4 min read

Saddle Roadmap Update

Saddle Roadmap Update
A look back at Saddle in 2021 and what lies ahead for next year for the protocol, team, and community

A look back at everything we’ve done together in 2021

Saddle Is Live!

In January 2021, Saddle launched with the goal of bringing an AMM optimized for pegged-value crypto assets to every chain, starting with Ethereum. Saddle’s launch was on the heels of a DeFi Alliance talk in November 2020 with Saddle founder, Sunil, sharing his vision of using synthetic assets supported by Synthetix to bridge efficiently across pools.

The January launch also came with guarded Proof of Governance, which restricted LPing capabilities to addresses with a record of governance for key protocols. The guarded launch, which helped stabilize the first month of the protocol, was also an exercise in new forms of reputation based on on-chain activity.

SDL Token Launch

On November 16th, Saddle launched the SDL token, the governance token for the Saddle ecosystem. SDL was airdropped to community members who have been involved in the Saddle ecosystem and protocol throughout the year and will be available for general trading and buying in 3-12 months, depending on governance.

For those who were not airdropped, SDL can be earned by LPing + staking on Saddle and through the newly-announced b4b program. To learn more about SDL tokenomics, the airdrop details, and the utility of the token, see here.


2021 was full of partnership announcements for Saddle.

We partnered with aggregators like 1inch, Paraswap, and Matcha — extending Saddle LPs’ ability to facilitate trades and earn fees.

We also announced integrations with a number of protocols, including: Alchemix, Liquity, Fei, Frax, Keep, Synthetix, and Celo. The Synthetix integration enabled Virtual Swaps with synths, allowing users to trade across pools with large volumes and low slippage.

Lastly, we also integrated a number of wallets and DeFi tracking tools, including: Zerion, DeBank, Zapper, DeFi Pulse, and DeFi Llama.

Protocol Improvements

Throughout 2021, Saddle continued to release protocol updates to improve user experience, liquidity opportunities, and swap efficiency. A brief rundown:

  • Virtual Swap support was a core innovation of 2021. By leveraging Synthetix synths, Saddle is able to let users trade across pools with low slippage. This essentially unlocks infinite liquidity, and can support extremely large trades.
  • Flash loan support was made possible with the launch of the Stablecoin Pool, enabling additional returns for LPs.
  • Saddle launched on Arbitrum along with the SDL token launch. The L2 announcement marks the first network for Saddle to launch outside of Ethereum, signaling the first step towards realizing our vision of bringing the Saddle AMM to every DeFi ecosystem.

Pool Launches

In 2021, Saddle launched:

In addition to the Ethereum L1 pools, Saddle launched on Arbitrum with a stablecoin pool.

Saddle Roadmap: 2022

With the token launch marking one of the most important milestones for Saddle, what lies ahead in 2022?

Virtual Swap V2

We recently launched virtual swap functionality and will be working on an improved version (V2) which will support atomic settlement. Atomic settlement will eliminate the time for users to retrieve funds, allowing seamless integration with aggregators while also lowering transaction costs.

More Pools, More L2s

On Ethereum and Arbitrum, more Saddle pools will continue to become available. We also have plans to launch Saddle on Optimism.

With an eye towards Saddle’s vision of bridging across multiple ecosystems, one pool category on the horizon is wrapped and/or REN pools. These pools would enable Ethereum liquidity for ecosystems like ZEC, DOGE, and FIL.

Utilities and benefits for Saddle NFT holders

We’re just getting started with the Saddle metaverse! We’ll be looking to add to the NFT airdrop for OGs and the successful Saddle Creators pilot with more NFTs for the community and utilities/benefits for NFT holders.

We recently announced Saddle-themed DeFi Passport NFTs in collaboration with ARCx. ARCx passports consist of various scores based on users’ on-chain behavior. We’ll be looking to add benefits for credit-worthy Saddle users as well.

Permissionless Pools

So far in Saddle’s roadmap, the Saddle core team has been behind the launch and maintenance of every pool launch and protocol update. As the Saddle ecosystem becomes more decentralized with the launch of the governance token, we hope more of these decisions will be guided and owned by the community.

Permissionless pools is one more step in that direction-- allowing anyone to propose and, depending on governance votes, launch pools on Saddle Exchange.

Cross-Chain Support

The launch of Saddle on Arbitrum is just the first step in Saddle’s multi-chain vision for DeFi.  Saddle is already being used by other Web3 teams to bring efficient pegged asset swap capabilities to their projects and communities. As 2022 progresses, expect more support, documentation, and bounties to help bring stablecoin / pegged asset AMM to any team/protocol that wants it.

SDL Token Unlock

SDL was launched as a non-transferrable token. Wallets that received the airdrop can vote with their tokens, but they cannot transfer between wallets or to different users.

If governance does not vote to make SDL transferable early (vote can happen as early as 3 months from now), then 12 months after token launch, SDL will automatically unlock. That means before the end of 2022 the SDL token will be unlocked and operate as typical (transferable) ERC-20.

bounties4bandits and Saddle grants

Last but not least, we’ll be evolving the bounties4bandits (b4b) program, which kicked off yesterday. b4b will run for 6 sessions, with new deputies, new project categories/tracks, and new rewards each session.

We want to evolve Saddle in tandem with the community’s support; this way we can grow the project faster, in more directions, and share the bounty with even more bandits! We’ll also be looking to establish a grants program to support ongoing projects / projects requiring maintenance.

Get Involved!

Whether you’re new to Saddle or have been with us from the beginning, thank you for being here. We’re excited to continue building the future of DeFi with you.

Want more on the roadmap? Have other ideas for Saddle? We want you to be a part of the community and would love to collaborate! Join us on Discord and let's build the future of DeFi together.

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