[Prime Protocol] LTIPP Application - FINAL

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SECTION 1: APPLICANT INFORMATION

Provide personal or organizational details, including applicant name, contact information, and any associated organization. This information ensures proper identification and communication throughout the grant process.

Applicant Name: Colton Conley
Project Name: Prime Protocol

Project Description: Prime Protocol is DeFi’s first natively cross-chain prime brokerage that allows users to borrow across chains backed by their entire portfolio of cross chain assets. Prime currently supports 7 unique assets on Arbitrum.

Prime is deeply entrenched in the Arbitrum ecosystem, partnering with projects and consistently highlighting Arbitrum and its community through Prime’s social media channels. Notably, Prime Protocol hosted an Arbitrum DeFi discussion panel on Twitter, underscoring our active engagement within the community.

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Key Team Members and Roles:

Prime Protocol was established by Colton Conley, with Neeraj Kohirkar serving as its current CEO.

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Prime Protocol Links

Prime dApp: dApp
Prime Website: Website
Prime dApp Demo: Demo
Documentation: Docs
Twitter/X: Twitter

Contact Information

TG: Telegram: Contact @coltonconley

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ColtonFConley

Email: colton@primeprotocol.xyz

Do you acknowledge that your team will be subject to a KYC requirement?

YES

SECTION 2a: Team and Product Information

Provide details on your team’s past and current experience. Any details relating to past projects, recent achievements and any past experience utilizing incentives. Additionally, please provide further details on the state of your product, audience segments, and how you expect incentives to impact the product’s long-term growth and sustainability.

Team experience:

The team at Prime Protocol is led by individuals with a rich blend of experiences in both traditional finance and the burgeoning field of decentralized finance (DeFi), positioning them uniquely within the crypto space.

  • Colton Conley, the founder of Prime Protocol, ventured into the crypto world in 2016 as an investor and trader, developing arbitrage bots for centralized exchanges. His journey took a significant turn with the rise of decentralized exchanges, fueling his interest in DeFi. Colton’s academic background is impressive, with a B.S. in Statistics and Data Science and Economics from Yale University, where he was honored with the Tobin Fellowship for his research in cryptocurrencies. His professional experience is equally notable, having worked on macro desks at leading financial institutions like JP Morgan and Citadel as a quantitative trader specializing in interest rate volatility. Colton’s transition from a traditional finance expert to a DeFi innovator was driven by his firsthand experiences as a DeFi user, recognizing the potential for Prime Protocol to address unmet needs in the market.
  • Neeraj Kohirkar, serving as the CEO of Prime Protocol, brings a diverse set of skills from his tenure as an engineering lead at Netflix and his advisory roles in fintech startups. His education from UC Berkeley, combined with a decade of entrepreneurial experience and his engagement with the crypto space since 2017, equips him with a deep understanding of technology and finance. Neeraj’s leadership is instrumental in steering Prime Protocol towards its vision, leveraging his extensive background in building scalable systems and fostering innovation in the fintech and crypto sectors.

Together, Colton and Neeraj embody the spirit of innovation and expertise that Prime Protocol champions, bridging the gap between traditional finance and DeFi with their combined experiences and visionary leadership.

Prime Protocol has a documented history of effective and sustainable grant deployment:

In April 2023, Prime Protocol received a grant from the Moonbeam Foundation, which led to increased usage of Moonbeam’s Cross-Chain Connected Contracts.

As a result of this grant, Prime became the second largest protocol by TVL in the Moonbeam ecosystem with only a fraction of total grant funds being distributed. While other protocols received multiple grant tranches, Prime received a single grant and has made it last for over a year. The increased attention to the Moonbeam ecosystem as a result of these grants is apparent when looking at the Axelar message passing statistics. Prime accounts for over 99% of the 35.05k total GMP calls to Moonbeam since its launch, bringing users from other ecosystems onto their chain. Prime would be able to do the same for Arbitrum with incentivized pools to attract new participants. Rather than attract mercenary capital, Prime has steadily built TVL that has remained quite sticky through different yield environments. The grants got users in the door, but they stayed for the flexibility of Prime’s cross-chain functionality.

What novelty or innovation does your product bring to Arbitrum?

