2023 Recap & The Road to Mainnet

Avantis Labs
5 min readDec 31, 2023

Exploring an incredible year of progress, and our imminent path towards mainnet launch.

How it all started: Our Thesis

Avantis Labs started as a team of 2 in February this year, with one goal in mind: bring composable leverage to the masses. As investors and engineers in the space, our thesis was two fold:

  1. The massive (>50x) volume whitespace between onchain (DeFi) and offchain (CeFi) leveraged trading platforms existed because onchain exchanges often either compromised on decentralization (by having offchain matching engines and centralized keeper networks) or UX (slow transactions, lack of account abstraction, etc), leading to poor liquidity and low demand.
  2. At the same time, we saw a rise in trader and LP interest in real world assets, with 1:1 asset tokenization allowing assets like U.S treasuries to be access by onchain capital. The problem here is, that while traditional assets were bring brought onchain, the variety of assets was mostly limited to treasuries, and even so, there wasn’t a way to trade them synthetically.

This is why we started Avantis — to create a fully decentralized perpetuals DEX that caters to the most advanced onchain traders and LPs, across both crypto and real-assets.

2023 Progress: Exponential growth

Diving straight into progress, these are some of the most important milestones for the Avantis protocol and team:

  1. Team Size: We’re now a team of 10, up from only 2 in the beginning of the year. Our team is composed of former investment bankers, traders, marketers, VCs, DeFi engineers, and crypto native designers. All of us are working tirelessly towards building Avantis on Base mainnet
  2. Fundraise: We closed a seed round of $4M in June this year, with participation from some of the best names in the industry, across CeFi and DeFi. To name a few: Pantera Capital, Founders Fund and Galaxy Digital. As one of the earliest teams native to the Base Ecosystem, we are also grateful to recieve an investment from the Base Ecosystem Fund. Read more about our fundraise and vision on TechCrunch, as well as our investment from Base
  3. Community: Our community has grown exponentially, from only ~200 members on our discord and Twitter to over ~30K across both channels. We are thankful to all our community members, and look forward to continue building for our users and investors
  4. Testnet Analytics: Testnet is firing on all engines. We now have over $1.7B in volumes from ~16,500 traders. See for yourself on the latest snapshot from our live analytics page: https://www.avantisfi.com/analytics

5. Product: Perhaps the most exciting area of focus for everyone on our team is our product. We’re proud of what we’ve built so far, with an industry first across several key areas of innovation in the perpetuals sector

5a. Loss Protection: A novel mechanism that provides up to 30% loss rebates to traders who help balance OI skew on the platform. Contrarian traders can trade with confidence on Avantis, and delta-neutral basis traders can get a “modified” version of the basis trade (loss protection as a rebate instead of funding rates)

5b. Risk Management for LPs: All onchain LPs, especially in oracle based DEXs, end up getting the same options to customize their risk-reward. We offer two novel parameters for advanced LPs to manage their risk-return profile

i. Tranches: Junior and Senior tranches, which allow for lower or higher risk exposure to counter-trading fees and PnL.

ii. Time based boosts: Soft-lock your USDC in the protocol for a higher share of fee rewards.

5c. RWA Access: Offering synthetic exposure to real assets. We plan to offer G-10 forex pairs at launch, along with gold and silver. We’re also working with our partner PythNetwork to bring crude oil trading onchain.

5d. UI: We pride ourselves in creating UI / UX that rivals centralized exchanges and the very best onchain DEXs. We’ve come a long way since February (just take a look at the comparison photos below!)

Avantis UI: February (LHS) vs. December (RHS)

All that said — we truly believe this is just the beginning. Our launch will bring with it several opportunities to learn, improve, iterate and continue shipping our milestones. This leads us into the final section of the article and the most commonly asked question, which is: Wen Mainnet?

The Road to Mainnet

With over $1.7B in testnet volumes, over 100K trades and 16K+ traders, we now think we have enough data from our traders to release mainnet beta early next year. We’re yet to release the exact date, but the specifics will depend on our audits (both security and economic audits) getting finalized. All we can say is, mainnet is coming SOON!

Traders and LPs can expect mainnet to look and feel very similar to testnet, except with some limitations. These limitations will be applied to ensure that the protocol scales with demand, while ensuring that we are not compromising on security. Some examples of limitations will include:

  1. Asset pairs: We will launch with several asset pairs (~20 overall!), however, most of our open interest will be initially dedicated to assets with generally high trading interest (e.g BTC / ETH for crypto, JPY-USD for Forex, etc).
  2. TVL: We will have caps on TVL to ensure that the early LPs are able to get access to trading yields without getting diluted, and the protocol can ensure that all LPs can securely increase their capital allocation over time. If you want to be an LP at launch, make sure you participate early to meet the TVL cap!
  3. Leverage: We will slowly increase leverage across all pairs and asset classes, once we can ensure that the trading experience is extremely smooth and resilient.

Building any exchange is a herculean task, and building one that’s fully onchain is double the effort. That’s why we couldn’t be more excited to present you with mainnet beta as soon as possible! Stay tuned for more information coming very soon, and follow us on Twitter or Discord to stay updated with the latest announcements.

P.S — some alpha for the readers that got to the end: Be ready to use the platform when we launch on mainnet, we’ve got several surprises for our early adopters (including our testnet users and active community members) 📸 👀

Avantis is a an onchain leveraged trading and market-making platform. Trade cryptocurrency, forex and commodities with up to 100x leverage, or power trades on the platform as a liquidity provider. Avantis gives advanced risk management tools to traders and liquidity providers for the use and provision of trading leverage. Avantis is built on Coinbase’s Base blockchain, and is backed by industry leading investors such as Pantera, Founders Fund, Galaxy Digital and Coinbase Ventures.

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Avantis Labs

Democratizing access to derivatives market making and trading. Up to 100x leverage and deep liquidity for crypto and real assets. Built on and backed by Base