AMA Highlights: GooseFX
By Daniel Dal Bello, Director.
November 27, 2021–10 min read.
GooseFX is a full suite DeFi platform that facilitates trades in cryptocurrency, derivatives, synthetics, NFTs, and single-sided liquidity farming.
As it’s built on the Solana blockchain, GooseFX utilizes the speed and scalability of Solana, and the Serum DEX for liquidity.
The project has received backing from prominent names including Animoca Brands.
We were curious to learn more about their approach to DeFi.
In this post, we have compiled key questions and answers from the event.
Hi Terry and welcome, would you like to introduce GooseFX to us, and tell us how you personally got to take part in it?
I got in touch with Wayne during the latest Solana hackathon. I was working on a Solana project of my own back then, and Goose reached out to me and pitched me the product.
Basically, the idea of GooseFX is to have a central website that would allow its users to partake in almost everything that is available in DeFi today.
Are you still working on your personal project? Are all of the team members full-time committed to GooseFX? How are they remunerated for their efforts?
Not really, when I say “personal project” it was about learning Solana programming, just like what you do in a computer science school.
Every team member on GooseFX is working full-time on the project, and we also have an additional member that is finishing his studies and is working part-time.
I’m not sure about how everyone is compensated, but personally, I have a monthly salary plus a vested allocation of GOFX tokens. I’m assuming it’s the same for everyone.
Your personal role with GooseFX is as Web3 Lead Developer, can you tell us more about what this entails? How is the product development managed and how do you coordinate with the team?
When we started building GooseFX, we were four. Goose and Antimatter are leading the project, coordinating everything, as well as handling marketing, policy-making, product choices, etc, etc.
Then, CanadaGoose and myself were tasked with the Solana programming part. Back then I had very little experience programming on Solana, and was more a traditional Web2 full stack developer, with a strong experience in front-end development.
I chimed in on the on-chain part of the development at first, but quickly Dovahcrow joined the team as the lead Rust developer, as he has about 7 years of development in Rust now, which is pretty insane.
As I was still experienced with the Solana part, I naturally started to handle the front-end as well as every interaction with the on-chain program, while the rest of the team was developing the Solana programs.
We also have a UI/UX designer, a data scientist, and two more Solana programmers now.
I’m basically the only one handling all of the front-end, and as I’m an experienced DeFi user myself, I also contribute a lot to the product itself, because I know what I would want as a user.
About coordination, we have daily meetings so we can all say what we’re working on and where we’re at. We’re all remote and in different time zones so slack is also heavily used to coordinate, pretty standard stuff you’d expect for a crypto team.
One thing that catches the eye immediately is the deep black and purple color palette of the UI of GooseFX. As a front-end developer and the lead on the Web3 team, what is your influence and take on the UI and style of GooseFX and its products? How does it reflect your brand?
I’m an awful designer. I could not design a website to save my life. However, I’m good at taking existing stuff and improving on them.
Our UI/UX designer is the one who came up with everything.
That being said, I improve on certain parts of the product as I mentioned earlier, as sometimes it would make more sense to have this button here, or this information there.
To answer your question, I have almost 0 influence on the UI, even though I had some little things that make the whole thing more polished like shadows, gradients, animations, and stuff.
With GooseFX you are not the only one creating a full suite DeFi experience, there are others attempting the same and without naming names, how do you see GooseFX standing apart from the rest? What are your key differentiators?
Yes, we do have a few competitors.
First of all, we’re working heavily on enabling access to everyone. And when I say everyone, I mean including people who have zero knowledge about cryptocurrency. I think everyone who’s in crypto right now is at least pretty smart, and understanding yield farming for instance isn’t that easy for the average consumer.
What will make GooseFX stand out is that the UX will be very intuitive for even the most crypto unaware user to figure out how to benefit from the platform.
That’s only one part of the answer.
After that, we’re also working on plugging every aspect of DeFi right now into the product, because you have protocols who do A, others who do B, etc.
Ultimately, we’ll have everything, with synergies between every aspect of our product, why then go look elsewhere?
And finally, we’re also designing products that do not exist on the market yet and are very innovative.
As a still relatively lean team, how do you keep up?
We’re all very passionate about what we’re building. It may sound a bit cliche, but we all genuinely are. About cryptocurrency, about GooseFX. We don’t just work 9–5 and then go back to something else, the whole team, myself included, spend a lot more than 35 hours a week to build because we want GooseFX to succeed.
We grew the team as we were coming up with more features to add, and we will keep doing that to keep up with whatever it is we come up with.
As you (GooseFX) believe DeFi products will overtake their centralized counterparts in the upcoming 5 years, and aim to become a top contender in this future DeFi space, what is your growth strategy to capture a relevant market share?
I wish I could delve a bit into our growth strategy, unfortunately, I am not aware of it that much.
What I can say however is that we believe if the product is good enough, growth will be organic. On top of that, Goose and Antimatter have been into the community for a while, one may even call them “crypto-OG”.
They have a very strong network, and a lot of partnerships are happening behind the scene, so I have no doubt the growth strategy is quite well thought of.
One of the main differentiators of GooseFX is that it’s built on Solana. Having implemented a novel ‘Proof of History’ approach in its PoS consensus Solana promises more scalability and throughput, enabling much more accessible DeFi products.
