Benchmark AMA Recap

Benchmark AMA Recap

CryptoDiffer team

Hello, everyone!😁

We are glad to meet here 

David Mass, Inventor at Benchmark Protocol

Kurt Uhler, COO at Benchmark Protocol

Meir Bank, CTO at Benchmark Protocol

Phil Georg, Senior Developer at Benchmark Protocol

Shalini Woo, Head of Communications at Benchmark Protocol

David Mass, Inventor at Benchmark Protocol

Hi Everyone, thanks for having us!

Kurt Uhler, COO at Benchmark Protocol

Hi everyone. Thanks for having us today!

Meir Bank, CTO at Benchmark Protocol

Hi guys, pleasure to be here.

CryptoDiffer team

Q1: Can you briefly tell us about Benchmark Protocol?

Shalini Woo, Head of Communications at Benchmark Protocol

Benchmark Protocol is a DeFi (Decentralized Finance) protocol that connects traditional financial markets to DeFi markets, built on the Ethereum blockchain.  The MARK token is an ERC-20 Utility token and is the native asset in the Benchmark network.  This token functions as a rules-based, non-dilutive, supply-elastic collateral utility.  Dynamic supply adjustments are accomplished through implementing a supply rebalancing algorithm, which occurs daily at an arbitrary time within a 5-hour window after the CBOE VIX settles following the closure of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) trading day.

We are the First Cryptocurrency utilizing the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) and Special Drawing Rights (SDR)

David Mass, Inventor at Benchmark Protocol

We actually just started rebasing (which we call rebalancing) yesterday.

Meir Bank, CTO at Benchmark Protocol

Basically Benchmark is an improved elastic supply token. We use the VIX to improve our rebasing algorithm. We are pegged to the SDR, a basket of 5 top global currencies, instead of just the dollar. We did a fair launch (no ICO/IEO).

CryptoDiffer team

Q2: What exactly is the Volatility Index (VIX) and how does  it connect traditonal finance to cryptocurrency? Can you explain how the Protocol targets the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) to PEG the price of the MARK token?

Kurt Uhler, COO at Benchmark Protocol

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), is a gauge of the market’s future volatility. It is an indicator of the expected price fluctuations of the S&P 500 Index Option over the next 30 days. The index rises in tandem with the expected volatility of the market. It is also known as the Fear Index or the Fear Gauge and is used by investors and traders as a signal for the level of fear and anxiety within the market.  This is an important aspect of our rebase algorithm as it allows us to have a predictive element in our rebase rather than just being reactionary.

Shalini Woo, Head of Communications at Benchmark Protocol

The CBOE VIX futures contract is the most frequently traded, exchange-listed volatility futures contract in the world. 

The application of this benchmark in crypto can potentially add tremendous value to the DeFi space. The derivatives market, which is heavily relied upon by the VIX, is said to be valued at over $1 quadrillion dollars. VIX futures provide market participants with opportunities to trade their view of the future direction of the expected volatility of the S&P 500 Index

The native MARK token is pegged to the Special Drawing Rights (SDR), arguably the most stable currency in the world. Comprising of U.S. Dollar, Euro, Great British Pound, Chinese Yuan, and Japanese Yen.  

Supply elastic tokens are built to adjust for inflation; for instance,  Ampleforth targets the price of 1 US Dollar by adjusting for US inflation. However,  Benchmark Protocol’s target price, the SDR, is adjusted for global inflation through five major currencies via the SDR.  This makes Benchmark Protocol’s inflation adjustment more stable and global.

David Mass, Inventor at Benchmark Protocol

The VIX, also known as the volatility index essentially prices premium/discount rates on the derivatives markets in capital markets. It’s an influential input asset pricing.

Our protocol is essentially looking to de-couple away Bitcoin and from traditional crypto markets by leveraging VIX driven data

CryptoDiffer team

Q3: What is the current development phase of Benchmark protocol and what is in the pipeline over the next few weeks?

