EIV x Orca: A Whale of a Time

e^{i} Ventures
7 min readAug 13, 2021

Diving into our thesis, the project, and their recent token launch

Exchanges are core to economies, even predating money in our human history. As with anything that enables us to share information and transact, the ways in which we do this evolve rapidly until we’re always at the edge of what is possible. However, what remains true and constant throughout is this — we seek the fastest, easiest, and most efficient way to trade with others.

Here at e^{i} Ventures, we’re focused on the future of decentralized finance and cryptocurrency applications. We’re always ideating and seeking products that we believe are trailblazers in driving real adoption of this future.

One such product is Orca, a decentralized exchange on Solana. EIV serves as long-term advisors to Orca, and this Tweet succinctly describes what caught our eye when we first came to know about the project:

https://twitter.com/iwearahoodie/status/1422927873514434564

This week, on August 9, 2021 Orca released their ORCA token to early contributors and community members. EIV was heavily involved in designing Orca’s token economics, as well as supporting the project from its early days, especially as they approached this incredible milestone.

Below, we’ll discuss Orca and their team, their delightful user experience, and their token launch (ORCA).

Orca

Orca has always built with usability in mind. Its founders, Yutaro and Ori, met at the Mozilla startup accelerator where they built a stablecoin deposit platform called Wallaroo. Yutaro brings experience from working with the Ethereum Foundation as well as in building decentralized financial contracts, and Ori is a Stanford graduate who has been deeply involved in interaction design.

Orca formally launched on Solana Mainnet on February 25, 2021; they are the first user-friendly cryptocurrency exchange built on Solana. Through their sleek UI and a variety of collectibles, competitions, and rewards, Orca engaged a rapidly growing community of Solana users, going from 0 to over 60,000 wallets transacting >$10 in the six short months leading up to their token launch. Over 80,000 accounts also provided liquidity to Orca pools.

Additionally, at Orca’s peak since their mainnet launch, the platform achieved over $55M in TVL; this is impressive considering Orca’s token launched only this week. Elements of their success can be attributed to their desire to ensure that it would be easy for users, novice or advanced, to swap tokens on their platform and understand if they are receiving a fair price. By focusing on the user experience, Orca was able to do just that.

Orca User Experience

Orca’s approach to crafting their UIUX experience keeps the end user in the spotlight, and remains true to what we seek in innovative exchanges — what is the fastest, easiest, and most efficient way to trade with others?

As a first mover in the Solana ecosystem, Orca is well-positioned for growth and adoption. Today, users can enjoy their 400ms transaction times in addition to more transparent prices and slippage by way of a ‘fair price’ indicator. In addition to their stableswap pools, they also have a variety of primary and altcoin pools; rotating incentives keep things fresh and exciting for traders. These are important features for an AMM because Orca benefits not only expert traders and crypto-natives, but also novice DeFi users eager to get involved in the space.

Decentralized exchanges are a key entry point into DeFi for users. A DEX that offers seamless user experience paves the way for real user adoption; when users can easily swap between tokens, they can experiment with and learn more about projects in DeFi. This is positive for the whole DeFi ecosystem and critical to driving mass adoption.

Orca x EIV: Tokenomics

Token economics (or “tokenomics”) refers to the incentive structure for how a crypto project drives economic value. It determines a project’s ability to:

  • Govern
  • Drive user engagement
  • Reward participants

It’s a delicate dance to choreograph among each stakeholder in the protocol — each party must feel recognized and valued.

For ORCA, we first analyzed the trading behavior of individual participants on the platform. We wanted to consider how first movers could be rewarded, how assets moved based on promotions (such as collectibles), and what organic trading activity looked like on Orca. From there, we carefully designed airdrop, emissions, and weights structures which help achieve the protocol’s goals, including decentralization over a period of around three years.

As of August 11, 2021 ORCA’s market cap was over $13.5M. The token release was kicked off with the following retroactive distribution:

The total supply of ORCA is 100 million, and the initial circulating supply is 5.25 million.

