CoinGecko Podcast - Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Insights

Bringing Bitcoin to DeFi with Chris Spadafora, Founder of Badger DAO - Ep. 26

February 23, 2021 Bobby Ong Season 1 Episode 26
CoinGecko Podcast - Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Insights
Bringing Bitcoin to DeFi with Chris Spadafora, Founder of Badger DAO - Ep. 26
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, Bobby Ong, co-founder of CoinGecko is joined by Chris Spadafora, founder of Badger DAO. Bobby interviewed Chris on the background of Badger, their products, Sett and Digg, the differences between Digg and Ampleforth, plans to launch tokenized Bitcoin and Badger on other Layer 1 platforms as well as the key partnerships with Badger.

[00:00:02] Intro
Introduction of Badger DAO
[00:03:30] Details on Sett and Digg
Plans for Digg
[00:11:57] Opinions on tokenized Bitcoin forms
Differences between Digg and Ampleforth
Token distribution during Badger’s launch
APY for Sett
Plans on launching tokenized and Badger DAO on other Layer 1 platforms
Key partnerships and benefit for Badger
Where to follow Badger Finance

Quotes from the episode:

“We think about Digg in the sense of how do you best have a representation of Bitcoin in other networks to which people would want to use that Bitcoin for financial applications and services without having to rely on centralized parties to custody that.”. [00:07:39]

“We built our code base off of Ample because we believe one, in the rebasing mechanics, but two, of the most battle tested rebasing code base in the market.” [00:14:41]

“Interesting fact, there was 2.1 million Badger, which today would be a hundred million dollars. Only 800,000 Badger were claimed. So there's still 1.3 million that were unclaimed that now are in the hands of the DAO, for them to decide what they'd like to do with.” [00:22:24]


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Bobby Ong (00:00:00):
Welcome to the CoinGecko podcast. I'm your host, Bobby Ong. Each week, we will be interviewing someone from the blockchain industry to learn more about this fast moving crypto currency economy. If this is your first time listening, then thanks for coming. The CoinGecko podcast is produced each week to help you stay ahead of the curve. Shownotes can be found at I highly encourage you to join our newsletter, where we send out top news in the crypto industry every Monday to Friday. Come back often and feel free to add the podcast to your favorite RSS feed or iTunes. You can also follow us on Twitter and Telegram @CoinGecko. 

Welcome to the CoinGecko podcast. For today's episode, we have Chris Spadafora, the founder of Badger DAO on the show. Badger is a decentralized autonomous organization that has a single purpose, build products and infrastructure necessary to accelerate Bitcoin as collateral across other blockchains. Chris is highly involved in a crypto ecosystem. He organized Crypto After Dark , a crypto COVID-19 Charity Poker Tournament, and he's also a partner at Angelrock, a boutique consulting firm focused on helping large digital assets hodlers navigate the crypto space. Welcome to the CoinGecko podcast, Chris. 

Chris Spadafora (00:01:14):
 Thanks Bobby. Thanks for having me here, man.

Bobby Ong (00:01:16):
Yeah, it's great to have you here. Very excited about Badger and woud love to hear more about the plans for Badger. 

Chris Spadafora (00:01:23):
Well, you know me, I love to talk about Badger so we can talk lots about it. 

Bobby Ong (00:01:28):
So I guess, to kick things off, right, Chris, like let's give a simple explanation for our listeners who over here, what is Badger and how do you get the inspiration to start this DAO? 

Chris Spadafora (00:01:41):
Well Badger, really, like you said, Bobby, the idea with Badgers it's for it to be the number one spot for all things, Bitcoin and DeFi. So when anybody comes into and looking to bring Bitcoin into decentralized finance, regardless what network that is, we want Badger to be there for stop, and we want to be able to help them navigate the entire ecosystem. So today,  we have two products, one being our Sett Vaults and one being a rebasing Bitcoin called Digg. But the intention here is to have numerous products. All these products are going to be governed by the Badger token, which is a governance token, and there'll be able to make any and all decisions around those products.

And then of course, anything t hat's associated with the business. So the business is completely community run and we have about I'd say about 11,000 community members now that are extremely active across all of our governance platforms and everything is in their control. They make all the decisions and they decide exactly what the organization does. So that's what Badger's about. It's been a pretty crazy two months to say the least .Things have accelerated rather quickly, which for me, further justifies the demand and need for more products and infrastructure for Bitcoin in open finance. Right. I'd argue today there is a limited amount of things that you can do with your Bitcoin.

