Fantom Powered 👻
Hello anons … glad to see some of the new subscribers since the last post, I hope you’ll stay awhile 🤝
Uptober is here in full force. Markets have seen some solid gains with the Total Crypto MCAP climbing back well over $2trn despite the final boss(es) doing all they can to try and stop the shining.
Q4 is traditionally a fun time with previous bull markets as they make massive gains to close out the year. You can definitely tell there is a sense of euphoria and everyone is becoming an expert again so let that be a reminder that all good things eventually come to an end … enjoy while it is here and hedge accordingly.
In this edition of The Signal we’ll be focusing on Fantom ($FTM). Fantom has seen much attention as of late with its’ incentive campaign being launched and TVL’s / token prices increasing. Many of the projects have a “spooky'“ aesthetic to them which makes it even more interesting to be diving in around one of my favorite holidays, Halloween 🎃
We’ll dive into a bit of background on the network, tools to get you up and running, and some cool projects I think everyone should be taking a look at…
Fantom Powered 👻
Like many stars of the current DeFi wave Fantom Foundation was founded during the depths of the last bear market in 2018.
According to CrunchBase Fantom Foundation lists their headquarters in Seoul, South Korea and currently has less than 50 employees working for them (per LinkedIn) across the globe.
Fantom Foundation was created to steward the development of the Fantom Blockchain (known as Opera) and foster an open ecosystem of developers and partners that could build towards their ultimate goal of solving the Blockchain Trilemma. For some background on the Blockchain Trilemma and how Fantom addresses it you can take a look at this link from the FAQ section of their main site. Nansen recently wrote a great piece on this topic as well and even introduced Fantom to their platform (which is a great service and well worth the subscription cost, if you use it!).
It’s worth noting that if you simply google the term “Blockchain Trilemma” you will find dozens of other projects and protocols all throwing their hat in the ring to try and “solve” it. Honestly, it might be one of those types of problems that we can continuously improve against but I am not so sure that it can be completely “solved” … but that’s what makes tracking progress against it so interesting.
Under the hood, Fantom Opera is powered by the Lachesis consensus algorithm and is fully compatible with Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). As mentioned above this innovation allows for transactions to be processed asynchronously, increasing the speed and the throughput compared to other networks. The interoperable nature allows for ease of portability for dApps from Ethereum and other EVM compatible chains to cross over and it allows for users to interact with the network in familiar way if they are already using Ethereum or playing around with DeFi.
According to DefiLlama (seriously one of my favorite websites) Fantom now has something like $5.65B Total Value Locked (TVL) with a large majority currently being in Geist, a service similar to AAVE. Much of that has come in just the last few weeks as major projects are starting to get attention and users are bridging more and more of their funds to L1/L2 alternatives to the Ethereum Mainnet.
I have been watching the Fantom Community for the better part of 2021 and it’s been exciting to see the progress that has been made in gaining greater awareness (and TVL) for the ecosystem over that time period. I was initially exposed to the network thanks to popsicle.finance ($ICE) being an early project on the chain and the first thing I noticed as I peered in was a rabid community that was excited and truly believed in the potential of the network and ecosystem surrounding it.
If you start researching Fantom you’ll quickly run into the Twitter account for FTMAlerts. This is bar none one of the best (maybe “the” best) community run accounts and they absolutely crush it in bringing valuable intel and the occasional alpha to their followers. I highly recommend following and joining their Discord to stay in the loop on the latest happenings and news from the Fantom community.
Aside from FTMAlerts some other notable follows I find helpful on Twitter (there are many, many more I have not mentioned here) are:
dApps & Tools🛠️
I thought it might be helpful to share some of the tools I am using to explore opportunities, monitor activity, and find potential sources of alpha.
There are a few options for bridges out there so thought I would give my perspective on a couple here:
Synapse ($SYN) is one of the new kids on the block when it comes to an EVM bridge. They recently added functionality for Fantom and you can swap USDC → MIM. I like Synapse because it’s fast, easy to use and many times you actually receive a little more than you are bridging over. They have pools available for staking of assets and are rumored to eventually have an airdrop for users of the protocol.
AnySwap ($ANY) is probably the most popular and allows bridging of multiple assets to Fantom including $ETH, $MIM and $USDC. They allow bridges and swaps across multiple chains and have quite a bit of TVL locked up supporting liquidity for the protocol and have even partnered with projects like $SPELL to offer bridge services across chains
There are a few more options for Fantom out there but these are the ones that I am most familiar with. Bridges/Swaps are a complex topic and a very interesting space to watch right now as they will be the connecting fabric across the many of the networks that are emerging. I recently read a really great article on this topic I would recommend you check out to learn more.
I mentioned this service once already and would say if you are not using it regularly then you’re probably NGMI.
