holders who ultimately control the treasury and product direction of the protocol

At the end of the day, TrueFi governance can end our funding if we are not delivering value.

This is the second proposal we’ve put forth to TrueFi, and we appreciate your help in improving frameworks for how TrueFi funds teams and projects. Please continue to engage with us, as we view this as an ongoing dialogue.

Thanks for the reply. With regards to the Maker Conduits and D3m, Maker has specific liquidity and solvency profiles it intends to achieve. These are pretty well understood right now and captured in the atlas (I think?). Maker will only invest in short term cash like RWA for the foreseeable future. Anything with duration risk needs to go through an arranger and there is basically 0 new exposure to these less liquid classes. What are the current cashlike assets equivalents that Maker could fund in TrueFi?

I think generally the issue is if the DAO denies your funding, when does it expire? There needs to be a long enough window to ensure continuity of your operations, otherwise it turns into a weird leverage challenge. Happy to provide feedback and get something structured a bit better.

TrueFi has a US Treasuries portfolio live with Adapt3r.

Steakhouse calls out the desire for 3rd party UST products here. Next Steps Tokenized T-Bills - Maker Core - The Maker Forum

Jan 1.

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Ah, Jan. 1 not much time.

I would just say if you guys could come up with a couple sets of clear deliverables, and partition a portion of compensation to be paid only upon performance (delivery), it would look a lot more attractive and reasonable, assuming wallfacer is sufficiently capitalized to float the risk.

If not, I guess in 6 months we will be having a similar conversation. Generally best to get ahead of the curve when possible.

Is it feasible for @WallfacerLabs or someone else to develop an onchain transparent Expenditure Control System that tracks all labour and cost for all upcoming funding proposals for TrueFi development as part of this proposal—or the next—?

While having everything outlined in a proposal is fantastic, I believe that the Truefi DAO needs an extremely transparent step-by-stage itemised expense control mechanism that provides complete transparency when money are being used or unused at each stage and what those funds were spent on.

When finances from one stage of a plan are perhaps carried over to the next, this can also be beneficial. Not only for this proposal, but every proposal moving forward.

Looking at what wallfacer has done when developing vaults.fyi. I think you can build this :+1:t3:

This will be a great framework for the TrueFi DAO expenditure control.

Great read here
Expenditure Control:
Key Features, Stages, and Actors

“Expenditure Attestation Control Mechanism” … if you will.

If built with PM’s in mind, they can also pay a fee to use it for their borrowing clients ensuring borrowed funds are being used for what they say they are. Possibly admissible in court when chasing defaults.

A potential Truefi DAO revenue stream.

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The proposal has been posted onchain. Voting period begins on Friday morning, 9 am UTC

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All due respect to @WallfacerLabs. I’m going to be completely unprofessional here and go well out on a limb.

I’m calling BS on your previous and current requests for funds for completed and prospective projects.

I can’t help but suspect that TrueFi funding were used for purposes unrelated to TrueFi. For example, Vaults.fyi … (which is confusing as to why it has no use case for the TrueFi Protocol) and possibly other unrelated unkown projects/tasks.

I have no proof of these claims because it is impossible to have any due to the complete lack of transparency regarding cash spent. All we have is “TRUST,” and to be honest, I don’t “TRUST” @Wallfacer is only spending the monies for the Truefi Protocol.

I also do not wish to have a private talk or, to be honest, to hear a response. I just wanted to get this message out there.

We have a phrase in Australia; “keep the bastards honest” means: to ensure that politicians, large business organisations, etc., behave fairly and openly, and are accountable for their actions.

I truly hope @Wallfacer ends up making me appear like a fool. We can only hope the TrueFi Protocol can attract other development teams who are not overvaluing themselves compared to what they actually provide in return.