Frax Review: The Fractional Algorithmic Stablecoin Explained Extensively
This Frax review contains detailed information on the basic features of the protocol and its dual token. There are 3 categories of stablecoin protocols in DeFi, over collateralized with cryptocurrency, fiat collateralized, and algorithmic with no collateral.
Collateralized stable coins may either have a custodial risk or will require an on-chain over-collateralization.
The algorithmic coins offer a scalable and trustless model that expresses Bitcoin’s early vision of decentralized finance but with stability. Frax seeks to develop a highly scalable, stable, and trustless stable coin using the designs of these three categories.
The Frax protocol is the first decentralized stable coin with a dual token system. It classifies itself as the fractional-algorithmic and introduces the fourth category of the stable coin in the Defi space.
In addition, it explained the protocol’s working mechanism and other necessary information that may interest aspiring investors and fans of the protocol.
- 1 What is Frax Protocol?
- 2 The Founders of Frax
- 3 FRAX Price Stability
- 4 Frax Shares (FXS)
- 5 What Makes Frax Unique?
- 6 Where to Buy FRAX?
- 7 FRAX and FXS Coins in Circulation
- 8 Liquidity Programs & Staking
- 9 FXS Price Live Data
- 10 Buybacks & Recollateralization
- 11 Buybacks
- 12 Conclusion of Frax Review
What is Frax Protocol?
Frax protocol is an open-sourced on-chain and permissionless stable coin system with the possibility of future cross-chain implementations. It’s the first fractional-algorithmic finance protocol presently implemented on the Ethereum network and other chains.
The protocol aims to provide decentralized and highly scalable algorithmic money to replace fixed-supply cryptos like BTC. The Frax protocol is unique and a new model in stable coin designs, and it adopts the following concepts;
Fractional-Algorithmic: Frax is a first and unique stable coin with both fractions of its supply backed by algorithmic and collateral, respectively.
This implies that Frax remains the first stable coin protocol with fractions of its supply unbacked and floating respectively. The ratio of the algorithmic and collateralized solely depends on the market value of the protocol’s stable coin FRAX.
The protocol reduces the ratio of collateralization if FRAX trades above $1 and increases it if FRAX trades below $1. The FRAX stable coin got its name from the fractional algorithmic stability mechanism.
Decentralized and minimized Governance: The Frax protocol is governed by the members of its community. It affirms a highly autonomous and algorithmic approach with no active administration.
Fully On-Chain Oracles: The first version of the Frax protocol (Frax V1) makes use of Chainlink USD price oracles. And Uniswap USDT, ETH, and USDC time-weighted average prices.
Dual Tokens: Frax operates with two tokens. The FRAX stable coin seeks to maintain the pegging of $1/coin. The second token is the Frax Shares (FXS) which is the governance token of the protocol. It’s used in paying fees, profit sharing, and excess collateral value.
Crypto Native CPI – Frax seeks to build the first native version of the Crypto Price Index (CPI) known as Frax Price Index (FPI). The FPI is governed by FXS holders and other protocol tokens.
The Founders of Frax
An American software developer Sam Kazemian founded the Frax protocol who first nurtured the idea in 2019. Sam was a co-founder of a wiki-based online encyclopedia, Everipedia, in 2014 and became the president in 2019.
He started developing Frax Finance with Stephen Moore, who is Trump’s senior economic advisor. Frax rates as the 12th largest stable coin by market cap as of July 2021.
The Frax protocol comprises a team of engineers, including Jason Huan and Travis Moore. The Founder of Frax Finance came up with the idea when he realized that stable coins were increasing rapidly.
And they do that without any integration of the algorithmic monetary collateralization or policy. There have been failures of Projects with pure algorithmic monetary policy without any reasonable traction.
The team designed the protocol to measure the crypto market’s confidence towards a partly algorithmic and collateralized stable coin.
FRAX Price Stability
You can always mint and redeem the FRAX stable coin from the network at a value of $. This enables the arbitragers to stabilize the FRAX coin demand and supply in the open crypto market. If the market value of FRAX is more than $1 peg, the system allows arbitragers to mint more FRAX tokens. Then, they peg these tokens to $1 in the system and sell them for over $1 in the open market.
You are required to place a dollar worth of FRAX value whenever you want to mint new tokens in the system. The protocol operates in two phases the collateral phase and the fractional phase.
If the FRAX collateral phase is 100%, 100% of the amount deposited into the system for minting FRAX becomes collateral. When the network approaches its fractional phase, the value that penetrates the system during the minting process becomes the FXS.
