Ethereum remains the king of smart contracts in crypto land. But in 2021 it has revealed some major weaknesses that need complete solutions to break its limitations. As always, crypto enthusiasts stepped in to find viable solutions for the existing congestion and scalability problems.
Boba Network joined the scaling solution league with a positive vibe as its name derives from bubble tea - a favorite drink of youngsters. This article will introduce the overview of the Boba Network and dive into the ecosystem for underlying opportunities. So let’s roll!
Boba Network Overview
What is Boba Network?
Boba Network is an augmenting Layer-2 scaling solution for the Ethereum blockchain, resolving existing issues of Ethereum for better throughput, including transaction speed and fees. The L2 solution is built on the basis of Optimistic Rollups, similar to Arbitrum, Metis, and Optimism.
Despite many other existing L2 scaling solutions, Boba Network is expected to be the key driver to tackle the current challenges of Ethereum in the short-medium term. From our perspectives, in the long term, Ethereum 2.0 might be a more suitable candidate than Boba Network.
Boba Network Highlights
- Gas saving: Transactions on Boba Network cost much cheaper (around 5-20x depending on swapping or sending) than those on the Ethereum network, especially during congestion.
- Fast Exit and NFT Bridging: Bridging tokens between L2s and Ethereum often take days to complete. Boba Network guarantees to reduce the waiting time to minutes via the Boba Gateway. In addition, Boba Gateway also allows users to mint and send NFTs back and forth, a competitive moat to support NFT collectors.
- EVM Compatibility: This is a must for every L2 for Ethereum, especially using Optimistic Rollups. Ethereum-based projects and solidity developers are welcomed to the Boba ecosystem to start building without any major changes. Furthermore, it inherits the security and decentralization of the Ethereum network, enhancing the reliability of the blockchain.
- BOBA Governance: The Boba Network will be ultimately driven by the Boba community with $BOBA. This will make the L2 chain more decentralized-oriented than other L2s focusing on fast-developing while sacrificing little decentralization.
Boba Network Highlighted Numbers
(updated: Feb 21st, 2022)
- Main Currency: ETH;
- Boba Network Unique Addresses: 17,073;
- Total Transactions: 347,753;
- Avg block time: 39.6 seconds;
- Stablecoin supply value (USDC + FRAX + DAI + USDT): ~$61,800,000;
Data Source: https://blockexplorer.boba.network/
Roadmap and Development Progress
- Beta Mainnet: Aug 20th, 2021.
- Mainnet: Sep 20th, 2021.
- BOBA airdrop to OMG holders on Ethereum, Boba Network, and CEXs: Nov 12th, 2021.
After the mainnet, Boba Network is now expanding its ecosystem with the coming of crypto projects and builders. Currently, 32 crypto-native projects are running mainnet on Boba Network without a day off. The project number is understandably good since it’s been almost half a year after the mainnet.
WAGMI, a Boba Incentive Program, is now running to attract more users and incentivize them to engage in network activity via Dapps on Boba Network. Active users will be rewarded with BOBA via the WAGMI options given by the KPI metric.
For now, only 4 platforms are qualified as partners to provide incentives to users: Oolongswap, Domination Finance, Zencha Finance, and Dodo.
⇒ In fact, the program seems to not be able to defy the bearish market in early 2022. Boba Network's TVL had a good start above the $1B mark, then was going down the slope to $233M (divided by 5). This means the cash flow in Boba Network is still unstable, not staying long inside the ecosystem.
Investors and Partners
The partner list of Boba Network ranges from the application layer to the user base frontier layer. As a result, it has an entire DeFi ecosystem with partners with all available niches.
Boba Network raised investments from most major Venture Capitals or Institutional Money since it is developed by the OGM team and Enya. Both teams are experienced in developing blockchain-related projects and gained initial success with their previous startups.
In Tokenomics, the Boba development team shared 30% of the total BOBA supply, incentivizing them to build the L2 to success.
Boba Network Ecosystem
After the public mainnet in late Q3 2021, Boba Network was skyrocketing in terms of on-chain data, the project number (now 32 projects), and the TVL ($1.3B ATH TVL). Boba Network was lifted by the bullish market in late 2021.
Turning to 2022, Boba Network appears to be exhausted while the market is incurring major correction. The TVL has drastically been draining out of the L2 chain, giving out a bad signal for the entire ecosystem.
On the other hand, there is an incentive program named WAGMI to attract the cash flow to the ecosystem and also deliver more utilization for BOBA.
In the next sections, we will dive deeper into the Boba Network ecosystem and break down each lego part. Hope this will contain lots of insights to weigh the pros and cons of its current development stage.
