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Sprout Coma — a new horizon on the same course

Over the past month, the Script3 team has assessed what on-chain Stellar smart contracts mean for the YieldBlox Protocol. We’ll break down our thought process in a bit, but first, we’re going to get straight to the point. YieldBlox will not be launching on mainnet using the Stellar Turrets network. The current plan is for YieldBlox to launch next year once Stellar on-chain smart contracts are finished.

This may seem like a sudden change. To get a more complete understanding of this shift in direction, we encourage you to check out Tyler’s post about why he is moving on from Stellar Turrets. His opinions roughly align with ours. There are a few core reasons why we are also moving on:

  1. Security Stellar Turrets, by design, are less secure than an L1-based smart-contract framework. Turrets were originally designed as the best option for any smart-contract protocol that wanted to tap into the Stellar network. We worked diligently to manage all the risks that came with running contracts off-chain so Stellar could benefit from the booming DeFi ecosystem. However, with L1 smart contracts announced, the safest place for YieldBlox to live is on-chain. On-chain smart contracts are the best, most secure way for you all to interact with YieldBlox.
  2. Community — Given the new L1 smart-contract framework being a part of SDF’s 2022 Roadmap, we have found it extremely difficult to grow the Stellar Turret’s development and host community outside of a few individual contributors and small startups (of which, we are extremely grateful). The focus and future of the Stellar Network, SDF, and the Community appears to be on the new L1 smart-contract framework. With this, Stellar Turrets will not be as decentralized as we would like them to be.
  3. Feasibility — We explored multiple avenues that would allow us to still bring YieldBlox to everyone soon on Stellar Turrets and migrate to the new L1 smart-contract system when it was ready. The risks with security and the community can be mitigated, but given our team size, it would be an irresponsible task to take on. We would potentially put millions of dollars in our protocol (user money!) at significant risk.

Although it’s incredibly disappointing to have to put YieldBlox on hold, we truly believe that this is the best thing for YieldBlox in the long term. On-chain smart contracts give us and the Stellar community the best chance to launch a stable, secure, and healthy version of YieldBlox.

Finally, we’re incredibly grateful to everyone who has supported us. Thank you to the beta users, discord chatters, bug hunters, content creators, YBX traders, and discord mods. You all are the best community a team of DeFi builders could ask for. We’re incredibly excited to launch YieldBlox once smart contracts are ready, and to share with you what we’ll be working on in the meantime.

What’s next for Script3?

At the end of the day, we’re still a group of builders who love DeFi. We encourage you all to keep following us, we have exciting stuff coming down the pipeline, and we won’t forget about our original YieldBlox supporters. Further, we still have every intention of launching YieldBlox. We just have decided to wait to do it in a secure manner.

This wraps up the main point of this article. If you still have questions, we’ve included an FAQ below and a detailed chronology of everything that led to this decision.

FAQ

Q: So when is YieldBlox going to launch?

A: We don’t know. Once SDF finishes on-chain smart contracts (the current projection is testnet by the end of 2022), we will be able to provide a rough estimate.

Q: WTF RUG! SCAM! AHHH

A: The Script3 team did not sell a single YBX token. And currently, the plan is still to launch, just with a much larger-than-expected delay.

Q: What about the YBX token?

A: The token isn’t going anywhere. When YieldBlox launches with on-chain smart contracts, it will use the same YBX token.

Q: What about my day-0-stake?

A: When YieldBlox launches with on-chain smart contracts, your day-0 stake will be escrowed for the specified lockup time.

What led up to this?

To be as transparent as possible, we’ve included this section that documents every event and decision that led to this delay announcement.

January 21st, 2022: The YieldBlox Testnet Beta goes Live

On January 21st, we launched the YieldBlox testnet beta. At this point, we planned on testing YieldBlox for a month on the testnet then launching on mainnet. In parallel, we planned on starting the fundraising process as we were starting to run low on money. Now that YieldBlox was out and looking excellent, we wanted to start approaching VCs and angel investors!

January 25th, 2022: On-Chain Smart Contracts are Announced

On January 25th, the Stellar Development Foundation announced on-chain smart contracts in their Q4 review. Like most of you, we were shocked and excited by this. It didn’t sound like they were talking about Turrets, but on-chain smart contracts had been a pipe dream for years.

After spending the rest of the week asking around, we discovered that our pipe dream had become a reality! The Stellar Development Foundation was committed to bringing smart contracts to the testnet by year-end. Details were fuzzy, but it sounded like the team was thinking about the right things, at least in our opinion. Now the question was, what did this mean for Stellar Turrets and YieldBlox?

We put our heads together and figured out what we believed to be the most likely outcome. In order for YieldBlox to launch as planned, we were depending on a large amount of support for the ecosystem for Stellar Turrets. Since Turrets were still in their infancy, we needed a handful of major ecosystem organizations to begin hosting high-quality Turrets for YieldBlox to launch in a stable and decentralized environment. With on-chain smart contracts coming, we couldn’t see a future where the Turret community continued to grow organically. This meant if YieldBlox was to launch as planned, the majority of the development and marketing for Turrets was going to fall on our shoulders.

The next thing to consider was whether we could successfully take on that work. After reviewing our current situation, the answer was, unfortunately, no. We didn’t have the human or capital resources to develop both YieldBlox and the entire Turret ecosystem.

So how could we go about procuring said capital? You’ll recall that we were planning on raising prior to the on-chain smart contract announcement. Unfortunately, after talking to a few industry contacts, we decided raising was no longer viable. With Turrets in essentially a deprecated state, we would be asking investors to take on a huge amount of technical risk. Furthermore, given that we’re a doxxed team and US-based, any public fundraising was also off the table. Therefore, our last resort for securing funding to maintain both YieldBlox and the Turrets network was the Stellar Development Foundation. We began putting together a grant proposal.

January 31st, 2022: We Bring a Grant Proposal to SDF

On January 31st, we met with SDF to present our grant proposal. The gist of the proposal was that we would continue to build out the Turret network, launch YieldBlox as planned, begin building YieldBlox on their smart contracts when possible, provide feedback on building with on-chain smart contracts, and launch YieldBlox day-0 on the new smart contract ecosystem. In exchange, they would provide us with quarterly grants until we could procure funding. We felt that this would provide SDF with valuable feedback on the new on-chain smart contracts as they were developing them, and allow them to launch on-chain smart contracts with a DeFi ecosystem and community already in place. Additionally, we expected this partnership and show of faith would make it once again possible for us to raise.

February 23rd, 2022: We Hear Back from SDF

On February 23rd, after a few weeks of discussion, we heard back from SDF. They did not opt to fund our grant proposal. Thus, we would not have the funding required to support the Stellar Turret network ourselves. However, they still wanted to support us as an organization and hoped that we would launch YieldBlox once the on-chain smart contracts were live. They graciously provided us with some alternative ways they could fund us in that endeavor.

After all of this, the way forward was clear to us. It would be impossible to launch YieldBlox on Turrets safely. The best path forward was to rebuild the protocol and launch it using on-chain smart contracts. Overall, we’re content with this outcome. It means a longer wait before launch, but YieldBlox will be better than it would have been on Turrets when it is launched.

Signing Off for Now

If you made it this far, we truly appreciate you. We are eager to share what is next and hope you all are just as excited as we are about it!

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