David Mass, Inventor at Benchmark Protocol

Well, we just released our protocol a little over a month ago. Last week we released The Press, which incentivizes MARK LPs via Uniswap (currently we have two pools MARK-USDC and MARK-ETH). Yields as of yesterday were approx 70-100% APY

We have recently been busy working with industry peers, as we have secured partnerships with Solana, REN, BZx and Elastos

We will continue building out our infrastructure while working towards engaging with best of breed blockchain projects

The true utility behind our token is two-fold: Collateralization and the MARK token acting as a Hedge. As mentioned earlier, as of yesterday our protocol has started to adjust supply. We are really happy about the product, as our algos are extremely predictive and adhere to our internal Benchmarking curve through our research

Some of our advisors include Michael Burgess – COO from REN, Tom Bean – Founder of bZx Network; Meltem Demirors – CSO of Coinshare; Ajit Tripathi, Previous director of Binance. We have an incredible network of support behind the Benchmark Protocol, and a lot in the pipeline development wise.

CryptoDiffer team

Awesome, a lot of updates to come out!

Thank you for great answers!

I think it is time to start community questions round!

Cryptodiffer Community

What killer features #BenchmarkProtocool has that are ahead of the competition and how does intend to open up the technology to the community and to researchers so it can be continuously improved on ?

Meir Bank, CTO at Benchmark Protocol

Our code is open on github. We welcome community contributions as well. In terms of killer features, mainly the VIX and the SDR, and also the fact we did not do an ICO is important for future regulatory reasons. Also we are a non anonymous team which distinguishes us from less serious ampleforth forks.

Cryptodiffer Community

So many projects just like to speak about the “long term vision and mission” but what are your short terms objectives? What are you focusing right now?

David Mass, Inventor at Benchmark Protocol

Right now, the focus is on core project quality and security. Our protocol was audited by CertiK, so we will continue to invest in security where necessary. The Press was forked from Sushiswap and has been battletested with billions of dollars flowing through.

Cryptodiffer Community

SOLANA NETWORK recently integrated with BENCHMARK PROTOCOL,  can you tell us the nature of this integration and it can benefits BENCHMARK PROTOCOL users   ?

Shalini Woo, Head of Communications at Benchmark Protocol

Benchmark Protocol announced its integration with Solana network. We believe cross-chain interoperability is vital in propelling the future of Defi. Building on Solana will allow Benchmark Protocol to excel in a cross-chain environment, ensuring that $MARK moves seamlessly between these blockchains. Being chain agnostic is a critical facet for $MARK, as one of the primary use cases of the MARK token will be applying collateralization amongst many of the prominent blockchain ecosystems.  

Once integration is completed (estimated by Q2 2021), Benchmark Protocol will be able to achieve interoperability in a cross-chain environment

Cryptodiffer Community

What is the special feature or Mark farming model?

Phil Georg, Senior Developer at Benchmark Protocol

Unclaimed MARK rewards are not affected by total supply adjustments (rebalancing), so that our LP providers are not negatively affected by a negative rebalance.

Cryptodiffer Community

1. What is Benchmark Protocol doing to reduce excessive amplitudes of price percentage changes?

2. In order to partake in farming Mark, how much capital do I need to raise to get started?

Meir Bank, CTO at Benchmark Protocol

Based on our simulations, the VIX has proven to reduce excessive amplitudes and leads to a generally more accurate rebase than protocols that dont use the VIX.  There is no minimum to farm MARK.  You just need some MARK and ETH/USDC and stake your LP tokens on “The Press” on our website.

No minimum to farm. The VIX helps us to predict volatility and take it into account, according to our economic models this can reduce the amplitude.

Cryptodiffer Community

I know community is the key to the success of projects, so besides organizing AMAs, what strategy does Benchmark Protocol have to reach out and exploit new investors?

Phil Georg, Senior Developer at Benchmark Protocol

We look to collaborate with the communities of our partners, leverage social media for community engagement and utilize respected publications to make sure our name is getting out there

Cryptodiffer Community

How does Benchmark Protocol intend to increase the value, utility and liquidity of $MARK token. thus producing a natural increase in price of the token?

David Mass, Inventor at Benchmark Protocol

We have been working hand in hand with Michael Burgess, one of our advisors, from Ren Protocol. We are working on stategy and adoption. We are looking at additional AMMs in addition to sushiswap and Uniswap. Additionally, we just onboarded Luna PR to assist with marketing. We hope to drive awareness through these initiatives.

Cryptodiffer Community

Being an elastic supply project, it seems CEXs require the approval of Benchmark Protocol to list $MARK. Don’t you think you would have problems getting listed on major CEXs in the future? Will you be only limited to DEX’s?

