Exclusive Interview: White Whale Protocol
Today I interview Sebastian of White Whale Protocol. An executive summary will be posted on my Twitter.
First up, I wanna thank Sebastian for agreeing to do this and taking the time to answer every single question I threw at him!
If this is the first time you’ve heard of White Whale Protocol, do check out my summary of their Litepaper here.
Without further ado, let’s dive in.
1. Why White Whale?
We believe White Whale is a mission critical project for Terra and that the power of burning and minting $LUNA on the L1 to control the monetary supply of $UST should be in the hands of the community rather than centralized among a few hedge funds.
2. What inspired you to embark on this mission of democratizing arbitrage opportunity and why do it on Terra?
I had been sitting on the idea for some time, but the May crash hit me pretty hard. It was then that I realized that the algo-stablecoins are still very new experiments and there's nothing like the crypto markets to provide a stress test. I then watched Iron Finance collapse shortly after because their algo-stablecoin lost peg, and that's when I decided to take action.
3. Where is the team based & what are your backgrounds?
We are all remote and very decentralized, I am in the US, several of the devs are in Europe, some Asia. We have a pretty diverse team with different backgrounds and experience, but we do have one thing in common: we are all hard core #LUNAtics.
The team was organically recruited from the Luna community straight off of crypto twitter. All of them found me, I didn't really need to look too hard for devs, because all of them were inspired by the vision of the project to empower the smaller investors to keep the peg. I think this is important, because everyone on the team shares a common vision and is passionate about what we are building.
As far as experience goes, we have software engineers from IBM, Spotify, etc. as well as others who have worked on other protocols in the past, even on Terra. Our team is well experienced and talented, and we have a great chemistry. I believe if you would ask any one of them they would say they really enjoy working on this project.
4. How does White Whale plan to leverage the Protocol Owned Liquidity (POL) model to stabilize the ecosystem?
POLis just the beginning. We do believe it is important for protocols to own their liquidity, and that this is a more sustainable model than basically how all of DeFi has been liquidity farming since its inception, however there is more to it than that. Our goal is not only to own our liquidity but also a diverse basket of assets in our War Chest.
These assets will be owned by the protocol, controlled by the community, and used to fulfill White Whales vision of stabilizing the ecosystem through community led arbitrage. We plan to deposit these assets into our single asset arb vaults. In this way, they will not only bootstrap our vaults but they will also act as an LP of last resort in any crash scenarios.
Bottom line is not only is POL DeFi 2.0, but POT (Protocol owned Treasuries) is. And we want to be at the forefront of this next evolutionary step in DeFi.
5. What is White Whale doing in terms of ensuring security of funds?
We currently have one audit already scheduled, and we are speaking to a second auditor to give the community extra assurance. Both firms are highly respected and known in the crypto space
6. At the moment only $UST and $LUNA arb vaults are available. Any timeline on adding other tokens and if so, which ones?
As far as timeline goes for additional single asset arb vaults, we'll see, can’t make any promises there. What I will say is that once we build the first ones, we now have template in place that will translate well for adding new vaults, so I expect once we get rolling we will be able to add them fairly quickly. What's more interesting is which ones we should add, and in what priority.
7. In light of recent launches that have come under scrutiny, what steps are White Whale taking to ensure fair distribution during pre-sale?
We have been watching the recent launches on Terra very closely and we are trying our best to learn from everyone's missteps. What I will say is this: It is very difficult to get a launch right these days and it is much easier to criticize them as an onlooker. However, we are going to try our best to execute a fair and effective launch for the community. Our goal with our launch sequence is to get $WHALE tokens into the hands of as many loyal community members as possible at reasonable levels.
That's why we are still planning on utilizing both launchpadson Terra. I know there are mixed feelings about both launchpads, however they each have their own loyal communities which are a part of the larger Terra community. We want to cover as much ground as possible and give the community as many options as possible to get some tokens.
We also have seen bots snipe initial liquidity way too many times and personally I just think this is quite unfair and it really bothers me. That's why we are planning on utilizing the Astroport LBPtemplate for our initial trading liquidity when it is open sourced.
8. Cross-chain arbitrage is on the roadmap. Any particular chains you are working on already?
Right now we are laser focused on delivering our V1, so we haven't given too much thought to cross-chain yet, however we have had some preliminary meetings with other chains that are quite keen to bring White Whale over to their neck of the woods. The low hanging fruit is obviously the other chains on the IBC, I'd imagine we would start there.
9. White Whale NFTs will be distributed to #LUNAtics liquidated by White Whale bots & participants of the $WHALE ecosystem. Are these NFTs from the same collection or will there be different collections to distinguish them?
There will be a separate collection of NFT's distributed for liquidations. We are still playing with the design, art, and theme of this collection. We need to be careful here because someone who just got liquidated is typically in a vulnerable place, so we don't want to send the wrong message, however I think we have come up with a concept that will work.
On the other hand, our main NFT collection, The Guardian Whales, is much further along in development, and we on the team are all pretty excited about it.
10. Can you show us any sneak peeks of the Guardian Whale NFTs?
We will be releasing some of the traits and rarities quite soon, so we'll have to wait for that. What I can say is that I am particularly excited about how the Guardian Whale NFT's will be used as a part of White Whale.
To be honest, I don't even know exactly what this looks like yet, but NFT collections are great for forming communities, and they are great for DAO's, and that is what we want White Whale to be. I am hoping that these NFT's will almost serve as your digital identity on the platform and in the White Whale community, but we shall see, that will be up to the community to decide.
11. It is mentioned that bots would be used for liquidation automation. Does this take into account the new liquidation queue on Anchor?
We are currently still working through what exactly our new liquidation strategy will be for Anchor given the recent changes. In the meantime we are moving forward with development on both Mars and Levana liquidations, which could be quite profitable and more common given the leverage element.
12. Let's end with a fun question! What are your favorite NFTs on Terra so far?
Call me old fashioned, but I like the originals... I'm a big Galactic Punk and Luna Bulls fan. Maybe it's because after those I've gotten so busy with White Whale that I really haven't had time to keep up with the newer ones to be honest.
If you’ve read this far, I hope you enjoyed the interview and learnt more about White Whale Protocol & the team behind it! Do let me know below in the comments which project you’d like me to interview.
A big thank you once again to Sebastian for taking the time to answer these questions. I'm personally excited for the project and I wish him and the team the best. If you’re interested in White Whale Protocol, do check them out below:
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I'm very psyched for White Whale. DeFi 2.0 and Terra are big right now!! Can´t wait.
Thank you for this interview, it looks like a nice and interesting project. The Terra network is slowly making its voice heard.