Saddle Up for DeFi
Back in January, Saddle said 'gm' to the world with a clear mission: help bridge the worlds of Bitcoin and Ethereum by providing a platform for secure, low-cost, and low-slippage swaps between pegged-value crypto assets.
So much has changed since we launched that first tokenized BTC pool, with synth-mediated virtual swaps being implemented by several projects, L2s coming online, and protocol controlled value redefining what is cutting-edge in DeFi. The needs of the ecosystem have evolved, and so too has Saddle.
With major milestones just around the corner, we’re getting rowdy about our mission: to fulfill the promise of financial Lego blocks; to help bring pegged asset swap to any blockchain. In other words, to build the AMM that DeFi deserves.
July, 2020 -- In DeFi around this time, options for low-cost swaps between different stablecoins (like DAI to USDC) are limited. And often, they’d cost users a pretty penny.
Thesis founder, Matt, and (soon-to-be) Saddle founder, Sunil, want to build a better option for the community. We first look to Curve... but anticipating difficulty and gatekeeping working with them, we conspire to build a low-cost, low-slippage AMM another way.
Thus, Saddle is conceived.
November, 2020 -- Sunil speaks at the DeFi Alliance Liquidity Demo Day. The team introduces a Solidity-based pegged asset swap algorithm that would come to serve as the foundation for Saddle’s AMM. This is also the first public announcement of an innovative use of synths (Synthetix) to efficiently bridge across stablecoin / pegged-asset pools.
January, 2021 -- Saddle officially launches on Ethereum with a guarded Proof of Governance launch, a novel mechanism to ensure security and stability in the early days, and leverage on-chain activity as reputation in order to bring in highly participatory, community-oriented DeFi users. PoG is well-received by the community.
February, 2021 -- A month after the PoG launch, Saddle lifted the guard and made LPing available to all DeFi users.
Since then, Saddle has made steady progress on its open-source AMM protocol:
- Support for flash loans, virtual swap, and numerous protocol improvements
- Partnerships with all major wallets and aggregators, such as Zerion and 1inch
- Launching pools for stablecoins, alETH (Alchemix), D4 (alUSD, FEI, FRAX, LUSD), and wCUSD
- Facilitating >$800 million in trades (cumulative USD volume)
Not the AMM DeFi needs, but the AMM DeFi deserves
Originally, the raison d'etre and inspiration for Saddle was virtual swap-- to leverage synths for infinite liquidity across pools.
Sadly, we weren’t the first to release the feature. And part of the reason was that we had to build up an AMM from scratch.
We had the Curve StableSwap algo as guidance, but unfortunately their code is closed-source and on a restrictive license, so we chose to reimplement StableSwap in an open-sourced manner (and in solidity).
This way, any DeFi team can use our AMM as a financial lego block.
And what was the result? -- We’ve had several projects fork our code and build on top of Saddle’s AMM, across multiple blockchains, and accumulating billions in TVL. Oh, and threats of a lawsuit from the Curve team, despite how appealing to meatspace court is the antithesis to what DeFi is founded on.
The DeFi ecosystem has exploded since the summer of 2020. As more and more people were faced with DeFi transaction speeds and costs — compounded in 2021 with the parallel NFT boom and gas wars — people began turning an eye towards L2s and sidechains.
As these emerging ecosystems become more interoperable through mechanisms like bridges, atomic swaps, and cross-chain transactions, one thing remains necessary for the realization of a global, permissionless, seamless Web3 financial paradigm: DeFi primitives.
These primitives are applications on each network that provide the fundamental building blocks for many DeFi applications. We at Saddle see it as our mission to provide a key piece of the Legos blocks for every L1 and L2 DeFi network — a pegged-value asset AMM.
Towards an Open DeFi Ecosystem and Multi-Chain Future
One of the most critical components of any DeFi tool is open-source principles. Saddle has been open-source from day 1, and our mission is to provide an AMM lego block that can be brought over to any emerging or veteran ecosystem that wishes to implement an efficient stablecoin / pegged-asset AMM of their own.
The Saddle exchange and protocol has been in production since early 2021, passing multiple audits, and will be maintained as open-source in perpetuity.
The Saddle team is eager to work with other teams and ecosystems. We believe open-source, interoperability, and cross-chain composability will create more value for everyone, throughout DeFi.
Saddle is here to bring pegged asset swap to every chain, and we invite all the devs and builders of DeFi to join us. We certainly can’t do it alone :)
Learn more about building with Saddle here.
Saddle is a decentralized automated market maker (AMM) on the Ethereum blockchain, optimized for trading pegged value crypto assets with minimal slippage. Saddle enables fast, low-cost, and low-slippage swaps for traders and high-yield pools for LPs.
Our values are rooted in collaboration, in building Saddle as a DeFi lego block, in helping DeFi teams bring AMMs to any blockchain.
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