WTF is Benchmark Protocol (MARK)?
Benchmark Protocol is a Supply Elastic Collateral and Hedging Device, driven by the Volatility Index (VXX) acquired from Chainlink Oracles. The protocol operates as a rules-based utility that dynamically adjusts supply based on the CBOE volatility index (VXX) and deviations from the target metric — equal to 1 Special Drawing Rights (SDR) unit (approximately $1.429). SDRs are the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) ``global currency.” - the supplementary foreign exchange reserve assets defined and maintained by the IMF. SDRs are units of account for the IMF, and not a currency per se. They represent a claim to currency held by IMF member countries for which they may be exchanged.
By employing the SDR, Benchmark is creating a larger use case for the SDR, rather than exposure to just one currency (such as the USD or the YEN). Applying the Benchmark Protocol to the VXX and SDR creates an enormous user base while delineating exposure to markets around the world.
Benchmark Protocol is taking this approach to the DeFi space because it is becoming clear that DeFi needs a collateral utility that retains its efficacy and increases inherent, baseline liquidity during periods of high volatility.
For the more technically, macro-economically minded, Benchmark can be described as an elastic stable coin alternative (Similar to Ampleforth) bridging capital markets to DeFi. The protocol is an uncorrelated, liquid, VXX-denominated collateral utility that is a rules-based, supply-elastic collateral utility. This enables it to adjust supply based on volatility indexes (VXX) and deviations from the target metric - equal to 1 Special Drawing Rights (SDR) unit.
Benchmark is built on the Ethereum blockchain, and the native token, MARK, powers the Benchmark network and will be used as collateral for the Upcoming Benchmark Protocol P2P Marketplace
Why is MARK exciting?
In a word, lots! But lets begin with some of the basics…
First, MARK is an uncorrelated asset. Collateral needs LiquidityThe Benchmark token (MARK) is a supply-elastic, collateral utility designed to inject liquidity during periods of high volatility in correlation with global equities markets.Liquidity needs CollateralWhen the MARK token reaches the yield phase, the network is capitalized and utilized to assume quasi-steady state conditions. The implied value of the MARK token is its yield-bearing value arising from its collateral utility.
So, MARK is like a better built stable coin, because it has a global currency risk profile versus single currency risk profile, which is a shield against USD inflation. MARKs token design creates an elastic supply and collateralization risk to the traditional stable coin tokens.
Next, MARK is non-dilutive. This means MARK token holders always maintain their equity stake, or share of the Network, in the Benchmark Protocol no matter what conditions strike the markets.
Furthermore, MARK has a major global impact. The MARK Token augments supply based on the Special Drawing Rights (SDR). The SDR is a composite international reserve asset, composed of the U.S. Dollar, Euro, Great British Pound, Chinese Yuan, and Japanese Yen.
Additionally, MARK has been battle-tested, audited and is amazingly secure. To ensure they are living up to their ethos, MARK incentivizes researchers with bug bounties to audit their software on an ongoing basis. The smart contracts and software that MARK runs on is routinely tested with the help of the developer community. But don’t take our word for it….CertiK has audited their platform, so go ahead and wonk out on their audit!
Finally, MARK’s team is robust, experienced and brings a wealth of diverse skills to the table.
MARK’s Token & Governance Model
There are a few ways token holders engage in the Benchmark Platform, as liquidity providers, as governors (making and voting on proposals/upgrades) and staking. But before we go too deep in that direction, let’s talk about the hard facts:
As of this writing, MARK has a market cap of $34,792,949, a circulating supply of 25,195,515 MARKs, with a maximum supply of 34,168,895. This means around 9M MARKs are currently locked, so when they become unlocked, MARKs fully diluted valuation will be closer to $47,184,454.
In an effort to realign incentives and discourage individuals from arbitrage, the Benchmark Protocol team has determined to handle distributions in a nonlinear manner.
While providing liquidity during periods of increasing market demand exhibits a more favorable risk profile for liquidity providers, the same is not true during periods of decreasing market demand. As such, during periods of decreasing market demand for MARK tokens, liquidity providers are compensated at an accelerated rate.
We have changed the faucet to increase rewards non-linearly during times of negative rebalances (*subject to change). Conversely, when there are positive rebalances, MARK token holders providing liquidity will receive a lower percentage of MARK tokens.
An additional feature of the liquidity pools in The Press is that unclaimed Press Rewards are not subject to rebases. As long as rewards stay in The Press contract, their amount won’t be adjusted by the rebase function. The user has to decide when they want to withdraw their MARK rewards to make them affected by rebasements. This system is intended to assist the rebase function of MARK and further increase price stability.
