Fantom Ecosystem Spotlight – Takepile Finance
Have you heard the expression that a week in crypto is like a year IRL? The adage holds, especially in DeFi, where innovation is fast and furious.
Consider Takepile, one of the newest protocols on Fantom.
Takepile brings perpetual futures to Fantom DeFi and leverages an innovative liquidity scheme to radically improve upon the offerings of similar protocols. Arguably Takepile improves on traditional finance as well, with a zero-fee platform, streamlined UI, and excellent documentation that will take even the novice user from zero to 100 in no time.
1. What is Takepile?
Takepile is a decentralized perpetual exchange (Perp DEX) offering real-yield staking opportunities and guaranteed position solvency through its novel “pile” liquidity system.
2. How do you introduce Takepile to a DeFi novice?
To introduce a DeFi novice to Takepile, I think it’s important first to introduce what Perp DEXs are and to explain why they are essential to the DeFi space.
A perpetual contract is a tradable asset that allows a trader to buy or sell an asset at a fixed price for an indefinite period, enabling traders to speculate on market movements. Previously, this was done on centralized exchanges.
In Takepile’s opinion, Perp DEXs matter for three critical reasons:
- They allow trading on market volatility without impacting investments or held assets.
- They support the ethos of crypto: secure, sovereign, no KYC, and no counter-party risk.
- They offer traders opportunities for “real-yield” passive earnings in stablecoins or underlying assets.
3. How did you come up with Takepile?
Takepile’s founding developer has been in Web3 development for years, mainly in venture capital, performing technical due diligence on potential investments. Simply put, he saw a lot of the good and even more of the bad.
Early on, he began to identify issues with Perp DEXs. Takepile was born to be better and different from what’s already out there.
4. What makes Takepile different from other perpetual DEXs?
Takepile’s tech allows us to make a few very hot claims that truly set us apart from the rest of the Perp DEX market. First and foremost, we can guarantee position solvency, a claim no other protocol can make.
Through research, we’ve seen that solvency is a constant risk for key perpetual DEX players (GMX, dYdX). A trader with a large, profitable position can drain a liquidity pool, leaving other traders’ positions insolvent and unable to realize gain.
Solvency is the capacity to cover one’s liabilities. In Takepile’s case, our liability is a user’s proportion of a pile at any given time. Under no circumstances could a user lose their appropriate portion on Takepile; therefore, position solvency is guaranteed.
Liquidity through pile
Here’s how it works: Takepile has a liquidity system called a pile. When you wish to trade, you need first to deposit the pile’s underlying asset (ex: DAI or wFTM) into the pile.
Upon deposit, a pileToken is minted. That pileToken now represents your proportional share of ownership of the total amount of the underlying asset in that pile, similar to how an LP token functions.
With your acquired pileTokens, you can now open and close trades. With a winning trade, the protocol mints more pileTokens, thus increasing your proportional ownership of the aforementioned underlying assets.
A pileToken is burned upon a losing trade or upon conversion to a pile’s underlying asset.
The next is the emerging concept called Real-Yield. As DeFi matures, investors seek opportunities that more closely resemble TradFi in the form of purchasing or staking an asset and earning yields analogous to dividends paid in stablecoins and natives.
Takepile offers a real-yield generating ecosystem through staking, enabled by a sticky liquidity system built off platform fees. As $TAKE is a fixed supply token, its value accrual is directly correlated to the yield it generates for its holders and those utilizing the full Takepile ecosystem.
Simply put, stake $TAKE on a pile, and earn a portion of the protocol’s trading fees.
Zero fees and Infinite Markets
Unlike TradFi trading, Takepile does not have funding/lending/borrowing rates. As perpetual contracts do not have an expiration date, platforms that utilize leverage impose funding rates. Funding rates are an interest rate and a premium paid by traders, typically every 8 hours, for the ability to keep a perpetual position open.
In Takepile’s novel “pile” liquidity system, as traders are not borrowing against a leveraged position, funding rates are unnecessary to maintain a healthy trading ecosystem.
On other platforms, traders who maintain a position longer than 8 hours pay this premium which increases during periods of volatility. On Takepile, traders can hold the same position, over the same period, without any decrease in their realized gains.
The final two points are related to our price feed system. Our traders are 100% insulated from false liquidations. DIA, our custom oracle provider, validates the quality of data we use to calculate liquidation prices before pushing the feeds to Takepile every 60 seconds. This ensures greater confidence in price accuracy and removes the risk of false liquidations.
Finally, Takepile can offer an infinite number of tradable markets and synthetic assets, another feature wholly unique to us.