You know, if you bring it over to Ethereum, which is really where most of the Bitcoin and DeFi lives, you know. You can provide liquidity for it on Sushi or Uniswap or Curve and you can use it as for lending and borrowing on Aave, Compound or Maker, but like, that's really the extent of it, right? For me, like it kinda stops there. And there's going to be so much more to do with it as time progresses. And the goal is, you know, Badger helps build that infrastructure and really is the place that makes people comfortable with Bitcoin and DeFi.

Bobby Ong (00:03:34):
So I guess you have two products right now, right? Sett and Digg. Maybe tell us a little bit more about these products. What do they do?

Chris Spadafora (00:03:41):
Yeah. So the Sett Vaults were our first product. They're our core product. Today there's about $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin, primarily Bitcoin, about 95% Bitcoin that sits in the product. The product's a yield aggregator. So you would deposit different Bitcoin, tokenized Bitcoin LP positions. If that's your Curve position or your Sushi position or things along those lines. And we'll optimize that, not we, the product will optimize across all the different Lego pieces in DeFi, how to generate more yield for you. So, as an example, if you were to deposit the WBTC-ETH SushiSwap LP token in Badger, we will take the Sushi that the LP token earns, and we'll automatically stake it for xSushi for you. And then distribute that xSushi back to you every couple of weeks, for example. So there, the user didn't have to pay for gas.

They didn't have to go and stake the xSushi. They didn't have to do those types of things. And for that, the smart contracts take a small fee. And then on top of that, of course we distribute Badger and Digg, which are two tokens, to the user for using our products. And the reason why we feel it's very important is because Badger in particular is a token for governing that said product. So who's better to govern the product than the actual user, you know? So that's the Sett Vaults. And Digg is a very interesting product that we've recently launched. And essentially its goal is to be a synthetic representation of Bitcoin on Ethereum without any centralized custody or custodians.

And the way that we're attempting to do that is really a few ways. One, leveraging the power of rebasing mechanics. So the ability for the supply to expand and contract based on, and that's across all wallets, all positions, based on the price of Digg versus the price of Bitcoin. And then, you know, kind of what I would call Badger's secret sauce, there is our Vaults. So that's what we hope to really differentiate Digg and really our bet on how to drive stability for the longterm is having automated volt strategies that are focused on ensuring that Digg is at the price of Bitcoin or slightly above the price of Bitcoin. And then of course, with those Vaults, once you deposit Digg in the Vault, you're going to get a Vault token back, like with all of our Vaults.

And that Vault token represents your total share of however much Digg is in the pool. And that token that you now have is non rebasing. So you can use that anywhere that ERC20 tokens are accepted. So you can have other DeFi protocols that want to integrate Digg but they would integrate the Vault representation, bDigg and that composability feature I feel is rather unique. And that's what we're pushing for with the product. So it's been an exciting launch. We have about 3,500 holders of Digg today. We're on day 13, I think, of Digg. It was above the price of Bitcoin for about eight days. And then it went below the price of Bitcoin for about three days. And just today, it's at an equilibrium with the price of Bitcoin. So it's been a great learning opportunity for the community as well, to just see it, respond to how the rebase works and things along those lines. But I'm very optimistic about the longterm sustainability of Digg.

Bobby Ong (00:07:02):
I'm curious, right. Why do you guys choose the launch Digg? I mean, the rebase token pegs to the price of Bitcoin. In my opinion, rebase tokens pretty much a type of money game that doesn't really have much use case, similar to what we're seeing with Ampleforth right now. I mean, they talk about Ampleforth being a stable coin with a price target of a dollar, but no one is really using Ampleforth except to play these games around. So what's kind of the plan for Digg? Are you planning for adoption of Digg, but like price can be pretty volatile if we look at Ampleforth, right? 

Chris Spadafora (00:07:36):
Yeah, most certainly. We never intended for Digg to be a stable coin, right. That wasn't the goal. And that's why we're not trying to peg a stable asset. We're trying to peg to the price of Bitcoin. And when you think about the use cases for Digg, we think about Digg in the sense of how do you best have a representation of Bitcoin in other networks to which people would want to use that Bitcoin for financial applications and services without having to rely on centralized parties to custody that. So it's different when you're trying to be a stable coin and then all of a sudden it's stable coins are meant to be used for things. In this instance, it's more around participating in other networks, in open finance, without the need to actually have our custody that Bitcoin. And we think the rebasing mechanics that are inherently built into Digg, which are very similar to that of Ample, with stability mechanisms in place can have longterm sustainability, right? So for us, like, as an example, the Digg Vault, which has about 70% of  circulate supply of Digg in it, in the next two or three weeks, we're going to be converting it into a stability vault and these are strategies that we've been developing and working on and testing.

