Sovryn Year 02 - Review

Edan Yago

December 30, 2022


  • Brutal year… but Sovryn grows!
  • Zero is the right tool at the right time. 
  • Key Events of 2022
  • Easier ways to use Sovryn and the Sovryn Dollar are coming. 

Brutal. The reality of building on Bitcoin has always been brutal. Bear markets are measured in token prices - but for the projects being built, and for those who are building them, the reality is day in and day out struggle. Sovryn, which will soon celebrate only its second birthday, has not been spared this brutality. The SOV token price has cratered, and the value of our treasury held in Bitcoin has plummeted. 

Yet Sovryn, this past year, has done far more than simply survive. Sovryn has continued to improve, experiment and grow. Like the ecosystem at large, Sovryn saw declining usage in the first six months of the year. However, we took advantage of this period to improve the organisational capacity of Sovryn core, eliminate technical debt, reduce token subsidies and develop key new products.

By the middle of the year, the impact of these efforts began to be felt, and the decline in usage was reversed. Over the last six months, TVL - funds held by users in the protocol, has grown 35% in BTC terms. Driving this growth has been the Sovryn Zero protocol  - which just as all the centralized services that offered borrowing with Bitcoin collapsed, emerged to present a decentralized alternative. 

Sovryn Zero

In both BTC and USD terms, Sovryn Zero has seen consistent, organic and unsubsidized growth. The need for Zero, providing a truly transparent and trust-minimised tool to borrow with BTC, has been made abundantly apparent this year. 

Over the coming year to come we will see Zero integrated into far more services and user-facing frontend, for greater accessibility and ease of use. Additionally, creating perhaps the most important DeFi primitive - a trust-minimised stablecoin. This important milestone towards providing financial tools for real world use-cases, reducing systemic risk for the Sovryn ecosystem and hyperbitcoinization. 

Finally, the protocol provides us with a new way to provide both credit and yield around Bitcoin. This opens up a world of new products Sovryn can uniquely offer. 

Key Events 2022

Limit Orders: May 2022

In May, Sovryn started supporting limit orders for spot trading orders: providing the core functionality of a centralized exchange but in a decentralized, trust-minimized manner where users can maintain control of their privacy. Limit orders have far and away been one of the most requested features on Sovryn: offering Capital Efficiency and allowing users to really start automating their hyper-hodling.

Zero: June 2022

In June, we sent out the first invites to people for the Zero early access waitlist, so they could begin using the protocol on mainnet. While the Zero frontend is still invite-only at the time of writing, Zero has seen steady growth since launch, even as the wider crypto economy has been contracting.

Perps: August 2022

Due to the market and underlying chain technology not advancing as fast as we had initially anticipated, the decision was made to discontinue the perpetual futures trading protocol development for now. Funding and a relaunch of perpetuals can be examined in the future - when the underlying platform is able to support the required throughput, and market conditions have improved.

Exploit: October 2022

On October 4, Sovryn experienced an exploit. The attacker identified a vulnerability in the legacy lending and borrowing protocol and withdrew RBTC and USDT from lending pools. Sovryn developers detected irregular activity, and the system was placed in maintenance mode. Swift action enabled the team to identify and recover funds not yet withdrawn, limiting the loss to approximately $650,000 (six weeks' OpEx). The exploit postmortem is available here.

Fundraise: October 2022 

Despite the bear market and a challenging geopolitical backdrop, Sovryn raised $5.4M in funding in a round that was led by General Catalyst, with participation from Collider Ventures, Bering Waters, Bollinger Investment Group, and Balaji Srinivasan. Funds raised will be used to expand our global financial operating system that is designed to provide individual self-sovereignty and financial autonomy to people worldwide. 

Peg Issues: October 2022

Also in October, the RSK chain suffered ongoing disruption to PoWPeg peg outs. Sovryn’s FastBTC proved more valuable than ever allowing continued smooth peg-outs and maintenance of the BTC peg. 

Zero Growth: December 2022

Zero protocol TVL exceeds $10m. 

The Future

The Sovryn ecosystem will continue to be built in the open by a diverse and growing community. We can expect a long-term commitment to building a transparent, trust-minimized, and secure system to pay growing dividends over time. The Sovryn community is principled but pragmatic. Long-term, sustainable success comes from building things people need and want, instead of short-sighted, token subsidized schemes - and by building truly incorruptible systems instead of decentralization theatre. 

As part of our mission to make sure “you don’t need to be technical to be free”, expect to see a focus on bringing the proven product market fit of Sovryn tools to a wider audience, through a focus on ease of use. Better UI, more integrations and improved wallet options will make using Sovryn’s tools ever easier. 

Early in 2023, we can also expect to see the launch of the BTC-backed Sovryn dollar. This can be a game changer for every Sovryn individual. Finally, an ability to hold a non-volatile currency, backed by Bitcoin, available globally, unseizable and unstoppable. A new era of self-sovereignty is here.

Happy New Year - Stay Sovryn!     


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