May 2023 Update
GM Miners, time moves quickly in the caves and as such, our first progress report is due. Concave has made significant strategic moves to streamline operations and drive focused growth. As many of you already know, the business development and ventures teams were eliminated in order to realign the organization around short term growth and product development.
During this time, we saw the launch of Conduit, our front-end that currently hosts the Synthetix perpetuals exchange. Conduit provides users with a seamless trading experience and minimal fees. However, there was a misleading number given for the expectations of the platform. In the initial proposal it was mentioned that there was potential 6-figure revenues from the platform. While technically accurate, this assumes that Conduit would have taken over the entire market share of Synthetix trading, which is far from realistic and points to a continued issue that Concave has experienced with the language being used in marketing materials. Epik has addressed these concerns internally as the Public Relations Lead, creating a framework of both market research as well as internal product review that will be done prior to publishing any sort of marketing material for future applications such that these sort of issues stay in the past. With that said, although we are not yet ready to reveal the main purpose of standing up this front-end site, we will leave you with this for now: A front-end for synthetix has always the version 0.1 deployment for Conduit. Much more to come on this front at a later date.
Recognizing the importance of building a strong, cohesive development team, over the past few weeks we have initiated the interview process to bring on board talented developers as well as made a few roster changes to the current team. This move aims to bolster our capabilities and ensure we have the necessary expertise to execute our product roadmap effectively. Our current, streamlined, development team along with product management have many exciting updates on the state of Concave that we will dive into in later sections.
By eliminating non-core functions, roadmapping innovative products, clearing the existing product pipeline, and investing in talent acquisition, Concave has laid a solid foundation for future growth and success. These strategic initiatives align with our vision of becoming a leader in the crypto industry.
Without further ado, let’s dive deeper into the current state of Concave as it pertains to the KPIs/OKRs and our defined SMART Goals:
As a refresher for all, the SMART goals defined by Concave are as follows:
- Design, develop, and release a Binary Options Platform.
- Develop and release an internal MEV Application.
- Design, develop, and release an Insurance Derivatives Platform to testnet.
- Achieve a minimum ROI of 15% through effective treasury management practices.
- Achieve $5 million in revenue from short-term activities.
- Increase user engagement metrics within the Concave Discord server to be measured by user message counts across all active discussion channels from a current rolling average of 1,614 to no less than 6,456.
- Increase ConcaveFi Twitter impression counts from the current rolling average of 31,266 to no less than 93,798.
Going down the list, the team has fully scoped, and roadmapped the binary options platform. Designs are being finalized. Smart Contract is finished and the wiring is taking over the effort and enhancements are brought up.
For the MEV Application A large amount of data scoping and math has been made on the memepool but also on very large pair pools to resolve some technical issues and +ev arbitrage. All the pieces of the pipeline have been written and tested separately. Now putting together the MEV arbitrage.
For the insurance derivatives platform, we have produced a scope and a product roadmap, an alfa poc is currently in progress. Although we do anticipate a rewrite of some sections might be necessary, we’ve made progress in such a short time on this application. Design work has not yet begun for this product, although no other engineering work has been completed.
Generally, considering the contracted realistic cash position for active treasury management operations, a delicate balance is struck between short-term liabilities and portfolio divestments; even so, the team is confident that navigation of various interests is possible - the resultants of current and future efforts on the asset management side will be known in the coming weeks.
The season of product deliverance is long overdue. In-line with the original visions of Concave, returns reasonable to stakeholders and realistic paths to achieving 5mm short term receipts, most departments spend much time hammering away at getting products shipped that the market finds favorable. At the present time, we do not intend to attempt to raise/issue a token for the binary options protocol - instead opting for seeing how users utilize the product and make judgments from there sometime post-release. Thus, the trump card lies in getting a product to a stage where it is possible, reasonable and accretive to raise - of which then can be passed off to stakeholders as a mixed shelf of tokens and/or cash.
And lastly, for our engagement and impression metrics, Discord activity really picked up after the initial posts, but has slightly fallen off again as of May due to less news coming out as the team shrinks and focuses their efforts on building. Discord’s previous average of 1,614 has risen to 2,168 with a maximum of 4,470 in April. Our tweet impressions started at 31,266 and as of this month are at an average of ** Need Epik Number**
Objective: Enhance user experience and satisfaction by delivering intuitive, functional, and visually appealing UI designs.
Key Result: Achieve a minimum average user satisfaction rating of 4/5 for UI designs across all products and platforms within the next 6 months.