So they're not a hundred percent confirmed, but nonetheless, like imagine, you have this vault, that's earning Digg rewards and them also rebases within the vault. If you were to add certain parameters, take the Digg that's being earned, take a percentage of the positive rebates, sell it for WBTC. And now have that WBTC in a reserve to which when the price has certain parameters and it's looking to be in a negative state, you then automatically activate that WBTC to buy Digg, to keep it where it needs to be. These are all happening across non-custodial smart contracts, right? It's not a team sitting there and like, pressing buy, right? This is a very different situation, but we tend to think that with mechanisms like that, you can most certainly have a better price peg compared to some of the other rebasing assets we've seen before. 

Bobby Ong (00:09:46):
Yeah. I think what you mentioned about having WBTC sounds, I mean, this is new information to me, but sounds interesting. It almost reminds me a little bit of fractional algorithmic stablecoins, like, FRAX , where like instead of there being no collateral at all, there will be some collateral, in FRAX case, it is USDC, in your case for Digg, there will be some WBTC. 

Chris Spadafora (00:10:08):
But then we're also actively putting it to work. I think that's a little bit of the different piece, is like that's a reserve not to back it but more to use when necessary. Right? Like, because that's our rebasing mechanics work. It's all about buying and selling right. When the price is below peg, the goal is to induce buying activity. With the mechanics the way they are today, it doesn't do that. Right? On the sell side, I think it works phenomenally. Right?  You have 10 Digg in your wallet. The rebase is positive. It goes up to 11 Digg. I'm going to take that one Digg, I'm going to sell it and I'm going to take that profit. Like it works great. But on the buy side, it contracts, everyone gets scared, sells, sells, sells, and then it just goes into this spiral. Right? So if you now have a mechanic to which people are comfortable putting the Digg or whatever this asset is into a vault that automatically takes the actions that further enhances the mechanics that are built already into that rebasing token, I think that in itself is really going to help with the peg launch.

Bobby Ong (00:11:13):
Is this already live? Like the WBTC buying and selling mechanism or that sort of coming... 

Chris Spadafora (00:11:18):
No, it's not live yet.  We have about three different strategists that are working on the strategy as we speak with the intention of running through the internal security processes and things along those lines before we before we bring it to the market. But the goal is to bring that to the market in February and ideally convert the existing Digg vault into that. So that users would be earning interest on their Digg. They'd be able to use that Digg in whatever centralized or decentralized protocols or projects want to accept it because it doesn't rebase. And then within that, they have the right to whatever the BTC reserve is. Plus the Digg that they of course deposit. 

Bobby Ong (00:11:57):
And you mentioned that the reason you guys launched Digg was because you wanted a non-custodial way of having a Bitcoin representation of Ethereum. But what do you think is the problem with  tokenized Bitcoin forms like WBTC, RENBTC, sBTC, tBTC as well, for example. I mean, some of them are more centralized like WBTC, but likes REN and sBTC and tBTC, they're pretty decentralized, right, I would say?

Chris Spadafora (00:12:22):
Yeah, most certainly. And it's not about them having a problem. It's just pushing the space forward, right. And we're so young, there's just so many things to do, but I think as well, like different types of investors or different types of holders will have a different appetite for certain types of tokenized Bitcoin or tokenized anything really. You know, we can see that today in the lending and borrowing market, right. We have folks that are more comfortable using Compound and Aave. And then other folks that are more comfortable using BlockFi, right.  And it's a very different kind of appetite. You can earn more and you can, you know, assume more smart contract risk and you need to have a little more technical expertise, or you can go to a BlockFi and, you know, have it be more of a Coinbase type experience. Right. So I think you're going to have different users with different appetites and there's going to be different risk and reward profiles for the users that want to use different ones.

