I have been thinking a lot over the past couple months about what a $PRIME token unlock looks like. Ultimately how this goes will be up for the community to decide. As both an EP and community member myself I wanted to get some of my initial thoughts out there. This is not meant to be exhaustive, prescriptive, or otherwise taken as gospel.
To set the stage I have previously alluded to bureaucratic processes around token unlock. To expand on that slightly…the Echelon PRIME Foundation is a Cayman Foundation. As such we’re subject to the rules and requirements of the Cayman Islands as it relates to this entity structure. Should there be a vote to unlock the $PRIME token immediately this would still require the EPs to complete a bit of Cayman bureaucracy, a process that could take a week or two. With that out of the way let’s dive into some considerations.
Do we let it rip immediately or do we want to push the unlock back further? Absolute latest that $PRIME could unlock in my view is a week or two before open beta for the Parallel TCG. Given estimates from the studio I am currently assuming this is sometime in Q3 2023. The absolute earliest $PRIME could be unlocked would be probably by the end of January 2023. Within this time frame there will also be milestones on the Studios side such as the launch of early access, as well as various moments within the early access period where the number of play testers increases. These milestones between January and open beta could theoretically be anchor points for a $PRIME unlock.
CEX or DEX (or both)
Should $PRIME becoming transferable coincide with just being available via a decentralized exchange, or should we work towards same or next day listings with a centralized exchange? While these options themselves are fairly straightforward there is work to do here that would tack on extra time to unlocking $PRIME. While Echelon has contacts and relationships with some of these exchanges there is still a process we’d have to go through for listings.
Even on the DEX side there are things to consider — which DEX do we want to launch on, what process is there to be part of the default token list rather than an import, is there a widget we can include on the echelon.io site to enable swaps from the webapp, etc. Much like with the CEX side the DEX side presents options that will add time depending on how the community wishes to go about this.
Whether we launch on a CEX, DEX, or both liquidity will be crucial. On the DEX side we’d want to ensure enough depth to facilitate low slippage swaps. How do we go about guaranteeing this depth? I am a known dislikooooor of liquidity mining rewards. Paying people in a native token to rent liquidity doesn’t feel like a good use of community resources to me, and Echelon itself seeding the liquidity pool carries significant risk. There are various novel approaches we can explore, but these will add time. Personally I am watching the Gearbox liquidity bootstrapping event very closely and if it’s a success am quite interested in Echelon exploring this approach as well. If the community wishes to have liquidity now then we can always just leave LPing up to others to figure out as well — similar to $APE.
On the CEX side liquidity sort of has to be provided by a market marker. In the wake of the FTX meltdown we’ve seen some market makers leave crypto entirely while those that remain have increased bargaining power along with a lower appetite for risk. There is no guarantee that conditions will approve over the next few months but it is also sort of hard to see them getting too much worse. Do we rip the Band-Aid off and go with what is on offer now or do we hold out a bit hoping conditions for market markets improve?
I am aware that as an EP my words may have more weight. As such I am loath to necessarily make my own views on what we should or shouldn’t do here known at this time — I’d prefer to see how the discussion evolves before jumping in two footed. That said, once we have a bit more of a general vision I am eager to get into the details on how we turn that vision into a reality.
I tend to generally think there is the fast way to do something and the right way to do something. Sometimes the fast way is the right way, other times it isn’t. When it comes to unlocking $PRIME there is risk on both ends of the spectrum. As a community we’ll simply need to decide which risks we’re willing to tolerate. Ultimately my job as an EP is to ensure that the $PRIME unlock is a success and one that other projects will look towards as a blueprint for years to come. I am confident that together we can achieve this.
Disclaimer: These thoughts are my own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Echelon Prime Foundation or other Emissaries Prime.