Reflecting on the Synthetix Perps Incentive Program

Just a few months ago we previewed Synthetix perps’ OP Incentive program, which distributed 300K OP/week for nearly six months to traders on the platform.

Aug 30 marked the last week of the program, but it was extended for 5 weeks with more conservative rewards. Under the extension, traders were rewarded with the minimum of $100K in OP or a fee rebate.

This structure renders wash trading inviable, and is a clever way of sunsetting the incentive program. Volume has increased, albeit amidst a broad market-wide uptick in volume. More notably, Synthetix perps market share has maintained its position ahead of its main competitor, GMX for the time being.

As the incentives have wound down, banter between the Synthetix and GMX communities on crypto twitter has been getting spicy. To catch up on all the drama, here’s some links to some of the recent dialogue between the two passionate communities.

  • @tanoeth bullish GMX v2 vs SNX and HMX

  • @kwenta_intern market share flex

  • @Kiryu_0x sarcastic rebuke of the popular talking point that Synthetix perps volume relies on wash trading incentives
    @PSYTWEAK counterargument, data cherry picking
    @Kiryu_0x SNX perps leads market share 7 of 8 days following incentive program

  • @DeFiMann response to criticism on GMX LP performance

With DEX perps beginning from such a small base, little should be taken from market share metrics over short time frames. A significant portion of these day-to-day market share swings comes down to where whales like 0xSifu feel like placing their bids. DEX perps vs CEX perps remains the more important battle, in which we are still seeing little progress.

GMX will launch a migrator tool soon to allow easy migration to v2’s GM pools, which they could choose to supplement with ARB.

Synthetix may seek to further incentivize liquidity migration once v3 fully launches. There is much more to come in the way of incentives and debates around organic volume.

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