Snowball is a venture DAO that combines multiple DeFi protocols to create an interconnected experience

Published on April 7, 2022

Can you tell us about your company/project?

Big Wampa (Founder) -
Snowball DAO began as a humble auto compounder on the avalanche network. We were the first auto compounder to launch on avalanche just over a year ago. At the time there were maybe five or six projects on on the avalanche blockchain most notably Pangolin which was created by Ava Labs and so we began auto compounding. It was really an experiment I did not really anticipate the level of success that we would find. We launched just the smart contracts to begin with and I was shocked how much support and demand there was for our product. Just with the smart contracts we got thousands of users. Our users really took on the mantle of it being a DAO and developed our logo and and our websites originally and all of you know bought the domain names and so forth. You know Leo of Pangolin, Sherpa and most recently Thief guild fame really stood out as a community member who brought a lot of value. So we had this huge community upsurge of support and that really caught my attention, so we continued to develop Snowball. I left my day job, continued to develop the auto compounder. We had the earliest stable swap decks on avalanche as well originally called Stable Vault which later spun out to be Axial Exchange. We've since then begun development of a liquid staking solution which I would argue is much more robust than the other solutions on offer which should be launching in the coming months. We had the first DAO to DAO acquisition in the history of avalanche certainly when we had a mutual vote on Teddy and on Snowball for it snowballed out to acquire Teddy. So we are now custodians of that as well and we are in the process of of raising funds for additional projects and expanding our team and really going full force into the venture studio vision of Snowball. So we're not just an auto compounder anymore, we have an auto compounder feature, but our goal is and has always been to be this Venture Studio and to facilitate other teams in the creation of their projects and to facilitate the creation of new DAO’s. So if anyone out there is is wanting to start up in this space and feels like they would benefit from our wisdom and technical resources access to capital and those sorts of things can reach out to us.

Could you tell us the idea/inspiration behind the birth of your project?

Big Wampa (Founder) -
So I Founded the project with 8-Bit Giraffe and the Abominable Sasquatch. The Abominable Sasquatch had some connections in the Pickle Finance team when we first launched and he saw an opportunity in the avalanche space and had identified that avalanche was really going to come to dominate the L1 space. At the time avalanche was quite small if you recall this time a year ago but we just looked at the technology and felt that this was going to be the winner. So we wanted to build and our inspiration was really what Pickle Finance had done. So you know we really appreciated the community run nature and we saw a greater vision of eventually creating a one-stop shop for all of the various activities that you would want to engage in a single location. To begin we felt that it would be best to create a series of companies and then create project styles and and then to create this unified experience for interacting with all of them on a single dashboard. So that was the inspiration behind the original project as an auto compounder as well as the inspiration behind us transitioning into an adventure studio.

What are your current marketing strategies being implemented?

Big Wampa (Founder) -
I’ll start with the caveat that marketing is not my personal strong suit but I will try to speak for those who are more directly involved in that. We have always felt that our brand identity was on the one hand the quality of our community and the second the quality of the team members who are ultimately members of the community. We've had a lot of people who say when they interact with us on Discord primarily or Telegram as well that they find us to be a really excellent source of information and lots of clarity that you know is a very mature and stable group. There's not a lot of flooding or fighting or drama that goes on within our community and there's a lot of really skilled individuals. So a lot of major projects got their start as contributors to Snowball and as members of the Snowball Community and as I mentioned before. So the most famous of the people to come out of Snowball DAO is Cryptofish who made some contributions early on and was very vocal and active within the community. So we have sort of a history of if you want to create a project of your own ours is sort of the unofficial discord to join to gain access to really high quality information and to learn from skilled and experienced individuals. So you know we really just try to to create a a welcoming environment and demonstrate value and we spread it by word of mouth from that standpoint in terms of like our active marketing. We mostly do social media marketing on twitter and one of the things that we determined early on was that it was really important for us to have some engaging visuals in our posts in order to attract eyeballs. So we brought on two really prolific illustrators in the form of Nats and Dila and the two of them they just churn out an obscene amount of visual content for the marketing team to work with. So Crypto Goddess orchestrates that whole process and Cookie provides a lot of written content. Also what we've focused on in our marketing is leveraging the brands that I mentioned earlier of us being a source of of knowledge and clarity in a space that can sometimes be confusing frenetic, so we determined that we wanted to build a centralized hub of high quality information for people to consume and that was our DEFI University and it's really been a joint effort but I would say that Cookie has really spearheaded that in the development of quite a large amount of high quality information and so we offer this totally for, free we don't gain anything from it as it's just a service to the community. But we feel that you know by offering the service we can bring attention to the fact that we are an organization that is highly skilled and has a great deal of knowledge that can be leveraged by new entrepreneurs in the space who who want to build something new.

