[Discussion] Balancer Bribes for MTA Pools

Hey friends, Solarcurve here from BalancerDAO. Great to see you plan to participate in veBAL! I wanted to bring up the possibility of bribing to see if you all had considered that or not.

With ~$900k of BAL emissions up for grabs weekly on Ethereum and ~$272k on Polygon (at $11 BAL), I think something in the range of a $10-50k per week bribe could deliver a very nice ROI to first movers in veBAL. There is also the possibility to create a stable pool with mUSD and even a boosted stable pool if those are interesting incentive targets on your side.

Beyond the positive financial incentive, I know we’re keen to create some buzz around our early bribing projects. Might get some nice marketing exposure out of it too :slight_smile:


Morning @solarcure
I think this idea is quite appealing sir. Thanks a lot for this early opportunity
I have a few questions:

  • On a high level. veBAL allows us to redirect liquidity to our common pools. The bribe mentioned here will be on top of this to get extra liquidity?
  • In which assets protocols will be able to bribe?
  • So far, how is the BAL war going with the incoming bribe launch?

Thanks a lot :slight_smile:

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Yes, the bribe would get your pool additional votes from other veBAL lockers. Predicting the ROI in terms of $ spent on bribes for $ earned in BAL emissions is difficult until the system launches. I expect quite a juicy return in the beginning though :slight_smile:

Any erc-20 can be used for a bribe. There will be bribe platforms setup where you simply deposit your bribe and people who vote for you claim the rewards after the vote finishes.

So far we have several interested parties including some who are already bribing in the Curve Wars and some projects who have never bribed before. I won’t spoil the surprises but all will be revealed in a couple weeks!

Hi guys and thanks for bringing this up @solarcure, super exciting stuff, and happy that you reached out to us as one of the first to take advantage of this! :sunglasses:

I hope you don’t mind that I took the liberty to create a new topic for this bribing specifically, as the RFC was already approved, and this seems interesting enough to kick off a full-fledged discussion!

Personally, I think this could be super powerful, especially in the beginning as the world wakes up to this new opportunity. Do you have any big brain numbers ready for us to highlight what could potentially be in it? Even just super basic napkin math would be good I feel!

Also, if there was an extra incentive that our MTA bribes would be staked by Balancer to boost more MTA into the BAL pools, we definitely have an easier time, even if just for a certain amount of time (acutely aware of the MTA price atm, so anything to re-assure the stakeholders would be a big plus!)

Or is this gonna be a dApp that you built that sits next to the veBAL, like Votium? :thinking:

Looking forward to hearing more, and we can also discuss in-depth in a call and debrief here in the forum after! :smiling_face:


Creating a new topic is great, much appreciated. The only numbers we have are how much BAL is going to each network (81,200 BAL/wk to ETH, 24,650 BAL/wk to Polygon, 10,150 BAL/wk to Arbitrum). One would expect rational voters to take any bribes offered and early on there will likely only be a small number of projects bribing. After those early bribers see a huge return that will attract others to join the party - that’s how I’ve seen it play out elsewhere.

One extra incentive we can offer is to guarantee the current BAL emissions continue to both MTA pools (950 BAL/wk total I believe) for 1-2 months. This would come out of the 14,500 BAL/wk allocated to the Liquidity Mining Committee as an incentive for protocols who commit to bribing. Anything you earn from bribing would be in addition to that 950 BAL/wk.

There will be bribing marketplaces built by third parties which will be similar to Votium. Not sure they will be there at launch but certainly in April at least one will come online.

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Very keen to use our BAL balance for this purpose! Let’s kick off the Balancer wars :ninja:

Could this be implemented via an additional Dial? Similarly to the votium dial?

I am more in favour of longterm thinking, meaning using our BAL to vote for our pools in perpetuity. Bribing is something that is very short-term oriented, but can have some good effects if it’s early and hasn’t reached efficiency in the market yet.

