The last few years have witnessed several smart contract platforms launch, with each of those platforms making certain trade-offs around scalability, decentralization, and security. Most of the innovations have been focused on increasing scalability whereas innovation on smart contract platform tokenomics has been largely underexplored. Historically, smart contract platform tokenomics have been used to incentivize users to hold tokens to pay gas fees and validators to hold tokens to receive inflationary rewards; however, tokenomics have mostly ignored the most important constituent: developers! Developers are the lifeblood of a smart contract platform and create the dApps that attract users and generate millions of dollars in daily network fees. This leads us to Archway.
We’re excited to announce that we have invested in Phi Labs, a contributor behind the Archway protocol, via a $21M strategic round. The round is being led by Hashed and CoinFund with participation from 1Confirmation, IDEO CoLab, Blockchain Capital, Wintermute, Figment, Chorus One, stake.fish, Lemniscap, Hypersphere Ventures, and Cosmostation.
The Archway protocol, an incentivized smart contract chain on Cosmos, reshapes how value is created and shared across blockchain ecosystems by rewarding developers for the value they contribute to the network. As developers launch dApps on Archway, they receive a proportion of network inflationary rewards and gas fee rebates as incentives. The shared revenue model is designed to create a virtuous feedback loop that draws in developers for incentives which in turn brings in users, liquidity, and more dApps that lead to a recurring revenue stream of rewards for developers. Developers and their respective dApps are able to allocate the inflationary rewards and gas rebates however they see fit. For example, they can spend the funds to subsidize gas fees, fund core team and development efforts, seed liquidity pools, create bounty & grant programs, liquidity mining, governance rewards, and much more.
In addition to novel developer rewards, the Archway protocol prioritizes a few key technological implementations:
- Scalability and Interoperability via Cosmos: Archway is built on Cosmos and is powered by the Tendermint consensus, a widely adopted consensus mechanism across the industry for building Proof-of-Stake systems. Archway uses Cosmos’ Inter-Blockchain Communication Protocol (“IBC”) for cross chain communication to freely exchange assets and data across Cosmos’ 250+ projects that currently total over $100B in digital assets. In addition to inter-Cosmos interoperability, Archway provides interoperability with other ecosystems via a native Gravity Bridge integration for Ethereum-based assets. Lastly, Archway utilizes a full WebAssembly (Wasm) implementation for cross-language support and a web3-compatible API.
- Gasless Transactions: The requirement for users to hold native smart contract tokens to pay gas fees has been a user onboarding friction and likely needs to be resolved to onboard the wave of mainstream users. Archway provides a module for developers to subsidize gas fees on behalf of users that is designed to help give dApps a better onboarding experience and increase user retention.
- Enabling Smart Contract Fees: Archway allows developers to add in custom fees for interacting with their smart contracts similar to a built-in licensing model. Due to composability inherent on blockchains, smart contracts on Archway can be implemented across multiple dApps and earn fees as users and protocols interact with the smart contract.
The Phi Labs team is led by Griffin Anderson and launched by individuals from the Ignite team (f.k.a. Tendermint) and some of the most established projects in the blockchain industry. We look forward to Archway’s developer centric focus revolutionizing the way value is created and shared across blockchain ecosystems.
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