[Proposal] The Future Of Finance Fund (FFF)

The Future Of Finance Fund (FFF)

Author: Dr Laurence E. Day

Summary: A formal proposal to the Sigma program for a meta-index comprising WETH, WBTC, DEFI5, DEGEN and CC10.


Introduction

We’ve been thinking for a while about how to create an ETF that would appeal to your ‘first-time’ crypto investor: those that are interested in exposure to Bitcoin and Ether along with the nascent DeFi market, but don’t know where to start. The type of person who wishes to allocate part of their portfolio to crypto and holds a Vanguard, but can only name two members of the latter.

Having listened to community feedback about the desire for a ‘blue chip’ product that provides exposure to BTC and ETH as well as containing more than a maximum of ten constituent assets, it makes sense to start bundling our ETFs together.

The FFF - as proposed - is a five-member index, minimising both IL within the host Balancer pool and the gas costs associated with minting it. However, were it to be deployed at the time of writing, the FFF would provide indirect exposure to 22 tokens, due to the fact that three of the five members are themselves indices (with a theoretical maximum of 32, given zero overlap between any of the component indices, and all components being 10-member indices).

As an aside, the core team of Indexed is currently working on implementing controllers that would enable yield-farming ETFs - as part of this proposal we suggest phasing out the DEGEN component in favour of such an ETF that focuses on stablecoin farming once the latter is live.

Weighting

We propose weighting the FFF by fixing the allocation of both WETH and BTC to 20% each, and utilising the square-root fully-diluted market capitalisation methodology for the remaining three components. In this way, more conservative holders have a 40% exposure to the two largest crypto-assets currently in existence, whilst providing passively managed exposure to:

  • A heavily concentrated, large-cap decentralised finance index (DEFI5),
  • A medium-large-cap index covering significant Ethereum protocols (CC10), and
  • A smaller, riskier index of growth bets across Ethereum (DEGEN)

At the time of writing, the FDVs of the three indices listed above would lead to the following weightings within the FFF:

DEFI5	23.88%
DEGEN	18.58%
CC10	17.54%
WBTC	20.00%
WETH	20.00%

This would produce an ETF with a 40% focus on ‘pure’ crypto assets (the ones you know from the news), approximately 40% covering large/medium-cap DeFi protocols, and the remainder as smaller shots with a greater chance of upside, to be phased out in favour of a yield-bearing component in due time.

Components

Per the above weightings, and bearing in mind that the constituent assets of three of the five components are subject to their own internal weighting shifts and asset lists (which may drop the exposure to a given token if it appears in multiple indices but is thereafter removed from one, e.g. COMP), the ‘true’ underlying exposure of FFF at the time of writing (bearing in mind that CC10 is currently phasing in ZRX) is:

WETH	20.00%
WBTC	20.00%
UNI	    12.94%
CRV     6.90%
AAVE	5.81%
COMP	5.10%
SNX     5.04%
LINK	3.90%
RUNE	2.86%
REN     2.43%
RSR	    2.36%
1INCH	1.84%
OCEAN	1.83%
ALPHA	1.51%
MIR	    1.38%
BADGER	1.37%
POLS	1.19%
UMA 	1.12%
MKR 	1.07%
YFI     0.82%
OMG     0.31%
ZRX	    0.25%

Governance

As with other Sigma pools, a circuit breaker will monitor the fundamentals of the underlying assets, halting swaps within the underlying pool in the event of excessive (≥10%) shifts in either the token price or total supply from one block to the next as a security measure, although given the nature of the components, these are very unlikely to happen after sufficient liquidity is reached within the FFF pool. Circuit breaks can be lifted by approved addresses belonging to members of the Sigma committee.

As is the case for all of our existing products, reindexing will occur after three weekly reweightings. Notably, reweighting and reindexing will also be occurring within the non-wrapped components, keeping target weights on track at multiple points.

The FFF will not contain a wider ‘candidate list’ of assets beyond WETH, WBTC, CC10, DEFI5 and DEGEN. Three indices is ‘enough’ to cover our needs, and should Indexed products be released in future that are better fits (i.e. the above reference to a yield-farming component in lieu of DEGEN) in the view of the Sigma committee, we shall simply hot-swap one index in for the other. WETH and WBTC would not - and should not - be removed.

Initial Value

We will target an initial price of US$100 for the FFF token (in line with a ‘real’ index initialisation). During the bootstrapping phase, 100 tokens will be crowdfunded to reach a total value of US$10,000. Once this value is reached, the pool will be deployed, giving anyone the ability to mint new FFF tokens.

