The Mean Protocol and MeanFi
Revolutionizing everyday banking on DeFi and Solana
MeanFi is a self-custody, permissionless, and trustless bank, powered by the Mean Protocol, and bringing Crypto and DeFi to everyday banking.
TL;DR 👉 the value proposition
- Simple terminology and amazing UX to empower everyday banking workflows for regular people and businesses.
- Lightning-fast transactions and low fees (thank you, Solana!).
- Very liquid markets for trades and swaps through a hybrid liquidity aggregation protocol powered by the Serum CLOB and top AMMs with over $1.9B of router-optimized and instant liquidity access under one roof.
- Investment workflows for large and small investors, like a self-custody and permissionless Dollar Cost Average investing strategy.
- Everyday banking workflows such as scheduled transfers, and repeating payments, all powered by the SPL money streaming protocol.
The Big Question: WHY?
Decentralized Finance has taken off like a rocket from $900M in July 2020 to a whopping $179B in total value locked (TVL) as of the time of this writing in Sept 2021… that’s a crazy 180x in growth 🚀🔥🤑.
The promises of DeFi: to bank and invest without a trusted central counterparty, has attracted thousands of investors to enjoy this newfound land of economic freedom. Great advancements have taken place in DeFi in the last 18 months, from permissionless lending protocols to automated market-making (AMM) pools and even a decentralized Central Limited Order Book on the blockchain from Serum.
But one thing is missing, to make DeFi the new economic standard, it needs hundreds of millions of users, and to get there we need to reach out to the early majority. They are not the sophisticated investors and early adopters with a clear understanding of what impermanent loss means, or what a cross-program invocation is, or which AMM curve range is the right one to pick. Instead, they are somewhat tech-savvy users mentally used to the traditional financial system. They have a good ol’ HSBC, Chase, or Bank of America account, and maybe some retirement accounts in Fidelity, Merrill, or Schwab, and used to their terminology and products.
Between the early adopters and the traditional banking users, lays the Chasm of Death, where most technological innovations go to die. The longer DeFi takes to make this jump across the Chasm of Death, the more susceptible it’ll be to become either a very niche industry with a limited market or be regulated out of existence by governments across the world.
And so, we are adding our contribution to the building of this bridge.
We, as an industry, want to cross this chasm and make DeFi the new standard of finance; so we should ask ourselves, why aren’t traditional banking workflows more actively used or even the norm in DeFi?
- 💰 Costs
The protocols that took us where we are today targeted the professional investor. The costs of sending a payment or exchanging currency are prohibited to the traditional banking user by their expensive nature. No one can afford to send a family remittance of $100 and paying $50 in fees for it.
- 🗝️ Pro-Level Access Only
Swap? Hash? Pools? Farms? Liquidity? These are all foreign terms to the vast majority of the adult population familiar with traditional banking. Why did we even decide to invent “new” terms for better ways of accomplishing the same thing is beyond us, but the reality is that asking the world to speak our lingo or f**k off ain't going to cut it.
- 💸 Risks & Uncertainty
Risk management remains one of the biggest hurdles to reach the mainstream with DeFi. The traditional banking infrastructure has lots of built-in insurance protection and government safety nets that give people a sense of security. And even though it may be a false one, most people feel better and sleep better at night because of it. See this reddit thread to get a feeling for this.
- 💔 Fragmentation
Networks like Visa and MasterCard have played a significant role in abstracting the complexities of moving money across borders and automatically exchanging between fiat currencies when you buy ice cream abroad. But in DeFi land, moving money from Ethereum to Solana takes “bridges”, and VMs, and wrapped stuff, and technical know-how.
- 💧Siloed Liquidity
In part because of the issues above, and because of fragmentation within a blockchain, liquidity is often siloed on different AMMs forcing developers to choose which AMM they are going to offer on their apps, limiting the routing and liquidity available to users. Never before Visa has asked a customer “which exchange do you want to use to convert your USD to EUR” when they are traveling to Spain from the US and buying some paella at a restaurant.
