There’s been a significant debate around the amount of YFI that is reserved for our protocol’s future growth and what that should look like for Yearn to retain and support talent and expand our product offerings. So, over the past few days, I’ve worked to compile data on what token allocations look like for other projects in DeFi (with help from @bigba_daboom, @tracheopteryx, and many others).
Here’s the link to the HackMD, that structures the data and provides some insight:
Furthermore, if anyone is interested in the raw data we gathered, it can be found here, in this spreadsheet:
Team token allocations
Projects such as Uniswap, Aave, Synthetix, Compound, 1inch, Curve, and Balancer hold anywhere from $300 million-$2.13 billion in tokens aside for team members, with the average being between $500-600 million. This is generally 20-30% of the total token allocation. Newer projects such as SushiSwap, Badger, CREAM, Harvest, and Cover vary more between teams, but allocate between 10-25% of token supply to their teams and early contributors.
It’s worth adding here that CREAM just rewarded two Yearn strategists (@macarse and @SamPriestley) 700 CREAM each (~$133,000) for the significant work they’ve done on Iron Bank. This is very similar to the 10,000 BADGER (~$150,000) that was allocated for developer mining during the first month for Badger, most (or all?) of which is going to Yearn strategist @andy8052.
And just in case anyone is unclear about this—I’m not tagging them to say “they’ve already been paid”, I’m doing it to point out that other protocols are very happy to compensate them for their expertise, and as such may endanger our ability to retain such talent.
Treasury/operations token allocations
While the numbers vary here more widely, most of the major projects still have significant token amounts set aside for operations. Uniswap is on the high end with $4 billion, Aave, Synthetix, Balancer, and 1inch all have between $200-$570 million, and likely other projects without any tokens set aside for operations have ample funding from investors (Curve and Compound).
Newer projects set aside around 10% of token allocation to operations and protocol improvements (or more, in the case of Badger). Badger also has specific incentives targeting strategists, which may be problematic to Yearn since (at least to start) they have essentially forked our vaults with an emission token on top.