Current Progress: Our user satisfaction rating is currently at approximately 3.8/5 across all products and platforms. We've seen a steady improvement in the past three months, with certain products already reaching the 4/5 target. Our team is continuously iterating based on user feedback to further improve the ratings.And when somebody has any comments we listen and iterate. But of course not blindly.
Key Result: Implement user feedback-driven improvements for at least 3 existing UI elements or features within the next 6 months.
Current Progress: We have successfully implemented user feedback-driven improvements for two UI elements so far. We hope these improvements have led to increased user engagement. Well in theory. We are in the process of gathering feedback for a third UI element and anticipate it being implemented within the next month.
Key Result: Conduct bi-monthly user testing sessions to gather actionable insights and validate design decisions, with at least 80% positive feedback on proposed changes.
Current Progress: We have conducted one user testing session, and the feedback received was largely positive, with 85% of participants expressing approval of our proposed changes. We are preparing for the next session, aiming to maintain or improve the current positive feedback rate.
Key Result: Functional Figma/design documents should be provided such that Engineering teams have a concrete understanding of the end-to-end UI/UX flow.
Current Progress: We have successfully produced and delivered functional design documents for all scoped dApps to the Engineering teams. Based on their feedback, they have a clear understanding of the end-to-end UI/UX flow and are able to work efficiently.Thats includes “Figma Components” instructions, documentations.
Objective: Efficiently deliver high-quality UI designs for all scoped dApps, ensuring alignment with product requirements and engineering timelines.
Current Progress: We have managed to consistently deliver high-quality UI designs for 80% of the scoped dApps on time. We are working to expedite the remaining projects and expect to meet the timeline requirements shortly.
Key Result: Finalized UI designs for Contrast product within the next month, meeting all design specifications and adhering to product requirements.
Current Progress: We are on track with the Contrast product UI designs. About 70% of the design work has been completed and has received positive initial reviews. We anticipate finalizing the design within the next month, in line with design specifications and product requirements. Main app design ready at 95% but other pages still on 50-60% of completion.
Key Result: Provide draft UI designs for the Concord next month, ensuring the Engineering team can begin to complete their tasks.
Current Progress: Preliminary draft designs for the Concord will be in progress in the middle of june and we are working closely with the Engineering team to ensure alignment with their work. We expect to provide the drafts by the end of June, as scheduled.
Key Result: Provide finalized UI designs for Concord within the next 2 months, ensuring seamless integration with the development process.
Current Progress: Based on our current progress and timelines, we are confident that we will be able to deliver the finalized UI designs for the Concord within the next 2 months. This will ensure that there is no disruption in the development process and the Engineering team can continue their tasks seamlessly.
Objective: Continuously expand the design team's skills and expertise in UI and graphic design.
Key Result: Each team member completes at least 1 skill-enhancing activity (e.g., online course, workshop, or conference) within the next 6 months to stay current with industry trends and best practices.
Current Progress: All team members have completed at least one skill-enhancing activity in the last three months. As we believe in continuous learning, members are still exploring other courses and workshops to further expand their skills and stay updated with the latest industry trends.For example we’ve learned Design Tokens that actually really helps to make Design -> Fronted workflow easier and faster. And tbh we are thinking of learning Framer and moving from Webflow to Framer since it's a much faster and more advanced alternative.
Key Result: Implement at least 2 new design tools or techniques within the team's workflow to improve efficiency and design quality.
Current Progress: We have successfully integrated two new design tools into our workflow, and the improvements in efficiency and design quality have been substantial. The team continues to explore other tools and techniques that can potentially further enhance our design process. Like Framer and Design Tokens and we are planning to integrate interactive 3d plugins but that’s still RND and depends on will we actually need that.
Key Result: Share learnings and insights from skill-enhancing activities with the broader team through quarterly presentations or demos to foster a culture of continuous improvement.
Current Progress: Our team has already conducted two knowledge-sharing presentations this quarter about Generative Art using MidJourney and Stable Diffusion techniques, effectively sharing the insights gathered from their respective skill-enhancing activities. We are currently working on organizing the next presentation to ensure that we continue to foster a culture of continuous improvement and learning within our team.
Objective: Design, develop, and release a user-friendly and robust Binary Options platform within the next 3 months.
Key Result: Complete the design and development of the Binary Options platform's core functionalities within the first month.
Current Progress: The smart contract will be audited very soon and the frontend is being built. Everything starts taking shape and it is our principal source of effort right now.
Key Result: Conduct thorough testing and address any identified issues, ensuring a stable and secure platform by the end of month 2.
Current Progress: Some great work has been done to aggregate any kind of oracle market history to be able to be represented seamlessly on the frontend with live data. Now, the smart contract has some trouble shooting to be verified on Etherscan and cannot be the best transparency experience for the lambda user but also to admin the product. Some new work must be achieved to build a ui to administer and ease our transparencies.
