Cross posting from the GSR proposal here.
Derek from Reverie here. While I’m supportive of this proposal broadly, I think running a more structured vendor selection process will ultimately result in better market-making services for Olympus. I will start with some initial thoughts on the importance of Market-Makers (MM), and then propose a new approach for picking between the various proposals.
Why hire a Market Maker?
Increasing accessibility and liquidity across DEXs, CEXs and the global OTC market can have a tremendous impact on allowing new entrants into the community. New listings on popular CEXs and higher volumes are important factors in furthering retail adoption. OTC adoption is equally important as it tends to minimize price swings with MMs working large orders through low impact algos (TWAPs, VWAPs etc..) and improve accessibility to institutions. All of these are important steps towards the maturation of OHM. In short, I’m fully supportive of MMs taking the lead to get us there quicker.
How to evaluate Market Makers?
While there are different metrics to evaluate MM by (maker volumes, spreads, duration, live quoting), the data needed to evaluate this work is difficult to access. As such, it mostly comes down to a MM’s reputation, as well as the proposal’s specific terms (loan terms, asset choice, strike price, additional services). GSR and Wintermute’s proposals are meaningfully different here. As a result, it’s worth doing a thorough analysis of the pros and cons of their approach.
How should the community make a selection here?
As of now, Olympus DAO does not have a clean and efficient process for evaluating several vendors. This thread is chaotic: it spans hundreds of comments and includes debate around specific proposal terms, which MM is most qualified, and whether this service is required at all. As a result, tokenholders and vendors aren’t sure what happens next.
This is problematic for all the parties involved: Olympus needs to get a MM, and the MM firms have a business to run and need to assign resources to their customers ahead of time. An open-ended process where various MM post their proposals in a disjointed manner is probably not ideal. We need a process for picking the vendor of choice.
A formalized, competitive process is necessary
We think there’s a better way for vendor selection. There should be a formal, organized RFP process that solicits various proposals on a deadline. Compound recently went through a vendor selection process for smart contract audits. Multiple auditors (OpenZeppelin, Trail of Bits, ChainSecurity) were interested, and had a chance to go head to head, answering questions on community calls, forums, and in various calls with stakeholders. This process was productive - while it’s still ongoing, it’s likely to result in a lower final price tag ($8m → $4m a year), more optionality, and additional clarity on what services would be provided.
We think a similar process can be used here. The community should have an opportunity to review both proposals, offer feedback on scheduled calls and discussions, and allow the MM a chance to iterate as needed before submitting a proposal on a pre-agreed upon date.
A formalized vendor selection process also allows new options, such as working with multiple MMs. MM are not mutually exclusive in their operations. In fact, increasing competition across multiple MMs in the market could arguably improve the benefits even further. Also, MMs usually have their own dedicated OTC relationships that should widen market growth. Going with multiple MM’s may be a better approach here.
To summarize, running a formalized, competitive process has several benefits:
Offers a clear process for all parties involved
Creates more negotiating leverage for the DAO
Allows vendors a chance to improve and iterate on their proposal
Creates new options (e.g. going with multiple MMs)
We think it’s a no-brainer to use a formalized RFP bidding process for the selection of a market-making vendor. This competitive process will result in better terms and services for Olympus. An example of a formalized process we are running for Compound can be found here. We are happy to work with the community to create a structured process best-suited to Olympus.