These FXS are burned later from circulation. For instance, a 98%collateral ratio requires $0.98 collateral for each FRAX minted. The system will be left with $0.2 of the FXS token for burning.
The redemption process of the FRAX token is seamless, economically sound, and easy to understand. It’s trivially simple during the 100% collateral phase, in the fractional phase, as arbitragers mints FRAX, FXS is burned.
Also, as the FRAX token is redeemed, FXS is minted. Redeeming FRAX demand for collateral plus FXS initiates the minting of the equivalent amount into circulation.
This also leads to the burning of some FXS. Hence, the FXS value is determined by the rate of FRAX demand. The total sum of the non-collateralized FRAXs market cap value is the value that accrues to the FXS market cap.
FXS is the Frax share and second token. It’s the non-stable utility and governance token of the Frax protocol. FXS is also referred to as the accumulated value (value accrual) of the Frax ecosystem.
It’s volatile and gives its holders the right to vote and govern the entire Frax network. The parameters governed by the FXS are adjusting different fees like redeeming or minting and adding or adjusting collateral pools.
Another parameter that can be determined through the FXS voting is fixing the rate of the collateral ratio. The initial FXS supply was 100million tokens. But the circulating amount may depreciate as FRAX mints at a higher algorithmic ratio.
The protocol design is such that it allows the FXS supply to depreciate greatly with an increase in FRAX demand. The market cap for FXS is calculated as the expected net value creation from the seigniorage of the FRAX tokens continuity.
FXS market cap is also calculated as the cash inflow from minting, redemption fees, and implementation of the unused process. The increase in the FXS market cap enables the system to keep the FRAX token stable.
Thus the main focus of the protocol’s design is to maintain the value of the FRAX token as a stable coin. This is made possible by accruing a maximal value to the FXS token. The protocol in May 2020 started allowing the FXS holders to stake FXS tokens, generate veFXS, and earn rewards.
What Makes Frax Unique?
- The Frax protocol uses a dual coin mechanism to maintain the stability of its stable coin, FRAX, and FXS
- It’s a unique design stable coin platform driven by the members of its protocol community. Frax has over 60% of its utility token (FXS) supply long issued to yield farmers and liquidity providers.
- The decentralized protocol has on-chain governance and the initial stable coin to integrate the fractional-algorithmic hybrid design. Frax Finance was the only decentralized stable coin protocol of its kind as at the time of launching on November 20.
Where to Buy FRAX?
You can find the Frax stable coin FRAX on many popular exchanges such as Gate.io, Binance, CoinW, HitBTC, and Pionex. FRAX also trades on most Decentralized Finance platforms like Decentralized Exchanges and Uniswap.
The Frax Shares, FXS token are available on these options too and in the liquid form like the FRAX stable coin. Investors that seek to buy governance rights to the global first stable coin protocol should go for the Frax Shares(FXS).
Users who are interested in price stability via the fractional-algorithmic stable coin should buy the FRAX token.
FRAX and FXS Coins in Circulation
The supply of the Frax stable coin FRAX is dynamic and changes always to maintain the $1 price peg. This is due to the protocol’s fractional-algorithmic monetary policy. The supply of protocol’s FXS token is not dynamic; it has a maximum supply of 100million tokens at genesis. The protocol has no schedule for inflation, and the FXS is the utility and governance token.
The FraxShares can accrue all the values of the newly minted FRAX, including fees and all excess collateral. In summary, FXS is the investment and governance token, while FRAX is the currency asset.
Liquidity Programs & Staking
The Frax protocol users earn FXS rewards by depositing Uniswap LP tokens to incentivized pairs. You can achieve this by adding liquidity to the token pairs on Uniswap.
Each incentivized pair has an emission rate, and the entire FXS rewards in the incentivized pairs initially emit at 18,000,000 FXS. After the first year, the emission rated increase twice, increasing the algorithmic nature of FRAX.
Collateral Ratio Boost
In the Frax network, they multiply the emission rate for every pool is by a CR boost factor. CR is inversely proportional to the collateral ratio, meaning that the FXS emission rate increases as FRAX becomes more algorithmic.
This is unique in all the pools, with the CR Boost factor set to a maximum multiplier of 2x. Hence, if FRAX becomes entirely algorithmic at a CR of 0%, the FXS emission rate will increase twice(2x).
For instance, the initial yearly emission rate of 18 million FXS will increase to 36 million once the CR hits 0%. The CR Boost will multiply by 1.5x if the FRAX token is 50% collateralized. This will give us an emission rate of 27 million FXS every year. Every governance action deplored this CR boost in April 2021.