Key Result: Successfully launch the Binary Options platform by the end of month 3, with at least 90% uptime and positive initial user feedback.
Current Progress: The frontend ui is ongoing with mock data and a significant amount of work has been done on the graph display which embed some additional information. We are now working on testnet and continue the work. Some new ideas arise for the gamification but we just focus on the MVP right now.
Objective: Develop and launch a pilot/alpha version of the MEV solution within the next 6 months.
Key Result: Complete the design and development of the core functionalities of the MEV pilot/alpha within the first 4 months.
Current Progress: For MEV arbitrage, we produced many useful tools to speed up the scan for opportunities, have it running with a default scan but also can be manually updated in real time. We are now making a global pipeline from scanning to execution but also test the output before going live. That said, one of our engineers working on MEV will be gone, all documentations are updated but a shift must happen to continue the project.
Key Result: Conduct thorough testing and address any identified issues, ensuring a stable and secure MEV pilot/alpha by the end of month 5.
Current Progress: This is in progress for the month of June as right now we are finishing the engineer transition and documentation.
Key Result: Successfully launch the MEV pilot/alpha by the end of month 6, with positive initial Co-Op feedback and measurable improvements in platform efficiency.
Current Progress: More work will be put into fine tuning the MEV pipeline, but we already made things easier to administer.
Objective: Design, develop, and release an innovative Insurance Derivatives platform within the next 6 months.
Key Result: Complete the design and development of the Insurance Derivatives platform's core functionalities within the first 4 months.
Current Progress: This is a big cross department effort for this product, and the quality of this one will very much depend on the time we put into making it. We are still in a smart contract poc elaboration that will need to be iterated until all departments find their sweet spots. No other energy is required right now on the programming side.
Key Result: Conduct comprehensive testing and address any identified issues, ensuring a reliable and secure platform by the end of month 5.
Current Progress: In some of our future iterations we must test many cases of setups, formations as well as rabbit holes. The probable GAS cost required for most of the interactions will be higher than what we usually provide, therefore we are also exploring some alternatives.
Key Result: Have Insurance Derivatives platform ready for launch by the end of month 6, with at least 90% uptime and positive initial user feedback.
Current Progress: It all depends on what features and quality we want to provide, it’s at this very moment not reasonable to speak about a launch date. We can be optimistic, teams are working actively and making efforts to make it happen but we are not focusing on a specific month to launch if the product needs more work.
Asset Management Team
Objective: Generate a minimum ROI of 15% through effective active treasury management practices.
Key Result: Increase the liquid cash standing of the Co-Op by 15% in the next 6 months by optimizing the liquid and non-liquid portfolio allocation.
Current Progress: Largely leaning into the notes given in the recent tokenomics revision article, the successful deliverance of a product to the broad market is the most realistic way to deliver on the core metric that many stakeholders have eagerly been waiting for. On the Asset Management side, the binary options protocol has long since been finished from a product scope and MVP architecture point of view and it now rests on engineering to finish. Concord is nearly finished on longer-term scope, but all relevant personnel have plentiful information at the present time to begin developing the product - such efforts have been initiated as of some weeks ago. For all purposes on the asset management side, our efforts are considered to be on par for deliverance to a stage where cash standing stands to increase.
Key Result: Reduce short-term liabilities of the Co-Op by 10% in the next 6 months by implementing a more efficient cash flow management system.
Current Progress: In collaboration with operations, the cooperative has been able to keep expenses at or below the $175k run-rate; more efficient forward planning on cost items outside standard operating items has already positively contributed to ensuring no months go above maximum spend. Naturally, dynamic response to changing market conditions - and, by extension the needs of the cooperative - is necessary. Adjustments to salaries as well as other general recent shifts in contributors has resulted in positive directionality to allow for critical upcoming line items, i.e. audits, to seamlessly fit in operational expenses.
Key Result: Achieve a Sharpe ratio of 1.2 for the Co-Op's portfolio in the next 6 months by optimizing the risk-adjusted returns and minimizing the volatility.
Current Progress: Portfolio volatility over the period has been largely null, with the Clipper LP acting as the primary “market” exposure; an internal decision was reached by the former ventures team to hold-to-maturity on the position to realize a soft-provision allowing Concave to potentially collect a higher return; the exact provisions of the arrangement fall under nondisclosure. Most other aspects of the sum of portfolios fall under dollar derivatives to some or less degrees, thus subject to the return profiles “expected” for ROIs of those types; to our benefit, the cooperative has not been subject to adverse loss stemming from stablecoin-classified credit events in self-managed strategies.