Prime Protocol is uniquely positioned to bring synergies to different ecosystems, by way of its cross-chain capabilities. More specifically, Prime can onboard users from other blockchains onto Arbitrum’s DeFi markets. We safely and efficiently accomplish this in a few ways:

  • Prime allows users to pay for gas on one chain, and borrow assets on another. Why is this important? This eliminates massive friction points for users joining a new ecosystem. Imagine, a user who is an avid user of Optimism has collateral on Optimism. This user now wants to participate in timely yield opportunities on Arbitrum but doesn’t know how to do it. Instead of reading up on bridges and custom DEXs to swap tokens, this user can borrow USDC on Arbitrum and pay for the transaction on Optimism! This conveniently provides immediate liquidity to users on Arbitrum.
  • Prime reduces the need to bridge over assets to participate in another chain. Although users can still use secure bridges if they prefer to, general message passing infrastructure allows us to securely pass packages of data to ensure that users can participate in the lending ecosystem safely, without the risk of actually transferring funds from one place to another. Prime allows existing Arbitrum users to easily deposit on our platform and earn interest. And at the same time, allows new users to quickly participate in Arbitrum’s money markets and opportunities.
  • Prime is riding two key narratives in DeFi. Cross chain and abstraction.
      1. Cross chain brings the siloed blockchain ecosystems together, and it is critical that DeFi has primitives, such as lending, that enable this cross pollination. Arbitrum ultimately exponentially grows when DeFi onramp to its chain projects and opportunities becomes significantly easier, and Prime plays a pivotal role in that.
      1. Every industry that has gone through hypergrowth has done so by way of abstraction. What’s great about Prime is; Prime supercharges other narratives in DeFi as well. As an example, our infrastructure allows us to relatively quickly onboard new assets such as eETH, create a partnership with a company such as EtherFi, and reliably create utility for an asset on Arbitrum. We’re heavily focused on such use cases in this phase of Prime.

Arbitrum STIP Grant 2

Is your project composable with other projects on Arbitrum? If so, please explain:

Prime Protocol can be used in conjunction with other projects within the Arbitrum ecosystem. For example, by using Prime Protocol, you can access the Trader Joe DEX without having to bridge any assets. Learn more about this in the Trader Joe’s blog post: Supercharge your Yields using Prime Protocol with Trader Joe

We are exploring other ways to abstract some of our key functionality so that other projects can directly plug into our markets and data pertaining to portfolio health as well.

Do you have any comparable protocols within the Arbitrum ecosystem or other blockchains?

Prime Protocol stands as the pioneering cross-chain lending platform. While there are other cross-chain liquidity protocols, none match the robustness of Prime, which now supports an impressive network of 9 chains and 39 collateral types.

How do you measure and think about retention internally? (metrics, target KPIs)

At Prime Protocol, our dedication to sustainable and long-term growth underpins every aspect of our operations, particularly in the design and implementation of our incentive programs. With a vision that resonates with Arbitrum’s, we are eager to drive Total Value Locked (TVL) to the Arbitrum ecosystem in a manner that is not only sustainable but also aligns with our shared goal of seamlessly onboarding 1 billion users to the crypto ecosystem. Our commitment is to ensure that every user’s journey through the crypto landscape is as intuitive and frictionless as possible, thereby fostering a robust and enduring growth trajectory for both Prime Protocol and Arbitrum.

Relevant usage metrics:

  • Total Volume Locked: > 13.5M USD
  • TVL on Arbitrum: > 2.5M USD
  • Over 74K users accessing Prime Protocol’s website and spending an average of 3 - 5 minutes per session
  • International representation. Just this year (aka the last 3 months), we’ve had 9.5K users from India, 7K users from the UK, 6K from Singapore, with plenty of engagement from China, Korea, Russia, Netherlands, and other regions across the world!
  • Just in terms of usage of our protocol, we’ve had a relatively sticky experience! Since mainnet, we’ve had close to 40% retention of users that spend 3 - 5 minutes time on the app.
  • We have distributed over 40 million Prime points distributed to over 12.5K users across the world, to encourage healthy participation in our cross chain ecosystem.