Bobby Ong (00:13:18):
You know, I think you got a point. I mean, if you don't launch a rebased Bitcoin, like someone else will launch a rebase Bitcoin . I'm feeling a lot of ideas will based on rebase version of gold and dollar and all kinds of things. So yeah, it's just a matter of time for someone launches it. But I mean, looking at a specifics, right, comparing Digg and Ampleforth, the main difference is that Ampleforth has a price target of one US dollar, Digg has the price target of one BTC. Are there any other major differences  between this Digg and Ampleforth? 

Chris Spadafora (00:13:45):
Yeah. So at a code level, we built Digg off of Ampleforth's code. Intentionally, right? And same way we built our Vaults off of Yearn's V1 code base. We believe in this idea of open source and we want people to build on top of us and things along those lines, but to accelerate and go to market quickly and have a level of confidence and trust in the contracts that you're bringing to market, to which you've can see Bobby, you know firsthand like how fast capital can go into new contracts. Building them from scratch is like, in my mind, it's almost unbelievably irresponsible. You know, not saying that you shouldn't build code from scratch. What I'm saying is if your goal is to accelerate and capture a user base and bring something to market quickly, while at the same time trying to adhere to a certain level of security posture, building off of an innovating the foundation code base is battle-tested and has had multiple audits and things along those lines, like that's a better way to go.

And we built our code base off of Ample because we believe one, in the rebasing mechanics, but two, of the most battle tested rebasing code base in the market. They've had like six or 700 rebases already. I think it was like six, in the six or 620, or something along those lines. But for us what's different about Digg, of course, it's pegged to a volatile asset, which I think we're one of the first to attempt this. Everyone else has tried to peg to something that doesn't change in price. But it's really about the vaults. That's what's the big differentiator for us. It's you know, what do you do, we obviously launched it differently. Like Ample, you know, raised capital and they have different investors and things along those lines. Our Digg launch was a completely fair launch. The token was distributed to people, a small percentage of that token was distributed to people that used the Badger app over the first two months. And we did a variety of different things to siphon out people that were farming dumpers versus long-term stakers and protocol supporters.

And we rewarded them more and so forth and so on. But you know, from day one with Digg, everyone's on the same playing field. It's not like, you know, a certain group got a certain price. Everyone got Digg at the same time, at the same price and we're all in the same space. So that's, that's somewhat of a differentiator. Of course, it's community owned and the community makes all the parameter changes and it's governed by the DAO. But it really comes down to the vaults because the vaults, the vaults are what are going to introduce some of these new mechanisms for composability and stability that allows for Digg to be implemented in other protocols without the need to adhere to whatever the rebasing mechanics are and then as well, it will help us drive a better peg because of some of these automated strategies that we're going to build at a smart contract level. 

Bobby Ong (00:16:33):
Yeah. I like the fact that Digg was a fair launch and I remember, I was saving some Digg as well because I kind of staked my Badger in the early days as well. So that was a good thing.  

Chris Spadafora (00:16:43):
So the real question, Bobby is what did you do with that Digg? 

Bobby Ong (00:16:47):
I kept it for a few days. I knew it was going through a few positive rebases, but I knew it was going to end. So I didn't know when it will end, but I say like "Okay". After the second or I think the third day, I think, I just like "Okay, took profit on it" and like, "Let's wait and see." Right. Because it will eventually go down. So, and then it went on for 13 days, but I think when I sold it was 70000 or so at one point. That was a good price to take profit on an airdrop token. So that's what I did. [inaudible]

Chris Spadafora (00:17:11):
Good for you.

Bobby Ong (00:17:11): 

Chris Spadafora (00:17:13):
So, just to give you a perspective. So today, one bDigg that represents your share in the vault is worth 1.56 Digg. So if you took that, Digg that you run in the airdrop and you stake it in the vault and wait these two weeks at the current price, that one Digg is worth about 50 or 60,000. Right. But the key thing with Digg is that, and with any rebasing tokens like ours, is that it's a percentage ownership in the market cap. Essentially, right. Cause it's non-dilutive. And there's a lot of education, like, you know, some people think, "Oh, with what happened with Ampleforth over the last six months," like everyone knows what rebasing, we're constantly, constantly, constantly inundated with questions about how all this stuff works because it's so confusing for many people.

Bobby Ong (00:17:59):
Yeah. I think the vault part is something new and lot of people don't really understand. Essentially, you take the Digg, you put into the vault, which sort of increases or decreases based on the supply. Right? So that's essentially what it is. 

