Perps built on top of Moonwell


Hi Moonwell community! I’m Kamel, co-founder of Contango, a protocol that builds perps by automating a looping strategy on money markets, through flash loans.

I’m excited to announce that we have integrated Moonwell as another liquidity source for our cPerps (Contango perps) on Base.

cPerps are live at :dancer:

Our vision is simple: derivatives don’t need their own liquidity; they can tap into the liquidity of existing spot and money markets, like Moonwell. This solves the fragmentation problem that undermines DeFi, and showcases the composability of the defi ecosystem.

How it works

cPerps are built by automating a looping strategy via flash loans.

When a trader opens a long ETH/DAI position with DAI as margin, the protocol gets the remaining DAI from a flash loan, swaps all DAI for ETH on the spot market, then lends ETH on a money market, to borrow DAI against it and repay the flash loan.

In DeFi, looping is still viewed as a way to profit from the net APR (the difference between borrowing and lending rates), but our view is that this is simply the funding rate a trader pays or receives to keep his leveraged position open. On Contango, what drives the PnL of a trader’s position is the spot price of the underlying asset.

The interface helps traders pick the best APR:

According to our vision, money markets like Moonwell are the place to build derivatives on, as they provide three key benefits for traders looking to lever up:

  1. Traders are not exposed to the potential insolvency as in protocols where their PnL is offset by liquidity providers.
  2. The combined liquidity of spot and lending markets ($20B+) grants traders a minimal price impact.
  3. Funding rates have extremely low volatility (see this early study and the chart below).

Looping (either manual or automated via existing apps) takes advantage of these three points, but is not widely understood by the majority of DeFi users out there.

Contango has a trading interface that abstracts away the fact that it uses spot and money markets under the hood. Through Contango, a money market like Moonwell has an incredible opportunity to become the new base layer for perp trading and bring together two sets of users, loopers and traders:

  • Loopers already make up most of the volumes across different money markets, e.g. Morpho claims 64% of their volumes come from leveragers/loopers. They are already familiarized with the concept of leveraging money markets, but need better trading tools to monitor their positions with TP/SL, liquidation price, charts.
  • Perp traders already settles around 1B+ of trading volume daily across DeFi, and are a very enticing segment as they can drive up volumes on Moonwell by a bigger order of magnitude than simple lending and borrowing, as leverage is employed.

Our ambition doesn’t end here.

The early research mentioned above clearly indicates that the design behind Contango makes it the perfect trading venue to compete with CeFi. At the moment, no other perp protocol can claim to be better than CeFi in terms of funding and liquidity.

We aim at onboarding traders from Cefi and compete with major CEXs too.

The team

We are a small team with +10 years experience in building trading infrastructure. We have deep expertise in building order books and smart route engines in TradFi and CeFi.

We raised $4.5M in 2021 and are backed by VCs like Coinbase, ParaFi, Spartan, GSR, CMS, Cumberland, Amber.

What’s the way forward?

As a recap, these are the 3 main advantages of cPerps built on Moonwell:

  • More volumes on Moonwell through leveraged trading.
  • In-chain and cross-chain rate alignment as arb opportunities can be traded in a more efficient way.
  • A new type of users from perp trading.

Our suggestions to move forward:

  • Push together this new paradigm to create perps built on money market which will bring clear advantages to users compared to CeFi
  • Find solutions to have higher LTVs, and hence higher leverage on Contango, to be more competitive with other perp platforms.

What is the view of the community on this?

We strongly encourage discussion around the topic of derivatives built on money markets, so feel free to leave your ideas and suggestions below.