DefiLlama was created by 0xngmi and is one of the most comprehensive DeFi resources across chain you will find. It can help you to explore not only Fantom but a myriad of other networks and projects across the wider DeFi Space.
I find it most helpful to check in daily on the networks and projects (chains and protocol sections) I am following or interested in to see how TVL is changing as it can be a good indicator of opportunities for entry. Aside from TVL tracking, you can also find all kinds of information for DEX volumes, assets, yield farming and more.
DefiLlama also does a great job of getting new projects loaded quickly and has a fun community Discord where strong collaboration is present and much alpha is shared for those paying attention.
ZooTracker is part of the Zoo Ecosystem of decentralized applications built on top of Fantom. They have a few different offerings including trading (ZooDex and ZooTrade) and NFT’s (ZooPet).
With ZooTracker one can easily chart and watch the performance of their most “productive assets” on Fantom in near real time. It’s super easy to setup and start picking pairings of assets along with a variety of DEX’s to see where the opportunities may lie. ZooTracker also has a wallet function that can be helpful for tracking your portfolio in conjunction with other tools like Zapper.
MultiFarm allows you to view farming opportunities on a variety of chains. While some of this information can also be found on DefiLlama I find MultiFarm to be a bit more intuitive for delving into specific farming opportunities. MultiFarm has two major functions today in being able to look at farms (smart contracts) and assets. You can search through many different networks and get a sense of where the TVL is increasing or decreasing and find opportunities early if you are paying attention. Their Discord is also a great one to join and keep an eye on for Alpha. Here is a link to a Twitter thread that gives a great explanation on how to use the service to its’ full extent.
If you aren’t already using CoinGecko to great effect then you are probably NGMI. It’s the gold (or green?) standard in tracking all kinds of metrics across the crypto landscape and should be a favorite on your bookmark bar.
For Fantom (and other emerging networks!) I use CoinGecko’s “Categories” function and then head over to the Fantom Ecosystem page. Here you can find a view of all the tokens currently being tracked by CoinGecko that are related to the Fantom. This is a great way to see price trends and volumes at a high level along with diving into specific tokens to check on how they are performing.
Curve launched earlier this year and is participating in the large Fantom rewards incentive program enabling emissions of $wFTM along with $CRV. You can swap between assets or stake positions to earn some nice yield. The transactions costs being much less than Ethereum also allows for better efficiencies in compounding or realizing rewards.
SpiritSwap is a fast growing Fantom only project that has grown from a simple swap to a full featured DEX providing exchange, LP, farms, InSpirit (similar to veCRV) and Lend/Borrow capabilities. The team has been incredible to watch throughout the ups and downs of this year and has proven they have staying power and will continue to innovate and contribute to the greater $FTM ecosystem.
Another Fantom only project that has evolved over time is SpookySwap. Like SpiritSwap, SpookySwap offers exchange, LP, farms, and staking. They also have recently launched a multichain bridge in partnership with AnySwap.
Okay, so imagine the greatest composers from the 19th century resurrect themselves and and build a Balancer-like project on Fantom. That amazing and completely odd vision is how I can best describe BeethovenX. The project recently launched via an LBP and now has some sweet invest/farming opportunities available. The pools allow for multiple assets which can give an investor the ability to invest across a spectrum similar to Balancer on Ethereum. The Discord is popping and the team has just done a really good job of not only launching a great project but making it fun to participate in.
Projects like this really show that DeFi has legs outside of just disrupting the mechanics of the current financial system but also the culture … can you imagine B of A or JPM launching a new product for their users like this? Methinks not.
I have been an avid gamer and fan of all things RPG for pretty much my whole life and I now am starting to understand how networks like Fantom can help to take gaming to another level altogether and drive incentives directly for users in the process. Rarity is a great example of that kind of innovation.
At it's core, Rarity is a smart contract that was launched by Andre Cronje. It allows for you to mint characters (summoners) and then level them up, engage in crafting and other kinds of possibilities.
Since launching more folks have started to build and innovate on top of the core system and now you have a diverse ecosystem of projects popping up around the “game”.
I would recommend everyone check this out … you can start by going to the main site rarity.game and minting a starter pack. It’s a good value and gets you quite a bit of stuff to get up and going. The game is essentially an Idle RPG that you can check in with once a day or so and progress your characters, craft items, etc.
Once you get up and running you can check out some of the other below links for projects that are building on top of Rarity that allow you other things to do as you build your characters and explore.
This recent article from MultiFarm was a great eye opener for me on the possibilities systems like this have for gaming.
There is WAY more to explore in the $FTM ecosystem and I may have to do a follow up post here as things continue to develop…
PS: If you are wondering where the hay are the amazing projects that @danielesesta is building on Fantom please stay tuned. My next article is going dive a bit into the #OccupyDefi movement that is forming.