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Is Solana Stepping Up? with George Harrap Co-Founder of Step Finance - Ep.70 Podcast Notes

4.0
| by
Lau Jun Sheng
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Step Finance first started as a dollar-cost averaging (DCA) contract back in early 2021. Step has since pivoted to be a portfolio manager dashboard and is the number 1 portfolio manager on Solana with over 95% coverage of protocols on Solana. 

 

George Harrap 

George Harrap is the co-founder of Step Finance. George has been in Crypto for 11 years and was one of the original Bitcoin miners. He started Step Finance during one of the Solana Hackathons last year. 

 

Ep.70 Podcast Summary / Notes 

  • How Step Finance generates funds 

    • Used to generate funds with DeFi add-ons such as auto compounders

    • Users pay a small fee for auto compounding via Step

    • Bear market = Less clicks and activity = Less revenue 

    • Therefore, Step is expanding into data analytics 

 

  • Data Analytics 

    • Different levels of data 

    • Level 1: Basic on-chain data, i.e., Number of validators on a blockchain, amount of liquid staking, daily transaction volume, etc. 

    • Level 2: Niche Insights, i.e. What whales are buying/ selling (Whale watching)

    • Level 3: Historical data, i.e. Average yield of a protocol in the past 6 months 

    • Level 3 Data Requires custom API/ SDK integration with each protocol

    • Unlike Dune Analytics which is inconvenient for the average joe (without knowing how to query or use SQL) 

    • Step is looking to create Nansen-esque data analytics for Solana which are easy to access, navigate and understand data and/or indexes, e.g. historical lending/ borrowing rates of DeFi protocols on Solana

 

  • Interesting insights/ statistics of Solana compared to other L1s

    • Solana DeFi has high liquidity and different protocols 

    • Whereas Ethereum rollups require bridging which is less secure by nature

    • Solana NFTs are doing really well, e.g. The average Magic Eden user transacts 7x more than the average OpenSea user due to high speed and low fees 

 

  • SolanaFloor Acquisition 

    • SolanaFloor = #1 NFT data analytics provider in Solana

    • NFTs used to be a blindspot in Step Finance; the acquisition of SolanaFloor helps save lots of effort and resources to aggregate NFT data

 

  • Thoughts on Solana’s Slope / Crema Hack

    • No change in plans despite exploits

    • Reinforces the idea and importance of having a hardware wallet 

    • Hacks involve projects on Solana being hacked and not the blockchain itself 

 

  • Thoughts on Sunny/ Saber protocol boosting Solana’s TVL

    • Macalinao brothers used Saber protocol and Sunny aggregator to artificially boost Solana TVL by $7.5bn 

    • George was one of the first few people to hint at Saber’s dubiousness 

    • Wasn’t able to do much as they had no definitive proof 

    • Macalinao brothers reportedly leaving Solana for Aptos 

 

  • DeFi on Solana

    • Unique derivatives products, e.g. Perpetual futures, options exchanges, squared perps

    • Mango v4 coming out with support for an arbitrary amount of spot and perps pairs

    • UXD Protocol - Decentralized stablecoin backed by delta neutral position - Long Spot/ Short Perp Stablecoin that earns funding rate. 

 

  • The gap between DeFi and NFTs on Solana

    • DeFi and NFT communities on Solana don’t interact much 

    • Wallets associated with NFTs are purely in SOL and NFTs with little to no yield farming or DeFi positions 

    • Presents itself as both a problem and an opportunity

    • Problem: NFT people are not into DeFi; DeFi people are not into NFT

    • Opportunity: For someone to bridge the gap between NFT and DeFi 

    • Step Finance started producing educational content hoping to bridge the gap between NFT and DeFi audience

 

  • Future plans for Step Finance

    • Focus on data analytics products for the rest of the year 

    • SolanaFloor has an existing Solana Blue Chip Index. Step is thinking of ways of putting that on-chain, which would allow derivatives of the product to be built, e.g. index perpetual futures

    • On-chain contract to handle USDC subscriptions to their products

      • Many data platforms still use traditional web2 mediums such as the storing of email, passwords and credit card info


 

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Lau Jun Sheng
Lau Jun Sheng
Jun Sheng is a research intern and is an avid gamer, degen, memer, sleeper. Follow the author on Twitter @jnshngl

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