Chris Spadafora (00:18:14):
Yeah. I think that the idea there is with the vault, you deposit in the vault and that's it. You don't really have to worry about anything. Anything as it relates to rebasing or earning interest or anything, stability, that's all happening in the vault. Until you're ready to withdraw. You don't have to do anything because it's a hundred percent auto compounding. So any of those rewards are going right back into your vault position. And when you want to withdraw, that's when you would see any gains, if any. 

Bobby Ong (00:18:38):
And then vault has Badger reward as well. Right? So that's why it achieved this hundred percent APY, right? 

Chris Spadafora (00:18:43): 
Well, in the Digg only vault,  it's just Digg. And that's just a product of the price of Digg and how much emissions the community voted to delegate to that vault in particular. But once again, like, you know, a lot of that stuff, Bobby, it's unsustainable, right? Like, it's great for bootstrapping. Don't get me wrong. It's phenomenal for bootstrapping, for, you know, distributing your token to a community with people that have a say and vested interest and passion for what you're doing and things along those lines. But you can't do that forever. Right? Like it's super unsustainable. So that's where, you know, with the strategy that I was talking about earlier, about the WBTC reserve and things along those lines, you know, there'll be an opportunity for that vault to take a percentage of any of those trades that are happening and that would be a great revenue generating product for the DAO as well.

Bobby Ong (00:19:31):
And talking about fair launches, right? Was Badger a fair launch? I knew tokens were distributed to people who were active in DeFi, Yield farming, governance proposals, Gitcoin and so on. But was everything distributed that way or the team, or do you guys get some money from investors? What was the launch for Badger? 

Chris Spadafora (00:19:49):
Yeah, it was a  completely fair launch. I believe tremendously in the future of open collectives, open communities , building the biggest permissionless products in the world and having the most valuable companies in the world. I believe all business, all digital business is going to be like this. But essentially what we did , me and a handful of friends, you know, I've been in the crypto space about eight years, myself. Me and a handful of friends that have been around a bit, we decided to seed everything ourselves. So we capitalized , we built a brand, we built the products, we paid for the audits we did a rebuild, you know, spent the time building the community and so forth. And so we didn't raise a dollar. And then we distributed a percentage of the token supply to anyone that took certain actions in DeFi.  That was a big step for us and it ended up being a very rewarding decision because the way that it  played out and it was the vision, but you know, you think about things in your head, but they actually ended up becoming a reality.

It's a totally different story, but the vision was like, "Hey, if we're going to build this open community that truly has ownership and has say, and then it's actually wants to help make decisions. You better get a group of people that share in the same value and belief system, because if they don't, there's not going to be that cohesiveness and that tide mission towards being able to actually push us in the right direction and make it something that manages billions of dollars and things along those lines. So, you know, really it was about what are those three core values that we wanted to attract. One was people that believed in supporting public goods in the future of building web three. Right? So we airdropped our token to anyone that participated in Gitcoin Grants since inception. Obviously, especially since our core product, was a tokenized bitcoin yield aggregator, anyone that was already using tokenized Bitcoin in DeFi was a super target for us. Target in the sense of making them a community member, not targeting the sense of, you know, acquiring them as a customer.

But like, these are the people that understand the value of Bitcoin and other networks. They're comfortable using centralized finance. They've already participated in a variety of different applications and things along those lines. So we looked at those that provided liquidity on Uniswap, and Sushi, and Balancer, and Curve, and Maker, and Compound and Aave and all the key protocols. And then finally of course, you know, being able to attract a community that was interested in and already participated in decentralized governance was massive. So those that participated in governance with YFi and Harvest, and Sushi and folks like that, we included them. So there's about 32,000 addresses. Interesting fact, there was 2.1 million Badger, which today would be a hundred million dollars. Only 800,000 Badger were claim. So there's still 1.3 million that were unclaimed that now are in the hands of the DAO, for them to decide what they'd like to do with. But that was a big bootstrapping activity for ourselves that really helped us get off the ground and help make Badger, you know, a community of people that actually cared and then wanted to invest the time, effort and resources to build something together.

Bobby Ong (00:23:05):
Let's talk about Sett, right? I mean Sett is the yield aggregator similar to Yearn but yours would be more focused on Bitcoin. Walk us through some of the APY that users can get on a yield aggregator on Sett. What farms are the highest yielding? Which one is high yielding but low risk? Yeah. 

