As 2021 is coming to an end, there’s no better time to provide a perspective on what has been done, what we’re doing, and where we’re aiming at.
But first things first. We commend the Romans community for growing with us, sharing the enthusiasm to see through the big revolution coming to upend the asset management industry, and for the invaluable feedback that went to improve the product.
This is going to be a long update and hope that at the end of this you’ll feel as excited as we are.
Crypto has fundamentally changed the way people think about project updates, partnerships, or marketing. We understand that. The digital assets market is the most volatile, and volatility breeds shortermers. This is pretty basic. Therefore, if short-term vision reigns over everything else, it’s easy to fall into the trap of giving up certain features versus others. Today the security of a project is effectively a feature, very much like privacy. Though some would argue against that, that’s fair.
Formerly DEXTF V1
We’ve launched the DEXTF version 1 on the Ethereum blockchain in 2020. We were met with a lot of excitement as we launched because as a new entrant, our solution to decentralize asset management involved (still does) an oracle-free protocol where people could mobilize their assets and provide price feeds through their actions based on appropriate incentives.
For those that read this for the first time, there were many firsts achieved since launch, such as the possibility of launching a fund of funds, structured tokens, and green Bitcoin through our partnership with Moss.
However, we don’t want to over glorify the past. We laid a solid foundation to achieve scalability tomorrow.
Rebranding to DOMANI Protocol
The rebranding was driven by a desire to establish a middle ground between long-term thinking and short-term aspirations in crypto. So enter DOMANI Protocol, our new brand, which in our view condenses the potential of digital assets, unlocking a not that distant future value (DOMANI = tomorrow in Italian). DOMANI brings long and short-term views to the same table by tokenizing investment thesis and trading collateralized ideas.
DOMANI Multi-chain Strategy
In crypto, you’ll find the closest manifestation of capital efficiency where volatility is amplified as it nudges its way to a not-so-easy equilibrium. Digital assets are continuously being deployed in gradually more efficient chains. Most of them are EVM compatible, which means that if it works on the Ethereum blockchain then it’s easy to port it over to an EVM-compatible chain.
DOMANI Protocol is committed to bringing the asset management infrastructure across all the most efficient and popular chains. We’re building on Algorand, Solana, as well as Avalanche where we went live on Dec 1st. Through our partnership with KNOBS, an Italian software development house, we’ve been able to pencil out a solid plan for a multi-chain existence in 2022. Yes, and that includes L2 deployments.
All this will be tough without the community’s help. Distributing rewards fairly across all these chains will require careful analysis and a thorough understanding of what multi-chain might mean going forward for the user base and AUM.
Asset management can be exciting and fun as much as trading or degening in individual tokens. In fact, apeing into tokenized funds will probably rise to popularity sometime in 2022. Before that, trading competitions have turned out to work in attracting non-negligible traction. This is coming sooner than you might think, so buckle up.
Details to be released soon.
Institutional Investors Will Soon Be Able To Buy DEXTF Funds Through Traditional Fund
On the institutional side, DOMANI in partnership with a Singapore-based investment management firm licensed under the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), agreed to launch a traditional fund that will deploy funds on DOMANI fund tokens launched through the dApp. What this means is that traditional investors will be able to easily invest in DeFi (check out our supported tokens here) by allocating capital to the fund. The team at DOMANI is working to determine the structure of the fund, the term sheet, and fund eligibility criteria.
This is the first of such partnerships as the ultimate goal for DOMANI is to help bridge the divide between institutional money and the attractive opportunities in DeFi. We believe that retail can drive adoption, however, the space needs the stable liquidity and affirmation that institutional capital brings. Although in 2021 the whole crypto market cap went from ~US$750M to touch US$3T, we’re still very early compared to the total value invested in other asset classes.
Officially Opening for Bridge Round
After raising a US$460,000 seed round in September 2019, which enabled the team to hire developers to develop DEXTF v1 launched in September 2020, DOMANI (formerly DEXTF) also received 2 grants (in 2019 and in 2020) from the Monetary Authority of Singapore to develop 2 proof of concepts.
In July 2021, we deployed DEXTF v2, which enables your tokenized portfolios to be rebalanced, in other words, change their composition based on portfolio managers’ assumptions.
In November 2021, DOMANI added the management fees module, which enables tokenized portfolio managers to charge up to 3% in fees.
We’re currently developing other modules to be added and planning to deploy the dApp on other L1 chains to reach new users.
We think that with what we’ve accomplished so far, the conditions are mature to raise a bridge funding round for DOMANI, with a strong focus on finding a hands-on partner that can provide insights and support in widening our outreach in the DeFi community.
We’re glad to announce that we’ve already received a soft commitment from existing and new investors to invest at least +US$1M with us.
We’re more than happy to jump in a call to discuss more with anyone interested in investing in DOMANI.
Ok enough talk about the present. Why should you be excited about the future?