Finally, when you stake your UNI-V2 LP Tokens through our farming interface, you earn a percentage of MARK tokens (variable interest) by participating via our available Liquidity Pools.
The Standard (xMARK) token is used to represent MARK on alternative blockchains that do not support a rebase mechanism. xMARK is also (currently) used to help Benchmark Protocol forge a path to decentralized On-Chain Governance. The first step towards this is utilizing Snapshot.page for token weighted voting.
The Standard token (xMARK) represents a share of MARK that is deposited in a token pool that is affected by rebasements, while xMARK itself is unaffected by rebasements. This allows Benchmark Protocol to expose MARK to conventional platforms that are not compatible with elastic-supply currencies.
Benefits of the a Single Staking Platform for users:
- Another option to earn MARK
- No Impermanent Loss
- Governance — Initiating Proposals and Voting Capabilities via Snapshot
- Dual Token System allows for integration into conventional non-rebase supported ecosystems
- Governance Rollout
Until recently, MARK token rewards were reserved for Uniswap Liquidity Providers in the MARK/ETH and MARK/USDC pools. Within The Press, MARK token holders are now able to stake their tokens in exchange for xMARK tokens.
- xMARK tokens will be issued in a similar fashion to how LP tokens are issued and represent a share in the overall staking pool.
- Users will be able to swap back xMARK for their staked MARK at any point in time.
- xMARK tokens are not affected by rebases. However, the underlying MARK token representation will be affected by rebases and still represent a fixed share of the network.
MARK rewards are sent to the staking contract each time a rebase is applied. MARK rewards are allocated and distributed pro-rata between all xMARK holders. Rewards allocated to the Standard staking pool are set initially at 10% of the total Mark/Block of The Press (rewards allocated can be adjusted).
Contrary to The Press, accrued rewards in the Standard staking contract are subject to supply adjustments, or rebasement.
The MARK Team
David Mass is the inventor and founder of Benchmark Protocol. After a career focusing on blockchain application at institutional banking and consultancy firms, Mass leveraged his knowledge in investment management and derivative products to create a protocol to connect traditional finance to cryptocurrency markets. David leads the team, with co-founder Harrison Woytko.
Meir Bank plays the role of CTO. Meir is a full stack mobile developer, blockchain developer, entrepreneur and security researcher with multiple successful stints at companies he helped lead (see “Universal E-Commerce"), an E-Commerce company pioneering solutions for the US Department of Defense, Nasa and The World Bank. He has been publicly credited as a software security researcher by Apple, Microsoft (4 times), Yahoo!, Netflix, and many others. Meir has studied blockchain technology since 2012, and has a deep understanding of the ecosystem and technology.
Learn more about their impressive and deep bench at https://benchmarkprotocol.finance/why-benchmark#team.
In MARK’s short time, they have amassed an impressive list of
- The Innovation Group
- Digifox Finance
- Ren Alliance
- Polygon (MATIC)
- xDAI Stake
- Pancake Swap
How to participate in the network?
There are numerous ways to participate in the MARK ecosystem, including staking, pooling, hodling, voting, and engaging in their community. For those interested in staking MARK, below is a quick overview of how to do this, and all the info you will need to get started:
MARK Token Address: 0x67c597624B17b16fb77959217360B7cD18284253
xMARK Token Address: 0x36b679bd64Ed73DBfd88909cDCB892cB66Bd4CBb
1) Connect your Wallet
- Go to https://thepress.benchmarkprotocol.finance/staking
- Click on the “Connect Wallet” button in the top right corner
2) Approve MARK
- Click on “Approve MARK”
- This allows the staking contract to withdraw MARK on your behalf
3) Convert to xMARK
- Click on “Convert to xMARK” to initiate the staking process
4) Confirm Liquidity
- Define the amount of MARK you would like to stake
- Click “confirm” to send your MARK to the staking contract
5) Receive xMARK
- Open Meta Mask and see your xMARK
- Make sure you have added xMARK to your assets
6) Claim rewards
- Click “Convert to MARK” to redeem your staked MARK and claim your rewards
- Your xMARK will be burned through this process
- With each rebase, Benchmark Protocol distributes rewards to the staking contract. Rewards are shared proportionally between all xMARK holders.
- xMARK represents a share of the underlying MARK token pool.
- xMARK are not affected by rebases, while the underlying MARK are affected by rebases. This allows MARK to be exposed to conventional DeFi applications that are not compatible with elastic-supply currencies; we expect this to facilitate and foster interaction with other DeFi projects in the ecosystem.
- xMARK will be used for Phase 1 Governance through voting via Snapshot.page.
To engage with their community and learn more, check out the Benchmark Protocol’s:
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