Filecoin's Liquid Staker Glif Raises $4.5M, Hints at Token Airdrop

Glif's "liquid leasing" gives FIL holders a way to earn yield on their assets.

AccessTimeIconFeb 6, 2024 at 3:10 p.m. UTC

Data storage-centric blockchain Filecoin isn’t exactly known for its decentralized finance (DeFi) landscape. Glif, one of its longtime ecosystem contributors, is trying to change that.

The startup has raised $4.5 million in seed funding from Multicoin Capital and other VCs to build out its tools for earning yield on FIL, Filecoin’s “gas” token that pays for data storage and retrieval on the network.

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  • The capital will help Glif expand its so-called “liquid leasing” setup, which centers on its yield-bearing liquid staking token iFIL, said CEO Jonathan Schwartz. The firm is targeting a tenfold deposit increase for what’s emerged as Filecoin’s largest DeFi protocol nearly one year into its major tech upgrade.

    The raise also sets the stage for an upcoming points program that will reward Glif’s users based on how much value their iFIL tokens have accrued. Points programs have become shorthand in crypto for a token airdrop, and a person familiar with the matter said that’s the “tentative plan” for Glif.

    Glif offers “liquid leasing” for Filecoin, the network’s rough equivalent to “liquid staking” on Ethereum. Both processes generate yield for token-holders by tapping into the computer networks, providing essential services to the network.

    But Filecoin doesn’t run on Ethereum’s “proof-of-stake" consensus mechanism, and its storage providers (akin to validators) aren’t serviced by a Lido. That said, they do mine block rewards based on how much FIL collateral they posted as a testament to their honesty.

    What Glif has done, according to Schwartz, is create a bridge between regular FIL holders who want yield and the storage providers who generate it. The holders loan their FIL into a pool that the providers borrow from, boosting their collateral and yield. Storage providers pay interest to the pool once a week.

    Currently, holders receive a derivative token called iFIL that acts as a receipt on their deposit, much like Lido’s stETH. The value of their iFIL rises weekly as the interest payments grow.

    Glif Points

    “Our goal is to get to 100 million FIL deployed to storage providers in a couple of years,” Schwartz said. At the time of writing, it had 10 million tokens locked from 1600 depositors.

    Part of the growth strategy’s success could hinge on the protocol’s points program, which is expected to launch later this quarter. Glif will give users points based on how much value they're driving into the ecosystem for rewards generation. More iFIL will equal more points, according to a blog post shared with CoinDesk.

    "The GLIF Protocol is decentralizing so its stakeholders can govern and manage it," the blog post said. "Points are a first step."

    A person familiar with the matter said the "tentative plan" will see points determine how many tokens to initially airdrop to users.

    Edited by Parikshit Mishra.


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    Danny Nelson

    Danny is CoinDesk's Managing Editor for Data & Tokens. He owns BTC, ETH and SOL.

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