What has been the biggest challenge for you so far & how have you overcome it?

Big Wampa (Founder) -
I think for me personally the biggest challenge that I faced was the day that we launched I actually suffered a pretty serious family catastrophe that took my mother actually.It was quite devastating and I had to step away from the project immediately and so for the first three months of Snowball I wasn't really very involved. I’m so grateful to for the community stepping up the way that they did you know, however, there was a vacuum left by not being there to help lead and direct the project in the capacity that I would. I also have wonderful Co-Founders who have divergent skill sets. That's part of what makes a founding team so effective and so the skill sets that I brought were absent in the beginning and that you know had consequences for the project.Therefore, I’m glad we came to overcome all the difficulties at the beginning. With the launch of the Snowball V2 the front end, a new back end and new infrastructure all of that was extremely challenging. I would say because we were in this rush and we had a lot of high cost upkeep to just keep the project running, you know so we built the original front end off of VFAP tools. So we tackled all this and after hiring some really solid engineers to come in and tackle the problem.

Can you please explain the utility of SNOB token, how would token holders benefit from holding SNOB?

Big Wampa (Founder) -
So I would say the the biggest is through staking SNOB into xSNOB and you can think of it like all of the various staking utilities of the Joe Token it's sort of all of those in one. It’s Arjo v Joe and Estro rolled into a single token. In that xSNOB provides you boosting on the liquidity rewards offered to those who compound with snowball. You can earn up to 2.5 times the base rate of Snowball distribution so that's covering sort of the V Joe style, it gets a distribution of revenues generated on the platform so I think historic yield is something like 90 percent, because we allocate 30 platform revenues to xSNOB holders. So that's really similar to what was previously x-Jon is now Estro utility and then xSNOB holders also receive distributions of tokens from our partner projects. So early on due to our participation many members of our team's participation in the launch and development of Sherpa had distributions and we also participated in Sherpa's IDO and after that there was a short-term distribution. After that we had Axial and xSNOB holders gain 20 Axial Tokens minted in perpetuity. So that's every week they get over a million Axial Tokens were distributed to xSNOB holders. For future projects there will also be a distribution to xSNOB holders so that's somewhat similar to the Arjo model. So xSNOB is quite a multifaceted and valuable utility and as evidence to that I believe 61.5% approximately of all Snowballs are locked as xSNOB. So there's quite a lot of demand for that particular project and that figure is growing all the time.

What is the inspiration behind auto-compounder & can you compare it to a user manually reinvesting their staking rewards?

