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Last updated: Aug 16, 2023
Snowball is a venture DAO organization controlling multiple DeFi protocols built on the Avalanche blockchain. The first product launched by Snowball was an Auto-compounding protocol, following which the projects in its ecosystem have grown to include an NFT Marketplace, a stable asset borrowing platform issuing stablecoins itself, an exchange for value-pegged assets such as stablecoins, derivatives, and synthetics, a DeFi University platform, and is currently working on bringing liquid staking for AVAX tokens.
The DAO behind the company is in full control of its governance including token distributions and any kind of proposals, such as the creation and development of new platforms. The auto compounding protocol supports lending and other types of dApps such as Pangolin, Trader Joe, Banker Joe, BenQi, Aave, Teddy, Axial, and Platypus.
Besides housing pieces created by the Snowball community, the NFT Marketplace also supports artists and illustrators from the Snowball team. Teddy is Snowball’s borrowing protocol that allows anyone to mint TSD – a stablecoin pegged to the US Dollar, against AVAX tokens.
Snowball’s exchange for value-pegged digital assets is mainly promoted for its low fees made possible by the Avalanche network, and its low slippage model of including more than two tokens per poll to calculate token values and swaps.
The DeFi University explores the DeFi field and teaches about innovations brought by it to the financial industry, as well as general financial awareness regarding budget management.
The governance of the project is controlled by its token holders. In order to participate, users are required to stake their SNOB tokens, which besides voting rights grant them a portion of the protocols’ revenue and boosted SNOB rewards. Each staked SNOB token provides its holder with 1 vote power; however, the project also supports fractional voting.
Since users are allowed to create any kind of proposal on the DAO voting platform, Snowball requires proposers to be holding a minimum of 50,000 staked SNOB tokens. In cases where a user doesn’t hold enough tokens to submit a proposal, other users covering the minimum tokens held requirement can do that on their behalf, with the limitation of having one active proposal per user.
Before it gets to actual voting, each proposal has to pass through certain stages. The first one is the discussion phase, which often starts with a simple suggestion forwarded to the Snowball team. The medium in which this process happens is the community’s discord server; if a discussion grows into a significant change in a protocol’s functioning, there is a need for treasury expenditure, or the proposal may affect users’ funds, the community votes on it.
This is the start of the second stage, referred to as Sentiment Voting. In it, the team reaches to the community, through simple means such as a post asking people if they are for or against an idea. This stage mainly aims to give a wider user base the means to voice their opinion, as well as the proposer another chance to alter their proposal based on the community’s sentiment, if needed. Due to that, this stage can be repeated.
The next stage is the actual proposal, which can only be done by a wallet holding the required minimum of 50,000 staked SNOB tokens. Each proposal follows a preset structure, must specify details such as the voting period, and may include data required to execute it off-chain if that is applicable.
Snowball’s auto-compounding protocol can be used to reinvest users’ rewards from other projects into them to further grow the amount of earned funds. The main benefits offered by the Snowball auto compounding app are the absence of gas fees, additional SNOB token rewards, and saving users’ time.
The platform offers LP strategies involving depositing two or more assets into a liquidity pool of a supported DeFi project, and then depositing the LP token into the Snowball app. There is also support for “lending + folding” strategies often viewed as some of the safest investment strategies. In this case, users can deposit tokens of their choice to the Snowball app, which then deposits them on lending platforms and implements the automatic reinvestment strategy.
Following that, the project implements folding strategies which borrow and lend the same token multiple times in order to multiply the incentive rewards received. This is only applicable when market conditions allow it and the protocol keeps track of that so that an investment can be automatically ‘unfolded’ to avoid any losses.
Besides the already mentioned tactics, the project also supports staking strategies, which require users to deposit supported tokens to the Snowball app instead of to-be-staked tokens’ projects, so that the Snowball auto compounding app can start reinvesting the rewards earned.
Each NFT available for sale on the Snowball Marketplace has a limit of times it can be minted. Currently, all of the collections are sold out. Some of the NFTs were awarded to early users and people who took part in community-led events such as donation rounds for India’s Covid Relief Fund.
Snowball’s decentralized borrowing protocol – Teddy – was brought into the Snowball Ecosystem in a tight vote on a governance proposal in the middle of January 2022. The Teddy community wanted to establish a DAO to guide the further adoption of the project’s stablecoin in the Avalanche ecosystem. While Snowball got control of Teddy’s development assets to fund existing responsibilities and expand the project's functionalities, its original founders were given 2.5M – 5M TEDDY under a vesting agreement for their past and potential engagement in the protocol expansion.
Snowball’s Teddy dApp can be used by depositing AVAX tokens to mint its TSD stablecoin and vice versa. Revenue from minting and redemption goes to Teddy stakers, while liquidation fees go to TSD stakers.