Do you agree to remove team-controlled wallets from all milestone metrics AND exclude team-controlled wallets from any incentives included in your plan: YES

Did you utilize a grants consultant or other third party not named as a grantee to draft this proposal? NO

SECTION 2b: PROTOCOL DETAILS

Is the protocol native to Arbitrum?: Yes. When Prime was initially deployed, it was simultaneously launched on Arbitrum, Ethereum, and Moonbeam. Since then, Prime has connected 9 chains with its cross chain margining engine.

On what other networks is the protocol deployed?: Prime Protocol is also deployed on Avalanche, Base, BNB Chain, Celo, Ethereum, Moonbeam, Optimism, and Polygon.

What date did you deploy on Arbitrum mainnet?: [Date + transaction ID. If not yet live on mainnet, explain why] May 2023.
Transaction ID: 0x2957bc29fe952989dc3883add063333f1d4fc0e4025ba84d063f30ec6b9b5568

Do you have a native token?: Planned (Tentatively for Q2 ‘24)

Past Incentivization:

Prime Protocol has a documented history of effective and sustainable grant deployment. In April 2023, Prime Protocol received a grant from the Moonbeam Foundation, which led to increased usage of Moonbeam’s Cross-Chain Connected Contracts.

Current Incentivization: How are you currently incentivizing your protocol?

We are continuously and sustainably deploying the grant from the Moonbeam Foundation. As a result, Prime has become the second-largest protocol by TVL within the Moonbeam ecosystem. Since deploying the grant, Prime has accounted for more than 99% of the 35.05k total GMP calls to Moonbeam, attracting users from other chains to Moonbeam.

Have you received a grant from the DAO, Foundation, or any Arbitrum ecosystem related program? NO

Protocol Performance: Detail the past performance of the protocol and relevance, including any key metrics or achievements, dashboards, etc.

Over the past three months, Prime Protocol has doubled its total value locked, soaring from $5.29 million to over $13.5 million. Additionally, we’ve grown to over 12,500 users worldwide within our cross-chain ecosystem. Our cutting-edge cross-chain lending service connects Arbitrum to 9 chains, supporting 39 unique collateral types.

Prime Protocol 2024 H1 Roadmap:

  • Expanding the Prime team
  • Fully integrate with LayerZero v2 to upgrade our entire infrastructure for more flexibility, more durability, faster transactions, cheaper gas, and more chains.
  • Onboarding more chains and collateral types.
  • Pursue strategic partnerships
  • Prime 2.0 launch, a complete UX/UI overhaul

For more information on Prime’s roadmap, click here.

Audit History & Security Vendors:

The code of Prime Protocol undergoes constant and meticulous auditing processes. You can find the audit details on Prime’s Audits page.

Security Incidents: Has your protocol ever been exploited? NO

SECTION 3: GRANT INFORMATION

Detail the requested grant size, provide an overview of the budget breakdown, specify the funding and contract addresses, and describe any matching funds if relevant.

Requested Grant Size: 200,000 ARB

Justification for the size of the grant:

The grant will be used to attract new users from Prime’s existing user base in other ecosystems to become active users on Arbitrum. The size of this grant is sufficient to support approximately $10M in Arbitrum Native TVL. At an ARB price of $1.7 distributed over 12 weeks, this equals $340K of value being distributed. At a TVL of $10mm, this equates to a 13.6% APR averaged across all markets for the duration of the distribution, excluding protocol interest and Prime points. We believe the engagement and additional assets we support will sustain TVL and growth on Arbitrum beyond the ARB distribution period.

This estimate is based on the results we’ve achieved from deploying grants from the Moonbeam Foundation in GLMR and current interest rates for DeFi lending protocols.

Grant Breakdown:

  • 100% of the grant will be used to incentivize to incentivize deposits and/or borrows on the following markets:

|Asset | Total ARB | % of Grant | APR | Contract Address |
|native USDC | 130,000 | 65% | 15% | 0xA44C28Bd4Fd4fc307f23B2E6e9cC07BC03571798|
|ARB | 40,000 | 20% | 10% | 0x0C6Be22cb154A36e2D96f9977D47aDbb3ECf13B0|
|ETH | 15,000 | 7.5% | 16% | 0x2E9F73aA3F16748C9c1E8243D204d60F87dEC872|
|WBTC | 15,000 | 7.5% | 10% | 0x51Ff97d92683992AD091E04470069bB942219D71|

Average APR given this breakdown is 13.7%.

