Neemo Finance: UCG application grant

Overview

Dear Astar community, it is a pleasure to be here. I’m Seiya, Co-founder and CEO of Neemo Finance. We would like to apply for the Unstoppable Community Grant.

Our plan is to launch nsASTR, a Liquid Staking Token (LST) for the ASTR token, on the Astar EVM. This will involve creating a yield-bearing token that increases in price, allowing for seamless integration with lending platforms and other DeFi protocols without requiring extra connectors, as nsASTR is not a rebase token. This design simplifies adaptations and increases usability. Initially, we will return all revenues earned from our dApp staking protocol rewards to users, providing them with higher earnings. Furthermore, we will enable native staking and unstaking, allowing users to stake and unstake ASTR on other L2s and mint nsASTR, thereby enhancing the utility of ASTR across multiple L2 chains.

We are applying for Unstoppable Grants and dApp Staking, requesting 2M ASTR tokens to be staked on dApp staking on Neemo Finance (or if possible, ASTR token to be staked via Neemo protocol and mint nsASTR) from the community treasury.

Background of Neemo Finance

Neemo Finance is a spin-off protocol from Starlay Finance. As approved in discussions at Starlay Finance, we will develop LST on Astar. You can find the forum discussion (Forum discussion: New protocol Initiative for Starlay Finance - Discussion - Starlay Finance). Originally, we planned to integrate BTC L2 first and then proceed with ASTR, aiming to leverage BTC liquidity to positively impact the Astar ecosystem. However, after an internal team meeting, we saw significant potential in the Astar ecosystem. If our proposal is approved, we will shift our focus entirely to Astar, including stopping all BTC-related initiatives. With our experience from Starlay, Kagla, and Muuu, along with our new team members’ LST expertise, we are committed to enhancing DeFi on Astar.

Our Mission

Our mission is to build a robust DeFi primitive within the Astar ecosystem, upon which we will construct a further DeFi ecosystem. Neemo is composed of team members with extensive Web3 experience, including LSTs, lending, stable DEX, and yield optimization. Most of our team has long experience in developing LSTs in the Ethereum ecosystem, and we aim to replicate this on Astar by leveraging the unique dApp staking feature.

By adopting mainstream DeFi strategies, we create more utility on the chain. This will increase user numbers, which in turn will attract more dApps, boosting the entire ecosystem. Additionally, as we will later explain, we distribute votes to other protocols on dApp staking, supporting the overall DeFi ecosystem and making it stronger.

Project Overview

Neemo Finance plans to develop nsASTR (Neemo Staked ASTR), an LST token for ASTR, and launch it on the Astar EVM, with future implementations on other L2 chains. Our LST has unique selling points: Price increase (Yield bearing) structure, Dual staking modes, Native staking and unstaking on L2s, dApp staking reward distribution, Leveraged staking, Distribution of dApp staking votes to other DeFi ecosystems, Point mechanism, and Airdrop to LAY, muLAY, veLAY holders. We are also considering the development of ETH LST with native staking on L2.

Unique Selling Points

Price Increase (Yield bearing) Structure

Unlike the traditional model where staked assets often remain static in valuation, ASTR’s LST adopts a price increase structure similar to wstETH and LDOT. This approach allows seamless utilization in lending or any DeFi protocol without extra connectors since it’s not a rebase token, making adaptations easy.

Dual staking modes

Bonus Rewards Condition: dApp Staking bonus rewards from the Voting era have a unique condition: if the dApp balance drops below the Voting era balance, no bonus rewards are given. Since Neemo allows users to stake and unstake tokens at any time, massive unstaking could trigger the condition where no bonus rewards are earned. Given this condition, we build our dual staking modes address specific conditions related to dApp Staking bonus rewards during the Voting era. Standard Staking allows users to deposit their ASTR tokens and receive nsASTR tokens in their wallets. Time-locked Staking is available only during the Voting sub-period. It involves locking ASTR/nsASTR tokens in a separate smart contract and offers additional benefits

Native Staking and Unstaking on L2s

We allow users to stake ASTR on other L2s and mint nsASTR. This enables users to stake ASTR beyond the Astar EVM and use nsASTR in DeFi protocols without needing to change chains and bridge the ASTR LST. This also prevents TVL reduction on the chain side as the redemption happens on the same chain.

dApp Staking Reward Distribution

Initially, we will return all revenues earned from our dApp staking protocol reward to users, providing them with higher earnings.