However there are also perceived risks with choosing a novel blockchain, in the case of Solana there are relatively high node requirements, the ecosystem is still small so any scandals could have a high impact, and the tech has yet to prove itself on Ethereum level volumes.
What has led to the decision to launch on Solana? And can you share with us your long-term perspective on Solana?
I personally heard about Bitcoin in 2015, although back then I didn’t really take the time to learn properly about it. I got back into cryptocurrency last year, November 2020.
I started learning properly, doing my research, and I stumbled upon Solana in December.
As someone with a technical background, I read every piece of documentation I could find on Solana, every article, and I found the tech behind it absolutely game-changing.
When I met Goose, he was also convinced about the long-term success of Solana, which is why we chose that chain.
It was in March, so it wasn’t as clear-cut as it is today. Of course, we never know what will happen, but in my opinion, Solana is one of the very few chains that will still exist in 10 years.
The tech is good, it’s backed by some very big names, and a lot of amazing products are being built on it.
Not to mention the obvious, transactions are cheap.
As much as I like Ethereum, and I do, it’s just not practical for the average person to use. Now, we even have a company that will make EVM-compatible contracts portable to Solana.
Just last week we hosted an AMA with Orca, which also facilitates Solana-based trading, but where they chose to have their own liquidity pools, you choose to utilize the Serum central limit order book for your liquidity.
What are the benefits for you in using Serum, and how has the process of integrating with Serum been so far? Do you have active communication with their team?
We use the Serum book for our DEX only.
At the moment, we do not have our own liquidity pools because they’re still in development. They’re a bit harder to develop than regular AMM pools because they introduce novel mechanisms.
Your platform intends to offer tradability on tokenized stock derivatives, we’re well aware of the legal complexities of handling tokenization of equity through personal experience.
The regulatory landscape is very divided between nations, making it extremely challenging to compliantly run a global platform without access restrictions/oversight such as KYC/AML implementations.
Can you give us a high-level idea of the legal challenges you are facing in bringing stock derivatives to DeFi and your approach to making it work?
I can’t really elaborate too much about this point, because I don’t know too much about it.
What I can say, is that we have a dedicated legal team, we’re well aware of these challenges, and we’re making sure that no legal problems will interfere with the release of the synthetic assets.
Are there underlying equity stocks of your derivatives to be managed, or is underlying collateral expressed in GOFX as with synthetic assets of cryptocurrencies in your Open Alpha?
That’s one of the challenges we had to face because we weren’t sure about how to implement this feature.
So, the way it works for now is that we’re using several techniques, like Pyth oracles, for instance, to fetch the prices of every synthetic asset we allow to mint on our platform.
Collateral is added in the form of GOFX token. Users can then mint gUSD, or other synthetics, with that collateral.
As collateral for synthetic crypto-assets on your platform is expressed in GOFX how is volatility managed in such a way that guarantees the 1-to-1 value of the synthetic asset over the actual underlying asset?
We do not manage regular securities under the hood if that was the question. We have a liquidation engine that liquidates open positions below a certain collateral ratio.
So minting synthetic assets comes at a risk of liquidation.
Yes, you can be liquidated. Users can mint up to a collateral ratio of 200%, e.g. for $100 of GOFX token, they will be able to mint $50gUSD, below that, no more minting.
The cRatio liquidation is still being tweaked, but for now, it’s around 130%.
If users are more comfortable thinking about it on a 0–100% scale, you can mint up to 50% of your collateral, and liquidation happens at around 85%.
We’re not exactly clear about the legal status of ‘Goose Labs, Inc.’ (as stated on the bottom of your website) and its ultimate beneficial owners. Not all of your team are comfortable associating with GooseFX publicly like yourself.
What can you tell us about the practical, legal, and strategic reasons for this approach?
It’s mostly from a legal standpoint.
I’m French for instance, and here the law is a bit blurry and the government doesn’t really interfere with people building a product on the blockchain.
However, in other countries, the USA for instance, as soon as you start working with securities, things can get a bit tricky.
We’ve seen what happened with a few subpoenas recently. Some of the members of the team are from countries where there may be some legal concerns.
In order to not jeopardize the team and the product as a whole, they prefer to remain anonymous. Ultimately we’ll work hard to make sure everyone can use the product from whichever country they reside.
It makes sense given the decentralized, partly anonymous structure of Goose Labs that GooseFX is looking to grow towards a DAO structure.
How will power be transferred to the DAO over time, and how will legally complex products such as stock derivatives be managed in a full DAO setting?
At the moment there are a lot of grey areas surrounding this topic, how would we implement it, who will manage the DAO, which part of the product would plug in, etc.
We’ll just make sure transitioning to a DAO, if we end up doing that, is the best course of action for GooseFX and will benefit all of our users.
As a final question and as with any DeFi product, transparency is vital to the trust and security of your users. As there is no clear team to hold accountable, code is leading.
What is your take on open-source transparency?
We have made a few of our repositories public. We will most likely end up making everything open source, for the sake of “don’t trust, verify”. We will also build a few products that the Solana ecosystem will benefit from.
Have you also considered building outside of Solana in the longer term or even cross-chain?
At the moment we haven’t talked much about it, we still have a lot to build on Solana itself.
That being said, every team member is pretty ambitious, so I’m sure if it makes sense to start building cross-chain, we will.
Also, I might add that we have a very long-term vision, we’re not planning on building until the bear market comes, we’re planning to build for the next 10 years.