Fantom Ecosystem Spotlight – RoboVault
Co-founder of Robovault, DegenRobot, admits being skeptical of crypto until about a couple of years ago. But after observing first-hand the exclusionary practices and inefficiencies of traditional financial institutions, he gravitated to both crypto and DeFi.
Stories like these, of motivated and resourceful builders driven by vision, fuel the fire that drives the Fantom team. Like other leading projects in the Fantom ecosystem, RoboVault is paving the way for the future of finance.
1. What is RoboVault?
RoboVault allows users to earn yield on single assets through automated strategies that deploy assets to platforms across the Fantom ecosystem.
Our main strategies are delta-neutral through the use of Lending Protocols and liquidity pool Yield Farming.
This is achieved by deploying a portion of the Vault’s Base Tokens to a Decentralized Lending Protocol such as SCREAM, while borrowing a secondary token to create an LP Position.
Vaults automatically compound yield farm reward tokens while rebalancing vault holdings over time. These strategies minimize exposure to impermanent loss from extreme price movements.
RoboVault is designed to give users the upside of higher yields from providing liquidity to AMM’s while limiting the potential downside from extreme market movements through rebalancing mechanics.
2. How do you introduce RoboVault to a novice or someone who knows little about Defi?
The RoboVault user experience is much like depositing cash into a bank account. Users can deposit and withdraw to vaults at any time.
Behind the scenes, vaults work to earn interest on deposit assets.
They automate risk-minimization practices while deploying to various earnings strategies with competitive interest.
3. Can you give us a quick rundown of what RoboVault offers?
We offer vaults where users can earn yield on several assets, including the main blue-chip stablecoins and other assets like WBTC, WETH, and WFTM.
As some users might be aware, in late 2021, we had some scares when the Yearn team discovered a potential vulnerability in our vaults. Luckily no funds were lost, and this issue has since been resolved.
However, this led us to fully adopt the Yearn V2 architecture for the vaults. We now build our own earnings strategies within this broader, highly-secure architecture.
This also made us much more wary of the potential for vulnerabilities to find their way into protocols unintentionally.
Since then, our goal has been to focus on security by introducing a number of risk-reduction measures.
4. How did you come up with RoboVault, and what inspired you?
We were early explorers of DeFi and opportunities available on lending and LP platforms.
After spending a lot of time as investors, we began to imagine new strategies to provide users with the upside of liquidity pool yields while developing rebalancing mechanics to hedge positions and limit exposure to impermanent loss.
In terms of inspiration, some early posts by Andre Cronje and the Yearn team showing how to deploy your own version of Yearn put us on the path to developing RoboVault.
The Yearn team has provided lots of support as we’ve continued developing and improving our products.
5. What is your background?
Degen Robot brings extensive experience working at a startup building technology for off-grid electrification. His background is in:
- Data science
- Finance with a focus on simulations, modeling, and economics based on quantitative research
- Statistics and Machine Learning
SmoothBot was previously software lead at a tech startup. His experience includes:
- Developing key infrastructure focused on embedded systems and low-level languages similar to Solidity
- Developing and tuning bots for arbitrage, doing $180M volume/month
- Last but not least, he was mining DOGE in 2014
6. How did you learn about Fantom?
We were learning about DeFi and experimenting with various protocols when we came across Fantom.
When the first protocols deployed on Fantom, we both bridged funds over and were impressed with the speed of the chain and the low-fee transactions, as compared with DeFi on other chains.
7. Why did you decide to build on Fantom?
Our core strategy allows users to take advantage of high yields by liquidity provisioning to AMMs through a delta-neutral strategy. As prices move, this requires constant rebalancing to limit exposure to IL.
Fantom’s fast finality and cheap transaction fees ensure the viability of our core strategies, which would not be able to execute effectively on a chain with slower speeds and longer transaction times.
We were both users of Fantom DeFi before we deployed RoboVault.
Even before we began building, we appreciated the Foundation’s focus on building the protocol, the growing ecosystem, and strong community.
8. What has your experience been like building on Fantom?
The community is unique because there is lots of collaboration between developers from different protocols.
Open communication channels to the Foundation also help keep the building process smooth.
The Fantom community of users is quite supportive, and our user base has been immensely helpful as we’ve navigated the DeFi space.
9. What brings you to DeFi, and what excites you most about the space?
The open-source frameworks of the DeFi space and direct communication between users and developers make for a highly productive environment.
As builders in DeFi, we can spend all of our time building better products while not having to contend with the bureaucracy and red tape that many tech startups have to navigate.
10. How did the community receive RoboVault? What should we know about your community?
We deployed without any prior marketing in a stealth launch that allowed us to slowly grow a community of loyal users. While navigating early growing pains, we continued to optimize our product.
By focusing on our vaults without launching a token, we could build a community of users interested in our core product.
As a result, our users are quite knowledgeable about the inner mechanics of our strategies while also supporting our efforts to build scalable products for the long term.
11. What’s coming up for RoboVault? Free alpha!
We currently have some additional single asset strategies we’re finalizing, which use similar mechanics to our existing approaches, but tap into more liquidity and offer higher yield by utilizing protocols such as Beethoven X and Solidly.
Additionally, we’ve been working on some new products, which we’re in the later stages of testing.
The first is Yield Redirect, which will allow users to redirect yields from yield farms and single asset vaults to other assets, essentially automating the process of DCAing yields into target assets while maintaining the initial balance in the deposited asset.
For example, a user farming with FTM / BTC LP could automatically have their farming rewards converted into USDC, which is deposited into an interest-bearing vault such as Yearn vaults or our vaults.
The second is Dojima, a flexible options protocol with the following use cases:
- To provide users the ability to insure their vault deposits with other interest-bearing tokens such as Yearn vaults.
- The ability to provide fixed interest over a certain period to users.
- Allow other protocols to leverage options for various use cases.
12. What would you like to say to fellow developers who haven’t yet started building on Fantom?
From our experience, all the devs on Fantom are very accessible.
The best thing to do is just get in touch via Discord or Telegram with some of the protocols or devs you’re planning to interact with.
Engage with RoboVault: