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Snowball Weekly Newsletter — 02/12/2021

Thursday brings us another Snow Day, and thus another great community call. This week’s call was full of news and an overall pleasant chat with some of the team behind Snowball, Snowball contributors, and some surprise appearances from the ecosystem. Missed the call? No worries, this weekly newsletter should bring you up to speed on the events that took place this week.

New Auto-Compounding Strategies

Following last weeks’ exciting news around Pangolin V2’s new farms, it makes sense that this week some of the spotlight shifts over to Trader Joe. We’ve deployed the following new strategies for our users to auto-compound:

  • AVAX - CRAFT
  • AVAX - GRO
  • AVAX - MELT
  • AVAX - gOHM

Zappers Are Coming

For those unaware of how zappers work — it is essentially a smart contract that can automate much of the work needed to deposit and remove liquidity.

This is particularly useful for Snowball since it allows our users to enter into our auto-compounding strategies without having to go onto a different site during the process. This also makes the process safer and can improve on gas costs.

The current method of auto-compounding looks something like this:

  1. Visit a DEX to trade half your tokens for some other token.
  2. Deposit those two tokens into a liquidity pool in exchange for an LP token.
  3. Return to Snowball and approve the LP token.
  4. Deposit the LP token on the auto-compounding strategy.

With zapper functionality, it will look something like this:

  1. Approve a token on Snowball.
  2. Deposit a token into Snowball’s auto-compounding strategy.

The swapping and multi-deposit steps are automated through the zapper contract. Of course this will be entirely optional, and users that wish to deposit through the traditional method or already have the LP token ready will be able to do so as normal.

Expect this functionality to be live on Snowball soon!

Some Axial News

This week has been an exciting one for Axial, and it is great to see this project, who originated from the Snowball DAO, doing as well as it is. Axial has partnered with multiple projects on Avalanche to bring new pools and even more rewards for liquidity providers.

The first is a partnership with OrcaDAO, to bring a new AVAX-MIM-USDC.e pool to Axial, as well as extra AVAI rewards for liquidity providers. The addition of such a pool is dependent on a governance vote that is taking place right now. Read more about the partnership here.

The second partnership made this week is with Teddy, bringing a large sum of TEDDY token rewards to liquidity providers of the TSD-MIM-FRAX-DAI.e pool. Details on these new rewards and the awesome new partnership can be seen here.

The Dangers of Infinite Approvals

During our community call we had an in-depth conversation about the dangers of infinite approvals that are so very common in DeFi when transacting ERC-20 tokens. We had the pleasure to welcome Ita — an AVME developer and great friend to the Snowball community — to the call to chat with us about user safety.

Every few weeks we see a new project have their contracts exploited and users losing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of tokens due to having provided infinite approvals on such exploited smart contracts. Allowing only the specific amount you are depositing into Snowball is the simplest way to prevent these exploits from having such disastrous consequences.

While we might give users the option to utilize infinite approvals in the future, they will never be the only nor default option, and we urge users to consider the safety of their funds over the tiny savings that comes with only sending one approval transaction.

Avalanche Gas Fee Updates

Right at the start of our community call the most recent update to Avalanche’s Mainnet, Apricot Phase 5, went live. With it came some changes to how gas fees are calculated on Avalanche’s C-Chain, and the results were immediately noticeable.

The image above shows the gas prices in gwei (nAVAX) over time, for the last 2000 blocks. These effects will be felt immediately by users of the ecosystem, who should now experience less gas cost fluctuations, resulting in more predictable gas prices along with lower prices in general.

Question Highlights

The following is a quick recap of some of the questions asked during the community call:

Will zapper deposits be more gas efficient?

  • Yes! Due to the fact that you can batch many transactions together, the cost of transactions should be in general lower.

Are there more DeFi University courses on the way?

  • There are many courses to be added in the near future, but not only that, anyone in the community can contribute with their own courses or suggest new courses for the team to write up.

Why ‘build fast’ vs ‘build slow’?

  • Snowball has always adopted the ‘build fast’ approach to development, mostly because we find it to be the most suitable way to create a good product within the incredibly fast-moving ecosystem that is DeFi. The alternative approach of building slowly, acquiring a lot of VC investments, soft-launching multiple times, etc. can work for a lot of projects, but seems to be more suitable for the Web 2.0 world. In DeFi, talent is usually the limiting constraint, in contrast to traditional development companies where funds are usually the major constraint.

Any plans for new NFTs?

  • We have plans to release some new NFTs prior to Christmas, as well as generally improving upon and expanding the NFT marketplace on Snowball. Any community feedback or suggestions are welcome in that regard. We also want to create NFT collections to highlight the work of many of the past and present artists that have worked with Snowball, which is definitely something exciting to look forward to.

How can I learn to be safe in DeFi?

  • A great place to start is the DeFi University course on ‘Spotting Scams’, which goes over some of the most common scams to watch out for. More content specifically on smart contracts themselves and what to watch out for in contract code will come soon.

How can I get involved?

Snowball is always looking for more engineers, designers, product managers, project managers, you name it! Reach out to us on Discord or Telegram if you’d like to contribute to making Snowball even better.

Snowball Stats

  • Over $485,000+ of value harvested in our compounding strategies this week.
  • Over 48.9% of all SNOB tokens are being staked for xSNOB.
  • Over 1300+ members of the community are staking SNOB.
  • On average, SNOB is being staked for over 1.36 years!
  • This week 30,902 SNOB was distributed to xSNOB holders, alongside 1,224,690 AXIAL tokens. This makes up an APR of 248%+ per xSNOB.
  • Over 6200 addresses hold SNOB.

Unsure why you should stake your SNOB? Check out our documentation here.

About Snowball

Snowball is an auto-compounder for liquidity rewards and a Venture DAO. It was the first auto-compounder launched on Avalanche and it prides itself on being entirely community run. If you’d like to be a part of Snowball, join the conversation in Discord or Telegram. Stay up to date on our Twitter.

Website | Twitter | Discord | Telegram | Docs | GitHub

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JavaScript developer and blockchain enthusiast. Developer of @cookietrack_io and technical writer for @snowballdefi & @axialdefi