- OolongSwap is the biggest DEX on Boba Network in terms of TVL (its dominance: 45%). Notably, the AMM protocol uses PCV (Protocol Controlled Value), adopting the DeFi 2.0 idea. On the DEX, there are 85 token pairs, making up about $30M trading volume per day. As a result, OolongSwap is the go-to DEX on Boba Network.
- Zencha is the new emerging DEX on Boba Network with 300% growth in TVL in just a month. Thanks to the current ongoing airdrop program, users can receive rewards by completing required tasks, incentivizing them to contribute more actively on the platform. At the same time, it helps users to get on with the new DEX, attracting more external users as well as OolongSwap’s trading volume.
- Senpaiswap and SwapperChan are the Japanese-anime-inspired DEX. While the Boba TVL skyrocketed, they caught up the cash flow fast as the first movers. But when the money washed away, the TVL of both platforms was drained to dry.
- Dodo might be the only DEX that is not Boba-native. It was announced to launch on Boba Network in Feb 2022, incentivized by the WAGMI program. Dodo is expected to bring massive liquidity to the Boba ecosystem.
⇒ We have the ecosystem dominator OolongSwap gaining the most traction from the community, making it hard for other existing Boba-native DEXs to catch up. Zencha is the next competent DEX climbing with incentive programs and active airdrops to attract new users. At the moment, the strategy of Zencha is working well, but when the reward ends, can it retain its user base?
Dodo joined the DEX playground and will bring to the Boba land its 1.4M users, a particularly impressive number. Currently, the project is working on the idea and running incentives to broadcast the influence across the ecosystem.
With the arrival of a multi-chain DEX, can OolongSwap stand at the leading place on Boba Network?
Unidex is the sole DEX aggregator on Boba Network since the DEX number in the ecosystem is scarce (only 5 operating DEXs with unbalanced liquidity). However, Unidex integrated its liquidity with only OolongSwap to serve its customers. However, we can expect it to adopt more AMM protocol on Boba Network to deliver users the best trading rates.
⇒ As the number of DEXs on Boba Network increases, we will see more multi-chain aggregator protocols arriving in the ecosystem. The picture of Boba will be more diversified with many tiers of crypto players instead of only one.
Bodh Finance (BODH) is the leading lending protocol on Boba Network when compared to the $12M supply to Taro Finance (TARO) (a lending protocol in the seeding stage). The leading protocol is running the Liquidity Mining program emitting 49.36 BODH per block.
The Lending/Borrowing protocol is the key driver to maximize the capital flow in the ecosystem. Bodh Finance is proving it to be competent via well-performed statistics.
- Native Bridge: Boba Gateway.
- 3rd Party Bridges: Anyswap, Synapse Protocol, LayerSwap, Across, and Poly Network.
Blockchain bridge is an indispensable part of any Dapp ecosystem since it’s responsible for the liquidity interconnection. The Boba team has built a native bridge called Boba Gateway to reduce the bridging time to minutes, which also allows NFT bridging.
The TVL via Boba Bridges is growing at a medium rate.
In comparison with other L2 Optimistic Rollups Chains, Boba Network can give out a good performance. $73M is a comparatively small number of crypto assets from Ethereum to Boba Network.
However, the limit here is the bridge only connects Ethereum and Boba Network and vice versa. We think it will be a huge leveraged advantage if it’s able to connect with other L2s via bridges. Furthermore, it will be integrated by other bridges and on-ramps such as Celer cBridge, Hop Protocol, Renbridge, Binance, Huobi Global, Cronos, etc.
NFT & NFT Marketplace
TofuNFT is an open multi-chain NFT marketplace for NFT creators, the first to arrive at Boba Network. NFT “collectooors” only have one go-to NFT marketplace for trading NFTs. Despite Boba Gateway’s NFT bridging feature, the NFT vibe is still fading away.
To clarify the NFT drowning trend, there are only 4 (3 verified) collections with little volume (ranging from $2 to $2,350 trading volume) on ToFuNFT. NFTs always incur the illiquidity issue and it will be much harder for collectors to trade them on the open market.
⇒ NFT is quite slow-moving on Boba Network even though there are few bonus incentives to ignite the mania. DeFi and NFT on Boba Network are behind their L2 competitors.
Boba Network is a new L2 scaling solution so it will take time to be adopted by major wallets. At this stage, only about 7 wallet applications integrated Boba Network to enable Web3 interaction.
This wallet lego will sail Boba Network to reach the user frontier with millions of crypto enthusiasts: Metamask, WalletConnect, SafePal, Coin98, My Etherwallet (MEW), D’CENT Wallet, DeFiYield.