  • 4,000,000 to liquidity providers: LPs take on both risk and opportunity cost, and therefore deserve the largest portion of rewards. All wallets that provided liquidity of $100 or more up until the cutoff received an airdrop. The amount was proportional to their average liquidity provided over time in USD
  • 1,000,000 to traders: Traders already benefit from the rates and experience provided by high liquidity, and incur relatively little risk. However, they are nonetheless a core part of the ecosystem
  • 250,000 to advisors: These tokens were allocated to e^{i} ventures as Orca’s advisors in exchange for sourcing early liquidity for the protocol

You can learn more about Orca’s Tokenomics on their website and their Medium, and about ORCA on CoinMarketCap.

Sea You There

At EIV, we believe that Orca provides one of the fastest, easiest, and most efficient ways to trade with others not only on Solana, but also in DeFi; their focus on user experience addresses a critical need for driving mass adoption of decentralized products.

If you feel it’s too good to be true, take a look for yourself (if you’re outside of the US)! They have information on their website, Twitter, Medium, Discord, and Telegram for how you can get started.

Here’s some extra goodness — this week, Orca launched their Aquafarms yield farming program.

https://twitter.com/orca_so/status/1425229015716188166?s=20

Select pools allow LPs to earn trading fees and ORCA tokens as incentive, proportional to the tokens deposited. This helps create value within the Orca ecosystem: it promotes decentralization and encourages users to deposit liquidity, which helps drive a better user experience.

Among the Aquafarm pools, not every pool generates the same ORCA token yield, though these emissions rates are rotated every two weeks. At this time, the emission rates are set by the Orca team to direct liquidity where it is most needed, ensuring that users get good rates across all trade pools; this will be decentralized over time.

The initial emission is 200,000 tokens with the following weights:

  • ORCA/SOL and ORCA/USDC — 3x
  • SOL/USDC and SOL/USDT — 1.5x
  • RAY/SOL, SOL/ETH, ETH/USDC, USDC/USDT — 1x

In contrast with other yield farming programs, the Orca team set low emission rates to ensure ORCA tokens are distributed gradually, in order to support the protocol for years to come.

Will you be one of the first to try it out?

Brought to you by the team at e^{i} Ventures
Co-Written by: Nas, Kyle, Vineet, and Grace

Website: https://www.eiventures.io/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/eiventurestudio
Email: hello@eiventures.io

Disclaimer

The information provided by EI Ventures in this Medium Post pertaining to Orca, its crypto-assets, business assets, strategy, and operations, is for general informational purposes only and is not a formal offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities, options, futures, or other derivatives related to securities in any jurisdiction and its content is not prescribed by securities laws.

Information contained in this Medium Post should not be relied upon as advice to buy or sell or hold such securities or as an offer to sell such securities. This Medium Post does not take into account nor does it provide any tax, legal or investment advice or opinion regarding the specific investment objectives or financial situation of any person. EI Ventures and its agents, advisors, directors, officers, employees and shareholders make no representation or warranties, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy of such information and EI Ventures expressly disclaims any and all liability that may be based on such information or errors or omissions thereof.

EI Ventures reserves the right to amend or replace the information contained herein, in part or entirely, at any time, and undertakes no obligation to provide the recipient with access to the amended information or to notify the recipient thereof.

The information contained in this Medium Post supersedes any prior Medium Post or conversation concerning the same, similar or related information. Any information, representations or statements not contained herein shall not be relied upon for any purpose.

Neither EI Ventures nor any of its representatives shall have any liability whatsoever, under contract, tort, trust or otherwise, to you or any person resulting from the use of the information in this Medium Post by you or any of your representatives or for omissions from the information in this Medium Post. Additionally, EI Ventures undertakes no obligation to comment on the expectations of, or statements made by, third parties in respect of the matters discussed in this Medium Post.

--

--