Fantom ecosystem spotlight – Geist
Could the project that is the focus of this week’s spotlight have chosen a better name? We think not.
“Geist,” of course, means spirit in both senses of the word: a ghostly spirit and spirit of an individual or group. The word is assumed to derive from the proto-Indian European root “gheis-,” which also includes meanings of excitement and amazement.
While true to the spectral/supernatural naming conventions of many Fantom DeFi projects, the name Geist also perfectly captures the enthusiasm, dedication, and spirit of the team and the community behind this project. Just days after launch, Geist’s soaring TVL foretold the massive impact this sophisticated lending, and borrowing protocol is having on the Fantom ecosystem.
Read on to learn more about this exciting project.
1. What is Geist?
Geist is a decentralized non-custodial liquidity market protocol where users can participate as depositors or borrowers. Depositors provide liquidity to the market to earn a passive income, while borrowers can borrow in an overcollateralized (perpetually) or undercollateralized (one-block liquidity) fashion.
2. How do you introduce Geist to a novice or someone who knows relatively little about DeFi?
DeFi is changing how finance is working in many ways. One of the most interesting ways is the ability to power the financial market with liquidity pools.
Lending pools are the first decentralized liquidity pools in DeFi, designed to boost the borrowing and lending market. Unlike the peer-to-peer lending model — where borrowers obtain loans directly from the lenders — lending pools act as the counterparty directly, and coded algorithms automatically set interest.
The smart contracts are hard-coded to allow only depositors of the funds to withdraw their holdings; being a non-custodial service helps to alleviate and mitigate risks.
Users can deposit assets into the GEIST reserve pool of funds and earn interest. Users can also borrow some assets from the pool, provided that they have enough collateral.
All deposits in GEIST Protocol have a corresponding “gToken,” a Geist interest-bearing token pegged 1:1 to the value of the underlying asset.
3. How did you come up with Geist? What was your inspiration?
We were inspired to build Geist because we had always used and built on top of AAVE on Ethereum. After getting excited about building on Fantom, we found that a lot of the developer infrastructure necessary to build cool products was in place, but the lego block we wanted to build on wasn’t there!
Thus, we decided to create a new liquidity protocol in the form of Geist, which could fill the gap that AAVE has left in the Fantom developer community.
4. What’s your background?
The core team has a background developing on ETH since 2016. In 2020, we started focusing on building in the DeFi industry and left our previous jobs to commit fully to contributing to open and accessible protocols.
As we saw more and more large protocols embracing institutions and forms of centralization, we decided to rebuild existing DeFi primitives that are resistant to shutdown and will always stay open to whoever wishes to participate and build on top of them. No whitelists, KYC, or CeDeFi practices.
5. Why did you decide to build on Fantom?
We quickly decided to build on Fantom after interacting with the Fantom developer community. To us, it feels like the early days of Ethereum, with a foundation behind the chain that is focused on providing bedrock infrastructure instead of marketing.
6. How did you learn about Fantom?
Our team always had a large interest in gossip protocols such as Avalanche, Hedera, and Fantom because we believe it is the way forward to solve scalability. We found out about Fantom because we idolize and look up to Andre Cronje, and wish to build in an ecosystem where he felt comfortable to build, as we hope to see Andre one day build layers on top of our products.
7. How was your experience of building on Fantom?
Early on, all networks had issues with RPCs due to the fact that newer generation networks are faster than Ethereum, and RPC servers have had to handle more requests than ever before.
After the RPC problem was resolved, we gave it another shot, and it was extremely smooth and easy to keep building. The only problem is that we never accounted for gas optimization practices building on any of the Ethereum sidechains and ended up pushing the limits of Fantom’s economic model and gas estimation endpoints. We’re a bit proud that the product succeeded enough for that to be a problem because it’s a problem originating from success.
8. What brings you to DeFi, and what excites you most about the space?
DeFi is the only real use case for this industry for us. We don’t believe in anything else because DeFi has allowed us to control our own money and reduced our reliance on banking in real life. We are a team that greatly values privacy, and DeFi has given us control over our identities and lives once again.
9. How did the community receive Geist?
We’ve received incredible support from the Fantom community since the very beginning. We did a fair launch with no presale, no ICO, no private sale, and no VC and are grateful for the amazing support, feedback, and love from the community.
The Fantom community has been waiting for a long time for AAVE, one of the largest money markets on Ethereum, to deploy on Fantom. We’ve listened to the community, and with the introduction of Geist, the community has been excited to receive us as we’ve added a long-awaited protocol to the Fantom ecosystem.
10. Were you surprised by the TVL after three days?
We were blown away seeing the TVL surpass a billion in such a short amount of time. We’re grateful for the trust that the community has in the protocol and the team that is building it.
11. What’s coming up for Geist? Free alpha!
We think that Geist locks will pave the way as a reputation list for future protocols to airdrop to, as we have managed to unite some of the greatest communities using our token distribution (AAVE, veCRV, EPS, and many more) and brought it down to only the most ardent community members.
These community members are an incredible asset where other protocols can tap into and bootstrap their own community through an airdrop. We are working with different protocols to build a DeFi ecosystem that is no less than that we see on Ethereum mainnet itself.
12. What do you want to say to fellow developers who haven’t started building on Fantom yet?
Reach out to us. We want to mentor you, work with you, and show you the warmth that the rest of the developers have shown to our team. We want to help others thrive and float all boats.
13. If there’s anything that you’d like to add that we haven’t asked about, please include it below. Thank you!
If any of you are building on-chain oracles and keepers, let’s chat. If Chainlink is reading this, come and bring all of your tech to Fantom, including VRF (Verifiable Random Function), so we can support more collaterals using the highest quality data. There is much more liquidity to be unlocked.
Engage with Geist at: