AMA Recap — Elk hosted by DeFi Avalanche
Date: 9 September 2021
Guest: Baal | Elk.Finance, Founder (@elk_finance)
Host: Jaack | Avascan Explorer (link); DeFi Avalanche (link)
Venue: DeFi Avalanche Telegram
Format: Text + Voice
This recap is a lightly edited transcript of the AMA with banter removed for length. The first half of the AMA was conducted via text, and the second half was done over voice. Scroll down for a link to the voice portion.
Jaack (Defi Avalanche): Hey everyone! Welcome to the first AMA Session of DeFi Avalanche. This is just the first AMA and we haven’t done anything like this before in this community, so we’ll try experimenting with some concepts to test the user’s engagement. In our first AMA, we would like to welcome Baal, founder of Elk.Finance, one of the first dapps on Avalanche. Baal will be taking questions gathered from Twitter first, then (in the second half of the AMA) will answer live questions from the audience.
Baal (Elk): Hey Jaack! Hey everyone! Thanks for having me here today.
Jaack (DA): Enjoy! From @xxxxxxx: “what is elk’s next growth plan?”
Baal (Elk): Well, we have a number of different avenues. Now that we have launched a first version of our ElkNet, our priority is to learn from this release, fix bugs, improve throughput, and so on until we are satisfied with the technology. So far, this has been going great. Once that basic functionality (moving the ELK token at blazing speeds across all chains we support) is achieved, we have planned quite a few next steps…
First, we want to keep building on that first use case, including more tokens available to swap (through the ELK token) and more functionality (sending to a different address, increasing the amount of ELK you can send in one transaction, etc.). Next, we are of course working on expanding the number of chains we support as we now want to be as aggressive as possible, especially with EVM chains. We are also looking into adding support for Solana and Cardano. Finally, and this is where I think much of the growth will come from is three additional use cases we want to build for the ElkNet.
These are, specifically, what we call proxy tokens (allowing any token on any chain to become truly cross-chain), our cross-chain stablecoin, and the last one (which I believe was never publicly announced before) a cross-chain privacy coin.
Jaack (DA): @xxxxxx asks, “Can you please clarify the ILP deadline? Does it mean there’s no protection for those who join late?”
Baal (Elk): Sure. No, that is not really how it works. You get protected too if you join late. Currently, we are still iterating over rounds of farming where there are new farms every 42 days. As such, you need to withdraw and deposit your LP tokens again with every new round. This means that if you stay for the full 42 days, you get the full ILP coverage (regardless of whether or not you have a Moose). If you do not stay for 42 days or if you join after the round starts, you still get a daily vested ILP amount of ~2.5% (assuming no Moose).
Note that in most cases, you do not need to vest 100% as that corresponds to the maximum coverage. Assuming the prices do not go too crazy (granted, that has not necessarily been the case these days), you should be fine even with less than 100%.
Jaack (DA): @xxxxxx asks “How did Elk Finance come across Avalanche, and decide to build on this chain?”
Baal (Elk): I have personally been following Avalanche for a very long time. I read the original paper by Team Rocket before anything became concrete and Avalanche became what it is today. We started by building on Avalanche as our first chain because we felt it was a good choice. Solid tech, solid team, fast and (relatively cheap) transactions. And, most importantly, we knew Avalanche would go vertical at some point (we did not know when of course), but we wanted to make sure we would be a part of it 🙂
Jaack (DA): @xxxxxx asks, “Do you have any plans to further incentivise the use of $CHFT?”
Baal (Elk): An interesting question. One answer is that we will, of course, provide farms for the token in ElkDex and we will also work with partners to make sure that they also help promote it.
Here is another answer: CHFT is not pegged to the dollar but the Swiss Franc, arguably one of the most stable fiat currencies in the world. Now, I don’t know how you feel about this in general in crypto, but here is my sense: for a community that overall aims to revolutionize finance and replace fiat money, it is still very dollar-centric. There is nothing necessarily wrong with that, but why is that? Why not have stablecoins pegged to something else?
Today, if you are not Swiss, good luck getting a Swiss bank account! We cannot really help you with that, but we can at least help you get exposure to a currency that is still being managed without constantly running the printing press.
Jaack (DA): @xxxxxx asks: “Elk Finance are aiming to level the playing field in a bull run or bear market, so can you explain a little bit about how you would do this? Also can you tell us what is your most ambitious goal right now?”
Baal (Elk): Sure. So the first thing we do and what we always said we wanted to do is make it easy to move value across chains. Currently, we are probably at ~10% progress towards achieving this — many, many thing are still needed to make it really practical and workable for everyone. However, we are working hard on getting there 🙂 Now, once you can move value anywhere fast and cheap, the question is “what does this enable?”
I think there are tons of answers to that question and we are (honestly) still finding out. I am not an economist: I am a geek. In other words, while we predicted some of things that would happen, we certainly did not anticipate others. One clear thing that we saw with Avalanche rush (and later with Fantom rush) is that transfer volumes through the ElkNet exploded for a few days. In other words, people were very aware that Elk was making it possible for them to get quick exposure to the most valuable chains when they needed to. Another thing we kind of knew was likely was the fact that the ELK price could be fairly stable in the event of high market volatility. This makes sense because we are paired with many tokens on many chains. And this is also why yesterday the price of ELK went down much less than the market as a whole (and with much less volatility).
Now, our most ambitious long-term goal remains to make it so that you, as the user, don’t have to think about which chain you are using. In the meantime, two of our most ambitious goals in the shorter-term are finishing the development and launching of proxy tokens (which I believe will be a game changer) and working on this privacy coin I hinted at (which we believe is becoming more and more necessary in this space).
Jaack (DA): Okay, last question before the second part: @xxxxxx asks, “Could you please tell me more about ELK Finance team and their backgrounds? I have personally seen many projects launch with inexperienced team members, and some of those didn’t go so well due to easily avoidable mistakes.”
Baal (Elk): Sure. We are still anonymous so I cannot tell you too much. We have a team of 4 developers, including myself. Some basic info about each of us is available in our litepaper. We have now hired (or finalizing the hiring) of a couple more developers to work with us. In parallel, we have a large biz dev, marketing, and community management team with great people that are super dedicated to making Elk a big success.
In terms of experience, I will not comment on other teams or projects. What you want to keep in mind is that crypto is a new space. Many projects today are clones of other projects. Cloning a project does not require much skill, and this is why people have been finding out about weird things in their code that they did not even know was there (e.g., migrator code). Of course, viability of a project in the long term depends on whether they will be able to distinguish themselves from other clones. This is where you have to really look if you want more than quick profits while taking huge risks. Now, I am not going to tell you that Elk is one of these and you should not believe me anyway. There is one acronym you want to remember in this space: DYOR.
Jaack (DA): Great! Now, let’s ready to jump in the second part of the AMA: live questions in the voice chat!
Voice part of the AMA will be added in the coming days.