Overall, the team is still actively working to refactor portfolio balances and deployments with the context of a few months of varying operating conditions; the sentiment internally is more geared towards preservation than excessive returns. We expect to be able to deliver to stakeholders a robust report by the end of June with quantitative and qualitative measurements for better contextualization.
Key Result: Develop a comprehensive portfolio management report with actionable insights and recommendations for the Co-Op's stakeholders monthly to ensure continuous improvement and alignment with the overall business strategy.
Current Progress: Stage one of these initiatives is now finished with the rollout of a revised spreadsheet-style reporting of LBV and NAV inclusive of line item readouts of assets across all portfolios. Efforts are now additionally underway to provide unparalleled access into our modus operandi, similar to investor letters of more traditional asset management organizations; we expect to have these efforts completed by the end of June at which time stakeholders can read extensive and TLDR versions of the report.
Objective: Increase the efficiency/profitability of the Co-Op's portfolio strategies by implementing automation-assisted idea generation and taking advantage of market inefficiencies.
Key Result: Develop an automated or automation-assisted idea generation system for the Co-Op's portfolio strategy within the next 3 months.
Current Progress: The team is happy to announce that the deployment of V1 Concave Yield Sniffer (inclusive of a CEX/DEX synthetic searcher and a more traditional yield searcher) has now been deployed and actively utilized internally; initial results are highly insightful, with a few notable pools caught in our model that some other public tools have missed.
Key Result: Increase the profitability of the Co-Op's portfolio strategy by 10% in the next 6 months by taking advantage of market inefficiencies identified through the automated idea generation system.
Current Progress: In general, the team is very content with the current state of the internal systems developed; the real results of such operations will become more translucent in 1-2 months. Overall, we expect to increase profitability decently over former management inclusive of public tooling/full manual due diligence strategy.
Key Result: Reduce the portfolio turnover rate by 20% in the next 6 months by implementing a more systematic/data-driven portfolio management approach.
Current Progress: One of the most challenging elements of balancing turnover in the light of other factors (i.e. yield dilution, everchanging credit conditions, etc) is the overall estimation and interpretation of positioning over an extended period of time. In general, most yield opportunities presented by analysts are rejected for one reason or another; in recency, that has come from two main points of view: forward cash considerations and yield dilution/cost of entry via slippage is too taxing relative to the implied horizon. At the moment, our current target horizon holding is at least through the relevant terminal period (with respect to ‘Mining Deeper’).
Key Result: Achieve a portfolio alpha of 1.2 in the next 12 months by optimizing the portfolio strategy with the help of the automated or automation-assisted idea generation system.
Current Progress: See response to “Increase the profitability of the Co-Op's portfolio strategy by 10% in the next 6 months by taking advantage of market inefficiencies identified through the automated idea generation system”, among other relevant sections embedded.
Key Result: Continuously iterate and implement the automated or automation-assisted idea generation system by implementing at least two major updates in the next 6 months.
Current Progress: As of now, the yield sniffer reports data via a Discord bot on the contributor server but an upgrade is soon coming to have data represented spreadsheet style with a few more critical statistics to make the due diligence process more streamlined. As part of these upgrades, information will include both visual and line-item presentation, yield denomination estimates by asset-type (i.e. measurement of yield dilution, token-specific credit risk, etc.). The team will evaluate the need to further upgrade the system once the new elements are implemented.
Objective: Streamline internal operations and collaboration to enhance team productivity and project delivery.
Key Result: Implement a centralized project management tool and establish clear communication channels among the COO, Product Manager, and Project Manager.
Key Result: Reduce project delivery time by 20% within the next 6 months through improved coordination and resource allocation.
Key Result: Achieve a 90% satisfaction rate among team members regarding collaboration and internal processes.
Current Progress: We are making substantial progress in implementing a centralized project management tool which will greatly enhance our productivity and coordination. Alongside this, clear communication channels have been established among the COO, Product Manager, and Project Manager, ensuring that everyone is aligned and up-to-date, leading to more efficient project delivery. Internal Co-Op review of the system has been performed and all team members feel like they now, for the first time, fully understand what the organization is building towards. This has already had a meaningful impact on delivery time with the binary options platform being handed smoothly from Backend to Frontend to begin wiring with design working asynchronously throughout the development process.
Objective: Optimize virtual infrastructure management to ensure high performance, reliability, and security.
Key Result: Conduct a comprehensive audit of the current virtual infrastructure and identify areas for improvement, with recommendations presented to the team within 2 months.
Key Result: Maintain a 99.5% uptime for all virtual systems and services throughout the 6-month period.
