VIP 8 - Core Team allocation Q1-Q2 2022

Abstract/Executive Summary

Herein we request to budget 2,500 VRN from the Varen DAO treasury to continue development on VarenX and further endeavours as the core team in Q1-Q2. Furthermore, we propose the Varen DAO to formally join the Ren ecosystem.

Motivation

Since VIP 1 on the rebrand to Varen, the core team has delivered on the main thrust of that proposal: launching VarenX, a cross-chain swapping dApp leveraging RenVM bridging technology and solidifying ourselves as a leading partner in the Ren ecosystem.

Our overarching vision for VarenX is to make cross-chain DeFi as accessible and liquid as possible for all users, and with VarenX v1 we have made the first step in achieving this. Users don’t have to go to different platforms to bridge their assets first, then swap on DEXes to achieve native cross-chain swaps. With VarenX this is now possible in one interface, with a couple of clicks, all in a single transaction.

This is the vision we will continue to push forward. Swapping continues to be the main DeFi primitive, and reducing UX friction in cross-multi-chain swapping will be one of the big narratives moving into 2022.

VarenX v2 development

The main development goals for VarenX in 2022 are fivefold: Ren’s Host-to-Host, Layer 2 support, Gas-as-a-Service (GaaS), VarenX-as-a-Service (VaaS), and co-development of the Ren Labs ecosystem.

We are working closely with the Ren team to integrate the host-to-host functionality into VarenX v2, of which you can find a full description of the features here. In addition, we will be focusing on integrating popular Layer 2’s such as Polygon, Binance Smart Chain and Arbitrum. The overall aim here is to have the user be able to do cross-chain swaps with the lowest fees possible.

A next feature to be added to VarenX is Gas-as-a-Service by integrating the OpenZeppelin Gas Station Network (GSN). This will enable users to execute cross-chain swaps on VarenX without ever having to have ETH in their Ethereum wallet by having the incoming native asset cover the gas fees to execute the swap.

Another aim for this year is to offer VarenX-as-a-service, by integrating our VarenX smart contracts with third party apps, accessing their existing user base. This will generate volume for VarenX and RenVM, while giving new users access to the power of cross-chain DeFi.

Finally, we will also be focusing on the challenge of cross-chain liquidity with Ren Labs. Learning from the experiences of other DeFi projects, we are looking to help develop an interoperability layer which can access liquidity across chains. This year we will look to work with Ren on this challenging topic…

Contracted dev roster

For continued development of VarenX we will be and have been aggressively bringing high quality developers into the fold and will work on a per project basis with these developers. Currently, these developers are PapaKalash (currently working on the VarenX Explorer), Pineapple Workshop (who developed the frontend for VarenX), and 0xburden (currently working on the Polygon integration). This roster is subject to changes over time.

Joining Ren

Building on our partnership, moving forward Varen will function as the premiere UI/UX-focused team within the Ren ecosystem, positioning Varen as the official main hub and first stop for anything and everything Ren.

What does this mean practically? It means that we’re deepening our collaboration with Ren beyond the current partnership structure. As Varen, we will be onboarded and nested within the internal Ren development structure and will have first access to new RenJS code.

We’ll be developing in sync with the Ren development team, sharing resources where applicable, and increasingly taking on additional frontend development responsibilities of Ren products, and help build out a Ren-focused cross-chain liquidity strategy.

We will also be coordinating with and assisting other Ren Labs projects such as Catalog Finance, to ensure that we always build in synergy and unison with other Ren Labs teams, with the goal of growing adoption of Ren-built dApps and technology. We do all of this while retaining our independence and autonomy as Varen DAO.

