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Ampleforth

Ampleforth (AMPL) (launched June 2019) is a DeFi (Decentralized Finance) protocol that is built on the Ethereum blockchain.   The platform uses a rebasing system that, on a daily basis, changes the circulating supply both positively and negatively[1][3].

With this feature, the firm claims to be 'An alternative to central bank money that is adaptable to shocks.'  Their local token, AMPL, is intended to be utilized as security for decentralized financial frameworks, and as an elective base money for the cryptocurrency space[8][7].

Background

Ampleforth was co-founded by Evan Kuo, a University of California, Berkeley graduate, and the former CEO of Pythagoras Pizza.  He founded Ampleforth in early 2017 with Brandon Illes, a former senior software engineer at Uber.   The idea of the company came about when there was a feeling for a redesign within the cryptocurrency space, specifically in the money and banking part. Thus, they modeled their cryptocurrency after Ducat, a theoretical currency proposed by economist and philosopher Fredrich Hayek.

Ampleforth has raised money from Brian Armstrong, True Ventures, Pantera Capital, Founder Collective, Slow Ventures, FBG Capital, Huobi Capital, Spartan Capital, Nima Capital, and Skunk Capital[9][10].

Technology

Ampleforth is built on the ERC20 interface, which allows for any digital wallet that is native to the chain to to be used to hold the company's token, AMPL. With their smart contract design, the platform is able to automatically shift the supply 'without any need for a transfer between peers, and without the need for a bank.' On the overall size of the coin, and based on price, their protocol automatically changes the supply across all user wallets that possess an AMPL token. This is known as their rebase operation, which universally occurs daily, making the token non-dilutive[17][18].

In addition to their automatic adjustments for the prevention of inflation, Ampleform produces a distinct movement pattern, meaning the token's volatility is controlled. The platform also has minimal governance, and is non-custodial, meaning 'ownership is accounted for natively on the blockchain.'

Ampleforth isn't a stablecoin on the grounds that it doesn't dispose of unpredictability — instead, it focuses on decreasing instability. The company portrays itself as "versatile money based on sound financial aspects," expecting to join the shortage of Bitcoin with the flexibility of fiat[18][19].

Geyser

In July 2020, AMPL launched its first smart faucet, Geyser, to incentivize on-chain liquidity through Uniswap.

Geyser users can stake their tokens through Ampleforth’s web interface and their Ethereum wallet. Staking is coordinated through Uniswap, a DeFi service that allows users to retain control of their crypto. Ampleforth CTO Brandon Iles said that Uniswap was chosen because it has the ability to “fully support [Ampleforth’s] unique elastic supply mechanism.”

Blockchain auditing company Certik approved Geyser and given it a 98% passing score. Nexus Mutual, meanwhile, is sponsoring insurance coverage for the project’s users.

Since the launch, ETH-AMPL became the top pair on Uniswap by 24hr liquidity and volume. At its all-time-high, AMPL surpassed $700M in a fully diluted market cap, and its Geyser remains one of the highest yielding incentive programs in the market.

Smart Pool

On September 15, 2020, Ampleforth and Balancer launched a rebasing Smart Pool that rebalances pool weights to reduce the risk of impermanent loss for traders. As the supply of AMPL expands or contracts every 24 hours, the USDC-AMPL Balancer Smart Pool will automatically adjust pool ratios to remove all impermanent loss associated with AMPL’s supply pesky rebases. Additional benefits of the pool include non-collateralized loans, a non-fixed supply, price targets, and automatic supply rebasing. Brandon Iles, a co-founder at Ampleforth, said:

“The rebalancing smart pool, jointly developed by Ampleforth and Balancer is a first step towards Elastic Finance. Most floating price assets on AMM platforms cause LPs to suffer impermanent loss when paired with stablecoins. If there is long term supply growth, that impermanent loss may never be recovered.”

Growth & Skepticism

Since Ampleforth's debut in June 2019, the token's price grew steadily.  However, in the month of July, the token surged over 5,000%, reaching highs of around $4.00 per share and a short-lived market capitalization of over $400 million. Qiao Wang, an active cryptocurrency trader, weighed in on the growth, stating[12],

Not sure what to make of AMPL. Think December 31st 2020 it will either surpass Bitcoin by marketcap or go to zero. Either way it will be remembered as one of the craziest experiments in DeFi aka Degen Finance[14].

In addition to Wang's skepticism in the token's growth, Sam Kazemian, Co-Founder and President of Everipedia, expressed his distaste in the platform, claiming it 'is the biggest facepalm in crypto history, more so than even Bitconnect.'  Challenging some of Ampleforth's goals and solutions, Kazemian states in a Twitter thread,

It merely trades a fixed wallet balance with fluctuating coin price for a fixed coin price with fluctuating wallet balance. The net effect is that purchasing power of [an AMPL] wallet is just as volatile as a Bitcoin wallet balance.” (AMPL inserts my own)

Team

Ampleforth was founded by Evan Kuo and Brandon Iles.  The engineering team includes both founders as well as Ahmed Naguib Aly, and Nithin Krishna. Jessica Yen handles branding, Richy Qiao manages the business side, and Simon Manka focuses on the overall company's growth. Their board includes Joey Krug, Sam Lessin, Niall Ferguson, Noah Jessop, Paul Veradittakit, and Manuel Rincon Cruz.

Advisory Board

  • Joey Krug
  • Samuel Lessin
  • Niall Ferguson
  • Noah Jessop
  • Paul Veradittakit
  • Manuel Rincon Cruz

Investors

  • True Ventures
  • Pantera Capital
  • Founder Collective
  • Slow Ventures
  • Brian Armstrong
  • FBG Capital
  • Huobi Capital
  • Spartan Group
  • Nima Capital
  • Skunk Capital
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Ampleforth

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October 4, 2022

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