Why did you transit from Benchmark Launchpad to Press Liquidity Pool? You recently announced the second phase of your LP Reward Program. Will the incentives be attractive for LPs?

Kurt Uhler, COO at Benchmark Protocol

This is a great question.  We have already been listed by 2 CEX, without our knowledge or involvement (Bilaxy and Hotbit).  We would urge any traders to use caution on these exchanges as they likely were not aware of our rebases (which began yesterday).  For now, stick to Uniswap, and we hope to announce some CEX partnerships soon.  We will not only be limited to DEX.  the Launchpad was our fair launch program in lieu of IEO/ICO/Presale. 

We distributed MARK fairly to the community this way. This ended 12/24  and now we move to the long term liquidity mining phase offering APY currently in the 80+% range.

Cryptodiffer Community

What is the difference between MARK, and say a CDP coin platform like Maker Dao or Kava? Or are they similar?

Phil Georg, Senior Developer at Benchmark Protocol

MARK does not need any collateral. Price stability is ensured through inflation and deflation of total supply. This has the great benefit that there will always be enough supply of MARK tokens to meet market demand.

Cryptodiffer Community

What is the solid utility of mark?

David Mass, Inventor at Benchmark Protocol

The utility behind Mark the introduction of a true portfolio hedging device and collateralization. Take a look at this recent article published for some more background: https://www.benzinga.com/markets/cryptocurrency/20/12/18862864/a-first-in-defi-benchmark-protocol-launches-mark-token-an-elastic-collateral-hedging-devic

Cryptodiffer Community

Could you give some examples of how Benchmark works? Here I have some $MARK, what do I do with it on Benchmark and how will it generate value or new MARK-stable coins?

Shalini Woo, Head of Communications at Benchmark Protocol

There are various Disadvantages of Collateral-backed Stablecoins such as

⭐️No Legal Certainty of Future Government Intervention.

⭐️A possibility of governments issuing their own competing stablecoins such as China already has and the US likely will soon

⭐️Some stablecoins use an over-collateralized asset to back their value; these can be liquidated if the collateralized asset were to lose value — a fundamental risk that will always exist with these types of stablecoins.

$MARK is a supply elastic token that targets the VIX and SDR. We are the first cryptocurrency utilizing the volatility index (VIX), that is designed to withstand liquidation events by utilizing VIX data; this is implemented during periods of high volatility by removing or adding tokens to total supply.

Cryptodiffer Community

Marketing is the leading factor that helps the project thrive. So what is your strategy to attract customers and developers to #Benchmark in the long term?

Shalini Woo, Head of Communications at Benchmark Protocol

Great question. Fundamentally Libra could be a real game changer. I won’t speculate much on it, and I’ll stay on target, but I see MARK, if adoption is fully ramped up and deployed, as a major driver in the retail space. We haven’t spoke about this with the Benchmark community, but we’ve always bucketed this as part of our growth phase 2

Cryptodiffer Community

Who is your target customers- professional traders or the one’s that are just getting started? Who can benefit the most from the tools that you are offering?

David Mass, Inventor at Benchmark Protocol

We hope to first expand our outreach through traditional DeFi platforms. Long term, we see the protocol being used by retail and institutional customers.

Cryptodiffer Community

Being an elastic supply token, could you tell us how your Rebasing work? How many hours interval between each Rebase?

Kurt Uhler, COO at Benchmark Protocol

The rebase occurs within a 5 hour window after the close of the NYSE on trading days.  We have no rebases on weekends or holidays.  Our rebase is applied over next 10 days smoothly so the supply contraction or expansion is not done in a single rebase.  This helps avoid overshooting the peg.

Cryptodiffer Community

In theory if a liquidity crash like march happened MARK would generate liquidity* so the price would remain stable? Where do the tokens go to when added and removed, a pool? How is this governed?

David Mass, Inventor at Benchmark Protocol

The protocol intends on adding tokens to circulation if volatility increases, reducing the likelhood of liquidation events. We have a smart contract (built from Ampleforth) which dynamically adjusts supply on NYSE trading days (there are no supply adjusments on weekends or holidays).

Cryptodiffer Community

As regulators continue to devote more attention to the digital asset space – and in particular to Stablecoins, as per the recent release of STABLE – what is Benchmark’s take on evolving (proposed) Stablecoin regulation, in particular as it relates it supply-elastic assets?

