Why Yam Synths?

Yam Finance
Yam Finance
Published in
5 min readJun 30, 2021

We are excited to announce the launch of an updated and redesigned version of YAM’s synthetics aggregator called YAM Synths (previously known as Degenerative.Finance). We have redesigned the experience from top to bottom and think this is a big step in making UMA products accessible to everyone!

The website is now live and is the best place to mint all our synths including uGAS, uSTONKs, and a brand new synth called uPUNKs that lets anyone have an opinion on the price of Ethereum’s premier NFT project, Cryptopunks.

Some History

The roots of the collaboration between YAM and UMA go back to an early interest in UMA by YAM co- founder trent e. He wrote a great article about it back at the start of last DeFi Summer when YAM was but a twinkle in his eye. In late 2020, UMA was generous enough to ask YAM to take over maintenance and development of the uGAS synth that they created.

This was YAM’s first foray into UMA synths and since then we have worked closely with UMA to launch uSTONKS and now uPUNKS. In this time we have learned a lot about UMA and explored the potential in the market for their synths. This has been a great experience for all involved and has helped us clarify a direction for YAM Synths. But before we get into the vision for YAM Synths, we should do a refresher on why UMA is a great protocol to build on top of.

Why UMA is cool

The term money lego gets used a lot in DeFi, and we think UMA is one of the ultimate money legos. They take a very different approach from most other similar platforms to the challenge of making decentralize synthetic assets. Their “priceless” model is a unique way for almost any kind of synthetic asset to be build permissionlessly, backed by the guarantees of the UMA contracts and using their decentralized oracle, the DVM, as a source of truth.

The design space available to builders who are looking to leverage UMA is broad and still mostly unexplored. The next big thing is waiting to be built on UMA. We just need to find it. This isn’t an easy task (if it were, there would be no upside) and there are trade-offs in the UMA model that still need to be balanced or built around. But there is no denying that there is gold in the hills for those who brave them.

Add to this UMA’s Developer Mining Model, where they reward projects and developers for building synths with their contracts, and it becomes a no-brainer to start building synths, as well as making it easy for others to do the same. The UMA team has consistently been at the forefront of innovative incentive models and mechanisms, from doing one of the first IDOs to their new KPI-options based grant model, and we are confident that these innovations will continue to grow the UMA ecosystem.

The future is bright for UMA.

Yam Synths Vision

YAM Synths is our first step to find gold in the UMA hills. Our strategy to do so is multi-faceted, but it starts with improving the user experience of using UMA synths. Our goal is to create the best user experience for minting, managing, and using synths available on the market. Given the complexity of the UMA system, this is not a trivial task. But it is one that all our other strategies will build upon.

In addition to creating a best-in-class user experience for our current Synth products, YAM Synths will be a launching pad for new, innovative synths that we build in-house, as well as an open platform for anyone to launch their own synths on our website and share in the developer mining rewards that we earn together. We want to be not only the front end for our UMA synths, but the preferred front end for all UMA synths.

To do this, we will need to continue iterating on our website and platform to discover and mitigate pain points, as well as develop a framework for any UMA synths to be listed alongside our own. We need to continue working with UMA to craft the developer rewards system in a way that incentivizes not just the YAM team to build synths, but for anyone to build them and list them on our website. And we need to collaborate with other projects building on UMA to bring them to our platform as well.

This is our vision for a profitable and and sustainable Yam Synths. It will require collaboration with partners and contributions from the community, We at YAM look forward to continuing to innovate to make it a reality. We plan to use the platform for new KPI options that are geared around the growth of Yam Synths and the further development of our governance process. The next great synth product can come from anywhere and anyone and we want to develop all the tools necessary to allow that innovation to occur.


Yam Synths is now live, but will continue to be an evolving product. Launching alongside the website is uPUNKS, which is a first of its kind synth. Looking foward, there is lots in the pipeline for the next weeks and months including new ETH-based synths that allow new market flexibility, further refinements and upgrades to the website, and more!

If you would like to participate in making this vision a reality, please come say hello in the YAM discord and join the discussion.