Funding Address: 0x75fb824cd7ad7C0cB39A23c6DF22DBa942A67f3E

Funding Address Characteristics: The address above is for a ⅔ gnosis safe. Each private key is held by a different member of the Prime Protocol team, and has not been shared anywhere. The signer wallets (and private keys) will only be used for managing grants from Arbitrum.

Contract Address: To be deployed upon receipt of grant

SECTION 4: GRANT OBJECTIVES, EXECUTION AND MILESTONES

Clearly outline the primary objectives of the program and the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), execution strategy, and milestones used to measure success. This helps reviewers understand what the program aims to achieve and how progress will be assessed.

Objectives: Onboard $10M of total value locked to Arbitrum

Execution Strategy: Rather than deploy the full amount linearly over 12 weeks, we will be judicious in ramping up the APR on markets to ensure that we are meeting our objective of bringing in new users to the protocol and Arbitrum. This ensures that we are not giving all the incentives to existing users without achieving our objectives. Each week, we will evaluate whether the higher yields succeeded in bringing in new users. If they did, and yields have come down as a result, we will increase the incentives until they reach a steady state that can be maintained for the timeline of the grant. However, if yields are still high or if few new users enter the protocol, we will adjust our community outreach approach before increasing incentives further. If all tokens are being farmed by existing whales, we will implement a lockup/vest on the incentives to ensure that farmers are long term believers in Arbitrum.

Grant Timeline: 12 weeks

To effectively incentivize “stickiness” among users and liquidity within the Prime Protocol, we will implement a two-pronged strategy that emphasizes both sustainable grant deployment and synergistic community engagement programs.

Sustainable Grant Deployment: Our approach to deploying grants is grounded in sustainability, as evidenced by our successful track record with the Moonbeam Foundation grant. By allocating funds judiciously, we not only maximize the longevity of the grant but also ensure that the incentives we offer for liquidity provision and user engagement are competitive over an extended period. This method has proven effective in building TVL within the Moonbeam ecosystem, where Prime emerged as the second-largest protocol by TVL. Before deployment of that grant, Prime had just $737k USD in TVL on the chain in July of 2024. This grant was to be deployed over a longer time horizon, so by the end of 2024, Prime had 8.6 million of TVL on the chain. This was using less than half of the approximately 1.3 million GLMR awarded, during a time when that GLMR was mostly trading below 20 cents. Only deposits were incentivized, but the pools were highly utilized. By replicating this strategy on Arbitrum, we aim to attract and retain users and liquidity by offering incentivized pools that are both appealing and sustainable. We actually believe that our strategy will yield greater results on Arbitrum given the organic interest in the ARB native markets without incentivization. The arb markets have risen to 3 million of organic TVL largely from ETH, BTC, and ARB deposits. There has been meaningful borrowing activity on the USDC markets, but we believe that with some tactful incentivization for deeper liquidity these markets will see a substantial uptick in utilization and sustainable real yields similar to AAVE. Given the greater than 8x growth we saw on Moonbeam with half the capital we anticipated it would take, we believe that users from every chain on Prime will flock to Arbitrum DeFi once they can access deeper liquidity on Prime.

  • This approach helps us avoid the pitfalls of “mercenary capital,” where liquidity moves as quickly as it comes, ensuring a more stable and committed user base.

Other Community Programs - Prime Points: In addition to our strategic grant deployment, we will leverage Prime Points, our community engagement program, to foster a deeper sense of loyalty and belonging among users. This holistic approach ensures that once users are attracted to the ecosystem through our incentivized pools, they find additional value and reasons to remain engaged through Prime Points and other community-centric initiatives. The longer a user is deposited into Prime, the faster their points accumulation rate becomes. If the user withdraws, they must start over and forfeit their points accumulation multiplier. This leads to stickier deposits and borrows, where longer term users are recognized more.