Some Asides

We’re not particularly married to the pegged amounts of WBTC and WETH here - we believe they should be substantial, but not at the cost of drowning out everything else. As such, 40% across both of the assets in total is probably sufficient.

8 Likes

I want to emphasise here that I believe that DEGEN has a place in this (all indices should contain growth shots), but for the purposes of using this product as a drag-net for your grandma, adding a stablecoin yield-farming component is probably the better play for optics. “Safer”, from Jim Cramer’s point of view.

We’ll be using it a lot elsewhere going forward, mind…

3 Likes

I completely agree here except for that I’d include both but put the yield farming one at a higher rate.

1 Like

Is the yield bearing index going to be weighted dynamically like DEFI5 and CC10, or will it be a stable percentage like wBTC and wETH?

I ask because I think it would be strange to have the yield bearing index compete with DEFI5 within FFF.

This is exactly what I’ve been hoping NDX would do. I strongly support.

I believe this should become the flagship fund and should be promoted as such. This should rival DPI as the “go to” index to follow for crypto. The inclusion of wBTC is brilliant, as it makes this a true “crypto” fund, not a DeFi fund per se (although I understand BTC is part of DeFi). I also like we’ve kept it to ETH and BTC. This is something I can recommend to my older, TradFi friends who want one fund to play the crypto market. Just brilliant. I am active on some of these forums, people ask me about funds, I finally have a NDX fund that I can strongly recommend to them.

Also, I think the name is fantastic. Hat’s off to whomever came up with that. Brilliant.

Regarding wETH and wBTC amounts. I tell my friends to go 1/3 BTC, 1/3 ETH, and1/3 DeFi. However, for a fund like this, most of my older friends are looking to gain exposure to more “exotic” tokens like UNI and SNX (yes, I know, but to them UNI is already a very exotic token). So I think 20-20-60 is a great choice. It also mirrors the classic 60-40 index portfolio of 60% equities, 40% bonds. In our case, BTC and ETH are the “safer” choices, providing relative stability to the fund, similar to bonds in the classic 60-40 portfolio. So I like 20% wBTC and 20% wETH, as proposed.

Edit: I would market it as such: “Crypto’s 60-40 Fund.”

Bravo, NDX, I strongly support.

I like the idea! $FFF can be like S&P500 equivalent for crypto.

Just a few thoughts:

  1. I feel like the tokens in DEFI5 are sort of over represented (UNI, AAVE, COMP, and SNX are double counted while CRV is triple counted). What is the main benefit including both DEFI5 and CC10 when DEFI5 is a subset of CC10? (they could diverge in the future but I expect them to have high correlation in a foreseeable future).

  2. Maintaining high liquidity will be very important as it will be prohibitively expensive for people with lower capital to mint $FFF directly (I am guessing that it will even more gas intensive than minting DEFI5/CC10/DEGEN). A plan to ensure high liquidity should accompany this proposal. Right now, other than DEFI5, liquidities are quite low in my opinion, so I’m bit worried $FFF following the same suite.

Great idea. Although, isn’t using the market cap of the DEGEN, DEFI5 and CC10 tokens themselves going to give a weighting that tracks the popularity of the Indexed Finance index tokens (as opposed to the more usual weighting that tracks the value of the underlying tokens)?
Could you instead ‘pull back the curtain’ on the indexed tokens use the square-root of the sum of each index token’s constituents (e.g. for the weighting of DEFI5 use – sqrt(UNI+AAVE+COMP+CRV+SNX))…

Yes, 99ee’s sounds like a much better approach.

I’m think I’m also in favour of picking DEFI5 or CC10 but not both.

Concept is similar of course to PieDAO’s BCP PieDAO Pool Management

To answer these two in turn:

I feel like the tokens in DEFI5 are sort of over represented (UNI, AAVE, COMP, and SNX are double counted while CRV is triple counted). What is the main benefit including both DEFI5 and CC10 when DEFI5 is a subset of CC10? (they could diverge in the future but I expect them to have high correlation in a foreseeable future).

I’ll be honest: I don’t believe the DEFI5 are over-represented here, in spite of the overlap.

They represent five of the largest DeFi protocols going right now, and if the point here is that you want non-trivial exposure to assets in that category that are currently en vogue, the double counting that arises as overlap works in favour of that result. DEFI5 is not intended to be a subset of CC10, but that’s how it’s currently shaken out given the candidate assets (like it or not, the largest CC protocols are predominantly DeFi at present, so it follows as a consequence). Repeat occurrences of certain stocks are not uncommon within funds-of-funds in traditional finance: thusly here.