Big Wampa (Founder) -
So auto compounding is an interesting concept. It actually took me a little while to wrap my mind around it when it was first introduced to me by by Abominable Sasquatch, but the idea is that if you are providing liquidity to a decentralized exchange say Pangolin or Trader Joe you are rewarded for that liquidity with the platforms token PNG and JOE token perspectively. This token is meant to incentivize additional liquidity on top of the transaction fees that you would get for providing liquidity. So when you compound what you would do is take your liquidity rewards and then sell them for whatever the underlying tokens are that you're providing as liquidity to the platform. So let's say I am invested in the Avax wrapped ETH pool on Pangolin, so I’m getting PNG tokens as an individual I can auto compound maybe weekly or daily selling the PNG tokens that i've received, half for wrapped Avax and half for wrapped Ethereum and then depositing them into the liquidity pool for new LP tokens and then repeating that process. So the problem is that as you go through this process as an individual you're expending Avax tokens on gas right and you need to pay the gas fees to withdraw to claim your rewards tokens to sell them for the underlying assets that you want to invest in. Depositing those back and each of those steps there's a gas fee and in addition to that you as an individual managing this process need to decide at what cadence are you doing this and you need to either write a script to do this for yourself or you need to you know sign in and manually go through yourself so it's not only costing you the capital in form of gas costs but it's costing you your time and so by using an auto compounder this is automated for you and the gas costs are amortized across everyone who's invested in that auto compounding pool. So what i mean by by amortized is that the user has to pay this gas fee and the gas fee is the same whether they're auto compounding ten dollars worth of liquidity or whether they're auto compounding 10 million dollars worth of liquidity so the the capital efficiency of auto compounding is increased by having more capital more more in the liquidity pool that's being auto compounded. So by everyone pooling together they're reducing the amount of money that's spent on auto compounding per person and so how Snowball handles this, is we have this very complex infrastructure that looks at things like the price of gas and the amount of capital available for auto compounding and does some calculations and determines is this an efficient time to auto compound. What this means is that we we try to optimise for the maximum return for the user and this is a different approach than that utilized by Yield Yak. For Example, where Yield Yak have the community do the auto compounding and not the platform. In this pros and cons to this one thing that we've noticed is on Yield Yak, the compounding is not efficient, so they're over compounding which doesn't actually yield additional returns for the user who's invested because after around once per day there's equations that govern this but after compounding once per day the returns you get are near zero so the difference between compounding once per day and once per second is negligible. It's a rounding error and it's not gonna be noticeable at the end of the year when if you like decide to take your profits but you know the gas cost to the community of you know individuals hitting the compound button as often as they do on Yield Yak will be noticeable that's just Avax being burned right for no particular benefit. So it's a net neutral to the individual investor but for the platform as a whole I’m not sure whether that's good or not but all that is to highlight that we take a different approach, we just automate the process of compounding and try to make it mathematically efficient & financially efficient.

Can you explain more about your product “Teddy”?

Big Wampa (Founder) -
So Teddy is an algorithmic stable coin that is a fork from liquidity. It’s right now the only privacy preserving stable coin on avalanche given its partnership with Sherpa and compared to other algorithmic stable coins it has done really well in the bear trend recently in maintaining its peg where many other tokens have de-pegged relative to the US Dollar. Teddy has stayed right on the money and so I think that this proves its utility in the space. It is another sort of project that was founded within the community of Snowball. They weren't originally an official Snowball project but their their Founders spent a lot of time on our forums asking questions and getting insights and so they saw and they utilised our core strategist Jomari as an early advisor to their project. So they definitely recognised the value that our community could bring and so recently they felt that it was best to to bring snowball directly under the leadership. The idea was to bring Teddy directly under the leadership of Snowball and there is a vote on either side and and so that's currently the case and we're happy to have them and glad to be integrating them more deeply into our various projects. So that is one of the benefits I do want to mention of having an algorithmic stable coin verse. Let's say a more traditional backed stable coin like DAI or something, that allows the the generation of of more capital in a purely decentralized manner so there's no need to coordinate with a centralized financial entity in order to generate Teddy as there is with other tokens like Tether and DAO and USDC. So I think there's the ecosystem benefits from many options in the stable coin space and we're glad to be leading the way in the form of algorithmic stable coins on avalanche.

For your NFT marketplace, which projects are you looking at to collaborate with?

Big Wampa (Founder) -
So right now the NFT marketplace is really just a curated collection of Snowball related NFT’s. So you know we have some with sherpa since we have a very close relationship. In the future we're very interested in expanding it to be a more general marketplace and especially working with generative artists I think that's something that is missing on Avalanche currently and there's the potential for us to develop a subnet to better serve these these algorithmic NFT’s. So we're always looking for ways to expand the projects that we have and to develop new projects and if anyone is interested, especially I would say product management in this space or interested in participating in any of the projects that i've mentioned today or have their own projects that they could benefit from Snowball's guidance and support please reach out to us. I would also like to say that the limitation at this point is really just the time of the core leadership namely Jomari and myself. So if we can get more product leaders then we can build more of these things and you know we have plenty of access to capital to make these things happen we just need to access to entrepreneurs.