Due to our novel liquidity system and DIA partnership, we can and will offer an infinite range of markets between crypto assets, FOREX, and TradFi. For scale, competing perpetual DEXs have a limited number of markets, some as low as 3-5 trading pairs. In simple terms, we can scale to a CEX number of tradable perpetuals.
5 Can you explain how Liquidation Pass NFTs work?
A Liquidation Pass NFT allows a user to operate a free liquidation bot found on our GitHub.
A liquidation bot operator helps maintain the efficiency and accuracy of positions on our protocol in exchange for 10% of the collateral on the liquidated position. If this interests you, please feel free to reach out to the Takepile team for setup assistance.
6. What are the team members’ backgrounds?
We currently have a team of 5 core/founding members, 5 core support/peripheral members, and then a few more contractors.
Regarding the core/founding 5, we have wildly mixed backgrounds that are incredibly complimentary.
Our founding developer has a background in smart contract due diligence and building Web3 tools across the corporate Web3 and Venture Capital spaces.
Our Chief Operations Officer has been full-time in crypto since 2018. Over five years, he has been a day trader, blockchain analyst, and consultant for countless projects, and this is all after his career as a penetration tester.
We have a Chief Marketing Officer who spent 5 years running various marketing teams and functions at a Fortune 1000 consumer products organization, one of the largest beverage companies in the US.
His main IRL specialty was Shopper Marketing, the discipline focused on customer experience and the consumer’s path to purchase, which is very valuable in the crypto-sphere. After moving to crypto full-time, he has led 7 projects of varying sizes.
Additionally, we have a developer who joined us pre-launch to support our founder. He comes with several years of smart contract development and 4 years of full-time crypto development work, having built and run multiple successful DeFi protocols before joining Takepile.
Lastly, we have a Senior Advisor who has been in crypto since 2018. He was one of the founding members of Fantohm DAO (now Balance), a massively successful project on FTM, and an advisor to countless more projects.
As you can see, we have a very eclectic yet robust team covering all the facets required for what we hope will be a long-standing DeFi protocol.
7. How did you learn about Fantom?
A majority of the team were either investors in FTM and its ecosystem or worked on other projects on the Fantom Network, so most everyone at Takepile had experience with FTM prior to founding or joining Takepile.
8. Why did you decide to build on Fantom?
We chose Fantom for a few reasons. Fantom offers a stand-out opportunity as one of the highest activity top ten chains.
Daily stablecoin and asset transfer volume and activity on FTM are consistently greater than other competing blockchains’ daily transfer volume. Yet, no clear premier protocol for users to trade perpetuals or earn real yield has been established on the network. Takepile aims to fill this gap.
9. How did the Fantom community receive Takepile?
The response of the Fantom community has been overwhelming. While we individually had our few contacts with projects, builders, KOLs, etc., we were relatively unknown as a team early on.
As we finalized our protocol, we began to chat more with those in the community about what we were building and our mission; Takepile was received better and better day by day.
We feel that Fantom is a gem in crypto and that it has a passionate community behind it. By delivering value to that core group and bringing exposure to the network through our protocol, we can create an environment where everyone can succeed.
10. What’s coming up for Takepile? Free alpha!
We strive to be innovative. The first, and probably the easiest thing, going back to the scalability we have through our liquidity system, is tradable assets. We have 6 pairs today and are consistently evaluating high-trading-volume assets to include as tradable markets on Takepile. We could add a new asset every day for a year if it made sense. As we continue to build, be on the lookout for new markets.
The second thing is including TradFi markets. We can integrate traditional asset price feeds for FOREX, stocks, indices, etc. I can’t say too much about this next item, but one super exciting thing we’re researching is custom indices.
The last more RnD-type feature we’re looking at, roadmap-wise, is a trustless fund management system that will be a layer on top of the Takepile protocol.
11. What is the future of DeFi?
I think we’ve hinted at it throughout this article, but Takepile believes that DeFi will start to look more like TradFi but maintain the ethos of crypto. Dividend-like paying assets, decentralized trading environments that can do what centralized options can do, trustless fund custodialism, etc. With this sentiment in mind, we want to be innovating in that direction.
12. Is there anything else that you’d like to add?
I would like to thank the Fantom Foundation and the Fantom community for their support. The Foundation has been an enormous supporter both publicly and privately of Takepile.
We often forget in crypto that there is a human element to all this, as much as Telegram chats may lead us to believe otherwise. Frankly, without that piece, those individuals who support teams and projects like ours, none of this works.
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