In a more prosaic sense, of the five products we currently have available, ORCL5 is evidently too niche a sector to include (hence the sub US$1 million TVL) and NFTP is similarly something that appeals less to someone keen on investing in the crypto-financial system, leaving us with the options presented. As mentioned, there’s work ongoing on producing a yield-farming ETF, to substitute DEGEN with (again: I think it’s a worthy inclusion, but your uncle’s CFA would probably beg to disagree). By leaving three slots in the FFF that can themselves be filled by meta-indices, we have the flexibility to adapt the makeup how we want, as the appropriate products come into being.

Maintaining high liquidity will be very important as it will be prohibitively expensive for people with lower capital to mint $FFF directly (I am guessing that it will even more gas intensive than minting DEFI5/CC10/DEGEN). A plan to ensure high liquidity should accompany this proposal. Right now, other than DEFI5, liquidities are quite low in my opinion, so I’m bit worried $FFF following the same suite.

For what it’s worth, this is why I’ve proposed the FFF as a five-member index: to minimise both IL and minting costs, as referenced in the OP. The gas cost of minting new FFF tokens would be on par with doing so for DEFI5 if you were to do so via the Uniswap router.

To your point about liquidity: I thought about this, and this ties in to the proposal for incentivising ETF liquidity in order to optimise slippage against ETH. Each of DEFI5, CC10 and DEGEN have a slippage of < 1% against a 10 ETH buy right now, which is a figure I’m comfortable with, provided it’s maintained (and there’s a web of factors here: the introduction of dNDX is likely to have a side-effect of driving up NDX price as it is locked up for eligibility for protocol revenue, thereby increasing the APY of the emissions and further driving liquidity into the products).

With that said, as an aside to no-one in particular, liquidity is generally very expensive to purchase loyalty for. Whew.

1 Like

Great idea. Although, isn’t using the market cap of the DEGEN, DEFI5 and CC10 tokens themselves going to give a weighting that tracks the popularity of the Indexed Finance index tokens (as opposed to the more usual weighting that tracks the value of the underlying tokens)?

This is a fair point, and not one that I’m ignoring.

Could you instead ‘pull back the curtain’ on the indexed tokens use the square-root of the sum of each index token’s constituents (e.g. for the weighting of DEFI5 use – sqrt(UNI+AAVE+COMP+CRV+SNX))…

I’d actually need to look into this, but my first thought is “the gas costs for reweighing and reindexing in this case would be absolutely horrific”: reindexing would require retrieving up to 77 price TWAPs (assuming all index slots were filled with full candidate lists, and they weren’t themselves meta-indices [in which case you have an Inception problem]) - we already pay a dumb amount in gas to do ten.

Consider it under consideration, but I think it might be prohibitive.

This would be prohibitively expensive, and even if it were not, building in anything on the weighting mechanism to query the underlying tokens would preclude a replacement of any of the 3 ETFs with something not based on our current Balancer pools. I don’t think that the market cap of an ETF is a useless metric - it shows how much the market is valuing each basket of funds, which seems like a useful thing to take into consideration when weighting a meta ETF.

1 Like

I really like the ideas being presented here. Just one question that comes up for me that hasn’t already been answered:

Why not move BTC and ETH (or at least ETH) into CC10 and then only using indexes for FFF?

In a sentence: we’d absolutely nuke the weightings for everything else in CC10 as a result.

CC10 utilises fully-diluted market cap when determining weightings. We’d have to peg WETH and WBTC to ETH and BTC respectively to calculate their true FDVs since the supply of the former two are elastic: this is functionality that doesn’t exist in the MarketCapSqrt controller (although it does in the SigmaController).

If we did that, we’d also want to introduce an upper bound on the market cap of those two assets to avoid ending up in a 65% BTC, 30% ETH, 5% everything else situation.

It’s just too messy, IMO.

I think this is an absolutely brilliant idea. I am a relatively new crypto investor, and have seen some tremendous gains in a few short months. Now I have a bunch of friends asking me what to buy, and it’s difficult to say because my real answer is… well, go learn everything about everything… spend about 4 weeks watching videos and reading for hours a day… then you’ll know what’s up.

When this exists, I’ll just tell people to buy this. Great work team!

Update: I’ve finished (subject to a review from @d1ll0n) the scoring contract for this:

1 Like

Recent activities in the crypto space has clearly pointed to an increased thirst for multichain activities, the value accruing to other chains just can’t be ignored anymore. Even some of the projects in the FFF index are planning to offer their services to other chains. So how does FFF hypothetically covers the entire space without capturing at least some other chains’ promising tokens/projects?

heck, most of these first timers probably heard about a token on BSC that triggered their interest, so how do we go about convincing these newbies to buy an index purposely tailored for them, and yet it only focused on one chain tokens? okay two if you add bitcoin…lol…