Steven Schill aka The Schiller recently hosted Umbria co-lead developers, Barney and Oscar Chambers (or the Brain Brothers as he likes to call them) for an Umbria Narni Bridge AMA.
Here’s some key points from the discussion and answers to some of the questions asked. Watch it in full below:
A little Umbria recap
For the uninitiated, the duo gave a quick rundown on the Umbria eco-system of DeFi innovation and the project’s ethos of removing barriers to entry in the DeFi space.
Umbria has identified that the main problems with DeFi at the moment are the cost and ease of use; a lot of people want to get in on the space but find it too difficult and many just can’t afford the Ethereum gas prices.
“As a team, we’re trying to get rid of those barriers to entry. So we’ve released an exchange on Polygon, which is very similar to Uniswap and to SushiSwap, but with a fractional fee for swapping. It is way faster to initiate a swap; instead of taking minutes it takes just a fraction of a second for the blockchain stuff to happen.”
Introducing the Narni Bridge
We’re developing a cross-chain bridge where you can move crypto assets securely from one cryptocurrency network to another cryptocurrency network very cheaply, quickly and easily.
There are a lot of really awesome projects out there on different blockchains, but none of these blockchains are really very good at talking to each other. For example, you might want to use something on Binance Smart Chain and then once you’ve done something on that chain you might want to go over to Ethereum and do something else. Right now there really isn’t a very quick and cheap way of doing that.
The Narni bridge is going to facilitate people moving their ERC-20 tokens or any Ethereum-based tokens (EVM compatible tokens) on any of these chains like Binance Smart Chain or Ethereum or Polygon, and then be able to move these around quickly and easily.
It’s all about the liquidity
When you have a decentralised exchange, the main thing that you need for it to function seamlessly and properly is a large amount of liquidity.
“You have to think outside the box for new and innovative ways of getting liquidity. Back in the day, people would make an exchange, make a funny meme and everyone would come flocking. Now you have to be clever with what you’re doing, prove that you have innovation and that’s when people are going to come.”
Umbria will have a bridge, which allows people to potentially move all their assets very easily from any DEX (Decentralised Exchange) such as Uniswap or Sushiswap on any EVM compatible blockchain, into the Umbria protocol. This gives Umbria a massive advantage over many of its DeFi competitors.
Let’s say we want to enable people to migrate their liquidity from Uniswap on Ethereum to Umbria on Polygon we can use the bridge to do that, and it’ll still be as easy as just a couple of clicks with a mouse, rather than a complicated process with a steep learning curve.
QUESTION: What’s the timeframe for the Narni Bridge to be available?
ANSWER: We’re hoping for the Narni bridge to be live in two and a half weeks. All the functionality has already been built at a protocol level so now it’s a case of testing it, re-testing it and triple testing it and when it’s ready we’ll release it.
A bridge of two sides
There are two different sides to the bridge that users could be interested in. The first thing is the actual moving of assets between chains but there’s another compelling function, which is an earner for people who want to stake their tokens and earn some APY like they would be used to in farming.
“In traditional farms when you stake stablecoins you get a very low APY because the risk is very low; it’s not comparable to staking a really ‘spicy’ ERC-20 token as far as the APY is concerned. With the bridge, we expect the APY for stablecoins to be the highest of any asset because we believe that stablecoins will be the ones people will move the most. APY for stablecoin farming is going to be super high.”
A new way of farming
The Narni bridge proposes a whole new type of farming that hasn’t really been seen before. It’s not the traditional AMM (Automated Market Maker) style of exchange, it’s not a traditional farm or vault; it’s going to have a completely different APY model than you’d see in an exchange.
“We’re really excited to see how it all pans out because this is so new, no one really knows what it’s going to be, but it could be a very exciting opportunity for people who want to put in their stablecoins to earn APY.”
QUESTION: how many different chains do you envisage being supported by the Narni bridge?
ANSWER: We would like every popular EVM compatible chain to eventually be supported. So first we’re going to go between Ethereum and Polygon, and once that’s all working beautifully, we’re then going to do Binance Smart Chain as the second choice. Then we’re going to keep adding more and more EVM compatible chains.
QUESTION: For Matic specifically, how does this differ from the Polygon web wallet bridge?
ANSWER: It’s way faster and cheaper. We’ve moved assets from Ethereum to Polygon in less than one minute.
I remember the last time I used the Polygon bridge it took hours. Their bridge is really awesome because it’s completely on chain uses validators and it’s got all the bells and whistles.
With our bridge we’re looking at it from a more pragmatic approach. It’s a more centralised system and more similar to an exchange like Binance. It doesn’t have any of the encumbrances of a completely decentralised application.
QUESTION: Which wallet do you guys support and which coin is required to complete the transaction?
ANSWER: Right now, it will be supported by Metamask. We’re going to be starting with a couple of tokens for the bridge. The first ones will be Polygon, Umbria and Ethereum and then we’ll quickly do USDT as well. Then as the community says which ones they want to be added, we’ll go from there.
QUESTION: We’ve heard about farming on the bridge, but for anyone who isn’t familiar with traditional farming can you explain how this and liquidity providing works?
ANSWER: For our farm on Polygon network, you would get your $MATIC and your $UMBR and provide those two assets to our exchange as liquidity. In return, you receive a Liquidity Provider ‘LP’ token as like a receipt for proof that you have put some money into the exchange. You can then put the LP token into our farm, and you’ll receive $UMBR every block as a reward for giving that liquidity to the exchange.
The bridge farm will similarly be rewarded for providing liquidity but it will take single assets as opposed to pairs.
QUESTION: How do you get Umbria tokens (UMBR)?
QUESTION: What is the total supply of Umbria and how does that work?
We started off by minting five million Umbria, and we’ve been using quite a bit of that for airdrops, the bounty programme and the bug bounties etc. Some of the money will go to the founders but there’s another five million Umbria that is going to be farmed over time.
I think we’re up to about 5.1 million UMBR in circulation right now, but that will eventually go all the way up to 10 million from the farming rewards.
“We think this bridge is by far the most exciting thing that Umbria has ever done. We think that it’s going to lend itself to a range of amazing things that can be developed after it’s released. It already has two functions, and it is going to have an API where other projects can leverage this system to create, for example Yearn strategies for vaults. It will allow a lot of people to do a lot of things. Watch this space…