Tool and Infrastructure
L2charts is a similar version of TradingView for L2 tokens, supporting Boba Network, Aurora, Metis, MultiVAC.
XDAO is a multi-chain DAO system, allowing creating and managing DAO. It’s recently added more L2s to the platform, including Boba Network.
Apeboard, backed by Spartan Capital, is a multichain portfolio management platform, helping users track and interact with other protocols, with Boba Network included. At the moment, Ape Board supports the integrations with Autofarm, Oolongswap, Senpaiswap, Swapperchan, and Synapse.
⇒ Boba’s scenario is now getting adopted by many multi-chain platforms. Its codebase is made from Optimistic Rollups so that it will be much easier for platforms to integrate Boba Network and other EVM L2 chains such as Arbitrum, Optimism, Metis, etc.
Boba Network released its native token BOBA. Furthermore, there are many new tokens from Boba-native startups, including:
- OolongSwap (OLO).
- Synapse (SYN).
- Bodh Finance (BODH).
- Autofarm (AUTO).
- SwapperChan (WAIFU).
- Fantohm (FHM).
To clarify, the tokens are closely tied to the growth of Boba and they contain the risk of major loss since they’re basically startup projects at the early stage of development. Therefore, this is not financial advice, and do your own research before throwing your money in crypto.
On Boba Network, users can supply their crypto assets on Bodh Finance to earn token rewards with a comparatively low APY (0.3-1.6%). On the other hand, borrowing on the protocol charges a much higher APY (3 - 7%). The difference between supplying and borrowing is quite large since it is the only lending protocol on Boba Network.
Opportunities on OolongSwap
At the moment, OolongSwap is the largest protocol on Boba Network and there are multiple underlying opportunities, yielding token rewards for participants. We will concisely describe the features and you should DYOR before participating.
Multea Farms on OolongSwap gives users high APY rewards in OLO + other Boba-native tokens. For example, the pool ZENC-WETH distributes to liquidity farmers with OLO+ZENC rewards. However, participants should be aware of the investment risks while farming such as Impermanent Loss.
Staking OLO on OolongSwap is the other more secure investment opportunity with a decent APR of 108% (not auto-compounded) since investors will not incur Impermanent Loss. The participants will receive YOLO (Yield OLO) and they can position the rewards in the YOLO farm for more rewards ⇒ Capital will flow around on OolongSwap instead of hopping in and out of the protocol.
Boba Gateway facilitates the NFT transfer and minting between Ethereum and Boba Network. The feature seems to not ignite the NFT mania on Boba Network at the launch, as evidenced by the NFT illiquidity on only one existing NFT marketplace, ToFuNFT.
⇒ It’s better for us to patiently wait for the future market sentiment on Boba Network before making our NFT investment.
Boba Network Predictions
After the skyrocketing start of the TVL, Boba Network is now getting exhausted and drained due to market correction as well as the unhealthy cash flow into the ecosystem. Despite the arrival of top-tier protocols, Boba Network-native projects also have competitive moats so as to not be dominated by them.
At the moment, most L2 ecosystems are oversaturated and lack innovations. In addition, old-fashioned DeFi protocols are built to extract users’ value instead of generating healthy contributions.
To clarify the possible future of Boba Network, Coin98 Insights will put forward some predictions and convictions that possibly indicate the missing parts.
- A dearth of top-tier protocols and the demand of attracting new builders: The ecosystem is now mostly composed of Boba-native startups and lacks the integration of DeFi protocols with tremendous liquidity and large user bases. This might be the reason why there is almost no strong entity to back the entire ecosystem in the high-volatility market.
- NFT/Gaming/Metaverse: We think this NFT application sector will play a major factor to reach the user frontier. This is indisputably the missing lego part of Boba, making a hole in the Boba ecosystem picture.
- BOBA instead of ETH as the gas fees on Boba Network? At the moment the BOBA price is in the bearish trend, indicating almost no sign of a bounce back. Will the Boba team empower BOBA with this utility? This will impact a lot on the price and the ecosystem.
- More plans to not be behind the L2 race: Boba Network might be one of the least developed L2 Optimistic Rollups ecosystems. As time goes on, other L2 ecosystems will thrive and Boba might be left behind the race. We think there is still more room for Boba Network to adopt, especially the DeFi space with innovative models such as DeFi 2.0, Voting Escrow model, PCV model, etc.
- Last but not least - Gas Fee: It’s clearly cheaper than Ethereum but not other L2 solutions. This is another challenge that Boba Network has to tackle if they want to expand further.
To conclude, that is all you need to know about Boba Network and its developing ecosystem. We hope you’ve gained valuable insights to understand the overview and find underlying opportunities in the crypto market, especially in the Boba Network ecosystem.
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