BarnBridge (BOND) Wintermute Market Making Partnership Extension

Summary

Wintermute Trading would like to extend our market making agreement with BarnBridge and continue to be the main market-maker for BOND on centralized exchanges, as well as the go-to market-maker for OTC institutional flow.

To continue our partnership and ensure we are providing sufficient liquidity across all major centralized exchanges, we are requesting an additional loan of 250,000 BOND (~$2.23m at current prices) for 12 months.

Description

This proposal outlines the motivation, background, terms and commitments of extending Wintermute’s BOND market-making services to the BarnBridge community. Specifically, to approve the extension of Wintermute Trading as an official market-making partner of BOND, and to authorize the transfer of 250,000 BOND from the DAO’s treasury to Wintermute Trading for market-making purposes in the form of a loan over 12 months. In return, Wintermute will continue to provide efficient and liquid markets on centralized exchanges, and promote BOND’s accessibility through institutional and decentralized channels.

Motivation

Prior to the establishment of the BarnBridge DAO, Wintermute Trading had entered into a market making agreement with the BarnBridge Team. At the time, Wintermute received a loan of 80,000 BOND tokens which was originally worth $2.5m USD with an attached call option. Given the unfortunate decline in the market and subsequently the price of BOND, these tokens are now worth $716k USD. This makes it challenging for us to sufficiently market make across tier 1 exchanges like Binance, Coinbase, Kraken, etc. and with the agreement coming to an end we are looking to reevaluate the loan amount.

With the approval of the community, Wintermute would love to continue our market-making partnership with BOND. However, in order to provide sufficient market-making services we would require a similar loan value as agreed upon previously.

Wintermute’s Basic Background:

Wintermute was founded in July 2017 by three Optiver veterans. Evgeny Gaevoy, founder and CEO, was previously head of ETFs (screen and OTC) at Optiver Europe, one of the largest ETF market making desks.

As of January 2022, Wintermute has traded over 250+ digital assets and 20,000+ digital asset pairs across 80+ exchanges (DEXs and CEXs) and over $1.9T in cumulative trading volume since January 2020. We trade over $5B a day in volume on average, continuously supporting and providing liquidity throughout the ecosystem for our partners and their communities.

Wintermute is backed by Lightspeed Venture Partners, Pantera, Blockchain.com Ventures and others.

Wintermute Trading is registered with FCA for our OTC business.

Specification

Wintermute’s commitment to the BarnBridge community:

  • Provide liquid markets across all tier 1 CeFi exchanges* (and a handful of tier 2 exchanges)
  • Ensure BOND buyers/sellers are receiving an efficient price across leading DEXs
  • Market-make across DeFi aggregators such as 1inch, paraswap, matcha etc.
  • Continue to proactively guide discussions and support listings of BOND on key western exchanges
  • Wintermute also commits to be the go-to market-maker for any OTC institutional flow, providing competitive prices for tickets starting from 100k USD and beyond
  • Borrowed BOND will be used strictly for market-making purposes. No governance voting, farming etc.

*consisting of: Binance, Huobi, OKEX, Coinbase, Kraken, Gemini, Crypto.com, BinanceUS and a few smaller ones. (If listed on these exchanges)

Our Ask:

Wintermute would like to request the BarnBridge community to approve the transfer of 250,000 BOND tokens, from the DAO’s treasury to Wintermute Trading for Market Making services of BOND on key centralized exchanges in the form of a loan over a 12 month period.

Repayment Option:

Wintermute Trading agrees to return the full 250,000 BOND loan amount and the additional 80,000 BOND from the previous agreement to the DAO’s treasury at the end of the 12 month contract period OR exercise the repayment option below. The repayment option allows Wintermute Trading to purchase the full 330,000 (250,000 + 80,000) BOND loan amount on the respective option expiry date at a strike price specified below.

The Strike Price:

  • P + 30% where P = VWAP (volume weighted average price) of the first 7 days of trading once the market making agreement commences.
  • The price of BOND will be sourced from CoinGecko

Should Wintermute Trading choose to exercise our repayment option, the loan balance will be returned to the BarnBridge DAO treasury in the form of BTC, ETH or USDC assuming a USDC price of $1, and using BTC or ETH CoinGecko price at 23:59:59 UTC on the expiration date of the agreement.

Next Steps

Following community discussion and feedback after 5 days, I will look to initiate a Snapshot Vote with voting options:

  1. Yes - Approve Wintermute Trading as a market-maker subject to proposal specifications
  2. No - Reject Wintermute Trading as a market-maker
3 Likes

We talked about this on a community AMA a while back.

We have a requirement from these CEX’s to have an active market maker and, last year, we went through a formal vetting process of various market makers and decided to work with Wintermute. Going forward, these moves will need to go through the DAO as we move away from the discretionary multisig.

2 Likes

I’m a fan of Wintermute based on our experience working with them and from what I have heard from a few other groups who also use them. The way the OP situation was handled speaks volumes as well. That said, there are a few things about this proposal that I would like to clarify / see if Wintermute is open to slightly different terms.

Without getting into price too much, we are objectively somewhere in a bear market considering most tokens are down over 50% off their 2021 highs (BarnBridge is down approximately 75% off the 2021 high of $37). Additionally this is a unique time for BarnBridge as we are weeks away from releasing a completely revamped product and migrating the DAO to Optimism which may result in increased volatility / price discovery in the coming months. These two factors make me rather cautious to enter into a deal with an option attached to purchase over 3% of our supply at a price determined during a downturn immediately before a product release. I would feel more comfortable if the strike price could be equal to P = VWAP (volume weighted average price) of the first and last 14 days of trading once the market making agreement commences. I think this would still provide an incentive for Wintermute to provide this service for us while allowing for a strike price that is more likely to price in all the work that has been put in to improve BarnBridge.

