Helio Protocol is an open-source liquidity protocol for borrowing and earning yield on HAY — a new BNB backed destablecoin. The protocol aims to position HAY as not just the pioneering but also leading destablecoin protocol on the BNB chain.
We recently caught up with the team to learn more about what they have been working on...
1. Please describe Helio Protocol to those unfamiliar with it. What's your vision and mission?
Helio Protocol is an open-source, liquidity protocol onBNB chain offering liquid-staking and lending of our innovative destablecoin, HAY, over-collateralized by BNB. Our mission is to bring in a destablecoin product that offers sustainable, real-yield which is resilient against market sentiment to our users. We hope to disrupt the stablecoin industry by providing a product that achieves capital efficiency, decentralization and safety at the same time.
Our current goal is to make HAY the most widely-adopted destablecoin product in the BNB ecosystem. In the future, we look towards bringing HAY across multiple chains and ultimately, becoming the driving force behind mass-adoption of cryptocurrency. Once we have launched our TGE event and DAO governance, we invite our community members to participate in deciding the future of Helio Protocol.
The team has always been deeply involved in not just the wider cryptocurrency landscape, but also, in stablecoin products and BNB chain ecosystem.We realized early on that BNB chain lacked a leading decentralized stablecoin product that other blockchain ecosystems had. Thus, the team had been slowly, but surely iterating on the concept of Helio, and HAY for a very long time. However, our main call to action was during early summer of 2022, when the markets saw the collapse of several large crypto projects and institutions. The timing, despite the full onset of a bear market, felt instantly right to the team, and we formally banded together to build Helio Protocol.
Currently, we have a very lean team structure, with our founding members being anonymous. However, we bring together significant years of experience in top finance, management consulting and technology companies. as well as multiple years of experience in cryptocurrency space . Our team is banded together over the common beliefs:firstly, stablecoins can act as a key bridge towards cryptocurrency mass adoption; secondly, BNB chain is the perfect place to build on. We hope the quality of Helio Protocol will speak for itself one day instead of having to fall back on the reputation of our founders.
There are a few comparable products with HAY. However,they are all very different from our native destablecoin.
In the BNB Chain ecosystem, HAY is often compared to VAI and BUSD. However, HAY aims to offer more security and capital efficiency than VAI, through the usage of liquid staking of our BNB collateral. In the case of BUSD, HAY differs greatly in the element of decentralization, as BUSD is a centralized, fiat-backed stablecoin regulated by a centralized custodian, while HAY is collateralized by decentralized assets such as BNB, and regulated by Helio, a decentralized protocol.
Another product that HAY is often linked tois DAI, which is the native stablecoin of MakerDAO. Other than the fundamental differences on transacting on the Ethereum blockchain vs. the BNB blockchain, DAI too is over-collateralized by centralized assets such as USDC, which compromises the level of decentralization offered. In addition, users who hold HAY can obtain further opportunities to generate yield through staking and liquidity farming, offering greater capital efficiency.
Safety is key to any successful DeFi project, and arguably even more so for a destablecoin project. Helio Protocol has been audited by leading audit firms such as PeckShield, Certik and Veridise, to name a few. We publish our reports on our website, and users are free to review them. We are also currently in talks with other reputable smart contract auditors.
In addition, Helio Protocol is open-source, meaning that our code is accessible to the public. Our bug bounty programme is still live! We welcome anyone to submit potential bugs for a chance to win generous rewards.
To ensure that HAY remains resilient, we have adopted an LTV ratio of ~66%. Meaning, for every USD $100 worth of BNB deposited, up to USD $66 of HAY can be borrowed. This ratio has been battle-tested by our predecessors such as MakerDAO, helping to ensure that we always have more than enough BNB to pay back any bad-debts, and to maintain the peg. HAY’s mint capwill never exceed 5% of the market-cap of BNB, which helps ensure that there is always sufficient BNB collateral to cushion any negative ripples in the market.
Helio Protocol also employs an emergency shutdown mechanism that will be deployed as a last resort during an exploit to protect the blockchain infrastructure and assets of our users.
Helio Protocol runs on a dual token model. HAY, our native destablecoin, is fully over-collateralized by decentralized cryptocurrency assets such as BNB. HAY aims to be redeemable for USD $1 worth of BNB, but will embrace minor fluctuations in price redemption as dictated by the open market. Our second token, HELIO, is our governance token. It is not yet released, and however HELIO holders will be able to vote and pass proposals on our DAO governance (once launched).
We believe BNB chain is relatively underrated. It is one of the largest blockchain ecosystems but it garners little attention. Despite the recent Ethereum merge, gas fees and processing fees are still lower onBNB chain. Additionally, it offers more security and stability than other “cheaper” blockchain systems such as Solana. Most importantly, as mentioned before, there isn't a fully-decentralized destablecoin like HAY in the ecosystem. Thus, the features and competitive landscape of the BNB chain is fully aligned with our vision for the perfect ecosystem to build HAY on.
Definitely for DeFi, balancing decentralization and user safety will be something that requires a very fine balance to achieve. DeFi also gets a bad rep because many users engage in DeFi without fully understanding risk and how to apply their situation to those risk parameters. Quality education and building a base of users who are able to safely use DeFi products is key to building a sustainable community.
5 years is a long-time in crypto terms, and many things can change during the space of that time. Our hope is that the BNB ecosystem will further flourish to not just encompass DeFi, but also other web3 adjacents such as NFTs and GameFi communities. Crypto users from other blockchains should also ideally see BNB chain as a top destination for both DeFi users and builders to build on, where innovation and contribution into the ecosystem will continue to introduce more dApps and protocols . Our dream is that HAY will be the destablecoin payment currency of choice that links the various projects in the BNB chain ecosystem together.
BNB Chain has always been very supportive in helping projects grow. Other than helping to amplify our message and our marketing, they also have strong links with the other projects on BNB chain, allowing the ecosystem to leverageeach other’s strengths and grow together.
Our TGE is currently scheduled to take place soon, and we will be releasing details for community airdrop allocations to reward our early users, so don’t miss out!