The Folks Finance team looks back on a year of progress, and looks forward into a year of potential.
Zero to one. Before the launch, the testnet, even the formation of the idea, there was the opportunity: the opportunity to create something new. To plant a flag. To sculpt an undisturbed landscape. To lead, to discover, and simply, to try. For if no one tried, there’d be no stories to tell.
Those who dive into the ocean of Algorand’s technology tend to emerge convinced of one specific idea: this thing works, and it works well. Within the crypto industry, still in its sapling years, technology has historically been over-promised and under-delivered. We can’t blame those who live off-chain for being skeptical after hundreds of failed ideas and false promises continue to sell.
But when it comes to Algorand, it just works. It’s fast, cheap, secure, scalable, and has yet to experience downtime. In this industry, it’s not about flashy anymore. It’s about being functional. We’d rather build with steel than sand. However, steel must be shaped.
A lending market — somewhere to deposit and borrow capital — is a cornerstone of every economy, as are exchanges and commerce. During Algorand’s early days, decentralized exchanges were already being built, and it was too early to integrate Algorand into commerce. This made our direction clear: Algorand needed a lending market.
That was in 2020. Fast forward to 2022.
The year began with a $3MM seed round led by Borderless Capital, with participation from Jump Crypto, ParaFi Capital, and Coinbase Ventures. Testnet went live February 7th, with three separate audits confirming the smart contracts to be reliable and resilient. Mainnet launch was April 5th. The launch was a big deal, but the community welcomed us and supported our team, which made it a smooth success.
With April came the first iteration of Liquid Governance, unlocking the value of an Algorand governor’s quarterly commitment. This first version of Algo Liquid Governance used gALGO3, which was replaced by a perpetual gALGO the following quarter. Perpetual gALGO sparked huge interest, and Folks Finance TVL grew 928% during Q3, the most of any DeFi protocol tracked by DeFiLlama. Utility for gALGO…