Chris Spadafora (00:23:26):
So right now there's $1.5 billion inside of this Sett vaults. That's spread relatively evenly across a variety of different vaults. I think today we have, I think 11 different vlts if you include the new Digg ones that we launched a few weeks ago. The biggest vault is the WBTC-ETH-Sushi LP vault. That's our largest vault. And then subsequently the forker vaults, the RemBTC, SBTC, WBTC and TBTC vaults are all about 175 to 200 million in each vault. And the APY, it depends but for the most part, those five vaults that I talked about, they're anywhere between 50 and 90% APY. Now that APY for the most part comes from the Badger and Digg that those vaults are earning right. [Call spade to spade], the active strategies because these are all active strategies. So for the Curve Vaults, we take the curve that you earn in your LP position and we sell it for the underlying token.If it's, TBTC, SBTC, so forth and so on, and then reinvest that back into your LP position. So you're earning more rewards. That's the underlying strategy that happens. That's only a few percent, right? You're only earning a couple percent interest there. So really moving forward, it's a massive focus for us on how do we attract amazing strategists that want to develop Bitcoin-focused vaults and strategies that have higher APY organic interest versus having to rely on the ability to distribute Badger and Digg to make up for some of those APYs. So we've had quite a few strategists kind of work with us and we have a unique incentivization structure. 

So, unlike some of the other folks in the market, we have a dedicated pool that we call our developer mining pool, which almost is the same amount that we allocated to our liquidity mining initiative. And developer mining initiative, there's about 3 million Badger tokens in there. So about $150 million worth of capital that hasn't been used yet. And the way that users or the way that folks can earn from that pool, which has, you know, community determined emissions every month, is by bringing revenue to the DAO. So that could be creating vault strategies that bring revenue that could also be introducing brand new products. You know, we've been very open with the products that we're working on. We're working on for new products that intend to launch in February and March. One of them is a Bitcoin Bridge, which with a RenVM integration, so the ability to go from native bitcoin right into the vaults in our app. 

Also, we've been working with the Zapper team around creating quick deposits and withdrawals or Zaps from any assets, single assets. So you can go from ETH to USDC, any tokenized Bitcoin right into the vault positions, with one click. And then we've also been working hard and this is a huge thing for long-term sustainability, how do you bring real utility? How do you bring additional utility, excuse me, to the users and depositors in our vault product? And we're introducing the ability to borrow against your vault position in Badger. So we'v been working with UMA and Sushi on one of the products. We call those products, CLAWS. Those are stablecoins that you would mint using your vault position as collateral. And then we've been working with another group and we'll share there soon, but they're in the DeFi space as well, on an interest bearing Bitcoin, we call BBTC. The name might change because Binance has a similar name, but nonetheless really what that is, is your ability to use your Curve-BTC-Badger vault position to mint this interest bearing Bitcoin and this interest bearing Bitcoin is backed by an index of all of our Curve-BTC-Vault positions. And then with both of those, you'd be able to LP them on Sushi, take those LP tokens, we'll have subsequent vaults in our product so that you can earn additional interest. Or you can then take that token, swap it for WBTC or USDC, and then continue your journey in DeFi. No longer will you be stuck providing liquidity in one place and not being able to do anything else with it moving forward. 

Bobby Ong (00:27:51):
Yeah, I completely agree. I like the idea that you are looking at using LP tokens as collateral because one of the big issues right now is once you put your, for example, I'm providing liquidity for each WBTC on 1inch, because there's a 1inch liquidity mining program there. The problem with that is once I provide liquidity on 1nch, I can't do anything with my ETH or my WBTC. I can't draw out collateral. I can't go to Cream. I can't go to Compound, Aave and draw out like $500 loan if I want to. So what I think you do, your idea of having liquidity on ETH, WBTC or all these LP pools, even for your vaults and all, I think those are brilliant and I expect to see in LP collateralized lending this year, so definitely right direction I would say. 

Chris Spadafora (00:28:37):
I agree too. Obviously. I think we'll be able to see billions of dollars. You know, if you can earn interest, you can deposit it in the vault to earn native interest and then you can use that to unlock your Bitcoin or your stablecoin to then continue using in DeFi. Man, like, it puts everything into perspective. It just shows how all the products that exist today, they seem like a top of the stack type layer. When in actuality. we're so early that those are all like the bottom layer of the stack. And like, once you start unlocking all these additions, it's like a staircase. The more you're able to unlock that value, the more these protocols become the primitive layer of DeFi. And, you know, that's our goal, you know, we want to be like the primitive layer of Bitcoin in open finance. And I think this could be a good step. 