A Mean Vision with Mean Innovations
We are here to address these gaps in the current DeFi landscape. We are building the Mean Protocol on the Solana network to empower web3 devs to onboard the next 100 million users through their apps.
The Mean DAO is the org behind this vision. We are a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) with a single purpose:
Build the decentralized products and blockchain infrastructure necessary to serve as the financial equalizer for people and businesses worldwide.
To fulfill this ultimate goal, the DAO funds and operates the Mean Protocol and the MeanFi web3 decentralized app.
- The Mean Protocol is a set of rules and interoperable smart contracts that help application developers facilitate everyday banking workflows and investment banking operations on their apps. 👉 GitHub
- MeanFi is a self-custody, permissionless, and trustless bank, powered by the Mean Protocol, and bringing Crypto and DeFi to everyday banking. 👉 Website
Innovation in many shapes and forms:
- ⚡ Speed and cost-efficient
By building the Mean Protocol on Solana, developers and users can trade and perform investment workloads and everyday banking workloads at almost zero cost. Contrast this with the current platforms where those same workloads will add up to hundreds of dollars every month, and take minutes just to clear confirmations.
- 💎 Simple and powerful UX
MeanFi acts like a regular bank with an account, and transactions, and exchange rates, and deposits and withdrawals, all powered behind the scenes by the Mean Protocol on Solana. Our users find a familiar interface and workflows when they interact with MeanFi, with the added benefits of being a self-custody, trustless, and permissionless bank.
- 📈 A Universal Liquidity Market
The Mean Protocol allows developers to access more than $1.9 billion in aggregated liquidity through the Universal Liquidity Program, which helps users tap into hybrid aggregated liquidity from multiple AMMs and Serum’s CLOB to optimize routing, fees, slippage, and pricing impact. This is useful if you want to offer the best exchange rates across multiple Solana protocols without having to manually implement each of them.
- 💸 SPL Streaming
The SPL Streaming Program is perfect when users want to exchange money for time, like Payroll or Salaries. The use cases are endless for money streaming, from subscriptions to consultants, fund managers, retirement accounts, and more. Check out the whitepaper to dive into the details. This is one of those things users can appreciate immediately as a value-add from Solana, not possible elsewhere.
- ⏰ Decentralized Dollar Cost Average
This is a simple concept, implemented with a permissionless and self-custody architecture to help people become regular investors every day, or every week, etc. With decentralized DCA account owners have a way to automate their investment strategy without the dependence and risks associated with centralized entities like Coinbase, Binance, or Robinhood.
Many of these innovations are in BETA now in Solana’s mainnet. Go check out our website at https://meanfi.com, or jump straight into the app at https://app.meanfi.com. If you have feedback, join the community discord to help us build this bridge.
But this is only the beginning, we are on 🔥 and have no plans of slowing down, as evidenced by the road ahead 👇.
The Road Ahead
The Mean DAO roadmap consists of five (5) stages, named after some of the giants on whose shoulders we stand today:
Each stage has a specific focus area, and although they are planned to run in parallel, the idea is to deliver them sequentially. For the remainder of 2021 and all of 2022, most of the efforts will be focused on wrapping up work on Stages 1 and 2 (JOBS and HAYEK), corresponding to Consumers and Investors respectively.
Looking ahead onto CURIE, FARADAY, and EINSTEIN, we have a lot of opportunities to onboard Businesses and Institutions. Some of the most exciting work we are looking forward to in these stages are:
- SPL Streaming Subscriptions
- Billing and Invoicing
- Scheduled and Auto-Rebalancing Index Funds
- Dark Pools… and a lot more 👀
We are super excited to embark on this journey with the community and our users. Stay in touch with our progress every week, and join the DeFi revolution by checking our website, joining the Mean DAO Discord, and following @MeanFinance on Twitter.