SSV and Swell Network | Delivering the Next-Generation of Ethereum Staking
Swell Network DAO (“Swell”) is seeking a grant to accelerate the delivery of a next-generation staking protocol by integrating with SSV Network. With a shared focus on principles of decentralisation, security, and innovation, Swell is strategically positioned to leverage synergies with SSV Network’s infrastructure to deliver value to each community and the wider ecosystem.
2. Vision and Background
Swell’s vision is to deliver the leading next-generation Ethereum staking protocol that is decentralised, liquid, and non-custodial. Importantly, Swell intends to utilise SSV Network’s infrastructure to provide its users, which span across both retail and institutional stakers, with the best possible ETH staking experience. Swell intends to utilise the grant to drive the development of Swell’s product roadmap which features integration with SSV Network.
Swell is supported by some of the industry’s most respected venture capital funds / firms and DeFi angels. These include Framework Ventures, IOSG Ventures, Apollo Capital, Maven 11, as well as several angel investors including Kain Warwick (Synthetix), Fernando Martinelli (Balancer Labs), Joey Santoro (Fei Protocol), and others. The core team is led by a highly capable co-founding team, both of whom have more than a decade of experience across finance, technology, and decentralised finance, with combined commercial and technical experience. The co-founders include:
Daniel Dizon (Co-Founder and CEO): Extensive experience in finance, technology, and start-ups. Exited software entrepreneur. Former strategic advisor to the Australian state government and Mayor of London on technology and innovation.
Lecky Lao (Co-Founder and CTO): Deep expertise in technology, product, and engineering. Serial entrepreneur. Experience includes leading DeFi projects such as Synthetix, dHedge, Instadapp, as well as corporate such as Telstra, Fujitsu, and IBM.
The team is currently focussed on achieving the following key objectives which are strategically aligned to SSV Network:
Providing a simplified, seamless, and user-friendly ETH staking experience, enabled by SSV Network.
Empowering users with liquid staking derivatives to enable higher risk-adjusted returns, which is supported by SSV Network’s distributed validator technology.
Enabling automation of compounded staking rewards which brings value to the wider ecosystem.
Leveraging containerisation to allow stakers to benefit from additional staking yield to other DeFi opportunities which helps the broader adoption and uptake of projects operating at both protocol and infrastructure layer.
Utilising the highest standards of security, risk management, and decentralisation, by leveraging SSV Network’s capability to support decentralised control and operations of Ethereum validators.
Presently, Swell’s primary focus and specialism resides in enabling next-generation Ethereum staking through a decentralised, liquid, and non-custodial manner empowered by smart contracts, network design, and community governance. This is strategically aligned and wholly complementary to SSV Network’s distributed validator technology.
Given the synergy to both projects and their respective communities, Swell has collaboratively developed this grant proposal as an important first step to what Swell believes to be a mutually beneficial, valuable, and long-term partnership.
4. Progress To Date
Product: Swell has completed Swell V2 design and is moving into implementation. Swell V2 will enable decentralised, liquid, and non-custodial Ethereum staking, providing a differentiated and valuable offering to a large and growing market of ETH stakers and node operators. With Swell V2, the protocol will deliver liquid staking in a non-custodial manner enabled by atomic transactions. This will be altogether underpinned by higher headline yields through its innovative containerisation technology which allows the protocol to compounded DeFi yield strategies.
Integrations: As a core financial primitive for DeFi, Swell is continuing to build strategic partnerships and integrations across the DeFi landscape as part of its wider ecosystem approach. SSV Network, with its leading distributed validator technology is a priority partner for Swell’s innovative Ethereum staking offerings.
Partnerships: Swell has brought on a best-in-class group of strategic partners through its recent seed round which was backed by some of the leading DeFi venture capital firms, funds, and angel investors.
5. High-Level Roadmap for Leveraging SSV Network
Swell intends to implement a multi-phased, tightly-scoped, and agile / sprint-based approach to enable integration with SSV Network. At a high-level the following outlines the indicative / draft integration roadmap.
Phase 1 (Swell V2): Mar - May 2022
Designing validator evaluation and monitoring approach, including consideration to key parameters such as: network performance, experience, capability, geography, and more.
Developing a liquid staking derivative token and financial NFT mining for Ethereum leveraging SSV Network’s distributed validator technology. (Note: The financial NFT will serve as a container for liquid staked ETH and financial rewards associated with staking as well as compounding yield across the DeFi ecosystem.)
Developing underlying Swell network incentive design as part of overarching marketplace / platform model.
Enabling limited LP yield farming strategy to provide yields.
Phase 2 (Swell V3): June - Nov 2022
Enabling wide range automated compounding and containerisation of added yield farming to provide higher headline yields.
Extending to multiple third party validator nodes by leveraging SSV Network’s infrastructure.
Continuing ongoing partnerships and integrations as part of Swell’s ecosystem approach to drive further value and utility to Swell’s liquid staking derivative.
Phase 3 (Swell V4): TBD
Expanding to wider institutional settings including major funds, centralised exchanges, and other financial institutions.
Embedding wider regulatory, tax, and legal considerations within tailored product design for institutional users.
Developing medium and longer term strategies to support ongoing partnership and integration with SSV Network.
6. Grant Request
Swell anticipates the total cost of development for Phase 1 including relevant managerial and technical program management resourcing, frontend and backend development resourcing, as well as audit, to be in the vicinity of ~$300K to $350K USD. The requested grant amount from SSV Network for this proposal reflects a portion of this amount at $120K USD. This will cover the cost of 3x development resources and 1x audit. Other relevant costs will be borne by Swell.
6.1. Phase 1: Budget and Grant Schedule
|F1||Liquid derivative token (ERC-20) contract.||$20K|
|F2||Staking contract that issues the financial NFT (ERC-721) contract.||$50K|
|F3||Dapp to interact with the contract. E2E testing and optimising on SSV testnet.||$25K|
|F4||Mainnet deployment, testing and E2E stabilisation.||$25K|
Overall, this grant will supplement existing resources dedicated to this effort. The funds will be utilised to ensure an effective and efficient integration. Swell is open and flexible as to the overall grant funding amount and terms.
As an initial proposal, Swell is seeking 40% of the funds upfront, followed by milestone based payments over the relevant staged approach. The Grant Schedule is indicated below:
|Type||Description||Grant Drawdown (%)||Funding Amount (USD)|
|Milestone 1||Achievement of F1||15%||$18K|
|Milestone 2||Achievement of F2||15%||$18K|
|Milestone 3||Achievement of F3||15%||$18K|
|Milestone 4||Achievement of F4||15%||$18K|
6.2. Phase 2 and Beyond
Swell will look to submit separate grant requests on an as-needs basis for Phase 2 and beyond.
Swell is delivering the next-generation of Ethereum staking that is decentralised, liquid, and non-custodial. Swell will build a platform for both stakers and node operators. With Swell, stakers will be able to securely and seamlessly stake their ETH, earning attractive yields in a non-custodial manner and node operators will be able to leverage their financial and technical resources through Swell’s smart contracts. Swell intends to provide support for other Proof of Stake (PoS) networks in the medium term with the immediate and core focus being on Ethereum. To learn more about Swell Network, please visit the following links: