We would have got this out sooner were it not for some big Solana events like in Miami, expanding Step team rapidly (3 new hires in the same week) and some integrations we had planned that have happened in April. A very busy month thus far! Its time we look ahead and outline the general high level direction we are going in this quarter as well as a quick look at some of the amazing updates we have just launched.
Q2- A focus on Data
We have discussed before about the balancing act we need to do at Step between 3 core areas:
Increasing coverage- This means integrating new protocols for the dashboard. This is our core product and always #1 priority for us at Step to ensure we show you an accurate representation of where your money is
New Features- this would include things not related to coverage or tokenomics but simply just good to have on the frontend. Things like Transaction History or NFT pricing etc, these are not revenue accruing however essential for providing users a good user experience.
Tokenomics related features- these often involve new Rust contracts deployed on-chain for things involving the STEP token. This also requires a fair bit of frontend work however ensuring we have value capture mechanisms for token holders is crucial to the long term success of Step, this often involves buttons users click where a fee is paid for a useful service (e.g. compounding, swaps etc).
We need to balance these 3 areas with a small team with only so many hours in a day. Q1 was very tokenomics focused for us, we investigated many areas of potential new contracts we could build- Tribeca governance stake locking and gated emissions to farms, AMM updates, Stablecoin creation etc. In the end after investigating the tradeoffs related with these we opted against moving ahead with them. They would be too much of a drag upon development and would really tie us down for 2–3months at a time working on and supporting an on-chain feature which might have less impact than say many other things we could do on the frontend. It would also take us away from our core product. It was right to opt against this approach.
Instead in Q2 we wanted to focus on the frontend. Making our core product even better is the goal. There are many awesome things we have planned with a big focus on indexing. Once we have a good in house indexing solution for on-chain data it opens up many doors for us in supporting analytics for many things- tokens, LPs, farms, PnL, Portfolio returns, csv exports etc. This is an area which there are a few providers now with good indexing solutions on Solana, none of them are ideally suited to what we need but we are getting close. A generalised list of priorities is:
- Coverage of major protocols as key priority
- Indexing on-chain data
- Improvements to our Transaction History page
- Opportunities page updates
- NFT Pricing updates
- and many more…..
We think the key to onboarding the next billion users to Solana is about activating new users to do things they didn’t know were possible. For example we are familiar with the 100’s of protocols we have integrated into Step as its our job but I’m sure our audience probably isn’t. Most people don’t know what opportunities are out there and what things can be done with their money. It is for this reason we plan to feature more curated opportunities on our Opportunities page for one-click aping into or out of from within Step. You don’t know what you don’t know and this will help us increase the engagement, value accrual, Staking revenue for token holders etc and overall make Step a more valuable product.
We have also towards the end of Q1 focused on more external partnerships with other DeFi ecosystem participants. Like our Solend Pools, Friktion Vault, Marinade and Socean staking, Cykura Pools and soon Larix Pools too. This achieves our goal of expanding the utility and value accrual potential for token holders but without us needing to do everything ourselves. There are awesome projects out there in Solana land so we are delighted to be collaborating with them and directing our users to know about them too.
This will continue in Q2 as we look to get STEP listed in more protocols and also showcase more of the Solana ecosystem on our Opportunities page.
Q1 was also a big quarter for us on the marketing front and something we will carry through to this quarter. With Sponsorships in the Star Atlas Ecosystem with Redspatula, StarDust Economy, and The Club Guild we want to help the P2E ecosystem grow and evolve especially in the Data space. We also had various Sponsorships with various website, publications and influencers like The Defiant, Defi Pulse, Voskoin and the Layah Heilpern show. We are delighted to be supporting creators in the industry and this helps widen our potential audience and brand awareness of Step, something which at recent crypto conferences there has always been someone stop us and say how they love Step which is so cool to hear!
You would have seen recently we debut’d our LP Reward Options which is an incentive for LPs to add liquidity to the Step AMM. We followed this up with our big announcement yesterday of the Jupiter integration for Swaps to which Reward Options are available for every swap. As we have spoken about before, Reward Options are the best way to align incentives between LPs, Swappers, Stakers and the Protocol and an invaluable tool for incentivising increased usage of Step but without dumb dilutive money printing.
This ensures new supply only grows in a measured way, Step already has a comparatively very low Total Supply to Circ Supply ratio at approximately 3x which compared to ecosystem avg of about 10–20x which is drastically lower and far more healthy for reasonable FDVs. We will talk more about Reward Options in a future blog but for now this is our key incentive system with 300k STEP available per 5 day epoch for LP Reward options and 150k (soon to be 300k aswell) Swap Reward Options.
Dont worry, the Step swag store will be live soon! Just polishing it up with Solana Pay access now with our store partner, more info on this soon…