The proponents of Ethereum are generally excited because the smart contract platform opens up possibilities for all sorts of new kinds of commerce and financial participation.
The PoolTogether dApp project is one such Ethereum-based possibility that highlights how cool and innovative even a young decentralized finance app can be. Why’s that, you ask?
Namely because the dApp is a lottery project where users can save their money by purchasing “tickets” rather than spending such funds, all the while giving these participants the chance to remain exposed to the upside of winning any given weeks’ pool of Dai stablecoin earnings.
Notably, the dApp just reached its first 1,500 users and is on track to hit $1,000 USD worth of Dai stablecoin tokens in weekly prizes in short order. The DeFi ecosystem has lots still to prove, but such dApp growth is impressive no matter how you frame the early cryptoeconomy.
An Early DeFi Hit
At the time of this article’s writing, PoolTogether only needed approximately $250,000 USD for its weekly prize to hit around the 1,000 Dai mark.
In weeks’ past, the prize pool has recently hovered the range of 300 Dai, so the rise toward a 1,000 prize shows there is real growth at work.
Just crossed the 1,500 unique player milestone! 👯♂️
— PoolTogether (@PoolTogether_) January 22, 2020
Indeed, the dApp’s prize pool has currently grown by around 500 percent since the start of the year.
That’s a great run for PoolTogether, just as it would be great for any crypto project. And just like the rest of the cryptoeconomy, this “no-loss” lottery has plenty of runway yet for further adoption.
A question any early DeFi user should ask of the platforms they’re using is, how secure is this? There’s always money at stake, after all.
With that said, a reputable security audit goes a long way toward showing that a DeFi project is legit and worth further attention. PoolTogether has now reached into that deserving echelon, as the project’s secured a favorable security audit from the reputable OpenZeppelin team.
— OpenZeppelin (@OpenZeppelin) January 22, 2020
Altogether , the auditors concluded:
“Overall, we are happy with the security posture of the team and the health of the codebase. We are pleased to see the use of small, encapsulated functions and contracts that are mostly well documented. We have some reservations about the privileged roles but we are glad to find that the team has considered the implications of their threat model with an intention to upgrade the design where appropriate.”
A New Kind of DApp
PoolTogether is interesting, but it’s only a taste of what’s to come in the Ethereum ecosystem.
For instance, consider the rTrees project. It’s a “virtuous donations dApp” that takes the interest gained from its pooled Dai to plant trees through the Trees for the Future organization rather than to routinely dispense weekly prize pools, as PoolTogether does.
As the rTrees project’s Victor Rortvedt has previously explained:
“DAI holders that use rTrees will see no decrease in their financial position, while Trees for the Future will receive real financial contributions that help them accomplish their mission. The experience can feel a bit like conjuring magic money but we assure you it is very real.”
As one can imagine then, planting trees is just one charitable cause that is possible through such an interest-gaining mechanism. It’s easy to envision all kinds of charitable organizations that could be similarly funded, i.e. through pooled Dai “no-loss” donations that users could withdraw whenever they want. Look for more projects to take similar paths in the years ahead.