• 15 June, 2024

Ethena Labs Launches USDe Stablecoin and “Shard Campaign”

Synthetic dollar protocol Ethena Labs has taken a step towards disrupting the stablecoin market with the launch of its USDe and a unique “Shard Campaign” designed to incentivize user participation. It took to social media platforms to announce the USDe stablecoin launch on the public mainnet:

Unlike traditional stablecoins pegged to fiat currencies, USDe adopts a “synthetic dollar” approach which is backed by staked ETH and short ETH hedges. This move signals Ethena’s push for a decentralized and crypto-native alternative in the $130 billion stablecoin landscape. 

The “Shard Campaign” aims to foster long-term community engagement by rewarding activities like providing liquidity and minting USDe. This approach stands apart from conventional incentive models and potentially builds a more dedicated user base. However, the campaign’s decay mechanism of reducing rewards over time emphasizes the need for early participation.

Shards represent the contribution to Ethena’s ecosystem. These can be redeemed for future rewards, potentially the project’s token (airdrop). Users can engage in various activities on the Ethena platform to earn Shards. 

The easiest avenue is Liquidity Provision, where users can deposit their funds into specific pools on Curve Finance and lock their LP tokens in Ethena’s app. This earns them the highest number of Shards with a 20x multiplier. Users can also earn Shards by holding Ethena’s stablecoin USDe or by staking the staked version of USDe (sUSDe) for a smaller multiplier. Additionally, users can earn Shards by referring friends to the platform and receiving 10% of their Shards as a reward.

Ethena prioritizes regulatory compliance, ensuring USDe and its staked version, sUSDe, operate within legal frameworks. They’ve also secured $14 million in funding from prominent investors like Dragonfly, Bybit, and Gemini to bolster their development efforts.

While USDe offers a distinct approach to stablecoins and potentially high profitability, its design introduces complexities. Unlike traditional models backed by fiat reserves, USDe relies on counterparties like liquid staking protocols and derivatives exchanges, introducing potential risks.

Investors and users interested in this development should thoroughly evaluate the “Shard Campaign’s” details and understand the inherent risks associated with USDe’s design and reliance on external parties. The long-term success of Ethena’s approach remains to be seen, but its launch undoubtedly intrigues the ever-evolving stablecoin market.

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