Leveraged Staking

If you are not familiar with leveraged staking, I recommend reading this article first: LSTs and Leveraged Staking Strategies. We plan to launch a leveraged staking protocol. By simultaneously focusing on LST and leveraged staking, we can amplify the supply of LST without the initial constraints of DEX liquidity. Initially, we aim to employ a mechanism similar to DIA’s Fair Price Oracle mechanism for oracle services to mitigate the risk of liquidation, with plans to gradually shift to a market cap-based evaluation. This approach is beneficial for LST protocols with leveraged staking as it reduces the need for DEX liquidity in the initial phase.

Distribution of dApp Staking Votes to Other DeFi Ecosystems

We will distribute the dApp staking votes obtained through nsASTR to other protocols. Protocols utilizing nsASTR can receive a portion of the voting based on the amount of nsASTR deposited and borrowed, for example, in lending.

Point Mechanism

We plan to implement point distribution within the Astar ecosystem. In the future, these points will convert to Neemo Tokens.

Airdrop to LAY, muLAY, veLAY Holders

LAY token holders will receive our new tokens as a recognition of their pivotal role in our ecosystem. This is our way of giving back to Astar users who have supported Starlay. We aim to maximize returns for Astar users. Since our funding is sourced from the Starlay treasury, we will distribute our tokens accordingly. None the less to say, other Astar users will also receive points and airdrops, ensuring inclusivity beyond just LAY holders.

Team Members

The members of Neemo have experience in developing and operating DeFi, particularly in LST, lending, stable DEX, and yield optimization. The most of Starlay members have been replaced with stronger members in LST.

  • Seiya Chida/Co-founder and CEO
    • Seiya Chida has two years of operational experience as COO of Starlay Finance, Kagla Finance, and Muuu Finance on the Astar Network, covering sectors such as lending, stable decentralized exchanges, and yield optimization, respectively. Additionally, he brings three years of venture capital experience, with expertise in instruments such as SAFE, SAFT, and equity investments. During his career, Seiya has successfully invested in one unicorn company and various protocols in the crypto space, showcasing his extensive knowledge and strategic acumen in investment.
  • Sagar Chaurasia/Co-founder and CTO
    • With over four years in the LST/LRT ecosystem and previous roles as a tech lead (smart contract lead) in Claystack, a liquid staking protocol on Ethereum, Sagar Chaurasia is an adept Co-founder and CTO. He also has two years of experience in decentralized storage and DeFi applications. Sagar is known for his significant contributions, including authoring core code, which demonstrates his deep expertise and substantial experience within the LST/LRT ecosystem. His technical leadership and innovative coding skills have been pivotal in advancing projects in these specialized fields.
  • Priyansh Saxena/Co-founder and CMO
    • Priyansh Saxena has been in the cryptocurrency industry for over three years, managing content, marketing, and community for Claystack, a liquid staking protocol on Ethereum. He understands the core aspects of liquid staking and has a knack for identifying effective marketing strategies for crypto products. Priyansh has also provided consultation for several clients in the perpetuals market space, assisting in their go-to-market strategies. Before transitioning to web3, he was involved in web2 marketing. Priyansh holds a Master’s degree from Queen Mary University of London.
  • Team Structure
    • Alongside our founders, we have a robust team comprising six more members across the development, business development, audit, and design divisions. This interdisciplinary group brings a blend of expertise and creativity, essential for driving our projects forward and achieving innovative outcomes in our respective fields.

Security

We prioritize security and our security measures are divided into three layers, in addition to extensive internal testing:

  • Audit Company
    • We will have an audit from an audit firm as usual. This allows users to confidently utilize our protocol
  • Peer Audit
    • We have an auditor on our team who performs preliminary and continuous audits before engaging an external audit company. This provides us with extra security.
  • Onchain Security to Prevent Malicious Activities
    • By integrating SphereX (https://www.spherex.xyz/), we can address errors beyond the code itself. SphereX helps prevent exploitations caused by operational errors or other issues, ensuring a more secure environment for our operations.

Roadmap (UCG Commitment)

July

  • Prepare all necessary documentation and codebases for peer audit and audit company
  • Conduct a post-audit review and finalize the security measures
  • Testnet launch on Astar EVM
  • Integrate SphereX with nsASTR

August

  • Officially launch nsASTR on Astar EVM mainnet
  • dApp staking reward distribution module
  • Integrate nsASTR into DeFi protocols

September

  • Native staking and unstaking on other L2s
  • Smart contract based and optimal marketing strategies to help drive TVL and widespread user adoption

Near Future Development

  • Leveraged staking
  • Distribution of dApp staking votes to other DeFi ecosystems
  • Point mechanism
  • TGE for our native token
  • Airdrop to LAY, muLAY, veLAY holders

Conclusion

We have faced many challenges in the past but have continued to develop without giving up. This perseverance has allowed us to learn more and gather better team members. We promise to fully utilize our experiences to further develop the Astar ecosystem. The entire team is committed to building a better ecosystem, and we appreciate your support.