Snowball’s exchange for value-pegged assets – Axial – allows for swaps between stablecoins and other bridged, wrapped, or synthetic assets and derivatives, with lower fees than traditional DEXes, due to the Avalanche blockchain specifications. When providing liquidity on the platform, users are incentivized with AXIAL tokens earned by fees Snowball’s platform collects. The project also provides its users with farms, where they can deposit their LP tokens and earn extra rewards.
Axial is designed in a user-friendly way where users only need to connect a wallet Snowball’s project supports, choose the token they wish to trade, and execute the transaction. The smart contracts behind the platform then find the most efficient way to execute the trade based on the liquidity available.
Courses available at the Snowball University are split into four categories based on their complexity, and although each of them is referred to as 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th year courses on the platform, the team behind it states there is no specific order these categories should be explored in. All resources available to users can be accessed through the official Snowball Documentation webpage. Community members can become ‘professors’ at the University by reaching out to the Snowball team on its discord server and contributing to the venture with the creation of a course of their own.
xSNOB represents the staked version of SNOB tokens and can be acquired by locking SNOB at the staking page of the Snowball app. xSNOB’s main applications are voting on gauge allocations, earning boosted SNOB rewards and share of protocol revenue, as well as voting on community proposals. Gauges control the distribution of SNOB to Snowball’s products and are updated daily.
When staking, the platform requires users to lock their tokens for a predetermined period of time during which their SNOB cannot be removed or transferred, this period cannot be decreased once it has been set. The minimum is one week and the maximum is two years, the longer the time frame – the more xSNOB there is to be earned, starting from 0.01 xSNOB per each 1 SNOB token staked for 1 week and reaching 1 xSNOB per each 1 SNOB token staked for two years.
Users’ xSNOB balance decreases linearly over time until it reaches zero when SNOB can be withdrawn. To mitigate xSNOB’s decay, users can extend their lock period or increase the amount of SNOB tokens they have staked. Since each wallet can only stake for a single period of time, stakers are advised to use multiple wallets if interested in taking part in different staking time frames with different funds.
The SNOB token can be earned by using any of Snowball’s projects. When depositing in them, users earn a receipt token which can be deposited into the Snowball app to earn SNOB tokens. The amount earned, as well as the allocation of SNOB tokens to each of the products in the ecosystem, is determined through the governance of the project.
The maximum supply of the token is 18 million, 83.3% of which are allocated towards LP incentives, 8.33% are for the Snowball Treasury, 6.67% are for a Developer Fund and the remaining 1.67% were airdropped to the community. The current emission schedule of SNOB was determined through a governance proposal and is available on the official documentation webpage of the project.
The Snowball team is led by pseudonymous founders AbominableSas, big_wampa, and 8_bitgiraffe. The motivation behind this decision is described as prevention from phishing attacks, and the promotion of a decentralized, permissionless international community. The founders claim that remaining anonymous allows their team members to participate in the project regardless of status, nationality, background, or income. Despite that claim, a description of each of the team members' alleged background can be found on the official documentation webpage of the project.
Snowball is controlled by three separate multisig accounts. The Treasury multisig contract is owned and controlled by on-chain governance and the Snowball Council, and owns most of Snowball smart contracts. The Council multisig is owned and controlled by a small group of ‘trusted’ Snowball community members and owns any incoming revenue. This contract is one of the signers of the Treasury multisig. The third multisig account is the one responsible for the payrolls of the Snowball team members. It is owned and controlled by the founders of Snowball.
The team claims the company originated as a fork of Pickle Finance and Saddle Finance whose audits are to be considered relevant to Snowball’s security. However, Snowball audits are currently underway and are expected to be published soon.
The most recent partnership of the Snowball team is the integration of Teddy Cash. Currently, the marketing team is working on further collaboration opportunities and has even set the creation of such important goals in the roadmap for 2022. The forthcoming collaborations include a Chainlink integration and an unnamed insurance-providing company.
The current Snowball roadmap expands to the end of 2022 and consists of numerous goals. The closest goals the team has set include overhauling the Snowball app to provide for a better user experience with more details available to users regarding their options and actions. All smart contracts used by Snowball are submitted for auditing and are expected to be ready by the end of Q1 2022. The Marketplace team is working on rewarding DAO members for its two-year anniversary with a unique NFT collection and “other exciting perks,” while the DAO is getting ready to launch Lava – a liquid staking protocol for AVAX tokens.
For Q2 2022, the team plans to introduce better and more efficient mechanisms enabling the community to manage Snowball’s treasury, as well as a feedback system through which users would be able to contribute to the company’s development. The developers are also working on an on-chain push notifications protocol, more wallet integrations, and delegated xSNOB voting.
In Q3 2022, the company will launch an improved version of its NFT marketplace, Insurance mechanisms that are coming from a partnership with an insurance provider, integration with Chainlink, and becoming part of the upcoming subnet development from Avalanche.
The final quarter of the year is said to extend Snowball’s institutional partnerships, launch a referral program and a “no-loss” lottery, and bring opportunities from other blockchains to the Snowball ecosystem, by utilizing Avalanche’s positions as a hub to bridge to and from other chains.
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