Core team expansion

Additionally, we propose Ad Astra to join the core team as community lead. As council member Ad Astra has been instrumental in pushing the Varen community forward, is proactive at addressing community issues and proposing new directions to activate the Varen community. Also, Linkie is fully back from hiatus starting Q1. So, the final Varen core team is as follows:

Palis - product & business development
Morty - operations & communications
Linkie Link - frontend development & integrations
Casss - UX/UI design & marketing
Ad Astra - community management & outreach

Core team discretion

Due to market conditions, development realities, and other opportunities, the core team has invoked its VIP 1 discretionary powers at different points in time during the past months. We propose to retain discretion to change course and strategies, for the good of VarenX and the Varen DAO.

Specification

To achieve the aforementioned goals for Q1 and Q2 core team requests the following allocation:

  • 1000 VRN to replenish the dev fund, mainly earmarked to pay the Varen roster of developers, and any other protocol supporting activities such as marketing and bounties
  • 50 VRN monthly to each of the 5 core team members

This amounts to a total of 2,500 VRN (~2.8% of supply) allocated to core team operations for Q1-Q2 of 2022, to be disbursed to the following dev fund address: 0x669aecf6152227f4f13dbee0db753975ca88f721

Voting options

For

Execute VIP 8. Allocate 2,500 Varen to core team goals stated in VIP 8

Against

Do not execute VIP 8

1 Like

Nice to see further collaboration with the Ren team!


Are these in order of priority?

Not necessarily, they are being worked on in tandem

1 Like

We want to address role descriptions, but to be clear you should see these as “concentrations”. The reason all core team members get equal pay (or equity, rather) is because their responsibility of stewarding Varen is each at the same level. Nobody in the core team is more or less responsible for the trajectory of Varen, we all complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and step in when others have to take a break from leading development at different stages.

@Palis - product & business development: this role focuses on the high level vision and development of Varen. How does Varen position itself in the current market vs other similar projects, which products do we need to develop to stay competitive, and how do we get the means to get there? It also ensures our existing products generate the correct incentives to ensure the progress of Varen. The role includes leading and closing potential deals with partners & VC’s, sitting on most if not all calls, and leveraging their influence and clout in the space to their maximum ability to push Varen forward

@Morty297 - operations & communications: this role ensures Varen protocol and core team operations run smoothly, managing partner relations, chasing deadlines and timelines, so the goals as specified in the proposals can be reached. Do we have enough human resource capacity, are product features functioning as they should before rollout, and are the (technical) features being communicated clearly to the public through all our channels? This is essentially a jack of all trades role, as the responsibility here is to ensure that all the moving parts of Varen are communication with each other effectively

@Linkie Link - frontend development & integrations: this role is the tip of the development spear at Varen. It involves leading development of flagship products such as VarenX, managing the roster of Varen developers, ensuring along with operations that new developers are sourced and onboarded, quality assurance of Varen code, and ideating and developing new features and products. Crucial to this role are down in the weeds tech calls with partners to hammer out roadmaps and timelines, and of course, writing and shipping high quality code like a madman

@casss - UX/UI design & marketing: this role concentrates on the visual aspects of Varen and concerns the look and feel of all front facing assets of the Varen protocol. What is our brand philosophy, what do we want to user to see and experience on our websites, and how do we reach these users through (tailored) content and marketing campaigns? Skills needed for this are full command of design and content creation software, high speed of delivery to play into current narratives in the market, and kick-ass sense of what kind of content creates the highest impact

@Ad_Astra - community management & outreach: this is a new role and covers anything and everything community related. Whereas the @council is the voice of the community towards the @core team, this role takes the next step to actually activate the community from passive token holders to active contributors . This includes devising and running community campaigns such as the Bounty Board and reaching out to other communities to develop co-campaigns. It also makes sure all support questions are either answered correctly by the community or core team, Lastly, this role can also be seen as “the on-chain eye of Sauron”, staying on top of the on-chain activities of our (largest) stakeholders and their potential impact on the Varen protocol and proposing strategies to address these issues

It is difficult to capture everything we contribute in words, and the above is non-exhaustive and subject to change. Much is done by us as a matter of fact as community members of Varen. As I said, core team members will amend the above descriptions where necessary as this is just a high level description. But I hope this helps.