References

10 Likes

UCG is increasing after the now community approved token burn - it might be better to wait for this to officially increase rather than request 2 million? This new increase should see you in tier 3…staking rewards will be negligible in tier 4 in my opinion (which is what 2 million will get you).

5 Likes

@FFR23
Thank you for your suggestion! It is very helpful. I apologize for my ignorance and would like to ask for clarification. I understand that the limit for the Unstoppable Community Grant is 2M ASTR per protocol (ref 8th page: Unstoppable Community Grants - Overview - Google Slides)
Is this understanding correct? If it is correct, are there any proposals or discussions regarding increasing the 2M ASTR limit? If so, could you please provide more information? Thank you!

3 Likes

It’s perhaps better for an official ambassador or core team member to provide more information in regards this topic

1 Like

Hello @SeiyaChida ,
If my understanding is correct you are the same team as Starlay Finance and if I remember well there were a lot of drama around Starlay (ICO, loan, …) :frowning:

On Astar EVM, currently there is Algem with nASTR and Bifrost with vASTR.
What more will you bring compared to existing projects?

4 Likes

Thanks for your proposal! DeFi products are really nice.

-How are you guys planning to boost your product facing the bear marketing conditions?

-How different your product is from ALGEM (biggest liquid staking protocol on Astar

Also, I do not like that approach - A lot of Astar agents share the opinion ASTR dApp staking rewards must be used to develop the protocol nor to lure users - but it’s only some personal opinion (which I really take into consideration before voting).

Thanks again for the application.

2 Likes

Thanks for your proposal.

I agree with @GuiGou as well.
I would like to know the clear differences from the existing liquid staking services.

What kind of users will be pleased with it? Is there a need for it? I would like to know about these aspects as well.

Hello @SeiyaChida , glad to see You are still developing on Astar :smile:

Here You can find all the upcoming features of UCG (still under discussion)

This is not possible cause 2M of UCG is a boost to put in stake on the dApp and not the amount of tokens to give to the developers :slight_smile:

However I have a couple of doubts/questions that I would like to ask :

  1. Even if the project seems promising I still have some concerns about the team due the last hack that happened on Acala shortly after You have decided to expand Starlay on Acala. Which are the audit teams You are collaborating with to provide security audits?
  1. If it’s possible I will really appreciate having more information about the team (LinkedIn or any professional social account )

  2. Can You please explain to me Your idea about Neemo sustainability without any rewards received from the UCG ?

  1. What would be the utility of LAY token if you are planning the creation of Neemo tokens ? Or on the contrary, what would be the utility of the Neemo tokens compared to LAY tokens ?

I will wait for your reply to express my opinion on the proposal :slight_smile:

5 Likes

I follow and support the post created here by my colleague, reading the proposal I really see it interesting, but I want to know more details about the team, more data.

Project derived from Starlay Finance? What happened with Starlay all this time? Why create such a similar project again in Astar?

2 Likes

Hi @GuiGou,
Thanks for your comment! Regarding Starlay, we have extensively discussed Starlay in other threads on the forum. To avoid redundancy, could we please continue those discussions in their respective threads? I believe we have addressed almost all the points regarding past issues.

Additionally, it’s important to note that the members of Neemo Finance are mostly different from those who operated Starlay. Our current team specializes in LST/LRT, with each member having a minimum of 3-4 years of experience in crypto projects. Many of our team members have developed LST/LRT on Ethereum, and we are confident in our ability to develop a protocol that can compete with those on Ethereum.

2 Likes

@GuiGou @pitcoin777 @tksarah,
Thanks for your questions and feedbacks. I believe the common question you all are asking is how our protocol differs from the existing protocols like Algem and Bifrost. I just jotted down the differentiations.

First of all there are nearly 40 LSTs and 20 LRTs on Ethereum, and much of the TVL comes from LSTs. These protocols are foundational to DeFi. Therefore, even if functionalities are similar, the number of LSTs should not be restricted to promote DeFi growth.

Even given this context, our LST is significantly different from Algem and Bifrost, primarily because it is specialized for dApp staking v3, as described in the forum post above.