Kurt Uhler, COO at Benchmark Protocol

We view our project as a stablecoin alternative.  We have many advantages over stablecoins.  Global inflation risk profile versus single currency risk profile.  Elastic supply.  Consider the following example:  A User provides altcoin collateral in exchange for issued or minted stablecoins.  BTC crashes and altcoins follow suit due to the high level of correlation.  As a result, the stablecoins issued become insolvent as the collateral backing it is now worth less than the stablecoins that were issued.  Traders continue to sell out of their altcoin and bitcoin positions into stablecoins, further exacerbating the situation. THE SOLUTION: MARK adjust the supply to meet this demand so there is never a liquidity crisis.  In summary, we reduce trader arbitrage opportunities through random supply adjustment times after daily settlement of CBOE VIX following closure of the NYSE.  We mitigate single currency risk by utilizing SDR peg vs. USD, while maintaining periodic inflation adjustments on the underlying SDR basket.  We provide accurate rebalance (supply adjustment) by applying the CBOE VIX.  We launched fairly to the Benchmark community in an effort to reduce centralization and future price manipulation by large traders and seed investors

Cryptodiffer Community

What are the great achievements that Benchmark Protocol has achieved so far? What difficulties and risks did you encounter during project implementation and what factors helped motivate you to overcome difficulties???

Meir Bank, CTO at Benchmark Protocol

I think we were all impressed with how much TVL we were able to lock in in such a short period of time.  Everything moves so quickly in the crypto space that it’s easy to lose focus.  Fortunately we have a talented and amicable team that has been able to gel through adversity.  With any startup things are very fluid and it really takes time for everyone to learn about each other’s core competencies.

Cryptodiffer Community

Can you share with us why DeFi Ecosystem needs interoperability and how will Benchmark bring interoperability. What advantages does your project have over other solution?

Shalini Woo, Head of Communications at Benchmark Protocol

Great question, various blockchains still exist in silos and are unable to communicate with each other, essentially leading to third party custodial services and taking away from the decentralized ethos of a Blockchain network. Therefore, it is vital to build these cross-chain bridges to solve the custodial and interoperability problems that are prevalent in the DeFi sector.

Cryptodiffer Community

Benchmark Protocol was recently integrated into the Solana network. This ecosystem integration, how does it further strengthen Benchmark Protocol’s chain interoperability capabilities and consequently enhance liquidity in the broader decentralized financial sector?

Shalini Woo, Head of Communications at Benchmark Protocol

Our integration with Solana Network facilitates an overall positive impact towards propelling the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector. The integration with Solana is estimated by Q2 2021, once integrated Benchmark Protocol will be able to achieve interoperability in a cross-chain environment.

Cryptodiffer Community

How do you plan to spread awareness about your project in different countries/regions where English is not spoken well? Do you have local communities for them to let them better understand about your project?

David Mass, Inventor at Benchmark Protocol

We recently onboarded Luna PR to assisting with spreading awareness. Our marketing campaign launced last Monday. As we develop and expand, we would like to support multiple languages.

Cryptodiffer Community

Privacy and security are key in making investments, well how does your guarantee the security and privacy of transactions?  And can we get high transaction privacy security?

Phil Georg, Senior Developer at Benchmark Protocol

As we are operating on the Ethereum Blockchain, we ensure a very high security of the base layer. When it comes to privacy, we are bound to the public system of Ethereum – we can only support pseudonymous transactions (for now).

Cryptodiffer Community

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected this project, it’s team and it’s roadmap;  especially with most countries going back into lockdown?

David Mass, Inventor at Benchmark Protocol

The great thing with technology is that everyone (especially in Blockchain) can work remote or from home. I would say that the pandemic in general has helped accelerate digitalization, helping to grow adoption in the crypto markets. TBD on an abassador program 🙂

Cryptodiffer TEAM

Thank you for your time! Great answers!

Thank you everyone who took part today!

David Mass, Inventor at Benchmark Protocol

Thank you everyone. This was great!

Kurt Uhler, COO at Benchmark Protocol

Thanks again!  We enjoyed all the great questions

Meir Bank, CTO at Benchmark Protocol

Thanks folks. If you have any residual questions feel free to ask in our telegram group.

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