The promise of DeFi: To bank and invest without a trusted central counterparty has not been fulfilled yet. Most protocols target pro investors and leave out regular banking users.
As a group of ex-pats from Latin American countries that have gone through dictatorships, communism, massive inflation, and economic stagnation for decades, we feel crypto and defi are the only way forward for us and the rest of the world.
This is a race for freedom. To win it fast we need to bring everybody else for this ride, not only the cyberpunks, and the developers, and the traders, and the investors... but also the moms, dads, kids, and workers moving billions of dollars in remittances, payroll, recurring savings for school and retirement accounts.
This is why we are building MeanFi, it has a very powerful double bottom line of doing good while doing well for everyone involved. We are bridging a huge gap by bringing DeFi and crypto to everyday banking workflows using simple terminology, awesome UX, and a mix of really smart contracts to uncomplicate DeFi 🤑
What it does
MeanFi makes everyday banking in the blockchain simple by allowing users to:
- Exchange your crypto at the best rates across Solana (w/ out Hybrid Liquidity Aggregator).
- Grow your money stash with a Self-Custodial, Decentralized Dollar Cost Averaging (DDCA).
- Send recurring remittances or pay employees with money streams (money streaming protocol)
How we built it
Rust, Solana, Sealevel, Web3, React, Anchor Team of 5. Please refer to the docs at: https://docs.meanfi.com
Challenges we ran into
The 5 biggest challenges we ran into:
- Setting up RPCs on a round-robin, with fallbacks, in a secure way has been a hassle. Most RPC providers offer very insecure ways to connect to them, forcing us to have to implement proxies, which are not ideal for the fastest experience.
- Many of the lego pieces we use, such as Serum CLOB and Raydium Liquidity Pools, do not have proper deployments of their contracts and SPL tokens in devnet, making it quite expensive to test in mainnet, since we have to spend real SOL and SPL tokens doing so. This also prevents us from doing automated unit tests of many of the code blocks that depend on these pieces.
- When we started building the hybrid liquidity aggregator, we hit a wall that was difficult to overcome. Turns out that splitting orders between AMMs and Serum's CLOB is not cheap, nor exact, since orders are not guaranteed to be fulfilled down to the penny, as the sizes may not be fully matched on Serum for shallow markets, and often we'd end up getting breadcrumb refunds back into the wallets. This was one of the more consuming parts of building the aggregator, and we lost some neurons over it. Problem solved now, but it got to a point we were kinda discouraged by the process of discovering many surprises.
- We wanted to get audited, but after reaching over 10 different auditing firms, we have not had much luck since they are all booked until 2022, and charge somewhere between $80k and $120k. A little chicken and egg situation here with the auditing. The plan is to issue a gov token for the Mean DAO and raise capital this way to cover startup costs.
- We are a team of 5, all very technical and product-oriented. We have had the hardest time finding good marketing and biz dev people. When we went live on Mainnet on Sept 17th, we had a massive influx of people and users, and community to manage, and we were definitely not ready for that. We have somewhat figure things out, and have a healthy community as of Oct 15th of 13k users between discord and Twitter, and a little over 6k actual users on the app.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
- We've added over $1.9+ billion in liquidity across four AMM Protocols, and adding more every week.
- The Money Streaming Protocol is siiiick, and covers a bunch of really neat use cases, like streaming money for salaries. The visuals in the UI look great, and we put a lot of brainpower and time when designing the protocol. See the White Paper
- Most people jump into crypto by using a CEX (like Coinbase or Kraken) to do Dollar Cost Average, because of the challenges and lack of options of doing so while keeping custody of your funds. We fixed that, and now you can... keep your keys and eat your DCA too 😅. We think this is a big step forward in bringing people around to crypto and Solana.
- We went from < 20 user accounts in devnet to 6399 accounts in mainnet (and counting) in less than 30 days.
- We have a really enthusiastic community supporting the project both on Twitter and Discord, with crazy levels of engagement.
What we learned
We love DeFi, and we remain confident in Solana as the best blockchain to deliver on a decentralized and USABLE BY ALL financial ecosystem, and that conviction grows larger every day we work on MeanFi. There are lots of opportunities for improvement, especially around UX with wallets and Dapps, and that's what we are here to help change.
What's next for Mean DAO
We plan on wrapping up our Stage 1 (Jobs) in 2021 which was all around the launch and focusing on consumer banking. Stage 2 is Hayek, with a focus on Investors, and there's a lot planned there.
We have a full roadmap laid out for the next 2-3 years. You can find it HERE