Totally agree that we should be voting with BAL on our balance sheet as its more sustainable than bribing (and great to use the BAL from the token swap in this way)

Completely agree long term your own veBAL stack is the best way to go. I only suggest bribing because early on it will be very lucrative (high ROI) until we reach full saturation in the bribe market.

Yeah, agree, if the high ROI is there, we should take advantage of it.

The only problem is that governance requires some time to process. We also would need to find the best way to go about the bribes (where does the MTA come from etc.).

By the time we resolved the how and governance is passed, the opportunity might vanish.

@mZeroNine is there a way to source quickly MTA?

Would it be better in the long term to make a dial that, instead of the amount going to bribes, going to simply market-buying BAL? We could moderate the dial with a cap like the staking rewards, in order to control sell pressure, or even shut the dial off once a certain amount of BAL was acquired. Personally, I would much rather acquire the token for the treasury and put it to work voting for our pool.

Alternatively, could we put up an Olympus Pro bond for BAL? Not sure if OP requires a protocol token to be the bond token in the exchange or not.

Just throwing out some thoughts.

Would it market buy by selling MTA for BAL?

I don’t think there is any “free-floating” MTA so to speak. Maybe another reason to create pre-approved MTA for this sort of thing.

The only pre-approved MTA are the 2M for “market-making”, but I think we’d be stretching our governance authority quite a bit too far if we accessed these :sweat_smile:

Regarding the dial idea brought by yourself and @trustindistrust, I think this makes a lot of sense, but instead of market-buying BAL with MTA, we could send the MTA into the 80/20 pool to get more BPT to get more veBAL to get more BAL :sunglasses:

Can we single-sided stake in that pool? If so, I’m pretty sure what’s technically happening is the pool arbs (sells) the MTA to get the BAL token, right? So all we’ve done is deepened the liquidity, we haven’t avoided the sale of MTA, just the ‘optics.’ That’s not bad or something, but I dunno…when you factor in the rate of pool rewards vs a buy of BAL directly, I don’t feel like additional staking wins out. Especially if the bribing heats up

I’m not familiar with the dial design, but can a dial have an expiry built-in? Governance votes it in for however many months, and at the end of that time it freezes? Although, if BAL wars run like CRV does, there may not be an advantage to sunsetting it. I dunno, this is all tokenomics theorizing, which I’m not all that great at.

As an aside, (and forgive any perceived heresy) but is it always best to vote for MTA in a BAL bribe setup? I participate in Votium, and it’s been an opportunity to acquire lots of different tokens and diversify my holdings. It seems to me that the chance is the same for the treasury, to get more different tokens.

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Hey there trust!

Yes, indeed you can stake single-sidedly and then the pool aligns the deposit to the pool, but important to note here is that it’s a 80/20 pool, so most of the deposit remains in native MTA, with a 20% change into ETH, so definitely not the worst outcome.

Do you think selling 100% MTA for BAL is better in this case? If so, what makes you think that way? :thinking:

Great last point, and definitely something we’d be exploring with TDP 38 in particular. I think it’s imperative to be on the spot when it comes to the release of the upcoming platforms, and redirect rewards to the best possible yield outcome there initially, with a move towards more native pools over time, but don’t want to drive this discussion too far off-topic :grin:

Hey, guys,

I’ve just created the account to say this, but I think it’s really important. Go take a look at balancer website how much the APY is for our MTA/ETH pool. At the moment of writing, this pool is getting 500% APY in BAL rewards, that’s 10m$ in BAL tokens for 2m$ pool.
It achieved this rate by getting 0.88% of the veBAL votes. My personal votes contribute to 0.35% of all votes and I am glad to see it made an effect

My point now, since these veBAL votes give out so much value, I propose to use the MTA that would go to MTA BPT stakers to go to bribing veBAL holders to delegate votes to us. Imagine if we could reach 2-5% of votes, this would really boost the MTA price and our token’s value.

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We should be really using our BPT that is in our staking contract to stake in the platform first. This way we can actually benefit from it.

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