Specify the KPIs that will be used to measure success in achieving the grant objectives and designate a source of truth for governance to use to verify accuracy. [Please also justify why these specific KPIs will indicate that the grant has met its objective. Distribution of the grant itself should not be one of the KPIs.]

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs):

  • Arbitrum TVL on incentivized and non-incentivized markets.
    • We anticipate Arbitrum TVL to increase from 2.5 million to 6 million in month 1, 8 million by month 2, and 10+ million by month three.
  • Deposit and borrow rates on incentivized markets
    • We are targeting yields below 20% on markets two weeks after any grant deployment adjustments are made to markets, with an average APR between 13 and 14 percent.
  • Arbitrum DAUs

Grant Timeline and Milestones: Grants will be used within 12 weeks.

How will receiving a grant enable you to foster growth or innovation within the Arbitrum ecosystem?

Receiving a grant will empower Prime Protocol to significantly enhance growth within the Arbitrum ecosystem by utilizing our advanced cross-chain capabilities. These features are designed to encourage users from various blockchains to engage with Arbitrum’s DeFi markets, making the ecosystem more accessible and attractive. Specifically, by highlighting lucrative yield farming opportunities within Arbitrum, Prime Protocol can offer a transparent gateway for these users to explore and participate in Arbitrum’s offerings. Our successful deployment of the Moonbeam Foundation grant in GLMR serves as a testament to our ability to drive such growth and engagement effectively. We actually believe this will be easier to accomplish within Arbitrum because of the wider variety of projects to collaborate with and opportunities for yield. Through the grant, we aim to replicate and scale this success within the Arbitrum ecosystem, fostering a more interconnected and vibrant DeFi landscape.

One of our key X-factors is: we bring users from other ecosystems onto Arbitrum with minimal friction.

Specific opportunities for yield include:

  • Onboarding of restaking tokens such as eETH and rsETH exclusively on Arbitrum.
  • Addition of Pendle and other yield protocols to our strategies page. We have observed some users already borrowing on Arbitrum to deposit funds in these protocols to harvest yield arbitrages.

Do you accept the funding of your grant streamed linearly for the duration of your grant proposal, and that the multisig holds the power to halt your stream? YES

SECTION 5: Data and Reporting

OpenBlock Labs has developed a comprehensive data and reporting checklist for tracking essential metrics across participating protocols. Teams must adhere to the specifications outlined in the provided link here: Onboarding Checklist from OBL 21. Along with this list, please answer the following:

Is your team prepared to comply with OBL’s data requirements for the entire life of the program and three months following and then handoff to the Arbitrum DAO? Are there any special requests/considerations that should be considered?

YES

Does your team agree to provide bi-weekly program updates on the Arbitrum Forum thread that reference your OBL dashboard?

Yes, we will provide a breakdown of the campaign progress

*First Offense: In the event that a project does not provide a bi-weekly update, they will be reminded by an involved party (council, advisor, or program manager). Upon this reminder, the project is given 72 hours to complete the requirement or their funding will be halted.

Second Offense: Discussion with an involved party (advisor, pm, council member) that will lead to understanding if funds should keep flowing or not.

Third Offense: Funding is halted permanently

Does your team agree to provide a final closeout report not later than two weeks from the ending date of your program? This report should include summaries of work completed, final cost structure, whether any funds were returned, and any lessons the grantee feels came out of this grant. Where applicable, be sure to include final estimates of acquisition costs of any users, developers, or assets onboarded to Arbitrum chains. (NOTE: No future grants from this program can be given until a closeout report is provided.)

YES

Does your team acknowledge that failure to comply with any of the above requests can result in the halting of the program’s funding stream?:

YES

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Hello @PrimeTyler ,

Thank you for your application! Your advisor will be Castle Capital @Atomist.

Please join the LTIPP discord and ping your advisor in the general chat so they can create a new channel and start communicating with you.

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@cliffton.eth Can you please mark our application as final? Thank you!

Hey there, I’ve amended the title to reflect that this proposal is now FINAL. All the best!

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Prime Protocol stands out significantly from its competitors and has a successful track record of past grant usage. Their KPIs, targets, and milestones are clearly displayed, and the grant amount appears to be in line with their current TVL. At the same time, we think the Prime Protocol has potential for viability and adoption and we support this proposal.