All Liquidity Providers can lock their liquidity tokens for three years (1,095 days). The LP stakes are always multiplied by 2 boost factors, the collateral ratio, and the time-locked ratio. The collateral ratio boost is for the base FXS emission rate. Its increase means more FXS distribution across the system.
However, the time-locked boost applies to the user’s stake as a percentage of the total stakes in the Liquidity Pool. This process makes the effort of investors getting a boost from the time-locked stakes fruitless.
A time-locked boost increases the sum of FXS a user receives by increasing their portion in the pool. This, in turn, reduces the proportion of gain for other users in the pool.
This Frax protocol adopts this mechanism to balance the risk and reward of staking liquidity into the platform for a given period. The time-locked staking intends to also reward Liquidity Providers that have a long-term interest in the Frax protocol.
This includes anyone who wishes to commit himself in the aspect of providing Liquidity to the system within a timeframe. The time-locked stakes are unlocked automatically once the system changes any pool emission rate via a governance action.
This process helps to maintain the emission rate on the LPs that have locked their funds. Moreso, it is good to note that the Frax protocol has a veFXS Boost; vefxs is a locked FXS that provides several benefits. First, the holders of this boost receive an additional boost to their original weight during farming.
FXS Price Live Data
As of the time of writing, the Frax share price is $4.06 on the coin market cap with a 24-hour trading volume of $23,470,573. Frax Share is up 5.57% in the last 24 hours and has a current CoinMarketCap ranking of #461.
The live market cap is $65,735,963, with a circulating supply of 16,209,405 FXS coins. However, the maximum supply is not available.
Buybacks & Recollateralization
The Frax protocol may either have excess collateral or require additional collateral to meet up with the collateral ratio. It makes use of two swap functions to increase the system collateral value and redistribute FXS value back to its holders. The two special swap functions are re-collateralization and buyback.
This function determines whether the total USD collateral value across the system is lower than the collateral ratio. If the answer is positive, the system will allow the caller of the request to add up the remaining amount.
This is to meet up with the actual collateral ratio in the platform for the new FXS as a bonus. The bonus is set at the rate of 0.2% to incentivize arbitragers to re-collateralize the system to the set ratio.
The system can either change or adjust the bonus rate to a PID controller variable via governance.
For instance, if we have 100 million FRAX tokens in circulation at a collateral ratio of 50%, the total collateral value is 50 million USD. This is for both the USDC and USDT pools which balances the system.
If the FRAX value depreciates to $0.99, the protocol will increase the collateral ratio to 50.25%. The additional collateral that is required to reach the set collateral ratio would be worth $250,000.
In this case, any user can call the re-collateralize function to place a $250,000 worth of collateral in the pools. He would, in turn, receive the same value of FXS and an additional 0.2% bonus.
The opposite happens when collateral is surplus when it’s higher the amount required to maintain the target collateral ratio. This can occur in the following ways:
- When the protocol keeps reducing the collateral ratio and succeeds in stabilizing the price of FRAX.
- When the interest-bearing collateral in the system accrues in value.
- The Minting and redemption fees are high and create more revenue in the system. In this case, all FXS holders are allowed to call the buyback function to burn up to $1 million worth of their FXS holding.
- They exchange their FXS holdings with the excess collateral value in the system, which are later burned by the protocol. This process effectively redistributes all the excess value back into the system.
- FXS holders don’t need to participate actively in the buybacks to earn value since no bonus is attached.
Conclusion of Frax Review
The Frax review in simple terms gives a general but detailed knowledge of the first fractional algorithmic stable coin protocol. It describes Frax protocol as the first of its kind that combines the advantages of Uniswap and AMMs.
The protocol comprises a novel decentralized stable coin design powered by two tokens; it runs on the Ethereum network. The protocol aims to provide decentralized and highly scalable algorithmic money to replace fixed-supply cryptos like BTC.
Sam Kazemian, an American software developer, founded the Frax protocol in 2019. Sam worked with Stephen Moore, a senior economic advisor to Trump, and a team of engineers, including Jason Huan. The dual token that powers Frax protocol is the FRAX token and FraxShares (FXS). FRAX token is the stable coin and the currency asset of the protocol with a value pegged to $1.
While the FXS is the utility token referred to as the investment and governance token of the Frax protocol. Frax currently trades at $0.9963 with a 24-hour trading volume of $23,470,573.
We believe that you found this review worthwhile, and we oblige you to do thorough research before becoming financially committed.