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Mars will bring a multi-chain lending market to the Cosmos, enabling yield-seeking and margin trading applications like shorting and leveraged longs on any integrated Cosmos SDK chain, starting with Osmosis.
Mars started as a lending protocol on the Terra chain and has been working to launch its own Cosmos chain after the Terra LUNA and UST collapse. Users who held MARS on Terra may be eligible to claim a newly minted MARS token after the launch of Mars Hub. These MARS tokens will be available via Station, Terra’s new interchain wallet, and Keplr as soon as Mars Hub is live. More information about the airdrop is in the blogpost.
Below, we explore some of the new concepts associated with Mars v2 to address the diverse use cases of borrow & lending, trading and yield farming protocols, that usually disperse users’ capital and, consequently, dry up liquidity.
Red Bank — credit to individuals and smart contracts
Mars’ innovative Hub and Outpost architecture allows the protocol to be deployed onto every Cosmos chain. The outposts comprise of two main applications, Red Bank and the Rover. The Outposts can be seen as bank branches, where users can deposit chain-specific tokens for lending that will generate yield. Optionally, the deposit can serve as collateral to borrow assets to be used on other Cosmos chains. Yield is generated from interest accrued from Red Bank borrowers. This revenue stream is paid out to Red Bank depositors, Mars Hub stakers, and the Safety Fund atop Mars Hub.
The Red Bank is engineered to lend not just to individuals but to specific whitelisted smart contracts too. This feature is known as contract-to-contract lending (C2C).
In summary, Mars outposts are managed by Mars Hub but are deployed onto other Cosmos chains. Mars’ first outpost is scheduled to launch on Osmosis in early February with borrowing and lending support for ATOM, OSMO, and axlUSDC (Axelar USDC). The community will then be able to propose further assets to be listed via governance.
Rovers — accounts as NFTs, concentrated collateral, and a single LTV ratio
Rover is a new credit primitive that allows a user to benefit from the cross-collateralization of different positions within a sub-account. Represented by NFTS, they will provide a user with a centralized exchange style platform in a decentralized manner. The cross collateralisation enables all the positions a user has taken to be considered when determining the health of the account and thus enhances capital efficiency.
Fields of Mars — liquidity as a service
The Fields of Mars is one feature within a Rover account and consists of Vault strategies such as LYF and LLP. These Vaults via the Rover, borrow from the Red Bank and provide the leverage for the given strategy. Fields of Mars is pre-authorized to borrow without posting collateral directly into the Red Bank. It can be seen as they have a virtual ‘credit line’. It’s not that collateral doesn’t exist, but that the Fields application controls the collateral instead of the Red Bank itself.
The fields of mars allow users to, for example, leverage yield farm positions by using rover credit accounts. Users can LP assets borrowed from the local Red Bank, with the LP shares held as collateral by the smart contract. If the debt-to-collateral ratio were to exceed a safety margin, the contract would liquidate the LP share.
Staking MARS with Chorus One — a Genesis validator
The MARS tokens are planned to govern Mars Hub and its outposts throughout the Cosmos. Token holders would be able to stake MARS tokens and participate in on-chain governance directly on Mars Hub.
Secure the chain: The more tokens staked within a network, the more secure the chain is, as it becomes more expensive to attack.
Access delegated governance: Delegation allows users to participate in governance by staking their tokens with a validator who aligns with their views. A user can passively allow a validator to vote on their behalf or they can actively participate in votes themselves.
Receive fees: In return for securing the chain, a share of protocol fees will flow to validators and their delegators.
Our specialized research team actively follows up and contributes to the governance of protocol. A weekly summary of proposals and votes for the Cosmos ecosystem is released every week on Chorus One’s Twitter handle.
We also recently released a report that goes deep into the subject of governance on Cosmos. You can download it here.