Additionally, in the event of the strike price being exercised at the end of the 12 month term, I am curious what we would need to do to continue our market making relationship with Wintermute as well as what Wintermute would do with their 330,000 BOND.

  • Would we need to provide another $2.5m worth of BOND tokens in order for Wintermute to continue providing liquidity after this agreement expires?
  • If the purchase option is exercised, would Wintermute plan on selling all of these tokens into the market over a period of time? If this is the plan it would be nice to have an informal vesting agreement where the 330,000 tokens would “unlock” over the next 12 months.
  • Is Wintermute open to a modification to the agreement such that the purchase option to only apply to 25% to 50% of the tokens being loaned? At the full 330,000 BOND this would likely be the second largest individual holder of BOND.
  • As I mentioned above, would Wintermute be open to a strike price that considers the price at both ends of the agreement?

Like I said above, I definitely want to continue our relationship with Wintermute, just looking for some clarity about how the agreement will work and to see which terms are most important in coming to a deal that we both will feel good about.

3 Likes

This is a great post by Ser Link, and want to co-sign everything he says above. Wintermute is a great partner, but I do like the 14 day begin+end VWAP model he proposes here. This allows BB to better share in the success if the protocol starts returning to where it was over the next year.

If 330k were executed in Ser Link’s model (B), the following table shows the benefit to BB relative to the originally proposed model (A) and still allows Wintermute the opportunity for a very nice gain with basically no risk (because they can just give the tokens back and not execute strike price).

image

4 Likes

Agree with everything mentioned. My understanding is that the 2.5M is in addition to the previous supply of BOND. I would support SerLink model and Wintermute has been a trusted partner so far. If they find new terms acceptable.

Hi Callen, thanks for you proposal.

We really appreciate your liquidity services as we have only good feedback on your work. Your added value to BarnBridge ecosystem is huge.

  • BOND ammount: 330,000 BOND (3,3% of total supply)
    I would prefer to see lower number here unless you convince BB community that you have long-term alignment with BB and good intentions with those tokens besides market-making. Depends on your intentions, but maximum 1,5-2% of total supply.

  • Strike Price: * P + 30% where P = VWAP (volume weighted average price) of the first 7 days of trading once the market making agreement commences.
    Again, agree with ser Link. I have seen few OTC deals where TWAP or VWAP for the LAST 7-30 days were applied as strike price once approved. BB has many positive catalysts on the roadmap in the next 12 months + current macro condition. I would rather minimize or not reflect today’s prices at any option for calculating strike price. By other words if the price of your services for BB should be “uncollected” premium for 330k call opions under the suggested conditions, that’s not acceptable.

  • Vesting
    I think linear vesting over 12+ months is fair. I assume we would still lend you BOND to continue your market making services.

However I would love to find a solution where both parties meet!

Hi @Link_of_riche, thanks for the reply! We appreciate your support and also really enjoy working with the BarnBridge team as well as look forward to working closer with the community.

I completely understand the concern about entering into agreements in the current market environment, and we are happy to try to reach terms that are beneficial to both parties. In saying this, downside volatility and a prolonged bear market is also a very real scenario and something we factor into our market making agreements. As @FEPOCrypto alluded to, it may seem like we have little to no risk/downside to these agreements, but I’d just like to emphasize that we commit a large portion of our resources to make sure we provide the best possible service over a long period of time, and in many cases we receive no payoff for such services in the end as these options expire worthless.

You’ve asked some great questions and I’ll try answer them as best as I can:

Q: Changing the strike price to the average of the first and the last 14 day VWAP of trading agreement?

We are happy to move to a 14 day VWAP instead of 7 days, and instead propose to split the repayment option into 2 strikes:

  1. P + 30% where P = VWAP of the first 14 days of trading once the agreement commences for 50% of the loan (165,000 BOND)
  2. P + 50% where P = VWAP of the first 14 days once the agreement commences for 50% of the loan (165,000 BOND)

In general, this structure is pretty standard across MMs deals (even outside of Wintermute)

Q: Continuing our market making agreement at the end of the 12 months?

We are always open to extending our market making agreements with partners and it’s something we regularly do! It’s hard to provide a definitive answer as to what we will do with our repayment option/tokens at the end of the agreement due to uncertainty. However, more often than not if we agree to extend our partnership we usually retain the current loan and adjust the strike prices to reflect the extended agreement.

In the event that we exercise our option, we take great care in minimizing its impact on the market. We will not outright dump these tokens or act in a manner that is harmful to BarnBridge.

I hope this answers your questions and I look forward to hearing back from everyone!

1 Like

Hey @m0xt thanks for the comments!

The BOND amount is directly a function of the exchanges BOND is listed on. Given that BOND has been listed on many top tier exchanges i.e, Binance, Coinbase, Binance US, Kraken etc. there is a certain capital requirement that is both need to 1) ensure there is sufficient liquidity across all exchanges by Wintermute’s standard, and 2) enough liquidity across all exchanges to meet minimum requirements set by each exchange.

Regarding the strike price, I’d like to reiterate that this is a market making agreement and not an OTC deal. So while it makes sense to have a VWAP or TWAP on a recent time frame for OTC deals, this is not typically the case for MM agreements

I hope this helps!

1 Like

Personally I think this is really important thing for us to do as we move into V2 of BarnBridge especially with how the system works.

1 Like