When the team first sat down in 2017 on a hot yet windy day in Singapore to discuss how traditional asset management is broken, we didn’t think it was as easy as building something out from scratch and competing to crush the century-old business through a dApp on web 3.0.
Our goal is to serve two purposes:
- Of course to streamline what investment management is like and disintermediate fund management in the context of digital asset management. The very ultimate goal is to also be able to deal with digital assets in a broader sense, that is, when tokenization is so common that traditional stocks, bonds, or REITs are tradeable on the blockchain in the same way you can trade $DEXTF token and bridge it from Ethereum to Avalanche.
- To be a reliable bridge for institutional money to first experience DeFi. Our team is shy of having a century-long experience in knowing the inner workings of how traditional systems work pre-Web 3.0.
More Chains, L2s
Apart from L1 chains, feasibility studies are ongoing to deploy the dApp on L2s such as Arbitrum, Optimism, and zkSync. Fun fact: one of our advisors works in zkSync.
More tools for fund managers
So after developing the plumbing of an asset management infrastructure with v1 and v2, working on modules, that enhance the user experience, will be the priority. DOMANI is modular, and what that means is that any new features will be pushed out as a module that you can simply on/off with a toggle. Launching a fund today will not prevent you from having that cool feature of changing the fund managers’ profile picture, wait did we reveal too much?
Anyways, asset management is all about building a cool infrastructure (which DOMANI has) and a series of cool plugins (under development) to analyze and improve performance, as well as advertise your portfolio.
You can expect DOMANI to integrate decentralized social media to make flexing your portfolios more natural or allow your investment rationale shareable among your peers. Yes, Twitter is great, but imagine buying/selling portfolios based on public posts.
Analytics is next. Portfolios are currently not categorized by risk based on predefined rule-based on analytics. But this is a very big field that we’re exploring and already developing because automating rebalancing based on quantitative data is how funds in traditional finance outperformed non-quant-based funds
More tools for the fund managers to a) customize (upload personal logo, factsheet, and bio) and advertise their funds (ad-hoc link to put into their web pages and social media that can track the hits and system sends weekly recaps) and b) more tools to analyze (performance and analytics tools)
More Development on Structured Tokens
Many projects have emerged recently to address the huge untapped demand for structured products in DeFi. DOMANI (formerly DEXTF) was the first to launch structured tokens primitive on Ethereum back in September 2020. We observed a lot of interest back then which convinced us to invest more development effort in improving the user experience for them. This is genuinely going to be powerful for DOMANI.
We’ve announced this in October 2021. DOMANI (formerly DEXTF) is DAOfying. It will be a gradual process that starts from a complete merger between the team’s thought process and the community’s verve.
We stand by our announcement to make DOMANI a truly community-led protocol by 2022.
If you missed it, do read a high-level article regarding this here.
The metaverse today is popularized by Meta, and the belief that we’re all going to dematerialize into avatars within a more realistic virtual reality within the next 5 years seems to be achievable. But what makes you think that also language won’t be abstracted away to give way to floating pie charts that can be shuffled around “in the air” as you have your morning run?
Asset management is probably the most gamifiable industry there is.
DOMANI is currently researching how we can actively participate in the Metaverse by adding gamification and valuable user experience to fit into this long-term meta-digitalization narrative.
POC with tier-1 bank ongoing
Rest assured that our Proof of Concept work with the tier-1 bank is ongoing, and when the times are mature, which means when the bank is ready to announce the partnership we will make sure to make it a big deal. You must know that at DOMANI, we work with a long-term horizon in our mind for every decision, where short term vision is ignored at worst, but we do care about the community’s feelings about this which is why we wanted to reassure you that one day this will make the news. Patience is key!
Play-to-earn has been the most inventive strategy to guide users and newcomers alike through the frictions of onboarding more generally to any kind of service.
In emerging markets, this model is supporting countless people to overcome the hardships following the pandemic lockdowns and economic repercussions. Enter play-to-earn, which in our view, can seriously change how mastodonic industries such as asset management operate.
Seemingly, asset management requires the user to hand over assets with the hope that these will collectively appreciate and cancel each other’s losses (diversification) to turn out a positive return (hopefully). What if the play-to-earn model can initiate a tectonic shift that fundamentally changes the volatile behavior that investors are having today?
The demand for tokenized portfolios, if taken to the extreme (read become very popular), could affect the price of the underlying assets positively, offering correlation attributes to the most included tokens.
An idea would be such that tokenized portfolios are collateralized NFTs that become increasingly rarer as holding duration increases or holding amount increases. These NFTs can be used as avatars which will have intrinsic value based on the tokenized portfolio and to which you can bond $DEXTF to participate in tournaments where these avatars battle for more collateral. These avatars may evolve and of course, can be traded with collectors/investors.
Asset management is yearning for more gamified experiences, and the DOMANI team can’t wait to be at the forefront of these developments.
dApp (currently only available for Desktop)