Driving innovation and change in the world of finance is a commitment that requires continuous evolution and dedicated growth efforts. As we reflect on our accomplishments, it's evident that Maple's influence is expanding. With 1,500 lenders, 87 borrowers, and 8 pool delegates across 15 pools on Ethereum and Solana, we've laid the foundation for what’s to come. Envisioning the future, we see Maple evolving to be a vibrant and diverse debt-capital marketplace where institutions globally come to connect to credit opportunities and see our lending infrastructure more broadly adopted with banks and traditional lenders.
To make this vision a reality, we are firmly entering growth mode and have engaged new growth-oriented supporters as multi-year MPL holders. Led by BlockTower Capital and Tioga Capital, this round welcomes Room40 Ventures, Cherry Crypto, The Spartan Group, GSR Ventures, and Veris Ventures to the Maple ecosystem. Existing tokenholders Maven 11 and Framework Ventures also participated.
Crafted with our new supporters and long-time advisors, we are pleased to share our framework for growth over the next three years. We’ve been calling it our growth stack, akin to a stack of pancakes, because each layer stacks upon the other to synergize and create the whole. The three layers comprise;
Upgraded token design
Commercial growth initiatives
Investments in proprietary technology
By pushing ahead with these initiatives Maple has the opportunity to grow into the leader in DeFi lending, and establish itself into the world of traditional finance. We invite you to join us in shaping a new era of finance marked by innovation, dynamism and sustainable growth - please read along, join the Maple community and take part in fostering the growth of the Maple Protocol through governance.
1. Upgraded Token Design
Well-designed tokens can be a transformational tool for protocol growth when incentives are aligned and protocol development is enabled.
Below is a high-level summary of the benefits to upgrading the token, including new utility and resourcing growth initiatives, alongside information on the technical transition should the community support this proposal.
Benefits of upgrading token design:
New utility to create more value and customer stickiness
Ecosystem Grants: With the aim to attract top-tier credit talent to the protocol, this initiative would see an Ecosystem Grant program provide seed funding to a new Delegate business, or see an initial capital allocation deposited into a pool to help a Delegate and their novel strategy to move from 0-1.
Pool Delegate alignment: Credit professionals choose Maple to start and scale their lending businesses. So that both Delegates and Maple can grow together one idea is to require that Delegates allocate a portion of their fees to buying and staking MPL and to actively participate in Maple DAO Governance.
Borrower fee rebates: Attracting new Borrowers and keeping them on the platform is an important piece of establishing a credit network and Maple as a leader in lending. This initiative would see borrowers that hold and stake MPL become eligible for rebates which reduce the cost of capital. This creates a flywheel, making Maple a more attractive capital provider, thus resulting in more loans, more payments, and more fees for the Protocol.
Reduce Lender risk: By Introducing a limited guarantee system for MPL and xMPL holders lending stablecoins to Pools, varying based on each Pool's risk profile, Lenders would receive some limited protection in event of defaults. In this instance, guarantees would be adjusted for risk and the level of MPL held, prompting Lenders to seek MPL during volatility.
Interoperability and transferability within DeFi: Core Contributors are investigating ways to incorporate LP tokens into other ecosystems in a compliant and scalable manner. By enhancing the liquidity and utility of Maple LP tokens, Maple aims to establish stronger connections with DeFi products and services, creating greater benefits for Lenders. One idea is to establish a vibrant secondary market for Pool deposit tokens. In this envisioned secondary market, Lenders requiring immediate liquidity would be able to swap their Pool tokens. Conversely, Lenders with longer-term horizons could purchase these Pool tokens at a discount.
To move these initiatives from idea to implementation community consultations will open and MIPs will be developed inline with Maple’s robust governance framework.
To ensure that we can implement new utility for MPL, have the resources for the growth initiatives laid out in the next section, and react to an evolving competitive and macro environment, it’s important that we upgrade the token to a more optimal design.
Since Maple’s inception in 2021, MPL has been the protocol’s native token. Two years ago it was difficult to envision early success, the ‘credit-crunch’ of last year, the inflexibility of a fixed supply token and downsides of incentive programs. As the industry evolves and matures, it’s natural that token designs should do so too. Building upon lessons learned along the way and reflecting on the new landscape and opportunity set, the Core Contributors propose MIP009, for approval by the Maple DAO.
For approval by the Maple DAO, MIP009 proposes the issuance of new tokens over 3 years, realized as a 1 time issuance of 10% additional tokens and a 3 year emission of 5% per annum to the Maple Treasury. This will recapitalize the Maple Treasury and be allocated to support the commercial growth-initiatives outlined below.
Maple DAO participants are encouraged to read and provide commentary to MIP009 on the Maple Community Forum during the 7 day consultation phase commencing at 9am ET on 23rd August 2023 and closing at 9AM ET on 30th August 2023.
If the community supports this proposal through votes with MPL and xMPL, the upgrade will take place in the following months. Once code completes and the contracts are audited, the technical transition to optimal design would take place with the aim to have the lightest lift for token holders.
2. Commercial growth initiatives
With the necessary resources in place to fuel growth initiatives, Maple will be able to deliver our core products—Maple Direct, Maple Cash Management, and the Maple Marketplace—to new customers.
New customers are found in new distribution channels, new markets and new sectors through strategic partnerships and commercial endeavors. Some details are provided below:
New markets: Our roadmap extends to regions like APAC, LATAM and Europe, where opportunities for institutional adoption are very clear. Each market requires a different mixture of licensing, legal frameworks and rails like wallets and custody technology. As we move into these new markets we will address these specific needs to acquire new institutional customers and drive market penetration into traditional finance.
New sectors: New sectors to explore include trade finance, energy finance, and accounts receivable factoring. We will launch new pools in these sectors to develop a diverse and vibrant Maple Marketplace.
New partnerships: We are already working on mutually beneficial partnerships with L2s, Custodians, DEXs and other Web3 Service providers and intend to bring these to market within the next year. Connecting to customers where they already are removes key UX frictions and helps tap into existing, established user bases to bring new Lenders to the Maple Marketplace, which in turn will drive growth of the lending pools and the protocol as a whole.
3. Continued investments in proprietary technology
Maple is a financial technology provider, and since 2019 has developed the infrastructure and platform to facilitate over $2BN in loan transactions safely and securely. So long as Maple exists, we will continually invest in improving our smart contract architecture and platform with a focused eye towards innovation that ultimately improves the experiences for all participants in the Maple ecosystem.
In this next stage of growth we see Maple’s lending infrastructure more broadly adopted with banks and traditional lenders white labeling the technology.
With an optimized token design, commercial growth initiatives, and ongoing technology investments Maple can establish itself beyond DeFi, in the world of traditional finance. We invite you to join us in shaping a new era of finance—marked by innovation, dynamism, and sustainable growth.