Structural Differences (as mentioned previously, but reiterated here):

  • Price Increase (Yield Bearing) Structure:
    • This approach is not used for Algem, but Bifrost
    • Algem issues tokens on a 1:1 ratio, Algem’s nASTR is a rebase token, requiring permissioned use in other DeFi protocols. This necessitates additional development efforts and time. Our structure avoids these complications by adopting a price increase (yield bearing) structure.
  • Dual Staking Modes:
    • This approach is unique to us and is not used by either Algem or Bifrost.
    • Problem: dApp Staking bonus rewards have a condition where if the dApp balance drops below the Voting era balance, no bonus rewards are given. Massive unstaking could trigger this condition, causing no bonus rewards.
    • Example: If a staker had staked 10 ASTR during the Voting subperiod, they can stake and unstake as long as the Voting subperiod stake doesn’t fall below 10 ASTR. However, if a user stakes 30 additional ASTR in the Build&Earn subperiod but unstake 31 ASTR, reducing the Voting subperiod stake to 9 ASTR, they become ineligible for bonus rewards.
    • Solution: Our dual staking modes (Standard Staking and Time-locked Staking) are designed to mitigate this issue and enhance rewards for users.
  • Native Staking and Unstaking on L2s:
    • This approach is not used by either Algem or Bifrost. We allow users to stake ASTR on other L2s and mint nsASTR, enabling staking beyond the Astar EVM without chain changes. This prevents TVL reduction as redemptions occur on the same chain. We plan to spread ASTR dapp ecosystem to multichain by building the LST on L2s as well
  • Leveraged Staking:
    • This approach is not used by either Algem or Bifrost. Bifrost’s loop stake is for vDOT, not vASTR. Leveraged staking with flashloans is possible within the same chain but not across XCM. We develop natively on Astar, eliminating these restrictions. Additionally, Bifrost’s leveraged staking is confined to the Bifrost chain and does not extend to other chains. This means it does not contribute to Astar’s TVL, whereas Neemo aims to increase Astar’s TVL.
  • Distribution of dApp Staking Votes to Other DeFi Ecosystems:
    • While this approach is used by Algem, we choose dApps based on the amount of nsASTR. This fosters competition and ecosystem vitality.

In conclusion, vASTR is not a native protocol for Astar and more focuses on vDOT. We focus on developing around Astar’s dApp staking. Algem’s structure is significantly different.

5 Likes

How are you guys planning to boost your product facing the bear marketing conditions?

Thanks for your question. Here is our answer:

To boost our protocol, we will focus on:

  • dApp Staking v3 adaption and Improvements:
    • While the structure has been described above, we plan to adapt and further develop it to optimize for dApp staking. For instance, one potential improvement is in our dual staking model. As mentioned earlier, if the amount of Voting period is below the amount of Build & Earn period, we miss out on bonus rewards, resulting in lower returns. To address this, we are considering adjusting the balance by allocating ASTR from our treasury to ensure the amount of Voting period does exceed the amount of Build & Earn period. This allows users to achieve optimal yields without locking their tokens. We will continue to develop and optimize our structure to best suit dApp staking.
  • Defi Legos and Mass Adoption:
    • Developing DeFi legos like leveraged staking, and also considering to develop stableswap vaults, and integrate with yield splitting protocols to optimize user yields and even develop ETH LST/LRT (only if GTM strategy is consolidated) to attract more users.
    • For mass adoption, we are considering nsASTR for institutional investors and potentially issuing debit cards, similar to Ether.fi. Other undisclosed initiatives are also in progress.

Also, I do not like that approach - A lot of Astar agents share the opinion ASTR dApp staking rewards must be used to develop the protocol nor to lure users - but it’s only some personal opinion (which I really take into consideration before voting).

Written in the forum, “Initially” the distribution is distributed and future can be adjusted based on community feedback. Also I am not opposed to providing optimal yields to users sustainably. Seeking optimal yields encourages new protocol development, user attention, and ecosystem enrichment.

6 Likes

Hi @VasaKing,
Thanks for your warm comments. I’ll reply to your message one by one.

This is not possible cause 2M of UCG is a boost to put in stake on the dApp and not the amount of tokens to give to the developers

Thank you for the information. Allow me to clarify a little bit. My previous statement did not imply that developers would receive the tokens directly. Rather, it means staking ASTR in the Neemo protocol, which will boost our TVL and provide rewards to the Astar treasury. During the Voting period, staking nsASTR means votes go to Neemo, benefiting both Astar Treasury and Neemo’s TVL and voting support. If any chance ASTR token to be staked via Neemo protocol, it would be appreciated.

