GenesysGo: Developers’ Experience, For the Better (II)

SMUB Research
Published in
6 min readSep 22, 2022


by Evanarp, David Sim, Russell and Kaydon

Nothing following this constitutes financial advice, please do your own research!


This research report on GenesysGo and the Shadow Ecosystem was completed in mid July 2022. However, the delay in publishing this report was due to administration issues and the changing of Medium Accounts. We note that there has been significant changes to the project’s ecosystem.

(Source: GenesysGo)

A continuation from Part I

In part II, we will be delving into the other product that GenesysGo offers: Shadow Network. We will also be touching on how $SHDW, the native token of GenesysGo, and their NFT project is integrated into the Shadow ecosystem.

The Shadow Network

The Shadow Network is the official branding of GenesysGo’s decentralised RPC network. It is a combination of all the Solana network’s historical and latest accounts and states, which is collectively termed as ‘Shadow Realms’. Simply put, it acts as an L2 solution for developers to have an enclosed system to build, while also having the option for transactions to be included in Mainnet.

To find out more about RPC, please refer to Part (I) of GenesysGo here.

How does the Shadow Net function work:

  1. A smart contract is formed on Solana’s Mainnet (Solana Mainnet Program Accounts) when a Shadow Realm is created through the interaction with Shadow Net smart contract.
  2. Shadow Net Validators receive a snapshot of the latest Mainnet Program Accounts and unpack the snapshot with every relevant block to bring shadow realm online.
  3. Simultaneously, the creator of the Shadow Realm can choose to bridge over mainnet assets to the Shadow Realm through the Solana Wormhole token bridge to be used in the Shadow Realm.
  4. Thereafter, Shadow Net mimics a local Testnet environment but with better capabilities of handling high throughput.

Benefits of the Shadow Net:

  1. Significantly improves the product launch time since developers would not need to rebuild/redeploy on Devnet and Mainnet again!
  2. It provides more stability during times of network congestion as compared to Mainnet as it is an enclosed environment.
  3. Each project can use multiple, dedicated Shadow Realms to cater to different aspects and use cases.

Drivers of the Shadow Protocol — Shadow Operators

Who are they?

Shadow Operators are independent parties who run nodes that validate and secure Shadow Drive and Shadow Network, contributing to the computing power and maintenance of these decentralised networks.

The importance of Shadow Operators

GenesysGo designed the Shadow ecosystem to give us, normies, a way to contribute to the Solana ecosystem.

As such, they aim to onboard more operators in order to:

(i) Distribute expenses and compute to reduce overall impact of any Shadow Operator

(ii) Adopt a deflationary strategy on $SHDW by reducing circulating supply

(iii) Reduce the need for a centralised server backbone

In order to incentivize more operators to join, $SHDW tokens are rewarded to operators every Solana epoch (detailed in tokenomics).

To become a Shadow Operator, one must stake 10,000 $SHDW tokens as collateral. A slashing mechanism is used to ensure that the operators do not partake in malicious activities and constantly update their nodes (remain online), whereby if the operators fail in ensuring normal operations, their rewards or collateral will be reduced. This mechanism is also adopted in Solana’s mainnet.

In addition, the team plans to increase Shadow Operators’ income by:

(i) Allocate 50% of the storage fees collected to Shadow Operators

(ii) Distribute fees from the GenesysGo’s IDO platform ($15,000 USDC equivalent in $SHDW)

$SHDW Tokenomics

CoinGecko, CoinMarketCap

$SHDW is the native token of the entire Shadow Ecosystem. To use products of Genesysgo like the Shadow Drive, users have to pay in $SHDW. As of 19 July, these are the statistics of $SHDW.

Tokenomics as of 19 July


A table of GenesysGo’s Tokenomics (Source: GenesysGo)

The respective allocation ratios of the total supply of $SHDW. NFT Holders constitute half of it, with potential for more through the bonus emissions.


  1. NFT staking
  2. Bonus long term stakers
  3. Shadow operator emissions
  4. IDO Pool
  5. Reserves

NFT Staking

The 10,000 $SHDW tokens are disbursed through a vesting schedule. After minting the SSC, holders have to stake their NFT into a NFT staking smart contract, which ensures the trustless payment of emissions. The smart contract is only involved with the token address of each NFT, and they will be available for deposit into the user’s wallet as it vests.

However, vesting only takes place when the NFT is staked. It is also noteworthy to mention that should the NFT be sold before all the 10,000 $SHDW tokens have been vested, the NFT staking smart contract tracks the associated address it has been sold to. The remaining tokens will then be deposited into that wallet address once the NFT has been staked again.

Bonus for Long Term Stakers

NFT holders who stake for 12 consecutive months without any interruptions will receive an additional bonus payment of tokens. This is intended to reward long term holders of the NFT project who believe fundamentally in the project.

Shadow Operator Emissions

As mentioned above, $SHDW tokens are rewarded to every operator every Solana epoch.

Epochs are made up to slots, and as such, validation varies between 2 to 3 days. Each Shadow Operator receives approximately 50 $SHDW tokens, depending on the slashing mechanism.

Initial DEX Offering (IDO)

On 5th January 2022, $SHDW had an IDO at an initial price of $0.50. However, prices went up to $2.2 during the IDO due to huge public interest. The team raised $52 million USDC during the IDO.


The allocated $SHDW in the strategic reserves is retained for CEX listing, liquidity provision and the acquisition of talents or partnerships. It will not be available in the open market.

NFT: Shadowy Super Coders DAO (SSC)

A copy or original? ;) (Source: Shadowy Super Coders)

NFTs of Shadowy Super Coders is listed:


(i) Opensea

(ii) Magic Eden

Analytical Tools:

(i) Hello Moon Analytics

(ii) Nansen

1. Utility

(i) Greater Equity

Total Supply: 10,000

Mint Price: 2.5 SOL

Since the $SHDW IDO takes place after the minting of SSC, those who own 1 SSC will receive 10,000 seed $SHDW tokens. By raising funds through ShadowNet users, this directly benefits them by providing equity to those who truly believe in the project. Given how centralised entities dominate early stage funding for many projects, they can easily cause a downward spiral by dumping their allocated tokens after their lockup period. In this case, given how half the total $SHDW supply is controlled by the NFT holders and there is no external company funding, this builds a case for true decentralisation.

As of 19 July, the current floor price of Shadowy Super Coders (SSC) is at 120 SOL.

(ii) Free RPC

The ShadowNet creators promised that should all 10,000 of SSC be minted within 24h, their proprietary RPC will be made free to use till the end of 2021. Shadow’s RPC network is one that is able to handle high throughput, as compared to the open-source code provided by the Solana network. Minimally, this allows for greater user experience, albeit for a month. Eventually, the developers decided to extend the free RPC access into perpetuity to help the wider Solana ecosystem scale.


SSC DAO is meant to be the custodian of the network layer built by GenesysGo, with the aim of taking on a central role and overseeing the whole network. The SSC mint allowed the developers to bring together the community that will eventually be integral members of the DAO.

Thesis / Conclusion

In summary, although Shadow Network is mainly targeted at developers, it can still benefit the users of the wider Solana ecosystem. Shadow Realm’s ability to simulate Solana mainnet conditions eliminates the need for developers to constantly redeploy on multiple platforms (testnet & mainnet). Coupled with innovative storage solutions for data on Shadow Drive, this can greatly reduce the lead time for projects. Potential errors could also be readily identified and resolved. By allowing developers to build their projects and pinpoint flaws with ease, this in turn translates to better user experience once the projects have been launched.




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