Current Progress: We have conducted an in-depth audit of our virtual infrastructure, identifying areas of improvement that have allowed the team to slash several under-utilized tools or VMs lowering operational cost. Concurrently, we are maintaining near-constant uptime for all virtual systems and services, indicating high performance and reliability of our current systems.
Objective: Foster a culture of continuous learning and improvement within the Operations team.
Key Result: Identify and address skill gaps through targeted training and development initiatives for each team member, with a minimum of 1 skill-enhancing activity completed within the next 6 months.
Key Result: Establish a regular feedback and review process for the team, with at least 2 formal review sessions conducted within the next 6 months.
Key Result: Encourage knowledge sharing and cross-functional collaboration by organizing monthly team workshops or presentations on relevant topics.
Current Progress: To promote continuous learning, we've identified specific skill gaps among the team members and have initiated targeted training and development activities. A structured feedback and review process is also being established to consistently assess and improve team performance. Additionally, we have initiated monthly team workshops and presentations that focus on knowledge sharing and cross-functional collaboration, enabling the team to grow together by learning from each other's expertise with the latest workshop being a deep dive into ERC-4337/Account Abstraction that was held by the engineering team.
Objective: Develop and execute a comprehensive risk management strategy for projects and overall operations.
Key Result: Identify potential risks and mitigation strategies for ongoing and upcoming projects, with a risk assessment report presented to the team within 2 months.
Key Result: Implement at least 3 risk mitigation actions within the next 6 months to minimize operational disruptions and project delays.
Current Progress: We have begun the process of identifying potential risks and corresponding mitigation strategies for ongoing and upcoming projects. A comprehensive risk assessment report is being prepared for presentation to the team. Furthermore, we are in the process of executing multiple risk mitigation actions to minimize any operational disruptions and project delays, aiming for a seamless and efficient work environment.
Public Relations Team
Objective: Cultivate open and transparent communication with lsdCNV token holders to address concerns and foster trust.
- Key Result: Expand to one additional dedicated communication channel for lsdCNV token holders to discuss concerns and receive updates.
- Key Result: Host monthly Q&A sessions or AMAs with the core team to provide insights and address any fear, uncertainty, and disbelief.
- Key Result: Publish bi-weekly or monthly project updates, including development progress, partnerships, and future plans, to keep token holders informed and engaged.
Current Progress: The team is working towards finding a suitable new communication channel that will offer an additional platform for token holders to engage and receive updates. A Q&A session/AMAs with our core team is currently planned for mid month as our previous session received positive feedback and high engagement. User data and feedback are being analyzed to optimize the timing of these sessions to suit our global audience better. In response to user feedback, we are working on providing a deeper insight into our decision-making process and challenges faced, alongside progress, partnerships, and future plans.
Objective: Implement a structured information release process to consistently share updates on product development, asset management, and co-op initiatives in a timely and efficient manner.
- Key Result: Develop a comprehensive content calendar outlining the release schedule for announcements, progress reports, and other relevant information.
- Key Result: Assign a dedicated team member or community manager to ensure timely and accurate dissemination of information across all relevant channels (e.g., social media, blog, email newsletter).
- Key Result: Establish a clear internal communication protocol for discussing and reaching consensus on important updates and announcements, streamlining the decision-making process.
Current Progress: Our team is in the final stages of establishing a comprehensive content calendar to regulate our announcement and progress report releases. A dedicated community manager has been assigned and is actively overseeing timely and accurate information dissemination across all channels, including social media, blogs, and email newsletters. Additionally, an internal communication protocol to discuss and reach consensus on significant updates and announcements is being finalized, promising to significantly streamline our decision-making process.
Objective: Expand social media presence by capitalizing on the information release process and data-driven insights while maintaining transparency and fostering community engagement.
- Key Result: Achieve a 30% increase in social media followers across all platforms within the 6 months by consistently sharing valuable content, updates, and insights.
- Key Result: Implement a data-driven social media strategy to identify optimal posting times, content types, and engagement tactics to maximize reach and growth.
- Key Result: Host monthly office hours on community Discord/Twitter Spaces to discuss community feedback, address concerns, and explore high-level community proposals, fostering open communication and collaboration.
Current Progress: We are seeing promising growth in our social media following across all platforms as we continue to share valuable content, updates, and insights. Tweet impressions were up to >100k in April and >117k in May, an increase from the 16k impressions in March and 30k in February. A data-driven social media strategy has been deployed, allowing us to identify and implement optimal posting times, content types, and engagement tactics. Discord activity has gone from a rolling average of ~1,614 to 2,168.