  1. Even if the project seems promising I still have some concerns about the team due the last hack that happened on Acala shortly after You have decided to expand Starlay on Acala. Which are the audit teams You are collaborating with to provide security audits?

Our main auditor was Certik. The previous hacking incident was due to the lack of deposits and borrows in the lending pool. This time, as detailed in our security measures, we are not only using auditors other than Certik but also incorporating regular audits by peer auditors and integrating SphereX. SphereX will help detect and prevent malicious actions on-chain, similar to how credit card fraud detection works.

  1. If it’s possible I will really appreciate having more information about the team (LinkedIn or any professional social account)
    Sure. We plan to add our team to our website, but for now, here are the LinkedIn profiles of our founders. Note that we rarely use LinkedIn, so the profiles are not up-to-date.

Sure. We plan to add our team to our website, but for now, here are the LinkedIn profiles of our founders. Note that we rarely use LinkedIn, so the profiles are not up-to-date.

  1. Can You please explain to me Your idea about Neemo sustainability without any rewards received from the UCG?

We plan to take a fee of 0-10% from rewards and a rapid withdrawal fee of 0.05% and send them to our treasury as most of LST/LRT protocol do. As TVL increases, we can create a sustainable development environment.

  1. What would be the utility of LAY token if you are planning the creation of Neemo tokens ? Or on the contrary, what would be the utility of the Neemo tokens compared to LAY tokens ?

LAY’s utility remains unchanged. The Neemo token is planned to be a governance token.

5 Likes

Hi @Juminstock, It’s been a while. Thanks for reading the post.

Project derived from Starlay Finance? What happened with Starlay all this time?

Yes, Neemo Finance is a spin-off protocol from Starlay Finance. Originally, we planned to integrate BTC L2 first and then proceed with ASTR, aiming to leverage BTC liquidity to positively impact the Astar ecosystem. However, after an internal team meeting, we saw significant potential in the Astar ecosystem. You can check our proposal here: New protocol Initiative for Starlay Finance - Discussion - Starlay Finance

I would really appreciate it if you could check and ask in the Starlay forum Discord to find out what happened with Starlay in the Acala, if possible, because this might affect our main topic. We discussed this fully in the Starlay forum and Discord for 3 months, and the vote has been completed. I believe It’s a too long and different topic on this forum thread.

Why create such a similar project again in Astar?

I might be misunderstanding your question but liquid staking and lending are totally different protocols. As I mentioned, originally, we planned to integrate BTC L2 first and then proceed with ASTR, aiming to leverage BTC liquidity to positively impact the Astar ecosystem. However, after an internal team meeting, we saw significant potential to build ASTR LST in the Astar ecosystem.

Or if your question is “Neemo is similar to Algem and Bifrost, why create such a similar project”, then I believe I explained in the above. There are so many differentiations and roadmap.

5 Likes

Thanks for the proposal.

I welcome having more than one LST protocol. Distributing protocols is important.
Especially since Algem and Bifrost are not optimized for dApp Staking v3, Neemo has an advantage in that regard.

Starlay has been through a lot in the past, and I support your work here.

7 Likes

Hi @you425,
Thank you for your warm comments! Our team is fully committed to expanding the Astar ecosystem and will do our best.

5 Likes

Hi @SeiyaChida,
Thanks for your reply.
Gaining trust takes time and unfortunately Starlay lost mine with all the drama arround this project.
I’m glad you’re continuing to develop on Astar and, even if Astar EVM is not a DeFi hub, another LST protocol could be good to boost the concurrence. For this reason, I think that Neemo can be added in the dAppStaking but I am against to apply Starlay/Neemo to Unstoppable Community Grant program.

Hi, You

Algem is, of course, optimized for dApp Staking V3, otherwise, the application simply wouldn’t work. :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

hi @GuiGou ,
My name is Sagar, iam handling engineering at Neemo.
We appreciate you bringing your concerns to our attention. Building trust is crucial, and we are committed to ensuring transparency and reliability. We will carefully time our releases and diligently meet each milestone to rebuild and strengthen your trust in us.

7 Likes

Thank you for your suggestion.

Before I consider your suggestion, I need to know if you are credible.
You are the former COO of Starlay.
What is the current status of Starlay? What is the current status of LAY tokens?
And you left Starlay.
I am afraid you will leave if the new PJs are not doing well.
Please reassure me.