Bobby Ong (00:29:28):
Yeah. I mean, like I think for your interest bearing Bitcoin, I think that's a good idea. Alpha Finance has something similar. They call it ibETH, interest bearing ETH. And I think you get about like 10%  in the ibETH vault, around 10% or so. I mean, like doing something for your Bitcoin will be interesting as well. I was talking to a friend yesterday, actually Michael of Boxmining, and he mentioned that he's putting his tokenizing Bitcoin on to Badger vault and he draws out 90% plus APY, I didn't know there was that high of an APY on Badger until I spoke  to Michael yesterday. And that was interesting, right. Because now, I could kind of grow my Bitcoin at a hundred, almost close to a hundred percent APY just by putting into this vault, like all these tokenized Bitcoin farm shouldn't be just sitting, doing nothing in the wallet. Right. It should be earning some yield on [inaudible]. 

Chris Spadafora (00:30:14):
Yeah. And, you know, Mike probably told you that because Mike started a Clubhouse room and I joined, and it was like an hour session with everybody about Badger. And at the end, he was like, this is like a super informative. So it sounds like Mike now just going to be talking about Badger with his friends, which is great. But like Clubhouse is wonderful for that purpose actually, I've been, you know, since like literally the first week that I've started playing around with it and I've had nothing but a great experience talking to really cool people.

Bobby Ong (00:30:40)
I was on the Clubhouse yesterday actually, but I was there for the first half an hour or so and then I kind of dropped off.

Chris Spadafora (00:30:44):
Nice, yeah. And no, but that's the goal, right? Like we want to be this, like the black hole liquidity pool for Bitcoin in DeFi, right? Like that doesn't exist. There's 1% of Bitcoin today in DeFi, which makes up, I think, what's that number, like 33.7 billion in that range, right. Just to throw a number out there. Less probably, 3.5 billion. We've acquired 50% of that. Right. 1.5 billion is in Badger today. So for us to maintain that, it's really, you know , it's ours to lose and it's ours to innovate and it's ours to kind of build this deep liquidity pool and we just think it's just beginning, like this is literally just a start. We were obviously very excited about the ability for 10, 20, 30% of Bitcoin in the market to be living on other chains and to be, you know, taking advantage of some of the opportunities with decentralized and open finance and lending and borrowing and earning yield and things along those lines. 

Bobby Ong (00:31:48):
Talking about Bitcoin on the other chains, like, do you guys have any plans to launch tokenized Bitcoin on other Layer 1 platforms like Polkadot, Binance Smart Chain, Serum and so on. And are you guys planning to also support Badger Dao on these other platforms? 

Chris Spadafora (00:32:03):
Honestly, Bobby, you know, we are agnostic, to be honest, like we're obviously big fans of Ethereum. But Badger's, you know, is a community-owned initiative. So for other chains to want to integrate Badger and some of Badger's products as a product of those chains and the people that represent those products and chains, to show their willingness to want to have Badger collaborate with them or whatever, maybe within our community. And if the community thinks it makes sense, then that's the direction that the DAO will go. You know, in the beginning of the call and I've said this a few times and I don't mean to say it to kind of be a dick because it's not my goal. You know, I don't consider myself the founder of Badger. Right. We help seed it.

We help get it going, but I'm just a community member like everybody else. And yeah, I shepherd a lot of the conversations and the decisions, not the decisions, but more the messaging and how things kind of come to light. And I'm obviously helping lead the operations of the core team, but it is a community owned and run project. And if any and all chains are interested in how they can further drive Bitcoin on their chains, you know, come chat with Badger, like we're super open to it, right. Ethereum has been our total focus in the early days, but that was never the complete vision. The vision was any and all chains and open finance or decentralized finance is not Ethereum only.

Bobby Ong (00:33:27):
Yeah. Yeah. I agree. I think at this point in time, like Ethereum still has most of the pine share. Most of the developers, most of the users, they're all on Ethereum. I think for the other Layer 1 platforms, I think it's kind of a wait and see game to see if they will pick up traction and users. But there's not that much incentive to launch on the other Layer 1 platforms for the time being. But if things pick up in the next six months on one of the other chains then, yeah, by all means like it makes sense to launch on these platforms. 

Chris Spadafora (00:33:57):
Yeah. Most certainly. Totally. 

Bobby Ong (00:33:59): 
Let's talk about partnerships. Right. You guys have partnered with quite a lot of people in this space. What were some of the key partnerships and how did it really benefit Badger?

Chris Spadafora (00:34:10):
Well, the approach I've worked with, like, we want to work with everybody, right? Like our goal is to be the umbrella for all the best builders and protocols and projects and development shops and individuals and anything really. To come together and build products and infrastructure necessary to accelerate Bitcoin and centralized finance. Like that's our goal. And we have the right incentives for it. I believe, I believe. But nonetheless, like when we talk about some of the projects that I outlined already, right? We talked about REN. We talked about Zapper. We talked about UMA and Sushi. I didn't talk about the fourth one for the interest in Bitcoin, but they are an existing, you know, DeFi protocol and project. These folks have built the underlying smart contracts based on their existing protocols. We're going to run them regularly through our internal security processes, build a front end for them, integrate our Vault tokens with them. And as it relates to what they then benefit from, obviously they benefit from any of the liquidity that's in our system, but they're going to be earning from that developer mining pool, Bobby. 

Bobby Ong (00:35:17):

Chris Spadafora (00:35:18):
They're going to be earning from that pool and that pool gives you Badger and Badger use to govern these products. So now you can build products. Put it in an app with a lot of the mine share on that specific sub segment of the market. And when you do that, you then have the ability to govern said product moving forward. And any of these products that we're building as well, or they're building with us, they also share in 50% of the fees. So there's going to be a revenue share for all of these products. They're also going to be earning from the Badger development pool.

And that's, you know, what we would want to see, continue to happen. So it would be amazing for us in six, nine months, there's 10, 12, 13 products that live within our app and ecosystem some that we developed from the ground up, but most that are partner driven with our help and collaboration. And these same partners, then our participants in the DAO making decisions around these products that they brought to market with us and also just community members, just like me and everybody else. And that's where, you know, a lot of the partnership interest has started from, and then I'd also say, you know, we've always been for supporting other protocols.

So a good example of that is Sushi. You know, a lot of folks farm Sushi and then they sell the Sushi and whatever. With our vaults, we stake that Sushi that the LPs earn for xSushi, further supporting the protocol and then distribute xSushi to the users. And obviously, you know, it requires a little bit of work for those users to take xSushi and turn it into Sushi. So that further enhances the chance of them not just dumping it, but instead like joining the Sushi community, getting comfortable, you know, participating a bit, you know, sharing in the protocol, fees, things along those lines. So we've always tend to be a type of protocol that wants to support others rather than, you know being more parasitic in nature.

Bobby Ong (00:37:16):
Cool stuff, man. All right. So I guess sort of final question, right? If someone's really interested to learn more about Badger Finance and to follow developments on this DAO, where's the best place that they can catch up on all the latest information? 

Chris Spadafora (00:37:31):
Hundred percent our Discord. Our Discourd is very active. We have about 11,000 people in there today. And yeah, I'm in there every day, the teams, everyone's in there. And, you know, anybody wants to talk to anybody at any time, we're always available. And then we have a great, amazing support team that's super knowledgeable. Like, you know, they're not a support team. They're community members and, you know, they lead support. But they came into it just like everyone else. Like today, Bobby it's wild, but like we have about 40 different contributors that are part of the team. You know, and a few months ago it was just a few people. You know, and these contributors span so many different roles from support to front-end development, back-end development, solidity - focused developers, marketing, communications, social media, like just so many different things. So nonetheless, to answer your question, cause as you can tell, I like to talk, anybody that wants to get involved with Badger in any regard, come to our Discord, you can find the link in our Twitter profile. Our Twitter's Badger DAO. Just type in Badger it will probably pop up. And from there you can join the Discord and come say hello. 

Bobby Ong (00:38:39):
All right. Cool. Thank you very much, Chris, for the amazing insights that you gave on Badger today. It's great having you on the show. 

Chris Spadafora (00:38:47):
It was great being here, Bobby. You guys have been great supporters from the beginning and I really appreciate everything you guys are doing for this space.

Bobby Ong (00:38:53):
Thank you. 

All right. That wraps up the show. Thank you for listening to the CoinGecko podcast with Bobby. If you like our show and want to know more, check out Or please leave us a review on iTunes. If you have any feedback, do drop us an email at Join us for more next week. See ya. 

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